Today’s Guest: Bruce Jay Friedman, author, Lucky Bruce, Steambath, The Dick, The Lonely Guy, Splash, Stern
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of famous writers, brand name celebrities and their heirs who are mentioned in Lucky Bruce and are standing by to see what Mr. Friedman might say about them next… in the NEW new media capital of the world, St. Petersburg, Florida!
How many guys can write an autobiography that is part Andy Warhol Diaries, part Zelig and part Forrest Gump?
Even if you’ve never read a lick of Bruce Jay Friedman’s voluminous career output, or seen one of his movies or Broadway productions, I guarantee you’ll find his new memoir, Lucky Bruce, delightful.
BRUCE JAY FRIEDMAN podcast excerpt: “In the beginning I didn’t think I knew enough to fill up a whole book. Now, with the clock ticking, I don’t have enough time to fill out all the ideas I have.”
Why delightful? Because it’s not the story of a guy standing on his mother’s step begging you to notice him and pay attention. His substantial collection of life stories and career anecdotes weave a history of a guy who, by his own telling, wandered in and out of history. The Accidental Success, you might call it. Or American Splendor, Manhattan Edition.
There is Friedman, who fell into a top editing job at Magazine Management Company, run by Martin Goodman (who also created Marvel Comics, which employed his nephew, Stan Lee). While there, Friedman hired and befriended a guy named Mario Puzo.
Along the way to Lucky, Friedman declines the top editing job at Playboy, gets into a street fight with Norman Mailer, parties with Crazy Joe Gallo, takes a leak next to Muhammad Ali, writes the screenplays for Splash and Stir Crazy, and… well, frankly, I dog-eared so many pages of note that my dog ears have dog ears.
(I should note that this wonderful opportunity to interview Bruce came about as a result of my friendship with his son, famed caricaturist and illustrator Old Jewish Comedians, Drew Friedman. Drew has been a guest here and it was he who suggested a conversation with his dad and open that door. Thanks, Drew!)