A comic looks back on his long and storied career, from his start selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt stand-ups to becoming one of the first writers at Saturday Night Live—where he penned classic material for Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and all of the original cast members—to writing for contemporary stars like Tiffany Haddish.
In Laugh Lines, Zweibel looks back, affectionately and informatively ... Like most show-business memoirs, Laugh Lines becomes less interesting as its author becomes more successful. The stories of people making it up as they went along at S.N.L.— and especially of his close personal and professional relationship with Gilda Radner, about which he has written before but still has a lot to say—are fascinating. But Laugh Lines eventually devolves into a litany of name-dropping and 'And then I wrote …' reminiscences, which is much less so. Zweibel’s failures are ultimately more fun to read about than his triumphs.
This memoir by comedy writer Zweibel includes all the elements of a polished routine: one-liners, funny stories, running gags, a bit of adults-only material, and general musings on the human condition. The best part is that Zweibel’s chosen persona—a slightly oversize, thoroughly likable Jewish kid—remains constant, so readers feel like they really get to know this nice guy, loyal friend, devoted family man, and talented writer ... SNL fans will appreciate the cameos and references to iconic skits, and all readers will find plenty of new, behind-the-scenes details and celebrity anecdotes. This is a truly fun romp.