Nov 14, 2013
One of the happier accidents in my career came when I was adopted by the Friedmans.
Oh, I wasn’t an orphan – not that there is anything wrong with that – but the Friedman family, originally of New York, has been very kind to me.
First was caricaturist Drew Friedman, currently best known for his series of art books featuring Old Jewish Comedians. Becoming friends with him was an outgrowth of a slight in my biography of comic book master Will Eisner. Drew has been on the show twice, the second time spending time with my daughter and me at the International Society of Caricature Artists convention two years ago in St. Pete Beach.
KIPP FRIEDMAN podcast excerpt: "I spent a lot of time marveling at this marvelous creature with the fangs and colored gills. I would touch its button-like, dark eyes. The fangs reminded me of Lon Chaney, Sr. in the silent horror movie, 'London After Midnight,' which I saw pictures of in 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' magazine. That barracuda brought me back to my dad's office study and I was then able to piece back together again what his office conditions were like."
When Drew’s father, popular novelist, playwright and screenwriter Bruce Jay Friedman, published his memoir Lucky Bruce, Drew convinced his dad to come on the show and do a video interview. He was delightful and it’s a conversation anyone interested in Bruce’s body of work or writing in general should watch.
Today I’m joined by the youngest of the three Friedman boys, Kipp, who has just released his own memoir of life in the Friedman family, Barracuda in the Attic.
Barracuda is actually the Friedman book that is closest to my own experience. We’re roughly the same age and were influenced – and scared – by many of the same pop culture moments of the last half century, from comic books and horror films to both of us in the mid-1960s standing at Yankee Stadium and seeing Mickey Mantle hit one of the final home run blasts of his career.