A 1982 comedy 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) Variety Show, who is tasked with keeping his childhood hero, swashbuckling English actor 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:
Absurdly Sharp Blade: Mainly in that the blade of a prop sword would be sharp enough to cut through anything.
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.'"
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.
Chivalrous Pervert: 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."
Jerk Ass: Sy Benson, who constantly ridicules Benjy and his other co-workers but can't stand up to King.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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 Not So Different speech, but later admits that Swann is pretty good.
Literal Metaphor: 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!
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.
Tag-Along Actor: 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.
This Is Reality: 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"!