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Bummers, Blisters, & Boondoggles

Jean Shepherd
Edited with an Introduction by Eugene B. Bergmann
Foreword by Keith Olbermann

In the first volume of fresh Shepherd tales in 25 years, the great American humorist immortalizes the men who never tasted combat except the occasional fistfight on poker night -- the soldiers on the home front. 


“He really formed my entire comedic sensibility. I learned how to do comedy from Jean Shepherd.” —Jerry Seinfeld

Jean Shepherd, the great American humorist, radio raconteur, master storyteller, creator of the movie classic A Christmas Story, and bestselling author, has left his indelible imprint on American culture.


His quirky individuality was portrayed for posterity by Jason Robards in the play and film A Thousand Clowns, written by Shep's close pal Herb Gardner. Jack Nicholson embodied a Shepherdlike late-night radio talker in The King of Marvin Gardens, while in Network, by Paddy Chayefsky (another of Shep's comic cohorts), the television newscaster beseeches his listeners to open their windows and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore," an unmistakable echo of Shepherd's radio habit of "hurling an invective" out into the nation's airwaves. 


Tens of thousands of intensely enthusiastic fans stayed up past their bedtimes with transistor radios stashed under their pillows to follow “Shep” in his always unpredictable, extemporaneous verbal forays into current events and social mores, his idle thoughts, and his captivating tales.


This delightfully entertaining collection of Jean Shepherd army stories, assembled and transcribed by Shepherd biographer Eugene Bergmann, and in print for the first time, vividly captures the wit and humor of the storytelling grand master as though he were once again crooning into his WOR mike to his thousands of spellbound late-night listeners.

“Excelsior! What a treat to have so many of Jean Shepherd’s war stories consolidated into one volume. Through Shep’s Army comes a revelatory picture of the real ‘inglorious bastards’ -- regular guys inexorably marching on an exercise wheel to nowhere. I would love to see Brad Pitt play Shep in that movie!”  --Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister


“Shepherd had the best influence on my sensibility. He helped me pursue that sense of being different, being an individual. He actually made me feel I wasn’t alone.” —Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate


“I don’t think any sense of humor is funny. Rarely. Jean Shepherd is funny.”—Andy Kaufman 


Eugene B. Bergmann, author of the landmark Shepherd biography, Excelsior, You Fathead!, was Senior Exhibit Designer at New York’s Amer­ican Museum of Natural His­tory, where, working with curators including Margaret Mead, he designed scores of exhibits such as the Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples, the Hall of South American Peoples, and the Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians. He resides on Long Island. 



256 pp • 5 ½ X 8 ½ • World

ISBN: 978-1-62316-012-8 

E-Book Editions Also Available



  • Excelsior, You Fathead!, by Eugene B. Bergmann— ISBN: 978-1-55783-600-7


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