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I Was A Trope At Cathy Seipp's Roast

Audio Audio Audio Audio Audio Amy Alkon reports. Bradley Fikes. Cathy's report. Luke Thompson. Jackie Danicki. Moxie. Jackie again.

4 p.m. Sept 10, 2006. I arrive at the Hotel Figuroa. There's already 50 people on hand. I recognize most of them.

I'm told I'll be a trope throughout the evening.

"What's a trope?" I ask.

I learn that it's a theme.

I feel flattered that I have so thoroughly wormed my way into Cathy's life.

She sits up front by the mic.

Rob Long (Audio) begins the evening: "This is not the Cathy Seipp roast. This is the Luke Ford intervention. If we had called it the Luke Ford intervention, nobody would've come."

"...When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When life hands you cancer, you make canceraid. That's what we're doing today." (Youtube.com video.)

"Welcome bloggers. You are in the outdoors. ...The objects next to you are people..."

One highschool boy tells me that bloggers are pretentious to think that anyone cares about their opinions.

"What about people who express their opinions in newspapers? Are they pretentious?"

He says no.

"What about people who express their opinions on television? Are they pretentious?"

No.

"What about people who express their opinions on the radio? Are they pretentious?"

No.

About half the crowd raise their hands to say they're Democrats.

A few weeks ago I was asked to speak, but I could come up with nothing funny. I've been mildly depressed for two months and drained of creativity.

Rob Long and Sandra Tsing Lho host the program

Rob: "We've asked our speakers to keep things short, Luke Ford." (Audio)

Rob introduces me. "Our next speaker is unembarrassable...in the Freudian personality disorder wheel."

I wrote out the brief talk below but then winged it at the mic (I was the second speaker after Andrew Breitbart).

I fell in love with Cathy Seipp through reading her columns in Buzz magazine. They were outrageous, just as her critics said. I didn't realize that press criticism could be so much fun. It always seemed dowdy.

I felt like she was a kindred spirit but I didn't have enough confidence to do anything about it. I let about a quarter of my life go by before I finally sent her an email in 2001.

In early 2002, I met Cathy for the first time through Amy Alkon and Emmanuelle Richard and the LA Press Club parties.

Late 2002. I am in a bar in Hollywood and run into Emmanuelle, who says to me, "Why don't you interview Cathy Seipp? We were talking about your journalist interviews the other day and Cathy said, 'Well, I'm at least as interesting as Ross Johnson.'"

So I asked Cathy for an interview. Cathy asks her friends if she should grant me an interview. Most people said no, including people here tonight.

Cathy decides she'll give me an interview, but she won't let me know where she lives.

But the person who created the magic between Cathy and I was not Cathy and not me - it was her daughter Maia. She read my interviews with Cathy on my blog, pushed me to write more about her mom, then set up her own blog and one for her mother, and that's why we're here today.

After Luke Thompson's five minutes of stand-up, Rob Long says: "It makes you appreciate professionals."

Allan Mayer, former publisher and editor of Buzz magazine: "Reading her blog and her columns at National Review Online, I'm amazed at how Cathy continues to hold my interest, even when I have no idea what she's talking about."

"She can be totally clueless about the effect her writing has on people."

Rob: "Mickey Kaus sent a video, even though he's here today."

Mickey on the video: "She won't let me bring bimbos to Yamashiro. If Lindsay Lohan showed up to Yamashiro, she'd say, 'She's not a journalist. What is she doing here?' Everything has to be literary. Everything has to be professional.

"Have you seen her blog? Look at the prose. She's no Tiffany Stone."

About three years ago, Cathy forced Mickey Kaus to stop bringing Tiffany Stone to the monthly Yamashiro meetings of various top writers including Allan Mayer, Scott Kaufer, Matt Welch and company.

Seipp's trump card? "We got extra security for you at that AFI panel [with Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs]."

Mickey: "What is it with this Luke Ford thing? I know the bee-stung lips, the leonine hair, the strong stream of urine, but he doesn't even own a bed."

Ross Johnson says that if you look carefully at my smile, you'll see Jon Benet Ramsey's DNA.

Matt Welch describes the late laexaminer.com as "like Kevin Roderick [LA Observed], except funny."

"In a way, we're all Cathy's ex," says Rob Long.

Near the end of the roast, Cathy's ex-husband Jerry Lazar gave a moving speech.

"Cathy asked me to be here today," says Jerry. Cathy shakes her head.

"She wanted to prove that long time ago there was a time she did suffer fools gladly.

"I didn't come here to speak but more to listen. [Having been married to Cathy,] I've always been a good listener. What else is there to do?

"The biggest difference between me and Cathy -- I'm guessing that through the years very few people have asked her what it is like to live with me."

"Wow, we're getting good all of a sudden," says Rob. "We have a video from Toby Young, otherwise known as the English Luke Ford."

In May, Lionel Chetwynd came up with the idea of having a roast for Cathy. (Audio)

Rob Long met Cathy in 1990 when he was 25. She asked him if he'd like to be in Penthouse magazine. He said yes.

Lionel: "I wasn't supposed to speak but after three meetings with Jim Beam..."

"I first met Cathy when she came to the Wednesday Morning Club, an organization that started in my backyard and later became the property of David Horowitz, who you may or may not know. I know him but we no longer know each other."