Literary Screening Room

Schlemiel, schlimazel: Fred Armisen is Penny Marshall (almost)

September 13, 2012|by Carolyn Kellogg

How do you think of Penny Marshall? I remember her as Laverne on "Laverne and Shirley," playing the funny, loud, brash Laverne. I wanted to be loud and brash, but, as these things go, I was a Shirley, all type A and buttoned-up. That was probably how most of us who watched TV in the '70s got to know her, as a comedienne on a sitcom.

People who got to know her in the 1980s and '90s will think of her as a film director. "Big" with Tom Hanks. "Awakenings" with Robin Williams. "A League of Their Own" with Geena Davis and Madonna. Those are some major, awards-magnet, box-office topping movies.

Those who do not know Penny Marshall yet will meet her in the book trailer above, portrayed by by -- yipes! -- Fred Armisen. Armisen ("Saturday Night Live," "Portlandia") is a comic genius, if you ask me, but that doesn't mean he always looks pretty in drag. As Penny Marshall? He's -- well, you decide.

Penny Marshall's memoir "My Mother Was Nuts" is being published Sept. 18 by Amazon Publishing.


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