Reviews for Still Foolin' 'Em : Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
*Starred Review* If you've been paying attention for the last few decades, you're probably familiar with the career of Billy Crystal: his stand-up roots, his controversial role on the sitcom Soap, his run on Saturday Night Live, his Oscar-hosting turn, his movies (City Slickers and When Harry Met Sally, among many others). Why, you might be wondering, do I need to read the book when I already know the guy? Here's one reason: the book is massively laugh-out-loud funny. Here, on the very second page, for example, he writes about getting older: "Why does God make everything small that should be big and everything big that should be small? Like my nuts, why are they now HUGE? Every time I sit on the toilet, I make tea with my balls." If you're not laughing, then you didn't read that right. Crystal, who turned 65 in March 2013, reflects on his life and career and the joys of aging, and the book has a lot of surprises, ranging from the story of how he created the character of Fernando (the "You look mahvelous" guy) to his brief stint as a player with the New York Yankees. Hollywood memoirs don't come much more entertaining than this one, and the book reinforces one thing we've always known about Crystal: he's a genuinely funny, genuinely nice guy. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 July #1
A humorous take on mortality by famed comedian and actor Crystal (700 Sundays, 2005, etc.). In his latest book, the always-affable author proves yet again his ability to translate his comedic chops from the screen to the page. On the morning of his 65th birthday, Crystal peered into the mirror to find he was no longer the "hip, cool baby boomer" he thought he was, but now resembled "a Diane Arbus photograph." Horrified by the transformation, Crystal dedicates the rest of the book to finding his old self in his new saggy skin--a self-deprecating shtick that proves as endearing as it is silly. Melding the personal with the professional, the author recounts his rise from unknown comic to acclaimed entertainer, a journey that has included run-ins with everyone from Mickey Mantle to Muhammad Ali. Yet through it all, Crystal makes clear that his brushes with greatness--and, in fact, his own greatness--were often the result of luck, timing and hard work in equal proportions. Though he revels in his self-portrayal as a key-losing, liver-spotted old man, in truth, Crystal's wit and writing remain sharp, as do his reflections on the more disappointing moments of his career. Of the mild success of his directorial debut, Mr. Saturday, Crystal chalks up the film's struggles to audiences' inability to leave his past characters behind and embrace the one he portrayed in the film. "I'd had a great run playing a certain kind of guy," he writes. "Audiences liked that guy; they didn't want to see that guy get old." By book's end, it's evident that Crystal himself has grown old, but rather than make a secret of his age, he turns it into a punch line. In the final chapter, he confronts his impending death in perfect Crystal fashion. "I do see a silver lining," he admits; "it's the satin in my coffin." A charming, warm, welcome read for Crystal's legions of fans. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 October #1

Not just a look back at Crystal's career as an actor and Academy Awards host, this work captures for every baby boomer (and other interested readers) the joys and horrors of turning 65, as Crystal does next year. Wry (with chapters like "Drugs We Did Then, Drugs We Do Now") but touching as Crystal reflects on his final conversation with his father. He'll promote in a big way.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 August #2

Avoiding the trappings--excess schmaltz, laundry list of famous friends, boozy party log--of so many celebrity memoirs, Crystal delivers a funny and genuinely moving chronicle of his life inside and outside Hollywood. The quips come as fast they do in the best Crystal films and Oscar hostings, making sure the reader knows that there isn't a ghost writer guiding this one. Now 65, Crystal, the youngest of three brothers, was a comic from the start, soaking up all he could from the TV comedians of the '50s during his childhood in the New York suburbs. In addition to loving comedy, Crystal grew up loving music (his father owned a popular record store in the city) and, of course, baseball. Both of these passions stayed with him throughout his life and, something most fans could only dream of, Crystal not only met but befriended idols like Mickey Mantle and boxer Muhammad Ali. His successes are balanced with opportunities that didn't pan out, or movies that fizzled at the box office: a last-minute cancellation of a semi-permanent gig with the then-fledgling Saturday Night Live is outshone by the opportunity to perform on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In addition to providing the inside scoop on some of his most iconic roles, from Harry to Princess, Crystal manages the extremely difficult feat of making his prose as vibrant and funny as his stand-up. He'll always be a hard act to follow. (Sept.)

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