Californication: Fun Is Good

October 1, 2003


Garry South, Gray Davis’s longtime guru, is at a table in the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, trying to explain his guy. More than a few people have described South as Gray’s closest friend. “Well… I wouldn’t put it in ‘friendship’ terms,” he says. “I mean, it’s not unusual for politicians not to have friends. These people are not normal. I don’t say that pejoratively. You know the old saying, No man is a hero to his valet?”

South has worked for Davis for the past ten years. He knows and respects him. He swears there’s an emotional side to Gray Davis. He hardly ever shows it, but it’s there.

“At his inaugural lunch in 1999, he broke down and cried,” says South. “He couldn’t finish his speech. He was talking about how important his mother had been in his whole development and life, and how without her he would not be standing here today. And he broke down and cried. Sobbed. Hey, should I introduce myself to Larry Flynt?”

The porn king, who often lunches here, is rolling through the dining room in his golden wheelchair. Garry runs over and stops him midroll.

“Hi, I’m Garry South.”

No recognition.

“The governor’s campaign manager?”

Larry seems to be at a loss for words.

“I hear you’re running for governor.”

“Welllll,” says Flynt. “I’m havin a little fun.”

“Fun is good,” South barks. “You’ll have a little competition, 300 or so people, but fun is good.”