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Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writer's Guide to Seeing Stars


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In this era of classic TV reboots, there's a comfort level in the familiar. But shaking things up and reaching outside of one's comfort zone is still championed in art, economics, and politics, and still linked with the biggest classic TV show character's opposite-winning method to the madness, Seinfeld's George Costanza. (Larry David told this author: "You are George.") The strategy behind Costanza's madness has been heralded in industries worldwide and even likened to the rise of Trump. As for audiences "returning home" again with reboots, this book offers up "new" Seinfeld episodes and the dozens of stories this author pitched as a writer and program consultant on the show... that never made it to air.

The award-winning writer and performer and only scribe associated with Cheers, Seinfeld and 3rd Rock from the Sun -- who first reflected on doing everything the opposite in his own life before helping Costanza grab onto the brass ring -- unleashes decades of creativity in... Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writer's Guide to Seeing Stars, by Andy Cowan, Foreword by Jay Leno.

Cowan also identifies traces of "the opposite" in the many film and TV legends he mined for anecdotes before the cameras rolled at his first Hollywood job in the '80s on The Merv Griffin Show (including Orson Welles' appearance on the last evening of his life), on which he also became a recurring performer, and in numerous stops along his unique road of comedy writing and performing twists and turns.

Readers will uncover persistence rising above daunting odds... in-the-trenches comedy creation and performing strategies, talk show, sitcom and single panel cartoon development, and the resolve it takes to do “the opposite” of give up and still creatively flourish after forty years of wandering the Southern California desert’s peaks and valleys. With these over 400-page “commandments,” Andy Cowan reaches and imparts his own “promised land” of redemption.

"Andy Cowan lives the life we generally leave unexamined. He examines. Then he re-examines. Then he postulates, examines again and finally writes about it. The result is insanely wise, madly funny and completely endearing. Read this book. Laugh, enjoy and discuss." - Jason Alexander

"Wonderfully written, Banging My Head is a creative tour de force and personal journey of admirable determination that shines a light on what it takes to keep going in Hollywood even when you feel like doing "the opposite." After absorbing the wealth of funny, smart and painstakingly rendered projects Andy has generated over the years, you'll understand how the arbiters of what gets on the air don't always represent a meritocracy." - Dan Piraro, Creator, award-winning King Features panel, Bizarro

"Andy Cowan's career is a ballad of talent and tenacity in equal measure. Banging My Head Against the Wall offers an unflinching and entertaining account of the show business roller coaster, which for Andy always seems to flicker between sky-scraping exhilaration and deep nausea." - Rob Burnett, Executive Producer/Head Writer, Late Show with David Letterman

"After reading this lovingly executed groundswell of creativity, you too will know Andy remains one of the industry's sharpest comedy minds. This is the first book I've ever recommended that doesn't have recipes in it." - Louie Anderson

"Andy Cowan's unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect." - Michael Harrison, Publisher, Talkers Magazine

Crafting a blurb for a gifted writer like Andy Cowan is intimidating stuff - kinda like being asked to take batting practice for Pete Rose or to tap out a few keys in front of Billy Joel. Banging My Head clearly displays Andy's gifts." - Michael Smerconish, Sirius XM, CNN

"Boomers will get a bang out of classic Hollywood and Seinfeld fans of all ages will savor a season's worth of inspired new episodes that never were. I thoroughly enjoyed this front row seat to Andy Cowan's life story. Can't wait for the sequel." - Hank Rosenfeld, co-author of The Wicked Wit of the West, with Marx Brothers screenwriter, Irving Brecher

"For a great inside look at show business, you'll get the most bang for your buck with Banging My Head Against the Wall." - Ken Levine, Emmy-winning writer/producer/director, M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons.

"Andy Cowan lives in a different universe than we do. Fortunately, it's a much funnier and more entertaining place and this book is our ticket in." - Bart Tessler, EVP News and Talk Programming, Westwood One

"It's my job to know Funny, so I know Funny. Andy Cowan is Funny." - Amy Lago - Comics Editor, Washington Post Writers Group

"A must-read for students of comedy and anyone thinking of pursuing this crazy business!" - Morgan Langley, Executive Producer, Cops

"Andy Cowan's time has finally come." - David Steinberg

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