Sunday, September 19, 2010
On my quest to Track Down Seinfeld’s Estelle Harris, who played Mrs. Castanza, I felt that I had to definitely track down the person who cast her – Larry David - creator of Seinfeld.
I tried calling Mr. David’s office numerous times. But nobody called me back. What is a TV fan and writer to do?
I know – why don’t I go directly to Larry David’s office and wait for him.
Did I hear a few of you say, ‘stalking’? I’m a professional. This isn’t stalking. It’s simply waiting.
So I waited, and waited and waited until Mr. David drove up in his Prius! Note: waited, not stalked!
I approached him with enthusiasm – “Good morning, Mr. David. My name is Marshall Jay Kaplan and I’m doing a story on Estelle Harris. I wanted to know if you would do an interview.”
Larry replied – “Have you been sitting here waiting for me?” I admit to the crime of waiting.
Larry seemed somewhat reluctant, but does give me his assistant’s contact information to set up the interview.
The big day arrives and I am going to interview Seinfeld creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star, Larry David! However, Mr. David is not thrilled.
I am told I get only 5 minutes. He enters the room casually, not saying hello to myself or any of the crew. He asks where to sit and sits down. I attempt to shake is hand and he looks at me and comments, “Really?”
The interview is tense to say the least. 5 minutes seems like 5 hours as Larry is short with his answers, somewhat curt. We have a bit of a stare-off at one point. I ask him if there is anything else he’d like to add, as I was out of questions. He answers, “No, I think we’re good.”
Is Larry David similar to his character on Curb? No – not similar – EXACT.
I had the chance of a lifetime to interview Mr. Larry David. Did I impress him? Well, suffice it to say I curbed his enthusiasm.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I love Seinfeld! Who doesn't? I also loved the actress who played George Castanza's mother on the show - Estelle Harris. From the moment she first appeared on the show in the famous "The Contest" episode, where she walks in on George masturbating, to making Paella to yelling at her husband to anything she did on the show, she always had me in hysterics.
So - I did what any normal TV fan would do - I decided to track her down! Track her down, not stalk her. Just to clarify.
First I had to meet Tom Cherones. Afterall, he Directed 'The Contest' episode. I asked Tom about this famous episode and about Estelle. More importantly I asked him when he last masturbated. 'Just this morning', was his response!
Tom suggested I meet cartoon voice actor, Charlie Adler who is very good friends with Estelle. This crazy guy tells me Estelle collects 'chatchkas' from auctions houses. He tells me to head up to San Bernardino to see if she's at the auction buying more 'stuff'.
I go to the auction, but it is not what I expected. Velour recliners, old people, used stuff, tackyville! There was only one thing that caught my attention - Estelle Harris - she was there! I tried to get her attention, but she told me to 'GO F%*!#K YOURSELF!!' What??!!
It was too late, she snuck out before I could meet her! Arrghh!!
Back to the old drawing board.
I was then able to track down Estelle's agent who told me my best bet was to go to Runyon Canyon Park - a Hollywood park where the celebs walk their dogs. Estelle's son Glen would be there - walking her two dogs and wearing a long scarf.
A long scarf? Two dogs? You gotta be kidding.
So off I went, dog treats in hand. Lucky for me - I found him! We chatted about his mom. Glen then called me that night and said his mom would be at the LA Zoo the next morning!
So I put on my best animal print shirt and headed off to LA Zoo - to the Gorilla cages to be exact.
And there she was! Estelle Harris! Mrs. Castanza!
We chatted and liked each other. She then invited me to her home to meet her husband. More than that, we became friends and went out for dinner. We have been in touch ever since.
And if anybody says we are not friends, I simply say, in the words of Estelle, GO F%*!#K YOURSELF!!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I love eating at Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood - Santa Monica Blvd and Doheny. It’s one of those little, old school, old charm, Mom & Pop Italian restaurants. The only difference is that it’s a celebrity hang out.
Whenever I go, I like to sit in a corner booth - and for those who have been following my blog know that I like to sit so that I can see who is coming in and who is sitting where. Basically to scout if anybody is anybody.
Well, tonite IC someone from the OC. Clever line huh?
Sitting in the booth next to me is star of Broadway, film and television, Peter Gallagher. Best known for his roles in the films, ‘Sex Lies and Videotape’, ‘The Player’, ‘While You Were Sleeping’ (with Sandra Bullock), ‘American Beauty’ (with Annette Bening) and The O.C. as Sandy Cohen.
Peter is sitting in the booth next to me. Or should I say I am sitting in the booth next to him? Either way he’s close by.
But I need to get closer. So I excuse myself from my booth to use the restroom. I now can walk directly past Mr. Gallagher. He looks up as I pass. I give him a friendly nod of acknowledgment. He gives me a friendly nod back.
Are you nodding off yet? Another clever line. Thank you very much.
There is really not much more to this story. Basically I saw OC star, Peter Gallagher at Dan Tana’s.
I gotta keep with the ever cute acronym theme. So let me rephrase that: I C OC PG @ DT
And for the food? It was AOK!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
There was a time in my life when I used to travel to The Big Apple, New York City, quite frequently.
Normally when I travel somewhere, I hope to meet a celebrity. Little did I realize that the tables would be turned - at least in my head they were.
Now, Naomi Campbell is one of the most famous super models of all time - whether it be for her abusive behaviour towards her assistants, her runway strut or her British accent, Naomi Campbell is anything but forgettable.
Ok, but this is about me!
So, here I am, waiting to check into my suite (yes a suite!) at Le Parker Meridien in NYC. And who do you think is in front of me? No, not that big guy from The Sopranos (why did I just say that?). It was no other than Naomi Campbell herself! As she stepped up to the Front Desk, I could definitely hear her British accent and her room request, but as much as I tried to listen, I could not find out what room she was in.
So I checked into my room and bumped into Geraldo Rivera in the elevator. Unfortunately he’s no Naomi Campbell.
A year passes, and I am back in NYC, as I have a meeting with Mac Cosmetics. I am walking in SoHo with my morning coffee (one must have a morning coffee in SoHo, don’t you think?), and who do you think walks out of the Mac building as I am walking in? No, not somebody from The Apprentice. Again, why is my mind wandering? It was Naomi Campbell! How odd is that? I had seen her on my last trip to NYC and then I am seeing her again! Coincidence? You tell me.
OK, so now yet another year passes and guess what, I am back in NYC again! And I am also back in SoHo. That’s right - with my morning coffee. I have another meeting at Mac, but I am early. So what is a Jew to do in SoHo? Shop of course!
Well, wouldn’t you know it, as I am walking by Betsy Johnson’s store, out comes Miss Abusive Employer (I mean, Miss Super Model herself), Naomi Campbell!! Again??!! Yes, again!!
Now, this time, I decided to speak up:
“Naomi - you gotta stop stalking me! Every time I come to NYC I bump into you! Now, please leave me alone!”
She laughed and then said, “Are you sure you’re not stalking ME, Love?” Hmmmm... she has a point.
We had little laugh and then we went off on our super model ways. I have been back since to NYC but our paths have not crossed again. Maybe one day, if she is in need of a new assistant......
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I had an early morning shoot in Beverly Hills. My team decided rather than having our typical grab ‘n go breakfast from Starbucks, why don’t we drive into Beverly Hills and grab a bite there? Sounds like a 90210 plan!
We parked and headed into Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen on North Beverly Drive. We sat down at a booth. And as you readers are aware, I ALWAYS sit facing the inside of the restaurant and the door - how else am I going to scan the restaurant for celebrities.
While having my coffee, my bladder started almost immediately. Off to the restroom. While I am standing at the urinal I get a text from my team. Holding my phone in one hand and my manhood in the other (yes, folks I can multi-task), I read my text: ‘Larry King is here!’.
You can imagine my excitement ... and the splashing and dripping on the restroom floor that followed!
I finished up and bolted out of that restroom - of course I washed my hands first.
And then I saw him - Mr. late night CNN himself - Larry King! He was sitting at his ‘regular’ booth with his four cronies. How does one get a regular booth? How does one get cronies?
I gotta say - I was thrilled to see this legendary host, but I was somewhat disappointed. He is much smaller in person. I mean much smaller. He also doesn’t sit up straight - I thought he always liked to lean on his desk. I realize now that the desk is there so that the King doesn’t fall over!
And you know what else? No suspenders!
Sorry, I don’t mean to complain. Afterall, I was eating breakfast a few booths away from Larry King. I wanted to see a celebrity and the Celebrity Law of Attraction made it happen for me. I should be grateful. I am grateful - suspenders or no suspenders.
Larry King is the King of CNN and of Nate n’ Al’s. As for me? I prefer to be called Prince.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Los Angeles is known for its traffic. So, you can only imagine what a ‘pleasant’ drive I was having on the bumper to bumper Hollywood Freeway. AARRGGHH!! Remember those drive-by traffic shootings? Hey – I’m not supporting it – I just really am beginning understand it!
OK, back to the car – convertible actually - la de da de dah. So here I am, merging onto the Hollywood Freeway and nobody, I mean nobody wants to let ‘little ol’ me’ in. I’m such a nice guy and I was having a good hair day, I just couldn’t understand why nobody was letting me in.
My merging lane was coming to an end – and you know what that means – the lane is slowly getting narrower – and my patience is slowly getting less and less. Is anybody going to let me in??!!
Finally another dude (did I just say dude?) in a convertible motions to me. He is letting me in! I was reassured that I was a nice guy and having a good hair day. Even better, I check into my rearview mirror after I pull in to wave to this good highway Samaritan and wouldn’t you know it? It was Jake Gyllenhall! Yes the Prince of Persia himself! As I wave thank you, he gives a cool Brokeback Mountain nod of acknowledgement. Is there such a thing as a Brokeback Mountain nod?
At any rate, my point is this: just like Charlton Heston parted the Red Sea as Moses, Jake Gyllenhaal parted the sea of traffic for me! I needed someone to let me in and my Celebrity Law of Attraction worked like a charm. I truly believe that if I did not have huge faith in my Celebrity Law of Attraction – a huge star like Jake Gyllenhaal would not have let me in. With little of no faith, a much smaller celebrity, like Charo, would have let me in. Or possibly Rip Taylor. Or that guy from Survivor Season 2.
So do I love Los Angles traffic? Absolutely. Now, if only I can get into a fender bender with Angelina Jolie! Well, one day......
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
OK, so once again, I am shopping at the mall. What is it with me and malls?
Funny thing is that whenever I go to a mall, I don’t just think about what I am going to buy, I think about if I will bump into a celebrity. And of course, I always do.
This time, I wonder if I was too old to get excited. As I am window shopping, Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans from High School Musical), walks by me. I walk past him thinking, I CANNOT and WILL NOT go up to him. Afterall, I am a grown man and he is ... well ... he is one of the High School Musical kids.
But all of a sudden, the teenager inside of me took control:
Like I totally always find celebrities, so like I had like no choice but to go up to him. Of course I told him that like my daugher totally LOVES him and thinks he’s like totally awesome (even though I was totally just as thrilled to meet him). After all, it is High School Musical. Like, duh! I was even thinking of like totally jumping up, legs folded in, just like the poster. But hey - that was like totally overdoing it. I am like totally mature.
Ok, Marshall, time to grown up!
Lucas was very nice. He chatted and his sister took our photo. I was happy to meet him for my daughter. OK - for me!
It was like a totally awesome experience! Totally!
Friday, May 7, 2010
OK, so it’s been a while since I last blogged, but hey - there’s been a lot going on with filming, etc. Blah, blah, blah...
Anyhooo - I was sitting having a little lunch at Mulberry Street Pizza in Beverly Hills. As usual, with any restaurant in Los Angeles, I sit so that I am facing the door - afterall, you never know who you might see entering.
As I am biting into my slice of cheese pizza, who walks in, but Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., picking up his order. What no delivery for Iron Man? He picks up his own pizza? I’m impressed!
Of course, rather than finish my own pizza, I just drop my slice and quicker than Iron Man himself, walk over to introduce myself. ’Hey Robert’, I call. ’Who dat?’ he replies. We chat a bit, I offer to deliver his pizza - he laughs but in a ’OK, this guy is making me nervous’ type of way. Hey - gotta make as much small talk with a big star as you can - keep the conversation going - lengthen the star-filled moment.
After his, ’catch you later’, Robert Downey walks away with his pizza. I walk away knowing that even though I only ordered a cheese pizza with no toppings, nothing could have topped meeting Iron Man - Robert Downey Jr. To top it off, the pizza was really good! OK, OK, enought with the ’topping’ play on words!