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"Dangerously Funny," Week 3: Fun, Pivotal, Scary Thrill Ride
December 13, 2009  | By David Bianculli

Today ends the first two weeks of publication of my Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.' Tomorrow begins week three -- or, as I try not to think of it very often, the really, really scary week...

I'm very proud of how the book has been received so far. Kirkus Reviews called it "a fast-paced, informative reminder of the importance of speaking out." Publishers Weekly called it an "entertaining and well-researched bio." Library Journal, in a starred review, called it a "deliciously informative and entertaining story."


The Daily Beast made it one of last week's "Hot Reads," and People magazine gave it 3 1/2 stars, calling it "a stunningly alive portrait of the '60s and of two very different men... who 'refused to shut up' and thereby made TV history." On TV, the book and I were featured on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Terry Gross interviewed me about the book on Fresh Air Nov. 30, the day before its publication (thanks again!), and that's what initially catapulted the book to a higher level. On Amazon, its ranking rose from about No. 43,000 pre-Fresh Air to No. 194 the evening it aired. And as of Sunday afternoon, two weeks later, it's still ranked No. 232.

Things continue to proceed. Monday morning, Dec. 14, I appear for an hour (11 a.m. ET) on Philadelphia's local WHYY-FM talk show, Radio Times, hosted by good buddy Marty Moss-Coane. I'm doing some satellite radio interviews, so you may hear me on one of your local stations sometime soon. And there's a possibility for more TV and radio coverage next month, as the Smothers Brothers are inducted into Emmy's Hall of Fame.

But the scary part is that this week is when the reviews should really start rolling out, including Newsweek and, one of these Sundays, perhaps, The New York Times. Nervous? You betcha.

Meanwhile, there are other book-related activities to distract me. A friend, flying out of LAX airport this weekend, noticed my book on display at the airport bookstore. I never thought I'd GET in an airport bookstore, except as a customer, so that makes me smile.

So does Simon & Schuster's recently posted, well-made video feature on the book, which includes clips from the show and an interview with me, and which you can watch by clicking HERE.

On the same website page, you can see a listing of some of my upcoming book readings and appearances, including bookstore signings in January at both New York and Marlton, NJ. I'll do more of my own horn-tooting on that next month, rest assured.


And, elsewhere on the Simon & Schuster site, I make a brief appearance during a feature on authors' favorite holiday movies, alongside such other budding authors as Stephen King. You can see that HERE.

And, as always, you can poke around at the book's main website, DangerouslyFunnyTheBook.com, which can be found HERE.

Thanks, all of you, for being so supportive as this baby of mine is ushered into the world. After all these years of work, it's a lot of fun -- but I'd be lying if I didn't admit it was a little nerve-wracking.

I'll keep you posted.




Gregory Kibitz said:

Kickin' Arse and Takin' Names!
(metaphorically speaking, of course)

Good for you David!

(Now, so many links you've provided and so little time to peruse them all. Honestly, still haven't even seen the GMA appearance but that is next.)

Comment posted on December 13, 2009 3:29 PM

Tie or iron said:

Fans of David Bianculli: Please send whatever you can spare so this legend of journalism can buy himself a tie.

Comment posted on December 13, 2009 7:30 PM

Robert said:

David, after all the years you have spent writing the book, is it now a bit surreal to have a picture of yourself holding the book, surrounded by Tom and Dick no less? (I hope a 16x20 of that photo finds a permanent home on your basement wall!)

[Surreal? Absolutely. Imagine Sisyphus, with a picture of him standing next to a boulder at the top of a mountain. -- David B.]

Comment posted on December 14, 2009 3:40 PM

Angela said:

WOW! Could this be going any better?!? I'm betting on more of the same for week 3.

I don't think I'm old enough to appreciate the Smother Brothers growing up. But after reading all the reviews, especially Kirkus, and People, I want to buy the book. Who can pass up "a stunningly alive portrait of the 60's" and "2 people who refused to shut up!" I'm sold. And now a bona fide fan.

BTW, I never would have known you were nervous doing the Late, Late Show interview if you had not said so. I thought it went really well. And I'm glad you said what shows you didn't like. I bet other people appreciated knowing they are not alone in their desire for quality TV.


[Bless you, my child. Let me know what you think of the book, if you do get it. My real challenge was writing it so it WOULD be interesting to those too young to have lived through the 60s firsthand. And thanks for the kind words about the Ferguson appearance. Still processing... Loved everybody on and from that show, but still fear I dropped the ball a little. -- David B.]

Comment posted on December 14, 2009 6:39 PM

KD said:

I have seen many of your appearances and have ordered your book to be delivered any day. In every appearance you were great, you seemed very genuine and likable. I look forward to reading your book. I also thought it was interesting when you would talk about your life, family, at certain points in the interviews. It's interesting to know a little about your background and why you pick some of the shows you do - though I do agree with most. I was shocked to see you with a beard, though allow me to say it's definitely a keeper for you, in a good way. I am an avid reader and listener of yours and I am happy for your success. May I also suggest one bit that you may consider giving letter grades or stars to your reviews. And maybe a year end/season end review of the shows. Keep up the good work.

[Wow. Thanks for ordering the book, and sitting through some of the interviews, and saying such kind words. The beard was grown in the last push to finish the book, so I'm now like a football player too superstitious to shave during the playoffs. Star grades, I used for six years when I was TV critic for the New York Post, but found them a little limiting. I am, however, handing out letter grades in all my college classes with no problem. As for the year-end review, I'm working on one now, with a list for TV WORTH WATCHING coming in the next two weeks, and a year-end-review discussion with Terry Gross on Fresh Air likewise. -- David B.]

Comment posted on December 14, 2009 9:37 PM
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