Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Man Up!

Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence
by Ross Mathews
Foreword by Gwyneth Paltrow
Afterword by Chelsea Handler  
Grand Central Publishing
Hardcover, $25.00
238 pages
ISBN: 978-1-455-50180-9
Book Review by Kam Williams

       “This is how I define ‘man up’: you are what you are and the sooner
you stop hating what makes you unique, and start celebrating it and
using it to make you stand out from the crowd, the better your life will
be. For some reason, I was lucky enough to figure that out at an early
      This book, like my life, will be a bit of a roller coaster—you’ll
experience ups and downs, fits of laughter—and who knows, you
might even throw up! So keep your arms and legs inside the ride
at all times and, for goodness sake, stay seated until we come to
a complete stop.” 
      -- Excerpted from Prologue and Epilogue (pages xvi and 204)

            In 2001, Ross Mathews was working as an unpaid intern for The Tonight Show when he was plucked from obscurity by Jay Leno and brought onstage as a last-minute fill-in for a no-show guest. The flamboyant ham made the most of the opportunity, instantly ingratiating himself with folks all across the country as bubbly, over-the-top “Ross the Intern.”
            A natural in front of the camera, he’s been entertaining audiences ever since, whether on special assignment for The Tonight Show, guest-hosting for Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately, or interviewing celebrities on the red carpet for the E! Entertainment Network. And Ross recently landed his own talk show, Hello Ross, which is set to debut in the fall.
             Now, he’s has published Man Up! Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence, a laugh riot about his meteoric rise to fame. Inter alia, he recounts how he got the shock of his life when Gwyneth Paltrow said “Yes” when he asked her to be his best friend. They’ve remained close ever since.
            Besides gushing about the celebrities he’s met, star struck Ross is fond of delivering heartfelt pep talks to youngsters who might be social outcasts. For he recalls having been the butt of teasing and homophobic slurs growing up in a tiny, rural town as a chubby, effeminate kid with a voice that squeaked.
            But he relocated to the more tolerant environs of L.A. where he not only found the strength to come out of the closet but combined his Rubenesque figure and nasal whine into the recognizable trademark that’s endeared him to millions. The pages of this delightful tome are filled with plenty of personal anecdotes fleshing out Ross that will really leave fans feeling like they know him.
            The revealing autobiography covers its subject’s love life in fairly intimate fashion, from his first girlfriend, Becky, a fifth grade classmate who “didn’t seem to mind my physical deformities,” to his longtime companion, Salvador, with whom he’s been in a committed relationship for the last five years.
            An inspirational opus about a “boy least likely” who has achieved the American Dream without a makeover or having to compromise his integrity one iota. 

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