‘The Second Novelization’ at Union Hall in Park Slope features comic reading of ‘Spaceballs’

Lit flicks: Comic readings of movie novelizations

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They might be movie classics — but literary masterpieces they ain’t.

Comedians are holding a series of readings of books you might find at junk shops. You know the kind: “based on the original motion picture” novelizations commissioned by studios looking to make an easy buck (full disclosure: this reporter ravenously devoured novelizations of “My Girl” and “The Babysitters Club Movie” when she was a preteen with questionable taste).

The show is a revival of a relic from a time before movie rentals — or Netflix — but its beginnings were decidedly modern.

“It started like every great idea does — bored on a Sunday morning, messing around on Facebook,” said Liam McEneaney, a comedian who along with friends Marlow Riley and Heidi Vanderlee organized the event on March 6 at Union Hall.

According to McEneaney, he and Riley exchanged meaningful communiques before landing on the idea of the readings.

Riley posted a picture of the “Grease 2” novelization on the profile of a mutual friend and upon seeing the picture, McEneaney responded by posting a picture of himself with the original Grease novelization, which he bought on a whim for 25 cents. Then McEneaney actually read the book and ended up liking it — purely for kitsch value.

“It’s told through multiple viewpoints,” he said of the literarily insignificant book. “The author clearly tried to turn it into a well-written novel, which it is not.”

For the next show, McEneaney is reading from the novelization of the Mel Brooks classic “Spaceballs.” And if that doesn’t trigger feelings of nostalgia, readers will be interested to know the book was written by a pre-Goosebumps R.L. Stine.

“The Second Novelization: A reading series based on the original motion picture“ at Union Hall [702 Union St. at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 638–4400,]. March 6, doors 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm, $7.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 10:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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