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Wake Me When It's Funny: How to Break into Show Business and Stay

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This memoir and show-business primer from one of film and TV's most successful writer-producer-director-actors (Pretty Woman, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Murphy Brown) gives sound advice on how to create comedy, break into TV, shoot movies, and deal with Hollywood. 40 b/w photos. Garry ("Allergic to Everything but Success") Marshall has written hundreds of This memoir and show-business primer from one of film and TV's most successful writer-producer-director-actors (Pretty Woman, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Murphy Brown) gives sound advice on how to create comedy, break into TV, shoot movies, and deal with Hollywood. 40 b/w photos. Garry ("Allergic to Everything but Success") Marshall has written hundreds of TV scripts, produced and created 14 prime-time series, including The Odd Couple and Happy Days, and has written a number of stage plays. This entertaining portrait of Marshall's life takes readers on a tumultuous, behind-the-scenes journey, from his early days to the peak of sitcom success to his work in movies today. 32 pages of photos.


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This memoir and show-business primer from one of film and TV's most successful writer-producer-director-actors (Pretty Woman, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Murphy Brown) gives sound advice on how to create comedy, break into TV, shoot movies, and deal with Hollywood. 40 b/w photos. Garry ("Allergic to Everything but Success") Marshall has written hundreds of This memoir and show-business primer from one of film and TV's most successful writer-producer-director-actors (Pretty Woman, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Murphy Brown) gives sound advice on how to create comedy, break into TV, shoot movies, and deal with Hollywood. 40 b/w photos. Garry ("Allergic to Everything but Success") Marshall has written hundreds of TV scripts, produced and created 14 prime-time series, including The Odd Couple and Happy Days, and has written a number of stage plays. This entertaining portrait of Marshall's life takes readers on a tumultuous, behind-the-scenes journey, from his early days to the peak of sitcom success to his work in movies today. 32 pages of photos.

30 review for Wake Me When It's Funny: How to Break into Show Business and Stay

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Owen

    One of the best books I've ever read. Insightful, funny, poignant. A must have for writers and aspirational people every where. One of the best books I've ever read. Insightful, funny, poignant. A must have for writers and aspirational people every where.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I read Mr. Marshall's more recent book, "My Happy Days in Hollywood", and enjoyed it very much all the way through, so I looked for other books that he has written and found "Wake Me When It's Funny". This book, although initially not as breezy and fun as "My Happy Days in Hollywood" was also an interesting read and quite delightful once I got past the first few pages. Some of the stories he tells overlap with his more recent book, but I soon discovered that this one goes into much more detail a I read Mr. Marshall's more recent book, "My Happy Days in Hollywood", and enjoyed it very much all the way through, so I looked for other books that he has written and found "Wake Me When It's Funny". This book, although initially not as breezy and fun as "My Happy Days in Hollywood" was also an interesting read and quite delightful once I got past the first few pages. Some of the stories he tells overlap with his more recent book, but I soon discovered that this one goes into much more detail about the art of both writing and directing. It's not preachy or dry by any means, and he includes a lot of funny stories as well as fascinating anecdotes from behind the scenes at "Pretty Woman", "Happy Days", and other movies and television shows. Everything I've heard about Mr. Marshall from my friends in the business has been positive - his genuinely nice personality, extreme generosity, etc. - and I thought all of that comes across. He knows what he has accomplished and he's proud of it, but his lack of ego and his disinterest in trashing people he has worked with is very refreshing. It's a bit autobiographical, a bit instructional, and often funny - But mostly it's very entertaining. And I think that describes Mr. Marshall too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Delightful. He truly loved show biz and family and made sure that one didn’t outweigh the other. Hollywood should take heed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    This is one of the least appealing books I've read in a long time. Garry Marshall seems like a genuinely good person, and there's no denying his success. But I can't figure out what he intended Wake Me When It's Funny to be. It's not quite a memoir, though there's a constant stream of bar-mitzvah-grade anecdotes. It's not quite a guidebook to getting into show business, despite a bunch of strange advice. Marshall seems to assume the reader has no knowledge of the TV or film industry, but he give This is one of the least appealing books I've read in a long time. Garry Marshall seems like a genuinely good person, and there's no denying his success. But I can't figure out what he intended Wake Me When It's Funny to be. It's not quite a memoir, though there's a constant stream of bar-mitzvah-grade anecdotes. It's not quite a guidebook to getting into show business, despite a bunch of strange advice. Marshall seems to assume the reader has no knowledge of the TV or film industry, but he gives tips on things like working out a smart product placement deal and keeping George C. Scott from getting grumpy. The only reason I slapped a second star onto the rating is that I like his emphasis on maintaining a work/life balance and his interpretation of the myth of Sisyphus: "When the guy is walking down the hill to get the boulder again ... he can say, 'Here's a nice break. I can walk down the hill, whistling and pushing nothing.'"

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Not so much as how to be funny as how you get funny, and how you know what's funny. An absolute essential for those aspiring to make others laugh professionally. Marshall reveals that he has written so much television that he knows where all the jokes are. He's done most situations, knows where they all lead, and that kind of experience can save you time going up wrong alleys. Loved his wonderful acting work as a network executive on Murphy Brown. A certain amount of pain, suffered personally, can Not so much as how to be funny as how you get funny, and how you know what's funny. An absolute essential for those aspiring to make others laugh professionally. Marshall reveals that he has written so much television that he knows where all the jokes are. He's done most situations, knows where they all lead, and that kind of experience can save you time going up wrong alleys. Loved his wonderful acting work as a network executive on Murphy Brown. A certain amount of pain, suffered personally, can be very helpful in making others laugh.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Herring

    Not too bad. It talks a lot about the early days of show business with Syd Cesar, Jackie Gleason and other comics. The book doesn't talk about the fundamentals of writing screenplays though. It's interesting how he blazed a trail to Hollywood and then later his two sisters Penny and Ronny with a lot of friends and relatives followed along. Guess working with family does pay off. Not too bad. It talks a lot about the early days of show business with Syd Cesar, Jackie Gleason and other comics. The book doesn't talk about the fundamentals of writing screenplays though. It's interesting how he blazed a trail to Hollywood and then later his two sisters Penny and Ronny with a lot of friends and relatives followed along. Guess working with family does pay off.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trish Mars

    Read this book years ago near the time after it was released. I highly enjoyed it. It was both humorous and informative. Great read to help give insight and encouragement for those pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy Wolf

    Garry Marshall has done it all: from the early days of TV to huge features like Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, and Pretty Woman. He's very funny, and this book moves quickly. He does talk about sister Penny (he produced Laverne & Shirley). Garry Marshall has done it all: from the early days of TV to huge features like Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, and Pretty Woman. He's very funny, and this book moves quickly. He does talk about sister Penny (he produced Laverne & Shirley).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maria Dorfner

    Hilarious stories and terrific no-nonsense advice. Loved it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike Horne

    This was OK. Not particularly well written, but some good insights on being a writer and director. I am not a big fan of Garry Marshall movies.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    love garry marshall. so much good advice.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bob Conder

    Great Bio from a great man.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wes

    Very light hearted, and easy before-bed kind of book :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carly

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  18. 4 out of 5

    Contessa

  19. 5 out of 5

    Walt

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gaston

  21. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Janis

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Dale

  26. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darren

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nanny

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alp Beck

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

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