Hello Molly!

An SNL alumni with a tells about a life-altering tragedy, Gary Coleman, lucking out, and working on a sketch show. Takeways:

so I got my first “under five” – the industry term for a role with less than five lines. This was promising, and I immediately bought into SAG. Now I was eligible for union jobs and dental care! (page 112)

My dad said, “That’s life, it’;s tough, figure it out.” (page 116)

No matter how far you’ve come, what level of success you’ve achieved, you’re always going to have to get to the next place, so you might as well enjoy where you are. Be creative and enjoy your work. Just enjoy the process. (page 121)

By today’s standards, it was misogynistic but back then calling a girl “Mami” and commenting on her figure was the same as giving her flowers. (page 133)

And in my mind Mary Katherine Gallagher is an adult child of an alcoholic who always feels like she’s in trouble. (page 142)

Chevrolet had to file what’s called a Taft-Hartley report, since Eugene wasn’t in SAG-AFTRA, meaning the producers had to explain their reason for hiring him instead of a union member and send the union his headshot and résumé. We were clueless but learning so much about how it all worked. (page 152)

When I’d first started, Adam Sandler told me to talk to Steve Koren. Steve was an NBC page who’d worked his way up to writer. He would secretly slip his own stuff into the batch of official writer jokes for Dennis Miller’s “Weekend Update.” Dennis just assumed they were all official staff jokes and used a lot of them without ever knowing they were coming from a page. Steve got over a hundred jokes – and two update features – on the air before anybody knew he was a writer. (page 174)

Or when my dad and Mary and I watched this movie on TV, Ode to Billy Joe, starring Robby Benson and Glynnis O’Connor. It was about a closeted country boy in Mississippi who has sex with a man and commits suicide by jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge, and was based on the country song “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry. (Mary and I didn’t understand the ending, but I remember my dad getting emotional. Now it seems impossible that they even put a movie like that on television in the 1970s. And, of course, much later I would reference the kinds of movies that I grew up on in MKG’s dramatic monologues.) (page 235)

Ever since my conversation with Steven Levy in February, Steven had been saying about my dad, “He’s going to tell you. He’s going to tell you.” So that’s what I was expecting. Instead he said, “Molly, I have prostate cancer.” (page 254)

I said, “It’s okay. This is actually exciting. It’s going to be an adventure. This is a good thing that has happened, because it is going to lead us down an interesting path, so let’s just be open and see where it takes us.” (page 279)

I hope that my kids will see when they are adults not to stress out – that this stuff happens. It’s part of life. It’s how you handle it. (page 281)

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