Second, if you do decide to read this book, you MUST listen to the audio. It's just not going to be the same if you read it. Kathy's 7 disc audio book made my commute this week something I actually looked forward to and kept me sitting in my car when I got to work, reluctant to stop the CD and step out of the car.
Kathy Griffin has been part of the Hollywood scene for a long time--well over 20 years. There is no wonder that her and Joan Rivers were very good friends. Listening to this audio made me realize that Kathy is one extremely hard working comedian; she jokes about taking every job she can; doing so has not only made her financially solid (and being smart about her money), but it's given her endless opportunities to meet people from every walk of life. Kathy Griffin has met celebrities when they're just starting out, when they're at the height of stardom, and some, like Dick Van Dyke, when they are "legends" and just want to dance to a disco song before going onstage. She discusses her first meeting with Ice-T on a radio show when she was just starting out, and how she gave him a hard time and he didn't care much for her. Years later, when she was guest starring on Law and Order SVU, she met up with him again. She was a bit anxious, remembering their last meeting, but Ice-T not only didn't remember the run in, but completely forgot how annoying she was on the radio show. Phew.
Two of her celebrity memories got me a little teary-eyed: Joan Rivers and Gary Shandling. Kathy talks about a once in a lifetime experience when Joan invited her to come to London to spend two days with Prince Charles and Camilla. Who knew Joan Rivers was pals with Prince Charles and Camilla? Yes she was. Kathy's "holy cow I can't believe I'm here" attitude was certainly one pretty much everyone would have had--and that she got to spend it with her dear friend meant the world to her. Gary Shandling, another of Kathy's friends, told Kathy how much it meant to him that she gave a bunch of crap to a fellow dinner guest at a private dinner party. Kathy didn't realize the other guest was Gary's ex-talent agent, whom Gary had sued for a lot of money a few years before. It was the first time Gary had seen this man since the case was settled, and he was very nervous about it. Sitting next to Kathy, he marveled at her barrage of pesky one-liners towards this other guest. Both comedians are gone now, and Kathy's wistfulness talking about them was touching.
There are so many celebrities Kathy talks about, it's pretty amazing: Jared Leto, Tom Hanks, Barbara Streisand, Billy Crystal--and of course, Cher. It's a fun trip into Hollywood, and Kathy's audio performance is spot on. It's like having a good dish with your friend over a bottle of wine. She doesn't hesitate to talk about the run-ins that don't go well, and the celebrities that don't like her, and even the celebrities that have become friends after rocky starts. Kathy is still pretty grounded, and realizes she's had an amazing career and life. Her mother is another fun character, and it's obvious Kathy adores her. And how could I forget Anderson Cooper? So. Much. Fun.
I'd say if you like Andy Cohen, Tina Fay, Amy Poehler, listen to this audio. Comedians really do make it worth your while to listen to their books. I liked this so much, I'm off to the library to check out the audio of Kathy's book: Official Book Club Selection. I can't wait to start my commute on Monday.
Rating: 5/6 for an audio that made me giggle, got me a bit teary-eyed, and made my commute fly by. Kathy's narration makes this a fun peek behind Hollywood's curtain.
Available in hardcover, e-book, and audio.