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My Seinfeld Year (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

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Length: 60 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

Fred Stoller has been a working actor for decades, a character actor who has landed choice roles in television and movies alike. He's been punched out in Dumb and Dumber, and he's acted in dozens of sitcoms through the years, mastering the role of "jerky annoying shnook." In 1994, he had a sense that his career as an actor was moving in the right direction when an almost unimaginable opportunity came his way: he was asked to write for the hit show Seinfeld. How it came about is almost Seinfeldian in its own right--a surprise party led to a chance encounter with Larry David (whom he kind of knew from New York stand-up), which led to an invitation to do a spec script, which, quite suddenly, led to a giant office and a staff writer position on Seinfeld. Thus we are given entrée into one of the most popular shows in the history of television. We meet the real-life cast and creators, including Larry and Jerry (they do not disappoint). We watch Stoller rise and fall and climb back up again (returning to act in a Seinfeld episode). And we get a true insider's look into what it takes to survive, and last, in Hollywood--even if you're just good at playing an annoying shnook. --Chris Schluep

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Product Details

  • File Size: 153 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Publication Date: January 17, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006Z499M0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Pensky on January 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a huge "Seinfeld" fan, I thought this short read was a great inside look at the show. The history and actual goings-on of the show are usually dressed up and presented in the best light. The DVDs, commentaries, interviews, etc all portray the show as a wildly happy place, where everyone got along and made TV history. The only slight hiccup that sometimes pops up will be when someone, usually a cast member, will off handedly refer to Michael Richards as being "quirky" or "different", which by now I take to mean that he was a real a-hole.

Stollers essay is funny, sad and perfectly introspective. It helps if you recognize him from the episode he guest starred, it makes understanding his personality a little easier. But, needless to say, Stoller didn't have the easiest time as a staff writer. He didn't mesh well with the other writers, Seinfeld and Larry David were too busy running the show to help guide him, and one jealous and insecure writer, referred to as "Perry", actively tried to sabotage his experience.

In short, this is a great read for any Seinfeld fan. The inside look into the show is seemingly unbiased, reflective and realistic. It's totally different from the way the DVDs portrayed the show and the interpersonal relationships, but it isn't tabloid-y or seems like it was made for a quick buck. It certainly feels real and raw, and I think that is a rarity for any of the products that came out of the show. I ended up feeling bad for Fred, and I hope things stay productive for him. This essay was really quite touching.

As a last question, I really want to know who "Perry" is. Stoller wrote for Season 6, and he names a lot of people, eliminating them.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Scott C on January 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Super lean and all-funny prose makes Mr. Stoller's account of life as an actor/writer a total kick in the pants and a real pleasure to read. There is literally no "filler" in this book, no sections that lag. It seems to be constructed of 'only the good parts' -in a good way. The Sienfeld stuff really satisfies and is bookmarked by some of his experiences as a working actor told in a funny and very human way. Highly recommended.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen B. Lang on January 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fred's account of his time as a writer on Seinfeld not only covers the emotions, struggles and triumphs of that writing position but shows glimpses of his family, his childhood and his personality. I wish this were, not just a Kindle Single, but an entire autobiography from birth to the present because it is refreshingly honest and impossible to stop reading. I can sense that there are countless stories and characters from Fred's life that are lurking just out or reach, beyond this downloadable snippet, that I'd gladly follow to embrace the honest laughs and the empathetic sighs. Some of the details and moments that Fred decribe are wonderfully woven with complicated emotions in one short narrative, one instance and sometimes even one sentence. That's the definition of great writing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 7K64 on January 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a big Fred Stoller fan since his stand up days. Anytime I've seen him on TV I've thought, "I wanna see more of this guy... why don't they USE him more!" He's brilliant at what he does & I don't even think he has to try that hard. I loved the book... some truly funny anecdotes and very interesting reading about the stresses involved in being a TV writer. The inside revelations on the inner workings of Seinfeld were great. The only thing missing from this book: I would have loved to have come away with a little more insight into how Fred became Fred... the best parts of the book for me were when he talked about his mother and how he grew up. I also thought the book ended a little too abruptly. Still, a VERY fun read and anyone should get a kick out of the book, not just Seinfeld or Stoller fans. Thanks, Fred, for all the entertainment over the years.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rett01 VINE VOICE on January 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maybe he's just cracking another joke but Fred Stoller says that rather than tell her friends her son is a comedian, his mother says he's retarded.

She is the same person who asks him how he is going to make people laugh when he always seems to be so depressed. And insecure, so unsure of himself and so shy that at 17 he once practically needed to ask permission to enter a supermarket, he says.

That's the self-deprecating tone of this memoir, a tale more wistful and questioning than funny. Stoller is the clown wearing a sad face.

While waiting in the wings of the Disney teen show "Wizards of Waverly Place," on which he has the small part of a doorman, Stoller sums up his career trajectory, "Wow, here I am, the 52-year old guest star wearing a Pee Wee Herman bellhop uniform and a monkey cap."

He's been a trouper, selling laughs playing the role of a schnook in off-kilter parts for decades. "When people stop me at the mall and demand to know where they know me from, usually it's as Elaine's annoying date on `Seinfeld', Ray's mopey cousin on `Everybody Loves Raymond,' or the jerky waiter on `Friends.'"

And then there's 1994, the year he spent around the table as a writer on "Seinfeld," sitting in the same room with the other sitcom writers, producer Larry David and Jerry, the man, himself. One of the first things Jerry commented by way of greeting was "nice belt." Stoller never wore the belt to work again. The next day and for the rest of the week, Jerry asked, "Where's the belt?"

Most of Stoller's story is a behind-the-scenes look at "Seinfeld." It's a fascinating peek behind the curtain and at the creative process. Each show started with an idea, a pitch.
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Topic From this Discussion
My Seinfeld Year - will anyone loan this to me?
yes i can loan it for free if you tell me how to loan a book
Feb 15, 2012 by Malodonnell |  See all 4 posts
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