Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael ODonoghue

ISBN 10: 0380973308 / ISBN 13: 9780380973309
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Synopsis: An account of the lives and high times of the late satirist, a writer for National Lampoon magazine and Saturday Night Live, where he created the infamous "Mr. Bill" series, includes photographs and selections from his work.

Review: "I had a funny thought: What if Ed Sullivan were tortured? And when I say tortured what I mean is, what if steel needles, say six inches long, were plunged into Ed's eyes? I think it would go something like this...[several minutes of horrible screaming and thrashing]."

Now that the National Lampoon is virtually defunct, and Saturday Night Live has turned into just another late-night network cash cow, you can be excused for forgetting about Michael O'Donoghue. But back in the glory days of the 1970s, O'Donoghue gave both their distinctive edge of viciousness, death, and celebratory mayhem. Even though O'Donoghue died (prematurely) in 1994, his legacy in American comedy is still strong. Dennis Perrin has done a boon service by bringing this American original out of the shadows.

For the devoted fan of O'Donoghue--you're likely either one of those, or nothing--Mr. Mike is often more tantalizing than completely fulfilling. Though his life and career are described in welcome detail, the author's attempts at analysis are less sure. For example, Perrin lets O'Donoghue off much too easily when discussing the sinister elements of his work: Was his obsession with Nazis--one of his tried-and-true comic devices--anti-Semitic? What was his fascination with S&M, mutilation, and torture all about, and how much did the readers really connect with it? Was O'Donoghue a self-made artist in the right place at the right time, or did the culture around him create his distinctive double-dark worldview? Since O'Donoghue himself was highly intellectual and analytical regarding his feral art, one expects answers to these questions, but they are not forthcoming.

Gaps in analysis aside, fans of American humor owe Perrin big-time; for better or worse, O'Donoghue remains as unique and seminal as ever, and Mr. Mike goes an awfully long way towards ensuring that its subject doesn't fade into literary obscurity, at the very same time that the style of humor he created becomes more and more mainstream. --Michael Gerber

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Title: Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael ...
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Dennis Perrin ( Michael O'donoghue )
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Book Description Avon Books, 1998. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. 429pp. Illus. "The life and work of Michael O' Donoghue--from 'National Lampoon" to "Saturday Night Live,' the man who made comedy dangerous." (loc x42/2+2). Seller Inventory # 17312

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Book Description Avon Books, NY, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. 1998 Avon Books First/First in MINT unread condition. A review copy with slip laid in + 2 publicity photos, one of O'Donoghue and one of Perrin!. Book. Seller Inventory # 008399

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