Book Review: What’s So Funny?

conwayConfession: I love Tim Conway.  I consider myself an immensely lucky person because I had the opportunity to witness his brilliance on the wonderful (and missed) Carol Burnett Show when I was growing up. Thanks to those years, I was excited to delve into Conway’s new book, What’s So Funny? My Hilarious Life.

Now I like him even more.

Many thanks to Howard Books for sending a free copy of What’s So Funny? – a book that’s already taking up space in my heart.  With grace, wit and truly astounding humility, Conway offers up his childhood, school years, army days, and life in show business.  He takes his readers from his days with his beloved parents to the ridiculous antics of his sketch comedy. What I didn’t realize until this book was that the crazy person I saw on the screen was (is) Conway on a daily basis.  Comedy is this man’s core, and a good day is marked by the opportunity to make people laugh.  Conway is as charming as he is funny.  His deadpan banter still leaves so many of today’s comedians in the dust.  He never found the need to be vulgar, or put anyone down.  His heart would shine through the jokes, and it was just impossible not to like the guy.

What I enjoyed most about the book was Conway’s descriptions of the pranks he would pull, and the behind-the-scenes details of the skits.  My rule of thumb is that if a book can get me to laugh out loud, then it’s worth my time.  Well, after about the 10th time that I erupted in surprised laughter, I determined that What’s So Funny? is worth your time too.  Yes, I’ve made that decision for you.  Even if you’re not entirely familiar with Tim Conway, I assure you that his antics will help melt away the day’s stresses.  Isn’t that the mark of a good read?  Losing yourself in the antics of another, and coming out with a grin on your face?  I’ve decided that it is.  I’ve also decided that the world needs more Tim Conway.  You can see by the observation below that Conway’s funny bone runs the length of his body:

That’s all I ask of life, residual laughter.

Tim Conway

What leaps from the pages of his book is his love of family and friends, and his passion for the lighter side of life.  Capable of turning any situation into mischief, Conway has endeared himself not only to those closest to him, but also to his audience.  The book made me want to run out and buy a set of Carol Burnett DVDs, with a hefty side of Dorf.  I was also thrilled to read the insight behind some of my favorite Tim Conway moments, especially the Elephant skit.  (If you don’t know what that is, please look it up. You won’t be sorry.)  He had me worried there for a moment though…. I had almost reached the book’s end before he showed his cards on that one.  Sneaky.

If you want to harken back to very funny times, including the antics of wonderful comics like Bob Newhart, Harvey Korman, and of course, Carol Burnett, then What’s So Funny? is a must read.  4 happy stars for Tim Conway’s new book, and a fond look back to a delightful time in comedy.  Here’s to many more years, Mr. Conway!

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