Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Still Foolin 'Em by Billy Crystal

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (September 10, 2013)

Actor-writer-director-comedian Billy Crystal has come to terms with growing older with the release of his laugh-out-loud memoir, Still Foolin' Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?

Crystal was a long-time host of the Oscars but also starred in several films, a list of which would drag on for several paragraphs.

As he reached his 65th birthday, the comedian decides to look back on his life and career.  He also looks at the absurdities that come with aging, including growing conservative in politics.  When it comes to aging, nothing appears to be off-limits--including insomnia, memory loss, leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt, sleeping at the movies, etc.  The comedian even offers advice to his fellow baby boomers.

Aside from Crystal's reflections on losing family members, this was a laugh-out-loud blast to read.  The comedian uses his trademark blend of wit and heart.  He takes us on a road traveled from Long Beach, Long Island, to starting out performing stand-up in the West Village, playing an openly gay character on Soap, and a short stint at Saturday Night Live.

Crystal offers a behind-the-scenes account of the making of When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, Mr. Saturday Night, and Analyze This.  He reflects on his nine times hosting the Oscars as well as his being a lifetime fan of the New York Yankees (and playing one day during spring training).

There's also his love affair with Sophia Loren, which she didn't know about, and his friendships with Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali.

Billy Crystal is an American icon and he gives it all in this poignant and funny memoir.

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