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Sightings of Famous People
April 24, 2003 7:05 PM   Subscribe

Gawker Stalker and The Elevator Chronicles: I'm a sucker for genuine celebrity sightings (in my experience, they're true if they're thoroughly disappointing and boring) and Gawker has been having a whale of a time with them. The unfolding Elevator Saga (starring Anna Wintour, the editor of Yank Vogue) and Gawker Stalker are great fun, even for profound thinkers such as myself. [My paltry celebrity sighting inside.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo (47 comments total)

 
In the Gambrinus restaurant in Lisbon, I once saw Sean Connery drink nothing but water all through a big celebration dinner for "The Russia House" cast. He spoke in a very loud voice about golf and fishing. Nobody paid the slightest attention. What a tedious man! And, to make things worse, Michelle Pfeiffer, who I was secretly stalking, had left before I arrived at the restaurant, even before the meal began... What a let-down!
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 7:07 PM on April 24, 2003


I once saw Miguel Cardoso feeding the monkeys at the zoo.

Sadly, he was feeding them to the alligators.

[rimshot]
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:24 PM on April 24, 2003


Well, since you brought it up; Cardoso and Quevedo -- are they somehow related?

I think we should be told.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:28 PM on April 24, 2003


This is probably an appropriate juncture to share my dirty little secret: I come from a family of celebrity stalkers. Yes, we know no shame when it comes to harassing the rich and famous. Even I showed now shame when it came to pressuring my anxious looking hero into taking a picture with me.
posted by adrober at 7:47 PM on April 24, 2003


My first year in NYC I saw Joey Ramone, "Boom Boom" Mancini, and Anwar Sadat. I have needed no other celebrity sightings since.
posted by languagehat at 7:59 PM on April 24, 2003


My dad is pretty much a celebrity in my hometown, so I'm all set. But the site is interesting. I have jillions of stories of friends seeing celebrities.

For instance, my best friend was asked if he wanted his ass kicked by none other than Steven Segal.

My friend said "No, thank you." and left.
posted by christian at 8:20 PM on April 24, 2003


Frankly, I'm waiting to read a story in Rolling Stone where some celebrity recounts the fateful day he or she actually met THE KnitWit...
posted by KnitWit at 8:20 PM on April 24, 2003


I met Andy Kaufman in a doughnut shop in Noe Valley (San Francisco). When the waitress tried to cajole him into doing his "Taxi" voice, I intervened, saying that he wasn't really Andy Kaufman...I'd seen him trying to get free tickets around town pretending to be Andy Kaufman.

This piece of performance art didn't seem to impress Andy. Maybe because he knew he had just months to live, and he just wanted a fucking doughnut.
posted by kozad at 8:23 PM on April 24, 2003


At five years old, my parents dragged me from my birthplace of Cleveland, Ohio, to Los Angeles, and our first big dinner out in this strange town was at the equally strange restaurant Trader Vic's, where I saw Walt Disney, dining with several anonymous Disney executive-types. You don't get better than that (especially when you're five).
posted by wendell at 8:29 PM on April 24, 2003


"...my best friend was asked if he wanted his ass kicked by none other than Steven Segal."

Did your friend suffer "severe anxiety, emotional distress, humiliation, and mortification"? Because I have it on good authority that people sue for that.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:35 PM on April 24, 2003


I've met a few people over the years: Mark Hamill, Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, Steve Wright, Glen Clark (ex premier of British Columbia), Long John Baldry (blues singer), Stephen R. Donaldson (sci fi author) and Cancer Man (X Files) to name a few. For the most part, they were all pretty normal folk, except for Mr. Morrison, who was an ego-driven slob. Apparently he was much nicer when he drank.
posted by ashbury at 8:46 PM on April 24, 2003


My fame index:
-Famous friends: 0
-Weirdest brush with fame: stayed in hotel where Jim Bakker & Jessica Haan had trysts
-Famous people I sat beside in restaurants or bars: Lily Tomlin, McKenzie Phillips, the Zagat books' guy, MC Hammer & entourage, Ziggy Marley
-Famous people I rode in an elevator with: Aaron & Cyril Neville
-Famous people who left one minute before I got there: Alec Baldwin, Bob Dylan, Walter Cronkite, Mick Jagger
-Famous people I talked to for more than 10 minutes: Edward Bernays, Hodding Carter
-Famous people who are friends of friends of mine: Ru Paul, Ry Cooder
-Famous person I shared a joint with: Gracie Slick
-Famous person I saw throw up on stage: Van Morrison
-Famous people I've spoken to briefly: Sylvester Stallone, Tina Turner, Stephen King, Adam Ant, Joanne Woodward
-Famous blues people I danced with: Rocking Dopsie, Guitar Shorty, Kenny Neal, Bernard Allison, Terrence Simien, Lil Ed
-Famous people who have same birthday as me: Professor Longhair, Edith Piaf, Jean Genet, Marianne Faithful
-People who think I'm famous - 1 (that would be Mom)
posted by madamjujujive at 8:54 PM on April 24, 2003 [3 favorites]


This post has some self links.

My sister goes to school in NYC. She runs into celebrities occasionally. Once she literally ran into William Shatner. She apologized.

We've both met John Ashcroft. That was weird.

I once was eating lunch at Stanford. It was during the CS prospective student weekend. Don Knuth sat at my table for a while. I didn't have much of substance to say to him.

I recently met Steve Wozniak for a second. He was as nice as they say.
posted by tss at 8:56 PM on April 24, 2003


I was interning at Billboard Mag back in college days, so I did meet a few names. The best/funniest was when Thorogood came up to the office about three days after his 50 States in 50 Days tour had ended. I was so naive, I thought the reason he was sniffling coming out of the elevator and the constant trips to the bathroom were because he had a cold. LOL on Bill!
posted by billsaysthis at 9:16 PM on April 24, 2003


I come from Bombay, India. The movie hub of India, so knowing famous people, and bumping into them was an everyday thing. It's unavoidable really. From being kissed by a Miss India/Miss World participant turned actress when I was about two or three years old, to well friends from high school who are now supermodels. You just learn to treat celebs as regular people, and life's a-ok.

That said, I've had many brushes with international celebs, the one person I always wanted to meet since I was a kid was Neil Armstrong, and I did get to meet him. I've interviewed a rock star, conversed with many rock stars and actos, I've danced with celebs, I've played kiddy games and sports with people in the movies, etc.

My favourite celeb is my mom, she's pretty famous in Bombay, and has even had a TV episode made about her.
posted by riffola at 9:30 PM on April 24, 2003


adrober, those pictures are pure gold. Favorites: Woody Harrelson, Trey Anastasio, P Diddy and red-eye J-Lo, George Stephanopolis and Woody Allen. It's all in the contrast between the cheery family member and the tired and weary celebrity.

And yeah, I once interviewed Max Fisher, Sandra Bullock threw me Mardi Gras beads, and I'm three degrees of separation from Thomas Pynchon! Whee!
posted by muckster at 10:55 PM on April 24, 2003


I saw Shadow Stevens at the Seatac International Airport once. He was sitting by himself at a table, surrounded by about twenty other empty tables, near the restaurants in the main terminal. His uber-tan contrasted strongly with the overcast skies outside.
posted by tomharpel at 12:27 AM on April 25, 2003


Guitar Shorty, MJJ? That *is* cool. Did he backflip for you?

My pseudo-brushes with (pseudo-)fame:
--walked out of a theater in London, wondered what all the commotion was, glanced over to see Madonna beside me. (I walked to the #19 bus stop, she got into her chauffeured Merc.);
--Neil Diamond getting into a limo shortly after I arrived in NYC;
--literally running into (and almost knocking down) Mick Fleetwood in a hotel lobby;
--having picture taken with Walter Cronkite;
--sitting next to John Hope Franklin at a funeral;
--chatting with Dan Rather after the same funeral;
--giving George Clinton directions to the stage;
--holding Natalie Merchant's beagle;
--brewing coffee for (and interviewing) They Might Be Giants;
--sat next to Kathleen Battle in a restaurant in Vaduz, Luxembourg;
--also interviewed members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Connells, and lots of crappy bands you've never heard of;
--hung out with Eddie Shaw (Howlin' Wolf's sax player);
--was ushered backstage by Wynton Marsalis (after I admitted I didn't know anyone and said I just wanted to thank him for an incredible performance -- true);
--stammered congratulations as well to Cassandra Wilson;
--toted stuff and was a general gofer for Bettie Serveert;
--declined Cousin Brucie's daughter's invitation to feel her newly installed breast implants;
--chatted with Garrison Keillor (he's WAY introverted);
--had Alex Trebek feed me a straight line;
--stayed in the same hotel as Jesse Jackson during the Florida election recount;
--and masqueraded as a big fan so Ollie North would take a picture with me.

Oh, and Christian Laettner once told me to fuck off

(But I'd give 'em all up to meet Quonsar. He's dreamy!)
posted by Vidiot at 12:30 AM on April 25, 2003


Most of my celeb sightings come from a conference in California, where I had lunch with Sergey Brin and Larry Page, dinner with Matt Groening, chatted with Herbie Hancock and spotted Jeff Bezos in a Subway.
posted by adrianhon at 2:31 AM on April 25, 2003


Someone accosted me in the supermarket and told me that she knows Jesus. Does that count?

(I was buying onions at the time, if that's relevant at all)
posted by Pericles at 4:01 AM on April 25, 2003


Just a couple of weeks ago, I ran into Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman with their kids in the West Village. And this week, I passed Gilbert Gottfried on the street in Midtown. Apart from that, I've eaten near both Sean Lennon (at The Grey Dog's Coffee) and Frank DeCaro (flamboyant movie reviewer from The Daily Show, at Chat n' Chew). Also Jeaneane Garofalo a few times on the street, and I played drums at a Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Jam with Jake "Squirt TV" Fogelnest. My favorite: I was at PC Richards (appliance store) on 14th St when I saw Wallace Shawn (The Sicilian from the Princess Bride) buying a stereo. Inconthievable!
posted by The Michael The at 4:53 AM on April 25, 2003


Back in 1995, I saw Bryan Ferry at Detroit's Fox Theatre. After, some friends and I went out for a drink. First we went to Union Street, which was way too busy, but I happened to notice some folks with roadie passes on. I kept telling my friends Ferry was going to show up, but they didn't care, instead running over to the Majestic Cafe across the street.

A few minutes later, a limo pulled up in front of Union Street, Bryan Ferry got out, and went into the restaurant.

Five minutes after that, he came out and got back into his limo.

Without saying anything to my friends, I grabbed my purse and ran across five lanes of traffic on Woodward Avenue. I ended up in front of the limo.

The window rolled down, and one of the people inside said, "What do you want?"

Me: "I'd like to talk to Mr. Ferry."

I got an autograph, and Bryan Ferry said, "Is that restaurant you came out of any good?"

Me: >stammering< "Yes, it's very good. They have good hummous." (It had never occurred to me that they saw me run in a dress and high heels across five lanes of traffic. I got freaked out and ran off.)

When I got back to the restaurant, my friends gave me a terrible time about my run across Woodward. We were the only table in the restaurant, and I noticed that the waitress was preparing the table next to us, although no one was at the door...

You guessed it. Bryan Ferry came in, sat next to me across the aisle, and said "The hummous better be good."

We had a lovely time, he chatted with us for about an hour and a half, and paid the tab for our entire table. He's a very generous man, and very charming...

That's my big brush with fame, and I'll always remember it.
posted by greengrl at 5:29 AM on April 25, 2003


I've mentioned this before, but I saw Steve Albini at the grocery store.
posted by elvissinatra at 5:31 AM on April 25, 2003


I rode an elevator in a hospital with Stephen Tyler. Judging by the floor he stopped at he was either getting a liver transplant or a colon probe.
posted by bondcliff at 6:53 AM on April 25, 2003


As (pretty much) an adult I've met Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Spalding Gray, Richard Foreman, and Bobcat Goldthwait. Not all at once and not for any length of time. Oh and Connie Congdon was my thesis advisor (okay, maybe she's not famous but she should be...)

As a child: Mr Rogers (still a very warm memory).

I also have involved fantasies about meeting Thomas Pynchon and Jennifer Herrema, but those probably don't count.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:15 AM on April 25, 2003


Boy, I wish you had met them all at once; imagine the conversation!
posted by Songdog at 7:18 AM on April 25, 2003


bondcliff, just be glad he wasn't looking for love in an elevator.
posted by witchstone at 7:20 AM on April 25, 2003


Elvis rents a room in my basement.
posted by anapestic at 7:22 AM on April 25, 2003


greengrl: That's a really nice story.
posted by *burp* at 8:16 AM on April 25, 2003


Though New York seems to be the place for celebrity sitings, at least for me (one day Monica Lewinsky literally ran up to my wife and hugged her. That was weird. Nice woman, though. I saw James Van der Beek going into a club, and met Moby once) -- I have seen famous people in otherwise non-famous-people places. Robin Williams in Chapel Hill, Lawrence Fishburne in Chicago, and George Martin in Washington D.C.! So, you never know, I guess.
posted by drinkcoffee at 8:31 AM on April 25, 2003


Cybill Shepherd was really rude to me once (in Nice, of all places). The Police (the band, that is) ran in fear of the sight of me at the age of fourteen -- for which I cannot blame them -- in a hotel hallway in Hawaii. Wilco put me & a friend on a guest list for one of their shows last year without our even having to ask.
posted by *burp* at 8:31 AM on April 25, 2003


I can top all of y'all.

More than two decades ago, I was priveleged enough to be invited backstage to meet -- wait for it -- both the Captain and Tennille.

It was scary. I hid behind my dad.
posted by ook at 8:33 AM on April 25, 2003


I hang out at this place called 'metafilter' and sometimes this amazing man 'Miguel Cardoso' posts amazing things - and sometimes in disguise! It's awesome.
posted by djacobs at 9:03 AM on April 25, 2003


I am hoping Miguel's daughters get fake accounts too, cause polite society is for squares.
posted by thirteen at 9:07 AM on April 25, 2003


You losers can all go screw. I've hung out with Matt Haughey. Nyah!

Also, Dolly Parton once asked me to buy her a cookie and called me "precious". I've worked out with George Stephanopoulous, held Sarah Jessica Parker's purse while she posed for a photo with Matt Broderick, spent the day shopping with Carol Kane, helped a TV/movie star who wishes to remain anonymous get a MetaFilter account and had a few, other random celebrity encounters.
posted by bradlands at 9:13 AM on April 25, 2003


Though New York seems to be the place for celebrity sitings

Scene: Somewhere on Avenue B

Construction Worker #1: I'm having a little trouble anchoring this Julian Casablancas to the sidewalk.
Construction Worker #2: I hear you. He keeps wobbling.
posted by MarkAnd at 9:13 AM on April 25, 2003 [1 favorite]


Alicia Silverstone at Blue Ribbon Sushi and Natalie Portman on Elizabeth Street last year. Famke Janssen in Magnolia Bakery last month. Nicole Kidman on Prince Street this month. Maggie Gyllenhaal (sigh) around the Village every now and then.

Gee, it's strange how I never notice any male celebs...
posted by nicwolff at 9:18 AM on April 25, 2003


I once flew from LA to Boise sitting across the aisle from Melissa Gilbert.

Worst! Story! Ever!
posted by Skot at 9:20 AM on April 25, 2003


Gah -- of course I meant siteings.
posted by drinkcoffee at 9:46 AM on April 25, 2003


I used to work as a lead stagehand at major concerts in Cincinnati, OH. Loverboy, Quiet Riot, Iron Maiden - these are just a few of the major celebrities in whose dressing rooms I spent time. You know, the scene with Nigel and the folding sandwiches in Spinal Tap is not too far off from some of the stuff I saw.
posted by dhacker at 9:46 AM on April 25, 2003


While in college in Seattle, I sold several pairs of shoes to Melanie Griffith, who very clearly wanted to be recognized. She was with Antonio Banderas' assistant who kept saying in a loud voice, "Oh MELANIE. Those shoes are fantastic. And what about these for ANTONIO? Oh MELANIE, he'd LOVE them."

I also saw Eric Clapton down on Venice Beach this winter. He was trying to get a table at the crowded Figtree's.
posted by arielmeadow at 9:48 AM on April 25, 2003


Oh, all right. I saw Monica Lewinsky too, at a small workshop presentation of a play in New York. Also Kermit The Frog. And up in western Massachusetts on various occasions I've met Suzanne Vega, Bobby McFerrin, Karen Allen, and Hugh Downs. I doubt they remember me, though.

On preview, I remembered that I talked to John Densmore after a concert once. Oh, and I performed with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, and they were both very nice.
posted by Songdog at 10:34 AM on April 25, 2003


Gah -- of course I meant siteings.

*stares*

I have no joke for this.
posted by MarkAnd at 10:47 AM on April 25, 2003


helped a TV/movie star who wishes to remain anonymous get a MetaFilter

whoa, Wil Wheaton's here?
posted by Vidiot at 10:53 AM on April 25, 2003


helped a star who wishes to remain anonymous

whoa, did not realize the power bradlands wields over our snarky domain!
posted by billsaysthis at 12:21 PM on April 25, 2003


oh , all right. i saw monica lewinsky too, at a small workshop presentation of a play in new york. also kermit the frog.

Well, this certainly brings up a horrifying mental image.
posted by Skot at 12:38 PM on April 25, 2003


I've met Margo Kidder (too young to remember, but I have a picture to prove it), and I've seen Juliette Lewis (on the set), Billy Corgan (shopping in Edmonton before a show... I saw him at the show too, I guess, but that doesn't seem like it counts), Mr. Dress up, Eric Lindross, and... that's about it i guess. Not too exciting is it?
posted by ODiV at 4:00 PM on April 26, 2003


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