This interview appeared on the website The Man Faq by my friend Tony Castleberry, who is one of their columnists. Where better to end up than on a website dealing with the one thing I know nothing about: men.
TC: Is “You’re funny” the greatest compliment of them all?
SUZY: For a comedian, yes. For a mortician, no.
TC: I read your book in a week. Thoroughly entertaining and insightful. Have you had many (any) celebrity run-ins since the book came out?
SUZY: No run-ins since the book launched. Instead, friends who’ve read it are letting me know which celebrity encounters I omitted. These are the same people who can’t remember what time to meet me for lunch yet are now suddenly hooked up to sodium pentothal drips. So it appears I left out the incidents with Sharon Stone, Tyra Banks, and Mary Hart. I saw a friend over Christmas and he said, “Why didn’t you write about the time you met Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards? Remember how embarrassed they were after that stupid thing you did?” So I guess there will be a sequel and also, how have I not been arrested?
TC: Your interactions with stand-up legends like Richard Pryor and George Carlin were particularly interesting to me because I once waited for nearly an hour after a Doug Stanhope show -- without my date, who bailed shortly after Stanhope's set -- for an autograph and a photo, both of which Stanhope happily gave me. Have you found that comedians are more approachable than other entertainers?
SUZY: I think anyone who is in show business and isn’t famous, which is about 99.9% of us, is approachable and likes the attention, including comedians. I’ve never met a comic, famous or otherwise, who didn’t take the time to talk to someone who approached them. Of course this always ends with one of them telling the comedian a story about their crazy family or their wacky office and how we can “use that if we want to.” Meanwhile, Modern Family and The Office beat them to the punch(line).
Famous entertainers are trickier, as evidenced by my run-ins with Diana Ross and Lucille Ball. I assume they’re tired of people telling them how great they are, or of hearing how big a fan someone is. It’s a shame because without those fans, those celebrities wouldn’t be celebrities. And those stars were lucky, they had longevity. Today the statistics claim a pop star gets roughly three years of fame and a newcomer to TV or film gets less than that. Obviously I’m not talking about reality stars. Those people will haunt us forever. I’m looking at you, Snooki.
My philosophy is that if someone has paid good money - or even bad money - to see me perform, I feel like a timeshare and that they’ve temporarily rented out a piece of me. Not a good piece, like an arm, but maybe an earlobe. I just ask that they laugh in all the right places if they want their deposit back.
TC: The sidebars and Amazon reviews that appear often in Celebrity sTalker are informative and funny. Since it is obviously a unique way to write, did you ever second-guess those ideas or wonder if they would work?
SUZY: I’m a big fan of TV shows with judges and lawyers. I love the part when the judge calls the attorneys to the bench and says something that can’t be heard by the rest of the court and is referred to as a sidebar. It’s always slightly relevant to the case but in reality I assume the judge is just asking them if they know a good place to get sushi. I’d been using the word ‘sidebar’ to separate paragraphs in my blog posts for many years even though the sidebar is actually the long column on the side of a blog. So it was a natural progression to put them in my book. The preferred way to mention an interruption between paragraphs in a blog post is to refer to it as a ‘side note.’
Sidebar: I’m very stubborn. Who knows a good place in LA to get sushi?
As to the fake Amazon reviews at the end of each chapter, I wanted to mock the real ones, which are often cruel or stupid or both. It’s always the person calling out another reviewer for having bad grammar who spells grammar with an e. I also hid something in the reviews but so far, no one has figured out what that is. After my sister read the book I asked her if she liked those parts. She demurred and finally admitted she didn’t know me as well as she thought because I was taking the criticisms “really well” and that “people who didn’t even know me were incredibly mean.” I told her the reviews weren’t real and remembered she could deconstruct calculus but couldn’t figure out the reviews were fake? Where are my parents now, when I can point this out to them and make my sister wrong?
I never second-guessed using both the sidebars and the reviews. I’d never seen anything like them in any other books; especially humor ones, so I thought I was pretty clever. This wore off after six weeks of writing and became, “Dear God, why did I ever think I was clever?”
TC: What kind of feedback have you gotten since the book's release?
SUZY: The book has been out for three weeks and so far, I’ve received only positive feedback. The only negative comment came from my mother who said, “I think the cover’s too busy,” so I asked her to show me the cover of her book so we could compare.
And that conversation, as they say in Hollywood, was a wrap.