- Address: sandiegomomma.com
- Author: Debbie Anderson
- From: Poway-ish
- Blogging since: 2001
Post Title: Celeb Encounter of the Lamest Kind
Post Date: April 9, 2012
When I first lived in Los Angeles during the early ’90s, my colleague Carolyn and I often met after work for a drink. We usually convened at a bistro-type joint on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, a mecca, it turned out, for celebs looking for a casual, anonymous dinner.
After a break-up with a decided non-celebrity, and in the jarring aftermath of putting my heart back together, I frequented my little bistro more often. A few years had passed since I first began to visit the place, and so when two men came up to us for conversation, I sneered at their VIP posturing.
Despite the self-importance of the guys who approached Carolyn and me, the tallest looked like a hobo. Long curly hair twisted and fell into his decidedly past-40 eyes, sandals encased his feet, and a rumpled t-shirt and baggy shorts completed the shabby shab look. Despite our obvious apathy, the men took seats next us and spent the next hour regaling us with tales of Hollywood and of the celebrities I’d grown up watching.
We spent long hours talking shop. Where “shop” was Carolyn and I rapt and wide-eyed at the stories as the tale-tellers tried to get under our white-washed Gap miniskirts. I don’t know. Maybe they just enjoyed our curiosity. Either way, the subject of what these men did for a living came up. Truly, I don’t recall at all what [one of them] did, but Moppy McHobo confided that he appeared in and wrote DC Cab, and founded Comic Relief and…
But wait! DC Cab? OH MY GOD. That was my favorite stupid weekend movie that I watched over and over again on HBO, second in inanity only to Teen Witch AND WAS AWESOMELY HORRIBLE. Plus, Mr. T was in it. AND ALSO: BEST DUMB MOVIE EVER! I couldn’t wait to tell my siblings, who often sprawled with me on the tweed couch in our shag-carpeted den watching this REALLY DUMBASS MOVIE over and over again, that I’d maybe met someone who wrote DC Cab. Maybe.
Wait. Who WAS this guy?
Solemnly, he continued.
He’d been Andy Kaufman’s best friend.
I gasped. I’d heard the stories about Andy. Bizarre stint as a professional wrestler, rumors that he’d faked his death, and so on.
Of course, I didn’t know the real scoop, which the man, Bob, told me in vivid and delicious detail.
The milk and cookies concert, the lounge singer act, the lung cancer diagnosis. This all happened plenty before Wikipedia, so afterward I couldn’t research the authenticity of the details, but now that I can…WOW. But back then, in the early ’90s? He spent hours, literally, telling us about his best friend Andy.
And one of my favorite parts?
He told me that he and Andy were good friends before Andy made it big, and that Andy told him that if he ever reached success, he’d have Bob write for him. Well, they lose touch, Bob starts living on the streets, a homeless man, and eventually makes his way to Ocean Beach, CA to become a short-order cook. By this time, Bob hadn’t spoken with Andy in years. Then, one day, the manager of the restaurant where Bob worked, handed him a telegram. It was from Andy, and it instructed Bob to quit his job and move to L.A., where he would become Andy’s comedy writer. So Bob went from making $100/week to $5,000/week in the course of a day. The rest is history: He makes it big as Andy’s writer and best friend, and tells grand tales about this ride to girls in bars.
Because in the end, I found the stories fascinating while unsuccessfully trying to fight the scent of skeeze that’d descended over everything. It seemed a little like Bob was too with Andy still; Andy, who’d passed away years and years before. Also, I wondered…what is Bob doing now? I hoped to see less coattail-riding. And then…
Bob asks me out on a date.
Whoop, there it is!
We’re to see Sleepless in Seattle, and I’m to pick him up in North Hollywood because he doesn’t have a car.
No vehicular assets, curly mop of random crazytude, toe-revealing man sandals, sense of self-importance.
[Post edited for length.]