The best satire and parody books about Hollywood that will make you laugh

Ryan Uytdewilligen Author Of He's No Angel
By Ryan Uytdewilligen

Who am I?

I’m a classic Hollywood fanatic. I can name you every Best Picture Oscar Winner on command. I’ve written screenplays and seen the industry firsthand, but if I had my choice, I’d go live through the Hollywood Golden Age. I've published numerous non-fiction film history books and have a whole lot more classic-film-inspired novels coming. And I do it all simply for the single reason that writing a book is the closest thing to time travel that I can find. Immersing myself in this world with actors that have lived, and even a few that I’ve made up, is pure heaven that transports me back to the days of the silver screen. 

I wrote...

He's No Angel

By Ryan Uytdewilligen,

Book cover of He's No Angel

What is my book about?

In this new humorous take on Hollywood, Charlie Fritz is a talent agent hanging onto his career by a thread. After embarrassing himself at a movie screening, he's in need of a comeback and a superstar client. Luckily, success comes his way in the form of his presumed-to-be dead father.

When Bernie Fritz mysteriously arrives, it's evident he doesn't remember anything about his prior life. All he has is a cryptic message from the afterlife to share with anyone who will listen. After Bernie's message goes viral and creates a social media sensation, Charlie seizes the opportunity to become his dad's agent. It's the perfect opportunity for them to finally connect and find a little meaning in their lives—even if for one of them, life is technically over.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is readers supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Funny Girl

By Nick Hornby,

Book cover of Funny Girl

Why this book?

No, not the 1968 musical starring Barbara Streisand. It’s about a woman trying to be a comedian in the 1960s. No, it’s not The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel either. It’s a great light-hearted and immensely sweet look at London on the verge of its swinging days as a beauty queen trying to emulate Lucile Ball and break into the business of comedy superstardom. Hornby obviously did a lot of research in trying to emulate the films, television, and even humor of the time. His details color the world, but it’s his penchant for true-to-life, emotional characters that stuck with me. You can’t help but cheer on Sophie Straw as she goes for her comedy star dream. It’s a pure joy to read!

Memoirs and Misinformation

By Jim Carrey, Dana Vachon,

Book cover of Memoirs and Misinformation

Why this book?

Anything to do with Jim Carrey, I’m in. In fact, when teachers would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d reply “Be Jim Carrey.” As a longtime fan, I was excited to learn that he would finally be charting his life in an autobiography. As it turns out, the book was mostly wild fiction. What’s so engaging about this book is how he blends real-life occurrences like his body of film work and relationship with Renee Zellweger with completely off-the-wall fantasy like mentor Rodney Dangerfield returning as a Rhino, Kelsey Grammar leading a cult, and Carrey struggling with his career as his entire essence goes virtual. It’s extremely experimental, but the inclusion of celebrities will leave you grinning.     

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

By Quentin Tarantino,

Book cover of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Why this book?

I was obsessed with the 2019 movie, and now even more so with the book. Sure, it helps that my other obsession is late-1960s Hollywood, but Tarantino just colors the world so beautifully with his own inventions like Rick Dalton and his TV show Bounty Law and blends them seamlessly with Hollywood staples like Roman Polanski and Steve McQueen. Harkening back to the days of paperback novelized versions of popular films, Tarantino captures his own movie but adds extra scenes, more conversation between real yet obscure Hollywood movers and shakers, and evidently has a blast while doing it. His glee for the era is infectious, so you can’t help but have fun. Anyone wishing to spend time in 1969, read this book now! 

The Comedy Writer

By Peter Farrelly,

Book cover of The Comedy Writer

Why this book?

Half of the brother duo behind Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, Farrelly studied writing in the 1980s and penned a fairly forgotten novel called Outside Providence. He followed it with his second fiction work in the late-1990s, serving as a fictionalized account of himself broke, starving, and trying to break into Hollywood. I can listen to Peter talk all day on podcasts and interviews because he’s so natural and honest. Those traits translate here, with a story centering around a sympathetic protagonist trying to find his way. With real stories like how Farrelly wrote for Seinfeld and was introduced to Los Angeles by someone trying to leap from a building, any writer will instantly connect with this breezy human story about creativity in your twenties. 

Somebody's Darling

By Larry McMurtry,

Book cover of Somebody's Darling

Why this book?

Did you remember when Jill Peel won an Oscar in 1950s Hollywood, and then destroyed her career by standing up to sexist producers? Then past her prime, she attempted a creative comeback by embarking on her directorial debut? Of course not! It’s all fiction, of course. But with McMurtry at the helm, you can’t help but mistake it for real life. One of my all-time favorite writers, the talented Texan manages to capture Hollywood, sexism, and complex people in an honest way. If you’re a fan of the everyday situational humor exuding in his works like Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this still very relevant look at aging and gender in the motion picture industry. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in satire, movie stars, and the film industry?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about satire, movie stars, and the film industry.

Satire Explore 76 books about satire
Movie Stars Explore 20 books about movie stars
The Film Industry Explore 19 books about the film industry

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Postcards from the Edge, Hollywood Babylon: The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood's Darkest and Best Kept Secrets, and Play It as It Lays if you like this list.