Bonkers: My Life in Laughs
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Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names. But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving, and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends, and occasional heartache—but never misery. This memoir is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, and touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn. There's cancer, too, when she becomes "Brave Jen." But her biggest battle is with the bane of her life: the Laws of Procrastination. As she admits, "There has never been a Plan. Everything has been fairly random, happened by accident or just fallen into place. I'm off now, to do some sweeping." Prepare to chuckle, whoop, and go bonkers.
of a red duvet cover. Robin Williams! I had four comedy heroes at this time – Robin, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers – and throughout my life since have managed to meet them all. I’ve never been disappointed. All are, or were, geniuses and took risks. Mr Pastry took a back seat for a while. When he came offstage, Robin was sweaty and didn’t have a spare T-shirt, so I gave him mine. A blue striped T-shirt. I gave my T-shirt to Robin Williams. I told him he could keep it, hoping that
instincts are nearly always right. I rang Ruby, who confirmed that Joanna was brilliant and that I HAD to have her. So a small room was organized, and Joanna came in to read a scene. This was really for her benefit, so she could see what she might be getting into, and have the opportunity to choose not to. We read a scene that was set in a car, and so sat on two wooden chairs, next to each other. It was quite awkward. I couldn’t really explain the character to her and had entirely forgotten my
Jennifer SAUNDERS: Je vais me réveiller, elles vont disparaître … Catherine DENEUVE: Vous les connaissez? Jennifer SAUNDERS: On a été présentée. There are some fairly complicated words in there, I’m sure you’ll agree, dear reader. Some words with accents and one especially nasty word with a hat on. Abi quickly became a CD for practice purposes, and we tried the lines again and again. But I couldn’t get them! And, if I tried them with the accent, I simply brought up phlegm. Suddenly I was
FAX FROM: Jennifer Saunders DATE: 1 February 1998 Dear Goldie, I faxed you some pages late on Friday so you should have up to page 94. If not let me know as my machine often puts them through in clumps and I was not here as it was faxing. I have read through it and it is not good. I know it is not good – soulless and no direction but I am pressing on to the end and will go back then. Anyhow – I’m ploughing on and can’t apologize enough for last week. Lesson is always limit your
entertained and absolutely everything is done to ensure you get on that stage in the best possible nick. Or, at the least, that you get on that stage. I used to think that it was odd how, on film sets and in studios, the actors are fussed over the whole time; they just sit and have teas, coffees, newspapers and food brought to them, and they are constantly accompanied by a runner. Now I realize that this is simply practical. The production team want all the actors in one place, where they can