Mix 1 oz. Chelsea Handler, 1.5 oz. Nora Ephron, finish with a twist of Tina Fey, and you get Ali in Wonderland, the uproarious, revealing, and heartfelt memoir from acclaimed actress and comedian Ali Wentworth. Whether spilling secrets about her quintessentially WASPy upbringing (and her delicious rebellion against it), reminiscing about her Seinfeld “Schmoopie” days and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or baring the details of starting a family alongside husband George Stephanopoulos, one thing is for sure—Ali has the unsurpassable humor and warmth of a born storyteller with a story to tell: the quirky, flavorful, surprising, and sometimes scandalous Ali in Wonderland.
“Ali Wentworth is funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth.” —Alec Baldwin
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A Q&A with Ali Wentworth and her mother, Muffie Cabot
Ali: Were you nervous when I first gave you the book to read?
Muffie: YES! I was! Because everyone has a view of their childhood that is very different from the parent’s view of their childhood and I didn’t know what to expect...
Ali: Anything you would change?
Muffie: Not a thing (clears her throat), but I believe in the old Japanese tale of Rashomon, in which everyone’s view of an incident is different.
Ali: Not sure what you’re talking about, but okay.
Muffie: It’s an old, wise, Japanese...
Ali: (interrupting) Anything surprised you?
Muffie: Well yes, quite a bit. Of course, everything is laced with humor. I don’t remember things the way you do.
Ali: No? Like what?
Muffie: I didn’t know about some of the babysitter’s behavior.
Ali: Like the one who sold heroin out of our house?
Muffie: Yes, like that one.
Ali: Or the one who stole your only son’s virginity?
Muffie: Is this what we’re talking about today?
Ali: You’re right. Let’s move on. Mom, your favorite part?
Muffie: There’s so much I love.
Ali: Mom, go ahead, you can be honest.
Muffie: I love all the chapters about when you were a little girl. Before you went off to boarding school.
Ali: You mean when you shipped me off to boarding school?
Muffie: Not against your will...
Ali: The guy who assembled the straight jacket would beg to differ.
Muffie: Don’t print that; people will think it’s true.
Ali: I want them to.
Muffie: You learned a lot in boarding school.
Ali: It was women’s prison and I barely made it out alive.
Ali: What other parts did you like?
Muffie: Well, I wasn’t around as much when you were older...
Ali: And tried drugs?
Ali: Just once, Mom.
(Muffie is clearly uncomfortable)
Ali: Did the book seem accurate to you?
Muffie: Yes, but you’re a writer and you make events come to life that are your reality.
Ali: Meaning... it’s all BS?
Muffie: Just YOUR reality!
Ali: You had some comments after you read it?
Muffie: Yes, I did. I thought you needed to tone down the pee and fart references.
Ali: But that’s just human nature and happened during certain points in my life.
Ali: I get your point. Less is more.
Muffie: I also was protective of you and wanted you to make the ex-boyfriends less identifiable.
Ali: So they wouldn’t kill me?
Muffie: Well, that would be unfortunate.
Ali: Want me to write another book?
Muffie: Do you have to?
Ali: If I did, any ideas?
Muffie: When the muse strikes you!
Ali: I don’t understand that either. Do you think my siblings will like the book?
Muffie: They will laugh. Roll their eyes. Recognize you on every page.
Ali: Of your four kids, who’s your favorite?
Muffie: Do you actually think I’m going to answer that?
Ali: Do you want a percentage of sales, or not?From the Back Cover:
Growing up in a family of political journalists—and daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary—Ali Wentworth rebelled against her blue-blood upbringing, embracing Hollywood, motorcycles, even a few wildly inappropriate marriage proposals. Today she is an acclaimed comedic actress and writer, former Oprah regular, wife of political and media star George Stephanopoulos, and a mother who lets her two girls eat cotton candy before bed. Though she’s settled down, her rebellious nature thrives in her comedy and her view of her crazy world.
In this addictively funny and warm memoir, she takes us through the looking glass and into the wonderland of her life, from a childhood among Washington’s elite to a stint in the psych ward they called a New England prep school; days doing L.A. sketch comedy (with then-aspiring artists Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow) to a series of spectacularly failed loves (that eventually led her to Mr. Right). Constant throughout is her mother, Muffie—a flawlessly elegant yet firm, no-nonsense force of nature and pure WASP convictions.
As charming and off-the-wall as Ali herself, Ali in Wonderland is an entertaining look at life that is both intimate and hilarious.
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