16+ quotes from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales

Quotes from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live

Tom Shales ·  781 pages

Rating: (13K votes)


“You’re only working with if you count the money at the end of the night. Otherwise you’re working for.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“BERNIE BRILLSTEIN: O’Donoghue had the best line about the Muppets. He used to say, “I won’t write for felt.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“Keith Richards I remember. There was a horse backstage that week, and I was in my dressing area and I saw Keith Richards go up, hold the horse’s face in his hands, and go, “You’re a fine horse, aren’t you?” I’ll never forget that.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“Farley once stuck his ass out the window of the seventeenth floor at 30 Rock and took a shit. Another time, in front of twenty or twenty-five people in a very crowded writers’ room—mixed company, women, men—Farley came in naked. He has his dick tucked between his legs and he was doing Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs. He took a golf club and shoved it about three inches up his ass, then pulled the golf club out and started licking it.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“JANEANE GAROFALO: Life is a boys club.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“Vanity is the Death of Comedy.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“I’m a good self-starter when it comes to guilt.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“BILL MURRAY, Cast Member: Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever. So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?” We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know. And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there. It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“Meanwhile, NBC brass were consumed with nervousness about the content of the show—about giving ninety minutes of network time a week to Lorne Michaels and his left-wing loonies. On the first show, with sometimes-racy comic George Carlin hosting, the network planned to use a six-second delay so that anything unexpected and obscene could be edited out by an observer from the Department of Standards and Practices (the censor), who would theoretically flip a switch in the control room and bleep the offending material before it went out naked onto the American airwaves. Over the coming months and years, various hosts or musical acts would make NBC executives more nervous than usual, and the notion of making the show not quite precisely literally live kept coming up.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“It’s a choice: Either you try to make it look easy or you emphasize how hard it is.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“Nobody noticed the Kerry Washington opening that we did—they had done years ago with Jan Hooks. They did a similar sketch—Jan Hooks kept running out because a new woman was coming in. This was a year where they only had two women, and now the cast, the repertory cast, is 50 percent female for the first time, and it bothered me that why can’t we celebrate that? We’re not even allowed to say that in public because we don’t have a woman of the right color. We have two women of color, but they’re not the right color. It was an interesting, eye-opening experience just for race in America.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“it’s easier and more profitable to keep selling outrage than build any bridges.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“You can’t tell nobody what they don’t know—not even that they don’t know”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“Chris Rock, Cast Member: How can anyone hate the guy? A lot of people have problems with Lorne. A lot of people I've met from the show come from these great backgrounds, and they're not used to working for people. And you know he hired you to work for him, there's no working with. You're only working with if you count the money at the end of the night. Otherwise you're working for. And when you're working for somebody, you're going to have to do shit you don't want to do. And sometimes they're not going to talk to you. And that's what working for people is.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“never forget that lady. TRACY MORGAN: You know when I first saw Lorne Michaels? I was working at Yankee Stadium, before I got into show business. It’s where I met my wife fourteen years ago. I used to see Lorne Michaels go in Gate 4 every day. I was selling T-shirts and all that. I was a vendor at Yankee Stadium. Now look where I’m at. It was so ironic that I met Lorne Michaels like that. And now years later, he’s my boss and I’m working on his show. I didn’t know him. I was a kid from the ghetto, trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


“LORNE MICHAELS: I taught at an art school in Toronto, I was teaching improvisations, the conceptual art movement which was being talked about and on the edge of things in the early seventies. Where that and entertainment met was what Andy Kaufman was doing. It wasn’t just that he lip-synched to “Mighty Mouse”; it was that he only did that one part in it, that one line, and stood around for the rest. It was very conceptual, and it instantly signaled to the brighter part of the audience that that was the kind of show we were going to do. And they weren’t getting that anywhere else on television. In the first couple years, Andy must have been on close to ten times. One night he even read from The Great Gatsby. In the beginning I had Penn and Teller on a few times, because that was the DNA, but I couldn’t do that now. The pure variety show part of it is over. It’s a straight comedy show now.”
― Tom Shales, quote from Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live


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