I've written five other books, but Growing Up Laughing is the most personal. It's my memoir, and in it I share with you the greatest treasure of my childhood and my career - the gift of laughter. All my life, laughter has anchored and sustained me, and I wanted to share the way in which humor shaped my childhood days and continues to inspire me.
One of the most vivid memories from my childhood was going to work with my father - on his TV shows or at a nightclub - and watching him hone his brilliant comic skills before an eager audience. I also loved being surrounded by that same magic at home, when those legendary comics who were Dad's friends - Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Bob Newhart, George Burns, Bob Hope - would gather around our dinner table for hours on end, trading stories, trying out jokes and filling our home with fun and laughter.
These amazing stories - and the many stories of my life and career that followed - have been buzzing in my head for years, and at last I have written them all down. I hope you like them.
While writing this book, I also began to wonder: Did today's best loved comedians grow up like me? Were they also surrounded by people who loved to laugh? And if not, how did they find the funny? So in addition to my own story, I've included my personal interviews with an A-list of celebrated funny men and women - Alan Alda, Joy Behar, Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Jay Leno, George Lopez, Elaine May, Conan O'Brien, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Ben and Jerry Stiller, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams and Steven Wright. I can't wait for you to read what they told me!
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