Michael McDonald & Paul Reiser Co-Wrote a New Memoir Called ‘What a Fool Believes’

Michael McDonald Paul Reiser on TODAY

When musicians and actors team up, it is generally for a music or movie project. This time, a musician and actor are bringing fans a memoir. Michael McDonald, member of bands such as Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers and Paul Reiser, best known for the sitcom Mad About You, co-wrote McDonald’s memoir called What a Fool Believes. The memoir opens up about McDonald’s life and career, starting when he was young. The book is named after one of the Doobie Brothers’ most iconic hit songs and will reveal some of his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction as well as problems in his long career. Reiser started out as a McDonald’s fan and became fast friends when they met. The idea of a book started out as a joke but soon became a reality.

Reiser admitted, “I sort of made a joke. Because I would periodically ask Mike questions I didn’t understand about the Doobies, about him, and I said, jokingly, ‘You should write a book so I don’t have to bother you all the time.’ And he jokingly said, ‘I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know how you start that.’ Given that we both had [an] enormous amount of time on our hands with nowhere to be [during the pandemic], we said, ‘Let’s see how this goes.’” McDonald shared stories with Reiser, who then started writing from the transcripts of their Zoom chats.

In this image released on October 1, 2021, Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers performs live onstage at iHeartRadio ICONS with The Doobie Brothers at iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, California

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

McDonald added, “The thing that was the most daunting was wondering if there ever even was a story there. Because my story really, I’ve always felt, existed more in the people I worked with. That was really basically my story. It wasn’t really so much about me as my good fortune to work with a lot of different people. But as we kind of moved along, the story emerged for me, and I think for the first time, I understood my own story a little better on a more personal level.”

Paul Reiser attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Now that they have seen how well they work together, they said that they might continue to work on projects including a Broadway musical. Reiser said, “We’re writing a song together. We have a lot of overlap in the music that we both love. So we’ve thrown silly, half-baked ideas about doing stuff together, and we’ll see. It’ll probably be a lot easier and quicker than writing a book. Well, actually, Mike has stories about songs that would take years to start.” Get the book on Amazon.

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