May 29, 2013

"One of the reasons I love living in New York is that no one gives a shit about celebrities."

"Susan Sarandon comes to your deli, Lou Reed's in your kickboxing class, David Mamet flips you off, whatever, most New Yorkers really don't care."

A stray line from an article that's basically about "7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider's Perspective)."

Personally, I don't care about celebrities, but somehow I care that Lou Reed is kickboxing.

169 comments:

Crunchy Frog said...

Los Angeles as well. The novelty wears off pretty quick and then it's just people. Some are great. Some are assholes.

Scott M said...

I love Lou Reed, but, oddly enough, I've always like Auden more. Too bad they have never released a DVD.

Renee said...

Great article, I read it yesterday.

Tank said...

I still remember listening to that Lou Reed Live album the first time.

And the second time.

And the third time.

Repeat.

I don't give a s*** about most celebrities, but I do about good musicians, whether they are celebrities or not.

Lou Reed kickboxing?

Oh, yeah.

Marshal said...

I don't think the comment is factual. I've never seen a group of people as obsessed with celebrity as New Yorkers.

hogewash.com said...

Yeah, it was like that growning up in Nashville. The Cannon's were just this nice couple across the street (Miss Ophelia's stage name was Minnie Pearl). Frank Witherspoon was my father's doctor (I hear his granddaughter has done well in LA).

David said...

What is best about New York is the continuous flow of one upping bullshit. Plus the ability of New Yorkers to nod in agreement with this bullshit without even paying attention.

Astro said...

"One of the reasons I love living in New York is that no one gives a shit about celebrities."
"Susan Sarandon comes to your deli, Lou Reed's in your kickboxing class, David Mamet flips you off, whatever, most New Yorkers really don't care."

... says the person who drops a bunch of celebrity names to impress you.

I'm calling bullshit on this.

madAsHell said...

Ostrich guitar??
Alternate tunings!

Prof. Sethares in the EE dept. at UWisconsin has a really good PDF on alternate guitar tunings.

http://sethares.engr.wisc.edu/alternatetunings/alltunings.pdf

Scott M said...

Yeah, it was like that growning up in Nashville. The Cannon's were just this nice couple across the street (Miss Ophelia's stage name was Minnie Pearl). Frank Witherspoon was my father's doctor (I hear his granddaughter has done well in LA).

Nice! I grew up (for a few years at least) in Hendersonville, just outside. I never thought about it because it was literally every day, but a lot of the country stars had their kids in the public elementary I went to and there were always limos picking people up.

My little league football team was sponsored by the Oak Ridge Boys and at least one of them came to each game.

Lots of pretty down-to-earth people doing regular things like picnics and such.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I've never lived in New York and, while I've heard of the three people he mentions, I would have no chance of recognizing them on the street. So I'm pretty sure I care less about celebrities than he does.

edutcher said...

Celebrity is what you make of it.

Most of them are ignorant Lefties not worth talking to.

That wasn't always the case.

The Lefty or the ignorant.

jr565 said...

Back when I was a pre pre teen John Lennon and the Beatles were my favorites. ANd I actually saw John Lennon in Central Park with Yoko.

And I... did nothing. The last thing I want to do is bother one of my idols and fawn all over them.
Never impressed by celebs.

You see it a lot in NYC too. There is a celebrity citing and gawkers congregate (probably out of towners). Meanwhile, I might ask who it is, but then go about my business. Right then the crowd is just blocking me from getting where I want to go.

I'm trying to think what celebrity I would actually get excited to see. Currently not many. Maybe Kate Upton if she was doing a topless shoot.

phx said...

Lou Reed's in your kickboxing class

"Somebody else who had kickboxing skills would have broken both of her arms." - Lou Reed

Paddy O said...

Entirely disagree. People totally care, they just play nonchalant so they don't look like they care.

But then they tell all their friends later.

Or they say they don't care, but then note the specific celebrities they have encountered who they don't seem to care about, so that everyone else knows they were in the presence of celebrities they didn't care about.

That's how it is in LA, and I suspect how it is in New York.

Paddy O said...

The difference between locals and out-of-towners is that the tourists make a big deal about it in the moment and get an autograph or a picture. The locals are aghast as such public display of celebrity fawning, and will tweet a picture of the moment to their friends.

Paddy O said...

Now me, people don't care about me.

And I suspect they don't go around telling other people that they didn't care when I was eating at the same restaurant as them.

Leland said...

Who is David Mamet? Why would I give a shit about him, whether I live in NY or not?

Tibore said...

They don't give a shit so much, they name drop who they don't give a shit about. Just so you'll be impressed by their don't-give-a-shit-ness.

Jeff Teal said...

Worked in an airport back in the 90's and saw lots of celebs going through.Some are OK most were a-holes.Some really big a-holes.And if you didn't notice their celebrity they were really huge a-holes.Being inside the celebrity bubble is limiting.But I will agree that child star's parents are generally horrible.

Paddy O said...

Did I mention I once held the door open for C. Everett Koop? I totally don't care that I did that. I also don't care about once sitting at a table next to Tim Roth at a pub in Pasadena. Don't even get me started on how little I regard my memory of encountering Stevie Wonder while in a parking garage in Santa Monica.

Chip S. said...

Personally, I don't care about large-breasted women, but somehow I care that Scarlett Johanssen likes to go to art galleries when her schedule permits.

AprilApple said...

I'd be pretty excited to see Lou Reed.

Tibore said...

Oh, that was the Mara Wilson Cracked article. I may be ripping on the New York thing, but really, that piece was pretty levelheaded.

phx said...

Me too. I'd give him an autograph.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

I pity celebrities, especially if they aren't particularly talented. What an unfulfilling career with so many occupational hazards (no privacy, ever, even if people pretend not to look, they are always watching). Not caring about them is almost as bad/sad as caring about them.

Pogo said...

One of the reasons I love not living in New York is that Susan Sarandon doesn't comes to your deli.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"One of the reasons I love not living in New York is that Susan Sarandon doesn't comes to your deli."

@Pogo

Who is Susan Sarandon?

paminwi said...

My daughter has worked at a number of high end hotels in NYC that cater to "celebrities". She can fill us in, as parents, on the ones that truly nice people, the ones that are assholes and the few that are totally off the rails!

And then there was the case of a male sports star who checked into her hotel and she had no idea who he was that she was told by him "well, you just brought me back to earth on how important I really am!

BarrySanders20 said...

I'd be pretty excited to see a large breasted woman.

Trim otherwise of course.

Celebrity or not, no big difference.

paminwi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

WTF??

"When I was 7, I went to the premiere for the movie Nine Months. I don't remember much about the movie beyond Hugh Grant stammering and some placenta jokes, but I do remember a red carpet reporter asking me my opinion about Hugh Grant getting busted for prostitution."

I mean, I shouldn't be shocked. It's quite obvious that reporters have no shame. But still... asking that of a seven year old...

Kensington said...

I want to like Lou Reed, but singing is very important to me, and he just. doesn't. sing.

That thing he does? It's not singing.

phx said...

Lou is not a singer. Lou is a rock 'n' roll animal. He's a performer.

If you want singing I hear Celine Dion is in town.

Pogo said...

"Susan Stewart Rich
Who is Susan Sarandon?
"

A competent actress wrapped in smug superiority. I cannot see her face without wincing and turning away.

Curious George said...

I was hoping for a different story when I read "Lou Reed kickboxing" and "Susan Sarandon".

Curious George said...

I was hoping for a different story when I read "Lou Reed kickboxing" and "Susan Sarandon".

Tank said...

I was at a Dickey Betts show at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ once, and people were "noticing" the guy standing next to me at the bar. I didn't know who he was. So I asked him, "Who are you?"

He started laughing, then refused to tell me, then laughed some more, then he bought me a drink, then I drank to him and asked him, "Who are you?"

I still don't know. But I enjoyed the drink. My kind of celeb.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I think the line you cross as a well-known person is when you expect people to pick up the tab who make a lot less money than you do.

jacksonjay said...


This must be news to Alec Baldwin.

Amartel said...

Lou Reed is a celebrity.

MayBee said...

Entirely disagree. People totally care, they just play nonchalant so they don't look like they care.

But then they tell all their friends later.

Or they say they don't care, but then note the specific celebrities they have encountered who they don't seem to care about, so that everyone else knows they were in the presence of celebrities they didn't care about.

That's how it is in LA, and I suspect how it is in New York.


Exactly, Paddy O. I'm discovering it is also like this in London.

traditionalguy said...

I see the writers point that Actors are not the character they play and seem to us to actuall be.

Surprise, surprise, actors are regular humans. Who would have believed that?

jacksonjay said...


Tibore sez:
They don't give a shit so much, they name drop who they don't give a shit about. Just so you'll be impressed by their don't-give-a-shit-ness.


So Honey Badger lives in NYC!

Amartel said...

People in New York do give a shit about celebrities.
They think they themselves are celebrities and they totally give a shit about themselves and how they might be perceived ... fawning over other celebrities.

jacksonjay said...


I cannot see her face without wincing and turning away

Who looks at her face?

Renee said...

Many of Lou Reed's fans have passed away. I have to look him up, to figure out who he is.

EMD said...

Don't even get me started on how little I regard my memory of encountering Stevie Wonder while in a parking garage in Santa Monica.

Was he the one driving?

phx said...

Was he the one driving?

Oh he'd remember that one.

phx said...

Many of Lou Reed's fans have passed away. I have to look him up, to figure out who he is.

Hey, Renee!

Fuck you.

AprilApple said...

I love you, Suzanne

Palladian said...

Lou Reed stepped on my hand once.

Like everything he has done, it was overrated.

phx said...

Never would have pegged April Apple for a Lou Reed fan.

All is forgiven.

phx said...

You gotta step on a lot of little people on your way up.

ricpic said...

So for the great privilege of feigning sophistication by not gawking at celebrities the New Yorker endures living cheek by jowl with noisy neighbors, the constant struggle to get from point A to point B and breathing fetid air. Wow, such a deal.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"People in New York do give a shit about celebrities.
They think they themselves are celebrities and they totally give a shit about themselves and how they might be perceived ... fawning over other celebrities."

@Amartel

I agree. New Yorkers do care how they might be perceived fawning over celebrities. I wish more people cared.

AJ Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old RPM Daddy said...

@Palladian: "Lou Reed stepped on my hand once."

"How Do You Think It Feels?"

AJ Lynch said...

There is a high profile judge in our town. His name is Seamus but I prefer to call him Shameless. I don't know him but used to see him jogging in the park.

One day he was wearing an Allen Iverson jersey and as he passed me, I said "jeez you look a lot different in person" and he, a bald husky white guy, started to beam because he had been recognized by a stranger. Then I continued and said "On TV when I watching the 76ers' games, you appear to be a skinny black guy".

Robert Cook said...

Lou Reed is a creep.

To quote a song lyric.

Robert Cook said...

And vastly overrated.

To quote me.

SOJO said...

Agree with PaddyO.

The act of being nonchalant has social currency as fame. Fame and proximity to fame still counts like money, youth, looks in putting you up the ladder. All of NY and LA are engaged in saying proximity to fame is ordinary to them so they are further up the ladder. Even famous people get excited and starstruck when meeting their favorite celebrities. And 'normal people' who swear they don't give a shit? Not when it actually happens, in my experience.

Example: back when my friend was an intern, her boss offered her comp tickets for a show she was too old to care about. Then she withdrew the tickets to give them to a powerful friend as simple social trade, who also was too old and passed them on to her intern. Why was the friend considered powerful? Proximity to fame.

The relatively powerless (youth counts) interns knew each other and my friend ended up getting them anyway.

Paddy O said...

"Was he the one driving?"

Now that I'd care about! He was walking with his assistant when we walked in to go to our car. So, the mystery of who was driving remains unsolved.

Kelly said...

My neighbor were in Maui recently eating at a swanky restaruant. Steven Tyler came in with a group. He was playing imaginary drums with his chopsticks while everyone watched. Some young girls worked up the nerve and interrupted his meal to get autographs and have their picture taken with him. He was gracious about it. I think it would suck living in a virtual fishbowl all the time, but the money would help me carry on.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

Q: Do you still think Lou Reed is a creep?
Andy Shernoff (of the Dictators): Well, I'm a fan of Lou Reed's. I guess he IS a creep, yeah.


I think Dylan's a creep sometimes - hell, he is a creep. I'm still a fan.
I don't care much about their personal qualities.

BJK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BJK said...

Who is David Mamet? Why would I give a shit about him, whether I live in NY or not?

Not sure which I find sadder - a reader of this blog not knowing playwright / screenwriter / evolving conservative David Mamet;

or

Anyone with Internet access choosing to ask for easily-obtainable information, rather than using said Internet access.

ricpic said...

Mamet's greatest line:

Young, dumb and full of cum.

From the movie Heist.

AprilApple said...

PHX- :)

phx said...

;)

SOJO said...

@barrysanders20

Being an extremely good looking woman is the equivalent of being a genetic celebrity anyway. You have the lack of privacy,the constant public street and dinner interruptions, the mostly nice people with a percentage few creepy stalkers that ruin the whole thing.





Emil Blatz said...

I stepped off a hotel elevator in Des Moines and bumped into the late Bonnie Franklin as she rushed in. I also sat next to Joe Theisman on a plane. Let's see, uh....

AprilApple said...

Susan Saranwrap, not so much.

SOJO said...

Lou Reed is more than a celebrity though, he's a New York Golden Age accessory, so seeing him in your kickbox class would be kind of cool, a reminder of how NY used to be. Same with Patti Smith assuming she still lives there. I'm trying to think of younger celebrities that represent NY in the same way, and I'm drawing a blank.

Kensington said...

"I stepped off a hotel elevator in Des Moines and bumped into the late Bonnie Franklin as she rushed in. "
==========

It's a haunted hotel? Did you feel a chill when she passed through you?

Alex said...

So what I saw Jerry Rice in person and only freaked out a little bit.

phx said...

Being an extremely good looking woman is the equivalent of being a genetic celebrity anyway. You have the lack of privacy,the constant public street and dinner interruptions, the mostly nice people with a percentage few creepy stalkers that ruin the whole thing.

Sounds like you know something about that. He said flirtatiously.

Chip S. said...

Let's see...Susan Sarandon used to fuck Tim Robbins.

I once ran into and chatted w/ Tommy Lasorda at a Baskin-Robbins.

I win.

Nomennovum said...

A celebrity who starred in my wife's favorite late 70s - early 80's night time soap was visiting his old friend who was our neighbor and friend in our building. I didn't give enough of a damn to go but my wife did. She went, of course, and typical hypergamous woman that she is, she readily agreed to sit in his lap when he directed her to and stayed there for the better part of 2 hours. She never stops talking about it. She loves celebrity.

The main thing I enjoyed was spotting Tom Wolfe walking around the Upper east Side in his famous white suit. Cool. Well, that, and seeing the results of a certain starlet's Brazilian wax and anal bleaching at a party. Weird and wild.

X said...

Personally, I don't care about celebrities

you do an excellent job of hiding your lack of care.

DADvocate said...

If the writer lives in New York and doesn't give a shit about celebrities, why is he/she writing about celebrities? He/she must give a shit on some level. (I can't see the article as my work's Websense blocks it. Must have a dirty word.)

Scott M said...

Did I mention I once held the door open for C. Everett Koop? I totally don't care that I did that. I also don't care about once sitting at a table next to Tim Roth at a pub in Pasadena.

I got U2 "Elevation" tickets from the radio station I worked at in 2001 so we tripped down to Indy to see the show and were allowed into the raised platform behind the massive sound booth. To my and my co-host's surprise, we were greeted there by a very bearded Jason Priestly and the three of us spent the entire show trying to guess which song U2 was doing next, betting beer runs on being correct.

Best celeb story I've got and he was completely cool about it. Very down to earth (though I think you could say that by 2001 his star had faded somewhat).

AprilApple said...

I saw Greg Kinnear once. It was exciting.

I don't have anything to do with that.

bagoh20 said...

God lives right next door here Nice guy, but the loud parties at all hours, and constant showing off with the thunder and lightning is getting old.

Paddy O said...

I follow Nathan Fillion on Twitter. Not that I care. He's just this guy who is also on Twitter.

Paddy O said...

"God lives right next door here"

Didn't you mention a while back living near LAX?

Is God made of steel and have arms he keeps outstretched? Has varied logos painted on him?

Leland said...

Anyone with Internet access choosing to ask for easily-obtainable information, rather than using said Internet access.

Sure, I looked him up. Writer of "Lost Masterpieces of Pornography" and some stuff relevant 30 years ago. Still don't give a shit, so get a tissue.

Paddy O said...

I once saw a major movie actress in her own living room. I was totally nonchalant. Acted like I didn't even care when she came into the room. She, on the other hand, totally freaked out about seeing me.

Paddy O said...

I once drove by Wilford Brimley while on the freeway. He was driving a red corvette. At least I think it was Wilford Brimley, not that I care.

Chip S. said...

She, on the other hand, totally freaked out about seeing me.

Great story, Mr. Pupkin.

bagoh20 said...

Phil Jackson lives a few blocks away and I see him all the time at local restaurants, as well as L.A. Lakers players.

There are certain celebrities that I imagine I might see in a restaurant, and I fantasize about how I would shun them, and stand up and walk out when they sit down. I would do it with a great show of disgust and self-righteous indignation. I doubt I really would, but I wish I was like that sometimes.

Examples:
O.J. Simpson
Chris Mathews
Michael Moore
Zombie Gandhi

JohnJ said...

George Harrison, once, on Maui.

…and Greta Garbo, of all people, in Manhattan.

I didn’t recognize either of them; I was informed by the whispers of a handful of gawkers.

Now, Garbo was in her 80’s, so it’s understandable that I couldn’t place her. But Harrison? How could I not recognize George Harrison?! But I didn’t. (For one thing, he looked much more disheveled than I would have guessed.)

bagoh20 said...

"Is God made of steel and have arms he keeps outstretched? Has varied logos painted on him?"

That's him, but don't mention the ghetto tats. He thinks they make him "down with the people". That guy is always slumming, then at home he's like "get your damned Pit Bulls under control ya lowlife gangster."

Still, he throws down a killer barbecue on secular holidays, and likes his microbrews.

Paddy O said...

"Still, he throws down a killer barbecue on secular holidays, and likes his microbrews."

Nothing like a deity to inspire deep levels of personal motivation that are aligned with attaining national goals.

Mr. D said...

Summer, 1982 -- Warren Burger and (I think) a couple of law clerks butt in line in front of my brother and me in the Supreme Court cafeteria, which was open to the public.

B said...

Just after I got out of the service in the late 70's I was going to school days and tending bar off Inman Square in Cambridge a few nights a week. Early in the week so no music that night and in the middle of a bad snowstorm so there was only a handful of people there all evening. A couple of guys and a lady came in and sat at the bar for a couple of hours. Took me a bit to realize it was James Taylor, his brother Livingston, and Joni Mitchell. They'd walked over in the snow from somewhere. Turns out both James and Joni had played the bar way back and I got to listen to some great stories about the two of them starting out in the business. Nice folks. No pretensions at all.

AllenS said...

I've told this story before. I shook the hand of a man who shook the hand of JFK.

AJ Lynch said...

Ricpic - that is a pretty old saying -I doubt Mamet wrote the original.

AJ Lynch said...

I ran into Sandra Day O'Connor in a Phoenix Trader Joe's. I saw Wilt Chamberlain in his Florida sports bar. I saw Paul Hornung in the Philly airport. I was in a Phoenix airport bar when David Carradine came in for a Vodka- he was pissed when they carded him.

donald said...

I met Jon Waters in the bathroom at Hartsfield airport once.

Said I "Fancy meeting you here Mr Waters).

He laughed and told me I was very polite.

And cute.

LoafingOaf said...

ricpic said...
Mamet's greatest line:

Young, dumb and full of cum.

From the movie Heist.


People have been saying that phrase long before the movie Heist. It's used in the movie Point Break, for example.

I agree that this claim of New Yorkers not giving a darn about celebs is B.S.

bagoh20 said...

Celebrities see me all the time, and they act all unimpressed, but they make a living faking stuff. Still, it's very convincing, even for pros.

Bob Ellison said...

I once saw Stevie Wonder walking by my booth at a trade show. I waved, and he totally ignored me. Jerk!

phx said...

All right, this is for you righties. I met Barry Goldwater at his estate in AZ during the '64 campaign. My dad was building the home next to his and when we were visiting BG just happened to be walking outside on his grounds. At first he just waved when my dad called out to him but then he turned around and came back and talked to us.

Amartel said...

Clint Eastwood once squinted in my general direction.

Thought bubble over Clint's head at the time: "Punk."





It was awesome.

Amartel said...

I also nearly ran into Jimmy Carter once.






It was not awesome.

Kelly said...

Ever been mistaken for a celeb? Right after Sandra Bullock made it big I had taken a bunch of kneighbor kids to the Louisville zoo. I noticed an older guy staring at me and following us, he finally asked me if I was Sandra Bullock..at first I thought he was joking (which is odd, why would a stranger make a joke like that to another stranger?)..I jokingly answered sure I am. He became VERY excited, and came charging at me. I panicked and said I'm not her!! And gathered the kids up and took off.

I honestly don't blame celebs for their security details at all. It would be weird having strangers thinking they have the right to bother you whenever they want.

Robert Cook said...

"If the writer lives in New York and doesn't give a shit about celebrities, why is he/she writing about celebrities? He/she must give a shit on some level. (I can't see the article as my work's Websense blocks it. Must have a dirty word.)"

The writer is herself a minor (or former) celebrity, having been a child actress. (She was very good in the film adaption of Roald Dahl's MATILDA.) She's talking about the experience from the inside.

AllenS said...

Mr. Cook, don't you life in NY? Have any good stories to tell about celebs?

AllenS said...

life = live

Chip Ahoy said...

Disregarder became Gawker due to a last minute change.

Anthony said...

That's not a bad article. I just finished reading Melissa Francis's book Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter and I recognized many of the same things mentioned in the article. Francis ended up going to Harvard and is now an anchor at Fox Business. Kind of amazing given what she went through. Good book, too, I recommend it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My dad washed the windows on Bill Gates' place on Hood Canal, and my brother in law put in a fence at Nancy Wilson's house in Seattle.

Oh, and my friend saw Bill Nye at the Northgate mall once.

It's all I got.

Michael said...

My wife and i hopped on an elevator and Jimmie Carter, Hank Aaron and Aaron's wife were already in the car. We rode up a couple of floors talking all the while to Mr Aaron and his wife. It was obvious who we were in awe of though we gave a nod of acknowledgement to the former president.

Sat two rows in front of President Clinton and his daughter at a play in NY. I was with my daughter, about the same age as his. When he left he walked by and put a co-father hand on my shoulder and gave me a look. Impressive. Great presence.

Later the same evening my daughter were in a restaurant and who came in but Clinton and his party who sat one table away. I think I got extra looks at customs the next few years.

Baron Zemo said...

It is bullshit about New Yorkers and celebrities. They are just as much starfuckers as anyone else.

Most of the time when you see celebs they are trying to pull the "Don't you know who I am card."

If they don't most times you don't even realize who they are when you see them.

Paddy O said...

My wife didn't care about standing in the security line at Bob Hope airport with Aziz Ansari.

MadisonMan said...

As if people do more than give celebrities a double-take anywhere else either.

Dear new Yorker: You are just not that special. Get over yourself.

bandmeeting said...

I sat next to Lou Reed at Good Enough To Eat about a thousand years ago. The waiter said he was a real prick.

Tari said...

We saw Temple Grandin in the Denver airport once, but for obvious reasons didn't go up and introduce ourselves. The boys were excited, though; they love the Claire Danes HBO version of her. And weekend before last we saw JJ Watt out eating sushi (I assume a late-night snack, since no one could be that big from eating raw fish). Again we voted for being cool Houstonians and not asking for autographs. The 13 year old plays D-end in middle school, so he was thrilled to just share the man's oxygen for a while. He looked nice.

phx said...

It's inappropriate for a waiter to self-disclose that way at a restaurant. Particularly if you are trying to concentrate on Lou Reed sitting next to you.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donald said...

Hank Aaron is the bomb. An unbelievably nice man.

Another great one is Lee Haney. What a nice guy.

bpm4532 said...

One of the reasons I enjoy living away from NYC is because no one gives a shit about New Yorkers!

Rabel said...

Forest Whitaker probably agrees with the author.

Baron Zemo said...

My was the GM of a big time Irish Bar in Hells Kitchen that had a lot of cast parties for Broadway shows. So I was always sitting in the upstairs lounge where they would come in with the cast.

Richard Dreyfus was an annoying piece of shit.

Jimmy Smits was a way cool guy. He threw his AMEX on the bar and said the first round was on him.

Mel B was Scary Spice.

Kevin Spacy was a big time friend of Althouse if you know what I mean.

Dame Judi Dench was a real classy lady but wouldn't tell any James Bond stories.

Harry Connick Jr got on the piano and sang all night.

Patty Lupone is a real cool broad.

Matthew Broderick was a sad sack. A pathetic sad drunken dude. I really felt sorry for him the poor guy.

Oh and they did the David Letterman Christmas party a couple of years. You should of heard what the women who worked for him used to say when they had a few drinks in them.

Baron Zemo said...

The most fun time I ever had with celebrities happened late one night at Charley O's at Madison Square Garden. I happened to know the bartender so when I staggered in at 2am he let me in after he had closed up and had the gates down.

Sitting at the bar you had Pedro Morales, Ernie Roth and Gino Marella. They were drinking and telling stories into the wee hours. It was hilarious.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Lessee, what's my list?..
I sat next to Michelle Pfeiffer for an hour or so at a pool party once, but I didn't know it was her (she had been introduced to me as "Chelle"). She didn't know I was me, either, I'm sure, so we're even.
I was introduced to Gerard Kuiper, on the ramp at NASA Ames. That was pretty exciting.
My wife once had to ask Robin Williams to move a bit so she could get to the coffee table, at a reception. He did.
I used to chat with Neeru Khosla pretty regularly. I liked her a lot, but that was nothing special; everybody liked her.

virgil xenophon said...

Agree with Paddy O about NYC & LA. New Orleans is also much the same. VERY MUCH.

First celeb I met/talked with was Telly Savalas in the London Hilton circa 1970-71 in the mid afternoon. He was wearing abrown & yellow paisley bell-bottoms w. brown cable-knit turtle-nexk and soft butter-brown leather boots. We drank the afternoon away with him telling me that he was heading back to the US after the better part of a decade making movies in Europe. Said he was sick of eternally being cast as the sicko-crazy character-actor/bad guy, but that his agent had gotten him a gig on a COP TV series in NYC with him as Chief of Detectives wearing shark-skin suits and cuff-links--said it could be big. LOL--talk about insider info! Little did Telly kniow how big, eh?

Fred Drinkwater said...

Oh, I forgot exchanging email with Mary Shafer!

MadisonMan said...

My sister has met the President of Finland. One of my wedding groomsmen was just in a photo-op with three other people, and one of the three was Obama.

I've never been near anyone famous.

And vice versa, I guess.

St. George said...

I saw him in concert a few years ago.

He is a tiny, frail elderly man.

Hard to imagine him going up to Lexington one two five.

bagoh20 said...

I once exchanged email with Ann Althouse. It's been a few years now, and I still haven't closed that email window on my browser. I want to get a new computer, so maybe I'll just leave this one plugged in and use it for a night light. I've shown it to everyone who has come to visit over the last few years...both of them.

virgil xenophon said...

PART II. (cont'd)

Second maj "figure" (well besides Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and his wife The Dragon Lady when I was in Taiwan as young USAF 1st Lt on leave from DaNang in 1968 and my 1st Cousin was a Brig General in the USAF and Chief of Staff of the old Taiwan Defense Command.) was Bruce Springstein in 1975 at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans as we bioth watched local legend Erma Thomas' second set that Fall night.

Back story:

Was teaching a Poli-Sci required course as grad assistant at USL, Lafayette, La, in Spring 1972 and noticed this very quiet fox from N.O. in back of class. My Street-sense radar marked this little foxy brunette for a real "player." Fast forward to Fall '75 and a bunch of us find ourselves late to the Maple Leaf holding up a wall in the back, feeling no pain, listening to Erma baby. All of a sudden I become aware of a voice and a gal standing next to me. "Why Professor xxx, funny to meet you here, let me introduce you to my date , Bruce Springsteen." And there he was next to her in his trad jeans, white T-shirt and cigs rolled up in left sleave. (He had a concert earlier that night that I'd not paid attention to ) He leaned across her and we shook hands. I thought: "Of all the hundreds/thousands of groupies in N.O. and my gal managed to snag him! Can I call 'em or what? LOL"

One of my best calls EVER.

Freeman Hunt said...

I asked a friend who was on the cusp of being semi-famous if he planned to move to Los Angeles. "Aren't you afraid that if you stay around an area without celebrities, you'll be the one celebrity and no one will leave you alone?"
"Hell no," he said. "People where I live might think it's interesting temporarily, but then it will be no big deal. No one is in the same business, so no one will bother me. People in L.A. care way more about that stuff, and it's full of people in the same business, so there would be no end to people bothering me."

Good point, I thought.

virgil xenophon said...

Story the Third:

One spring afternoon circa 77/78I'm in one of my favorite bars in New Orleans on Canal Street near the cemetaries mid-afternoon killing time when in walks John Goodman and his bodygaurd. John sits down next to me and turns his back to me and begins animated conversation w. his body-guard. I nurse my beer until the conversation had run its course and then , when John straightened up to address his beer and his sun-glasses laying on the bar in front of him. I thought I'd be super-cool (ALWAYS a big mistake) by saying: "Who IS that guy in those Foster Grants?" (Remember the old 60s ad campaign now just recently being reprised?) John quizzically picked up his glasses, turned them over in his hands and said: "Actually these are Ray-Bans," missing the bait entirely! Now, with egg on my face, I say: "Damnitt, John, I know those are Ray-Bans, don't you remember that old ad campaign?--you blew my whole bit!" Which all began an absolutely delightful 30 min discussion with a REALLY NICE, down-to-earth guy, as we related our mutual college experiences and the 60s. Super guy..

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Scarlett says Lou Reed is a Jerk and that is Why she covered Tom Waits' Songs and Not Lou Reed Songs. I Admire Her Integrity. I will Never second-guess Her.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Scarlett says the Velvet Underground only found Form through The Jesus-And-Mary-Chain: that is why she Sang with them in Coachella. I brought her Bottled Water so she could stay Hydrated,

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Scarlett says that Kickboxing has been Replaced by Kick-Holing. It Hurts But I Agree.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Scarlett often asks Herself 'What Would George Clooney Do With His Toes?' It is the Same Thing That Brad Pitt Does. Although Clooney has a Weird Bump on His Big Toe, I have Felt It.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says:when Scarlett was on Broadway she Needed Time to Herself. I Gave Her That Time.


There is No Reason for Her to Leave Me.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says:when Scarlett talks about That Jessica Alba Bitch I Agree Totally. It is About Talent, Not Breasts.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: when Scarlett talks about That Melissa McCarthy Bitch I Agree Totally: Scarlettt could Get Fat and Be Funnyif She Wanted To. She has Liked Ice Cream in the Past.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says:It is tough Being Scarlett Johansson's Boyfriend. Everyone Thinks you Are a Freeloader and that is So Utterly Not True: I almost got a Part in 'Sharknado' but Scarlett's Fame Worked Against Me. Damn Ian Zierlng to 9021-Hell.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Ethan Hawke Once Tenderly Fondled My Balls Ina Hallway Thinking it Would Get Him closer to Scarlett. Please, Ethan: you had a third-rate Scarlett in Uma Thurman and She Still Cut You Loose. Let Go.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Me and Scarlett have Nicknames for Each Others' Genitals: only Gwyneth Paltrow Knows.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Gwyneth Paltrow calls her Private Area 'Shaved Baby Soderbergh'. Gwyneth and Scarlett Laugh and Laugh and Laugh.

William said...

I was in a not so special restaurant where Sylvester Stallone was with a party. He went to the bathroom. His bodyguard stood outside the door to make sure no one else could go in. I thought that thar was kind of self important and celebrityish. Years later, on a talk show, he told how when he was standing at a urinal someone came up behind him, slapped the back of his head, and told him he didn't look so big. I guess being a celebrity has its downside, especially when taking a leak in public places.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Laugh and Laugh and Laugh along. There is No Reason for Her to Leave Me.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Laugh and Tell Scarlett I would Kill Woody Allen in His Sleep. We Laugh and Laugh 'cause She Knows I'm Joking. Woody is like a Father Figure to Her. I Understand.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Once Put Scarlett Over My Knee and Spanked her Lightly in a "Ha Ha I'm Spanking You: sort-of-Way. She Did not Like That.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Then Put Scarlett Over My Knee and Spanked her Lightly saying "I'm Sean Penn, I can Do This" and She Giggled Like a Little Girl.

It Is About Trust.

Inga said...

I know people who rub shoulders with people who rub shoulders with Scott Walker daily, that's special, ain't it?

AllenS said...

Damnit! I forgot that when I was in a military hospital in Japan in 1968, Bart Starr visited and shook my hand. There's a picture of the two of us somewhere.

Robert Cook said...

"Mr. Cook, don't you life in NY? Have any good stories to tell about celebs?"

In the years I've lived in NYC I've seen many, many celebrities, mostly going about their business walking the streets. I worked for a few years at a hotel by LaGuardia Airport, where, of course, quite a few celebs came through, flying in or out of the city, the most illustrious being Bob Hope and Nina Simone, (but also including Linda Blair, Patricia O'Neal, the comedian Gallagher, George Thorogood). Ms. Simone was quite imperious and curt. (I'm guessing she was offended no one seemed to know who she was. I knew who she was but had no functional reason to approach her so I stayed away.) I checked in Jam Master Jay of Run DMC one night very late, who came in with a young lady. He signed in under his own name, which I recognized. I asked, "Aren't you Jam Master Jay?" and he seem startled I knew him. (This was when they were just beginning to take off in popularity). He left very early, alone. I guess the young lady was still upstairs, sleeping. Paul Stanley came in one night by himself, also very late. There are others I've forgotten.

Martha Plimpton lives in my neighborhood and I see her out strolling or walking her dog all the time.

The only "good" story I can summon up is this: a few years ago a very dear friend of mine had collapsed into an alcoholic crisis. Her family and I prevailed upon her to go to an AA meeting, telling her we'd take her and go in with her, as she was scared and reluctant. We piled into a couple of cabs and went to a meeting that was taking place on 71st Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. We went in as the meeting was already underway and a young woman was speaking about her experience with alcohol and recovery. I surveyed the large room, very crowded with many people, and I saw someone in the far back who looked familiar. I thought, "Is that...?" I told myself it couldn't be, I was imagining it. But the more I looked the more certain I was that it was he. Presently the meeting ended and people started filing out. Many approached my friend, as it was apparent she was new to this and was in crisis. The man I had seen and recognized stopped as he was heading out, put his hand on my friend's arm and squeezed it, and said, "Keep coming back. We need you." And then he left.

For obvious reasons, I will not name the man, but his name has been mentioned elsewhere in the comments. I have always been impressed with his generosity and graciousness in that moment. I hear he still attends meetings around NYC.

AllenS said...

That was a good story.

AllenS said...

Broadway and Amsterdam. Checking my NYC map, that's Upper West Side.

Robert Cook said...

BTW, after lots of ups and downs, my friend from the story is presently celebrating 18 months of sobriety, and still attending meetings. That's the best part of the story.

Anthony said...

Well, if we're dropping names, I've had email convos with a semi-famous porn star, a famous Manhattan hooker and author, and a science fiction writer.

But the BEST one is that I urinated next to Robert Reed.

bagoh20 said...

I got a text photo on my phone from Anthony Wiener. At least I think it was him.

virgil xenophon said...

Well, might as well add my first celeb, Bob Hope. My Father was a WW II vet in the ETO and a big fan of Hope, and I became one too. In Spring, 1963 Bob Hope was scheduled for a show at LSU. One of my fraternity bros was VP of the SGA and said he could get me in to meet him at sound-check on Fri afternoon at the Parker Agricultural Auditorium (where concert was being held). We had a tennis match with Kentucky that pm also, so after my matches (which I won--singles & doubles) I hot-footed it across campus to the auditorium towel around my neck still in tennis togs w. rackets under-arm. As I approached the stage I hailed the great man and explained about the admiration that my Father and I had for him and that I had just rushed over upon finishing my match and said "I just want to shake your hand." He leaned down, but hesitated: "Did you win your match? I don't shake hands with losers."
I allowed as I had, and we shook hands. Now, I know that types like Hope are always "on" and feel pressured to always come up with an appropriate clever quip, so I've always cut him some slack, but still, that experience left a sour taste in my mouth. What if I had lost? And, as a veteran of the Vietnam war, I always wondered in later years if he considered us "losers" as well post Vietnam. Still a great fan, tho..

Robert Cook said...

In his heyday as a film star, Bob Hope was High-larious!! Woody Allen has said that he fashioned his screen persona after Hope, and, having heard that, it's completely obvious!

Teri said...

I talked to Miss Piggy on the phone one time. Frank Oz was a customer of the exclusive place I was working. (I wasn't exclusive, the place was. I was the bookkeeper.)

A few years later my husband and I rode in an elevator at the Waldorf-Astoria with John Tesh and Sally Jesse Raphael. They were famous at the time and chatting with each other. I was of course too shy to say anything and my husband was new to the US from England and didn't know who they were.

And then there's the time that I'm prettty sure I saw Ric Okasek get into a cab at the Greyhound station, and another time I saw Garrison Keilor get into a train station.

Notice that I never met any of these people, and I really wouldn't want to . . . other than Frank Oz.

Teri said...

Sorry, Garrison Keilor was getting into a cab on 25th street near 8th Avenue.

Chip S. said...

@RCook--ever seen this?

Robert Cook said...

Thanks, Chip S. I believe I had seen a brief excerpt, but never the whole thing.

Of course, the Bob Hope of the later era, the cue card-reading hack of endless tv specials and conservative politics that we see lampooned here is a very different (public) character from the one he portrayed in his films from his great era. There, he was a fast-talking phony, a coward full of lust and false bravado and prone to comedic asides...as the early Woody Allen film character was.

Chip S. said...

I remember seeing "My Favorite Brunette" and realizing 5 minutes into it that Hope's character was the Woody Allen prototype. And Allen is upfront and gracious about it.

I don't knock the guy for being a hung-ho immigrant-patriot.

Or for preferring Anita Ekberg to Diane Keaton.

Robert Cook said...

Another celeb-sighting story: In my first year in NYC, I was at an afternoon showing at long-gone theater at Broadway and 72nd, (now the site of an Urban Outfitters), of the documetary "Best Boy." (It's about an adult retarded man whose aging parents were worried how he would fare after their demise).

Former teen heartthrob Robby Benson came in with a young lady and they sat about 4 rows in front of me, directly in my line of vision. As it was an afternoon show of a movie about a not-very-exciting subject, the theater was more empty than occupied.

Throughout much of the movie Benson and his date necked passionately, going at it like two high school students exploring "their bodies, (their)selves." Torrid!

Captain Tripps said...

Lou Reed? Kickboxing?!?! I'm sure he's REAL good at it; what is he, like 125 years old or something?