You know who Fred Stoller is. You may not have known you knew, but you know. He’s been in just short of everything as that kind of vaguely depressed sounding schmucky guy – Dumb and Dumber, the Sarah Silverman Program, Wizards of Waverly Place, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs and of course Seinfeld amongst dozens of others (including Handy Manny. He’s a wrench!).
Aside from acting, Stoller has also made his mark as a stand up comedian and a writer. Back in ’94, Stoller was invited by Larry David to be a staff writer on Seinfeld, at a time when the show was an established hit. What’s it like to be a staff writer on one of the biggest sitcoms ever? Good thing Stoller wrote a book about it, and you can get the Kindle edition for only $1.99. And yes, you can read it on your PC if you don’t have a Kindle.
I know that guy!
Stoller tells an engaging story, from how he started in the industry as awkward as the characters he portrays, up to his time working with David and Seinfeld while an asshole writer on staff actively tries to sabotage his success, right through to the end of his first and only year on staff and what happened after. We’re not going to recap the story, it’s a quick read well worth your time and money that you should check out on your own, we’re just going to tell you why you should read it.
If you’ve ever striven for that goal that society tells every kid they can reach, if you’ve toiled at a crap job dreaming of something better, this story will strike a chord. Because every kid who wants to be President won’t grow up to be President, and NASA only picks so many astronauts and there’s no demand for cowboys or ninjas in today’s economy. Not all of us can live our dream, but Fred Stoller is a guy who hasn’t stopped trying and, in doing so, has definitely made a mark. Because you know him. You may not know you know him, but you do.
Read the book. It’s great insight into behind the scenes writing for one of the biggest comedy shows of all time. It’s a chronicle of one of those “that guy” actors who you love to see but you never see enough of. It’s a fun and funny story and includes a story about getting rejected by a Klingon. Awesome.