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Get a Life -- An Autograph Blog
I write a column for Autograph Magazine, which is available monthly at your local newsstand. And, if it's not, demand they get it!
My friends often ask me questions about which celebrities are nice, which are mean. When I do their cover story on the 10 best/worst celebrities, it usually gets covered by shows like Entertainment Tonight, which is cool.
I've done interviews that have been insane. The host of an NPR show in L.A. was yelling at me for saying Alan Alda is a bad signer, when Alda had come in a few days before and was "nice to him." I don't think he realized, that celebrities are smart enough to be nice to the person interviewing them.
A host of a Sirius Satellite station, told me Tommy Lee had been in the week before and signed a bottle of Jack Daniels, and they took a few swigs out of it. He was asking me the value of that, and I joked that he should be more concerned with sharing a bottle with Lee (their were reports that he got hepatitis from Pamela Anderson).
In one of the many interviews I did with KUSI, the newscaster was so excited during the commerical, talking about how on her honeymoon her and her husband saw Joe Montana, his favorite quarterback. She begged him not to bother Joe, but it was his favorite QB. A story that would've been great on the air, but once the cameras were rolling, she seemed unenthusastic about the topic.
Anyway...my boss over there has me do blogs for their website as well. And, I saw one of our other writers put this story, which I thought would be of enough interest to include here:
William Shatner sat in a drab office staring at a TV monitor displaying a message he was supposed to read to a fan while signing an autograph, but Captain Kirk wasn't very happy.
"I can't do this, this is crazy," Shatner said.
The message -- submitted by the fan -- was just too odd. But as an investor and partner in Live Autographs, a new video service in which celebrities appear on camera to deliver a personalized greeting as they sign an autograph, Shatner had to say something.
"Are you nuts? You want me to say, 'When I'm smoking and sipping whiskey with Allen' -- who's Allen? -- 'I'm secretly thinking of you and your dog?'
"I can't say that," Shatner added, glaring into the camera, his words dripping the trademark irony he has summoned in countless TV performances, including his Emmy-winning role on the courtroom drama "Boston Legal."
And with that, and his signature, it was over -- costing the fan $149 and Shatner a bit of improvisation.
In the latest twist to the age-old practice of handing out celebrity signatures, customers of Live Autographs get not just a signed photograph, book or napkin; they receive a customized video clip with a short personal message from the star.
Other celebrities who have agreed to participate include auto racer Danica Patrick and "actress" Carmen Electra.
Rough estimates place the value of autographs bought and sold in the United States at $2 billion a year, said Steven Cyrkin, editor and publisher of Autograph magazine.
Julien's Auctions sold an autographed Marilyn Monroe picture for $18,000 last year.
But with the incidence of fraudulent autographs on the rise, Live Autographs bills itself as a service that helps authenticate the celebrity signature.
Shatner launched the business on Wednesday, signing pictures, mugs and even a toy "communicator" from Star Trek.
Before starting the taped autograph session, Shatner -- whose signature is in high demand -- told Reuters about all the things he has signed at live events.
"Bras and panties and rear ends -- that's true -- and babies and marriage certificates and checks," he joked.
Responding on tape to a written query from a Live Autographs customer asking if he would rather captain a starship or be an entertainer, Shatner replied curtly: "I can't even understand your question, but I want you to understand -- I'm an actor."
But for others, Shatner was more amiable. In one video, he recorded a wedding announcement for the parents of a couple who secretly got engaged at a "Star Trek" convention.
"Someone's going to wake up tomorrow morning and on the TV is going to have Shatner
saying, 'Hey Johnny, happy birthday.' And they're going to get the shock of their lives," said Live Autographs Chief Executive Officer Rob Dwek.
As I read this blog on the Autograph Magazine site, all I kept thinking of, was that mid-80s Saturday Night Live where Shatner tells the fans at a Star Trek convention to "get a life."
I also think, if someone paid their $150 for Shatner to say something odd, well, he should say it. If he's going to have some reservations about certain things, he shouldn't have signed up for this. Obviously, some fans are going to want you to say "I wish you starred with me instead of that Nimoy," or give a shout-out to their dog. And yes, it's going to be stupid, and not make a lot of sense to you. But either do it and don't complain, or don't.
Musician Stew, who used to be in the band The Negro Problem, now has a show on Broadway that Spike Lee is turning into a film. I remember when he'd play places down here like Java Joe's, in front of 3 fans.
One thing he always offered, was writing a song about you and your life. And, I've heard of a few fans that paid the money to do it. In an email to me years ago, he said he starts at around $500, depending on how complicated things get.
My girlfriend Googled, and we found a song online that he wrote for someone. They loved it. And we did, too. It was for his mom, who was a big Sinatra fan. She even got one of the cigarettes he threw out into the crowd (and turned down an offer of hundreds of dollars for it, from a fan nearby).
And sure...Stew may have sat in a studio thinking "what a stupid premise to write a song about." But, he provided some amazing lyrics and a great song.
Shatner should learn to do the same.
More like this:
- Celebrity Idiots -- The Jamie Fox and Hulk Hogan Edition — April 16, 2009
- Comic Con III -- The Final Episode — July 30, 2008
- A Gathering of Geeks at Comic Con — July 28, 2008
- Hey Bo Diddley — June 4, 2008
- Get Out of Here! — Oct. 4, 2007