STILL FOOLIN’ ‘EM – by Billy Crystal

Still FoolingThis autobiography by Billy Crystal has the tag line:  Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?

I don’t often read biographies and autobiographies.  I don’t care about pumped up, cleaned up revisionist history of people of questionable talents and contributions.   But I have always liked Crystal’s work, and figure I would take a fast run through this.  After all, he is a writer, and a comedian.  I was hoping it would contain a little bit worthwhile.

I found it a likeable book,  not too overladen with humblebrags or false humility, but I doubt that it revealed anything close to private thoughts that hadn’t been shared in a hundred places before.  It was more, for me, a recap, a stroll down Nostalgia Lane, because I remember all those shows, and movies.  What I wasn’t really aware of was his deep interest in baseball.  I was looking for some humorous quips, and was not disappointed.  Like this:

Grandma, who loved to laugh, was the dominant force in the family and actually is credited on Wikipedia with inventing guilt.

By sixty-five (his age), all of us have accumulated what Janice (his wife) calls crap.  Crap we don’t know where we got it from, crap we know where we got it from but don’t remember why.  We’re all one Hummel figurine away from being on Hoarders.

On the Kübler-Ross model, of the five stages of grief:

I look at the stages of death differently.  To me they are retirement village, assisted living, nursing home, hospice, and burial plot.

On his grandchildren:

My mind conjures up what the world will be like for them in, say, 2048.  It will be a world where America is finally debt-free.  And that will be because some of our richest billionaires will finally do the right thing and pay our debt off.   They’ll just divvy up the check like it’s women at lunch.

“Warren, I got defense; you paid for Social Security last time.”

“Bill, you had health care and we didn’t so take that.”

“Who wants the CIA?”  It’s only twenty-eight billion.”

“What tip do you leave on sixteen trillion?  The service was so-so.”

It was heartening to learn that here is a show biz celebrity who is still married to his first wife.  42 years.  Amazing.  He seems like a nice guy, and nothing I read in this book would suggest differently.


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