Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins

When we last left off I was leaving the Carrie Fisher book signing in New York City and running 5 blocks to try and catch Kathy Griffin signing copies of her new book Celebrity Run-Ins. Kathy’s event started at 6:00 with a discussion and a signing to follow. I got to the Barnes & Noble on 17th St. around 7:15PM and breathlessly ran up to the customer service desk to see if Kathy was still signing. They thought so but I’d need to buy the book at the cashier, get a wrist band, and take the escalators to the 4th floor to find out for sure. Luckily there was still a line when I got there so I was told to wait in the event area. In my gay opinion, that’s the way to have a book signing, indoors with seating.

I settled into my folding chair in the last row with two rows of people still ahead of me waiting to get in line. I watched as Kathy held court atop the stage, behind a desk, with a handler on each side. Why she needed handlers, I don’t know, because Kathy was clearly in charge. She was handed each book with the purchaser’s name scrawled on a Post-It and she would call everybody up personally. She initiated the conversation and there was a staff member standing by to take photos. There was lots of personal interaction and laughing going on. She treated each person better than she treats most of the celebrities she writes about in her book.

When my time came for Kathy to call me up, I thanked her for doing the signing. She told me that she loves doing them and from what I saw, I believe it. She asked “So what’s bothering you? Today everybody seems to be coming here with stories of angst?” (Side note: Thank you to all those whiners before me, who I roll my eyes at, because without you the line would have moved quicker and I would have missed out) I racked my brain trying to figure out what was on my mind, no surprise, I got nothing. I was in my favorite city, I just got to meet my childhood idol (Carrie Fisher), and now I was meeting one of the funniest women alive. Life’s good and I told her so. She said “Oh so you’re just here for the laughs!” Exactly! So she said “Let’s take a pic then”. She handed me my signed book, thanked me and jokingly told me to “get this out on the interwebs”. So I’m doing as I was told. Watch out interwebs!

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Most celebrity books are biographies with lots of facts but little dirt, however, Celebrity Run-Ins is all dirt. Kathy lists the celebrities she’s met from A to Z in this dictionary of dish. Not only is it packed with stories of other celebrities but it’s also a look into Kathy’s life. From her early days of working as an extra for $70 a day on the infamous Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial where his hair caught fire, to teaching students like Will Ferrell at the Groundlings, to hosting events where she and Liza Minnelli end up in the back of a golf cart driven by Donald Trump, and finally reaching ultimate stardom status playing dress up with Cher and gaining access to the goddess’ glitter drawer.

Not all the stories are full of dirt, some are touching like her relationship with Joan Rivers. Some of the “celebrities” she mentions I don’t even know (the politicians and sports stars) but she gives enough back story to make them entertaining. The majority of the stories are obviously funny with many down right hysterical making me laugh out loud. My favorites being when she made Jody Foster uncomfortable demanding she list the movies she won Oscars for in front of Sidney Pointier, when Kathy rubs up against Suge Knight encouraging him to spoon with her, or going to a party surrounded by Kardashians who ask her to describe them and she calls them “dirty whores” to their faces. Celebrity Run-Ins is packed with things that only Kathy could get away with; that’s why I love her and this book.

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