Home Jesus has nothing on ?D-List? diva Kathy Griffin

Jesus has nothing on ?D-List? diva Kathy Griffin

by admin January 5, 2010

Jesus has nothing on ?D-List? diva Kathy Griffin

by admin January 5, 2010

Plastic surgery nightmares and a faux feud with Dakota Fanning all make for an interesting read, but Kathy Griffin leaves some of the juiciest bits on the editing floor in her first book, Official Book Club Selection.
According to Griffin, a memoir should have all the celebrity gossip she dishes out in her stand-up act, with numerous references to the backstage personae of A-list stars. However, Official Book Club Selection – specifically titled to grab Oprah Winfrey’s book club consideration- takes a different route.

Instead of talking about the time she met Mary-Kate Olsen in a club, Griffin shares personal stories that are just as funny but certainly more real. Like the time she dated actor Jack Black in the 1990s, who she claims “only acts like a rocker pothead dude.” She describes Black’s place as being a complete pigsty littered with video games and bongs, with a bathroom equipped with a single towel used as a bathmat and a body towel. Her friends began calling him Pig Pen from Peanuts because, she recalled, there was always a “cloud of dirt above his head.” Not surprisingly, when she sees Black on the red carpet nowadays, he doesn’t acknowledge her presence.
Such is the nature of fame, according to the no-holds-barred comedienne. It changes people. For instance, Lisa Kudrow, a friend Griffin met doing improv at the famed Groundlings in Los Angeles, was no longer as friendly or as supportive once she landed the role of Phoebe on Friends. The same occurred with Molly Shannon once she was cast on Saturday Night Live. A friend later told Griffin that once you are on television, you are part of the machine. “You’re on a television show,” she said, “so you’ve got to lose the weight, get a trainer, take fen-phen, and you can’t stay up until four in the morning because you’ve got to be at work at 8 a.m. the next day.”

The advice only registered a couple of years later in 1996, when Griffin made her debut as a regular on Suddenly Susan, a sitcom starring Brooke Shields. Griffin, nevertheless, is probably best known to the wider public for her abrasively funny reality TV series, My life on the D-List, as well as for her infamous Emmy award acceptance speech, where she told Jesus to “suck it.” Both are well-documented in the book, which also includes her 11-year struggle to break into Hollywood.
Griffin’s memoir does take a serious turn when she reveals the skeletons hidden in her family closet, specifically about her brother. At first she looked up to her brother Kenny, 18 years her senior, who was starring in Chicago’s local production of Hair. It wasn’t until Griffin was a preteen, once Kenny had married, that she begun hearing stories of him abusing his wife, even witnessing it herself at a family dinner. It was only when Griffin learned that her brother was molesting children that she cut him out from her life and called the authorities, causing a great strain on a family unsure of how to deal with their son. A defining moment of their relationship, and the memoir’s most chilling point, was the last time she saw her brother before he died of pneumonia in hospital. “I was driving to an audition at the CBS Radford lot in Studio City, and as I was getting off at the Laurel Canyon exit from the freeway, there he was. My brother was holding a sign; HOMELESS, NEED FOOD, NEED MONEY… the sight admittedly shook me. I knew I had just witnessed something nobody should ever have to see.”

The only disappointment to be found in Official Book Club Selection is that Griffin shies away from divulging all the dirty bits that she is more likely to reveal in her stand-up act. Her chapter on talk shows chronicles how she was banned from The Late Show for using one swear word too many for David Letterman’s liking or how she jokingly insulted a producer of Live with Regis and Kelly on air, calling him “Regis’ bitch,” effectively ending her relationship with the show. Yet, Griffin shies away from talking about The View, Barbara Walters or any specific talk show host, subjects she spends large amounts of time on in her act. The omission is referenced in her epilogue, partly to let her fans know that the total truth will only come out on stage. “I decided it wasn’t worth talking shit about talk show hosts,” she wrote, “because they’re the only people in the book who can actually fuck me by not having me on their shows to promote the goddamn book. So all you talk show hosts, you know who you are, you know what you did, and you’re off the hook for now.”
Official Book Club Selection is a lot of fun with enough celebrity dirt to keep Griffin’s fans at bay – at least until her next stand-up gig.

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Plastic surgery nightmares and a faux feud with Dakota Fanning all make for an interesting read, but Kathy Griffin leaves some of the juiciest bits on the editing floor in her first book, Official Book Club Selection.
According to Griffin, a memoir should have all the celebrity gossip she dishes out in her stand-up act, with numerous references to the backstage personae of A-list stars. However, Official Book Club Selection – specifically titled to grab Oprah Winfrey’s book club consideration- takes a different route.

Instead of talking about the time she met Mary-Kate Olsen in a club, Griffin shares personal stories that are just as funny but certainly more real. Like the time she dated actor Jack Black in the 1990s, who she claims “only acts like a rocker pothead dude.” She describes Black’s place as being a complete pigsty littered with video games and bongs, with a bathroom equipped with a single towel used as a bathmat and a body towel. Her friends began calling him Pig Pen from Peanuts because, she recalled, there was always a “cloud of dirt above his head.” Not surprisingly, when she sees Black on the red carpet nowadays, he doesn’t acknowledge her presence.
Such is the nature of fame, according to the no-holds-barred comedienne. It changes people. For instance, Lisa Kudrow, a friend Griffin met doing improv at the famed Groundlings in Los Angeles, was no longer as friendly or as supportive once she landed the role of Phoebe on Friends. The same occurred with Molly Shannon once she was cast on Saturday Night Live. A friend later told Griffin that once you are on television, you are part of the machine. “You’re on a television show,” she said, “so you’ve got to lose the weight, get a trainer, take fen-phen, and you can’t stay up until four in the morning because you’ve got to be at work at 8 a.m. the next day.”

The advice only registered a couple of years later in 1996, when Griffin made her debut as a regular on Suddenly Susan, a sitcom starring Brooke Shields. Griffin, nevertheless, is probably best known to the wider public for her abrasively funny reality TV series, My life on the D-List, as well as for her infamous Emmy award acceptance speech, where she told Jesus to “suck it.” Both are well-documented in the book, which also includes her 11-year struggle to break into Hollywood.
Griffin’s memoir does take a serious turn when she reveals the skeletons hidden in her family closet, specifically about her brother. At first she looked up to her brother Kenny, 18 years her senior, who was starring in Chicago’s local production of Hair. It wasn’t until Griffin was a preteen, once Kenny had married, that she begun hearing stories of him abusing his wife, even witnessing it herself at a family dinner. It was only when Griffin learned that her brother was molesting children that she cut him out from her life and called the authorities, causing a great strain on a family unsure of how to deal with their son. A defining moment of their relationship, and the memoir’s most chilling point, was the last time she saw her brother before he died of pneumonia in hospital. “I was driving to an audition at the CBS Radford lot in Studio City, and as I was getting off at the Laurel Canyon exit from the freeway, there he was. My brother was holding a sign; HOMELESS, NEED FOOD, NEED MONEY… the sight admittedly shook me. I knew I had just witnessed something nobody should ever have to see.”

The only disappointment to be found in Official Book Club Selection is that Griffin shies away from divulging all the dirty bits that she is more likely to reveal in her stand-up act. Her chapter on talk shows chronicles how she was banned from The Late Show for using one swear word too many for David Letterman’s liking or how she jokingly insulted a producer of Live with Regis and Kelly on air, calling him “Regis’ bitch,” effectively ending her relationship with the show. Yet, Griffin shies away from talking about The View, Barbara Walters or any specific talk show host, subjects she spends large amounts of time on in her act. The omission is referenced in her epilogue, partly to let her fans know that the total truth will only come out on stage. “I decided it wasn’t worth talking shit about talk show hosts,” she wrote, “because they’re the only people in the book who can actually fuck me by not having me on their shows to promote the goddamn book. So all you talk show hosts, you know who you are, you know what you did, and you’re off the hook for now.”
Official Book Club Selection is a lot of fun with enough celebrity dirt to keep Griffin’s fans at bay – at least until her next stand-up gig.

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