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Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara Paperback – September 5, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Seinfeld fans who pick up this audio expecting inside dish on the show will be disappointed. This is not Stiller comedy, but the real stuff about his real life and his longtime love and comedy partner, Anne Meara, as well as a personal history of Stiller's long career, including details of nearly every production he performed in, from local community theaters to Broadway to film to Stiller and Meara's frequent spot on The Ed Sullivan Show. Stiller's familiar, gritty, New York voice is fun to listen to as he offers colorful anecdotes: co-starring with a mangy, flea-bitten dog in Two Gentleman of Verona (the dog ended up making headlines and appearing on TV talk shows); playing opposite Divine in the cult film Hairspray; and creating the abrasive, louder-than-life character of Frank Costanza (Stiller was originally directed to play the role in a subdued monotone, but when the scene didn't gel in rehearsal, Stiller asked if he could try something different and proceeded to scream his way through the scene, reducing everyone to hysterics). Frank Costanza notwithstanding, Stiller turns noticeably tender as he speaks of his 40-year relationship with his wife, the supportive letters of his late acting teacher and mentor and a poignant visit with his dying father. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Forecasts, July 24). (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Stiller's long career has brought laughter to two generations of Americans. Known most recently for his role as Frank Costanza in the long-running comedy Seinfeld, in the 1960s he and his wife, Anne Meara, were noted stand-up comedians who performed on the Ed Sullivan Show three dozen times. This memoir begins at the beginning: Stiller's childhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the Depression. He vividly remembers seeing Eddie Cantor's vaudeville performances, which inspired him to become an actor. After army service in World War II, Stiller went to Syracuse University where he majored in theater. The young actor returned to New York City and met aspiring actress Meara. Though theirs was an unlikely match he was a Polish Jew from the city, she was an Irish Catholic from Long Island they not only fell in love but have stayed in love for more than 40 years. The author reads his own work, which will be popular in public library collections. Nann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (September 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684869047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684869049
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,666,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alter Wiener on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jerry Stiller's childhood, during the Depression, was difficult. His parents lived in public projects; they moved ten times in a dozen years. Stiller's father or "Deddy" a taxi and bus driver was often unemployed. The reader of MARRIED TO LAUGHTER finds out about Jerry's upbringing in lower East side of Manhattan and a glimpse of the hardship people had to endure during the Great Depression in the U.S. (1929-1933). The reader also gets a taste of the cultural values and religious tenets of Jerry's Jewish parents and relatives. It is troubling to notice how prejudice against Jewish and other immigrants prevailed in the U.S. or how Jerry had encountered bigots while serving in the US Army.

Jerry's courtship and eventual marriage to "angel faced" Irish Catholic girl named Anne Meara, is narrated humorously. Both were struggling actors for a long time. They started in the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village, on and off Broadway. Eventually they made a name for themselves and became well-known comedy actors. I was always impressed by their versatile acts on Ed Sullivan's Show where they appeared numerous times to rave reviews. Jerry states (p.81) "I learned that theater was a battlefield to capture people's hearts and minds." Years later, Jerry and Anne did capture people's hearts on TV, much larger audiences than theatre. They sparked laughter in their audiences, over fifty years in show business. The book is an easy read; it might enhance your knowledge from various angles.
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Jerry Stiller, in whatever devise he is in, cracks me up. He just takes his chosen lines and plays them like HE wants to. The books tells us of his life, starting on the streets of Brooklyn, meeting Anne who becomes his wife and comedic partner to Broadway, Seinfeld and at the end a call from CBS to play a crazy old man that lives in his daughter's basement on "The King Of Queens." He is the kind of person that one can't help but love and that love comes through the book. He tells all and is not ashamed of his misadventures, failures and faux pas. A great and very fast, enjoyable read about a classic comic/actor and gentleman. There will never again, ever be the likes of comic duos like Stiller and Meara.
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Format: Paperback
Ok, I'll admit it. I bought the book with the hope of getting a glimpse into the childhood and family life of Ben Stiller. I didn't find out much about him, but I did learn a lot about his parents. I first saw Jerry Stiller in Seinfeld, I had no idea what a long resume he had prior to that. I enjoyed every page of his book and didn't want it to end. He certainly has worked hard for all his fame and I appreciate that he shared so many stories with his honest feelings. Jerry and his wife are both extremely talented and versatile performers.
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I expected this book to be funny but it isn't. It is just a straight forward biography of Jerry Stiller and his married comedy team wife, Anne Merra. If you are a real fan you may enjoy it. I found it just okay.
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Format: Hardcover
It's truth that Jerry is well known by two generations. But after reading this book, I didn't realize that he had such a wonderful career in the theater. I didn't know that went to the army, attended Syracuse University and worked with Joseph Papp. I also enjoyed reading the early years with his wife Anne and her private dealing with her mother's death and finding true love with Jerry even though their were both stuggling actors trying to make a name for themselvers. In the end, Stiller and Meara are now well-known comedy actors and now a new generation is enjoying the talents of their son, Ben Stiller.
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Format: Paperback
Comedian Jerry Stiller shares stories from his life that are sure to make you laugh and inspire you to work hard for your dream.
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Format: Hardcover
Jerry, are you out there? I couldn't put your book down, it was like an afternoon with old friends. <SMILE> TERRIFIC !!
Seeing pictures of the kids when they were small brought back memories of "Benjie" and the (forever getting lost) "wah-wah" and what a terrific Daddy you were. One might not take my review seriously as I have loved you guys since the 60's. BUT...... to justify the 5 stars, I would not put my name on a review if I didn't believe what I wrote. Got that reader?
Reader, buy this book. You will understand the seemingly neurotic "Stiller" and the grounded "Meara". Anne is surely the love of Jerry's life and even after 40 years, he still wonders if "it will last". <smile> Seeing early pictures of Jerry will make the reader do a double take. Many of Jerry's pictures then, look just like Ben now. We see lovely Amy too. A good read and anyone who watched The Ed Sullivan Show will consider it a visit with old friends. Younger ones will think Frank Constanza. Jerry and Anne, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. I know you remember Ralph, the Announcer of The Sullivan Show.......... well.....check my last name and there you have it.
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Format: Hardcover
Great story about the life of Jerry Stiller and his experiences in life and show business. He leads you though his life with stories and lessons learned, and shares his love of his family and friends.
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