On this episode of “Hot Off the Press” Chef Pete welcomes home bestselling author, actress and comedian Annabelle Gurwitch. A native of Mobile, Ala., Gurwitch is best known for her time as hostess of the TBS original series “Dinner and a Movie,” a role she says she reluctantly took but that quickly gained her a loyal comedic following.
Gurwitch has an impressive background in TV and as a writer. She’s written for countless magazines, and has appeared on a variety of talk shows, including Real Time with Bill Maher, The Anderson Cooper Show, Red Eye, and CNN's Show Biz Tonite. Her acting credits include Seinfeld, Boston Legal, Dexter, Daddy Day Care and Melvin Goes to Dinner. Gurwitch is also a prominent figure in the atheist and Jewish communities, active in the sustainability movement, and a comedic commentator on politics and culture.
Her latest book, “Wherever You Go, There They Are,” is a hysterically funny and slyly insightful new collection of essays about her own family of bootleggers, scam artists, and hucksters, as well as the misbegotten cults, spiritual communities, and show-biz klatches who have become surrogates along the way. As Gurwitch likes to put it, ““No matter how hard you try to escape your crazy family, you just end up in another crazy family.”
With her wry wit and hard-learned wisdom, Gurwitch explores the inescapable, yet rewarding, realities of life with her family—the one she was born with and the ones she found along the way, including show business, a Greenwich Village cult, a tribe of vegan Cosplaying plushies, the "Arbonne sisterhood," The P.T.A. of the Walter Reed Middle School, and most recently, the ladies who brunch at The Jewish Home for The Aged in Miami, Florida. She's learned that for better or for worse (you can guess which) it's worth celebrating the traditions, rituals, and recipes that come with a shared mythology and legacy, even if her own inheritance amounts to a small plot of land split between five relatives on an ill-fated sliver of sand known as Massacre Island (or as those of us on the Gulf Coast call it, Dauphin Island).
Hilariously written and filled with surreal, yet poignant, family moments, Gurwitch delivers a provocative treatise on the importance and insanity of family.