Celebrities tweak other celebrities in 'Celebrity Autobiography'
First it was Betty White on "Saturday Night Live." Now it's Florence Henderson in Monday's cast of "Celebrity Autobiography" at the Broad Stage.
OK, so it isn't Henderson's potty mouth, exactly. It's Madonna's. In the opening-night salvo of the cult hit's one-night-a-month run in Santa Monica, the frisky mom of "The Brady Bunch" read aloud a passage about Madonna's one-night stand with a teenager from her book, "Sex."
"I was so turned on; it was probably the most erotic sex I ever had," Henderson read naughtily. "But he gave me crabs."
The audience roared. Backstage later, Henderson talked about the show.
"They asked me to do that, and when I read it, I could hardly get through it without laughing," she said. "People who ever saw me on 'The Tonight Show' and Jack Paar know I can be raunchy and funny, and I love to do that. If I say something, people laugh so hard when it's off-color, and I think it's because of the way I look and people don't expect it. They don't expect me to say the things Madonna wrote in that book."
No, they certainly don't.
"I love to shock people. And when I got to the part about the young man, I thought, 'Everybody's going to be thinking about Greg Brady.' I know some people were thinking that, but that's OK. It's fun!"
The cast also included Brooke Shields, Rita Wilson, original "SNL" cast member Laraine Newman and writer Alan Zweibel, "Ugly Betty's" Michael Urie, Fred Willard, "Celebrity Autobiography" creator Eugene Pack and his wife, Dayle Reyfel, reading naughty bits from autobiographies -- some nicely spliced together -- by Loni Anderson, Burt Reynolds, Tommy Lee, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, Marilu Henner, Hedy Lamarr, Tiger Woods and more.
Shields, who donned sparkly jewelry and big, dark sunglasses to channel Ivana Trump, is so entertained by hoisting celebrities on their own petards that she has offered up one of her own -- her 1985 autobiography, "On Your Own."
It's probably a good call. On the Amazon website, "a customer" writes, "This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. With such catchy phrases as 'Worry is the sleep thief' and 'I'd rather be overweight than smoke,' who wouldn't want to read this?"
Shields, actually. She thinks it will be funnier if someone else reads from her book during one of her performances.
"I was like, you've got to do a book that I wrote when I was 18. It's too bad-good to not do. You have to. Self-deprecation is my favorite thing in the world because it's helped me survive. I think they've tapped into something, and you almost can't believe what you're hearing is really written. I think there's a belief that [the celebrity authors are] being honest, and maybe some people shouldn't be that honest."
Not so fast ...
-- Irene Lacher
Upper photo: Florence Henderson gets her potty mouth on in "Celebrity Autobiography." Credit: Amy Graves / WireImage
Lower photo: Brooke Shields in Ivana Trump drag channels the wealthy author. Credit: Amy Graves / WireImage