101 Funniest Screenplays

Nominated for a Writers Guild Award, the script by Norman Steinberg and Dennis Palumbo is set in the backstage world of a comedy-variety series in TV’s Golden Age. A newbie writer, Benji Stone, is assigned to babysit a washed-up Hollywood star named Alan Swann, who quavers at the idea of doing live TV. My Favorite Year, which earned Peter O’Toole an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, was said to be based on Mel Brooks’ experiences backstage with the boozing Errol Flynn, when Flynn was guest starring on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and Brooks was one of Caesar’s writers. Brooks was a producer of My Favorite Year, and Steinberg had been one of his writers on Blazing Saddles. Palumbo, Steinberg’s co-writer, has gone on to become a well-known psychotherapist for the creative community and author of the book Writing from the Inside Out.