Bernard Slade


"Bernard Slade is one of our finest comedy writers and in Shared Laughter he is at the top of his form. I defy anyone to get through even the first two paragraphs without laughing. This man is the ultimate craftsman and he has provided us with one of the best reads in years."
Jack Lemmon

"Bernard Slade's Shared Laughter is a wonderful, charming book about a life in the theatre and television which kept me constantly amused and frequently laughing out loud. It also gives us a fascinating account of the unusual childhood events and hilarious adventures as an actor which helped shape the gifted writer of such diverse works as The Partridge Family and Same Time Next Year. Wise, witty and endearing and I loved it!
Mia Farrow

Key Porter Fall/00
World rights


A Theatrical Memoir

Shared Laughter opens with the Broadway debut of Bernard Slade's play, Same Time Next Year. It is a classic scene of theatrical New York. A little-known author writes a comedy of love, society, and adultery. After bouts of tension, a miracle occurs. For the next 25 years, it is the most performed two-character play in the world.

Other hits follow: Tribute starring Jack Lemmon, and Romantic Comedy. Before Broadway and London's West End, he wrote such popular TV situation comedies as Bewitched, The Flying Nun, and The Partridge Family.

Slade writes, "The talent to reshape pain in a comic memory is usually developed early by writers of humor. This means of survival was reinforced by the heady discovery of the ability to produce laughter in others. Laughter was my friend, shared laughter my greatest pleasure."

Slade demonstrates through brief scenes from his work how comedy emerges from character and situation. Very few lines are funny out of context.

Shared Laughter, at times, is an exposition on the uses of human folly. At other times, it is an affectionate tribute to romantic comedy. Slade, the son of an auto mechanic, spent his boyhood in wartime England. In this dour, impoverished existence, he longed for the life of those characters who populated the drawing rooms of romantic or domestic comedies so popular in mid-century.

His memoir offers an appreciation of the ineffable pleasure of laughter which he regards as "the perfume of life."

BERNARD SLADE lives in Los Angeles and London. He and his wife Jill Foster, a former actor, have been married for almost 50 years and have two children who have avoided show business. Slade, though, gives them some of the best lines.