**How a small boy with a stammer ended up on the stage, becoming one of New Zealand's best loved comedians.**In The Years Before My Death, renowned and much loved actor-director and comedy show writer David McPhail recounts his early life and what led him to pioneer the satirical TV programmes (including A Week of It and McPhail and Gadsby) for which he is famous, what drove him to perform comedy, and what was behind his desire to make New Zealanders laugh. He tells of his creative friendships with the likes of A.K. Grant, Bruce Ansley and Jon Gadsby; his encounters with former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, the comic genius Dudley Moore, and the television networks of the day. As one would expect, every anecdote is told with insight, perfect timing and a glint in the eye.