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Andy Kaufman, Revealed! Andy Kaufman, Revealed!

Was Andy Kaufman nuts? Was he a genius? Maybe he was both. I'm still not sure. What I am sure about was that working with his best friend and writing partner, Bob Zmuda, was never dull. Late one night, after I sent Zmuda the first 120 pages, he phoned me. His voice was grave. "Yeah, Matt... listen, don't write any more until I get back into town. We gotta talk." I froze. Bob knew all about the nightmare fiasco with the co-author on my previous (never to be finished) book. My vision blurred in a horrid deja vu. I was sick. He let me twist in the wind for a few moments then burst into laughter and told me the truth: he loved it. I had just been Kaufmanized. Then there was the night Zmuda and I made an embarrassingly large dent in the wine cellar at Pinot Hollywood. Never pit a Pole against a Dane in a drinking contest because it gets ugly fast. I loved writing this book for a lot of reasons—Zmuda's insane humor, trying to crack each other up, my access to the amazing Kaufman Archive, but mainly, the entire time I was tapping away at the keyboard I had the feeling Andy was right there, looking over my shoulder.

Confessions of an Enron Executive Confessions of an Enron Executive: A Whistleblower's Story

It's been said that war is hell. Well, sometimes so is writing. When Lynn Brewer started telling me her stories about the four years she spent at Enron, all I could think of was the Mad Hatter's tea party. Book proposals have usually taken me two to three months to write, but because time was of the essence, I did this one in a record five days. We immediately sold it and delivered a manuscript several months later. Then everything went bad. What transpired over the next six months would be worthy of its own book (horror genre), that is, if Lynn and I, and my wife, Stephanie, were legally permitted to talk about it. Which we're not. Then, after all that, like Monty Python's dead guys, it got better. The book is still selling and we have some great war stories.

It's In The Book, Bob It's In The Book, Bob

I know this for sure: Bob Eubanks is one busy guy. When a publicist wanted to get us together to write this book, all I knew about Bob was that he was "that guy from the Newlywed Game." I couldn't have been more wrong. Who Bob turned out to be was a sort of Zelig of the entertainment business in the latter half of the 20th century. After a dizzying recitation of his accomplishments, I found out he was one of the first concert promoters to hire the Beach Boys, he brought the Beatles to LA, managed Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton (among many others), and on top of all that, was instrumental in putting together countless concerts and events, including "The Thrilla In Manila." Throw into the mix that he also created or hosted (or both) a long list of television shows, produced films, and even presents a highly respected art show on his ranch twice a year, being the music and pop culture fiend that I am I had to write his book.

It's In The Book, Bob Worse Than He Says He Is:
White Girls Don't Bounce

The year following the publication of Pest Control, our agent called and said he had a new client: the ex-wife of basketball clown prince Dennis Rodman. Annie was ready to answer Dennis's 1996 bestselling tell-all Bad As I Wanna Be with her side of the story and it was a doozy. Time was of the essence so I quickly wrote a book proposal (my first) and our agent sold it in a bidding war between Dove Publishing and St. Martin's. Dove offered six figures but with the proviso that because the NBA playoffs were coming up, with Dennis's Chicago Bulls a lock to participate, the book had to be written within thirty days. We told our agent that Dove was fucking nuts. Then we debated for five or ten seconds and took the deal. We wrote the book in twenty-seven days—so fast the contract and payments weren't completed until after we were done.

The afternoon we shipped the manuscript to our editors—and once they phoned to say they were delighted—Bill and I sparked a couple of Cuban Romeo y Julietas on my pool deck to celebrate. Our other agents at UTA were worried we would be associated with such salacious material so they cautioned us to publish under a pseudonym. We chose our middle names. Not to worry though, despite some scathing reviews (mostly from decent God-fearing folks who saw Annie as a foul, gold mining harlot), we had quite a few compliments. Many, including our editors, were surprised it was as good as it was. I heard that baseball superstar and literary critic Alex Rodriguez considered it one of his favorite books. And I even got a another book deal off it, with my editor recommending me to a publicist for the Kaufman book. So there's that.

Oh, and that title was publisher Michael Viner's idea, not ours.

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