The other day I was thinking of famous people, so then I thought I might as well put together all the ones I’ve seen in person into a comprehensive but shameless post. So here you go.
Trent Reznor: Saw him at the Pittsburgh airport. (He grew up about an hour north, in Meadville.) He got his own bags. Short dude, but cool hair.
Jeremy Piven and Adrian Grenier: Driving an SUV and heading to a fried-seafood restaurant with a really skinny girlfriend, respectively. For some reason that trip to L.A. became the “see people from Entourage” trip. I also saw Mrs. Ari Gold on the trip before that one.
Whoopi Goldberg: She was walking up Sixth Avenue. That’s pretty much it.
Jim Lehrer: At a book-launch party in D.C. at Ben Bradlee‘s house. (I met him too, but that’s an interesting anecdote for another time.) Lehrer = super nice and introduced himself as if the rest of us would have no idea who he is. (“Hi, Jim Lehrer, nice to meet you.”)
L.L. Cool J: Walking through O’Hare airport. The woman ringing up my gum bailed in the middle of our transaction to go stare at him.
Dennis Kucinich: Strangely, in 2.5 years in D.C., and even having lived on Capitol Hill, Dennis Kucinich was the only recognizable politician I encountered. (Presidential motorcades don’t count.) I was out on a run and the Rep from Ohio was walking with some staff. Seriously short dude.
Wolf Blitzer and Christiane Amanpour: I met them at the CNN 25th anniversary party in Atlanta. Wolf is pretty short, and Christiane drinks Miller Lite.
Bill Cobbs: I didn’t know his name either, but I just now learned it when I looked up the guy from Night at the Museum that I saw waiting for a car in NYC.
Joey Porter: Saw him in NYC when the gate agent called for “Passenger Porter, Joey.” He flew coach. I told him “Nice game” and he said “Thanks.” It was craziness!
Joe Biden: Getting on a plane to D.C. in LaGuardia. Since I saw him in NYC, he doesn’t count for D.C. politician sightings. Tall, and mo old.
Chris Noth: Eating lunch with some homeless-looking guy in the same Hell’s Kitchen restaurant as me and two female friends. The two friends completely flipped out. Chicks.
Blair Underwood: He was waiting to cross the street in NYC, then I think he got on a bus. But why would Blair Underwood ride the bus? So I’m only 90 percent sure it was him, rather than 100 percent. But if it was Underwood, I would say he has, in fact, gotten on a bus.
Don Cheadle: On the five-hours-later-than-scheduled flight I finally caught to D.C. on the same day as the Biden sighting. A coworker on the flight, sitting directly behind Cheadle, completely missed him even with all the people mysteriously hanging around his seat. Short dude.
Michael Stipe, Christina Ricci, Mike Tyson and Heather Graham: All seen at a Guggenheim benefit party in NYC that I attended thanks to a helpful friend who worked there. Unfortunately I was a bit out of place: me and Mike Tyson were the only people not in suits, and I’m pretty sure that he’s the one of the two of us who could pull that off. Whoops. But I did make eye contact with Heather Graham. She and Mike Tyson later went on to star together in The Hangover. Coincidence?!??!?!
Updated Omissions 8/19:
Michael Phelps: A recent addition; I was watching the first Presidential debate with some UMich sectionmates at The Blue Leprechaun bar, then Phelps rolled in with an entourage of 15 college-age party types and the bar owner kicked us out of our spot. When we left 10 minutes later, there was a line around the block to get in.
Ted Turner: He was down the hall at one of the TIME conferences. I also saw Bill Clinton and Bill Gates at this thing, but they were scheduled speakers, which would be cheating to include.
Bob Novak: I’m surprised I forgot him, since he just died yesterday. Saw him at the restaurant where I was eating dinner with some coworkers. No CIA secrets were revealed to me.