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The Guy Under the Sheets: The Unauthorized Autobiography Hardcover – October 11, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Elliott, the comedian, actor, and writer, here blows the lid off one of the great untold Hollywood stories: the true life of Chris Elliott. The son of film legend Bette Davis and noted mustachioed actor Sam Elliott, Chris got his first big break on Late Night with David Letterman, where he dazzled audiences with his many running characters, including a Marlon Brando parody that had its genesis in Elliott’s traumatizing encounter with the Oscar-winning actor on his French Polynesian island. Torrid affairs with Shelley Winters and Lee Radziwill, among other women, scarred Elliott emotionally and psychologically, but he didn’t let that stop him from turning out classic film and television works like Cabin Boy and Get a Life. Sadly, Elliott’s own life was cut short by his untimely death at the hands of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, another spurned lover. This hugely entertaining pack of lies reads like a Woody Allen essay from the New Yorker, but, buried among the silliness, there is a nugget or two of legitimate autobiography. Wildly weird and hugely entertaining. --David Pitt

Review

“This hugely entertaining pack of lies reads like a Woody Allen essay from the New Yorker, but, buried among the silliness, there is a nugget or two of legitimate autobiography. Wildly weird and hugely entertaining.” David Pitt, Booklist
“The arc of [Elliott’s] career remains unique and inspiring. That he made things worth memorizing and fashioning one's young identity around. That there is integrity to the path of most resistance, that he blazed a trail for Arrested Development and Community and all the other freaky, convention-flouting TV comedies.”—Grantland
“Everything that makes Elliott great, and everything that makes him so baffling to the Gods of Comedy, is on full display in The Guy Under the Sheets...a memoir that is wonderfully untrustworthy, and wildly entertaining....hilarious.”
—Christopher Schobert, Buffalo News
 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; 1st edition (October 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399158405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158407
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Borrowed a friends copy, so I have read it, and it's entertaining. If you listen to Carolla's Podcast (free Itunes) there is an interview with Chris on there about the book.

All in all being a fan of his since I was a teenager from my love of David Letterman I thoroughly enjoyed the embellished anecdotes from his days at Letterman.

What can I say, it's Chris Elliott. If you dig him, you'll dig the book. If you have no clue who he is, don't buy it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Elliot is vastly underrated as a comedian. Now I can say he is vastly underrated as a writer. This was compelling from the first page and for a person of any wit, I wholeheartedly recommend it. One never knew what kind of crazy turn it was going to take. Brilliant doesn't even touch it. I wonder what it would be like if you read it while on some controlled substance? Groovy, Man.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You've got to be a HUGE Chris Elliott fan to love this book. I am a fan. It is absurd, wonderfully so in places. As far as a memoir, sometimes it is hard to discern the truth from just the silly as they are intertwined together. If you have an open mind and find Chris Elliott funny, you may like this book.
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By Sean Hart on December 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best unauthorized autobiography that I have ever read! Although I am not sure that I have ever read one before.
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Format: Hardcover
While eyeballing this brisk read, I was often reminded of the author's crisp and sassy comedic style. The book is basically his own Paul Bunyan self-mythologizing but coming from Chris Elliott it's impossible to imagine what he will come up with next except that it will be embarrassing or nonsensical or often both. Quintessential bathroom reading from an author who once played backgammon with Dolemite, or Dolemite's son's little league's umpire's brother.
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Format: Paperback
...would probably throw this book down in disgust, complaining about such trivial details as lack of a plot, credible characters, or the basic inability to construct coherent sentences, spell simple words or understand the fundamentals of grammar. To do so is to miss the central point: a person like Chris Elliot only comes around once in his lifetime. Of course all the sordid details are here, the larceny, the miscarriage, the penguin abuse scandal. Starting with his early days in Liverpool art school, his years of toil in the trenches of the Hamburg, Utah comedy clubs such as Der Kaiserkeller, where Von Schumer would scream at him to "mak show vit der komedy, moron!", to his residency as assistant janitor at the Grand Ol' Opry, his glorious stint as lead guitarist with the Bee Gees, and his triumphant reign as Secretary General of the United Nations, the bed-ins, be-ins, opt-outs, and throw ups; it is all here, in agonizing detail. You don't have to be on dope to enjoy this book, but it sure helps. When Wilfurd Brimley made his drunken and oft-cited remark on Good Morning Alabama that Elliot was "up Schitt's Creek without a paddling", he was referring not only to the fact that Chris had stolen Brimley's act, lock, stock and barrel, but also giving a backhanded complement to the man who had, for the first time, merged comedy with BDSM, eventually evoking the Supreme Court ruling known as "Elliot's law" which requires his audiences to be supplied with a "safe word", in case the pain gets out of hand, which it always does. In the final analysis, there are two (and only two) reasons to buy this book: 1) You need something to do.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't lucky enough to have access to the Letterman show back in it's ground breaking days, but I am sure Elliott would have been one of my favorite things on TV back then. Fortunately we have this book, the anti memoir, by the anti comedian, which is brilliant from the opening paragraph to the last. Although the acknowledgments section is sure to earn him a few death threats by Andy Kauffman.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Incredibly joke dense. There must be ten thousand, twelve thousand, or even several hundred or more jokes. I lost count and you will too. They just keep coming and coming, like a multi-orgasmic porn star who comes a lot and never stops even when you wish she would because you're pretty sure she's faking, but there's nothing fake about this book, except everything, which is what makes it so great.

The humor is so rich that you should take it in small doses to avoid becoming sick. I failed to heed this advice and ended up nauseated several times. Parcel out this book slowly, like chemotherapy (and, like chemo, some wacky weed won't hurt either [wink]).

You don't have to be a Chris Elliott fanatic to enjoy this book, which is good because I think that guy passed. No, all you need is an appreciation of a well-told tale of a fascinating life, and the desire to hear something that's not any of that for a change. Bravo!
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