I saw Carrie Fisher's one woman autobiographical show Wishful Drinking this afternoon at the Berkeley Rep. In addition to the obvious fact that I loved her as Princess Leia, I have this vague memory that my mom thought she was pretty cool when I was a kid, and I viewed her as this recluse genius, like JD Salinger or Bobby Fischer (without the anti-semitism). Or sort of like Tina Fey before there was Tina Fey. So that's why I wanted to see it, and I wasn't disappointed.
There were definitely times when her delivery came off as stale (the show's been going for a while), but when she ranted about not being able to get the "Help me Obe Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope," speech out of her head, she did the turn of her head and switching off the hologram recorder spot on. All her stories about her being the child of movie stars, being turned into a Pez dispenser and a shampoo bottle, being married to Paul Simon, having her second husband leave her for a man, her drug abuse, and her manic depression were generally both hilarious and uplifting without being sappy. I generally find self-deprecating humor to be the best kind (thus Conan is funnier than Letterman), and this was nothing if not open, honest, self-deprecating humor. The average celebrity train-wreck is pathetic and annoying, but when somebody can be so honest and funny about it (and actually has to deal with real problems like mental illness), it's actually worthwhile.