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Sigmund "Ziggy" Blissman isn't the best-looking, sanest boy in the world. Far from it. But this misfit child of a failed husband-and-wife vaudeville team has one thing going for him: He can crack people up just by batting his eyelashes. Vittorio "Vic" Fontana, the son of a fisherman, can barely carry a tune or even stay awake while attempting to, but he, too, has one thing going for him: Women love to look at him. On their own, these two men are failures. But one summer night in the Catskills, Ziggy and Vic step onstage and together become the funniest men -- and hottest act -- in America. Written as a fictional oral history and filled with more than seventy memorable characters, Funnymen is the wildly inventive story of "Fountain and Bliss," the comedy duo that delighted America in the 1940s and 1950s. The episodes recounted here by managers, wives, children, mistresses, friends, fans, and foes -- and the truths Heller reveals about human ambition, egotism, and friendship -- make Funnymen not only a masterpiece of storytelling, but also a thoroughly hilarious read.
Fireside Books, 9780743235006, 416pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2003
About the Author
Ted Heller is the photo editor and a senior writer at Nickelodeon magazine and is a contributing writer for GQ. He lives in New York.