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File:Dvd of the week - my favorite year poster 2355.jpg
I'm not an actor, I'm a MOVIE STAR!
Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole)

A 1982 comedy set in New York City during the 1950s, My Favorite Year is the story of Benjy Stone (played by Mark Linn-Baker), a comedy writer on the King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna) Variety Show, who is tasked with keeping his childhood hero, Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole), sober enough to perform that week. In addition to this daunting task, a union boss objects to the show's Parody of him, and has plans to stop the show. Hilarity Ensues.

The film is is a highly fictional account of when Errol Flynn guest starred on Your Show Of Shows, and the characters are almost all based on Real Life people.

My Favorite Year contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny - King Kaiser's producer, Leo Silver is not happy to get that response when reading the following from the newspaper: "In response to the question, 'What were you doing in Central Park, in Bethesda Fountain, at 1 in the morning, naked?', Swann replied, 'The back stroke.'"
  • Alcohol Hic - Swann
  • All Part of the Show - The studio audience think King Kaiser getting beat up by Rojek's men and Alan swinging to the rescue are all part of the show.
  • The Alcoholic - Swann, played for both laughs and drama, depending on the scene.
  • Big Damn Heroes - Swann pulls off one of these in typical swashbuckling style during the finale.
  • Blessed with Suck - Swann and Benjy have the following exchange after Swann gives Benjy advice on how to woo a woman:

 Benjy: Is that what you do?

Swann: No. I don't have that luxury. The women who are interested in me know exactly who I am and what they want, and nine times out of ten, they get it.

Benjy: That's some curse.

Swann: You'd be surprised. You see, no matter what I do, I can never fulfill their expectations.

 Stockbroker #1: [looking over the edge of the balcony] I think Alan Swann is beneath us!

Stockbroker #2: Of course he's beneath us. He's an actor!

Stockbroker #1: No! I think Alan Swann is beneath us right now!

  • The Mafia - Union boss Karl Rojek is portrayed as a a mob boss on the King Kaiser show in this style. Given his reaction, it's as heavily implied as it can be without flat-out saying so that he is one.
  • The Musical - There was a musical adaptation starring Tim Curry as Alan Swann
  • Noodle Incident - It's never explained just exactly what happened at the Stork Club.

 Alfie: You sure you want the Stork Club, Mr. Swann?

Swann: It's been a year and a half. Surely they've repaired the wall of the bandstand by now.

  • Quick Nip - Swann conceals liquor everywhere.
  • Performance Anxiety - Swann is upset to learn that The King Kaiser Show is broadcast live in front of an audience.

 Swann: Damn you! I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!

 Swann: I haven't performed in front of an audience for twenty-eight years! I played a butler! I had one line!

brief pause


  • Tag-Along Actor - A movie actor prepares for his roles by imitating real people. In one scene he's sitting in on a discussion between a Mafia don and some movie exec, and the don is getting irritated by the actor constantly imitating his mannerisms.
  • This Is Reality - Swann's plan to gatecrash a party in a skyscraper's penthouse by rapelling down from the roof leads to this exchange:

 Benjy: Let's not do this - it's too dangerous!

Swann: Nonsense! It worked perfectly well in "A Slight Case of Divorce"!

Benjy: That was a movie! This is real life!

Swann: What is the difference?

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