Maybe you’re a newish Clinton Kelly fan, courtesy of ABC’s daytime talk and cookfest “The Chew.” Or maybe you’ve loved him since his days as the mildly catty co-host of the makeover show “What Not to Wear,” in which he and Stacy London saved legions of American women from slogan sweatshirts and mom jeans.
No matter how you know Kelly, you will know him infinitely better after reading I Hate Everyone, Except You, his hilarious, wise and revealing new memoir. It seems no topic is off-limits for Kelly (except his beloved grandma), who grew up gawky and gay on Long Island. He writes warmly of his family, including his stepfather, who gamely took on him and his sister when he married their mom. He recalls his time on “What Not to Wear” with just the right dash of gossip, and writes candidly about meeting his future husband, psychologist Damon Bayles.
He also takes on heavier topics, such as the time he posted his wedding photo on his Facebook fan page on the day in 2015 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
“The post received 180,000 ‘likes’ and more than 6,000 people stopped whatever they were doing that day to wish us love and congratulations,” he writes. “Five people thought it was appropriate to tell us we were going to Hell. If you’ve never been told by a complete stranger that you’re going to Hell, let me try to explain the feeling to you. It makes you feel something like sadness, but it’s not quite sadness. . . . It’s smaller, subtler, like a thousand shallow pin pricks.”
I read this book in one sitting, so engrossed that I ignored my children, social media and my to-do list for several blissful, laughter-filled hours. Kelly delivers a perfect blend of heart, humor and trucker language.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Clinton Kelly about his book, I Hate Everyone, Except You.