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Confessions of a Rogue TV Comedy Writer by Ted Bergman
A TV Book Review
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Ted Bergman had a long career in television writing for sitcoms like Sanford and Son and What’s Happening!!, and Confessions of a Rogue TV Comedy Writer serves as his autobiography. He writes not just about his career in show business, including inside stories about the various celebrities he’s met and behind-the-scenes looks at the making of a TV show, but also about his personal life: his relationships, his travels, and the time he and his wife bought a house on a remote island in the Bahamas on a whim. He candidly discusses his successes, mistakes, and failures in both his professional and personal life. My favorite parts are when he talks about his pets. He hilariously recalls playing silly games with his cats and reluctantly schlepping his wife’s annoying dog on trips around the world.
Ted’s straightforward writing style is peppered with sitcom-worthy jokes and running gags, bits and pieces of scripts, and a few industry terms, which he helpfully defines for his readers. He writes as if he’s telling stories to an old friend, and that’s how I feel after reading this book, like we’re old friends. Often I find myself retelling a story from the book as if it happened to someone I know. I feel like Ted would be really fun to hang out with and “kibitz,” as he often says.
Don’t let the book’s DIY look fool you. It may not have any page numbers, and it may have a few typos here and there and his contact information printed in the back in case you know anyone who wants to give him a job, but despite all that, it’s very well-written and entertaining. I was so riveted by Ted’s stories that I didn’t want to put it down. I laughed at his puns, cheered at his triumphs, and cried at his losses. I recommend it for anyone who loves classic television or just wants to read a damn good book. Buy it on Amazon!