The Book of the Week is “My Happy Days in Hollywood” by Garry Marshall, published in 2012. This ebook is the autobiography of the Hollywood director, producer, screenwriter, playwright and actor.
Marshall grew up in the Bronx. After graduating college, he volunteered for the army. In 1959, almost immediately after returning home, he was hired on the spot as a copyboy at the New York Daily News. He writes, “They didn’t even care where I went to journalism school. As long as I could carry a cup of coffee without spilling it…” He made $38 a week.
The author paired up with a writing partner to create jokes and skits to be sold to stand-up comedians. He also wrote for famous TV shows and celebrity comedians. When he was starting out, in order to get the business, he had to write scripts on spec.
By 1963, Marshall and a different partner had “…written 31 produced sitcom scripts, [with a typewriter in those days] which was more than any team had ever written before.” The TV shows he produced that became most famous were “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Odd Couple” and “Mork and Mindy.”
In theater and movies, he realized that “…you need more than ‘funny.’ You have to have a story with depth and emotions that people can follow.”
Read the book to learn what Marshall learned and experienced in his four-plus decades working in television, movies and the theater.