Funny. This book is funny.
seen him on The Carol Burnett Show and in McHale's Navy.
You know he's funny on TV but what is he like at home?
shares his life with us. He had an Irish dad and a Romanian mother
and grew up in a small town in Ohio. Being a friend of his dad's was
dangerous (let's see, a broom handle in the eye, a hand shut in a car
door, and more). Conway's stories about his parents will have you
laughing out loud.
then he went to school. Being the smallest in the class, he used
humor in defense. He wanted to be a jockey. An English teacher who
gave him the courage to express himself. College at Bowling Green
where he started doing comedy sketches. A two year hitch in the Army
after graduation (using a fluorescent bulb for a rifle – you have
to read the book). During this time he decided to become a
professional comedian. He and a friend debuted in a Seattle club and
lasted two shows before getting the boot. Back home he got a job
writing comedy for a radio show in Cleveland. He began doing his
life's work – making people laugh. Then came local TV, seen by Rose
Marie (in Cleveland for an interview). She took reels back to
Hollywood … and in September of 1960, Toma Conway was on his way to
Hollywood and Steve Allen. Then Carol Burnett.
There were some
surprises too, like Conway being in “legitimate” summer stock
theater and writing some plays himself. He's also quite a family man,
enjoying his kids and grand-kids too.
reminiscing about early television, Conway writes, “I miss watching
those worry-free television programs, the kind you could view with
the whole family without hearing foul language or seeing too much
violence or too much skin.” (230) Me too. Thanks, Tim, for being a
part of TV's golden years.
never stops being Conway. Some of the pranks he's pulled, well, you've
just got to read the book. Thanks for making us laugh, Tim – back
then on TV and today in your book.
Conway, well, by his own admission, he doesn't have a serious
thought in his head.
Scovell has coauthored several books and has contributed to many
articles for many publications. She lives in New York City.
Books (an imprint of Simon and Schuster), 247 pages. You can read an
excerpt from the book at the publisher's product page.
received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the
purpose of this review.