The hit Off-Broadway comedy “Celebrity Autobiography,” created by an Emmy Award-nominated writer Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel, features A-list comedic talent performing bits based on material from a diverse selection of celebrity memoirs. Sure, it’s nice to read about Burt Reynolds' sexual exploits on paperback, but wouldn’t it be more fun if Ryan Reynolds read it to you?
The show has sold out for three years thanks not only to a brilliant concept but also a good number of high-profile stars that have participated. The long list of appearances include Matthew Broderick, Mario Cantone, Alan Cumming, Justin Long, John Leguizamo, Matthew Perry, Ryan Reynolds, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and nearly the entire cast of “Saturday Night Live.”
NiteSide stole a moment with creator Pack during a special Barefoot Wine-sponsored edition of the show held this weekend at Gramercy Theater.
Who would you love to get on the add to your already long list of guests? So we’re talking about our wish list here? Well we would love to get some of those iconic people like Robin Williams or Bette Midler or Lily Tomlin. We just think it would be a blast and that they would be so great with this kind of material.
Are you looking to expand the show at all now that it has sold out for so many years? Well right now we’re touring with the show. The size of our venues can range from very intimate venues to giant auditoriums where there are 3,000 people in the audience. We just did the show in LA with Fred Willard, Brooke Shields, Rita Wilson, Michael Urie and some other great people. One of my favorite actresses is Carol Kane and she’s actually performed with us a few times. It’s very exciting.
Have you ever wanted to have someone read his/her own autobiography? Oh yes, we’ll see somebody’s autobiography and we will actually invite them to come read from it if they want. Why not?
Do you read the entire memoir when you’re looking for quotes? I don’t read the entire book. There’s actually an art to reading an autobiography. The prologue commonly has the juiciest material, because they really start dramatically. It’s usually about their night in jail or their big revelation to jump off a cliff. Chapter One usually is the “I was born in…” section, which is boring. And then the last chapters of the book are where they peter out and have no more ideas left. They’ll start listing their favorite TV shows or talk about how they get ready in the morning.
What’s the most successful autobiographies to read from? We love finding material in books that might not have been significant when they wrote it but present day is extremely humorous. For example, Tiger Woods “How I Play Golf” is something that I perform. Where ever you start reading in the book just has this whole new meaning now because of his very public scandal.
Are you ever surprised to find out a celebrity even has an autobiography? Well tonight Mario Cantone is doing a special performance of Carrie Prejean’s book “Still Standing.” The funniest part about that is the fact that Carrie Prejean wrote a book. Who knew? I mean these people fill hardcover pages. Even so, we’re not out to make fun of anyone or trying to scorn anybody. It’s more about creating a lampoon on the memoir genre.
Who are you hoping writes a memoir soon? Al Gore. I want to hear a play by play on his masseuse problem. Who doesn’t?