Thursday, March 25, 2004

"Celebrity" Stories

I'll get back to my usual tales of J-town tomorrow, but today I want to share with you some stories of my encounters with celebrities. Note: most of the celebrities I have encountered are decidedly B (or even C-List), with a couple exceptions, and some (ok, many) of them I didn't actually meet, but they're still amusing. Enjoy!

Bill Cosby: Ok, I have never met Bill Cosby, but my dad used to show dogs when I was little, and some of the dogs we had were champions. We had a Lakeland terrier named Ginger (best dog ever!) that won many dog shows, and apparently Bill Cosby also had some champion Lakeland terriers. You may get where I'm taking this: my dog was bred to Bill Cosby's dog. While now it's really amusing to tell people that my (now deceased, I'll pour out half a box of Liver Snaps in your honor, Ginger) dog had sex with Bill Cosby's dog, back in the day it was even funnier. Whenever my dogs were sent to get bred when I was little, I was told by my dad that Ginger, or Mary Kate, or whoever was going to "get married." I remember wondering what kind of dress my dog might wear, and wishing I could go to the wedding. Anyway, I remember telling the kids in my class (I think this was probably first or second grade, the hey day of the Cosby Show) that my dog "got married" to Bill Cosby's dog. On another interesting note, I know that we named one of the puppies Ginger had (not sure if Bill Cosby's dog was "puppy's daddy" on these ones) Rudy after my favorite character on the Cosby Show. We were big Cosby fans, at one point we had a puppy named Bud. But speaking of Rudy. . .

Sean Astin:
Though this is probably the most impressive celebrity I've met, it's not the most unique, considering that everyone I knew went to the "hometown premiere" of Rudy in 1993 and probably got Sean Astin's autograph. It was really cool though at the time because The Goonies is on my top ten list, and even cooler now because of Lord of the Rings. I don't recall anything about the meeting except that I have a picture of myself with Sean Astin and I have a pretty bad plaid sweater/skirt/glasses/braces/combo going on.

Joan Embery: Joan was the lady from the San Diego Zoo that was always on the Tonight Show. When I was in 5th grade, I think, I went to the mall with my sister and she was doing some sort of meet and greet with the animals. I got her autograph on a receipt from The Limited.

Keith Hamilton Cobb: I included a picture because I assume most people have no idea who this dude is. I also thought this picture was hilarious-is he wearing a mesh body stocking? Anyway, in the summer of 1995, I believe, the new Target was opening in Joliet, and among the opening festivities was an appearance by a "celebrity," Keith Hamilton Cobb. Mr. Cobb, at the time, played the role of Noah on All My Children. For some reason, Melissa, Shannon, Melanie and I decided it would be a good idea to go to Target and meet Mr. Cobb. I don't know if any of us watched All My Children, I know I didn't, so I really can't vouch for our reasoning. Anyway, so we go to Target to meet this dude, not expecting it to be too crowded, yet there was a line that stretched all the way through Target. So we waited for a while, and eventually decided to throw in the towel around the time that Mr. Cobb was supposed to be leaving anyway. For unknown reasons (yet again), we asked the man in charge where Mr. Cobb would be exiting. He told us the front of the store, but we sensed a hint of trickery and waited near the back of the store. Sure enough, we were right: fearing raving crowds (why I'm not too sure), the man in charge had deceived us, and Keith Hamilton Cobb, clad in a lavender (again, unknown reasons) silky shirt, dreads flowing, ran past us. There was no time (or real desire) for a meet and greet, but that was amusing enough. I think we went to the mall after that.

Adam Duritz: aka lead singer of Counting Crows. I tend to encounter people with dreadlocks. Freshman year of college, Counting Crows played at Northwestern. This was the second time I saw them and among the few good concerts Northwestern had. Other good concerts: one I will bring up in my next entry, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars (I shook the hand of a snaggletoothed member of his entourage, but that doesn't merit an entry) and whatever Sublime was called after Bradley died, but I think that's it. Some might disagree and bring up Tori Amos and Ani DeFranco, but I don't enjoy chick rock generally. We were waiting for the opening band to start and all of a sudden Adam Duritz walked by where we were standing near the aisle. I might have screamed, I don't recall, but it was very surreal. Also surreal: I later found out an acquaintance got to know Mr. Duritz on a much more personal level. Perhaps she got to meet Mr. Jones.

Wyclef Jean: Again with the dreadlocks. Wyclef also performed at Northwestern my freshman year. One of the girls I went to the concert with had a big crush on Wyclef and dreamed of Wyclef pulling her on stage and dancing with her. So we go to the concert and end up pretty close to the stage. What happens near the end of the concert? Wyclef spots my friend, and ends up dancing with her down on the floor pretty near me. Weird, weird coincidence, it was hilarious.

Janet from the Real World:Seattle: We were all pretty excited to have someone from our school on the Real World, and it was even more entertaining when she came back to school and ended up joining the cast of University Place, the student soap opera I worked on. No real entertaining stories, except that one day David from the Real World was visiting her and was supposed to come visit our set, but alas he did not. I think he would have been much more entertaining than Janet, I always loved when he went psycho in the van: "It kills me, Kira!"

Debbie Gibson: Senior year of college a bunch of us went to see a production of Cinderella downtown starring Miss Gibson herself. I was very excited because she had been my favorite singer in 3rd and 4th grade (besides New Kids and Tiffany, of course, but I already wrote about my encounter with Tiffany last summer). Anyway, after the show we went to the stage door to meet Deb. We also met Eartha Kitt (aka Clapper Lady from Boomerang) but that wasn't as exciting. We chatted with Deb, she complimented my friend Julie's coat, and I told her I used to dance to her videos. She said that made her feel old. Oh well.

Jeff Probst: Senior year of college I worked on a committee for NU's biggest fundraiser, Dance Marathon. There were a few celebrity guests appearing, among them Scott Wolf (didn't meet him unfortunately) and Jeff Probst. We knew Jeff was eating in a nearby room, so another girl and I decided to go snooping. We couldn't find him, and I think I yelled to someone, "I can't find Jeff Probst!" I look down the hall and see Mr. Probst cracking up, having heard me. I quick waved hi and ran away.

I think that's all the celebrity encounters I remember right now, but there are probably others I've forgotten. If anyone has any good stories, feel free to share. Adios!

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