Laugh Lines

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Laugh Lines

My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier; A Cultural Memoir

Alan Zweibel


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With his tender, funny memoir of four decades in the business, Alan Zweibel traces the history of American comedy.

Alan Zweibel started his comedy career selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt standups. Then one night, despite bombing on stage, he caught the attention of Lorne Michaels and became one of the first writers at Saturday Night Live, where he penned classic material for Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and all of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players. From SNL, he went on to have a hand in a series of landmark shows—from It’s Garry Shandling’s Show to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Throughout Laugh Lines, Zweibel weaves together his own stories and interviews with his friends and contemporaries, including Richard Lewis, Eric Idle, Bob Saget, Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Dave Barry, Carl Reiner, and more. The book also features a charming foreword from his friend of forty-five years, Billy Crystal, with whom he cowrote and coproduced the film Here Today starring Crystal and Tiffany Haddish. Laugh Lines is a warmhearted cultural memoir of American comedy.


Alan Zweibel:

Alan Zweibel is an original Saturday Night Live writer who the New York Times said has “earned a place in the pantheon of American pop culture.” He has won multiple Emmys and Writers Guild of America awards for his work in television that includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (which he co-created and produced) and Curb Your Enthusiasm. His theatrical works include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award–winning 700 Sundays, Martin Short’s Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me and Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy, which he adapted from his bestselling book. He is the author of numerous other books, including The Other Shulman, which won the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the popular children’s book Our Tree Named Steve. He is the co-writer and producer, with Billy Crystal whom also directed, of Here Today, a forthcoming feature film starring Crystal and Tiffany Haddish.