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Growing Up Laughing - My Story and the Story of Funny by Marlo Thomas Books in Review
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Growing Up Laughing - My Story and the Story of Funny
by Marlo Thomas
ISBN 978-1-4013-2391-2
Published September 2010 - Hardcover - 382 pages - $26.99

Not having grown up in this country, I am not that familiar with Marlo Thomas or her father.  I know her only from her St. Jude Children's Research Hospital TV solicitations.  Oh, and that she's married to Phil Donahue.  So, it was with a blank slate that I started her book and was fully prepared to laugh my socks off.  I had to bear in mind this was a memoir and not a book of jokes.  With dad Danny Thomas, little Marlo would spend school vacations at the film studio watching her father film, and so learned comic timing and how things were done.  She also spent a lot of time with her father's friends and fellow comedians, like Joey Bishop, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, George Burns, etc.  Anecdotes are aplenty and will keep you hollering, for they're truly funny (clever) without being smutty or derogatory.  Thomas tells the story of her family growing up around parents in the spotlight (Dad mostly) and what she and her siblings experienced.  I didn't get why so many other comics (Chris Rock, Steven Wright, Joan Rivers and more) were included as this is a memoir, but Thomas says "it's her exploration of the magic of humor", and after reading about a few, I got it.  Their stories of how they found funny are amusing.  Her book reflects fondly of her beloved father (and mother) and his work and personality, a bit about her acting, her friends she grew up with, the shows she watched (basically reliving another time), the clothes, and their struggles and successes.  Of course there's also mention of her father's selfless creation, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  I loved the jokes scattered about.
Visit Marlo Thomas's website.
Conclusion - A very entertaining read.

book cover

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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