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Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? Hardcover – September 10, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805098208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805098204
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)

From Booklist

*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. --David Pitt

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Customer Reviews

I like it when good things happen for good people.
Steve Erickson
Good book - easy reading and very funny - found myself laughing out loud in many parts.
Marsha Drucker
Thank you for taking the time to share your blessed life with us!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Smith on September 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought I only had a few things in common with Mr. Crystal: birth month, daughter, grandchildren, dead parents, growing up watching Johnny (always smile when I get on the Slaussen), love of Soap and When Harry, and lastly, a dry sense of humor. None of it matters, this book breaks life down to poignant moments with a lot of humor in between that gets him from birthday to birthday. Something many can relate to. The last few chapters reminded me how much our gallows humor helped my husband and I face his death together, hand-in-hand, through smiles and tears... Just like Billy and Janice Crystal will do. Maybe we all have more in common than we think. Thank you for sharing your life and humor and for helping me see my own life with humor and poignancy in retrospective. I couldnt stop reading your stories, and couldnt stop smiling. Great work. Great read. Great fun. Great story. Great life. Thank you!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By lambskinny on September 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the beginning of STILL FOOLIN' EM, I knew I'd bought the right version - an audio-book. After listening to Billy Crystal read his book before a live audience, I knew nothing could top the living laugh track. Unfortunately, only SOME chapters are read aloud before real human beings who laugh and energize Mr. Crystal's perfect comic timing. I now wish that EVERY chapter had his perfect timing and a living laugh track. Too bad. Nevertheless, I recommend buying the audio-book over a Kindle version or a hard copy. Billy Crystal is too funny when he is performing; I can't imagine reading it in print could even come close!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard Reynolds on October 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Early in Billy Crystal's career as a standup comic, and after a performance at Catch a Rising Star, his performance was critiqued by manager Jack Rollins. Rollins told Crystal that he didn't like what he did that night and added, "You didn't leave a tip." When Crystal asked him to explain himself, Rollins said, "I have no idea what YOU think about anything. What's it like to be married, to be a father. Leave a tip."
Crystal gives us plenty of tips in a wide-ranging memoir from his early days growing up in New York to his 65th birthday in March of this year. He catalogues his worries in chapter two, compares the sexual events of a fictional couple in 1973 with similar events in 2013, and ruminates about clearing the crap out of his house before passing away. He gets rid of objects that he's not attached to, like 70 percent of guys in show business do with their first wife. He also relates the experience of shopping for a burial plot for himself and wife Janice. (Spoiler alert: he postpones it.)
I laughed out loud many times while reading this book. He takes deadly aim at our do-nothing Congress and manages to find the humor in both the triumphs and setbacks of everyday life. Sometimes, however, a joke or quip falls with a thud. Like the one comparing an elderly woman's toothless grin with a horizontal vagina.
There's something in this book for everyone. Being a grandfather many times over, I liked and identified with him in the chapter about his grandchildren. One chapter I could have done without is called "Conservatives." Crystal gives us seven pages of rants about the annoyances of modern life: people who deny global warming, athletes who use steroids and overzealous TSA inspectors at the airport. I'm in the same camp as he is on many of these irritations but just living with them every day is enough for me.
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Format: Hardcover
"Still Foolin' 'Em" by Billy Crystal isn't a memoir book, in commonly understood sense of book that only speaks about someone's life.
Instead, the author presented us with the 21 short stories that start with celebration party of his 65th birthday.

Crystal who is both known as great comedian but also, at least in my opinion, as best Oscar host with his book tried and managed to laugh the reader even with an unusual topic, humiliation that people begin to experience when they're becoming old.

He always managed to laugh us, most of the time with only one short sentence.
Starting with his first story, in a situation when in same time when his birthday party is taking place his grandchild will be born, Billy completely seriously said "...but you know kids, they never listen" this sentence will immediately bring a smile to your face.

Billy Crystal had lead interesting and happy life in movie business but also together with his family, and now when he's 65 he says that is still happy "...having only one wife and house, real name and nose and almost all of his teeth."

His stories covered time from his twenties when he was a teacher to these days, managing to tell reader lots of interesting anecdotes about the movies (the good one was about When Harry Met Sally) and events in which he was participating, including Oscar shows.

His literary style is a mix of movie screenplay, stand-up comedy with several sentimental overtones when he speaks about his youth.
But unlike in most other memoirs it seem that he doesn't have any regrets, but still enjoys the fullest in his life and rich memories.
Read more ›
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