I don’t watch Saturday Night Live. I don’t own a television, and I do own a 10-month-old baby, so you do the math. But that didn’t stop me from being riveted, absolutely riveted, by an oral history of the show called Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, by James Miller and Tom Shales, published in 2002. Until then I didn’t realize that Chris Farley pooping out a 17th story window of Rockefeller Center was something I needed to know about. It turns out it was.
Now Miller and Shales have given ESPN the same treatment in a new book called Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, and the results are almost as good. Their M.O. is to talk to pretty much everybody who’s ever been anywhere near the network and then weave the quotes from them into a single seamless narrative, presented verbatim with very little commentary, focusing on key transitions and deals and famous and infamous moments.