Canongate U.S.
Canongate U.S.
Canongate U.S.

Master of Ceremonies

A True Story of Love, Murder, Roller Skates & Chippendales

by David Henry Sterry

A hyper-fast-paced front row seat to the iconic late-night celebrity-studded party of ’80s New York, Chippendales, by celebrated memoirist David Henry Sterry, that dishes with disarming honesty and tells the story of the murder that led to the strip-club’s demise and the end of an era in Manhattan.

  • Imprint Canongate U.S.
  • Page Count 400
  • Publication Date August 13, 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-8419-5876-7
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $14.95

About The Book

Manhattan mid-1980s: Madonna debuts her moves at Danceteria, a fifty-foot Brooke Shields jeans ad adorns Times Square, and Wall Street is cash happy, while at Chippendales—the world-renowned male strip club—it’s raining men in late-night well-fueled parties that just don’t stop. Acclaimed memoirist David Henry Sterry was literally at the center of the madness as the roller-skating emcee of the nightly beefcake parade.

Master of Ceremonies is the dizzying, tender, and true story of a fledgling actor whose first break results in a two-year stint as the emcee at the world’s most hedonistic strip club. The wide-eyed boy who dreams of stardom is quickly disabused of his naïveté as he is witness to the nightly tableau of desperate housewives, bachelorettes gone wild, movie-star excess, and shocking sexual shenanigans. Ultimately, though, all great parties must come to an end, and the gangland-style assassination of his boss, the man responsible for the phenomenal success of the beefcake boys, marked the beginning of the end of the party-all-the-time ’80s in New York City. Master of Ceremonies is resplendent with seedy glamour, dirty little secrets, hilarious backstage madness, and an unflinching honesty.


“[Sterry] more than delivers on the promise of his title, and readers looking for sex, drugs, and New York-style debauchery will find it in spades . . . There are two underlying love stories, one between Sterry and a coworker, and one between Sterry and his craft; both enrich the narrative with genuine heart. Sterry possesses an engaging writing style, and fans of his earlier memoir, Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent, will not be disappointed. Recommended for large public library collections and cultural media studies collections.” —Library Journal

“The passages are compelling, and often wickedly raunchy . . . We learn to trust his sincerity”In quick prose, [Sterry] recreates the atmosphere around him . . . allow[ing] us to see what he saw and to feel what he felt . . . We are given plenty of show.” —Christina Eng, San Francisco Chronicle

“Enjoyable, funny, slickly written, and almost as meticulously choreographed as a Chippendales show.” —The Independent

“In its fun, glossy, brittle way it perfectly captures the spirit of the age.” —The Daily Telegraph

Master of Ceremonies is written punch, heart, and so much energy, there’s a virtual jolt on every page . . . a tough-talking book with a tender heart, Master of Ceremonies is moving, real, and a lot of fun.” —Caroline Leavitt, author of Coming Back to Me and Girls in Trouble

On David Henry Sterry’s Chicken:

“Compulsively readable, visceral, and very funny. The author, a winningly honest companion, has taken us right into his head, moment-by-moment: rarely has the mentality of sex been so scrupulously observed and reproduced on paper…[he] clearly possesses the storyteller’s art.” —Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body

“Sterry writes with comic brio, [he] honed a vibrant outrageous writing style and turned out this studiously wild souvenir of a checkered past.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times