Who is this man?
By Carol Memmott, USA TODAY
Actor (Ice Castles), director and composer Robby Benson has written his first novel, Who Stole the Funny? (Harper Entertainment, paperback original, $13.95). It's a satirical roman à clef about a director's nightmare-filled week working on a sitcom. He answers a few questions about the book:
1: Why did you set your novel in the world of TV production?The most entertaining and funny thing I could write about is the absurdity and insanity of working on a sitcom.
2: Was it as unpleasant for you as it is for the director in your book?I've had wonderful experiences directing episodes of Friends and Ellen. But honestly, one show out of five would frighten a normal human being walking onto the set.
3: It's really that mean-spirited? I went to ridiculous extremes of the truth at times, but my 40 years in show business has taught me that you must write from the truth.
4: Will people in Hollywood be offended? Absolutely. But I'm 51, I've had three open-heart surgeries, and I have the most wonderful family in the world. I've earned this, but this is not a kiss-and-tell. That's not in my nature.
5: What's next for you?I just finished a screenplay, Restless Pinky: Side Effects May Include Death. It's a very dark romantic comedy about the pharmaceutical industry. Think Paddy Chayefsky, not cheap shots.