Fred Stoller is best known for being "that guy" in classic sitcoms like Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, and Everybody Loves Raymond, and he recalls his life of almost-fame in this humorous and revealing memoir. Ray Chase gives an uncanny performance that uses a languid and slightly adenoidal voice to mimic Stoller's droopy, sad sack persona. It isn't all an act, however, as Stoller examines the downsides of his success with a bracing forthrightness to go along with the juicy tales of the celebrities he's worked with, making Maybe We'll Have You Back a candid look at TV's perennial guest star.
Fred Stoller has played the annoying schnook in just about every sitcom you've seen on TV - Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, Hannah Montana, My Name Is Earl - and was even a staff writer for Seinfeld, but he's never found a solid gig. When it comes to Hollywood, it's a case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride, except in his case he's always the snarky waiter, the mopey cousin, or Man Number Two.
This hilarious and bittersweet rags-to-rags story of the hardest-working guy in showbiz follows Fred, who started his career as a stand-up comic, from set to set as he tries to find a permanent home for his oddball character. With candor, Fred shares stories of his great adventures pounding the Hollywood pavement, including a humiliating encounter with Billy Crystal, a disastrous one-night stand with Kathy Griffin, and plenty of awkward run-ins at craft service tables. And he always shares his ups and downs with his skeptical yet loving mother waiting by the phone in Brooklyn.
Everyone can relate to searching for a dream job or their next big break, and will root for Fred as he weaves his way through the cutthroat world of Tinseltown.
©2013 Fred Stoller (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"I don't know why Fred was never a regular on a show. Maybe because he's annoying...just kidding!" (Ray Romano)
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"Who in the world is Fred Stoller?"
I like hearing stories about different kinds of jobs but who in the world was Fred Stoller? Well as it turns out everyone has seen him in as least some the hundreds of appearances he has made as a guest star but (as I learned from this book) guest stars should never outshines the lead actors. Fred is a regular guy who act and writes, he takes us through his career and what it takes to get these guest spots. It's really not about gossip but there is just the right amount sprinkled into the story. When you hear lead actors talk about their shows they certainly don't talk about what the lunch caterer served or if the crew was invited to eat of just the regulars. I laughed many times with his deadpan style as he would make fun of himself. My favorite was when he went up for a part that was described as a "Fred Stoller type" in the description and he didn't get the part! We learn about the casts of Murphy Brown, Everyone Loves Raymond and many others. Because he is also a writer, we also learn about what it is like from that standpoint. As a member of the Screenwriters Guild he was able to see movies for free for a short time every year, it was hilarious to hear how people who never spoke to him would try to get him to take them to movies or flat out ask for his pass.
This book kept pulling me back, I think I finished it in three days. In the end, I really liked this guy. I'll admit I YouTube'd him to see who he was, then; "oh yeah, I remember him". It was delightful to see the television business from the unique angle
I would have preferred Fred reading it himself but the narrator did a great job and I often had to remind myself that in was not Stoller speaking.
Good job Fred!
"As Good As It Gets"
This audiobook ranks near the top of the dozens I have in my Audible collection.
I worked with Fred Stoller for a few days twenty years ago and picked this book up on a whim when I saw it listed.
It far exceeded any expectations I might have had.
"Maybe We'll Have You Back" is funny, revealing, poignant and extremely informative; I can't imagine that a better book has ever been written about what life is like for a character actor in the TV trenches.
Not incidentally, I was a bit concerned that the audiobook is read by Ray Chase and not Fred - but I quickly discovered that Chase reads the material with a perfect approximation of the author's Brooklyn cadence and inflections. I think he does Fred better than Fred.
A must listen.
It's a toss-up between Fred and Fred's mom...
His performance is natural, fluid and perfectly captures Fred Stoller's comedy rhythms.
It made me laugh several times. It did not make me cry at all.
"A man who overcomes obstacles to realize his dream"
It was an enjoyable experience listening to the ups and downs of carving out a unique niche in Hollywood.
"I found it very slow, plodding and repetitive."
I am a big Fred Stoller fan, but this book has a slow pace (which isn't surprising given it's Fred Stoller) and I found it rather boring. Most of the stories seem like variations on a theme (he can't get a regular gig), but the stories to me feel rather humorless, and that's a bad combination. Hard to get through.
"Fred is awesome!"
I just love Fred Stoller's story. It is great to hear his "behind the curtain" stories of his many appearances on so many television shows, etc. Fred is an original and seems to be a genuine person. Plus, you learn all kinds of fascinating tidbits about all the actors he has worked with over the years.
I was disappointed that the book wasn't read by Fred Stoller himself. I really enjoyed listening to Fred read his last book. Ray Chase did a fine job, but he's not Fred.
Give this book a try! You won't be disappointed! I'm waiting for the next one!
"Insightful and Heartbreaking"
The narrator was good but I wish the author would have read the book since he has such a distinctive and unique voice. The book was great and insightful. I loved it. It made me want to buy Fred Stoller a jacket.
"Funny Look at the Reality of Life as an Actor"
I thoroughly enjoyed Fred Stoller's account of his journey through tvland. I just wished he'd read the book himself. Fred's own voice would have enhanced the listening experience. The qualities he brings to his guest roles and voiceover characters would have enhanced the telling of his personal stories.
"I want more Fred Stoller"
I first heard Fred on Marc Marons podcast and became strangely obsessed with getting more of Freds story. This book was a great listen to, and while Ray Chase does a good job reading, I wish it had been Fred narrating. He has such a wonderfully unique voice and way of talking, I wonder why he opted out? Also, if you like show business stories and the general "inside baseball" talk of the business, this books gives you a unique view of the world behind the camera.
Love you Fred! Go on more Podcasts!
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