LET PEAS BE WITH YOU (And Books)
"It's a treat to read...absurdly unique!"
Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara
"Love the book!"
"Very good! Ron Smith's a very talented man. You'll get a big kick out of LET PEAS BE WITH YOU."
"I'll mind my peas -- the queues can still line up at the movies. NICE book!"
"Charming and fun!"
"I greatly enjoyed LET PEAS BE WITH YOU."
STARS OF STAND-UP COMEDY (Garland)
"A lively biographical encyclopedia that will be in demand...thoroughly entertaining...a long overdue and perceptively rendered volume that will function as both a valuable reference item and as a fun browsing compendium."
"Comprehensive...interesting, informative and readable text; one could have an enjoyable time flipping from one entry to another, culling facts not only about the comics but also about social mores, history, and the American character...well researched and reliable...a most useful and fun purchase."
American Reference Books Annual
"A standout book on stand-up comedians...he writes with empathy...What gives Smith's book its value is that...he describes the comic with well chosen excerpts from the routines. Smith can also usually chart the life path and the extenuating circumstances that produced the style. He is very good and comprehending on Lenny Bruce...and Smith's long entry on Mort Sahl captures remarkably the incisive style of a comic satirist...there are two kinds of reference books about show business: very good and fairly awful...good ones answer hard questions, surprise you with facts you didn't know and are impossible to put down because one revelation leads to another."
Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times
"Wise and insightful...I'm sure that as much as I know about the business I'll have frequent occasion to refer to it."
COSBY (Various editions)
"Warm, likable bio...sincere and funny and richly human."
"This remarkable biography overflows with anecdotes and remembrances of Bill Cosby. Full of the comedian's creative wit and compassion, COSBY offers a rare and insightful look at one of America's favorite funny men."
Star-Gazette, Elmira, New York
"...a good blend of facts and anecdotes make for an easy to read, concise biography...Smith's comfortable writing style should warrant recognition."
News & Courier, Charleston S.C.
"Chockful of interesting anecdotes and biographical information...presented heartwarmingly and with insight."
Philadelphia Daily News
"What comes through is a picture of a funny, well-liked and down to earth man."
"...a warm, relaxed kind of book, much in Cosby's own style."
"Smith, a recognized writer on comedy and comedians, masterfully documents Cosby...and reveals the well-loved entertainer's feelings and thoughts in rich detail."
"An entertaining look at the gifted comedian and entertainer."
"Smith successfully places Cosby's stand-up career in the context of the times: assessing his competition , tracing his influences, recounting some of his difficulties and triumphs. Best of all, he explains, with the help of quotes from Cosby's first manager, how painstakingly the two of them worked on those early monologues."
WHO'S WHO IN COMEDY (Facts on File)
"Smith, author of Stars of Stand-Up Comedy, offers this comprehensive encyclopedia. The book's approximately 450 entries, from Abbott and Costello to Zeb and Zarrow, includes well-knowns like Jackie Gleason and Lucille Ball, as well as lesser-knowns like Huntz Hall and Minerva Pious. Almost 100 years of funny people are covered...Excellent...This reference is a must purchase!"
"Smith provides real names; dates of birth and death;' listings of audio, Broadway, film, print, television and video appearances; and indexes of nicknames and character names, catch phrases and category...Well done and recommended."
"Smith analyzes and critcizes the comic genius of each of his 450 subjects...(compared to Quinlan's Illustrated Directory of Film Comedy Actors) Smith's livelier, more analytical essays provide more depth. For example, they trace the influence of one comedian on others, excerpt their most memorable bits, and quote from interviews that provide insights into character and motivation...It will be a dull popular culture or entertainment collection that lacks Quinlan's book and a downright dreadfully dull one that omits Smith's."
Wilson Library Bulletin
"Fun to read. Its charm is partly due to its ability to evoke nostalgia as well as to deliver interesting information in a charming style...The book is handsomely produced and should provide many hours of delightful reading."
American Reference Books Annual
"The book succeeds admirably...This is an entertaining information source on the wacky and wonderful world of American comedy. Though arranged in a traditional alphabetical format, the work reads well as a browsing book. It highlights not only the lives of the comic artists included but also underscores the variety and richness of twentieth century comedy. Recommended!
JOHNNY CARSON: AN UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY (St. Martin's Press)
"Pleasing...more replenishing than Paul Corkery's "Carson." Smith is much tighter, more straightforward, (including) a charming interview with Carson's first grade school girlfriend...touches all the bases and nicely seasoned with that Carson wit."
"Smith's strong suit is his presentation of the battles between network management and Carson, shedding some light on the influences that come to bear when a star uses his television vehicle as leverage for money and power...His fans will be pleased."
The Washington Post
"It is an eminently readable compilation of facts and anecdotes, and an insightful portrait of the performer."
"Anecdote filled. Like Paul Corkery's recent "Carson," Smith's account was written without the subject's cooperation, but unlike the earlier effort, it manages to be quite juicy."
"The second biography of the popular performer to appear this fall...Like Corkery, Smith has interviewed many of Carson's associates and acquaintances...Johnny Carson is the better book. It is simply better written and more interesting to read."
BEDSIDE BOOK OF CELEBRITY SEX QUIZZES (Crown)
"Tantalizing...reveals sizzling Hollywood secrets...How well do you know the love lives of your favorite celebrities? Here's your chance to find out..."
"Want to melt ice in the winter? Try some of these quotes! They're hot enough to sizzle...wild words from sexy celebs!"
COMEDY ON RECORD (Garland)
"A monumental effort...the ultimate book for fans of comedy records authored by Ronald
Smith. And Smith's impressive credentials in the comedy field certainly qualify him to delve into such a magnificent task..."Comedy on Record" is "THE" book comedy record fans worldwide will appreciate as not only is it a book on comedy on record, it is an encyclopedia, listing virtually every comedy record album released in the United States...And what an encyclopedia. Page after page of mini-biographies providing the reader with in-depth information...virtually boggles one's mind...there's also a list of Grammy Award winners and those artists honored with Gold Awards from the Recording Industry of America...It's truly an incredible work...a must read for the countless fans of comedy on record everywhere. A job well done."
Movie Collector's World
"It's intended as a reference work, but Ronald L. Smith's hefty new tome is a compulsively readable book, informative and often very amusing...Amply fulfilling its stated goal, "Comedy on Record" lists and rates, often in considerable detail, virtually every comedy album ever released. Delightful and enlightening...a wealth of solid (and sometimes bizarre) information...Smith's judgements are on target."
Larry Kart, Chicago Tribune
"Comedy on Record is a valuable reference, combining a catalog of virtually every comedy album released in America and an encyclopedia containing brief biographies of the comedians and in-depth evaluations stating the record's general interest, artistic and critical merit...Recommended."
SWEETHEARTS OF 60'S TV (St. Martin's Press)
"The book aims to satisfy the curiosity of devoted fans who might wonder which of the men stranded on Gilligan's Island would have been the best match for Mary Ann and what Diana Rigg has done since leaving The Avengers...nostalgic baby boomers will find this book irresistible!"
"Ronald Smith has come up with an amiable volume of profiles of 16 "girls next door, dream wives, comic cuties, fantasy figures and women of action" on TV...ultimately belong(s) on the shelf next to People."
"Enjoyable, easy to read...entertaining."
Pilot-News, Plymouth, Indiana
Interesting...it answers the whatever happened to questions about these actresses. Mr. Smith also tells how the actresses got their starts, and lists Broadway plays, movies and other TV shows they starred in. I was particularly fascinated by Goldie Hawn and Judy Carne...this book is worth a look!"
Baltimore Morning Sun
"Turn on television any hour of the day or night, and you might think it was the 1960's. Reruns abound...Thus, while this survey of the decade's female stars certainly has nostalgic appeal, it's also surprisingly au courant. Smith's profiles introduce the stars, give a bit of their background, describe their moments in the sun, and tell readers where they are now...Buy this one for fun!"
"Drooling over women on TV has evidently been part of Ronald L. Smith's pathology for some time...endearingly forthright..."
Village Voice Literary Supplement
THE COMEDY QUOTE DICTIONARY (Doubleday)
"A hoot of a book...he has gathered together some of the brightest moments and lines from the best comedic minds of all time. Many of these bits will make you laugh out loud...Marvelous!"
The Coast Book Review
"Pick a topic, any topic, and Ronald L. Smith has a zinger for you...and among the 2,000 or so quotes, quips and jokes from this century's funniest men and women, there's nary a groaner."
Los Angeles Daily News
SEXUAL HUMOR (S.P.I.)
"Great! A smart buy! Where else can you get hours of guaranteed sex and fun for just five bucks — and not have enormous doctor bills afterward?"
WHO'D SAY THAT? (S.P.I.)
"Celebrities say the darndest things. And Ronald L. Smith has collected their most outrageous quotes in his hilarious new quiz book!"
THE FIGHT FOR TONIGHT (S.P.I.)
"Smith's 15th book...is a riveting behind-the-scenes account of backstabbing, bullying and network nitpicking that goes all the way back to the first successful late night show, "Broadway Open House," starring Jerry Lester, who was soon upstaged by television's first blonde bombshell, Dagmar. Throughout, the reader sees producers, agents, network executives and performers at their self-serving, preening worst. But the last are also seen at their best. Many of the great moments of late night television are faithfully recalled, and they have not lost their luster.
COMIC SUPPORT: Second Bananas in the Movies (Citadel)
"This book is a real sleeper: word-and-picture profiles of 170 comic supporting players, everyone from Iris Adrian and Luis Alberni to Marie Wilson and Monty Woolley. Yes, 170 of the best-loved players in movie history, most of whom never got the credit they deserved. But now they do. Ron Smith captures each one with a fine personal and career profile, plus a rare photo. And no skimping: the average profile runs about one and a half oversized pages. You get elusive birth and death dates, plus valuable extras...In short, a wonderful reading-and-reference book..."
"Full time drunks, society ladies, prissy sales clerks and silly sidekicks — they're all here from Iris Adrian to Marie Wilson, a collection of straight men and zanies long unappreciated to all except the ever faithful film buff..its good photos, trim bios and "selected film and stage appearances" recommends it...There's a certain scandal-drenched joy in these 200 profiles that give it appeal...Jack Weston's "flag desecration," Carol Wayne's drowning and Walter Catlett's "legendary drinking" — pithy comments lend notoriety to people too often blended into the anonymity of Tinseltown's various stock companies."
Films in Review
GOLDMINE COMEDY RECORD PRICE GUIDE (Krause)
"Media comedy maven and prolific author Ronald Smith presents much more than a collectors' guide with this addictive volume; his exhaustive (but never exhausted) coverage of thousands of comedy records...offers a comeplling pop-cultural history...In addition to his informed reviews (often amusing in their own right), Smith includes helpful excerpts from the records themselves...No comedy aficionado can afford to be without this essential volume."
NEW IN 1998:
COMEDY STARS AT 78 RPM (McFarland)
"A book which should benefit record collectors and vintage entertainment fans...The 89 biographical profiles are concise and include samples of each performer's routines. Real names and birth and death dates are included...Smith lists original cylinder or 78 releases, giving titles and original stock numbers...the book provides information on scores of obscure entertainers...supplies much helpful data and does so entertainingly."
Past Times, November 1998
"Deals with a curious but interesting mix of performers...Abbott and Costello,
Nora Bayes, Fanny Brice...Butterbeans and Susie, Red Ingle and Robert J. Wildhack,
Arthur Askey, Billy Bennett, Albert Chevalier, Billy Merson, George Robey and others...The author knows his subject well and provides some fascinating tidbits."
Anthony Slide, Classic Images
THE MAIN PAGE
THE COMEDY MUSEUM
THE STOOGE FAN'S I.Q. TEST
DEAD COMEDIANS OF NEW YORK
RON'S LAUGHABLE BIOGRAPHY
A Look at My Ol' Magazine, RAVE
TRIBUTE to OFFICER JOE BOLTON
My sister April's novel "NORTH OF MONTANA" was so successful it was printed in a bewildering variety of languages all around the world.