In one of my last posts, I detailed my (sordid) encounter with Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin. It got me thinking (NEVER a good thing). Who are the other famous (or nearly famous) people I've encountered?
Here's a quick checklist:
*SKIPPY from the 80's TV show Family Ties. (Think his name's Marc Price, but I'm too lazy to IMDB him). During the late '80's, my recently post-collegiate friends and I were having a blow-out party time in Florida during Spring Break. Think "The Hangover." Sure, we were a couple years too old to be there, but it didn't deter us. We ran into Skippy at a bar. My brother gave him a double-take, paused, and asked if he was Skippy. Skippy sheepishly grinned and nodded. We tried to kidnap him, force him to pursue other bars with us, but he declined. We did keep running into him, though, through the wee hours of the morning.
*Blues legend LONNIE BROOKS. We saw him perform at The Grand Emporium in Kansas City, Missouri. We asked him to join us for a drink. He did (he drank orange juice. But we gladly paid for it). Awesome guy and performer. But things didn't end so well. When I asked him if Johnny and Edgar Winter (Lonnie collaborated with one of the twin brothers; the other was famous for a metal instrumental entitled "Frankenstein") were really albinos, he shot me a look and left in a huff. I know, right? Really dumb and offensive question. But, hey. I was young, dumb and drunk.
*BENJAMIN BRATT. At my brother's bachelor party in Las Vegas, I gambled at the same blackjack table with him. Didn't know it at the time, but it was verified later by several sources. Although in all fairness, I don't think I even knew who he was at the time.
*JAMES MARSTERS (aka "Spike" from Buffy, The Vampire Slayer). I took my young daughter to meet him at a Kansas City comic convention. He was one of her first TV crushes. No real story to tell. But he was a nice guy and treated my daughter like she was a princess.
*JAMES GARNER! During my senior year in high school, my friend and I had skipped the last couple of hours and were endlessly cruising up and down Shawnee Mission Parkway (because, hey, it beat school). I looked over to the car next to me. Dang if the guy didn't look like James Garner. I nudged my friend and he agreed. I rolled down my window, caught the look-a-like's attention and motioned for him to do the same. He did. We yelled "You look like James Garner!" He took his sunglasses off, laughed, and said, "thanks!" That evening on the news, I saw that James Garner was in town for a Kansas City sporting event. GAH!
*WHIZZO THE CLOWN. Whizzo was a legend in Kansas City. We were practically raised on him (back in the day when we had three channels and on a good day with nice weather, a fourth). I worked at a small public relations firm when I first got out of college. Whizzo was someone we represented. It was up to me to drive him across town (he couldn't drive with those huge, floppy shoes) to a radio interview. It was somewhat disillusioning having Whizzo riding shotgun, chain-smoking, cursing, and hawking loogies out the window. He shattered my childhood memories.
*Finally, the big one. The late DR. JOYCE BROTHERS! Not only did I meet her, I saw her in her underwear! At the same PR firm I mentioned above, Dr. Brothers was one of our clients. A female co-worker and I were dispersed to pick her up. When we knocked on her hotel door, she called out, "who is it?" My co-worker identified herself. Dr. Brothers opened the door in nothing but her underwear, saw me, shrieked, and shut the door. Okay. Sure, she wasn't told there was a male outside. But, still. Who would answer the door in their underwear to an unknown person of the same sex? Someone well-versed in psychology, no doubt.
There you have it. Now, I want you all to tell us about your brushes with super-stardom (or people on the perimeter) in the comments below. Go!