On Our Shelves Now
Featuring comedy legends Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Eddie Murphy, and covering fan favorites such as Animal House, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, the behind-the-scenes story of the iconic funnymen who ruled '80s Hollywood and the beloved films that made them stars
Wild and Crazy Guys opens in 1978 with Chevy Chase and Bill Murray taking bad-tempered swings at each other backstage at Saturday Night Live, and closes 21 years later with the two doing a skit in the same venue, poking fun at each other, their illustrious careers, triumphs and prat falls. In between, Nick de Semlyen takes us on a trip through the tumultuous '80s, delving behind the scenes of movies such as National Lampoon's Vacation, Beverly Hills Cop, The Blues Brothers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and dozens more. Chronicling the off-screen, larger-than-life antics of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, John Belushi, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, it's got drugs, sex, punch-ups, webbed toes, and Bill Murray being pushed into a swimming pool by Hunter S. Thompson while tied to a lawn chair. What's not to like?
Based on candid interviews from many of the stars themselves, as well as those in their immediate orbit, including directors John Landis, Carl Reiner, and Amy Heckerling, Wild and Crazy Guys is a fantastic insider account of the friendships, feuds, triumphs, and disasters experienced by these beloved comedians. Hilarious and revealing, it is both a hidden history of the most fertile period ever for screen comedy and a celebration of some of the most popular films of all time.
Advance praise for Wild and Crazy Guys
“Eminently readable . . . Children of the 1980s, take note: this is a fond, engrossing look back at the making of movies that became cultural touchstones.”—Booklist (starred review)
“The irresistible Wild and Crazy Guys charts the roller-coaster ride of the groundbreaking comedy stars of the ’70s and ’80s, giving a fascinating look at the helium highs and crushing lows surrounding some of your favorite funny films. I couldn’t put it down. Although that may have been the glue.”—Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Baby Driver
“There is no shortage of excellent critical writing about the US comedy scene in the 80s, and Nick de Semlyen’s Wild and Crazy Guys is a terrific contribution to the genre.”—The Guardian
About the Author
Nick de Semlyen is a film journalist who has written for publications including Rolling Stone, Stuff, and Time Out. He is the features editor for Empire, the world's biggest movie magazine.
“An enjoyable romp that vividly captures the manic ups and downs of the remarkable group of funny folk who gave us a golden age of small and big screen comedy, from SNL to Groundhog Day.”—Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
“Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy—they’re all here like you’ve never seen them before (with no shortage of drugs, competitiveness, and egos).Fast-paced and addictive, Wild and Crazy Guys is the Easy Riders, Raging Bulls of the wild and crazy ‘80s Hollywood comedy scene.”—Chris Nashawaty, author of Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story
“It's amazing that anybody survived making comedies in the impulsive, excessive, drug-fueled, rage-filled period in the decade following the explosive arrival of Saturday Night Live. And some didn't. But, aided by the sharp recollections of those who did, Nick de Semlyen gives that more-is-more period of comedy what it desperately needs: Clarity and perspective. Wild and Crazy Guys maps the era and its swaggering players beautifully.”—Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back
“The definitive account of the golden age of American comedy—if it were any more addictive to read, these wild and crazy guys would probably have tried to snort it in the ’70s. Riveting.”—David Ehrlich, senior film critic, IndieWire
“Through first-hand interviews and astute observations, Nick de Semlyen’s Wild and Crazy Guys captures the wild ups and dismal downs of the performers and filmmakers who changed the face of comedy—and our collective sense of humor—from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. This book is entertaining, informative, and a great read.”—Leonard Maltin, author of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide