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Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Brushes With Greatness
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Nov 2nd 2006 edited

I just posted a story in the "TV Shows We Watch" thread, and Ferd Farkel gave me the idea to start this thread.

I was an old-school Letterman fan, and always loved the "Brushes With Fame" audience bit he did (Does he still do that?). Anyway, I think it's cool when ordinary folk such as myself have stories (some plain, some totally over-the-top) about meeting the uber-successful in the entertainment industry. So, these stories can be Office-related, or not. (And if this seems totally obnoxious in the lame name-dropping way, feel free to let this thread die.) So, I'll post what I just posted in the TV-shows thread to get us started:

OK, I am freaking out right now, and this is the most appropriate thread in which to post my freaky-ness, so here goes:

I'm watching "Lost" last night (I only watch off-and-on), and the Juliet character is bugging the heck out of me, because she seems so familiar. Then it hits me: She was a friend of mine in high school!! Not BFF or anything, but not just an acquaintence either. Her name is Elizabeth Mitchell, and she was pretty cool. (I assume still is...)

I was good enough friends with her at the time that I'd been to her house in Highland Park (Dallas). She is the only person I've ever known who had an elevator in their house. And one day at lunch she brought a pomegranate (sp?). I'd never seen one before (at my house an exotic snack was Ding-Dongs), and I remember thinking she was sooooo sophisticated.

So, I get home from a conference today, just now, actually (no computer access since last night), and I look up her bio on IMDb. She was the girl in "Gia"?? I've seen that movie, and I never picked up on the fact that it was my bud from high school. Wow.

So, Liz, good for you! I'm actually going to be in Oahu in January; think you can get me on the set? (Oh, yeah; haven't seen her since 1988. Don't think it's gonna happen...)

Edit: Yes, gentlemen, I apparently know someone who has had (on-camera) hot-monkey-sex with Angelina Jolie. Suck on that.

Nov 2nd 2006

Jack Palance refused to give me an autograph when I saw him at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Wyoming when I was ten. Not my story, but my mother worked out at Curves with the girl who is a Broadway star from Spamelot (I think she won a Tony but I don't know her name) who may also appear on Grey's Anatomy. This actress's mother lives in the same neighborhood as mine, and the actress was home for a vacation. My brother (who actually sings in an a capella group when they need a substitute bass) opened for Jay Leno in Las Vegas. I didn't go to the show. And he didn't have hot-monkey-sex with Mavis, on camera or off.

Nov 2nd 2006

A kid I was friends with in elementary school through high school helped found (and later bring down) Napster.

(And then later bring up again, I guess? I'm confused. But I got a good laugh out of seeing his interview in Rolling Stone back in 1999 or so.)

Nov 2nd 2006 edited

KarenM, was the a capella group called "Here Comes Treble"?

Heh.

PS I was only gone from these discussions for a day; you've been gone for, like, two weeks! You must be OD-ing on these threads right now...

Edit: By the way, I've been to Cody, Wyoming too! How many people can say that? (Probably a lot, actually. It's a big country).

Nov 2nd 2006

He just to be in a group called Heart and Soul, which broke up as its members went on to do various things. The tenor joined an LA group called the Alley Cats. My brother subs fairly regularly. None of them hail from Cornell.

Nov 2nd 2006

I also got a phone message from Ralph Nader once.

(I was writing an article....went into the Metro and when I came out discovered I'd missed his call. He definitely knows how to deal with the press, so he gave me all I needed to write the article without calling him back.)

(This is definitely a brush with a brush with greatness, but a friend of mine was working in reception at an organization and ended up taking a message from Al Gore with his home phone number included. I tried to convince her to lift the number because, and I feel this way about every politician, whatever your persuasion -- prank calling a former vice president of the United States would be AWESOME. But she has morals, so, y'know. Oh, opportunities lost.)

Nov 2nd 2006

Report from the Pretzel Day thread:

A friend of mine saw Steve Carell at a 7-11 (he lives in LA). He was telling me this story, that he was behind him in line and Steve put a bunch of nutrition bars and Diet Coke on the counter, which made my friend happy because that's all he eats, and he was trying to get up the nerve to say hi when his girlfriend came over and said "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO PEE SOOOO BAD" and started doing the pee-pee dance. My friend started making the darty "look at who's in front of us" eyes at Steve and his girlfriend stopped mid-complaint to stand there in embarassed shock. She got the bathroom key...

Anyway, Steve was there with one of his kids and was strapping the tyke into a safety seat when my friend went over to him and said "I just wanted to tell you you're the funniest man alive. Is that creepy?"

Steve said no and was incredibly gracious.

(And now I'm incredibly jealous. Lucky duck.)

Nov 2nd 2006

And I met Kate Flannery after a Lampshades show. I like her. And she's way cuter in person. They really do a number on her with those huge denim skirts! She's truly lovely as a person.

Nov 2nd 2006 edited

Edit: Yes, gentlemen, I apparently know someone who has had (on-camera) hot-monkey-sex with Angelina Jolie. Suck on that.

You were already in the running, but now you are officially the coolest person on this board, in my opinion.

edit: I met Jimmy Walker from Good Times two years ago. He looks exactly the same as he did on the show. Donald Trump is technically a celebrity, but I think more people have met him than haven't so no big deal there. Oh, and for the Cards fans, I met Jason Isringhausen the year after his rookie year with the Mets. He was about as friendly as a rock.

Nov 2nd 2006

I saw Della Reese from Touched By an Angel riding a golf cart at the airport once. Go me. I didn't ever watch the show, though.

Nov 2nd 2006

I met Craig Robinson AKA Darryl after a show. He was incredibly nice, and the show was hilarious.

Nov 2nd 2006 edited

You were already in the running, but now you are officially the coolest person on this board, in my opinion.

Brian, I now no longer have insecurities about posting anything here. I feel I have arrived. Finally!

So, my newest story re: brushes with fame.

I met the Beach Boys. I am serious. Do y'all remember the baseball tour when they were doing "Kokomo" back in '84? I was 14 years old, and, other than the "De-do-ron-ron" song and a few others, had no idea who they were; or rather, how big they once were.

So, I'm sunning myself in my back yard when my friend Tammy calls me up and says, "Do you wanna hang with the Beach Boys?"

Uh, I had Crisco all over my body (kids, this was before we knew the dangers of skin cancer), and I'm like, "The guys that sang "California Girls"? Really?"

So, my mom and dad let us off at the Four Seasons, where we got the full tour of the floor the Beach Boys had. (Backstory: The whole reason my 14-year-old bad-ass self got to do this was because my friend Tammy had met Al Jardine's son in Vegas when she was 12. And she told him to look her up if he was ever in Dallas. And he did!)

Then a Limo (two, actually; there were that many people) showed up to take us to Love Field. We flew to a baseball stadium somewhere in Oklahoma; to this day, I don't know where. We saw the show, and on the flight home, we had KFC with the Beach Boys: and, to this day, I have no proof whatsoever that this ever occurred.

Edit: Brian, Jimmy Walker? DY-no-MITE!

Nov 2nd 2006

john travolta shot a movie in my hometown when i was in middle school and i got his signature and a picture taken with him. it was the biggest thing that ever happened in that town. my mom and i got to watch them film a scene of him walking up the steps on a porch and ringing a doorbell. they filmed it many times, and inbetween each take everybody screamed. i still have not seen the movie... it was supposed to be terrible. i think it was called lucky numbers...

Nov 2nd 2006

Come to think of it, I had my picture taken with Marty the Landlord from The Big Lebowski. In regular clothes, not his costume for his dance cycle. He was very nice about it. I also bowled a frame with Liam, Jesus's partner (he didn't eff me up). There was a Lebowski party in LA that they were at. It was pretty fun.

Nov 2nd 2006

My husband and I were in a cafe in the Frankfurt airport and sitting at the next table was Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) from Pulp Fiction. She looked awful and we couldn't stop staring at her. I spoke with and had my picture taken with Barbara Bush...she has an enormous head! I still can't get over it.

My husband works for Cessna jets and gets to meet people like Sydney Pollack and the lead singer of The Offspring.

Nov 2nd 2006

I went to high school with Philip Seymour Hoffman - back when he was just Phil Hoffman. We both auditioned for the role of Radar O'Reilly in the school production of MASH. He got the part... about 20 years later he took home an Oscar.

Way to go, Phil.

Nov 2nd 2006

I went to high school with Philip Seymour Hoffman - back when he was just Phil Hoffman. We both auditioned for the role of Radar O'Reilly in the school production of MASH. He got the part... about 20 years later he took home an Oscar.

At least you keep good company, Nicest Insect. Hoffman, whoa.

Nov 2nd 2006 edited

I went to Junior High School with this kid, and I didn't care for him and he didn't care for me to say the least, but we had a lot of the same friends so we mostly harrassed eachother as you do in Jr. High. Long story short he did a disney movie and came back and I hated him more. That's subsided since I don't really know him anymore, and he didn't bother me in Brick at all, he was actually good in his small role. I remember he came back I'd bought and I was with a friend at Star Wars Episode II, and he stole this talking towlie (south park) doll/thing and I had to chase him around a Steak N Shake to get it. I see him every once in a while now because he comes to my complex (i'm in a condo), and he looks pale and drunk, so...fun.

I also played a game of basketball with former Bulls player Ron Howard (not opie), spent 20 minutes after a show backstage with Isaac Hayes, and have been mocked by Roger Ebert at a film screening.

Nov 3rd 2006

Stephen Colbert lives in the neighborhood and has been to my house a few times.

Nov 3rd 2006

Pont, I'd be really interested to hear the Roger Ebert story...somehow the idea of him mocking someone else is really funny.

And SOS, really? Stephen Colbert is one of my heroes.

Nov 3rd 2006 edited

Because I live just north of LA I've seen a few Office cast members and other actors at shows/events. But last year one was shopping at my grocery store. Cody Kasch grew up here and was in my Von's, talking with a friend/bag boy. The employee pointed out his famous ex-schoolmate to the random woman with shopping cart (me)...at first I thought they were putting me on because he looked very different and un-creepy with normal hair and no glasses. But it was him, looking a bit embarassed by the "introduction" and praise heaped on him by aproned friend.

And at a film festival in Santa Barbara, a girlfriend and I attended a pre-screening reception and wandered over to the theater to see the movie Confidence, chatting away and gradually noticing that we were walking on a path roped off on either side, with people lining the ropes. Walking quickly, we had caught up to the group in front of us and suddenly became aware that below us was a red carpet and we were taking the walk with the star of the movie, Edward Burns. Once inside, he turned and gave us a little pleasant look and no one said a word. We should have been embarassed but it was too funny. Good times. That was definitely the highlight of the night; didn't care much for the movie.

Nov 3rd 2006

Pont, I'd be really interested to hear the Roger Ebert story...somehow the idea of him mocking someone else is really funny.

A friend and I went to a screening of Gates of Heaven at the Chicago International Film Festival last year, which was Ebert's selection (he has one every year and talks about it before and after), and this screening happened to be kind of...empty. Maybe 25 people the theatre or less, and usually all CIFF screenings are packed. (I guess people wern't that excited for a 70s documentary about pet cemetaries, even though it's about so much more and it's great). Anyway, my friend and I were sitting in the last row on the floor, and so we were isolated from everyone else and he was standing between the floor and stadium seating sections, and we were easily the youngest people there (we were both 18), and he referenced something which I've forgotten, but it was a film reference that anyone of a certain age would know, and he said that younger members of the audience wouldn't know what the hell he was talking about. During his set up for the movie he basically said he wondered what we'd get out of it and such. It sounds a lot more dickish than it was, and he's honestly a very nice, funny, intelligent guy, a really good story teller, and I sent him an email once about one of his reviews and he responded in a non-stock way. I'm a huge fan so it was nice to be mocked by him. I've seen him speak five or so times, and I think he must recognize me because he always gives me dirty looks. That or it's because I have a natural glower.

Nov 4th 2006

And SOS, really? Stephen Colbert is one of my heroes.

Well, in the interest of full disclosure, my father actually works on the Colbert Report, so they see each other around town sometimes. Stephen is pretty much the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet.

Nov 4th 2006 edited

Wow this is impressive.
KarenM, I am jealous as I love all things Lebowski. When in LA in July, I looked up the address of the bowling alley where they filmed a lot fo the scenes. I drove up and down the street looking for the address and finally realized it had been torn down. Major Bummer.

Nov 4th 2006

Well, Lebowskifest East is in early December in NYC, if that's closer...

We did eat at the In and Out in Hollywood while we were there, although I didn't notice if it was on or near Radford. And Jeff Bridges made a surprise appearance (I could swear his brother was there too) and performed a good half hour of guitar songs, including some from the soundtrack. I don't count him as a brush with fame... he was just a concert I saw and that doesn't count.

Nov 4th 2006 edited

I was catching up on my magazines today, and in last month's Vanity Fair (the one with George Clooney on the cover), there is a big spread on country stars; one of the stars included is Dolly Parton. (This isn't my story, but the friend it belongs to won't mind if I share.)

My friend works at Dollywood in east Tennessee. For those of you who might not know, Dollywood is a family-friendly christian-themed amusement park partly owned by Dolly Parton. She grew up near where the park is, and it's all very hokey, but sweet. (By the way, Dolly is very pro-active in supporting the community in which she grew up. Don't ever say anything bad about Dolly in east Tennessee!)

Occasionally, Dolly will swing by to see how things are going, meet employees, etc. And the employees get an opportunity to have their picture taken with Dolly. They go in in groups of 10 or so. So, it's my friend's turn, and the security people have very strict instructions for her before she goes in. Things like, "Do NOT look Ms. Parton in the eyes; do NOT speak to Ms. Parton; do NOT touch Ms. Parton", etc, etc.

So she goes in there, and what does Dolly do? She goes right up to my friend, looks her in the eyes, gives her a big, fat hug and starts saying "I just love you! Your so nice and wonderful for supporting Dollywood! Thank you so much!!"

And my friend is freaking out because Dolly is breaking ALL the rules, and all my friend can think is that security will get it wrong and sic the Parton Patrol on her or something...

It was all fine. And, in the picture, Dolly has her arm around my friend! Awww...

Nov 5th 2006

I met "Zach and Kelly" from Saved By the Bell when I was in middle school. They were making a mall appearance and I just happened to be there. "Zach" was kind of snotty. I asked him for a second autograph for my BFF and he got all huffy. There was no Ebay back then, mind you. What did he think I was going to do with it? "Kelly" was nice though.

Nov 5th 2006

When I used to work for Publix Supermarkets in Key Largo, Jimmy Johnson, former coach of the Miami Dolphins, came in to shop. Everyone was buzzing about it. When it came time for him to check out the cashier said,"Well, hello Mr. Don Shula". We were horrified. He gracefully said, "I'm Jimmy Johnson". The cashier said,"I'm sorry Mr. Shula". He was kind enough to let it go. She was teased for a year about that one!

Nov 5th 2006

Here's my office (Pam/Jenna) related Brush with greatness I was an extra in the original "Toxic Avenger" I was arout 13 and they filmed a bunch of scenes at an old armory up the street from me on Staten Island They fed us donuts

Jenna's husband has done a lot of work for the production co. that produces all of the Troma (Toxic Avenger) films

Maybe she'll call me now

Nov 5th 2006

They fed us donuts

This made me laugh for some reason. I was picturing them throwing you donuts through the bars of the cage they kept you in between takes. Then they let you out to do your scene and after you were done they corraled you back into the pen, where they fed you more donuts to placate you.

They fed us donuts.

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