The Guy Under the Sheets
By Chris Elliott
(Blue Rider Press, Hardcover, 9780399158407, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 11, 2012
List Price: $26.95*
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Because no one will write an unauthorized biography about Emmy-winning writer and actor Chris Elliott, he has done it himself. Reader, you’re hereby warned that much of this book will be disturbing. The Guy Under the Sheets is a behind-the-scenes memoir so personal, so provocative, that Elliott nearly sued himself to halt publication: the most shocking revelation, corroborated by numerous unnamed sources, is that Elliott is not the absurdist comedian that Rolling Stone once called “a genius.” In fact, he’s a slightly dimwitted no-talent from a celebrity family who managed to convince a whole generation of disillusioned youth that he was funny. Few have seen his dark side: a ghastly childhood spent on Manhattan’s posh Upper East Side; a torrid near-love affair with Lee Radziwill; a torrid real love affair with Shelley Winters; his first job, entertaining mobsters with his Judy Garland impersonation; and countless episodes from the life of a mediocre artist who somehow faked his way to the top—of semi-moderate fame and fortune. But seriously, Elliott is a brilliantly comic bestselling writer—and while there is plenty of fictional fun in The Guy Under the Sheets, also woven throughout are wonderful real life anecdotes, including Elliott’s start at Late Night with David Letterman, his work in films from Groundhog Day to Cabin Boy, and much more. If the author does not prevail in his lawsuit, this book is bound to delight many new readers and loyal fans alike.
“This hugely entertaining pack of lies reads like a Woody Allen essay from the New Yorker, but, buried among the silliness, there is a nugget or two of legitimate autobiography. Wildly weird and hugely entertaining.” — David Pitt, Booklist
“The arc of [Elliott’s] career remains unique and inspiring. That he made things worth memorizing and fashioning one's young identity around. That there is integrity to the path of most resistance, that he blazed a trail for Arrested Development and Community and all the other freaky, convention-flouting TV comedies.”—Grantland
“Everything that makes Elliott great, and everything that makes him so baffling to the Gods of Comedy, is on full display in The Guy Under the Sheets...a memoir that is wonderfully untrustworthy, and wildly entertaining....hilarious.”
—Christopher Schobert, Buffalo News