If you are like most people, you wonder about the lives of celebrities. But standup comic Suzy Soro managed to take it one step further. You will laugh and gasp as you turn the pages of her book Celebrity sTalker which you can find on Amazon:
“It’s a no hugging set.”
That’s the first thing my agent told me when I got the part on Seinfeld.
I was relieved because I’m not a fan of the hug. What happened to just nodding vaguely in a person’s direction while muttering hateful things under your breath? I’m so anti-hug that I hunch my shoulders up around my ears and fashion my arms into shish-kabobs lashed to my torso. It’s more of a shrug than a hug, a Frankenstein impersonation. This is to ward off the psychos who lurch toward you. The Mom Hugger with her snot-covered sweater and poop-stained hair who has to walk two states away for me to no longer smell her Diaper Genie. Or the Drunk Hugger who breathes on me so hard he’s killed any communicable diseases I’ve picked up from the Mom Hugger. Or the Hugger I’ve Just Met: Do I appear friendly? Look more closely.
California is the hugging capital of the world. People hug you for the most inappropriate reasons. Mechanic finds the ping in your car? Hug. Your shrink finds the ping in your psyche? Hug. Get caught with a group of women in the middle of a 5.3 temblor during a Barney’s sale? Hug Hug Hug. And steal steal steal since everyone’s too shaken up to notice.
California is also the organic capitol of the world as people will tell you that everything from a zucchini to their relationship with the wind is organic, man. We also have a serious relationship with energy. “We’re going to take photographs based on the energy in the room.” That’s what a photographer told my best friend, Dennison, while he was getting his headshot taken. Dennison now has the perfect mug shot should he ever end up on the FBI’s Ten- Most-Wanted list.
We’re the Organic Energy Hugging capitol of the world and this is why everyone hates us. If our gynecologist’s office had guns we’d beat Texas as the craziest state in the Union. Although years ago a Texas girlfriend seemed surprised that I didn’t know gynecologists used guns so what the hell is going on over there? You’re supposed to use a speculum, for the love of God.
I’ve known Larry David since I did standup in New York. He and I played the Original Improvisation on West 44th Street and Comedy U Grand, downtown. I’ve known Jerry Seinfeld the same amount of time. He and I both were regulars at Catch a Rising Star on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Although Jerry’s “regular” status was much different from mine. He could walk from his car to the front door of the club directly onto the stage. I could walk from the subway to the front door of the club directly into obscurity.
The man who booked Catch a Rising Star was not a fan of mine. But he liked my mother and rather than show his affection for her, he showed his lack of affection for me by trashing me to my face.
“I know other people think you’re funny but I don’t,” he told me one night while we stood on the sidewalk outside the club.
“OK.” I said.
“Soro,” he said, “I’m sorry but I just don’t think you’re funny.”
“I heard you the first time.” I tried to walk away but he grabbed my arm.
“Soro, you have comics who think you’re funny but I don’t.”
ALL RIGHT, ASSHOLE.
Months later I heard that Larry talked to him on my behalf and suggested he give me more stage time. He told him I was one of those people who says funny things but doesn’t realize they can be turned into jokes. “She free-associates, so you need to put her up more.”
The booker told him he didn’t think I was funny. Is there anyone on planet Earth he didn’t tell?
Larry and Jerry moved to Los Angeles to get The Seinfeld Chronicles, as Seinfeld was first titled, off the ground. I moved to LA a few years later. They were busy with their show; I was busy auditioning for sitcoms I never got and going on the road to do standup in clubs with terrible acoustics and a Radio Shack mic. We never ran into each other.
And then my agent got the call. I was going to play Barbara Benedict in an episode of Seinfeld called “The Dinner Party.”