Sunday, June 22, 2008

Booking it

I love the late Jean Shepherd (hilarious radio-show host, comedian, author, best known to many for writing and narrating "A Christmas Story," but his books are AWESOME).

Apparently, Shepherd was frustrated by the stoopid way bestseller lists were put together in the 1950s...they used requests for new books at bookstores as one of their criteria. So Shepherd made up a book and asked his radio-show listeners to request it at bookstores. The prank steamrolled, and he eventually got someone to write the book "I, Libertine".

Love Jean Shepherd. LOVE HIM.


Anonymous said...

Stories from two of Shepherd's books were used as the basis for the movie A CHRISTMAS STORY. He's also highly regarded for his jazz-like improvisatory talking style on the radio--and he was an important part of the late 1950s jazz scene, emceeing important concerts and recording "The Clown" with Charles Mingus.
Many people in the media were influenced by him and are ardent fans of his--including Jerry Seinfeld and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. I'd love to interview Keith and you for my new book on Shepherd. My first one, the only book about him, is EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD! THE ART AND ENIGMA OF JEAN SHEPHERD (Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 2005)
Eugene B. Bergmann

growler said...

His books are indeed incredible. You love "A Christmas Story"? You haven't read his books? Get on it! I mean, you won't believe how great a writer he was. Hysterically funny and tremendously moving.

Also, if you haven't heard his radio show, here's a link to a podcast:

I especially recommend the "March on Washington" episode on the 11/25 one, which was just after JFK got shot.