Wretchedly Funny

Amid the gushing blurbs contained on the back of the newly minted Buddy Babylon: The Autobiography of Buddy Cole (Dell Publishing, $12.95) is this select quote from the subject himself: "My goal is not to shock and horrify, but to tell the truth," Cole confesses. "And if that truth shocks and horrifies, well... maybe you should get out more."

Consider yourself warned. Kids in the Hall star Scott Thompson and series writer Paul Bellini have written the life story of Thompson's most enduring character-- the martini-swilling, acid-tongued, fabulously flamboyant barfly Buddy Cole.

Chronicling Cole's humble beginnings as the twenty-third child of poor pig farmers in northern Quebec ("People today are almost offended that my parents had such a big family, but I figure if it took that many children to produce me, then it was worth the extra burden on the planet"), his invention of synchronized swimming, and backstage tales from the Prettiest Feet in Quebec contest (guess who wins), Buddy Babylon is an epic rags-to-almost-riches saga.

Poster boy for wretched excess, you can almost smell the gin on Buddy's breath as he leans close to tell you his tales of cocaine binges, sexual debauchery, and shopping. Joined at various times by his friends Marco Nagy (the most famous male model in Sweden), Carma Norma, and a drag queen named Hedda Hair, buddy careens from Canada to Los Angeles and back to his favorite bar stool in Toronto.

Thompson and Bellini have created a wickedly funny everything-you-didn't-know-about-Buddy-Cole look at Buddy Cole's life (and included many things you didn't want to know about anybody). Take Buddy Babylon on vacation. Take it to the beach. But don't take it seriously.

 
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