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Baby, Don't Hurt Me

Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live
Narrated by: Chris Kattan
Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

You may know him as Mango, Mr. Peepers, the gibberish-spouting Suel Forrester, or one half of the head-bopping brothers in A Night at the Roxbury. Maybe you remember him as the forlorn Gothic kid Azrael Abyss, Gay Hitler, or the guitarist in the “More Cowbell” sketch. Whichever it is, Chris Kattan has earned a spot in the hearts of a generation of comedy fans. 

Chris Kattan has defied comparison, expectations, and sometimes gravity with his inimitable style of physical comedy. By creating some of the most memorable Saturday Night Live characters, as well as his many roles in film and television, Kattan has remained one of the most fearless and versatile comedians in the world. 

Not long after Chris was labeled one of the improv group Groundlings’ “must-see” performers in the company, he was cast on SNL - and within the first six weeks, Chris’ film career also took off.  

Now, for the first time, Kattan opens up about eight seasons on SNL, performing alongside friends and future legends including Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, and Tina Fey, and guest hosts from Charlize Theron to Tom Hanks to David Bowie. He also shares stories of his unusual childhood (involving a secluded mountain with zen monks) with Leonard Cohen and Alan Watts. Baby, Don’t Hurt Me offers an unprecedented look into Chris’ life, from his fascinating relationship with Lorne Michaels to a private Valentine’s Day dinner with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, an unforgettable flight with Beyoncé, and even breaking his neck on live television. 

Baby, Don’t Hurt Me is a candid, revealing memoir from a timeless comedian and a window into the world of millennium-era SNL, from the rehearsals to the after-after parties, as narrated by your hilarious and inspiring friend - who just so happened to be there for all of it.

©2019 Chris Kattan (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Off on a beautiful Kattangent!

I have always been a fan of Chris Kattan right back from when he started on SNL and in other memorable roles, such as Doug Butabi in A Night at the Roxbury.

There are comedy actors and true comedians and Chris is definitely the latter. His knowledge and passion for comedy and acting is obvious and he always puts his art first before his own welfare. This book is a must listen for anyone who loves comedy, comedians and or Saturday Night Live (SNL). Chris in my opinion is an unsung hero of comedy and deserves way more recognition than he gets.

From this book you get to hear about the life and times of a man that is honest, always himself and who doesn't put on a false front to succeed. This is rare and especially from someone who is one of the most naturally talented and energetic actors that we have seen. I am a fan of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey and I put Chris Kattan in the same bracket.

This book has made me laugh, think and reminisce along a fascinating journey with many beautiful Kattangents.

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  • Anna Jennings
  • 15-05-19

Funny and complex.

I enjoyed the audio book very much. It is well written and Chris takes the listener on an interesting and entertaining trip trough his childhood career and love life. I kept pausing and looking up his Work on YouTube and that was awesome to be able to flesh out the story with SNL clips.
The only thing that bothered me a little bit was the lack of ownership he takes him his part in the relationships that ended....friendships and romantic relationships. There is just a lack of rigorously honest self appraisal. He implies that he has no idea why some friends dropped him and in his romantic relationships, they always just “grew apart”. I was hoping there would be a deeper level of honesty.
But overall it was awesome and I loved it!

39 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Giveaman Amask
  • 29-09-19

Success followed by failure is painful

The first thing I thought when Chris Kattan started talking was "He sounds so nasal. Did he mess up his nose? " And later he tells us about being addicted to cocaine. OK, fair enough.

This feels VERY authentic. His trademark was physical comedy, and I feel like his willingness to fall down (in a manner that makes the audience wince) carries over into this book, where he talks about his insecurity and bad decisions. Not many people are willing to write about even the smallest personal failings, much less read them aloud to possibly millions of people.

I had to stop and rewind one section where he says some rather damning things about Lorne Michaels, long time producer (and essentially God of) SNL. I couldn't believe anyone in showbiz would commit career suicide that way. Most people would simply have left that stuff out. Maybe these are bridges that Kattan already considered to be utterly burned.

As a career move, I'm not sure what this is to Kattan. I hope he didn't figure this was his last chance to make a buck. I'd really like to see him find a happy ending as an actor. Maybe, now that he's not able to do the body-punishing physical comedy, he could play some straight drama, somehow.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Clair Calongne
  • 13-06-19

Spoken as Kattan fan

I bought this book as a Kattan fan wondering where he disappeared to. I'm not one to buy or look at celebrity media so I was clueless about most of his life after SNL. He tells his story unedited...at least it feels like this. What I am sure of now is he is more fearless than he admits as this book won't leave you rosey eyed about the SNL alum. He is simply a funny guy who had a dream that he saw to reality and all the messy human stuff in between. I gave it 4 stars only because I got frustrated with his telling a few times. It's like listening to a friend give you the reasons why they mess up and you are just frustrated because you can't fix it for them and they don't seem totally aware of themselves. Bravo to him for taking the leap and good luck to him navigating the complicated web he weaves. I hope he gets the closure he is seeking although, Lord knows, it ain't over till it's over baby! God bless, God speed.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-19

Great book! Definitely worth the read.

I was not sure, in the beginning, if I would enjoy this book. Chris Kattan was one of my favorite cast members on SNL when I was a teenager and I was worried that the book would not engage me as well as others. I am pleased to say that I enjoyed every minute of this audio book. I loved listening to his stories about his childhood, his time on SNL, and afterwards. The book gave me answers to questions I had had about him after his days on SNL, which was nice, but it also helped me to understand his struggles on a deeper level, which I appreciated. I would definitely recommend this book, even if you only care about his affiliation with SNL, there is so much more packed into the book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • 20-05-19

Entertaining Memoir, Fun Peak into SNL

Fun read. I always love a peak behind the velvet curtains of TV and Movies. Chris does talk about being on the show and the different guests and what they were like. He also was very open about his struggles on the show and since. His honesty is refreshing, and he doesn't hold grudges either. Not the deepest book, but definitely enjoyable.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe Kraus
  • 05-11-19

Surprisingly Thoughtful Look at What Makes Funny

I was never especially a fan of Chris Kattan in his Saturday Night Live days. (OK, so I bought the book because it was on sale and because I have been working my way through a lot of comedy memoirs.) I suppose I wasn’t really a fan of the show at all back then. Once Adam Sandler and his backup band left – and I hadn’t loved a lot of their stuff either, though they did pave the way for a pattern of regular and ever-more-exaggerated characters to become the backbone of the show – it felt like “this year’s cheaper model.” It took me years to realize that Will Ferrell really was a deeply talented comedian, and by that point he was gone and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were already going.

In any case, Kattan always annoyed me, even when all I did was see him on movie posters or in 10-second promos for his Roxbury guys. He seemed to be playing off the fact that he’s a funny-looking guy, seemed to think it was sufficient just to mug for the camera.

To my pleasant surprise, though, this is a mostly thoughtful and revealing memoir. Yeah, it gets into the controversy about how he broke his neck while performing a skit – and it actually become a weaker book as he dances around trying to blame anyone while also getting it out there that he was a real victim – but its best parts are early and middle when he reflects on the nature of comedy.

As a member of the Groundlings (and the son of one of the founders of that comedy troupe) Kattan explored a raw, physical comedy. I hadn’t really known his Mr. Peepers character – a simian figure who clambers over straightmen/women, licks faces, chomps apples, and breaks everything in his way – until this book, and now I find him fascinating to think about.

Kattan describes the experience of creating Mr. Peepers at the Groundlings, and it seems a lesson in comedy. In workshops and then in early skits, he kept pushing the limits of the character. As he did it live on stage, he fed off the energy of the audience. The physicality of the performance made it urgent, made it something that felt dangerous not just for its stunt work but for the sense that something could go wrong. It was live theater, and I suspect I’d have loved it.

When it translated to TV, though, it was a different phenomenon. There was a studio audience, one I gather was farther from the actual stage, but the real audience was the millions on TV, and it couldn’t play the same way. If the directors kept the camera pulled back far enough to see the full scene – as Kattan says he wishes they did – then we home viewers could get a sense of the physical possibilities and other actors’ reactions, but the performers’ faces would be diminished by distance. If they went with the directors’ preferred close-ups, then we couldn’t see the reaction shots, couldn’t see the way the real energy of the character affected others. And that’s where the humor lay.

That got me thinking – and following the thoughts of Kattan – that TV sketch comedy is often necessarily safer than the kind of comedy that brings SNL performers to the attention of the producers. It’s a different sport, almost as if Major League Baseball players had to prove themselves as softball stars before they could join the big leagues.

In any case, Kattan writes the first parts of this well as he weaves back and forth between chapters about his unusual childhood – he lived weekdays with his mother on Mt. Baldy with Carlos Castenada as a neighbor and weekends with his comedian father – and his discovering how to be a better comic in his years on SNL. Unlike some memoirs I’ve seen, this one has a structure, one that turns it into an argument supported by the particulars of Kattan’s life rather than a narrow recounting of that life.

There are a lot of spots where you can feel Kattan pulling his punches; it’s a little moving to hear him take responsibility for the bad choices that cost him most of his friendship with Will Ferrell, and there are times he expressly refuses to name someone whom he thinks might be hurt or offended by being revealed. But the through-line for much of this is a persistent hunger to understand what makes something funny.

Kattan himself isn’t always funny, and it’s surprisingly effective when he offers a lame gag in the writing – like his persistent reminders of the ways technology like answering machines has changed. That’s not funny, or not quite, but we know it because we see a comedian exploring how his medium functions. I’ve read some fairly weak memoirs, but this one mostly works. I not only enjoyed it, but I went looking for some of that era’s SNL shorts on-line and find more to like in them than I remember.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-06-19

i love Chris and wish him the best!

i love silly and physical comedy, so not a surprise to be a fan of Chris'. I'm glad he wrote this book explaining what happened to him, because all his fans have been wondering for years. i was tickled to learn about his upbringing and where he got his sense of humor and talent.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • kristi k.
  • 27-05-19

I SHOULD BUY A BOAT!

this was a story that was begging to be told. kattan did a great job. it was written with heart, not just nonsense to get a giggle. really allowed you to see a different side of Chris that we never see. this is a great read for anyone who is a fan of Chris Kattan or SNL. 5 stars just isnt enough. seriously, read this book!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 08-06-19

good story tellinv

I liked it bc it wasnt a comedy book, which is the case with so many memoirs. Its just real life.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cory Holloway
  • 04-06-19

An interesting drama, with some laughs

I love Chris Kattan. I really enjoyed hearing his personal story. Biographies are so fascinating.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful