I first was introduced to Marlo Thomas when I was a young girl. I remember owning the record album, Free to Be...You and Me, and listening to it over and over with my younger brother. I don't think at the time, we really understood what the album stood for. We just thought it was a lot of fun. We still to this day know all the skits and songs, and will sometimes laugh about them at family gatherings. As I got older, I knew her as "That Girl" from watching reruns with my mom. Now, I admire her not only for her career, but also the work she continues to do for St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, which was founded by her father, comedian Danny Thomas.
I was looking forward to reading Marlo's memoirs when I first heard they were being published, but Growing up Laughing is so much more than a memoir. Marlo interweaves stories of her childhood with personal interviews with comedians from Tina Fey to Jay Leno to Chris Rock. It's the story of growing up the daughter of a famous comedian, having legends of comedy such as George Burns and Bob Hope visit her family home and becoming a famous actress, herself. Filled with jokes and anecdotes, it takes us from her childhood in Beverly Hills to her marriage to talk show host Phil Donahue and on to her present life where she still keeps her father's dream alive with St. Jude's. Touching, funny and entertaining, Growing Up Laughing is a great read about the life of a remarkable woman.
Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny is a book that only Marlo Thomas could write--a smart and gracious, witty and confident autobiographical journey.
For as long as Marlo Thomas can remember, she's lived with laughter. Born to comedy royalty--TV and nightclub star Danny Thomas--she grew up among legendary funny men, carved much of her career in comedy and, to this day, surrounds herself with people who love and live to make others laugh. In this long-awaited memoir, Thomas takes us on a funny and heartwarming adventure, from her Beverly Hills childhood, to her groundbreaking creation of That Girl and Free to Be . . . You and Me, to her rise as one of America's most beloved actress-comediennes, to her marriage to talk-show king Phil Donahue.
Her youth was star-studded--Milton Berle performed magic tricks (badly) at her backyard birthday parties. George Burns, Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, Bob Newhart and other great comics passed countless hours gathered around her family's dinner table. And behind it all was the rich laughter nurtured by a close and loving family.
Growing Up Laughing is not just the story of an iconic entertainer, but also the story of comedy. In a voice that is curious, generous and often gleeful, Thomas not only opens the doors on the funny in her own life, but also explores the comic roots of today's most celebrated comedians, in personal interviews with: 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.