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.
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.
"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?
- Jack Merritt
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.