THE CELEBRITY CITED LIST:
1. Dave "Gruber" Allen (Monday, August 30th, 2004)
2. Gedde Watanabe (Tuesday, September 14th, 2004)
3. Joey Pantoliano (Sunday, September 19th, 2004)
4. Patrick Renna (Monday, September 20th, 2004)
5. Randy Jackson (Tuesday, September 21st, 2004)
6. Richard Riehle (Monday, October 4th, 2004)
7. Dwier Brown (Saturday, October 16th, 2004)
8. Betsy Randle (Saturday, October 16th, 2004)
9. Michael J. Anderson (Saturday, October 16th, 2004)
10. Rider Strong (Monday, October 25th, 2004)
11. Heather Graham (Monday, October 25th, 2004)
Driving to The Grove Stadium 14 with Adam and our guest Rick Herbst, I think to myself how great it'd be if Rick got to spot a celebrity during his trip to Los Angeles, California. Why, it's a treat that only this city can offer. I double-dare Chicago to show me Patrick Renna eating a hot dog.
So the three of us are killing time at a nearby Barnes and Nobles before the movie. Eventually, it's time for us to go, so we head for the escalators (AKA "future stairs"). And who should we spy browsing books and wearing a FDNY ballcap? I'll give you a hint: it's Rider Strong (AKA Shawn Hunter from "Boy Meets World.")! You remember Shawn. He was the devil-may-care-rebel to Ben Savage's straight-arrow-ugly. He taught the men of my generation how to comb their hair and brood. And look pissed. And brood.
Wow. "The Topanga Files." Mrs. Matthews last weekend. I swear "Boy Meets World" is stalking me.
Speaking of stalking, the three of us decide to follow Rider Strong around Barnes and Nobles. We've got our reasons though (just like all good stalkers do). We're unsure if it is indeed him, so we need concrete confirmation. A clear-cut view of the Rider. So we duck behind book shelves and sneak passing glances until we are 100% sure. Yes, it is him. The Rider.
This was all VERY unnecessary, of course, when we realize Rider Strong is walking behind us on the escalators... and out of Barnes and Nobles... into the movie theatre... and IN THE ROW BEHIND US AT THE MOVIES.
So, we play it cool before "Sideways" starts. Rick subtly references the weirdness of the entire situation by discussing how back at Yale, he saw Sandra Day O'Connor hailing a taxi. Maybe Rider will hear this. Maybe he'll pick up on our code. During the move, there's much talk about a central character who is a has-been TV star, which hits painfully close to home for the man whose sitting directly behind us. Adam, Rick, and I all wince. Does Rider take this to heart? Does he know WE know?
But I soon realize... all of this... my fear that he's stalking us, my hope that he's listening to our conversation, my belief that he feels our pain for him... is misguided. None of this is happening. It's arrogant for me to think so. In truth, I am nothing to Rider Strong. Compared to Rider Strong, I am... Ben Savage.
The movie ends.
On our way out, we see "Boogie Nights" and "Austin Powers 2" lead Heather Graham - sprawled on the theatre seats, PDA-ing with her boyfriend.
Jesus. Wow. Heather Graham.
I don't know need her B-grade celebrity status mucking up my list.