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Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

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Overview

A Conversation with Kathy Griffin:

Q: State your name and profession.
KG: My name is Kathy Griffin, and I am a teller of d**k jokes. And a plumber.

Q: This is your first book. Had you ever considered writing anything before? A novel? Or a work of historical scholarship? Or a children's story?
KG: I had not considered it, because I'd always been told by the nuns at St. ...

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Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

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Overview

A Conversation with Kathy Griffin:

Q: State your name and profession.
KG: My name is Kathy Griffin, and I am a teller of d**k jokes. And a plumber.

Q: This is your first book. Had you ever considered writing anything before? A novel? Or a work of historical scholarship? Or a children's story?
KG: I had not considered it, because I'd always been told by the nuns at St. Bernadine's that my cursive was poor. A children' s story is an interesting idea. How's this for a title: "Waterboarding Pre-Teens: The Debate is Back On." I have a political side as well.

Q: You seem fairly obsessed with Oprah. Is this something you'll ever outgrow?
KG: I will never outgrow my obsession with Oprah. Just as she will never outgrow her cardigan sweaters. Oops, she already has. Now look, that sounds like a dig, but it's not. It's called a struggle, and I'm on it with her. I support her. (Not as much as she needs those underwire bras to support her, because she's got some serious ropes and pulleys going on there.) The point is, I worship her, and fear her at the same time. And believe me, that' s how she wants it. Don't be fooled.

Q: Did I miss something? Where's Celine Dion in this book?
KG: I didn't write about Celine Dion, only because of my fear of her husband Rene Angelil. I have an unfounded but constant fear that he could be in the French-Canadian mafia. Or have French-Canadian mafia ties, and by ties I don't mean les cravats. And I fear that I may be abducted, whisked away and held prisoner at a charming little brasserie in Montreal, forced to eat multiple Croque Monsieur sandwiches until I confess to knowing the lyrics to every single one of her songs.

Q: What do you think gays should take away from reading this book?
KG: I think the gays should be happy with this book. It talks a lot about being who you are, and I certainly mention a lot of gay people. I would say it definitely has strong gay themes, and the gay community should know that frankly it has been a moral struggle for me to even acknowledge the heterosexual community in this book at all. But I am slowly reaching out an olive branch to the heterosexual community, even though I believe everything they do goes against the teachings of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But I'm trying not to judge them.

Q: Describe your ideal, make-a-wish day of personal experiences with bats**t celebrities.
KG: Well, it would start with some sort of a fit in the hair-and-makeup trailer on a set. I heard a story that when Sharon Stone was working on "Casino," she got into such a fight with her hairdresser, that after he spent four hours doing this beautiful bouffant hairdo for her, she got up and walked in the sink and put her head underwater. I have no idea if that's true, but I hope it is, cause that's some awesome s**t I would love to see. Then it would go right to lunch, where I could witness an eating disorder. Maybe a Lohan is purging in a bush somewhere with her finger down her throat. Or perhaps there's an Olsen twin on a scale crying because she finally tipped 100. Any outburst over weight I would cherish. Also, it would be great to see an actress have a workload meltdown. So maybe at 2:00 some A-lister saying, "I can't handle this s**t anymore." Because I love when actors can't deal with a normal workday, and they think two in the afternoon is like midnight, so I would love to see somebody storming to their car, exhausted because they've put in a grueling four-hour workday of saying three lines and texting their nanny. Then it's maybe off to an illicit affair. At the top of my wish list would be following a rapper or a football player over to his baby mama's house where a screaming match ensues to the point where someone, maybe me, has to anonymously dial 911, and then I take a couple pictures, and I become an unannounced star witness later at the trial, entering Joan Collins-style in a smashing hat. And then at the end of the day it's a healthy round of clubbing with Janice Dickinson, and then on the way home we go to the Beverly Glen pharmacy and run into Paula Abdul. All three of us secretly take our small white-paper pharmacy bags and put them behind our backs and make uncomfortable small talk.

Official Book Club Selection is Kathy Griffin unplugged, uncensored, and unafraid to dish about what really happens on the road, away from the cameras, and at the star party after the show. (It's also her big chance to score that coveted book club endorsement she's always wanted. Are you there, Oprah? It's me, Kathy.)

Kathy Griffin has won Emmys for her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, been nominated for a Grammy, worked and walked every red carpet known to man, and rung in the New Year with Anderson Cooper. But the legions of fans who pack Kathy's sold-out comedy shows have heard only part of her remarkable story. Writing with her trademark wit, the feisty comic settles a few old scores, celebrates the friends and mentors who helped her claw her way to the top, and shares insider gossip about celebrity behavior–the good, the bad, and the very ugly. She recounts the crazy ups and downs of her own career and introduces us to some of the supertalented people she encountered before they got famous (or, in some cases, after fame went to their heads). Word to the wise: If you've ever crossed Kathy Griffin at some point in your life, check the index for your name.

Along the way, Kathy reveals intimate details about her life before and after she made the big time. She opens up about everything from growing up with a dysfunctional family in suburban Illinois to bombing as a young comedian in L.A., from her well-publicized plastic surgery disasters to her highly publicized divorce, and more. Only in this book will you learn how the dinner table is the best training ground for a career in stand-up, how speaking your mind can bite you on the ass and buy you a house, and which people in Kathy's life have taught her the most valuable lessons–both inside and outside the entertainment industry. And as if all that wasn't enough, there are also dozens of exclusive and somewhat embarrassing photos from Kathy's own collection–featuring the diva of the D List herself, with her old nose as well as her new one, plus celebrity friends, foes, frenemies, and hangers-on for you to gawk at.

Refreshingly candid, unflinchingly honest, and full of hilarious "Did she really say that?" moments, Official Book Club Selection will make you laugh until you cry, or just puke up a little bit.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Actress, stand-up comedian, and reality star Kathy Griffin bills herself as a "D-list celebrity," but her sly self-deprecating ways have made her a popular star and an Emmy winner. In Official Book Club Selection, she displays her embattled self-absorption in chapters with titles like "To Live and Bomb in L.A." and "I'm a Star (O.K., a Guest Star)", and "Talk Shows: Let the Banning Begin." An uproarious read for D-list celebrity watchers.
From the Publisher
"With a foreword begging Oprah to be on her show and a chapter called ''Brooke Shields, Don't Read This,'' Kathy Griffin's autobiography, Official Book Club Selection, is everything you'd expect. What makes it a terrific read, though, is all the stuff you wouldn't expect: binge eating (her own, not Paula Abdul's); her conviction that her late brother was a child molester; and her unflinching accounts of her plastic surgery and her divorce. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll respect her tenacity, work ethic, and loyalty to her parents. And if you are a fan of Griffin's celeb-tastic stand-up, skip to chapter 8, which should be called ''Helen Hunt, Thomas Haden Church, and Ellen DeGeneres, Don't Read This.'' Everyone else, dive in. A–"—Entertainment Weekly

"Funny, honest, and refreshingly unsentimental.  Griffin embraces Michael Corleone's mantra with a vengeance: All business is personal."  - NY POST

"You feel as if Griffin is in the room with you, excitedly gesturing as she recounts a story [and] that's the beauty of Official Book Club Selection—Griffin has been made a fool countless times in her career and her willingness to share those lumps, which, face it, you'll never read in some Oscar-winning A-lister's autobiography, endears her tremendously."—Richmond Times Dispatch

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594005889
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin, a multi—Emmy Award—winning and Grammy-nominated comedian and actress, is best known for her Bravo television reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, her multiple stand-up comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, and Bravo, and her four-year stint on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan. She has hosted several award shows and appeared on numerous talk shows including Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The View. She has been nominated for a Grammy for her comedy CD, For Your Consideration, and performs to sold-out audiences at venues worldwide.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

THE LITTLEST GOSSIP GIRL

Have you ever looked at the online photos of Britney's peesh?

I probably shouldn't start my book with that question, but I just I can't get enough of those photos. I find it nearly impossible to turn away from an online snapshot of any celebrity's peesh. All right, Kath. Focus. This is the story of your life.

Wait! Have you seen that TV commercial with Wynonna Judd where she hawks diet pills? Look, I don't mean to be rude, but maybe a gal with a big voice and a bigger . . . um . . . talent, shouldn't be hawking diet pills. Come on, you know those pills are just tiny donuts. Teeny, tiny powdered donuts.

All right, that wasn't very nice. In fact, it was inappropriate, and nothing short of cheap gossip. But let's face it, that's why you bought this book. That's right, I'm bringing it: gays, women, and the occasional DL (down-low) husband. The pages you are about to read have a lot of gossip, but guess what? Most of it's about me. I'm going to try to make this book a recipe (shout out to Paula Deen!) of equal parts shit-talking about myself and others. Yeah, I go down pretty hard on myself in this book. Not as hard as Steve Martin does, or my drunken Irish Catholic relatives do, perhaps. But I've had some heartaches and bumpy passages on this road to notoriety. Basically, I take great pride in the fact that I'm a professional. You're in good hands. This is a job I've been training for my entire life.

How did I get here, then?

I'll start with a statement so shocking you might have to burn this book immediately:

I was a kid who needed to talk. All the time.

I mean, what's a beleaguered Mary Margaret Griffin to do when her mouthy little daughter won't shut the fuck up? Breathe a sigh of relief, for one thing, whenever I would bolt out the front door of our house on Home Avenue in suburban Oak Park, Illinois.

But Mom was really of two minds about my exit. While part of her was thinking, Thank God, get her out of my earshot, the other part surely thought, Uh-oh. That's because I'd just go next door to the Bowens' house, where I first learned the power of juicy material.

The Bowens were an older couple, and they lived with Mrs. Bowen's mother, Mrs. Tyres. The Bowens, Mrs. Tyres, and I had a mutual understanding. They would bribe me with Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, and I'd freely spill our family secrets, all to my mom's horror, of course. She knew exactly what was going on because she could see it all through our kitchen window, which had a perfect view into the Bowens' formal dining room. Mom would be doing dishes, occasionally nursing a nice highball—boxed wine innovations hadn't arrived yet—then look up, see my mouth moving, and then see the Bowens shaking their heads.

It was good stuff I was slinging, too. I'd reveal how one of my older siblings would have had a kegger the night before, and I'd run right over with the latest. "Yeah, Joyce had a party and one guy just fell asleep right on the lawn!" I'd excitedly report. "He was real drunk and everything! There was puke everywhere! My mom made me promise not to tell anybody! I don't think she meant you, Mrs. Tyres! Boy, these cookies sure are good!"

From my perch at the Bowens' table, I could see my poor mom waving me over, mouthing "Get back here! Get back here!" If either Mrs. Bowen or Mrs. Tyres looked over, too, my mom could turn on her party face instantaneously and be all smiles: "Oh hell-o-o-o-o-o-o, Mrs. Bowen!"

Everything was so prim and proper at the Bowens', with doilies on the table, and cookies neatly laid out on a plate. It was like high tea. At our packed house, it was a bag of cookies thrown out and all of us diving for them like animals, with no Kate Gosselin there to spank some sense into us. So naturally I thought it was my job to go next door to these fancy people and try to tell the most graphic, shocking, and horrible stories I could. I mean, haven't you sold your soul for a good slice of cake? (More on that later.)

Mr. Bowen, of course, wanted nothing to do with me. Typical straight- guy audience. He would come home in his suit, grab the newspaper, and sit in his Barcalounger, tolerating the freckly, red-headed, seven- year-old spinning top who came over and just talked constantly. Poor Mr. Bowen. The ladies, however, knew what was important, egging me on with widened eyes and a gently prodding "What?"

"My dad swore FOUR TIMES last night!"

"Joyce got kicked out of school again!"

"Keith Norman let me watch him pee in his yard today!"

"My brother had a party where everybody was drunk and my dad had this antique sword and it was stolen and my mom is FURIOUS!" (By the way, my family is still talking about that damn sword.)

This arrangement with the Bowens went on for years. It started when we moved into that Home Avenue house and continued till I was in high school. If the Bowens had had Flip cam technology, they could probably sell it on eBay for tens of dollars. Today, the story of my trips next door is one of my mother's favorites, but I guarantee you it caused her no end of grief back then.

"What are you airin' our GAHDDAMN dirty laundry for?" she'd always unload on me, her Chicago accent in full flight. "Mrs. Bowen and Mrs. Tyres, they don't want to hear your GAHDDAMN mouth, for CHR-EYE-SSAKE. JEEZ-us CHR-EYE-ST."

Sorry, Mom. You and everyone else in the family might call it tattling. But to me, they were my first live shows. From the Bowens to Madison Square Garden, it's been quite a ride.

Chapter Two

Growing Up Griffin

With all the craziness this past year surrounding the Octomom and her fourteen kids—I'm on suicide watch for her, by the way—it's worth noting that my mother was herself the youngest of sixteen. Suck it, Octomom. Before fertility drugs let Nadya Suleman set some kind of land speed record in childbirth, there was good old-fashioned Irish Catholicism.

Of course, I've told Jesus to suck it, too, which earned me a certain measure of notoriety, because you have to make fun of any religion that would let you have sixteen kids and say it's God's will. I mean, bless my grandparents. They seem like they were wonderful people. I didn't know them, really, because most of them had passed away before I was born. But that amount of children is clearly insane. They were big believers in the rhythm method, and you can see how well that worked out for them. I don't even know my grandmother's first name, because my mother only refers to her as "The Saint." For instance, I would say, "Mom, don't you think it might not have been the best choice to keep on having children, one a year, like she was punching a clock?"

She'd reply, "NO, don't say that! The woman's a SAINT!"

My mother's father was just called "The Governor," or "Himself." Which, if you have sixteen kids, probably isn't as crazy as it sounds. "Himself is comin' home!" Grandma would supposedly announce in her Old Country brogue. I had to clarify with my mom who exactly she was talking about when she'd use this term. I would say, "Mom, do you mean your dad?" And she'd say "Of course. Himself."

Apparently, "Himself" liked to get into fistfights with his sons, well into their twenties. That's right. My mother would talk about this as if it were cute and adorable. Um, no. There isn't supposed to be any fisticuffs as a matter of everyday parenting.

I know I'm making fun of my family—mostly because I love teasing my mom —but there was also real tragedy in that situation. For one thing, you can't keep track of that many kids, and the likelihood of something horrible happening because of that just increases. This is a true Irish Catholic story: One young child in my mom's family died when he pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove and was scalded to death. Her sister Angeline died of tuberculosis when she was twenty-one. This was a time when scurvy and polio were real dangers, when a family member would go into a veterans' hospital and never come back.

My mother's family came over on a ship in steerage class from Ireland, but she and her four siblings nearest in age were born in America, so I'm second generation. They settled in the west side of Chicago, and life became all about the parish, or church community. Presentation was the name of the Catholic church they attended, and this is what I love about the Irish: My mother became known as the second prettiest girl at Presentation parish.

"Why was that okay?" I once asked her.

"Oh, because everybody knew Mary Griffin was the most beautiful girl at Presentation," she replied.

My mom was happy to be on the D-list! Just like I'm not trying to be Brooke Shields, she wasn't trying to be Mary Griffin. Now, she did go and marry the prettiest girl's brother, my father, John Patrick Griffin. That probably helps you accept the mantle of second prettiest girl at Presentation.

My dad's family, on the other hand, was something of an embarrassment at Presentation, because—get ready—my dad was the youngest of only five kids. You can imagine trying to be happy with only five children in the family. I'm sure you're dampening this page already with tears of pity.

We don't know if Mr. Griffin the elder was shooting blanks, or somebody was partially barren, which is apparently the worst thing you could call a woman in those days, but it gets crazier. After my grandmother had five children—six, really, since one baby sadly died after a week—she said, "I don't want any more kids." To which Grandpa said, "Well, the only way to not have kids is to not have sex, because we're not going to use condoms or anything."

"Yeah, that's the deal," my grandma agreed. "No more sex."

"No sex? I'm out of here."

I love that this was apparently a very religious man, too. What, a "bad" Catholic uses birth control, but a "good" Catholic leaves his wife over it? So-o-o-o religious. Anyway, Mr. Griffin moved out and relocated one parish over, where he checked tickets on streetcars for a living. But here's the kicker: Because it was such a shame to have a man leave you or get divorced, for years my dad had to tell the whole parish that his father had died. Mrs. Griffin would say, "Yeah, my husband passed away."

I just want to reiterate: He was one parish away. We're talking two miles. It was such a small-town culture that no one knew. How could they not just run into him?

It gets better. As my grandpa on my dad's side got older, he took ill. So the woman he abandoned, my grandmother, actually took him back, and took care of him! Then they had to tell the town, "Oh, right, he's . . . actually . . . not dead." But the best part is, when my grandparents reunited, they vowed never to speak to each other until the day they died. She nursed him in silence all the way to his deathbed. How sweet a deal did he get?

When his dad returned, my father was still living at home, and he had begun dating my mom. According to my mom, their first date, which took place at the blindingly romantic setting of his family's home, went something like this:

"Tell your mother to pass the butter."

"Tell your father to get his OWN butter!"

"Tell your mother I want some more soda bread."

"Tell your father he can have the soda bread when I'm good and ready!"

Maggie just looked over at the son of these two, and ten minutes later realized, "So this is the gig." But when she tells the story now, Mom makes it sound as if it were par for the course. So freakin' Irish Catholic.

Before they started dating my parents first met at the Formfit bra factory. Dad was a stock boy, and Mom was a secretary. Somebody introduced them, and as the story goes, that somebody said, "John, you know Maggie, the second prettiest girl at Presentation?" And he said, "No, I don't know her."

My mother was incensed. "What do you mean you don't know me? I'm the second prettiest girl at Presentation! And by the way, you're not that hot, anyway. How can you be related to a beautiful sister like Mary, the prettiest girl at Presentation?"

Well, the sparks flew. Mom was very intrigued that Dad wasn't just following her around drooling. But he really got her with his sense of humor. He did the smart thing in the beginning: He would go out on a "date" with her and a few of her girlfriends or sisters. It wasn't heavy dating. They didn't have any money, so a night out was a bottle of booze and a trip to the park with plastic cups in the middle of winter. Now, this is Chicago. That's a fucking cold night out. It was usually Dad, my mom, her friend Rae and her sister Irene, and they'd all just get hammered. Then, it would be too cold to walk home so they'd go from building to building, and Dad would ring the doorbell of each one. Then they'd be let into the foyer, warm up some, and then he would ring the bell of every apartment as a joke, and the girls would be mad at Dad but they'd laugh anyway. "Johnny, stop it!" they'd say, and he'd promise not to do it, and then do it again. Just so you know the level of entertainment we're dealing with here. This was a hot Saturday night for them.

According to my mom, she and dad dated almost two years before getting married. Dad was home on furlough from the war for just a few days, right before Pearl Harbor, after which he had to get back to his base right away. Mom went to meet him in Denver, hoping they could get married on St. Patrick's Day, but due to some army regulations, they had to wait until March 20 (at that time, soldiers kinda had to get approval, or so Maggie says)—lucky for them the army approved! They had their first child, Kenny, nine months and four days after they got married. We kids like to tease Mom: Perhaps she was a naughty girl? But she's very proud that that four-day window proved Kenny wasn't an "accident baby." The rest of us came afterward in four- or five-year increments: Joyce, Gary, John, and then me, on November 4, 1960. Right next to Election Day! (I then went on to retroactively elect my mother the prettiest girl at Presentation.) I'm the baby, just like my mother and father were in their families, and I never heard the end of it. I got away with everything, according to my siblings. But Mom doesn't think I was spoiled. Precocious, okay. Annoying, yes. But not spoiled. She will also happily admit that I was an accident baby, and that by the time I came along—eighteen years after their first child was born— Mom and Dad were too tired to worry about me.

But get this: When my mother was pregnant with me, it turns out she was on amphetamines. That's right, speed. This was a time when doctors thought a woman shouldn't gain more than fifteen pounds during a pregnancy—and when doctors spoke back then, mothers listened—so to keep her weight down they gave my mom amphetamines! She took them while she was pregnant, and after she had me to lose the few pounds she had gained. Plus—I love this—she's actually guilt-ridden about it. She thinks that's what made me crazy, or shall we say, the accomplished person I am today. Let's just take this in for a moment, shall we? In 1960 there were two doctors in Forest Park, Illinois, who were just doling out methamphetamines to pregnant Irish Catholic women with part-time jobs. Where's my Dateline episode? I like to picture my mom with a baby on the way, bouncing off the walls, scratching her neck, and fiddling with the rabbit ears on the TV set in a frenzied manner. This, by the way, is how I write my act: I get an idea in my head and I run with it. So granted, I was a fetus at the time, but I was there. You can't deny that. Also, the way I tell it is probably funnier than the way it actually happened. But in any case, she now believes I'm her crack baby.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Dear Oprah

Chapter 1: The Littlest Gossip Girl

Chapter 2: Growing Up Griffin

Chapter 3: They Barked, They Laughed

Chapter 4: Kenny

Chapter 5: LA Is My Lady

Chapter 6: To Live and Bomb in LA

Chapter 7: Hot Cup O’ Talk

Chapter 8: I’m a Star! (Okay, A Guest Star)

Chapter 9: Brooke Shields, Don’t Read This

Chapter 10: Talk Shows: Let the Banning Begin

Chapter 11: From Worcester MA to Dick: Stories from the Road

Chapter 12: Nip Fu####

Chapter 13: Reinventing Myself: I’m Just Like Madonna!

Chapter 14: Reality Check

Chapter 15: My Marriage Begins

Chapter 16: My Marriage Ends

Chapter 17: Fanning Flames in Hollywood, And Yes I Mean Dakota

Chapter 18: A Win, A Loss

Chapter 19: The Wizard of Woz

Chapter 20: Paris Hilton Changed My Life

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Foreword

FOREWORD

Dear Oprah,

Hi, how are you? How’s Gayle doing today?Nice to hear.Get ready, cause after you read this barn burner, you’re gonna want me on for sweeps week. You’re gonna want to open a school in my name, and have a special edition white ladies’ legends ball, just for me.Barbara Walters can cater. Maybe.I know you have questions about what’s wrong with me. Call Dr. Oz, he can be on with me during my hour, too. You don’t have to call Nate. He’s already on my team. But don’t act like you don’t want to see my post-op plastic surgery photos, if you haven’t already flipped to that chapter. You probably don’t remember that I was actually a guest on your show. Once. I’m on a lot of shows once, for some reason. But just know that if my house ever catches fire, I’m grabbing my two dogs, my picture with you, and running for my life. My mom is on her own. By the way, don’t even think about Skype-ing my mom for this episode. She’ll throw me under the bus in a heartbeat. She’s got a thing for Gayle. Ring a bell?Let’s establish some ground rules for my much-anticipated appearance on your show. First of all, I’d like to sit on your lap, at a moment of your choosing. Please wear peach. I love you in summer colors. We’re going to cold-call Steadman, because I’m no longer convinced he even exists. And you will have to introduce me using your signature vowel-elongating bellow. Repeat after me: “KAAAA-THAY GRA-A-A-A-FF-A-A-A-A-A-N!” I already have chills.Here’s my promise to you. This will be the most talked-about episode of your career. Well, after the one where Dr. Oz showed pictures of your poo. And maybe the one where the Olsen twins shocked the world with their tales of the difficulties of living in the public spotlight while trying to sell their sassy-themed tween fashion clothing line.I know that you like to do episodes that help women put themselves “first on their list,” that inspire “lightbulb” moments, and that lead to revelations that are big. “BIG, PE-E-E-E-PUHL!” Our hour together on camera, in front of your global audience, will surely motivate, challenge, and most important, help the children. After all, it is about the children. They are our future.Here is what you will admire about me. I’m living the life you secretly wish you could. I’ve got the dysfunctional family story just like a lot of people. I’ve bitten, scratched, and clawed to get where I am, just like you. But I don’t have to be nice about it. I’m naming names and telling tales out of school. I will be your guilty pleasure. I will be your new showbiz confidante. I will be your new Julia Rob-istonaltrow-avolta-angelou.So strap yourself in, O. You may be the only person who will still be talking to me by the end of this journey. Keep a bunk open at that school in South Africa. I may need to lay low for a while. Come to think of it, I’m not sure you can handle this book. I’m going to Tyra.XXOOKathy Griffin
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Interviews & Essays

Q: State your name and profession.
KG: My name is Kathy Griffin, and I am a teller of d**k jokes. And a plumber.

Q: This is your first book. Had you ever considered writing anything before? A novel? Or a work of historical scholarship? Or a children’s story?
KG: I had not considered it, because I’d always been told by the nuns at St. Bernadine’s that my cursive was poor. A children’s story is an interesting idea. How’s this for a title: “Waterboarding Pre-Teens: The Debate is Back On.” I have a political side as well.

Q: You seem fairly obsessed with Oprah. Is this something you’ll ever outgrow?
KG: I will never outgrow my obsession with Oprah. Just as she will never outgrow her cardigan sweaters. Oops, she already has. Now look, that sounds like a dig, but it’s not. It’s called a struggle, and I’m on it with her. I support her. (Not as much as she needs those underwire bras to support her, because she’s got some serious ropes and pulleys going on there.) The point is, I worship her, and fear her at the same time. And believe me, that’s how she wants it. Don’t be fooled.

Q: Did I miss something? Where’s Celine Dion in this book?
KG: I didn’t write about Celine Dion, only because of my fear of her husband Rene Angelil. I have an unfounded but constant fear that he could be in the French-Canadian mafia. Or have French-Canadian mafia ties, and by ties I don’t mean les cravats. And I fear that I may be abducted, whisked away and held prisoner at a charming little brasserie in Montreal, forced to eat multiple Croque Monsieur sandwiches until I confess to knowing the lyrics to every single one of her songs.

Q: What do you think gays should take away from reading this book?
KG: I think the gays should be happy with this book. It talks a lot about being who you are, and I certainly mention a lot of gay people. I would say it definitely has strong gay themes, and the gay community should know that frankly it has been a moral struggle for me to even acknowledge the heterosexual community in this book at all. But I am slowly reaching out an olive branch to the heterosexual community, even though I believe everything they do goes against the teachings of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But I’m trying not to judge them.

Q: Describe your ideal, make-a-wish day of personal experiences with batsh*t celebrities.
KG: Well, it would start with some sort of a fit in the hair-and-makeup trailer on a set. I heard a story that when Sharon Stone was working on “Casino,” she got into such a fight with her hairdresser, that after he spent four hours doing this beautiful bouffant hairdo for her, she got up and walked in the sink and put her head underwater. I have no idea if that’s true, but I hope it is, cause that’s some awesome shit I would love to see. Then it would go right to lunch, where I could witness an eating disorder. Maybe a Lohan is purging in a bush somewhere with her finger down her throat. Or perhaps there’s an Olsen twin on a scale crying because she finally tipped 100. Any outburst over weight I would cherish. Also, it would be great to see an actress have a workload meltdown. So maybe at 2:00 some A-lister saying, “I can’t handle this shit anymore.” Because I love when actors can’t deal with a normal workday, and they think two in the afternoon is like midnight, so I would love to see somebody storming to their car, exhausted because they’ve put in a grueling four-hour workday of saying three lines and texting their nanny. Then it’s maybe off to an illicit affair. At the top of my wish list would be following a rapper or a football player over to his baby mama’s house where a screaming match ensues to the point where someone, maybe me, has to anonymously dial 911, and then I take a couple pictures, and I become an unannounced star witness later at the trial, entering Joan Collins-style in a smashing hat. And then at the end of the day it’s a healthy round of clubbing with Janice Dickinson, and then on the way home we go to the Beverly Glen pharmacy and run into Paula Abdul. All three of us secretly take our small white-paper pharmacy bags and put them behind our backs and make uncomfortable small talk.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 381 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 382 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I'm pretty much in love with Kathy Griffin

    I've been watching My Life on the D-List for a while and have always been a fan of Kathy, so I was very excited for her book! It reads just like how she talks, and I loved that there were also very personal, serious moments such as descriptions of her father and marriage/divorce. I'd also suggest getting the audio book - I did and it's fun to hear how she reads her own book and adds some hilarious personal comments as well. This book made me laugh out loud, and I can always appreciate that. People either seem to love or hate Kathy, but if you love her like I do, you will LOVE this book too! :-)

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Kathy!

    I wolfed this book down like a bear claw! Ms. Kathy Griffin comes off as not just fiercely funny, which we all knew, but also kind, bright, eloquent and beautiful, inside and out. It's really a wonderful, surprisingly moving and honest book. Oprah, take note! And if you don't agree, then you can suck it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Kathy is genius with this book...

    An awesome book...I have never laughed so hard! There is a great balance of humor, substance, and even a few spots that have you emotionally tied to the book. You really learn a lot about Kathy and her past. Awesome book! It is my official book club selection!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I'm a fan

    I think Kathy's hilarious and her book didn't let me down. I was surprised by how frank and personal she was about her life. I didn't expect that but it added to the book. Kathy seems like a very nice person too, along with being a great comedian. This is definitely worth reading if you like her comedy or just enjoy reading fun books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Female Comedians ARE Funny

    I wouldn't call myself Kathy's biggest fan; I assumed this, like a lot of comedy memoirs, would be a quick and easy read and would make me feel better about myself than if I picked up an US Weekly or People magazine. Kathy's introspective look and honesty came as a surprise, and I was impressed at her drive to make it finally onto that D-list. Her chapter on a college show where she performed with Andy Dick was uncomfortable but a great addition and I really thought she handled the chapter on the break-up of her marriage with a lot of class. I doubt I'll be tuning into her show, but I do look forward to future books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2010

    Official Book Club Selection A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

    Official Book Club Selection A Memoir According To Kathy Griffin, was written by Kathy Griffin, comedian, actress, and now author, about her life on the "D- List" and how her hard work through life got her there. If you've heard of Kathy Griffin, you know she's not afraid to speak her mind. In this book, you hear about the craziest things she's ever said and learn the true reason behind them all. Through her story, Kathy also gives advice if you're trying to make it in the world of Hollywood. She tells you everything and holds back nothing. You learn about her family and her relationship with her brother Kenny. She also talks about some of the most influential celebrities that she's met and opens up about her plastic surgery which nearly killed her.

    Written to get on Oprah's "Official Book Club", where the name of the memoir derives from, this book tells the story of her life in a way that makes you laugh almost the entire time. However, she describes parts of her life that really make you empathize with her and could change your whole perspective. I really enjoyed this book, and no part of it left me wanting to put it down. If you've ever heard of Kathy Griffin, love Kathy Griffin, or don't know about Kathy Griffin, you should definitely read this book. Even if you despise Kathy Griffin, I recommend this book to you, because your whole view of her might be changed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Kathy Griffin's Book Is Not Just Funny But Also Touching and Provocative

    There are plenty of laughs in Griffin's autobiography, but there are also plenty of insights and revelations. The discussion of her brother's problems was especially interesting. I also enjoyed reading about her adventures on the comedy club scene. And no one name drops like D-list Kathy Griffin!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2014

    I would actually give this book about 4.5 stars. It was pretty

    I would actually give this book about 4.5 stars. It was pretty darn good. The parts I had issues with were personal to me, so it's not something that other people might not be bothered by. While the book as a whole was, of course, funny (I mean we're talking about a book by Kathy Griffin people!) I was surprised to see some more deep thoughts and sadness sprinkled in. Perhaps that was silly to imagine that someone's life would be without sadness simply because they are a funny person and always seem happy on the outside. I'm glad that Kathy included these things in her book and the way she told them wasn't funny. It would have made her seem ingenuine. All in all, this being the first "memoir" I've read, I was impressed. It's made me rethink my stance on non-fiction reading. Thanks Ms. Griffin!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2013

    I could NOT put this memoir down. I liked Kathy Griffin's standu

    I could NOT put this memoir down. I liked Kathy Griffin's standup when I was a kid. I had no idea her life was like that at all. Her brother the pedo and drug addict, and her family stuck up for him. GOD. Her husband stole money her money. A very good memoir but I did skip the Steve Wozniak emails. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Delicious!

    I thought it was great and it made me hungry for cake.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    More to the book than I thought.

    Very good book, comedy and serious. Some sides of Kathy Griffin I didn't think were there. Loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    great read

    Kathy doesn't hold back! A great and fun read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Thought it would be better

    An "ok" read..just thought it would be more insightful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Bwahahaha!!

    I enjoyed this so much I accidently read it twice and didn't even realize it until I was over half way thru it for the second time ;) I felt like I was hanging out with my best snarky girlfriend & loved every minute of it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Awesome.

    What a great read. This book really has substance, and its super funny. I would definitly recommend this book to my friends.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    if you love Kathy, then you will love this book!

    she's funny, witty, and honest. from heartfelt stories to crazy silly stories, this book was a great read. she's not affraid to make fun of herself and show how she is sometimes the butt jokes. i really loved it. you feel like she's your new best friend, opening up about her crazy life that you hadn't known before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Great book

    You will like Kathy even more after reading this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Funny

    She is a humorous writer and person..however, sometimes I am unsure if she is telling the complete truth. One can only hope but some of her tales are so unbelievable! Great read for the plane or beach!

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Highly Recommended - Laughed out loud!

    I love this book. Its very Kathy - funny and real. I love Kathy and I've watched her stand up and reality show for years. This book gets very detailed on her life - even the not-so-funny parts of it. If you love Kathy, you will love this book! ?

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You might not like her, but you've heard of her.

    I read this completely on a whim with no expectation of what this Kathy Griffin was about. I shortly learned that she was all business. What I admire most my new-found favorite comedian, is her honesty. Whether you agree with what she believes/says/does, you have to respect the fact that she knows herself well enough to stick to whatever she's going with. She deserves what she has and doesn't take that for granted, that's a rare quality with stardom! Most of all, read this for a good laugh because she is HILARIOUS.
    XXOO

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