“When we started out, it was the very early days of reality TV, and we have seen it grow in front of our eyes. We have also seen pop culture and celebrity culture become a dominant force,” Bailey says. “Having a front-row seat watching that process, it seemed too good of a story not to tell.”
At nearly 400 pages, the hardcover is a witty, portrait-filled read that celebrates many of the personalities who have joined Bailey and Barbato in their playground over the years.
Pamela Anderson, Chaz Bono, Larry Flynt, La Toya Jackson, Kato Kaelin, Imelda Marcos, Joey Ramone, RuPaul, John Waters and Carnie Wilson are all there, and some are in unexpected settings such as the two-page spread of Chloe Sevigny in a bathtub.
“It’s a great study in how to be incredibly vain and incredibly self-deprecating at the same time,” Barbato says. “So much of World of Wonder’s success is less about success and more about perseverance, and that’s what our story is about. For some people, that might be inspirational.”
The book, which is due out Feb. 5, arrives a year later than originally planned, and that’s just fine with Bailey.
“We missed our 20th anniversary, but it set up well for our 21st, which is more appropriate now with World of Wonder being of legal age,” he says.
Docs rock for productive pair | Celebs’ tales told without snark | WOW Report digests oddball news | Relationships with nets, execs run deep | Book chronicles 21-year journey