MARVIN KITMAN SHOW
(Click on links for selected reviews)
What the luminaries of the world are saying about
i am a VCR
By the authority invested in me by the vest I'm wearing, and the general ease with which I can be moved to laughter, I am willing to sign a sworn statement that Marvin Kitman is a very funny man. He would also very probably be a very funny woman, if he went around in drag. He is unique among television critics in that he himself writes much funnier material than most of the comedy shows he reviews.
Read him or die.
Saying good things about Kitman, I feel like the czar praising the Bolsheviks. But he is more than a television critic; he's one of the most insightful social observers we have today and he's funny, too. I don't care if Kitman does think I'm wonderful, brilliant, and handsome; I'm going to put the country's interest above mine and say: 'Turn off the tube and read this book!'
Marvin is the most enchanting creature in the cosmos (bar two, both of whose names I am not prepared to reveal). He also may be my father. Please support him by buying this dreadful book.
Marvin Kitman is ... well, ... nice to dogs, cats, and would be nice to farm animals if he ever saw one. Kitman is smart. Not too smart, but smart enough for what he does, which is writing criticism of television. So long as he leaves me alone, so long as he is cutting up somebody else, I have no objection .... just buy the book. It can't hurt.
Kitman is the best
television writer in American history. The man has no peers. Besides being
astute, he is literate and able to give fantastically accurate critiques of
[Signed] Napoleon Bonaparte , Rockwell County Lunatic Hospital
No one writing about television comes even close to Kitman for breadth of relevant and irrelevant knowledge. How many TV critics are authorities on George Washington's expense account? ... Even when I disagree, he makes me laugh, so it's hard to stay mad at him.
Joan Ganz Cooney
Having received a thinly veiled threat from Random House suggesting that a plug for Kitman's new book may insulate me from his scurrilous humor in the future, let me say that I reject blackmail in all its slimy forms. (Of course, I'm sure Marvin's new book will be a witty, breath-taking page turner.)
Reading Kitman is more entertaining than watching most television. If I say something nice like that, will he leave me alone?
It's hard to believe one man can be so funny. And funnily it's hard to believe one humorist can make so many serious points. This joker is wild.
Suspecting that someone who could write so appreciatively of my work could not really exist, I invited him to tea .... Not only did he exist but he proved to be as funny, perceptive and clean as his newspaper column ... a complete Renaissance man. I was only too happy to buy him tea. My only regret was that Marvin's wife had to pay for herself.
Like Enobarbus, I'll praise any man who praises me. Read this book.
Marvin sometimes tells more than he knows but his perceptions of what we see are most times right on the mark...
I've admired Kitman long enough to know that he is, indeed, a VCR, A Very Comedic Riter. (I work in radio. We don't need good spelling.) An insightful, savvy, even benignly savage one, too. He takes television precisely as seriously as it deserves to be taken. Taking him seriously will be the most reading fun you have this season.
You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover
(1970), Weybright &Talley
Marvin Kitman is, to put it mildly, funniest serious humorist to surface in America since the advent of Art Buchwald or H. L. Mencken. This fresh collection brings together the very best of his hilarious prose.
Kitman is the master strategist solved to save Leonia, New Jersey from Chinese missile attack by inviting Secretary of Defense Laird to install a silo in the Kitman backyard. He reasoned that the Chinese missiles would prove inaccurate, and he concluded that therefore the only safe place to live would be on top of the target.
Here, also, is the M. Kitman who founded
the Northern New Jersey School of Literary Criticism, and, as further
indication of the range of one man's astonishing talents, here too is the
farseeing politico whose advice President Nixon failed implement while
selecting his cabinet You'll also meet Kitman as wunderkind the man who
wrote the definitive on the telegram as art form, and Kitman the
cryptographer, the dedicated breaker who finally discovered the key to
understanding Marshall McLuhan: Give him your divided
Further Kitman explorations take the reader deep into the solar plexus of mid-century America: the new heroes- Harold Robbins, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Susann; the new finance-how to parlay hard-earned money into a corner on Imperial Russian railroad bonds; the new morality-- for an after-tax $250,000, 1 would be willing to give all of this up.
You can't always judge a book by its flap copy
either, so we have a suggestion: sample the first few pages of the book you now
hold in your hand. Then buy two copies and let your bookseller send the other
immediately to a laugh-starved relative or friend.
George Washington's Expense Account
by General George Washington and Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.),
also re-published by Harper Perennial in paperback
(April 22 1990)
TODAY IS George Washington's birthday, so just imagine this. The Mount Vernon (Va.) Bookstore has banned TV columnist Marvin Kitman's book about the father of our country, George Washington's Expense Account. This amusing work praised by The Times, The Washington Post, etc., became controversial suddenly when tourists began asking the guides if it were true that George smoked pot, really fell out of the boat while crossing the Delaware, etc. Officialdom in Mount Vernon was not amused
EXPENSE ACCOUNTS: Checking Up on George
George Washington left Philadelphia in the summer of 1775 to assume command of
the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass., he rode in a phaeton -brougham at the
taxpayers' expense-and the cost of the vehicle, recorded in his own neat hand,
came to $1,430. In terms of today's dollars, according to a new study of
Washington's wartime accounts, the phaeton was "the equivalent of roughly
twelve Cadillac broughams."
George Washington Expense
By Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman, Pfc.(ret)
285 pp. Simon & Schuster
By ROBIN W. WINKS
is what Washington scholars would call 'a little hatchet job.' " General
Washington's co-author admits as much. Now the Cherry Tree has had its revenge.
Not only has Pfc. (Ret.) Kitman cut the Father of His Country down to size, he
has undercut him: Washington's quality of mind "compares favorably to the
average big city banker of today." Just where this leaves you and the
General depends upon how you feel about your banker. Kitman leaves little to
chance however, for comparisons between the first General and the Eisenhower
crowd are frequent, irreverent, and also irrelevant.
(July 21 1970)
Washington Gets a Belated Audit
By McCandlish Phillips
expense account for the Revolutionary War, which was accepted by the Treasury
and settled with hardly a glance in 1783, has at last come under exacting
scrutiny. The self-assigned auditor of the general's account -which came to a
cool $449,000 in an eight-year span- is Marvin Kitman, author and critic.
American schoolboys, I had heard the story of how George Washington offered to
serve his country during the Revolutionary War without salary. In one of the
most stirring speeches in the annals of patriotism, after his election as
Commander-in-Chief in June 1775, he explained that all he asked of his new
country was that it pick up his expenses in the war against British tyranny.
Nothing much is heard in the classroom, however, about the equally stirring
expense account General Washington handed in after the war.
Marvin Kitman is the media critic of Newsday, and has the
distinction of being the only co-author of the General's whose books have been
banned at Mt. Vernon.
He is a member of the Washington Association of New Jersey, and winner of the Television Award of Merit from the Mary Ball Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (1990).
He is the author of numerous books, including "The Making of the Prefident 1789," ( soon to be a Major Motion Picture ) and many prize winning expense accounts.
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