From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Griffin, an A-Z compendium of her celebrity run-ins, and the jaw-dropping, charming, and sometimes bizarre anecdotes only she can tell about them.
Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins is Kathy’s funny, juicy index of all of the celebrities she has met during her many years in show business, bursting with never-before-told stories. Starting with Woody Allen and ending with Warren Zevon, Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins is a who’s who of pop culture: Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Jonas, Kendall Jenner, Anna Kendrick, Lily Tomlin, Suge Knight, Barbra Streisand, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Maria Shriver, Jared Leto, Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor, Macklemore, Bruno Mars, Aaron Paul, Pink, Pitbull, Sia, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, and many more. Who would imagine that Kathy was an extra in a Michael Jackson commercial (guess which one)? That she and Salman Rushdie trade celebrity stories? That Donald Trump once drove Kathy and Liza Minelli around on a golf cart? That Sidney Poitier has a wicked sense of humor? That Demi Lovato has none? That David Letterman is still scared of Cher? That Channing Tatum is as polite as they come, and Tom Hanks might have the best perspective on fame of anyone? Kathy, that’s who. Kathy has met everyone, and after reading this book, you will feel as if you have, too.
Kathy Griffin has seen it all. Shocking and sidesplitting, Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins is an indispensable guide to the stars from one of our most beloved comedians. Can you handle it?
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
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Director, Writer, Actor
I was seated next to him at a small dinner party in November of 2014.
First impressions: He's quite feeble in person. He mumbles. Obviously, as he has been so swirled in controversy, I had my eyes on him the whole evening. The two takeaways are as follows: First, 95 percent of my time spent near him that evening was shockingly boring. And second, he said a couple of things that were genuinely shocking.
Prior to the dinner, I expressed my discomfort regarding how to handle myself in Allen's presence. Let's just say that while professionally I'm a fan, personally ... I believe Mia, Dylan, and Ronan. Get it? I knew you would.
When he walked in with his wife Soon-Yi, he announced, "I'm Woody, and this is my child bride!"
Hmmm, okay, okay, that was a pretty upfront opening joke, I thought. I do love a great opener from a comic. Maybe he'll have a sense of humor about everything in his life and be as candid about it as he was with that entrance line.
We all sat down, and the bitter truth was that his child bride remark would be his opening and closing joke. I had questions about his career, like his use of stand-up comedians in various roles (Louis CK, Andrew Dice Clay, Lily Tomlin). I asked him, "What was it like directing stand-up comics as opposed to traditional actors?" He seemed perplexed by this question. I mentioned that Louis CK was great in Blue Jasmine, and it was as if he had just been reminded that Louis CK was in Blue Jasmine. I wouldn't stop, throwing the rod and reel and trying to hook him with any of twenty different topics related to his incredible body of work and all the brilliant people he's worked with, but he sounded more engaged talking about his soup or chicken pot pie, neither of which were particularly funny or interesting. How was I going to get anything insightful out of this living legend?
He did describe a typical day to me as essentially getting up, eating, writing, and falling asleep before the end of a Knicks game on television. Reality shows were a no-go as a topic. "Smart" television didn't work. (Supposedly friends with Liev Schreiber, he said he'd never seen a single Ray Donovan.) At the end of my rope, I decided to give up on my fishing expedition and just pretend HE was completely up on MY act regarding pop culture and celebrities and ask him about things he surely had no clue about. At least I was going to make it fun on my end.
I turned to him: "So, Woody, you obviously asked to be seated next to me to gossip about everything going on with Kylie Jenner and Miley Cyrus these days." I was ready to let fly with another name when he responded after a beat that he'd seen every episode of Hannah Montana. Yeah. I'll let that sink in a bit. Every episode ... of Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel. Not only that, he continued by expressing concern about what had happened to Miley regarding her "current rebellious phase." Yeah. Pick your jaw up off the floor and let that nestle somewhere uncomfortably in your stomach. As I was trying to digest this information — Woody's seen every episode of Hannah Montana — the conversation actually morphed into current events. By the time I'd fully recovered from the unexpected Miley bombshell, the dinner was coming to a close. Yes, I know Woody Allen went on to cast Miley in an Amazon series.
At the end, get ready, Woody said to me with what seemed to be complete sincerity, "And now I have to watch my friend Bill Cosby get railroaded by the media."
ABRAMS, J. J.
Professional Nerd, Needs a Hit
Okay, all you straight male geeks and straight boyfriends/husbands secretly leafing through this in the bookstore or sneaking a peek while your better half (because she's a fan of mine) is out of the room: guess what? I'm onto you. I put Your Precious J. J. Abrams in here so I could talk to you directly. Put your robot toys away and turn off your damn Ashley Madison browsing and wise up! Now to your good stuff: Your Precious J. J. was my student at the LA improvisational theater the Groundlings before anyone knew who he was. We even used to double-date, and no, that doesn't mean Your Precious J. J. got anywhere near my girl parts. It meant we were the third wheels in trying to get his buddy Greg Grunberg to find true love with my friend Nancy Dye. That connection never happened, but since J. J. went on to marry someone named Katie, which is pretty much the same as Kathy, it's obvious he's still in love with me. (Deal with it.)
The best thing about knowing J. J. back in the day — before he became a screenwriting wunderkind in his twenties, and then his brain and talent became clouded with meaningless shit happening in space — was that he used to work for his TV producer dad, Gerald W. Abrams, at his company Phoenix Entertainment Group as the phone girl. That's right, the phone girl.
I'd call him there just to bust his balls. Ring ring. "Phoenix."
"It's Kath. I'll take a coffee, black, two cubes. Have it on my desk in five. Do you have a tight dress on today?"
I called him "Junior Ger," even though he wasn't — technically speaking — a junior. I even call him "Junior Ger" to this day, even though he's insanely wealthy and influential and a big deal with galaxy-worshiping losers like you. I consider it my duty to give him shit about his big movie-directing jobs. (In December of 2015, I referred to his "new Star Trek" movie, and he wrote back, "It's Star WARS!!!!" Isn't that cute?)
I also regularly chastise him for not making movies for Lifetime, since they're actually about important topics like suburban sexting and Christmas weddings. Stop almost-vomiting and get this: he's so super nice to me, anyway, that he routinely sends me e-mails saying he hopes I'm doing well, to give his love to my mom, Maggie, and after my last New Year's telecast, wrote the sweetest note in which he said, "Man, nobody can carry four and a half hours of live like you." That means he's watching me on New Year's and not wasting his time with a movie about some dumb shoot-out on a planet made of lucite or whatever. No, I haven't seen Star Trek: The Fierce Awakens yet — yeah, I know, it's not the title, but I'm sure it's good. J. J. was always talented, but When Friendship Kills good? I just don't know if he has the chops for Lifetime just yet.
Actress, Scientologist, Fluctuator
I've known Kirstie a while. She even cast me on her TV Land show, playing myself, and we had fun. But I'll always cherish the moment we shared backstage at the Today Show.
She had, yet again, secured another contract with Jenny Craig and had lost fifty pounds. So she was skinny Kirstie once more. (Not my favorite Kirstie, by the way, if anyone cares.) We were in the wings together — I was scheduled to go on after her — and whenever she sees me, she calls me "Kathygriffin!" She talks fast. This time she decided to play the nervous celeb.
"What are you gonna say about me NOW, Kathygriffin! God only KNOWS what you're gonna put in your comedy routine NOW, Kathygriffin!"
So I sat next to her, and when she pulled out her iPhone, I noticed that it had a big spiderweb of cracks. I said, "Well, your cracked iPhone isn't helping. My God, you're Kirstie Alley. You can afford to have one of your assistants or martians from your religion get you a new iPhone before Matt Lauer sees it. Because guess what the first sign of crazy is? A CRACKED IPHONE." Admit it, whenever you see a friend with a cracked iPhone, you instinctively think, Hmm, everything okay at home?
She immediately began yammering, "Ooooh, why did I let Kathygriffin see my cracked iPhone! Grrrr!" So she turned it on, and the first thing I see is the weather app showing the temperature in fricking Clearwater, Florida, for the next seven days (in case you didn't know, Clearwater is the hub of Scientology). Not the weather where she lives, mind you, but where her nutty religion operates.
I said, "Wow, you're in deep, babe. You have to know the weather in Clearwater on your cracked iPhone every minute? If you don't, do you clean toilets for a month?" Kirstie watched my lips move, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't pay attention to anything I say anymore, period. She had an exasperated look on her face and may have uttered a slight sigh of despair, but she was in game mode for her interview. I got the impression she neither had the time nor the inclination for any lengthy banter with me at that moment. Get 'em when they're vulnerable.
I don't censor myself around the likes of a Sci-Ti like Kirstie Alley anymore. What's the point, really? She just guffaws along with it now. (When you're in a cult that makes you do manual labor for a week or whatever to atone, what Kathy Griffin has to say is seriously not your biggest issue.)
Baywatch Babe, Platinum Canadian
Many people assume that celebrities all know each other, and there's a slight truth there in that two famous people who've never met but who obviously know about the other because they're famous can oftentimes jump right into a familiar-sounding rapport. In my case, when I'm presented with the chance to talk to a celebrity, I do what I call "pulling a Pam." No, not that, you perverts. It comes from this:
One night, at a fund-raiser hosted by VH1 at the trendy (now closed) Hollywood eatery Geisha House, I was looking for a place to sit and noticed Pam Anderson and Kid Rock in a booth. It must have been the one happy day in their tabloid-covered, tumultuous relationship. Remember, they did get married on a yacht, and Pam was in a bikini, wearing a sailor cap. I'm not sure if Kid Rock was wearing Confederate flag boxers or briefs. Anyway, there they were, and I said to myself, Oh, Pam's here; I'll go sit with them! I squeezed in next to her and said, "Pam?!"
She said, "Oh, hi, Kathy. Good to see you!"
She said, "Do you know Bob?"
I said, "Of course! Hi, Bob!"
Kid Rock looked at me and muttered, "Hey, Kathy."
We had a perfectly pleasant evening, and as I went home, I thought, Wait a minute, I've never met her or Bob! In my twisted mind, I had taken the fact that Pam and I share a business manager as a form of knowing her. Well, I knew her about as well as you know Pam Anderson, and you certainly wouldn't walk up to her and say, "Pam?!" (What do I know? Maybe you would.) I was unconsciously playing a form of that celebrities-know-each-other game. I'd closed some formality in my head — we share a CPA, we're pals! — so I could just go, "Hi, Pam! Hi, Bob!" I mean, I didn't know Kid Rock went by "Bob." (His name is Robert James Ritchie, which would not have been nearly as effective opening the rap megahit "Bawitdaba.") But since nothing bad happened — Pam and Bob didn't kick me out of that booth — I now think "pulling a Pam" is a perfectly reasonable way to insert myself into the orbit of a famous person I want to meet. Let's play this hand out: "Barack?!" "Your Holiness?!" "Malala?! Great to see you again!"
Actor, Intellectual, Joshua Rush from Knots Landing
I have so much gratitude for Hollywood Squares I can't even quantify it. Don't be hatin' on that show. How else are you guaranteed to meet eight celebrities a week? Whoopi Goldberg was the center square for a lot of the tapings I did, because the center square is reserved for the biggest star. One time I did it, though, Alec was the center square, and when I met him, he initiated what I now call the A-List Celebrity Preemptive Strike.
The nine of us were backstage, waiting to be introduced so we could walk out and climb the rickety ladder into our box. I felt as if it were the same ladder Paul Lynde may have vomited on decades earlier. But I digress.
Suddenly, Alec pulled me aside. It's already disarming enough when a gorgeous guy grabs you and whispers in your ear. But then he said in that delicious baritone of his, "I think you are both one of the sexiest ladies out there and one of the funniest. You got me." He laid it on thick. Well, of course I melted like butter. But then I realized, Hey! He thinks by saying that I won't turn anything he does into material! So I pulled myself together and said, "Thanks, but ... you're still in the act."
Now, when I see him, he practically noogies me. We make no pretense about it. I go, "Baldy! What's up?"
He says something like, "Hey, the corner's missing a hooker — you're late!" He doesn't even try to be a seductive gentleman. He's like, "Honey, how much you make? What's the market price for between the legs?" It's all horrible, but he's so funny about it, and so crazy smart, and such a good actor, I can't be offended. It's certainly not lost on me that he's probably given that exact come-on to countless women for various reasons. In my case, he was a good-looking actor trying to use his charm to score some points and hopefully keep me from skewering him. Instead, he gave me the phrase "the Alec Baldwin Preemptive Strike." Take that, Situation Room.
This is one of the examples I often give about how I walk the line between deepening a friendship with a celebrity or not. Several years ago during the years of My Life on the DList, out of the blue, I got a call from Drew's gay assistant (who must have gotten my number from the Gay Phone Book), letting me know that Drew was having a theme party and I was invited. It was at her home, which I remember thinking was surprising: I was being invited to an A-lister's house. But she was apparently a fan or at least didn't loathe me, so I was excited. Excited but apprehensive. After all, it would be packed with stars, possibly from my act, and if I were to go to her party, whatever happened there wouldn't stay there.
This was, if I remember correctly, an '80s prom theme, and I vowed to wear as little as possible that was theme-oriented. I probably had on a cardboard tiara. Areas were cordoned off to prevent snoopers like me, which was a bummer because I wanted a tour. Anyway, the celebrities were indeed there, including Parker Posey, Molly Shannon, Eva Mendes, too many to remember. Courtney Love was there with her "prom date," the famous photographer David LaChapelle. It made me not want to leave, I can tell you that.
Well, eventually Drew came up to me and said, "Oh, I'm so glad you came."
I said, "I'm surprised you're letting me loose around all these celebrities!"
She said, "Look, we should have dinner. I love you! This is a big party, but I have these eight-person dinner parties, and I'd love for you to come. We hate all the same people!" I said, "Yes, but I actually say their names on television."
Drew gave a quick giggle and turned and waved to Parker Posey. She was in full-on hostess mode. While I appreciated her declaration that we hated all the same people, I actually hear that a lot from celebrities. What they don't realize is due to my stand-up comedy disorder, when I am dishing the dirt with someone, whether it be my mom, Maggie, or Drew Barrymore, my brain processes everything we talk about as being potential material for my act. It's just how my brain works.
Now when I run into her, she's still super friendly, but I never got that dinner invite, and I think we'd both agree it was the best outcome for both of us.
Shampoo, Rinse & Repeat
I've been invited to birthday parties, and I've been invited to birthday parties! At Jane Fonda's epic seventy-fifth birthday, I knew it was going to be wall-to-wall legends, so I hoped and prayed my table would be well stocked with screen legends. At catered parties like these, in which you can choose where to sit, I like to go for the one near the buffet table. That way, I basically have a ringside seat because, hey, everyone has to eat at some point.
And then Barbra Streisand walked in. For me, even in this room filled with celebrities, Barbra Streisand's presence alone conjures three thoughts immediately: she is unapproachable, she's royalty to me, and yet, when I looked at her, she is a real person. And I almost fainted when she sat her real person ass down at my table. Gasp! Eva Longoria, who I've known for years and who has also seen me in action, was seated next to me, and she gave me a look she likes to give in social situations in which she's worried about my behavior — a serious stare that says, "Behave, it's Streisand." I just said to Eva, "I know, I know."
Catherine Keener was also at our table, so the three of us started up some easy chatting, and what do you know, Streisand threw out a "Hello." Now that that gate had been opened, I darted in. Look, it's not like I taped this conversation or something; just know that what follows is to the best of my recollection.
Excerpted from "Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins"
Copyright © 2016 Kathy Griffin.
Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Dear Lucky Reader,
An Open Apology From Kathy Griffin,
Alternate Titles for This Book the Publisher Thought were Inappropriate,
Also by Kathy Griffin,
About the Author,