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What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life Hardcover – October 29, 2013

575 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I couldn't put the book down. It was very clever of Tim to put glue on each page. Seriously, I loved it." (Bob Newhart)

"What Frank Sinatra was to music Tim Conway is to comedy. He is inventive, creative, and imaginative. This book should be in everyone's library along with Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and all of my CD's." (Steve Lawrence)

"I knew you were short.
I knew you were shy.
I knew you were talented.
But funny? Oh my yes!
I loved it! The book should have been 500 pages longer." (Mike Connors, actor on Mannix)

"Tim is not only a good friend but a terrific writer. His book has all the qualities of another Mark Twain. Settle back in a chair and enjoy the writing of Tim Conway. It’s worth reading because he mentions me!" (Don Rickles)

"What's so funny? I'll tell you what's so funny! Almost every page of Tim Conway's new book, What's So Funny?." (Mel Brooks)

“Devotees of Tim Conway will revel in this heartfelt and sweetly revealing memoir. . . . This is a warm-hearted tribute to Conway’s professional and personal life, with endearing peeks behind the television camera.” (Publisher's Weekly)

“Tim’s glass-half-full perspective on life is evident on every page. He's made people laugh for over sixty years and remains an American comedic legend. What's So Funny? mirrors the genuinely kind, funny, and witty person Tim is, seizing every opportunity to amuse and delight.” (Gary Sinise, actor and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation)

About the Author

Tim Conway starred on The Carol Burnett Show for eleven years. He has six Emmys and is in the Comedy Hall of Fame. He went to Bowling Green State University for eleven years (he was a very slow learner). Tim was in the army (ours) for two years, protecting Seattle from "the Red Menace" and was in McHale's Navy for three years. His ambition was to be a jockey, but at his weight even the horses asked him to get off. He has seven children, two grandchildren, and a puppy. Tim has been married to his lovely wife, Charlene, since 1984 and does not have a serious thought in his head.

Jane Scovell has written books with Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rogers, Maureen Stapleton, Marilyn Horne, and Kitty Dukakis, and biographies of Oona Chaplin and Samuel Ramey. She now adds Dorf, Mr. Tudball, and The Old Man to her list.

Carol Burnett is a highly acclaimed actress known for her roles on stage and screen, most notably The Carol Burnett Show. She has been honored with twelve People’s Choice Awards, eight Golden Globes, six Emmy Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the Mark Twain Prize for Humor.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; First Edition edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476726507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476726502
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (575 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Jill P. Jones on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
During the heyday of the variety show, Tim Conway was one of the funniest men on television. He loved to make people laugh, and it came easily to him. The way he tells his story, a script was just a suggestion. Conway was a pro at ad-libbing and impromptu humor.

I grew up in the age of the variety show, and The Carol Burnett Show was one of my favorites. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman could really liven up the stage. In his memoir, "What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life", Conway shares the story of how he found his calling and how he drew from his own experiences and family to bring his onstage characters to life.

If you remember Conway's skits, you will love his autobiography. You won't be able to read it with a straight face and you will find many opportunities to laugh out loud. He gives us a humorous look into his early life with stories of his Romanian mother and Irish father, a combination that could only produce some very funny situations from which Conway gathered material for some of his comedy routines.

This is one autobiography that doesn't contain a dull sentence in the whole book. It's not about so much about Tim Conway as it is about all the people in his life who made him the funny man he became.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Joan N. on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Funny. This book is funny.

You've seen him on The Carol Burnett Show and in McHale's Navy. You know he's funny on TV but what is he like at home?

Conway shares his life with us. He had an Irish dad and a Romanian mother and grew up in a small town in Ohio. Being a friend of his dad's was dangerous (let's see, a broom handle in the eye, a hand shut in a car door, and more). Conway's stories about his parents will have you laughing out loud.

And then he went to school. Being the smallest in the class, he used humor in defense. He wanted to be a jockey. An English teacher who gave him the courage to express himself. College at Bowling Green where he started doing comedy sketches. A two year hitch in the Army after graduation (using a fluorescent bulb for a rifle – you have to read the book). During this time he decided to become a professional comedian. He and a friend debuted in a Seattle club and lasted two shows before getting the boot. Back home he got a job writing comedy for a radio show in Cleveland. He began doing his life's work – making people laugh. Then came local TV, seen by Rose Marie (in Cleveland for an interview). She took reels back to Hollywood … and in September of 1960, Toma Conway was on his way to Hollywood and Steve Allen. Then Carol Burnett.

There were some surprises too, like Conway being in “legitimate” summer stock theater and writing some plays himself. He's also quite a family man, enjoying his kids and grandkids too.

In reminiscing about early television, Conway writes, “I miss watching those worry-free television programs, the kind you could view with the whole family without hearing foul language or seeing too much violence or too much skin.” (230) Me too. Thanks, Tim, for being a part of TV's golden years.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By sharon on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is hilarious, I was laughing the whole time.

He gives you some insight behind the scenes of doing some of the TV shows.

I never new he was into horse racing and that his dad was a whip. Yes I know what a whip is.

I was waiting weeks for this book to come out and was not disappointed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Laura L. Harrison on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was so thrilled to hear that Tim Conway was finally writing his autobiography. The book did not disappoint! A must have for Tim Conway fans and lovers of the hilarious Carol Burnett Show. I am going to be buying What's so Funny for almost everyone I know this holiday season.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Pirate2240 on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Dear Jane,

Without your assistance, this would have been a pamphlet. - Tim"

If you have been around as long as I have, you might just remember Tim Conway, the comedian who graced our television sets with his delightful and unforgettable skits from such memorable shows like The Carol Burnett Show, McHale's Navy as well as movies like Disney's The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Shaggy D.A. But one thing remains clear, he is definitely committed to making people life and that in itself is truly a wonderful gift we all need more of.

In the book, "What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway and Jane Scovell, the reader gets a look at the life behind the scenes of what made Tim who he is today. Reminiscing about his childhood living in Chagrin Falls, Ohio being the only child to Dan and Sophia Conway, we immediately get a sense that this isn't your usual autobiography. Written in the same manner that we all know Tim there are laughs scattered through this book to guarantee not only a smile but a laugh or two. There are the stories of Tim's mom, Sophia who was so conscientious with money that when it came to wallpapering his room as a young boy, she refused to spend money on wall paper paste and created her own from flour and water. The only problem is during the summer with the heat, it baked the paper and caused it to peel off the walls.

He shares another great example from his childhood about his parents quirks and how much they truly enjoyed each others company.

"They liked to do things together, like dancing. One time they decided to take dancing lessons at a local studio. At the first lesson they were given a strip of paper with two sets of footprints on it, one for the man and the other for the woman.
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