A brief look at the Hollywood List
Our book has a far more elaborate discussion of the levels of the Hollywood List, so here we'll just give you the bare bones:

 
The A-List:  The fame pyramid needs a capstone, and this is it.  There isn't room for everyone at the top (and we should all be glad about that).  These folks fall into four basic categories: Superstars (your Brad Pitts and Julia Roberts), Artists (your Woody Allens and Spike Lees), Divas (your Barbras, Lizas, Chers, and Tinas), and the various household names which pepper our popular culture above the marquee.  Generally speaking, we have in mind lead actors in films with large grosses or top-ten television series, but we also mean those Hollywood respects as artists and the Divas (and by our count there are only fifteen).

The B-List:  We call this the middle lane of fame.   They work regularly, have nice houses in the Valley, and can be seen on Prime Time TV or Broadway.  You may have seen many of them in films you've watched but never bothered to remember their names because they were Tom Skerritt, not Tom Cruise.  These are the "Also Starring..." people.  They probably say "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" a lot, but they make a good living doing it.

The C-List:  The "C" stands for cash.  They make their livings from licensing their names for cash or working in the shallow end of the show biz swimming pool.  An example of the former? Florence Henderson--the former "Mrs. Brady" has made quite a nice living for herself hocking cooking oil and denture adhesive.  C. Thomas Howell is an exemplar of the latter--his career has been sustained by those awful films which can be seen on the cable channels after 10:00 PM (this is how he's racked up over eighty film credits in roughly two decades).

The D-List:  Aside from the hilarious hyperbole of one Ms. Kathy Griffin, the D-List isn't really for people with any measure of fame (hence the reason her joke is so funny).  Actually, this space is reserved for those who become famous by "accident" (your Joey Buttafucos and Nancy Kerrigans), local talent, porn actors, informercial names, and those on Christian Television.  These are not stars.  In fact, they don't shine at all--they're lucky their mothers know who they are (and with some of them, we're not even sure about that).
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