[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/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 [[BigApplesauce set in New York City]] in 1954, ''My Favorite Year'' is the story of Benjy Stone (played by Mark Linn-Baker), a comedy writer on the King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna) VarietyShow, who is tasked with keeping his childhood hero, swashbuckling English actor Alan Swann ([[Creator/PeterOToole Peter O'Toole]]), sober enough to perform that week. In addition to this daunting task, [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily a union boss]] objects to the show's {{parody}} of him, and has plans to stop the show. HilarityEnsues.

The film is is a highly fictional account of when ErrolFlynn guest starred on ''Your Show of Shows'', and the characters are almost all based on RealLife people.
----
!!''My Favorite Year'' contains examples of the following tropes:
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Mainly in that the blade of a prop sword would be sharp enough to cut through anything.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: 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.'"
* AllPartOfTheShow: 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.
* AlcoholHic: Swann.
* TheAlcoholic: Swann, played for both [[PlayedForLaughs laughs]] and [[PlayedForDrama drama]], depending on the scene.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Alan Swann is a stage name to replace the far less dashing [[spoiler:Clarence Duffy]].
* BecomingTheMask: Swann laments that there is no longer any distinction between his screen persona and his real self.
* BigDamnHeroes: Swann pulls off one of these in typical [[{{Swashbuckler}} swashbuckling]] style during the finale.
* BlessedWithSuck: 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:''' [[CursedWithAwesome That's some curse]].
-->'''Swann:''' You'd be surprised. You see, no matter what I do, I can never fulfill their expectations.
* BrokenPedestal: Benjy grows disgusted with many aspects of Swann's behavior, especially his minimal contact with his daughter. Swann does redeem himself at the end, though.
* CannotTellAJoke: K.C. Dowling. Her attempt to repeat back the joke Benjy tells her is hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
* TheCasanova: Swann. His charm and swashbuckling ways are part of his reputation, [[CursedWithAwesome for both good and bad]].
* ChivalrousPervert: Swann is this, quite often. When told the restroom he's blundered into is "for ladies only," he briefly loses the chivalrous part, unzips his trousers, and replies, "So is ''this'', madam, but every now and again I have to run a little water through it."
* CompositeCharacter: Benjy is a combination of a young Creator/MelBrooks (who executive produced the film) and a young Creator/WoodyAllen, both of whom wrote for ''Your Show of Shows'' around this time.
** Swann is a combination of ErrolFlynn and O'Toole himself, whose RealLife alcoholism and off-screen antics mirrors a lot of what happens in this film.
* CursedWithAwesome: Benjy thinks that Swann's reputation as a ladykiller is this. Swann feels it's more BlessedWithSuck.
* DartboardOfHate: Kaiser's writers have one of these with his photo.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Benjy is one of these in his pursuit of K.C.
* TheDulcineaEffect: As a result of [[TheAlcoholic his]] [[GentlemanAdventurer personality]], Swann is either particularly prone to this, [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation or feels he is expected to be]] and just runs with it.
* TheFifties: As this takes place in 1954.
* GentlemanAdventurer: Swann plays these in ''all'' of his movies, and does his best to live up to the image in his public appearances.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "Hey Jeanine! When are you gonna let me into your box?"
* GroinAttack: "See, Sy? This kid's got balls!" (''*grab*'')
* HeyItsThatGuy: Benjy is [[PerfectStrangers Cousin Larry]] and his girlfriend sang at the [[PhantomOfTheParadise Paradise]]. Sy Benson also [[Film/TheJerk helped Navin Johnson become a millionaire with the Opti-Grab]]. Costume designer Lil became a [[NightCourt night court bailiff]]. And Swann dances with [[{{Titanic}} Old Rose]] at the restaurant.
** The movie was directed by Series/{{Quark}}. No....[[NamesTheSame not]] [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine that one]].
* HollywoodCostuming: Subtly (and not-so-subtly) lampshaded. The portrayal of {{swashbuckler}}s in classic film is spot on, and cranked UpToEleven for the VarietyShow finale. Also, King Kaiser's costume in the Union Boss sketch.
* HypocriticalHumor: Immediately after lamenting that he gets away with too much, Swann decides to steal a police officer's horse.
* IgnorantOfTheCall: Alan Swann continually insists that he's not the hero he plays in the movies, that he's just a man and [[WartsAndAll a flawed man at that]], and he [[BerserkButton gets really mad at people who insist otherwise]]... but he doesn't hesitate to rush in to save the day when the time comes.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Swann (are we seeing [[TheAlcoholic a pattern]] here?)
* IncomingHam: [[PreAssKickingOneLiner "PORTHOOOOSSSSS!!!!]]
* JerkAss: Sy Benson, who constantly ridicules Benjy and his other co-workers but can't stand up to King.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: King Kaiser frequently goes into hysterics, running around the corridors yelling at people because he thinks he's in the wrong costume (when he's usually not) or has the wrong script. He tries to make up for it by buying his staff strange gifts, like whitewall tires. He also rejects Swann at first and threatens to fire Benjy when Benjy tries to appeal with a NotSoDifferent speech, but later admits that Swann is pretty good.
* LiteralMetaphor: During the gatecrashing scene, the following exchange takes place between two bystanding stockbrokers:
-->'''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!'''''
* TheMafia: 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.
* TheMusical: There was a musical adaptation starring Tim Curry as Alan Swann.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Alan Swann and King Kaiser are Errol Flynn and Sid Caeser in all but name.
* NoodleIncident: 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.
* NostalgicNarrator: Benjy.
-->''"My name is Benjy Stone, and 1954 was [[TitleDrop my favorite year]]. Not my best year, not the year I had the most success, but my ''favorite'' year. Itís the year that separated my life into before and after."''
* PerformanceAnxiety: Swann is upset to learn that ''The King Kaiser Comedy Cavalcade'' is broadcast live in front of an audience.
-->'''Swann:''' Damn you! I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!
* PrettyInMink: When Swann arrives at the Stork Club, there are a number of women wearing mink wraps.
* QuickNip: Swann conceals liquor ''everywhere''.
* RealitySubtext: Peter O'Toole's own drinking habits are (or were-- he's supposedly given it up for health reasons) [[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/hellraising-a-toast-to-peter-otoole-7936310.html legendary]] in themselves.
* RomanAClef: Benjy is Creator/MelBrooks, Alan Swann is ErrolFlynn, King Kaiser is Sid Ceaser, etc.
* RousingSpeech: When Swann confesses to being afraid to meet [[spoiler:his daughter]] face to face, Benjy gives him one of these.
* SexyStewardess: Swann beds ''two of them''.
* SorryImLate: Inverted. King asks "what took you so long?" after Swann swings down onto the stage to rescue him from Rojek's goons.
* StudioAudience: The VarietyShow is broadcast live in front of an audience, [[PerformanceAnxiety much to Swann's dismay]].
-->'''Swann:''' I haven't performed in front of an audience for twenty-eight years! I played a butler! I had one line!
-->''[[BeatPanel brief pause]]''
-->'''Swann:''' I ''FORGOT'' IT!
* TagAlongActor: King Kaiser apparently prepares for his roles by imitating real people. In one scene he's sitting in on a discussion between Karl Rojek, his lawyer, and a studio exec, and Rojek is irritated by Kaiser's constantly imitating his mannerisms.
* ThisIsReality: Swann's plan to gatecrash a party in a skyscraper's penthouse by rappelling 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?
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Want to see the movie in two and a half-minutes? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTjNQ2Jkiio Check out the trailer.]]
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Supposedly based on a time Mel Brooks had to mind Errol Flynn on ''Your Show of Shows'', with a great deal of creative embroidery.
* TheVoiceless: Herb does all of his "speaking" through Alice. [[spoiler:Until he sees Swann swoop down from the balcony and begin fighting, which leads him to declare, "Oh, ''God'', this makes me happy!"]]
----