Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dead Wrestlers

Since sometime in 2011 I've been writing and editing a series of novels called Dead Wrestlers. The idea was initially going to be one novel. Then it morphed into three.


Why has it taken so long? Well, I published a collection of short stories during this time. I have a 9-5 job like a ham-and-egger and humanoid (RIP Bobby "the Brain" Heenan) and I have two children.


Anyway, the only reason I'm posting this is to establish that these are my novels. No one reads this blog. Very few ever have. In fact, I've deleted most of the posts.


Here is something I wrote about these novels a while back:




In 2007 I wrote a three-part article called “Dead Wrestlers Society” for a web site that no longer exists. It was well-received and the editor of the site told me I should consider making the article into a book. I entertained the idea and initially discarded it, thinking I couldn’t do an entire non-fiction book about professional wrestlers who have died justice.


I continued writing other things – essays, short stories, poems, and even published two poetry chapbooks in 2008 and 2011. I had written a couple dozen short stories, my dream being to publish a collection of them, which I eventually did in November 2012. With this accomplished I began thinking about writing a novel. I don’t remember exactly how the idea entered my head, but the thought of adapting “Dead Wrestlers Society” into a novel rather than writing a non-fiction book interested me greatly.


The questions were who would be the main characters and what would the story be. I knew I wanted the main character to be somewhat based on myself, and that he should have friends with characteristics of mine and others I knew. What I also wanted was for the wrestlers themselves to be characters. I’d recently read I,Fatty by Jerry Stahl and Wintering by Kate Moses, novels about the lives of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Sylvia Plath, respectively. So I knew an author could write about the lives of real people if they were deceased.


But how could I write about all the wrestlers I wanted to? How could I write about Gino Hernandez, Eddie Gilbert and Owen Hart when they never wrestled each other.


Then it hit me. I love ghost stories. Not scary ghost stories, but stories in which ghosts appear in normal, everyday life, like Thorne Smith’s Topper or Eric Idle’s short-lived sitcom Nearly Departed, which no one probably ever saw but me.


So I had a handful of main characters and some ghosts. Now I needed a story. I returned to my original article, which, being published in 2007, focused on Chris Benoit. I knew Benoit had a lot of friends in the wrestling business who had passed away. What if they wanted the main character to stop the Benoit tragedy from happening? What if that was the motivation of the ghosts from the get go - to save every wrestler from entering an early grave?


And what if only the main character can see these ghosts? Maybe it all started with an incident from his past, perhaps even his childhood. I thought of two instances from my own childhood, both of which I used in the first chapter of Book One. Yes, I once piledrove my own sister. She didn’t die. She claimed to have blacked out, but she was fine. Then there was the time my siblings and their friends ganged up on me in a wrestling match. I thought combining these two separate occurrences made perfect sense.


Anyway, the reason I’m writing this is to tell you that Dead Wrestlers is obviously a work of fiction. All living characters – with the exception of wrestlers who eventually die, plus a handful of famous, deceased non-wrestlers – are completely made up. Some have characteristics of people I know, but they are fictional. This includes Mark’s family – his parents, Harry and Candace; his brother Al; and his sister Nikki. All made up. In fact, in my mind as I read it Candace is portrayed by a well-known sitcom mom. These characters are in no way meant to represent my actual family. The same goes for other characters close to main character Mark Chapman. His cousins, roommates and significant others are entirely fictional.


The ghosts, the wrestlers, on the other hand, were real, actual people. However, I look at them as characters in a pro wrestling storyline. What I mean by this is there are instances in these books in which it may appear that I’m making judgments about a particular wrestler when what I’m actually doing is just trying to further the story. Two cases in point occur in the first book. The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Gino Hernandez and David Von Erich have been talked about for years. In each case, particularly that of David, I chose one scenario over the other because it worked for the story, not because that’s what I believe happened.

There are several wrestlers - including Terry Jones and Miguel Pena, who are introduced in Book Two - that are fictional. If a wrestler doesn't die by the time the third book ends, he or she is made up.




This gives you a general idea. I'm currently making final edits; asking people I know, either in real life or on social media, to give Book One a read. I have a couple of Twitter friends who read an earlier version of Book One and loved it. I've asked one of them to read Book Two once I feel it's ready. Absolutely no one has read Book Two or Three as of this post. So I need to fine-tooth comb it.


Anyway, that's it for now, phantom person who somehow came upon this blog.


Michael Frissore, author of Dead Wrestlers
March 20, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

An Ode to My Daughter


#1 Sweet Tooth

 

In an empty kitchen at 7 p.m.

a four-year-old girl

wearing a pink Sofia the First

nightgown meanders awkwardly about,

tentative, dubious,

like she’s never been in a cookery before.

 

Her bare feet pitter-patter

from the dining area

to her bedroom and back again,

a slippery thief in the night.

The little girl cranes her neck

to somehow reach the top

of the refrigerator, like if she concentrates,

she’ll become a giraffe.

 

She combs the countertops,

opens the pantries,

searches our usual hiding places

for anything sugary,

a thirsty woman in tattered clothes

stranded in a desert,

an addict selling her parents’ Blu-ray

for an ounce of cocaine.

 

She catches me studying her pursuit

and segues into one of her dances,

a spry pirouette she learned in her

ballet class while frolicking

to “How Far I’ll Go”

from the Moana soundtrack.

 

I look away then catch her

continuing her quest

for anything enticing –

a cookie, a popsicle, a Tic Tac,

even the “old lady candy”

in the cupboard she longs for

like air or a new Barbie doll.

 

I tap her mother’s shoulder

in time for us both to catch

the perfect pout of longing

on our daughter’s face,

the glower of anxiety she wears

like a cloak when her sweet tooth

sings like Idina Menzel.

 

We watch as our darling girl

maneuvers a wooden stool

in front of the counter,

not at all covertly, and climbs

to discover nothing but

herbal tea and adult vitamins.

 

Soon we’re all watching –

my wife and I, our son.

Even the cat’s like,

Why doesn’t she just meow

incessantly like I do?

 

We’re mesmerized,

still discreetly riveted

by her mission,

we feel her calamity,

like unrequited love,

like the Agony of Defeat

ski jumper from Wild World of Sports,

like when the Patriots lost

two Super Bowls to the Giants.

 

Then, when all is lost

and we avert our gazes,

we hear the crinkle, crinkle

of a wrapper and the loud,

triumphant chewing of gum.

 

Our clandestine cutie,

this sultan of

surreptitiousness

struck pay dirt,

and she performs

another little dance,

this time jumping and swaying

left to right, left to right,

like a cartoon prospector

with a long beard

and a pickaxe

who just found gold.

 

“Eliza,” her mommy calls out.

“Don’t you want to finish your dinner?”

 

“No,” Eliza says.

 

“I only have a sweet tooth.

See?”

 

And she shows us exactly which tooth is the sweet one.

Poem - The Greatest Show on Earth

So it's been nearly four years since I've posted anything on this silly blog I once had. I thought I'd post a couple poems I wrote in this Writer's Studio class I took last year, since they're both too long to be published anywhere else. And I don't have the energy to search high and low for somewhere to published them. I've got a trilogy of novels to edit!














The Greatest Show on Earth


 


 


Montgomery Jeeves Python lays hungover


and half-asleep, dreaming wonderful dreams


of the glory days of the circus –


the great attractions –


Garantula and Jumbo the Elephant.


 


Yet he feels as if a giant foot


has trodden upon his head like


a clumsy tightrope walker.


Just five years ago,


Montgomery’s Flying Circus thrived.


Crowds thrilled at Tomasso Chicolini,


the Human Cannonball,


as he soared through the air like a hawk.


 


They sat awestruck at


Cowgirl Connie’s


bareback riding acrobatics


with Henry the Horse,


always smoothly and


elegantly performed


to the music of Ellington,


Basie or John Philip Sousa.


 


The realities of current Big Top life


haunt Montgomery like a failed marriage.


He hears Punchy, his longtime Man Friday –


who, due to dwindling ticket sales


and subsequent budget cuts,


now serves as the juggler,


lion tamer, and contortionist -


berate Escapo, the escape artist,


after botching so many tricks


that people now call him


“The Great Boo-dini.”


Punchy then


chides the Hendersons –


aging trapeze artists Fletcher,


Florence and Rickey –


calling them “The Flying Dull-endas.”


 


The celebrated Mr. Python sits up,


rubs his eyes and takes his first look


at what lies before him.


This formerly-merry jubilee


now resembles an abandoned mall


or amusement park.


Weeds, vines and rust


crawl over the old knife-throwing wheel


and the bed of nails.


Old clown shoes hang like nooses


beside the trampolines,


which haven’t been trampled in years.


 


Montgomery stares


at Tomasso’s old cannon.


If it still functioned,


he’d shoot himself into oblivion


and wash his hands of this whole


operation.


 


He wonders if Plum the Clown


ever feels like setting the place ablaze


and becoming a gypsy jazz guitarist.


 


Would Goliath the Strongman ever


run away with him and finally start


that professional wrestling promotion?


Or would they go down with the ship?


Couldn’t they all use something


completely different?


 


Montgomery reaches into


his side table and takes four aspirin


and five Xanax.


It seems every night


when Fucik’s


“Entrance of the Gladiators”


starts playing, he looks at the empty seats


and is compelled to admit


the circus is dead.


It is no more.


 


He attempts to get out of bed,


still feeling like a monkey


is banging his head like a drum,


and he sees who he thinks


is Buffalo Bella,


the bearded lady sharp-shooter.


As her facial hair slowly flies away


he sees that it’s actually


the once-great Bobby Bee Beard.


 


Montgomery laughs softly,


wishing he could be those bees,


just flying away to nowhere in particular.


He knows the others want to as well –


the snake charmer, the sword swallower,


the unicyclist – (again, all one person).


Maybe they’re all just like Escapo,


wanting to break free from


the straitjacket, the chains,


the handcuffs, pack up the dancing bears,


the trained seals


and Lydia the Tattooed Lady


and flee to Puerto Rico,


where Montgomery saw a man


wrestle a grizzly bear many years ago.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Interview and Guest Blog

As of May I will no longer be an author at WAMM. Below are my interview and guest blog from that site, both of which I wanted to rescue before they disappear forever.


8 With An Author -- Michael Frissore

1. Where is the best place for you to go to people-watch?

In a tall tree with a pair of binoculars just outside the window you’re peeping through. Not too close. Pick a tree close enough to see, but far enough that you won’t get caught.

If you’re not the adventurous type, the mall is a really good place to go, especially for a parent. A mall play area or a park is great. You're people-watching skills can also double as pedophile-detecting powers. I also like any kind of event: a fair, a carnival, or if you can get to a demolition derby, run, don’t walk. That is some fantastic people watching.

2. Do you base your characters on real people?

There are some that have the pleasure of being born from actual people. For example, ”Seven Stages" started out that way – based on friends of mine, maybe a little of myself - and then went into all sorts of bizarre areas and there ended up being no trace of reality whatsoever. There are a couple of stories in Puppets Shows - and these are the ones that are my personal favorites - in which, in my head, there’s a character who is W.C. Fields or Groucho Marx. Way to make myself sound 100 years old! I won’t say which stories. We can make a game of it. Read Puppet Shows and guess which character is Fields and what character is Groucho. The winner gets absolutely nothing.

3. You write about a superhero in your book. Who is your hero?

We all know who people say the true heroes are: firefighters, policemen, soldiers, the 2004 Boston Red Sox, The Green Hornet, The Blue Blazer, Hiro the Japanese train from Thomas & Friends. But there's one group of heroes who don't get any kind of recognition, certainly not from the movie studios today. I don't know who producers think Mariah Carey, the Foo Fighters and Bonnie Tyler were referring to when they sang about heroes, but to me it was these guys, the protectors of the city of Good Haven. I'm talking about the Mighty Heroes.

I'm talking about Strong Man, with his southern accent and jet-propelled punch; Rope Man, the dock worker who always gets tangled in himself; Tornado Man, the meteorologist with the wheezy voice; Cuckoo Man, my personal favorite, the bird shop owner who changes in a cuckoo clock in lieu of some silly phone booth; and Diaper Man, the ginger infant who will knock super villains out cold with his baby bottle. These guys, and I pay homage to them in Puppet Shows, are my heroes, and have been since I was a wee lad.

4. In hindsight, many of us find that our writing was impacted by our schooling. What was your favorite assignment in high school English, your least favorite, and the one that affected you most?

My favorite assignment, or the one I can remember anyway, was in eighth or ninth grade a teacher asked us to write an essay making fun of something (Which today sounds ridiculous. You don't make fun of something! That's bullying!). I wrote about The National Enquirer. The teacher read it in class and some kids laughed, but this one girl accused me of stealing the jokes from Reader's Digest. I denied it, of course, mainly because I wouldn't admit to stealing, but also because I had actually stolen the jokes from "Weird Al" Yankovic and watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher. So she was dead wrong. What kind of hack steals from Reader's Digest?

That’s how my writing career began was stealing. I remember writing something for another class that was about cannibalism, the idea of which I stole completely from Monty Python's "Undertaker's sketch." My story was two guys discussing eating one of their deceased mothers: a complete replica of the Python sketch. I had no shame back then.

My least favorite one was we had to do movie reviews, which I hate the idea of writing even today. We had to write two of them, and I couldn't have picked two more forgettable films. One was Mad House, the John Larroquette/Kirstie Alley comedy. The other was Body Slam, a wrestling movie starring Dirk Benedict and Tanya Roberts, along with Roddy Piper and Captain Lou Albano. I was always putting wrestling references into things I wrote in high school. It's really no different today. I'm actually amazed at how low Puppet Shows is on wrestling references. Readers should thank me for that. My poetry books are chock full of them.

5. You’re stuck on a deserted island with only three books and one other author. Name the books and the author then tell us why.
They would have to be substantial books that would keep me busy for a long time and perhaps make me want to go drown myself in the ocean. I always think people sound pompous when they bring up James Joyce, but the first two books would be Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. Ulysses I read years ago and always said I'd read it again and haven't, and I've told myself for years I would read Finnegan's Wake and haven't. So, with any luck, I’ll end up on an island with Evangeline Lily and a smoke monster and get to read those.

The third book would have to be the Bible, the author of which, of course, is a bunch of dinosaurs and cavemen. I'm sorry, atheists who want to set fire to hotel rooms for having a Bible in the drawer, but that's what I'd choose because it's the Bible. I might instead choose something by Dave Eggers or David Foster Wallace just so that I know I'll be happy with my decision to throw myself into the mouth of a giant squid. But I'm told that Joyce and God are good island reading.

6. If your writing career was a novel, what would the title be?

Harry Potter and the References Nobody Gets

7. Have you ever judged a book by its cover?

No, never. No one does that. That's why the word "Don't" comes before the saying. You don't judge a book by its cover. Only assholes do that. Come to think of it, I’m sure I have. I mean, it's why book have covers. But who am I? A designer? What do I care what the cover of a book looks like? I'm colorblind and I usually end up scribbling genitalia and pentagrams all over the cover of all my books anyway. But I have. I remember seeing the cover of A Clockwork Orange and being all, “Wow, cool cover! This book must be awesome!” And it was.

8. If you could co-write a book with any author, who would you choose and what genre would it be?

With the recent popularity of that 50 Shades nonsense, I would love to write some erotica with Ann Coulter. Oh, we would tear up the Best Sellers List!

 

 

In The Words of Michael Frissore

I wanted to be a lot of things when I was a boy: a baseball player, a professional wrestler. I went through a stage when I thought it would be great to be a mailman. But writing was always my number one passion. The only thing that compared was to be a rock star. I wanted to be a famous guitar player since the night I saw Dexys Midnight Runners perform on Solid Gold.

But writing was my first love. I was always writing silly things as a kid: song parodies, poems, forged prescriptions. Every greeting card I gave my parents was filled with my nonsensical junior high school humor and a script for 20mgs of Oxycodone.

Then in one of my high school English classes we read “Muck-a-Muck,” the short story by Bret Harte. Not the wrestler Bret “the Hitman” Hart, mind you, but the American author and poet who wrote tongue-in-cheekly about pioneering life in California. It was hilarious, and I was the only one in the class who appreciated it. My friends were all, “Let’s go smoke some cigs in the boys’ room and beat up nerds,” and I was all, “This story is funny, you guys. LOL!” Then they were all, “What’s LOL? It’s 1990, weirdo!”

I spent the next 22 years writing Puppet Shows. Well, not really. I’ve written other stuff along the way – poetry, essays, screenplays, you name it, buster! However, there is one story, “Dinner at Wither Port,” the tale of everyone’s favorite mental asylum, that I first scribbled on cocktail napkins and fig leaves years ago in college when I was doing acid and drinking a lot of hairspray. When I got out of rehab at the turn of the century, I went on a writing spree that resulted in tiny portions of some of the other stories in this book, mostly just the beginnings of sentences, so none of it made any sense. I later found out that I had turned at the wrong century and a lot of my writing ended up ruining books by Mark Twain and O Henry.

It was only after a group of paleontologists in Boston were able to get the same dinosaurs that wrote the Bible to comb through all of my gibberish that this collection really went anywhere. Those brainy lizards cleaned it up, took out all the love letters to Debbie Gibson and the numerous references to Satan as the “one true Dark Lord,” and Puppet Shows was born.

I guess the other thing you should know is where the title came from. I was at one point writing this as a tell-all about my torrid love affair with Prairie Dawn from Sesame Street, but her lawyers are brutal, man. I’ll probably lose my house and children just for mentioning this here. Anyway, that project was quickly scrapped. I kept the title and went back to the original plan. That’s when the dinosaurs came in and saved my life.

 

 

 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Praise for Puppet Shows

A fun collection of crazy short stories.” – WiLoveBooks

“not your typical short stories” – Bookish

Puppet Shows is the best book to read after you've had your heart ripped out by another book and cannot stand to feel for a while. It's fun, lighthearted, and goofy.”
-      Bookish

“this is one of the most ridiculous books I ever picked up...and I mean that as a compliment.” - Kindle Book Review

“one hilarious story after another” - Kindle Book Review

“uncommonly twisted, irreverent and wholly amusing short stories”
-      I Am Indeed

“Frissore poured his weird and boundless imagination onto the pages of this book seemingly without holding back. Even his character names were hilarious.”
Novellarella

“Buy it. Read it. Laugh a lot, and be grateful there are writers out there who can create this type of material.” - Novellarella

“a deliciously twisted collection of ideas” Jeanette Kempton, Author of the Karynja series

“randomly odd and bizarre” - Book Junkie Joint

“a brave foray into a well-defined territory in an attempt to bring something different, and indeed, this book really brings something entirely different!”
Book Junkie Joint

“This guy is weird, and the stories he tells are every bit as bizarre. But from page 1, they’re fun. The stories are so far off the wall they’re in the garden somewhere. “
 - Gav’s Book Reviews 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fifteen Years Without Phil Hartman

This is a piece I wrote for Flak Magazine back in 2008 for the ten-year anniversary of Phil Hartman’s murder. With Flak no longer existing, I thought I’d post it here for the 15-year. R.I.P. Phil Hartman.

 



An air raid siren blasts, with the caption "Important Homeland Security Message," as a man dressed in military fatigues and holding a rifle, while standing behind a toilet, says: "Did you know that, in the event of a natural disaster, there's enough water in your toilet to sustain you for three whole days? So, at the first sign of danger, whatever you do — don't shit."
In this 11-second sketch from the comedy troupe The Groundlings in the late '70s, the talent of the late comedian Phil Hartman was already apparent. It only took a few seconds to see something special in Hartman, whether it was in his brief appearance as a gun-toting airport pest to Chuck Barris in The Gong Show Movie in 1980, or as a crazed video game fan in an ad for Activision's Ice Hockey for the Atari 2600 in 1981, or as Captain Carl on Pee-wee's Playhouse. (Pee-wee Herman was, incidentally, a character Hartman co-created with Paul Reubens.) From there, throughout the early '80s, appeared other short examples of Hartman's talent. Then came Saturday Night Live, and everyone saw that it wasn't merely talent. It was genius.
On May 28, 1998 the world lost one of its greatest comedic talents. Fifteen years ago the Emmy-winning writer and comedy legend was shot multiple times by his wife Brynn, who later turned the gun on herself. Hartman left behind a Belushi-like legacy with his work on Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and the sitcom NewsRadio. The man affectionately referred to as "Glue" and "The Sultan of Smarm" by his peers was not only wonderfully talented, but, by all accounts, he was always a joy to work with.
As great as the Wayne's World or "Church Lady" SNL sketches were in the late 80s and early 90s, I was always most excited when a Phil Hartman sketch came on: his dead-on President Clinton impression, eating the food of patrons at McDonald's; the Anal Retentive Chef showing us how to properly dispose of perfectly good red bell peppers; and the doddering former Vice-Presidential candidate Admiral James Stockdale, out for a joyride with Ross Perot. And there was hardly anything more brilliant than Hartman as Frank Sinatra in The Sinatra Group, shouting at his guests, calling Sinead O'Connor "cue ball," "Sine- Aid," and "Uncle Fester" and telling Billy Idol, "I have chunks of guys like you in my stool."
In his eight seasons on SNL, Hartman was arguably the greatest talent of the shows' second golden era. His impressions were always spot-on, from Charlton Heston to Phil Donahue to Telly Savalas. His characters were no less ingenious, and often completely bizarre, such as Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer and the host of Robot Repair.
During his stint on SNL Hartman began voicing characters on the FOX animated comedy The Simpsons. A master voice artist, Hartman spent seven seasons on the show, voicing shyster attorney Lionel Hutz and B-Movie actor Troy McClure. He voiced 17 others on a one-time basis, including Lyle Lanley from the Monorail episode; indeed Hartman became the key go-to guy for The Simpsons' writers.
Hartman's voice was unmistakable; yet, he brought something different to each character. In his career Hartman would do voice work on programs as diverse as children's animation (Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs), adult animation (The Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy), and live action series (Magnum P.I., Seinfeld). Prior to his death, Hartman was slated to lend his voice to the character Zapp Brannigan on Futurama. The character was eventually voiced by Billy West.
Upon departing from SNL, Hartman signed on to what would become one of the funniest sitcoms of the '90s, NewsRadio. Playing news anchor Bill McNeal, he was again part of an ensemble cast. It was a tremendous group of actors, but, like he was on SNL, Hartman was the glue. It was on NewsRadio that he got to show his acting chops.
The show was definitely not the same without Hartman, and indeed lasted only one season after his death, with Phil being replaced by fellow-SNL cast member Jon Lovitz. And Hartman's acting was finally acknowledged with a posthumous Emmy nomination in 1998.
One need only view the third episode of the series, titled "Smoking," in which McNeal tries to quit smoking, to see what a truly great comedic actor Hartman was. His portrayal of addiction, the hyperbole with which he played it, cemented this as Hartman's show. If it wasn't evident in the five-minute SNL sketches, surely it was here. NewsRadio was on par with the great American sitcoms of the last 25 years, from Cheers and Seinfeld to The Office and 30 Rock. Minus Phil's passing, the show could have gone on for years.
Hartman's characters, particularly Hutz, McClure, and McNeal, shared similar traits. They contained bluster, sometimes arrogance, which often masked other, unenviable characteristics. Hutz and McClure, though different in their own right, each had a self-conceit that concealed a sort of incompetence: Hutz the crooked, inept lawyer; McClure the hacky has-been actor. McNeal's bombast seemed to mask a rather sad insecurity, making the mask all the more comical.
The dichotomy in these traits was part of what brought the humor with Hartman. Similar clashes have been portrayed in comedy since the days of the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields. But Hartman made the style his own, almost reinventing it. Watching his characters try to fool everyone, unlike, say, Woody Allen’s characters, which were just open mental wrecks, was always a joy and what made Hartman "The Sultan," with his picture perfect voice and cloak of sincerity and confidence.
The recent heirs to the throne, and to an extent the Hartman style, can be found in the  funniest television comedies of the last few years. The lead characters in both versions of The Office, David Brent and Michael Scott, have the same sort of pompous ineffectiveness that both Hutz and McClure showed, each to the point of being uncomfortable. While Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, as well as Stan Smith of the animated series American Dad each bring McNeal's cavalier instability.
For whatever reason, Hartman's movie appearances were usually brief cameos. He never starred in his own film comedy, like so many other SNL alums, but his mark on the world of comedy remains varied and unquestionable. While Hartman never received top billing in a television program or movie, he brought hilarity and style to even the briefest of cameos, from playing the Alcatraz Tour Guide in So I Married an Axe Murderer, and his cameos in high-profile films such as Three Amigos! and Fletch Lives.
Having passed on at only 49, Hartman certainly had a lot of laughs still to deliver, whether it would have been by continuing his roles on The Simpsons and NewsRadio, starring in his own network variety show (his original post-SNL plan until fellow castmate Dana Carvey announced his variety show), or landing starring roles in feature films.
He was a multitalented man, fluent in German and an accomplished graphic artist. Hartman designed album covers for rock bands such as Poco and America, as well as the Crosby, Stills & Nash logo.
Former NBC West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer said about Hartman after his murder that he "was blessed with a tremendous gift for creating characters that made people laugh. But more importantly, everyone who had the pleasure of working with Phil knows that he was a man of tremendous warmth, a true professional and a loyal friend."
Fifteen years later he is still dearly missed, and he's still making people laugh.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Praise for Puppet Shows

Praise for Puppet Shows 
by Michael Frissore 










The stories in (Puppet Shows) are all randomly odd and bizarre. There is no whatsoever logic in it and strangely enough, you don't really need logic while reading this book. This in itself is what sets this book apart from all others. It ventures into the weird, the funny and sometimes, the gruesomely insane…Puppet Shows is like a brave foray into a well-defined territory in an attempt to bring something different, and indeed, this book really brings something entirely different!” – Dia Pelaez, Book Junkie Joint, http://book-junkie-joint.blogspot.com/ 


“These are the short stories that you would read to your teenage kid before bed…and the type of stories that you would read to just have a bit of a laugh once in a while. You could pick the book up, read a story, and it will brighten your day with its indirect humor. It's brilliant for spontaneous reading.”  



“Frissore has managed to create a very unusual collection of short stories indeed. Full of the imaginative and bizarre and just plain ridiculous and yet, he somehow pulls it all off and it just works. Go into this with the expectation of having some fun and keep your mind open and you will truly be taken on a magical ride where anything is possible and almost everything happens.”  
- Ali, My Guilty Obsession, http://myguiltyobsession.blogspot.com/ 



“A fun collection of crazy short stories. They are very well-written and entertaining, if a little out-there. Read this if you have a good sense of humor and an appreciation for the ridiculous.”  
Brinda, WiLoveBooks, http://wilovebooks.blogspot.com/ 



Only a mind that has somehow slipped the mold of what we deem normal could create such a deliciously twisted collection of ideas and combine them into this treat for the mind.” – Jeanette Kempton, Author of the Karynja series 






“This is not mainstream fiction. It’s not mainstream anything. This guy is weird, and the stories he tells are every bit as bizarre. But from page 1, they’re fun. The stories are so far off the wall they’re in the garden somewhere.  

Frissore should be praised for more than just his sense of humour though. There’s an incredibly fluent turn of phrase here; you can hear every word smoothly, without effort. The language is spare in places, but often lively and always interesting. It’s conversational, but if that conversation was being held by the two sharpest, wittiest people you know (who also happen to be loony tunes).  

I don’t know if Frissore bangs this stuff out without sweat, or if he agonises over each syllable, but the effect is prose that’s as rewarding to read as it is funny 

It’s a difficult plate to spin though, creating something both worthwhile and absurd. And in many of these stories, Frissore nails it. One or two heart strings are even plucked subtly, with a three word flash of emotion dropped in amongst a chaotic tale.  

But let’s not take for granted the most important point - the funny. Every story amused me, and all of them were cut off at just about the right time. .. Frissore reaffirmed my belief that such whimsy (that’s right, I used the word whimsy, what of it?), screams loudest and most perfectly in rich, short bursts.” 

- Gav’s Book Reviews, http://gavsbookreviews.blogspot.com/ 




"This was a nice side step from my normal genres that normally lack a lot of humor.
The stories did make me "lol," which was great. I kept wanting to know what silly
thing would happen next. And as a writer myself, I appreciated the fact that Frissore
poured his weird and boundless imagination onto the pages of this book seemingly
without holding back. Even his character names were hilarious."

"This is a great read for someone who just needs to relax and shed their
'taking life too seriously' skin. The stories were well written and nicely compiled."

"Buy it. Read it. Laugh a lot, and be grateful there are writers out there who can
create this type of material."

Neesha from Novellarella


Puppet Shows 
Stories by Michael Frissore 
Writers AMuse Me Publishing 
http://www.writersamuseme.com/michaelfrissore.htm