Naked Pictures of Famous People

Every year there’s a huge used book sale at my local mall, and every year I walk away with bags upon bags of books. Sadly, this year, due to overcrowding and a very impatient shopping partner (my mother), I walked away book-less.

I recentl

y moved and am just now finishing all my unpacking. I discovered some books I bought at last year’s book sale. It was like Christmas morning. The first book to catch my eye was “Naked Pictures of Famous People,” by Jon Stewart.

This is an older book, written in 1998, that includes Stewart take on religion, politics and even Martha Stewart, in a clever, witty and satirical manner.  The books is full of short stories, not all written in the same format, that include familiar names like The Kennedy’s, The Hanson family (yes, THOSE Hansons), and, as I mentioned before, Martha Stewart. Sometimes, Jon Stewart is writing as himself, other times he takes on a character. I’ve read funny books before, but this one had me very close to tears.

One of my favorite stories was “Breakfast at Kennedy’s” wherein Stewart takes on the role of a Jewish classmate of John F. Kennedy and writes about their friendship in a journal. Stewart talks about the “affectionate” nicknames he’s given (which are obviously meant to be derogatory). When Kennedy invites him over to spend spring break with the Kennedys, he doesn’t know what to expect, but is in awe of the beautiful house. Upon arrival, he receives a special greeting, “They tell me it’s a welcoming ritual given to all first times called a ‘clogging.’” As you can imagine, they beat him senseless and Stewart’s overenthusiastic character eats it up, “It’s great fun, and although it appears that young Bobby broke my nose with his knee and there are some bite marks on my kidneys from the girls, Dr. Salk said there’s no internal bleeding.”

He also goes on to describe outrageous situations such as “Mrs. K” giving birth in some pretty strange places. For example, she has a baby during church ceremony (just in time for the child’s first communion,” right after two of her sons drowned, “everyone’s considering the day a wash”).

Towards the end of the story, Stewart has found himself in a dire situation and is writing an entry in blood. The story takes a bit of a morbid turn, but still keeps it’s humor.

Another favorite of mine is called “The Cult.” Jon Stewart imagines himself as a cult leader. He discusses the pros and cons of being a cult leader, and even gives a scenario in which he leads his followers to “eternal bliss” after having a vision of the rapture.

In the scenario, his followers are all buzzing with excitement for the rapture and their salvation. Meanwhile, Stewart is complaining about the most miniscule things. For example, he yells at two of his Lieutenants for not finishing unloading the dishwasher. When the two say they didn’t think there would be an earthly use for them after the rapture, Stewart replies, in a very bitchy manner, “So you want the Captain to eat off dirty dishes? Our savior of saviors, and you can’t take the time?”  The Lieutenants beg for forgiveness by kissing Stewart’s feet while he “tries” to be humble, but mentions that they missed a spot.

The rest of the story is Stewart making up a back-story to the captain (filled with holes that his followers catch) and his hilarious attempt to cover up his mistakes.

After having this book for over a year, I finally got to read it (and there are most likely more books I forgot about from that same sale). This book was definitely worth the buy and definitely worth a read for anyone in need of a good laugh.

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