Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In Richard Benjamin's directorial debut, Mark Linn-Baker stars as Benjy Stone, junior writer on the popular 1950s TV comedy/variety series The King Kaiser Show. Kaiser (Joseph Bologna)'s guest star this week is Hollywood matinee idol Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole), a swashbuckling Errol Flynn type, right down to his indiscriminate womanizing and fondness for mass quantities of booze. Stone is assigned to keep the actor out of trouble during rehearsals and deliver him sober to the performance. Becoming fast friends, Stone and Swann alternate baby-sitting responsibilities: Swann takes the young writer to the Stork Club and on an early-morning jaunt through Central Park with a "borrowed" police horse, while Stone takes Swann to his home, where the star is fawned over by Benji's mom (Lainie Kazan) and asked embarrassing questions about his love life by Uncle Morty (Lou Jacobi). Despite a few anxious moments, all goes well until Swann, panicking at the discovery that King Kaiser's show will be telecast live and not on film, walks out just before airtime. Shamed by Benjy into honoring his committment, Swann makes a spectacular, timber-smashing entrance, saving the show and rescuing Kaiser from being rubbed out by a gangster (Cameron Mitchell) whom the comedian has offended. The film co-stars Jessica Harper, Gloria Stuart and Selma Diamond, a real-life comedy writer for Sid Caesar. My Favorite Year was converted into an unsuccessful Broadway musical in the early 1990s.
alcoholism, stars [celebrities], behind-the-scenes, television, aging, chaperone, comeback, drunk, escapades, friendship, Hollywood, self-discovery, swashbuckler, womanizer, personality, writing, against-all-odds, gigolo, nightclub
High Artistic Quality, Sleeper