Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Review - What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway

What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life
By Tim Conway with Jan eCovell
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub. Date: October 29, 2013
ISBN: 978-1476726502
Pages: 272


Television has definitely changed over the past decades, while the networks crank out ridiculous reality shows, overly hyped police procedures and raunchy sitcoms, the cable channels are producing high quality, well-scripted dramas. This is all great, but I'm sure many people would rather watch a decent comedy with their entire family, instead of sending the kids out of the room every time a Charlie Sheen sitcom starts. Recently, Time Life started releasing the classic variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, which featured funnyman, Tim Conway. Tim is releasing his memoir, What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life, with a foreword by Carol Burnett.

Tim came into the world with the name Toma Conway written on his birth certificate, but it was later correctly changed to Thomas Daniel Conway. His father was an Irishman named Daniel Conway and his mother was from Romanian ancestry named Sophia Murgoi. Growing up an only child in Ohio, Tim picked up sewing from his mother. Despite his family being poor, he had loving parents and had a normal childhood.

After high school, Tim majored in speech and radio at Bowling Green State University. After college he had a two-year stint in the Army. Unsure about his future, he stumbled into the radio world by taking a job in the promotional department at a Cleveland radio station, which was his first break into the world of entertainment. He moved his way up into the radio business and eventually took his talents on television with sketches on The Steve Allen Show, which lead to him being cast as Ensign Charles Parker on McHale's Navy.

Four years later, the series was cancelled, but many other opportunities followed, including the series Turn-On which was cancelled and pulled from the air in the middle of the first episode. Tim found a steady job guest-appearing on The Carol Burnett Show for seven years before finally becoming a series regular for the final four seasons.

I don't read many memoirs, but I remember watching Tim Conway's hilarious skits on The Carol Burnett Show when it was in syndication in the '90s and I thought his memoir would be an interesting read. Tim loves making people laugh and it really shows in his book, which he shares many tales about Ernie Anderson, Ernest Borgnine, Don Knotts, Harvey Korman and other celebrities, but he also talks about his parents, his marriages, his children and grandchildren. What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life is a touching tale of one of the funniest comedians of all time. I absolutely enjoyed reading it (which I read in one sitting) and I recommend it to other Tim Conway fans. The book is coming out just in time for the holiday season and it would make a great present for a friend or relative. 

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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