Thursday, August 04, 2005

TV: Kathy Griffin

The nuts-and-bolts of celebrity fascinates me. Not rarified, A-list celebrity, an alternate existence captured in the following sentence from this recent article on the subject: “Mariah Carey becomes a star at 18, and she never has to think about the weather for her entire adult life.”

I’m talking about the kind of fame exemplified by Rene Russo’s character in GET SHORTY: a one-time scream queen who goes to the supermarket to buy her own groceries.

That fascination is why, after one episode, I’m ready to watch Kathy Griffin’s MY LIFE ON THE D-LIST every week.

It’s not a reality show about people who were once famous or arguably never were; Griffin’s act about her run-ins with the great and near-great makes her a staple on the stand-up circuit. And unlike, say, Bobby Brown, she’s not deluded about the show affecting her place in the Hollywood pecking order.

If anything, D-LIST is a lot like Anna Nicole Smith’s horrible TV show. Only, you know, good.

It turns out being a semi-known name is hard work, and Griffin is completely serious about it. She’s careful about which events to attend, although at a kabbalah book party – I can’t believe I just typed that – she’s the only name there, a fact that depresses her mightily. She’s also frank about using her celebrity to get free (or at least cheap) stuff; to convince a designer to give her a custom-built sofa at cost, she unleashes her surprisingly thick press kit and almost beats the poor man into submission. Her life seems exhausting and not even remotely fabulous.

The show also has its share of only-in-L.A. scenes, such as Griffin’s husband strapping on ankle weights so he can reach the minimum weight to qualify for gastric bypass surgery.

I have to say that Griffin owns an absolutely beautiful home. If this is what being the third banana on a sitcom nobody liked can net you, I’m in the wrong business.

Miscellaneous: Links

Speaking of celebrities, Tony Kay weighs in with a terrific report from the Hollywood Collectors’ Show – complete with photos! And show biz types scream? Is that true?