OT: Celebrity Encounters

Submitted by 1464 on June 16th, 2011 at 8:05 AM

I want to piggyback off of the Family Fame thread below, as I found it an interesting read.  I'm fairly surprised that nobody was related to Kevin Bacon, however.  So my question is, what celebrities have you carried out a conversation with? 

I have had most, if not all, of my celebrity encounters through working at various bars.

I did a shot of Jack with Don Vito from Jackass.  A few weeks later, he was in jail for groping some 12 year olds at a shopping mall.

I've met both Pryor and Gordon Gee in the last few weeks.  Pryor used to be a regular at my bar until a bounty was placed on his head in Columbus.  Gee made a promotional stop at the bar during senior crawl.  Before all is said and done, I may end up meeting Gene Smith as well, as the business I've started has been contracted to work an OSU athletics booster event in August.

I worked with a girl who won the Real World Road Rules Challenge, prior to the show actually airing.  That was the only season of that show I watched, as it was cool to watch the thing play out knowing she won.  She quit pretty promptly after she received her $250,000 (although after taxes, I'm sure it was not that much...).

I've met DMX.  A good friend of mine had to take $5,000 out of our cash drawers, put it in a paper bag, and meet him in a motel parking lot before he would perform at our bar.  I did not envy that task.

I hung out with Braylon Edwards and Josh Cribbs when Cribbs hosted a private party at our nightclub.  Braylon was actually a really cool guy.  He did end up getting drunk and walking off by himself down High Street.




June 16th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

I met Mike Modano's dad at a golf outing, I rode in an elevator with Zdeno Chara (I was scared), met Chris Kunitz and drove Tom Brookens and Cam Maybin from the airport.  Talk about diversity there.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:37 AM ^

I met Chris Chelios at Cheli's Chili Bar, earlier this year before a Tigers game. Such a nice guy. I also lived a floor below Denard last year, his freshman year, and played video games with him a couple times. One of the humblest athletes I've ever known.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:45 AM ^

James Belushi, also i have met the whole Real Madrid soccer team and Milan. I have also met some other soccer teams. I probably could have met some other actors and actresses, but im not the kind of guy that goes up to somebody just because they'r famous. I mean this for actors, because i would for sure walk up to Jake Long or Henne or Hart... You get my point.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:45 AM ^

Was at a software users conference and one of the vendors brought him in to sign autographs.  I mentioned I graduated from Michigan and we shared a "Go Blue!" moment.  Talked for a few minutes about the NFL lock-out and his upcoming HC job in San Francisco.  He was pretty cool and down-to-earth.  He stayed way after his scheduled time to make sure everyone got their stuff signed and seemed to genuinely make an effort to engage people.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:45 AM ^

I'm sitting at a bar in Pittsburgh drinking with some friends when suddenly this huge guy walks up.  Gold chains, diamonds, a large posse behind him of also very large guys who are iced out as well.  He stares directly at me for a moment and then sits down at the table.  The only empty chair is between two girls who are rapidly edging away.  Looks dead at me goes:

"Michigan?  I graduated from there.  You go there?".

The sudden realization I wasn't going to die was amazing.  Turns out it was Woodley and he'd seen my Michigan hoodie.  He invited all of us back into the VIP section and we met some other Steelers.

I also met George W. Bush since my grandfather is connected to the Republican Party.  Cool guy to drink with and I'll leave it at that.  


June 16th, 2011 at 10:37 AM ^


Mike Hart and I saw each other so many times on campus (usually around Angell Hall) that our bro nods turned into "what ups" which turned into the occasional fist bump.  I later participated in a wing eating contest against him and some basketball players at Buffalo Wild Wings.

It's always nice to learn that these larger than life athletes are just down to Earth kids.


June 16th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

He's actually really chill in person.  Very approachable guy, laid back and the like.  I'd imagine if you'd caught his eye he'd have said motioned you over and security would have been cool. One of the Secret Service guys told me he was much more laid back about security than many previous Presidents.  He was always ordering them to pass people through so he could shake their hand and yelling at the SS if they tried to pat people down.  The agent was complaining how it drove them nuts.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:46 AM ^

Bo Schembechler and Nick Lachey* came into the Big House once to do a promo about The Victors with the MMB's Fanfare Band.  I wasn't in the Fanfare Band, but I was asked to tag along to provide photos of the occasion.  It turned out that not being a part of the Fanfare Band was the best way to go, because I got to hang around with Bo and Nick for a little, and got Nick to sign The Victors sheet music (horn part).  It should still be hanging around Revelli Hall somewhere...

*You know, back when he was with that Simpson girl


June 16th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

When I was in the Marines I was stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA., which is about 15 minutes away from Joshua Tree.  A couple of buddies and I were going to an Applebee's outside of town and out of the Starbuck's next door walks the hottest girl I'd ever seen in my life.  Turns out it was Jessica Simpson (in her prime).  She was really sweet and let us take pictures with her.  Still to this day the hottest girl I have ever met in person, damn.

I've also met Chuck Norris, Braylon, Larry Fitzgerald, Drew Gooden, and Kid Rock.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:01 AM ^

Chief Justice John Roberts came to our school in '08 to address the class. It was mostly an excuse for him to attend the next day's Michigan/ND game (Roberts is a big ND fan).  He came up and chatted with my small group, and somehow it came out that I was a Michigan grad/fan.  He mocked me.

Actually Richard Posner laughed at me this week, too.  I'm apparently very amusing to people in the federal judiciary.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:39 AM ^

I argued a case in front of him, Wood, and Rovner.  It was an unwinable case (which is probably why they felt comfortable assigning it to a law student), and I'm sure I didn't win, but Posner got a kick out of our theories.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:12 AM ^

once had lunch with the King of Sweden... of course it was a luncheon thing so she never actually met him... also she went to Louisiana Tech at the same time as Karl Malone.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:14 AM ^

Too many hockey players to count. I will say this though, I'm guessing most people on this board hate Sidney Crosby. Honestly, he's a pretty great dude in a social setting. No arrogance at all, cracks jokes, and acts like one of the boys. For a guy who makes 10 million a year and has done what he's done, that's saying a lot.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

I met Oprah Winfrey and got into it with her "guests" for the show Bitches-Bimbo's and Sexpots in her beginning when she was more Jerry Springer like.  In one of my brighter moves I turned down an internship on her show that summer.

I met Bo at the Northwestern game we lost when A-Train had the ball punched from his hands in the mezzanine before the game.  He was startled but very polite.  Also met Lloyd at the big house before the tater game. 

I knew Jason Whitlock on a first name when he was here in KC from calling his radio show.  Eventually Met Jim Rome when I was invited to be a part of the Kansas City tour stop and just ran into Gorge Brett the other day at a restaurant as I got to know him from all that.  George invited me to his suite at Kauffman and enjoyed a Royals game with him.





June 16th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

Professional wrestlers... I seem to run into them all the time.

I rode in an elevator with Arn Anderson and Rick Orndorff. Turns out they had the hotel rooms across the hall from me.

Was enjoying dinner at Max & Ermas when some jerk bumped into my chair really hard. Turned out to be Lex Luger with his friend Sting. They were very nice. We were he only ones aside from the waitress they spoke to. They signed autographs for kids but otherwise played cards (hearts) and pretty much kept to themselves.

Met the (Reich)Steiner brothers in an airport and had a great conversation with them.

Sat across the aisle from Cheryl Ladd on a plane. Tried to talk to her but was all tongue tied and ended up deciding the better part of valor was to drink myself into submission as an excuse for embarassing myself.

Have met several professional baseball players and found most to be pretty cool guys - Chipper Jones was perhaps my favorite.

Best claim to fame was meeting and having the opportunity to speak with Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Joe Paterno all within about a two week period. I met Bo a handful of times after that and despite each encounter being brief, he always remembered me or at least let on he did. The most special time was with my young son in Schembechler Hall - we were just "sight seeing" and he shook our hands and made a big deal over my son.



June 16th, 2011 at 10:25 AM ^

...and met several celebs, including Brian Urlacher, A.J. Foyt, Yancey Thigpen, Kenny Norman (helluva nice guy and one funny dude), former IU Hoops coach Mike Davis, Darren Daulton (was completely wasted, imagine that), Emmanuel Lewis (I thought a 10 y/o kid was walking through the casino, freaked me out at first), Greg Biffle, Antonio Tarver, Jason Priestley, and Ronald Jeremy Hyatt (aka Ron Jeremy, and I refused to shake his hand).

EDIT: I also sat next to Jason Avant on a flight from Chicago to Philly.  We talked Michigan Football for about 10 minutes of the 1:45 minute flight.  I found him to be a very humble and genuine guy, more interested in learning about my background than talking about his own. 


June 16th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

-I grew up around Ben Roethlisberger, he punched me in the stomach on a school bus when I was 6 (true story).

-I live in Dayton, and see Dave Chappelle frequently, in the gym and around town. He's getting ripped!

-I talked to Tommy Davidson (of In Living Color fame) at a bar a couple years ago. I told him Booty Call was the best movie I've ever seen. He believed me.


June 16th, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

When I was around 11, I met Jack Nicholson at a Pistons game while he was filming the movie Hoffa. I got  his autograph he was a nice guy. 


June 16th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^


  • Bubba Paris: he was the first person I saw when I walked into the lobby of South Quad after getting off the bus from Detroit Metro as I arrived for my freshman year at UM. He was walking out the door as I was walking in. He was really a mountain of a man. I kept tilting my head further upward until I finally saw his head/face.
  • Anthony Carter: he lived a few doors down on fourth floor/Taylor House of South Quad. He was a very quiet guy, not very social at all; though he [I assume it was he because he was from Pompano Beach, FL] used our phone to make a long distance call to Pompano Beach before we moved in to the room - I guess the dorm room was left unlocked before my roomies and I arrived.
  • Paul Girgash: lived one room down on 4th floor of South Quad; very nice guy, quiet but friendly.
  • Butch Woolfolk: he and I played in a pickup basketball game together at the IM building on Hoover; he got out on a fastbreak and I was the only defender back; I was sprinting for all I was worth and he was comfortably loping along keeping 1 or 2 strides ahead of me the whole time for an easy lay-in.
  • Ed Muransky: he was the most "spirited" of the South Quad footballers that I knew while I was there; if there was a party at South Quad, Ed was probably there.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I ran into him in the Crisler Arena parking lot walking through the lot to go to a UM-MSU basketball game. The Lakers were in Detroit for a Pistons-Lakers game and Magic brought a few of the Lakers out to Ann Arbor to see his Spartans play.
  • Bruce Springsteen: unfortunately, I was not one of the group who actually met him (because I was in organic chemistry lab that afternoon), but 2 of my friends from high school drove up to Ann Arbor  to visit me and see Bruce open up his River tour at Crisler in Oct 1980. They were walking around down on South Campus that afternoon (to see the Big House, etc.) and Bruce's tour bus pulled up into the Crisler parking lot and out walks Bruce and the band. They took pictures of themselves with Bruce. Oh how I hate organic chemistry.
  • Arthur Ashe: he was sitting a few tables away from me at the restaurant at the Michigan Union.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

celeb I've met was Dave Rozema. He is friends with my uncle. One night when I was little, we got tickets to the Tigers Den at Tiger Stadium from Kirk Gibson's office (also friends with my uncle). Rozey was calling the game on PASS Sports that night and when he saw us sit down, he came down from the announce booth and gave me a baseball.

I've also met Cecil Fielder and Alan Trammell. Trammell was awesome and asked me questions about myself. Cecil was really really shy though.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

Well, when I was in school, I snagged a summer job valeting cars in downtown Detroit.  It was to this day, the most fun job I've ever had... Met tons of folks and got to really get to know downtown. 

Some of the highlights:

  • Met the entire Wu-Tang Clan.  It was a Sunday night at the Omni Riverfront Hotel, I was the only valet, and their tour bus pulled up and needed help with luggage.  I brought every single member and their significant others luggage to their room.  They all offered tips, but instead I turned it down and requested an autograph.  Their hype guy asked if I was a big fan, I told him that the 36 chambers tape was my first rap album, and the rest was history.  I ended up being escorted into the show at the State Theater next to Method Man.  Security stopped me and asked for my credentials, and RZA stopped him, and said, "He's with us."  I was promptly brought in and escorted to front row in the pit.  One of the coolest experiences ever. 
  • Met the entire cast/crew of 8 Mile.  They all stayed at the Omni while shooting the "Untitled Detroit Project" as it was called then.  Mekhi Phifer, Cheddar Bob, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, all of them... With exception of Eminem that is.
  • Jerome Bettis holds the charity football clinic and they all stayed at the Omni again... Drove Bettis' Benz, met Charles Woodson, Marcellus Wiley, Donovan Mcnabb... I was starstruck that whole weekend. 
  • Got to park Robert Porcher's Lamborghini... Kind of crazy... Working at the Troy Marriott. 
  • Last but not least, one of the gigs we had valeting was for the Lions at Ford Field when it opened... So wasn't really meeting them all, but got to park all their cars about 3/4 of a mile a way... Shaun Rodgers, Joey Harrington, Matt Millen, Jason Hanson, Jeff Backus, etc.  Shaun Rodgers was my absolute favorite.  I'm a bigger dude, and it was early in the summer and pretty warm in Detroit.  I got Rodgers' ticket to go run to pick it up.  He gave me $10, and said, " Don't worry about it big man, I'll meet you half way... I know how it is."  He's one of my all time favorite Lions from my run ins with him."
  • After graduation, I continued working there while hunting for my future job, and we had a spot at the Pontchartrain Hotel across from Cobo.  Every night for the Red Wings, legendary front office guru, Jimmy Devellano would park and leave his keys with me and a nice $5 tip.  What a cool dude and very easy going.  Amazing to think he was the sculptor of the Wings success over the last nearly 20 years. 

There's more, but these are all my favorites. 


June 16th, 2011 at 5:35 PM ^

that Shaun Rogers is a really nice guy.  As nice as he is off the field, as a player, he is really lazy and unmotivated for most of the part which is a shame because he is one of the most talented DT in the league when motivated.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

When I was in 4th grade I met Bo at some blood donating event for a former player who needed blood. My dad used to play so he took me up and he was in a room chatting with a few other people, I could tell my dad loved the man by the way he greeted him and respected him. At the time I didn't know the importance of who I was meeting, but I am happy I didn't because I would have made him uncomfterable with a bombardment of questions.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

I used to go to school with Martin and Merrill. I met Shane Battier at a basketball camp, Barry Sanders at a golfing range, and played pond hockey with Holmstrom over the winter.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

Most recently met Mike Posner and Big Sean. Both pretty laid back guys. Mike Martin ive talked to a few times. Cam Fowler-i used to play street basketball and hockey with. Nick Lidstrom's son went to my school and he was at a few hockey games; same with Babcock. I met Mitch Album at the Apple Store a few weeks ago, im not sure if thats considered meeting a celeb or not but i recognized him. Long story short i was back stage at the last wings parade and met basically the entire team. Its amazing how much security relaxes when you faint in the crowd. thats all i can think of right now


June 16th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

Michael Jordan (at a bar in Chicago)

Leslie Nielsen (eating dinner at a hotel in Grand Cayman, I was 6 and got his autograph)

Chris Farley (Outside a Century City hotel in LA, he knocked over my cousin)

Christian Bale (walking down the street during the filming of The Dark Knight)

Jeremy Shockey (spent a night out with him and Page McConnell from Phish down in South Beach)

Johnny Depp (filming Public Enemy in Lincoln Park, Chicago)

Tim Meadows (his kid hit me with a bag of candy during Halloween time, he was doing a play in Chicago and was living in the neighborhood for the season, he actually apologized for his kid's behavior)

Mike Singletary (at a Lone Star Steakhouse)

The Fridge (at a men's big and tall store in Woodfield mall)

Dan Hampton, Keith Van Horn, and other 85 Bears

Star Jones (at the Atlantis in the Bahamas)

Mr. Perfect (at one of those sad old wrestler autographing events)

Oscar Robertson (at a Sportmart in Schaumburg)

Michigan related : Bo, Gary Moeller, Rich Rodriguez, Jim Harbaugh, and quite a few players from the early 70s that were on the team with my Dad (who roomed with Les Miles).

I know there is more, but I can't think

Chester Cheetah

June 16th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

I'm not sure if you guys remember the Hockey Falls guys that were in commercials on ESPN in the early 2000s but I met them at the 2003 NHL All-Star game.  It was awesome.

Florida Blue

June 16th, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

I live in Tampa and used to work at a decent restaurant.  I met Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Vinnie Lecavalier, and Marty St. Louis.  I served all of them which was pretty cool.  But when I was in Michigan I met:










Minor Rage. 


June 16th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

My ex-boss took me to lunch @ Sherwood CC (Los Angeles) when I was out at HQ for some meetings.  We walk up on the patio and there is Wayne Gretzky with a buddy just sitting down for lunch after 18 holes.  My boss has played mutiple times with WG, so WG invites us to join them for lunch and we had an awesome time.  One day later I'm at Gladstone's for dinner and the waitress comes to our table and asks us to sign a "waiver" because a celebrity will be seated next to us and they don't want to be disturbed.  Guess who the celebrity was - Wayne & Janet.  He laughed when he saw me and the guard came down and we had a great night with those guys, stayed after for a couple bumps at the beach bar with them.  He is class all the way. . . . .



June 16th, 2011 at 12:19 PM ^

Worked out with Billy Baldwin at my gym, found out we're related about 400 years back (I, too, am a Baldwin).  Said hi to Billy Dee Williams on the treadmill, Mindy Cohn (Natalie from The Facts of Life) while being stretched by my trainer, then saw Aaron Eckhart in the steam room.

Busy day at the Century City Equinox back in 2008.

Used to occasionally see Rachel Hunter while walking the dog (we lived down the street in Hermosa Beach), and we see Jason Acuna (Wee Man of Jackass fame) and Kevin Nealon semi-regularly.  Kevin Nealon likes ice cream.  I've never seen him anywhere other than in front of the Manhattan Beach Creamery (other than at the Comedy & Magic Club).