The best books about Saturday Night Live 📚

Browse the best books on Saturday Night Live as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Untrue Stories of Fiction

Untrue Stories of Fiction

By Jack Handey

Why this book?

This is the guy who wrote Deeper Thoughts and some of the best sketches on Saturday Night Live. He is a regular in The New Yorker and American Bystander and one of our generation’s finest humorists. This collection I feel is his best yet. I read a passage before I go to sleep to deal with this crazy world.

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From the list:

The best books to make you laugh

Book cover of Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers

By Mike Sacks

Why this book?

Mike Sacks is an authority on comedy and scholar who created two volumes which are a Comedy Bible for any humorist, interviewing the funniest people from the last fifty years. This is a must-read for any comedy geek. The other volume is And Here’s the Kicker. But wait, that’s all, as they say. Sacks has also become the king of kitsch producing a series of books mocking pop culture (Slouchers, Passable In Pink, Randy! and Stinker Lets Loose!)

From the list:

The best books to make you laugh

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Book cover of Dave Barry Turns 50

Dave Barry Turns 50

By Dave Barry

Why this book?

We’ve outgrown vaulting over five-barred gates, running up mountains, drinking all night, and springing bright-eyed from our beds, and so what? For anyone in denial, or clinging stubbornly to youth, Dave is the Baby Boomer to point out the stark realities. He’s funny but he’s ruthless. Fifty’s not the new thirty. It’s fifty. The reason I recommend it is that it can be hard to let go and you’ll waste precious autumn if you don’t accept the inevitable, and move on with a spring in your step into what I have found to be the best period of all. Laughing…

From the list:

The best books about getting older with style and panache

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Book cover of We'll Always Have Casablanca: The Legend and Afterlife of Hollywood's Most Beloved Film

We'll Always Have Casablanca: The Legend and Afterlife of Hollywood's Most Beloved Film

By Noah Isenberg

Why this book?

This is a page-turner book that I can easily imagine being adapted into a movie of its own: one of those story-behind-the-story kind of affairs. At its heart, this book is about using stories to address current social and political issues (something that is often done with a ham fist). In the lead-up to WWII, most movie studios were too cowardly to offend Germany, Europe’s biggest market. But with Casablanca, Warner Bros. decided to fight back. It’s a lesson we could use again today, as American movie studios meekly cower before Chinese censorship demands. Their behavior is pathetic, but…

From the list:

The best books on Hollywood history

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Book cover of Bossypants

Bossypants

By Tina Fey

Why this book?

If you’re an over-achiever, you may have been accused of taking things too seriously. (I wouldn’t know anything about that, of course.) Tina Fey proves that the academic goody-two-shoes can also be the funniest person in the room. This autobiography is written as a series of stories from Fey’s life, as well as short reflections on issues like the objectification of women’s bodies. Reading this book made me feel like I too could be a funny person and that hard work doesn’t make me any less creative. 

From the list:

The best books for over-achievers

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Book cover of Live from New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests

Live from New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests

By James Andrew Miller, Tom Shales

Why this book?

This is the definitive look at an American comedy institution (yes, we know it kinda sucks now) and includes input from almost all the show’s biggest names. The book features the requisite amount of sex, drugs, and rock and roll — plus fisticuffs and lots and lots of backbiting — but it also has some surprisingly tender moments, like Bill Murray’s recollection of the last time he saw his castmate, Gilda Radner, before her death.
From the list:

The best oral history books about art, music, TV, and movies

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