My Favorite Year (1982)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Drama

My Favorite Year (1982) Poster

A dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show.




  • Adolph Green and Cameron Mitchell in My Favorite Year (1982)
  • Cameron Mitchell in My Favorite Year (1982)
  • Peter O'Toole in My Favorite Year (1982)
  • My Favorite Year (1982)
  • Lainie Kazan in My Favorite Year (1982)
  • Joseph Bologna in My Favorite Year (1982)

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11 January 2006 | ijonesiii
| "I'm Not an Actor...I'm a Movie Star!!"
The 1982 comedy MY FAVORITE COMEDY was a lovingly made period piece that takes place during a wonderful time in entertainment history...the infancy of live television in the 1950's (or more specifically, YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS). This laugh-filled comic romp follows the adventures of Benji (Mark Linn-Baker), a gopher for COMEDY CALVACADE (this film's version of YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS), who is excited when a swashbuckling actor of the period named Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole) has been booked as a guest on the show turns out to be a skirt-chasing alcoholic who Benji is put in charge of keeping under control until showtime. This movie is a lovely valentine to the 1950's with exquisite period detail and an intelligent screenplay that invokes the period so beautifully. O'Toole gives the performance of a lifetime as Swann, an alternately laugh out loud funny and heartbreakingly warm performance that earned him an Oscar nomination, yet somehow Linn-Baker somehow manages to hold his own and never allows O'Toole to blow him off the screen. O' Toole and Linn-Baker get solid support from Lainie Kazan as Benji's mother, Joseph Bologna as King Kaiser, the star of Comedy Calvacade, Cameron Mitchell as a not-too bright gangster, and Adolph Green as the manic producer of the show. A good looking, smartly-written superbly written comedy that documents a long gone era in entertainment history and tells a warm and amusing story as well.

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Did You Know?


Cameron Mitchell was offered his part after the filmmakers happened to see him in the studio commissary while discussing who to cast as Rojeck.


Sy: Leo, it gets me sick to think we gotta put up with some washed-up jaboni who's gonna be running around Central Park with his schlong hangin' out!
Alan Swann: My dear fellow, what I choose to do with my schlong is my business.
Sy: How's business?
Alan Swann: Never better.


As Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole) and Benjy Stone (Mark Linn-Baker) are preparing to leave for dinner on their first night together, Swann says that as a dramatic actor, he doesn't understand comedy, and then quotes the great English actor Edmund Kean as having said on his deathbed, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard." In fact, there is no evidence that Kean was the one responsible for that line. According to director George Seaton, character actor Edmund Gwenn is indeed supposed to have said something similar (though not quite as eloquent) on his deathbed, although Gwenn died in 1959, and thus could not have been quoted by Swann in a movie set in 1954.

Alternate Versions

The version of "My Favorite Year" syndicated to (American) broadcast television contains at least three extra scenes:

  • At the beginning of the film, Benjy Stone is carrying a cardboard cutout of Alan Swann into the RCA Building; as he dashes to an elevator in the lobby, the theatrical version jumps to Benjy's arrival in the writers' office. But in the broadcast version, we see Benjy take the elevator up; also on the elevator is K.C., who ignores Benjy's attempts to engage her in conversation.
  • The broadcast version extends the rehearsal of the "Boss Hijack" sketch to include several more pieces of business, including the illusion of steam shooting out of King Kaiser's ears.
  • Following Benjy and Alan's wild horse ride through Central Park, the broadcast version adds a shot of the horse parked in front of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.


Performed by
Nat 'King' Cole (as Nat King Cole)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael (uncredited)
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish (uncredited)
Courtesy of Capitol Records Inc.
Heard during opening credit sequence


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama

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