What we learned from Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, and Penny Marshall's autobiographies

By EW Staff
September 07, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Cyndi Lauper, A Memoir

1. The pop star’s biggest hit, 1983’s ”Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” was originally written from a guy’s point of view, with a verse about a guy bragging to his dad about hooking up with a girl.

2. Radio stations at first re-fused to play ”Girls,” so her manager persuaded Vince McMahon to play the video during WWE wrestling matches.

3. When Lauper wrote ”She Bop,” a song about masturbation, she was looking at gay male porn — hence the lyric about ”in the pages of a Blueboy magazine.” And the singer says she recorded the song half naked. ”I tickled myself too,’ she writes. ”That’s why you hear me laughing.”

Wyclef Jean, Purpose

1. Throughout fellow Fugee Lauryn Hill’s first pregnancy, in 1997, Jean thought the baby was his. When he learned Rohan Marley was the dad, Jean writes, ”something died between us.”

2. In junior high, he began hanging with friends who smoked weed. But since his mom was superstrict about drugs, Jean emptied a tea bag into joint paper. ”I lit it, took two pulls off of it,” he recalls, ”but I went unconscious.” It took several years for him to overcome his fear of lighting up.

3. When the Fugees were opening for Jodeci in 1994, he decided to get an animal mascot for the band (”We need a Spuds McKenzie!”). But the albino goat lasted just one gig.

Penny Marshall, My Mother Was Nuts

1. For her role on the ’70s sitcom Laverne & Shirley, Marshall incorporated girlhood quirks like her fondness for milk and Pepsi and the ”Schlemiel! Schlimazel!” chant.

2. Before casting Tom Hanks in her second directorial effort, 1988’s Big, Marshall struggled to find a leading man. The first star lined up was Robert De Niro, who even tested with child actor Jared Rushton.

3. At a Golden Globes after-party in 1980, Marshall recalls, ”Hunter [S.] Thompson kicked me.” The gonzo journalist, apparently high on opium, also cursed her out. Luckily, her date for the evening — the recently divorced Steven Spielberg — got her home safely.

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