20+ Books for Saturday Night Live Fans

We are a week away from Thanksgiving!  Just starting to make my shopping list for Christmas…and several will be receiving books this year.  If you’ve got a (grownup) SNL fan on your list, may I suggest a few?


Yes Please by Amy Poehler. From the preface, I felt like Amy was giving me a pep talk.  I also wanted to go back and watch all the sketches she mentioned. If you’re deciding between the book and the audio version, get the audio for the chapters read by Seth Meyers and other friends.



Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin. Interesting and enjoyable biography about Steve Martin’s beginning and the reason he walked away from standup.  Not to be confused for a funny book, it is a heartfelt memoir, especially as read by the author.



Also Try:

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. While not an SNL alum, if you enjoyed Tina Fey or Amy Poehler’s books, you’d also love Mindy’s second collection of essays on  her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life. Many say they enjoyed this one more than her first, also a Bestseller.




Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller.  Written first for the 30th Anniversary, then updated with an additional 100 pages for the last ten years, Live From New York came out just in time for the show’s 40th.



Saturday Night Live: The Book by Alison Castle. Described as “part encyclopedia and part behind-the-scenes tour,” Saturday Night Live: The Book celebrates 40 years of the late night staple with over 2,300 images from the SNL archives, an exclusive interview with Lorne Michaels, an illustrated breakdown of the SNL work week, and a complete reference guide to 40 seasons worth of cast members, hosts, and musical guests.


Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live by Doug Hill and Jeff Weingad. This book details the first ten seasons of SNL. There’s a lot of great stories about all the people on both sides of the camera who put the show on week after week. Quick read written in anecdotal style.




The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World’s Finest Actor by Robert Schnackenberg. A beautifully presented encyclopedia of all things Bill Murray. A book sure to be picked up from the coffee table by any guest.  Published September of this year.



Bossypants by Tine Fey. Not just for SNL and 30 Rock fans,  Fey’s memoir topped the New York Times best-seller list, and has stayed on the top of the “Books You Could Literally Buy Anyone and They’d Adore It” list.



Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live by Jay Mohr. Jay Mohr moved from New Jersey to New York City at age 21 to pursue his dream of stand-up. His first real job was, amazingly, on Saturday Night Live. The next two years were unbelievable, grueling, and exciting as he feverishly kept pace with the job.


Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally by Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies. “Bob Zmuda, Andy’s writer and best friend, and Lynn Margulies, the love of Andy’s life, reveal all—including surprising secrets that Andy made Lynne and Bob promise never to tell until both of his parents had died. Bob Zmuda shares the reasons he believes Andy Kaufman did, in fact, fake his own death, including exactly how he did it and why he will return.” From Amazon.


The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman. Biography including her time as an SNL writer. Most helpful review on Amazon I came across said this: The concept and style of writing were very creative and it was interesting reading about Sarah’s family and how she came to pursue a career in comedy. I commend her willingness to talk openly about childhood embarrassments, notably bedwetting…The humor became tiresome in later chapters…

Girl Walks into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch.  Anyone who watched SNL during the early 2000’s, remembers Rachel’s characters fondly. This is her account of life after SNL, and the joy of dating and becoming a mom when she least expected it—at the age of forty-four.


The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts by Tom Farley, Jr. An honest, endearing biography about a truly funny, deeply troubled addict that is as likely to make you cry as it is to make you laugh out loud. Made up mostly of excerpts from intimate interviews with family, childhood friends, castmates, and writers.




The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure by Jack Handey. Released in the Summer of 2015, the legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel. ‘Hilarious’ and ‘absurd’ are two adjectives used to describe it.



Thank You Notes by Jimmy Fallon and the Writers of Late Night.  164 glossy pages – one note per page each with a corresponding image that examine the minutia of life from toilet paper to sweater vests. As a small coffee table book, it can easily be read in under 10 minutes.

The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten.: The Tweets of Steve Martin by Steve Martin.  Just checked, and he now has almost 7 million twitter followers. This is a collection of his tweets published in 2012.



The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel. Here are recipes for the dishes that define the show, from cult-raised chicken and Stu’s stews to pickled veggies and foraged green salads. This book, surprisingly, has no one or two star Amazon reviews.  At the time of this post’s publication, there are 62 very positive reviews.



And for original fans, here are 5 more to consider:

It’s Always Something by Gilda Radner, You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman by Mike Thomas,  If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother by Julia Sweeney, Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys by Billy Crystal and Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward

Have you read any of these?  Gifting any?

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