My Favorite Year

My Favorite Year is a 1982 American comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Richard Benjamin and written by Norman Steinberg and Dennis Palumbo, which tells the story of a young comedy writer. It stars Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, and Joseph Bologna. O'Toole was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film was adapted into an unsuccessful 1992 Broadway musical of the same name.


Benjy Stone, the narrator, tells of the summer (in his "favorite year" of 1954) he met his idol, swashbuckling actor Alan Swann (perhaps intended to evoke Errol Flynn, whose title roles like Captain Blood would be evoked by Swann's imagined (but screened) one in Captain from Tortuga). In the early days of television, Benjy works as a junior comedy writer for a variety show named Comedy Cavalcade, starring Stan "King" Kaiser broadcast live from the NBC studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. As a special upcoming guest, they get the still-famous Swann, who is largely washed up. However, when he shows up, he turns out to be a roaring drunk, and Kaiser is ready to "dump him" until Benjy intervenes, promising to keep the "washed-up jaboni" sober during the week leading up to his scheduled appearance.