Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,
Ellen
ennienyc

Name-dropping

In the '80s, D and I went to Caroline's comedy club to see Harry Shearer. It was after he was on SNL and in "Spinal Tap," but he was still pretty much a cult figure. At least the crowd seemed very insider. We saw Richard Belzer's tall figure while walking through the bar, and the people sharing our table worked at SNL. Shearer made a few jokes about Canadians, and a voice in the audience piped up, "Hey, I'm a person, and I'm from a country, and I have FEELINGS!" It was Paul Shaffer. How cool is that?

Even cooler was meeting Glenn Close at Sundance in 2006.



This has a point: Paul Shaffer was being interviewed at the 92nd St. Y by Glenn Close last November. He was promoting his book, "We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-Biz Saga" (co-author, David Ritz). And if knowing (sort of) both participants wasn't enough, I'd picked up an advance copy (nice 8 x 11 size with easy-to-read large print) at the Times, so the event was a must.

I hadn't yet read the book but brought it with me to possibly get signed. The interview was fun. Close kept the atmosphere relaxed and took Shaffer through his early life and career, with a piano onstage to illustrate various songs. At one point, he mentioned his old friend from Canada, Martin Short, and Short himself bounded up to the stage to join the discussion. Cool! I felt too shy to get the book signed or talk to Glenn Close again, so just left afterward.

I later read the book. Gilda Radner called Shaffer "the most show business person I know" and he's full of stories about absolutely everyone. One question to Shaffer at the Y had been who he wanted to work with who he hadn't yet worked with. He had a hard time coming up with an answer (I don't remember if he ever did) since he's worked with everyone. If he name-drops, it's because he really does know all of show business. It doesn't come across as obnoxious but makes for a fun read.

Another celeb I'm sort of connected with is Jimmy Fallon, who spoke in January at the NYT Arts & Leisure weekend. One of his writers is former "Millionaire" co-worker Amy Ozols (as well as, more recently, Bobby Patton). I've, um, never seen the show, but Fallon's interview with Bill Carter (author of "The Late Shift," about Letterman/Leno) was still interesting. It happened during the Jay/Conan shake-up, so naturally that was the first question. The people on either side of me were scribbling notes and each asked a question, so it's possible they were one of these columnists covering the event. Fallon even praised Amy profusely (couldn't see from my seat in the back if she was there). Cool!


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