Kathy Griffin’s Autobiography Is ‘Official’

Jesse Gutierrez

Move over Maya Angelou, Kathy Griffin is bringing the D-List to the literary world, with her first tell-all autobiography “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin.”

While Griffin is mostly known for being a comedian, and may not be the first person anyone would think would write a book, she brings her very unique and sometimes inappropriate comedic style into the 328 pages.

As the book begins Griffin starts off with a very interesting question: “Have you ever looked at the online photos of Britney’s peesh?” Not the best line to start a book with.

While the lead-in to the chapter may be strange, it’s all about Griffin starting off her career as a comic at a young age when she would go to her neighbors house and dish about her family’s private lives in exchange for Milano cookies.

Griffin does not just talk about herself though. She also introduces you to her dysfunctional Irish Catholic family, her mother Maggie, her father John and her older siblings Kenny, Gary, Joyce and John.

She says that her family life was dysfunctional, but it’s not later until you find out how dysfunctional. Later, after she made her showbiz debut in a commercial for the White Sox, she decided that to make it as an actress she was going to need to move to L.A. after she graduated from high school.

While moving to L.A. to become an actress should be a happy thing, it turned out at least in the beginning to be a nightmare for Griffin and her family. The family had been out of touch with her oldest brother Kenny since he had also moved to L.A. to become an actor.

As Griffin spent more time with her brother, she began to realize he had a lot of problems, including drugs and alcohol, and had also been caught physically abusing girlfriends. The worst part of all was he was a pedophile. Griffin even accounts for a time when he crawled into her bed and made an advance on her. Eventually, Kenny died of a drug overdose.

In the next three chapters Griffin talks about her early life as an entertainer in L.A. She started off in the underground improv comedy group known as The Groundlings, which also included stars such as Lisa Kudrow (“Friends”)and Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira:Mistress of The Dark”).

While she was in the Groundlings, Griffin also attended the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

Her career is not the only thing Griffin discusses in these chapters. She also talks about her very interesting relationships, including a fling with actor Jack Black, about whom she said,”Yes I [slept with] Jack Black.”

While Griffin’s relationships and early career in improv make a hilarious story, the real story in the book begins with Griffin’s first role in the television sitcom “Suddenly Susan,” which also starred Brooke Shields.

Griffin recalls her time on the show as a great experience, until the end of the show’s run when one of the cast members and one of Griffin’s closest friends, David Strickland, hung himself in a Las Vegas motel in 1999.

After her run on “Suddenly Susan,” Griffin decided to reinvent herself by getting plastic surgery in order to try to help her get more work. But it had the opposite result. After a nose job and a botched liposuction, which almost cost Griffin her life, she still was not getting the offers.

Griffin then decided to try stand-up comedy after two successful HBO specials and a successful run at a Hollywood comedy club got Griffin picked up by the Bravo network, and her reality show “My life on the D List” began.

At this point in the book Griffin also writes about her marriage to her now ex-husband, actor Matt Moline, who she says she later found out had stolen more than over $72,000 from an account.

Also by the time of her divorce Griffin had won two Emmy awards for the reality show, but at the same time she lost her father John Patrick Griffin, which she admits were the hardest pages of the book to write because she did not want to relive the pain.

Griffin really did save the two best topics for last. In the last chapters she talks about her relationship with billionaire Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. The way that this chapter is arranged is very different from the others. Instead of being something she had written about, Griffin Just put together a series of e-mails they were sending back and forth until the time that the relationship broke off.

In the final chapter of the book “How Paris Hilton Changed My Life,” Griffin writes, “Not many people know this but Paris Hilton is a genius. Ok that was fun to write. Really, she’s an idiot.” So in true form she ends the book just as she started it, with her very unmistakable brand of comedy.

With a unique writing style, great comedic timing, and a story that could be made into a dramatic motion picture, “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According To Kathy Griffin” will become an instant sensation and is worthy to be in any book club
( yes, Kathy, even Oprah’s).

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
*****