So Far, So Funny

My Life in Show Business


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About the Book

Hal Kanter first came to Hollywood at age 18 to work as the ghost writer for a comic strip. Then he heard an Eddie Cantor radio show and realized that he could write better jokes. Interestingly enough, Cantor’s writers agreed with him. Thus was born one of the more interesting and varied careers in Hollywood.
Kanter’s writing career went from radio shows to screenplays to television series. He worked with Bob Hope, Frank Capra, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. With an Emmy for writing The George Gobel Show, he was the creator of Julia. Though he enjoyed great success as a producer and director, Kanter always first was a writer. How many scripts has he written? “More than I can lift,” he says.

About the Author(s)

The late Hal Kanter was a multiple Emmy Award–winning writer, director and producer of such feature films and television series as Loving You, The Rose Tattoo and Julia. A three term governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he scripted 39 Academy Awards shows. He lived in Encino, California.

Bibliographic Details

Hal Kanter
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 320
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7604-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0541-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preview      ix

1. Hal Did a Lot for Our Family      1

2. The Advantage of Being on the Bottom      8

3. The Happy Hour of Eternity      12

4. Do Ducks Waddle?      16

5. I Do All of My Work Sitting Down      21

6. Romance Into Marriage      26

7. Spice to My Conversation      32

8. Whether It Happened or Not      39

9. Everybody Knows It’s Raining      44

10. Why Aren’t I Wet?      50

11. His Dentist Was a Proctologist      57

12. Only a Pig      65

13. An Honest Living      72

14. ’Til I Say It Is      77

15. A Virtue I Do Not Possess      83

16. An Apology      87

17. My One Goal      90

18. “Shit,” He Said Brie?y      96

19. Even Inanimate Objects      99

20. Hollywood’s Lesson      104

21. No Small Parts      108

22. Some People Are So Sensitive      115

23. I’m O.K.      119

24. No Good Can Come of It      126

25. What a Lamp Post Thinks of Dogs      131

26. By Words Alone      138

27. If Writers Were Good Businessmen      141

28. A Clean Sheet of Paper      146

29. If Lincoln Were Alive Today      150

30. But Why Should I Depress You?      156

31. Always a Beginner      163

32. Ten Percent of Everything      169

33. No Reason to Regret It      175

34. I’d Rather Have Cocoa      183

35. I Forgot to Write It Down      187

36. Three People Have a Baby      193

37. If You See My Producer      197

38. On Schedule      204

39. Without Music      209

40. The Show Goes On      216

41. Still Frisky      222

42. The Gift of Laughter      228

43. Expressing Ourselves      236

44. When My Comedy Succeeds      240

45. What Critics Say      247

46. Hamlet’s Experiences      254

47. Feed Gravel to His Oxen      264

48. The Big Show      271

49. You’re Going to Love Melbourne      277

50. If You Live Long Enough      285

Index      293

Book Reviews & Awards

“the career of Hal Kanter is a fascinating one, and it is recounted here with truth and with humor…truly amazing…a wealth of detail”—Classic Images; “hugely entertaining…a must-read”—Past Times; “if you know anyone in need of a laugh, this book will do the trick”—Beverly Hills Courier; “Kanter recalls his life and career as a writer in his must-read book”—Daily Variety; “an engaging book, wise, sharply observed, deliciously droll, wonderfully anecdotal”—SPERDVAC Radiogram; “a rare and evocative autobiography”—DGA Magazine; “a marvel of warm, witty reminiscence. It is an engaging book, wise, sharply observed, deliciously droll, wonderfully anecdotal”—The San Diego Union–Tribune; “a joy to read”—The Berkshire Eagle; “if you love old time radio and like to laugh, this book’s for you”—The Illustrated Press.