What do Desi Arnaz, Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Joan Rivers, Carol Channing, Patricia Neal, Mr. Blackwell, Helen Hayes, Milo O’Shea, Conan O’Brien, Randy Newman, Norman Lear, Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Lewis Black, Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Alain Ducasse, Wolfgang Puck, Ryan Seacrest, Neil Sedaka, and Steven Spielberg’s mother have in common? If you ask the two chefs they’d probably say something like, “a recipe for disaster.” They’re probably not far off. If you have to get on that Google to figure out who the two chefs are, I’m sorry. You can stop reading right now.
Back to the question as to what these people share in common, and the common denominator is me. Go on. Hate on me all you want. Though I’ve made some of these people laugh out loud, none of these meetings have converted into anything that helped me on my quest to become famous. I’m still a stay-at-home comedienne; I’ve been raising thousands of crappy, ungrateful jokes as long as I remember.
I realize that I’ve probably seen and met more famous people than the average person. How many people can say that they’ve met Ringo Starr three times across three different decades? I can. Once more encounter with the drummer and I will casually flaunt that I’ve met the Fab Four. Nobody will be able to prove otherwise. And Billy Joel will be able to attest to one of those exchanges at JFK International Airport. Just sayin’. Christie Brinkley probably won’t remember, but I will.
While I won’t go into detail about most of these events, I can say that I made Cheech Marin crack up. It was one of my proudest moments. Was I suddenly deluged with an exciting offer to come and write for him (or Mel Brooks or Carl Reiner, who both thought I was funny)? Nope. But I did get hugs and kisses.
Which is more than I can say about Paula Poundstone. For some reason or another, I just keep running into her and it’s either at the grocery store or the post office. When it happens once or twice you might think it’s dumb luck. When it happens repeatedly and she keeps giving you the look that is a cross between a sense of familiarity and the stink eye, it’s just plain weird.
But so is my life.