LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

Thursday, October 29, 2009

READ THIS! "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" Book Review


KATHY GRIFFIN: A D-Licious Book!
 
     Gay guys love Kathy Griffin, and she loves us back. After her big break in "Suddenly Susan", and before she cemented her status in pop culture with "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List", the raunchy star went back to standup comedy roots... and she largely credits the gay community with her successful renaissance: "...Let's face it, my experiences performing for the unshockable gays helped make those Laugh Factory shows a no-holes-barred outlet for me. Usually there are all kinds of agendas at a standard comedy club: the audience is talking, they're drunk, they're bored, they're trying to out-funny the comedian, the guys are hitting on the girls, the first dates are going badly. But when I'd play at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center's theater, the crowd has already had their wine in the lobby, and they're just captive audiences, ready to laugh. There's nothing like the energy of a gay audience, and what began to happen at the Laugh Factory was that gays were coming to see me, and then the breeders folded in, and eventually as the show started getting more and more buzz around town, the place filled up regularly. I really believe a lot of couples and straight guys, who normally wouldn't have given me a chance previously, now came to see what I did as funny. Leave it to the gays to scour a major city like Los Angeles and find the one place they could converge on a Wednesday night and turn it into the place to be. They've always had my back. What I love about the gays is that when I've been lost, they've found me."
 
     Her affinity for us homos is just one of the many things that the 48-year old actress, comedian, Emmy Award-Winner, and Grammy Nominee (for "Best Comedy Album", in 2008) shares with her fans in her new book, "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin". More than just a collection of funny stories, it's the saga of her life and her unorthodox journey to stardom: the good (her friendship with Brooke Shields and her close relationship with her parents, who were supportive of her showbiz aspirations), the bad (dealing with the entertainment industry), the ugly (her plastic surgery nightmares, complete with some graphic photos)... and the hybrids of all three (her marriage and other romantic adventures). Of course, before you ask, there's also a lot of celebrity dish. Most palpable is Griffith's writing about her relationships with her fellow funny men and women (including Andy Dick, Lisa Kudrow, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo, Jack Black, Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, and others) as she fought for success in the world of comedy. Aspiring comedians out there will certainly appreciate her insider's look at the business of being paid to be funny... and, as some of you may already know, it's NOT always fun. Once "Suddenly Susan" was canceled, Griffin could have easily disappeared to the Island of Lost Sitcom Stars... but she never gave up. Our heroine played the Hollywood game as best she could, and then realized, "It was an A-List world, and my life was on the D-List. And then it dawned on me: That's the show!"
Griffin also gets some good jabs at some of her fellow celebs, including the "Twilight" kids, Whitney Houston, and Hillary Swank... but when she really lets loose, as she does on pop tart Britney Spears, it's pretty hilarious: "Britney Spears is an example of someone who may never be out of bounds, she's such a delicious font of crazy. I've met her a couple of times, and I can safely say, she's as dumb as a stick. I wish I could say there was a side of Britney you don't know about, that she's really a Rhodes scholar who hides her love of classical music and French literature because it doesn't go with her image. The truth is, she's a complete moron, and I'm surprised she can even function." That alone was worth the price of the book, but there's lots more where that came from!
 
     Of course, there are also Kathy's career controversies, including the overblown "Suck it, Jesus" incident on TV, and the totally ridiculous "Dakota Fanning incident" (See Chapter 18...). But you won't find Kathy stating she was "misquoted" or trying to distance herself from these incidents. As she states in her book, The Divine Ms. G. has a strict "no apologies" policy. Which may be one of the reasons why her fans love her so much. Comedy means never having to say you're sorry...
 
     The question is, Is Ms. Griffin worried about losing her "D-List cred" now that she has a Number One best seller? Inquiring gays want to know...
 
     Visit www.KathyGriffin.net for more!
 
Jed Ryan
 

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