Ted Heller's Funnymen: A Novel PDF

By Ted Heller

SIGMUND "ZIGGY" BLISSMAN isn't the best-looking, sanest boy on the earth. a ways, faraway from it. yet this misfit baby of a failed husband-and-wife vaudeville staff has one (and just one) factor going for him: He can crack humans up basically by means of batting his eyelashes.

And Vittorio "Vic" Fontana, the son of a fisherman, is a fraud. slightly in a position to hold a song or perhaps not sleep whereas trying to, the indolent baritone (if that's what he's) has something going for him: girls like to examine him.

On their very own, they're mess ups. yet on one summer season evening within the Catskills, they step onstage and jointly develop into the funniest males -- and the most popular act -- in America.

Funnymen is the wildly artistic tale of Fountain and Bliss, the comedy duo that overjoyed the United States within the Nineteen Forties and '50s. Conceived as a fictional oral biography and packed with greater than seventy memorable characters, Funnymen information the intense careers of 2 males whose expert luck isn't matched of their own lives. the 2 males struggle always with their managers, their better halves, their youngsters, their mistresses, and people chargeable for their luck: one another. The tales stated approximately Vic and Ziggy -- and the truths Heller unearths approximately human ambition, egotism, and friendship -- make Funnymen a wild trip of a unique that also is a unprecedented and inventive masterpiece of storytelling.

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Additional info for Funnymen: A Novel

Sample text

M en who arc getting on in years should console them· selves with the thought that when they get too old to set bad examples, they can always start giving advice. The reason today's girls will do things their mothers wouldn't think of doing is that their mothers didn't t11ink of doing t11eru. 59 Latest word we have (rom Hollywood concerns a young producer moving into lavish new offices who had his interior decorator on the carpet because she'd forgouen to include a studio couch. Charlie entered the airlines ticket office in a rush, but did a double-take almost immediately: the girl behind the ticket counter was as magnificently endowed with feminine equipment as any girl he could ever remember seeing.

J'l I ~ Muster some sympathy for the dilemma of the out-ofwork stripteaser: all undressed and no place to ~how. An engaging but somewhat vacant young lady we met recently thought "vice versa" meant dirty poems. They moved apart as Frank lit their cigan:ttcs; then she snuggled close to him again and pulled the bedsheets up around tl1eir chins. " 51 Sipping her second alexander, the green-eyed secretary demanded of her girl friend, "You've been dating Harold since you were both kids, and the relationship doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

A wag-about-town we know told us recemly that his current girlfriend is truly electric. " M ike had just moved into his apartment and decided he should get acquainted with his across-the-hall neigh· bor. \Vhen the door was opened he was pleasamly surprised to be confronted by a young damsel considerably more than passing fair, and considerably Jess than fully dad. Though justifiably flustered by this smiling apparition. " T oo often, when you tell a secret to a girl, it goes in one ear and in another.

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