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Thursday, October 15, 2009 :::


Stacy and I went to see Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black at the the Pantages Theater tonight. It was a super funny show, and I was able to laugh whole-heartedly during the entire event, even through the thick stench emanating from the smelly-haired slacksters sitting in front of us. (FYI: Slackster™ is my newly-coined term for a slacker mixed with a hipster).

After watching the two Michaels for years in Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, and The State, it was awfully strange to see them live in person. It was like witnessing wax figures come to life. Not that they looked waxy or anything, I just don't think I had even considered them to be real people before. It was mesmerizing.

But then afterwards came the horribly awkward ordeal of getting their autographs. First, I was wearing a brown leather coat, which for some reason felt entirely inappropriate, although I couldn't for the life of me tell you why. Second, there's something terribly uncomfortable about the subservient act of standing in line to watch someone write their name for you. It exacerbates my self-consciousness to the point of dumbstruck insanity because it is completely impossible to come off as "cool" in that situation. And who doesn't want to look cool in front of Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black?

The way I could see it, there were really only four ways Stacy and I could have played it:

1) Act normal for the role. Meaning: act excited and fawning and say things like "Great show!" and "Oh man I totally love you guys!" Might as well. We had been snapping photographs and waiting patiently in line so I think there was a clear understanding amongst all parties involved that we liked them more than they liked us. This was no time to have pride. The only problem is that this method isn't very memorable. We'd be just one in a million adoring fans, easily forgotten.

2) Act blasé. Meaning: don't let the celebrities think they are better than us just because we were willing to wait in line to watch them sign their name on a piece of paper. We could simply pretend like we could take them or leave them. We could be too cool for school. The only problem is that this method isn't very believable. We basically waited in line just to get a close-up glimpse at them ferchrissakes. The jig was up. Plus, it's kind of a douche move.

3) Act funny. Meaning: try to be memorable by saying or doing something clever... something they had never seen or heard before... something they would laugh and talk about for years to come. But this method doesn't work either, because they are professional comedians. They are funnier than other people by default and they've heard everything. It would be like bringing a guitar to a Cream autograph session to play a lick for Clapton. It's a game you just can't win.

4) Act insane. Meaning: the only way to really make an unforgettable impression would be to do something genuinely creepy or truly frightening. Like hurdle the table and straddle in their laps. Or start scream-crying like a baby. Or try to lick their signing-hands. Or ask them if they have a used tissue we could keep. Or throw up. But this method is dangerous, because there are always bodyguards in close proximity and because maybe being that memorable isn't a good thing.

Unfortunately, I was starstruck and dumbfounded and so I kind of combined all these possibilities into one giant mess of forgettableness. In my nervousness, I lost control of my facial expression and I think it landed somewhere between a half-awkward-smile and a half-blank-stare kind of look. Then I think I remarked to Michael Showalter that he had signed my T-Shirt in a different place than he had signed Stacy's - a completely useless remark that I was surprised to hear leave my mouth. He replied something about "changing it up a bit" and then passed the T-shirt off to the next Michael without ever making eye contact, which was probably a good thing considering my slack-jawed mug.

It was at that point that I suddenly remembered a past incident at a Star Trek convention. A friend and I had waited in an autograph line for an hour. At the end of this line sat Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager, and Odo (that Rene Auberjonois guy who acted on Benson) from Deep Space Nine. But for some reason we didn't want Odo's autograph, we just wanted Tuvok's. So after we got Tuvok's autograph we just pushed through all the other people waiting in line and walked right past Odo. He even looked up and watched us walk away, avoiding him. It was really awkward and just a tad cruel.

So back to the present, this memory apparently made me absent-mindedly mumble to Michael Ian Black, "Would it be mean if I just skipped over you?" and he played along while signing my T-shirt, "No, everyone has their favorite. Michael is my wife's favorite, too." Again, the lack of eye-contact probably meant that I had not made any sort of impression, and as I walked away, I noticed that his signature on my T-shirt looked more like it read "Jo-Beth" than "Michael Ian" and I wondered if that was his way of exacting revenge for my stupid comment.

But all my regrets have since been replaced with the fact that I get to wear my cool autographed T-shirt all over town, since I doubt I'll ever have to be embarrassed in front of either of the two Michaels again.

But I do extend my apologies to Rene Auberjonois. That was just mean.

::: posted by dan at 11:41 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button

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6 previous comments:

Wait a have an autograph from Tim Russ of Star Trek fame? and didn't tell or share it with your trekgeek brother? WTF?

And how could you skip Odo? He's a much more rounded and deep character than that bitch Tuvok ever was.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 PM  

I also have an autograph from Roxann Dawson.


By Blogger dan, at 3:55 PM  

Rene Auberjonois is a graduate of the university that I work for. care for his home address? Sorry, if I gave it to you I'd get fired but I really do have it.

By Anonymous noelle, at 11:46 AM  

it's been 15 days since your last post. Is everything okay? or are you just gearing up for the most amazing Halloween party yet?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:41 PM  

where are you dan - i am so looking forward to the halloween photos but seriously - 15 days???? I'm in withdrawl

my verification is phring. Just made me laugh

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:56 PM  

Oh DAAAAAANNNNNNN, there's people on your planet, where are you? Halloween? Hello? We miss you........

By Blogger anne, at 3:57 PM  

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