Comedian and actor Elliott (Into Hot Air, 2007, etc.) spoofs his own life, mixing fact and fiction in this "unauthorized biography."
The author begins with an account of his 1984 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, when Elliott’s name first became known. Working back in time from that event, he poses questions about his life and career—e.g., was he just a pampered child of celebrities seeking attention? “In order to attempt to answer these questions, we must go through his life chronologically and in excruciating detail, at least for long enough to fill about two hundred pages, most of which will have to be padded with a lot of childhood anecdotes and pop psych speculation,” he writes. Readers learn how, as a young boy, Elliott absorbed the local characters surrounding him on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, “squirreling them away for later retrieval.” Including a bout with hysterical blindness, an encounter with Jackie Kennedy at the infamous East Hampton Grey Gardens, surviving a shipwreck and washing up on Marlon Brando’s private island (where Brando passed on the arts of acting and lovemaking), Elliott continues to spin his tale to greater lengths of absurdity. The author bumps up against mobsters like John Gotti, who secured Elliott a gig as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center. Interwoven with the fictional events are a few facts concerning the author’s career, but it becomes a tiresome chore sorting the fictional fluff from the real-life episodes.
Fans of Elliott’s work will welcome this wacky, fictionalized narrative; others should steer clear.