THE MAN WHO CANCELLED HIMSELF by David Handler

THE MAN WHO CANCELLED HIMSELF

KIRKUS REVIEW

 TV comic Lyle Hudnut is in such deep doo-doo--he's been caught in a Vice sweep of a New York adult cinema--that he needs the best ghostwriter on earth to write his comeback autobiography. So Stewart Hoag (The Boy Who Never Grew Up, 1992, etc.) gets the job--and the unwanted extra writing credit of ``feelings specialist'' on Hudnut's The Uncle Chubby Show. Hoagy dusts off his notebook and invites confidences from Uncle Chubby's stable of writers, his ex-wife (and costar) Fiona Shrike, his pneumatic fiancÇe Katrina Tingle, grim supervising network exec Marjorie Daw (``Chuckles''), debuting regular Chad Roe, and of course Uncle Chubby himself, who swears the Vice bust was a setup. The story that tumbles out, awash in tell-all detail (as usual, TV veteran Handler gives full measure in building up his comically monstrous cast), shows a gifted, insecure, volcanically angry control freak evidently compounded of equal parts Fatty Arbuckle, Pee-Wee Herman, John Belushi, and Sir John Falstaff. But the real action is taking place off-camera and off- page: Somebody bombs one of the studio sets, doses the crew's takeout chili with ipecac, and then, as Hoagy's been half- expecting, starts to kill people (not Uncle Chubby, but you're close). A tough order for Hoagy, who's already busy stiffing reporters demanding to know just who got his Oscar-winning ex, Merilee Nash, pregnant. The identity of the killer is less surprising than that of Merilee's elusive lover. Even so, Handler's easy mastery of sitcom cant and sitcom madness will keep you reading long after you've given up on the conscientious, forgettable plot.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-42160-5
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1994




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