Friday, December 19, 2008

A for-real Festivus

I pulled over at Broadway Farms on the Upper West Side of Manhattan late last night and dashed, leaving Mrs. B in the passenger seat.

I passed a short, elderly man and quickly realized it was this guy.

He looked at me, I looked at him, and we both went on. He was wearing a baseball cap with "Comedy" on its brim, and he walked very slowly.

Pause, baby.

There are famous actors and musicians, and then there are the guys who have really meant something to you, day in, day out.

I'd passed a magic man.

I texted Mrs. Bananas from the frozen section, "Keep your eye on the front door. In a moment, you'll see Jerry Stiller coming out."

I checked out my goods before Stiller did, so Mrs. B and I sat in the car and waited so she could get a look. And waited. Debated whether or not to skat, but one of us said, "You will most likely never see him again, and you will remember this forever." Agreed. We sat.

He emerged, turned left and slowly walked north, glancing at us as he passed and continuing on into the night. Satisfied, we drove off.

This makes the third "Seinfeld" actor I've randomly come across. The first was Jerry himself, at the 79th Street boat basin in 1998, at the height of the show's popularity.

Nobody ate. I looked around at the restaurant and every single head was turned toward JS, who ate, talked and laughed with his male pal.

Two years ago I saw this man in a Maui Hotel:

Since he's the cousin of a musician friend, I dropped the name and Wayne Knight turned around. He asked all about my friend, his wife, their family, and I told him. Off we went and off he went.

Why do we care?

Because the USA is glutted with so-called "stars", but the artists--the ones who truly deserve fame, money, adulation and their eternal life via the tube and elsewhere, and especially those who make us laugh, are rare and magical. If you see one, you stop what you're doing and say hi, even just in your head.

Now, like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre a month ago, I've seen Frank Costanza in person, and I'll go on my way.

1 comment:

Zucchini Breath said...

Jerry Stiller is a legend. I remember watching him on the sitcom Rhoda when I was young.