My Life as a Goddess was recommended to me by my sister, the elusive badkittyuno, who told me I needed to get the audiobook in order to enjoy the full experience. I will echo her advice- you must read this book, you should also try and listen to the audio.
I know Guy Branum from Chelsea Lately but I grew tired of Chelsea Handler before Guy did so I didn’t know they’d had a falling out. It does seem like Guy has managed to come out on top of their failed working relationship though.
My Life as a Goddess is not your typical memoir; Guy is an intelligent man who grew up with an insatiable hunger for knowledge. His favorite books growing up were encyclopedias and his love for obscure knowledge has not dissipated with age. Peppered throughout his life story is extensive information about Greek mythology, a deep dive into the lyrical meanings of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and, in lieu of discussing his complicated relationship with his sister, an entire chapter devoted to the political history of Canada among other useless bits of trivia you did not know you were hungering for.
“Like most people who write collections of humorous personal essays, I was a bookish child. Other boys my age focused most of their time on yelling, trying to fart on each other, and generally not obeying rules. The vast majority of male eight-year-olds love to break rules. It is their greatest passion. Mashing their food together in the cafeteria and pretending it’s barf. Yelling “boobs” during a nice assembly where we learn about Irish step dancing. Maiming beauty. They love it. Their fierce defiance of what moms and teachers want out of them is what fuels their spirits. I have never understood these creatures.”
While there are several tangents Guy does manage to tell his story in a pretty straightforward manner. Guy covers the basics of growing up in rural California, surrounded by Punjabi Indians and almond trees, where he was expected to play football because of his size. Guy followed high school with an undergrad at Berkeley before going to law school in Minnesota. After he got a job that could cover his bills he came out to his parents who promptly cut him off but coming to terms with his sexuality was a big step in Guy’s personal growth.
Despite his extensive education Guy never felt at home as a lawyer and eventually he dipped his toe into stand up comedy before breaking into the entertainment industry as a writer for TechTV. Guy eventually wrote for G4 and then landed his plum gig at Chelsea Lately where he eventually bit the hand that fed him and found himself out on the streets metaphorically speaking (ok, he was working for Punk’d). Eventually Guy landed on his feet with writing jobs for the late Joan Rivers and Mindy Kaling, who wrote the foreword for this memoir.
Read/ listen to this memoir. You will not regret it.