Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ham: Slices of Life by Sam Harris

1 Star
ARC from NetGalley. Thank you NetGalley!!!!

The blurb said ”For fans of David Sedaris and Chelsea Handler, these stories and essays about friendship, celebrity, growing up and getting sober will have you laughing and crying in equal measure."

I knew nothing about Sam Harris before starting this book, but I love me some David Sedaris so I was all in. While I knew Harris would never make me want to throw my #1 funny man to the side, I hoped I would at least get a few chuckles out of this book. I read the first essay “Unwrapped” and indeed found myself a bit amused. Sadly, that laugh was the only one to be had.

Morbid curiosity had me soon Googling “who the heck is Sam Harris???” and I found out his claim to fame was singing “Over the Rainbow” 30 years ago to Ed McMahon on the Star Search stage. I was no longer surprised to find that Harris is not funny. At all.

He is, however, quite full of himself and rambles on and on about awesome tales from 20+ years ago. He also never fails to take a dig at another celebrity in an attempt to shine the spotlight a little brighter on himself. Basically, Harris is insufferable and almost all of his essays got my blood boiling. The worst of the worst include:

1. Pointing out how strange Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor were at Liza Minnelli’s wedding (really? I never would have guessed);

2. How he opened for Aretha Franklin and not only was she a huge bitch (I have always assumed the "divas" earned that title for a reason), but “more than half of the audience” was there specifically to see him and not her (yeah, right);

3. He somehow managed to out-alcoholic Liza while she was in rehab by going to visit her and then declaring he too was an addict;

4. He filled in for a sick Donny Osmond in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (the Canada tour, NOT on Broadway) and the producers insisted Osmond still be able to do the curtain call (because duh, people paid to see him, not the winner of Star Search an eon ago), but the crowd was really cheering for Harris and didn’t care about Donny at all (oooooookay).

5. Harris even manages to make the tragedy of 9/11 all about him and living out a superstar fantasy with Oprah.

I’m all for some celebrity gossip, but Harris should have taken a lesson from Kathy Griffin who has made it an art form. She (and her D-List status) have always been just as much a part of the joke as the famous person she is dishing about. Harris is like a J-List celeb, at best, so he should probably just keep his mouth shut about famous people and pray they keep accepting his phone calls.

In a nutshell,

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