Do we have any other Kathy Griffin fans in the house? I understand she can be polarizing, so no hard feelings if you’re on the other end of “fan.” At her book signing in 2009 she told me I looked “very Stella McCartney,” which I now believe is not true (unless she was referring to my Forever 21 blazer?) but I was speechless with joy nonetheless. Fast forward to January 2017 and I am reading Kathy’s second book, which is an index of all the celebrities she’s got juice on. Highs: Cher uses excessive emojis and Jack Nicholson is just as weird as you think he is. Lows: Jon Hamm is a douche and Demi Lovato instigates cat fights.
I, too, have celebrity juice, so I figured it would be fun to create my own personal celebrity index. Let’s get started:
Crooner, Canadian, knows how to light a concert
I saw Michael’s show a while ago, and does that man knows how to put on a performance or what. The stage lighting! The song selections! That tailored suit! I was going to let everyone in on the fact that Michael is super tall (he appeared thusly on stage), but I just googled it and he’s a regular 5’10 so never mind.
Comic, redhead, thinks I’m Stella McCartney
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Line, Florida Georgia
Confused country band
Another celebrity run-in via concert. When I saw FGL I was expecting some stellar American heartland tunes sung by dudes in flannel. I should have done more research! These bros have Vidal Sassoon hair and ripped their tank tops off as the finale! I’mmmm pretty sure Garth never did that. I know these guys had a collab with Nelly and everything, but that “street cred” didn’t translate to a bunch of people drinking Keystone Light. However, if given free tickets I’d see them again. They have some real hits.
Miss Bliss, Donna Murphy in The King and I
Hayley Mills was the female lead in The King and I when my parents took me to see the show in ’97. All I remember is Hayley had on the biggest hoop skirt I have ever seen or even knew existed, and I loved her. That dress shaped all my future dreams about having a wedding dress that was made entirely of ruffles and would not accommodate a groom while walking down the aisle.
Donny Osmond is and will always be the best thing to happen to Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat. Dreamboat, ifyouwill. I saw Donny twice (thank you mom and dad) and then years later saw Ace Young take on the biblical hero. Ace (former American Idol contestant and second best Joseph) was fine, but there is Only One Donny.
O’Malley, George (T.R. Knight)
Actor, bus victim, nice guy
Closest celebrity contact I’ve had to-date. I served George O’Malley a Guinness while cocktail waitressing at the Kingston Mines. He was with his sister and they were drunkenly celebrating his birthday with a little Chicago jazz. He had a Guinness, who cares what she had, and I had zero clue who George O’Malley was. Another server asked me if I could believe he was there and I was like, “yeah I know, I can’t believe anyone is here,” and she was like, “No! That’s GEORGE O’MALLEY from GREY’S ANATOMY!!!!” and I played it cool like I knew what that TV show was about. (It’s about doctors, and O’Malley is/was a fan favorite who SPOILER gets killed by a bus in season six). This run-in happened halfway through season three when I still thought T.R. Knight was an R&B singer. I don’t remember the tip so it must have been normal.
Actress, in a play I can’t remember anything about
The ‘rents took us to see a play in NYC during a family trip and Amanda Peet was the star. I don’t remember anything about the play except that Amanda was in it and the cast asked for donations to a good cause afterward. I must have asked dad for a fiver, because I waited in line for Amanda’s charity bucket and when I put my cash in I said, “Hi! GREAT JOB!!!” and she looked me right in the eyes and said in the most sincere, border-line too-serious-way, “Thank you.” I exited without incident.
Spears, Britney…..’s backup dancer
I saw Britney in concert in 2008 and it was incredible. I was so nervous about this once-in-a-lifetime event that I left my flip-phone at home, worried I would get kicked out for taking illicit photos of the troubled Princess of Pop. This was the period in B’s life when she was no longer dancing, just walk-strutting around the stage, too medicated to do all the fancy hand choreography she does today. In the two hour performance, she executed exactly one real dance move, a stationary leg lift, and it brought.down.the.house. Her mere presence, let alone in leg-lift mode, was almost too much for my brain. Show highlight: all the male backup dancers got down in holes in the stage for one number, each peeking out of their little hole, and Britney skipped around with a hammer bopping them all on the head like the arcade game Whac-A-Mole. Signs of a lost and misguided superstar, or brilliant dance routine? After the show I got to meet one of the male back-up dancers. He told me he was going to “catch dinner with Brit” and then they were on to the next city. My life has been complete since.
Comic, Vegas visitor
While in Vegas for a friend’s wedding, we were eagle-eyed for celebrities walking around the casino floor. Just when I was getting worried we would leave Sin City sans celebrity run-in, we heard a distinct voice over by the baccarat. Guys, Wanda Sykes sounds exactly like Wanda Sykes in real life. She’s tiny (5’2) and appeared to be rolling deep, because I don’t recall getting a good long glimpse of her as she walked out of the casino. It was exciting to see/hear a celebrity at close range, but nothing beat the high that trip of the digital roulette machine.
Here ends the index. Has anyone else had a celebrity run-in?
January 26, 2017 at 4:15 PM
Today you have given me several actual lol moments and I loved it!!
Personal fav = your 5.9 wedding gown rating on an unknown scale.
One of my celebrity moments:
My freshman college year at Concordia in Moorhead – Neal Diamond concert, which might have been my first live concert experience. Anyway, it felt almost life-changing even though the closest I got to him was my seat halfway up the balcony. Still, heaven!
January 31, 2017 at 5:36 PM
Neil will be at the United Center in Chicago on May 28th…should we recreate your celeb run-in together?!
January 26, 2017 at 4:51 PM
I also got many lolz from this post! Perhaps we can find you that 5.9 dress of your dreams for your future anniversary renewal vow party.
I like that I was with you on most of these encounters and I’d wait with you for 4 hours to see Kathy Griffin for 4 seconds again.
My celebrity moment #1: I served Ana Gasteyer and her daughter at Big Bowl Chicago. They were seated at table 51, which is like, the worst table in the place. She was starring in Wicked down the street and I played it cool by never mentioning I knew who she was. In the end, I think she was annoyed I did that.
Celebrity moment #2: While working for the TV show Check, Please!, I was interviewing people on camera at a food/restaurant convention in Chicago and a group of nice Asians thought I was a celebrity (SJP) and followed me around all day….does that count.
January 31, 2017 at 5:34 PM
Totally counts. I’m envious that 50% of your celebrity run-ins involve you as the celebrity. I’ve never been mistaken for a celebrity, but a gentleman at a career fair once told me I look like Jennifer Garner…does that count?
January 26, 2017 at 7:40 PM
Some of my “star” experiences –
I worked at Marshall Fields at Water Tower in Chicago selling cosmetics in the 70s. A woman came by wearing a gorgeous white pant suit. She had on sunglasses, so I didn’t recognize her. When she came up to the counter for assistance, I realized then that it was Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie – one of my favorite shows of all time). I told her I had been admiring her gorgeous outfit and told her I now knew why it was so gorgeous – SHE was in it!!
(She would have looked good in a brown paper bag; she always had an amazing figure.)
Looking back at the experience, I realize she was perfect – so classy, so friendly, simply understated elegance. (In that moment, I wished I could have blinked my eyes and became her.)
One other note – her engagement ring was to die for – It was a large heart-shaped (if I remember correctly) diamond.) I have never seen any ring as gorgeous in my life.
At the same counter, I worked for Dior & Nina Ricci, but it also happened to be the perfume aisle. So at Christmas it was super busy at all times. One day Forrest Tucker (F Troop) was waiting for assistance. I was taking care of customers in order. He was getting very agitated that I wasn’t waiting on him. He finally said, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” I said yes I do, but the other customers were here before you. I have to wait on them first. I’ll be with you shortly. (Needless to say, he was no Barbara Eden.)
I saw many celebs at the store, but the most surprising to me was just how handsome in person horror film star Vincent Price was. WOW!! knocked my socks off
And he was probably in his 60s at that time (I was 21)
January 31, 2017 at 5:40 PM
I LOVE these stories!! I would love to see Barbara Eden in a white pant suit, and I love that you made Forrest Tucker wait his turn, like HE SHOULD. I had to google Vincent Price – so cool! What a mustache.
January 30, 2017 at 3:09 PM
The celebrity run ins are worth a thousand words. My only celebrity run in is sports related. We attended a fund raiser and Steve Kerr (used to play for the Chicago Bulls) was there. He now coaches the Golden State Warriors. (Ed will know.) But more importantly Tom thinks you look just like Anna Kendrick. Now that’s worth something!
January 31, 2017 at 6:02 PM
Lol, Tom! Must be the red hair and the fact that we’re both really good singers.