This section contains 3,363 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Naked Pictures of Famous People Summary & Study Guide Description
Naked Pictures of Famous People Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
John F. (Jack) Kennedyappears in Breakfast at Kennedy's
The 35th President of the United States, Jack Kennedy is pictured in 1935 as a fun-loving senior student at the prestigious Choate school, long before the legend of Camelot. As a sixth-former, Jack is "top dog" and greatly beloved for his wit and for his way with the girls. He seems a bit sad, however, being the only Catholic at Choate, and therefore bonds with the unnamed narrator, the school's only Jew. Jack invites him to join him and roommate and best friend, Lemoyne (Lem) Billings, to Hyannis, MA, for a romping weekend with the family.
The narrator finds charming the sharp chiding that Jack aims at his being Jewish and dismisses the fact that he misses all the fun, being put to work on an irrigation system for the family compound. Jack also aims painful barbs at unfortunates, including Lem, whom he calls "big, ugly, retarded, chickenshit."
The story more broadly lampoons the Kennedy family's famous idiosyncrasies that come out during and after Jack's presidency. His father, "Mr. K," is a charitable soul, who nevertheless takes over the narrator's father's business in lieu of suing the son for trespassing, and who imprisons his own less-than-perfect children in a dungeon.
"Mrs. K" gives birth to sufficient children to offset those lost in rough-and-tumble athletic competitions. Jack's moody brother Robert tortures himself over an innocent political error, Edward (Teddy) as a toddler has already turned into a ladies' man, and wanders back from a tragic tricycle accident, leaving retainers to find the expensive vehicle—and presumably his female companion—in the water. Sister Rosemary, lobotomized to control mood swings and later institutionalized, becomes the whole horde of children held under ghastly conditions beneath the mansion.
William (Bill) Gates, IIIappears in The Devil and William Gates
The Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Gates overcomes youthful bad luck and goes on to become President of the United States and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the entire World, thanks to a deal he makes with the Devil. The popular stereotype of Gates' nerdy appearance and uncommanding manner of speech are played up.
The spoof of the Faust legend begins in May of 1975, when at age 20, Gates is frustrated that his "317 Flushes Blue" invention is surpassed by a 2,000-flush product. He swears to give his soul to the Devil and is instantly relieved when Beelzebub fails to appear. Next morning, however, the Dark One does arrive to settle business. Gates' fears are calmed as the Devil prints a contract from his notebook computer, granting Bill 25 years of worry-free life. Gates grows rich, marries, and is happy and admired—even by the Devil, who finds Gates a marvelous client.
At the close of 25 years, Gates fears the Devil's return and prepares a neat "powerful leveraged buyout package" to offer him. Gates makes a brilliant visual presentation using his Microsoft software and offers first-class entertainment (Luciano Pavarotti and classing Star Trek episodes), but the Devil is unimpressed. He leaves Gates overnight to settle his affairs.
Gates uses the time to modify the Devil's hotel bill, cancel his credit card, change the registration on his Mercedes and report it stolen, and exchange his fingerprints for a "crack-addicted prostitute." The Devil has to admit defeat and hands over all power to Gates, who becomes even more merciless, forcing Beelzebub to proctor an MTV chat room, a task that drives Beelzebub insane before killing him.
The story's opening, which assures readers that Gates has died, suggests that stories about his continued meddling in every aspect of human life are not exaggerated or untrue.
Adolf Hitlerappears in The New Judaism; and Adolf Hitler: the Larry King Interview
The 20th-century German dictator responsible for beginning World War II and the Holocaust, Hitler is mentioned in "The New Judaism" as the killer of six million Jews during the Third Reich, and is pictured in his youth as adding "no offense" to an anti-Semitic diatribe. Only later does he manifest himself as a monster.
Hitler is the primary character in an interview with CNN broadcaster Larry King. By way of introduction to his viewers, King summarizes Hitler's career: president of the Nazi Party, imprisonment after a failed coup, bestselling book, German Chancellor, and finally Führer. Over the next ten years, Hitler presides over the humiliating Munich Olympics, a failed marriage, "one helluva World War," and (purportedly) "cowardly demise by his own hand."
Hitler is candid and amiable throughout the interview. He admits that it is risky for anyone to interview him and admits to having been a vicious demon. Now, however, he hates the "very angry guy" he had been. Nowadays he lives an ordinary life. Without making excuses, Hitler notes that he had gone through school "with one testicle and the nickname Shitler," and receiving savage wedgies that rip his beloved lederhosen. He vows vengeance on his tormentors, but as history rolls forward always believes that he can stop at any time. After annexing Czechoslovakia, however, Poland is too close at hand to resist. He recalls wondering at the Munich Party rallies in 1942 what he is doing; he hates crowds.
In 1945, with the Allies closing on Berlin, Hitler remains in denial. His lover Eva Braun tries to organize an "intervention," but he shoots the participants, including Martin Borman, as betrayers. He escapes the bunker wearing Eva's clothes, but the mustache attracts attention. Hitler decides that he must get his life together.
When asked by viewers about cloning, Hitler admits that the Nazis try it but fail. He readily admits that opponents fear that another Hitler will be produced, but he insists that personality, character, and intelligence cannot be duplicated. Hitler believes in "nurture over nature," and laments deporting or killing his best scientists and technical people, the Jews. Hitler has been seeing a psychiatrist for years and has found peace, but his therapist says "put up or shut up" about responsibility for his life. Hitler plugs a new book, Mein Comfortable Shoes, and lists upcoming television appearances. He expects to stand trial for crimes against humanity on Court TV and probably be executed. He will defend himself.
Avram the Waiterappears in The Last Supper, or the Dead Waiter
An 1st-century CE Jerusalem artisan/poet forced to wait tables, Avram goes about his job with an air of disdain. He is particularly annoyed when a party of thirteen arrive at the popular Jerry's Restaurant near closing time and act despicably. In a manuscript supposedly found in the Sinai in the late-20th century, Avram describes serving their table, where the miserly disciples act lie juveniles, bickering and doing pranks. Avram is not surprised when one of them betrays Jesus, whom he finds to be a good tipper. It is later discovered that Avram's manuscript is a hoax, being written in Magic Marker.
Beelzebub / Ruth Marxappears in The Devil and William Gates
Known by a wide variety of aliases: the Devil, the Dark One, the Beast, the Stranger, Satan, the Beastmaster, the Master of All Things Evil, Lucifer, and—thanks to Bill Gates—Ruth Marx, Beelzebub first appears in his classic guise, with hooves, horns, smelling like burnt cake, and disemboweling the Gates' family dog. He claims to be a gay ex-Merchant Marine chum. Beelzebub visits Bill Gates in May of 1975 to seal the deal on Bill's soul, which he has promised in order to succeed in business.
Twenty-five years later, with Bill a worldwide success, Beelzebub returns, driving a black Mercedes, wearing a tuxedo and cape, and staying at Seattle's Regency Hyatt. Bill is prepared to buy out Beelzebub, who is unimpressed by his brilliant sales presentation and entertainments, shows how he controls lawyer Alan Dershowitz and entertainer Kathie Lee Gifford, and gives Bill overnight to tie up loose ends. Bill uses the time to change the Beelzebub's hotel bill, cancel his credit card, change the registration on his Mercedes, report it stolen, and exchange his fingerprints for a San Diego "crack-addicted prostitute," Ruth Marx. Beelzebub gives up and hands over all power to Bill, who mercilessly assigns him as a proctor in an MTV chat room under the screen name "Ol' Scratch." Beelzebub dies miserable and insane.
Lemoyne (Lem) Billingsappears in Breakfast at Kennedy's
A sixth-former at the prestigious Choate school, Lem is the roommate and best friend of John F. (Jack) Kennedy, and often the target of his wit. Jack talks about "big, ugly, retarded, chickenshit Lem."
Lenny Bruceappears in Lenny Bruce: the Making of a Sitcom
A foul-mouthed, drug-addicted satirist whose heyday was in the 1960s, Bruce is pictured in a series of communications with executives at ABC Television pushing a sitcom concept whose potential the network people appreciate but need to tone down considerably. They see him as "a comer," ABC's answer to Danny Thomas and Jack Benny. When Bruce shows up at the studio naked his contract is voided. ABC apologizes for over-zealous security personnel hurling him from a third-floor window.
Gerald R. Fordappears in Lack of Power: the Ford Tapes
The 38th President of the United States, Ford is lampooned as bumbling and confused in a funny but vicious story supposedly based on lost tape recordings recently found in his son's garage, which is home to his Presidential Library. Many have been taped over.
Ford becomes president when Richard M. Nixon resigns in disgrace over the Watergate Affair. Nixon's downfall is the voice-activated recording system in the Oval Office, which has not been shut off as Ford takes over. The tapes show Ford's first day, bribing the steward not to tell Mr. Nixon that he has been looking at things on his desk. It shows him preoccupied by a nice pen when asked to sign Nixon's pardon; allowed to keep it, he promptly sticks himself in the eye. His mistakes Brezhnev for Kissinger, because they both have accents and chokes on his hat during a campaign strategy meeting. He wrestles all day with a Coke bottle instead of a major foreign policy issue. On the day after Jimmy Carter succeeds him, he is still in the Oval Office, watching television.
Michael Greenappears in Five Under Five
A 4.5-year-old from Manhattan, the home-schooled Jewish boy already suffers anxiety disorders. He has spent three years confined in an oxygen seam tent and changed his name from Hyman Yid so that people will not get the wrong idea. Conté Nast believes he will be a high-powered executive or serial killer.
Eileen Hansonappears in A Very Hanson Christmas, 1996-1999
The wife of Gary Hanson and mother of Zach, Taylor, and Isaac, who become chart-topping pop singers and idols to millions of girls "whose life ambition is to someday get breast implants," Eileen writes annual Christmas letters to family and friends. In 1996, with the boys playing small-time local venues, she is upbeat about home-schooling them in smothering Christian fashion. By Christmas of 1997, the band is turning big business with fan club letterhead, an official website and many knock-offs, and business problems, thanks to husband Gary's ineptitude. Eileen issues no update in 1998 and in 1999 reports on being treated for substance abuse and suspected of embezzling funds. She is bitter towards everyone and everything, somewhat suicidal, but cocky about her riches. God is dead, she declares.
Chelsea Jamesonappears in Five Under Five
A five-year-old girl from Atlanta, GA, Chelsea is predicted to be an important 21st-century figure, probably in communications. She already has a boyfriend, Jake.
Señor Janglesappears in Local News
The talking Chihuahua who stars in Taco Bell commercials, Señor Jangles is killed during a "physical altercation" in an Anaheim, CA, "adult entertainment establishment." Discovered on a Los Angeles street corner, Jangles performs minor roles before becoming the Taco Bell spokesman. Recently he has been moody about commercial roles and had been taking pain-killers for hip dysplasia. Jangles is killed by James MacPherson, who takes offense at some of his comments. Only one punch is thrown and Jangles dies saying "Ay caramba" (Oy vey).
Jesus Christappears in The Last Supper, or the Dead Waiter
A 1st-century CE Messiah (one of many), Jesus accompanies his twelve disciples to dinner at Passover to Jerusalem's trendy Jerry's Restaurant. The disciples act like juveniles, but take everything that Jesus says as though it were the Word of God. Avram the waiter, who narrates the tale, describes Jesus as pretty normal, performing none of the miracles and speaking none of the great words that are widely attributed to him. The table conversation is fairly banal. The party orders water to wash Jesus' feet at the table and shares a single glass of house red wine. Avram is not surprised when one of them betrays Jesus, whom he finds to be a good tipper.
Henry Kissingerappears in Lack of Power: the Ford Tapes
The U.S. Secretary of State under presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, Kissinger appears twice in the story of the "Ford Tapes." First, he and Chief of Staff Al Haig approach Ford about signing a full pardon for Nixon, but Ford fixates on Haig's fancy pen. Kissinger induces Haig to give it to Ford as a present in exchange for a signature. In the second instance, Ford mistakes Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev for Kissinger, because both have heavy foreign accents.
Larry Kingappears in Adolf Hitler: the Larry King Interview
Larry King is the host of a nightly call-in talk show on CNN. It allows viewers around the world to ask questions of the celebrities he attracts. When King asks interviewee Adolf Hitler about his beautiful wife, Eva Braun, Hitler takes offense at the suggestion he could get her only be being a powerful man, and points out that King's "physical presence" is "mildly disturbing." Without the power of Larry King Live, King would not be on his seventh or eighth wife. To change the subject, King quickly goes to the phones to field viewers' questions.
Leonardo da Vinciappears in Da Vinci: the Lost Notebook
The great man of the Italian Renaissance known for detailed drawings of scientific subjects, Leonardo is here depicted in his early years, more interested in inventions serving the purpose of pleasure. When the notebook disappears in 1485, Leonardo suspects Mona Lisa, because her face "knows something."
Lukeappears in The Last Supper, or the Dead Waiter
Luke is portrayed as the lead man during Jesus dinner at Jerusalem's popular Jerry's Restaurant. He and Avram the waiter trade attitude in a 20th-century New York City-flavored standoff.
James MacPhersonappears in Local News
A 43-year-old unemployed long-haul trucker, MacPherson kills Señor Jangles, Taco Bell's talking Chihuahua, during a "physical altercation" in an Anaheim, CA, "adult entertainment establishment." MacPherson is said to have taken offense at some of Jangels' inebriated comments. Only one punch is thrown. MacPherson is jailed pending arraignment on second-degree murder charges.
Maggie Lynn Prattappears in Five Under Five
An eight-year-old from Hollywood, CA, Maggie is put on the list of "Five to Watch" because her father is a powerful publicist. It may take plastic surgery to make her pretty and her talents are unknown.
Cary Streisand Rentappears in Five Under Five
A 45-month-old creation of Cryotech Institute, Cary is the product of a genetic marriage between an MIT physics genius, a Broadway lyricist and, accidentally, a rare breed of Persian cat, giving him an enormously oversized cranium, eight nipples, and a tail. He is already an accomplished physicist and neurologist the government hopes soon to have him developing futuristic weapons systems.
Javier Sanchezappears in Lack of Power: the Ford Tapes
A White House steward for 23 years, Sanchez opens and closes the story of Pres. Gerald R. Ford's tapes. In the beginning, Sanchez tries, unsuccessfully and frustratingly, to convince the new Chief Executive that he, not Richard M. Nixon, is in charge. A day after Jimmy Carter is inaugurated, Sanchez is surprised to find Ford still in the Oval Office, watching television. He informs him that the delicious cake Ford remembers is from the inauguration. Ford talks down to Sanchez using ethnically-offensive baby talk.
Fred Silvermanappears in Lenny Bruce: the Making of a Sitcom
A series of memos shows Silverman discovering, promoting, negotiating with, and ultimately firing Lenny Bruce, a foul-mouthed, drug-addicted satirist in the 1960s. Silverman is first seen as a Production Assistant at ABC Television, hard-pressed to find talent that can compete with Danny Thomas and Jack Benny. As the memos continue, Silverman rises to Vice-President and President of ABC. He appreciates the potential of Bruce's sitcom proposal, but tries tactfully to get him to tone it down considerably.
Princess Diana Spencerappears in Pen Pals
Claiming to be Mother Teresa's biggest fan, the young wife of Great Britain's Prince Charles, heir to the throne, writes a disjointed letter to the aged Roman Catholic nun revered world-wide for her charity work among the poor and diseased. When she receives no answer, Diana turns petulant, then, receiving form letters from Teresa's order, understands that the nun is busy, but keeps on trying to establish a friendship. Diana rejoices when her divorce from boring Charles is finalized, she talks about enjoying her freedom and suggests that they vacation together. Diana dies in a tragic accident and Teresa dies of old age. Her sisterhood writes to console Diana's father, suggesting that he dedicate a portion of her considerable fortune to the cause of her close pen pal.
Sheldon Francis Steinappears in Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
Thirty years after graduating from Hasbrook High School in 1968, Stein is ready to wreak vengeance on those who had never befriended him. Picturing himself (loosely) on the misfit main character in J. D. Steinbeck's Catcher in the Rye, Sheldon has, over the last five years, constructed a fearsome, living monster. Reviewing his checklist, he discovers that he has neglected to learn to drive, so the monster must walk with him to the school. On the way, it destroys a neighbor's Nativity and Santa display. Arriving in the gym, Sheldon is shocked to find that the majority of his classmates are already engaged in acts of terrorism against the small clique of popular kids. Sheldon and the monster go home to watch Baywatch.
Martha Stewartappears in Martha Stewart's Vagina
A media guru of home decorating and entertaining, emphasizing do-it-yourself crafts, Stewart publishes a magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and hosts a syndicated television program. This story spoofs her decorating advise by telling women how to dress up their vaginas for proper entertainment.
Mother Teresaappears in Pen Pals
The founder of Sisters of Charity religious order in Calcutta, India, Mother Teresa is revered world-wide for her charity work among the poor and diseased. Her sisterhood refers to her as a "Living Saint." Claiming to be her biggest fan, the young Princess Diana, wife of Great Britain's Prince Charles, heir to the throne, writes a disjointed letter suggesting that they be friends. The Sisters of Charity eventually reply with a form letter saying that Teresa is too busy to answer mail. Diana dies in a tragic accident shortly before Teresa dies of old age and her sisterhood writes to console Diana's father, suggesting that he dedicate a portion of her considerable fortune to the cause of her close pen pal.
Vincent van Goghappears in Vincent and Theo on AOL Summary
Jon Stewart's alter ego as he enters various chat rooms on America Online (AOL), van Gogh is a 19th-century Dutch painter and "one of history's finest practitioners" of letter writing, engaging her in chat room correspondence with his brother, Theo. As VincentVG, he writes about the joys and treachery of portraying human beings, of difficulties using the Internet, of fellow artist Paul Gauguin, with whom he briefly lives, of Claude Monet betraying the Impressionists, of Edgar Degas becoming a Graphic Artist because "a guy's gotta eat," of falling victim to online pornographers, of Thys Maris, of his mockery of art, "cursed finances," of a "budding romance" that turns out to be a sham, and becoming "the laughingstock of the entire electronic community," this because he accidentally cuts off his ear and mails it to his beloved. Van Gogh decides to give up painting in favor of "honest work." He asks Theo for tuition money to the DeVry Institute.
This section contains 3,363 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)