Funny Man: Mel Brooks

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Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.8 X 7.2 X 1.5 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author

Patrick McGilligan is the author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light; Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast; and George Cukor: A Double Life; and books on the lives of directors Nicholas Ray, Robert Altman, and Oscar Micheaux, and actors James Cagney, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood. He also edited the acclaimed five-volume Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters and (with Paul Buhle), the definitive Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not far from Kenosha, where Orson Welles was born.


"Comprehensive....illuminating....teeming with fascinating details about Brooks's life and career."--New York Times Book Review
"The author ably chronicles Brooks' career arc from the Brooklyn kid born Melvin Kaminsky to the loudest member of Sid Caesar's writing staff on NBC's Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour in the 1950s to the driving force behind some of the most successful film comedies of his time."--Kirkus Reviews
"Highly detailed....A veteran showbiz biographer, McGilligan has produced a book rich with knowledge of the industry and overflowing with the fruits of his research."--Newsday
"This superb account by film biographer McGilligan of Mel Brooks's life and career persuasively sketches two sides of the comedian-filmmaker's personality..... McGilligan's exhaustive biography will be essential reading for anyone interested in Brooks or, more broadly, how Hollywood functioned during the second half of the 20th century."--Publishers Weekly
"McGilligan skillfully profiles Brooks's two sides--the bullying, raging and credit-grabbing "Rude Crude Mel" and the "Nice Mel," who performed discreet and generous acts of kindness and was a lightning rod for laughter in public. This fascinating and exhaustive biography presents a complicated and immensely talented man whose inner demons fed his hilarious output of films, TV series and albums."--Shelf Awareness
"Well researched, engaging, and of interest to all of Brooks fans. McGilligan has found a good critical balance as he extols his subject's comedic and artistic virtues while being forthright about Brooks's occasional stubborn attitude toward creative and financial control. McGilligan is one of the few film biographers not to indulge in extensive criticism of the projects themselves, instead offering commentary through the contemporary reviews or financial results of a given work."--Library Journal
"While devoted Brooks fans may recognize some of these tidbits, there are enough new trivia nuggets that most readers will come away with something they did not know before. For those who want an in-depth account of Mel Brooks, the ruthless businessman, Funny Man is for you."--Washington Post
"After a career Funny Man: Mel Brooks tells the story of a man who has never stopped hustling in an almost pathological pursuit of the twin needs to entertain and be famous for it."--New York