Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brush with Fame

Utah has been awash with rain and clouds for the past few weeks, meaning I have been awash with headaches. Today I finally gave in and slept in a dark room praying for sun, and not putting together coherent sentences. So, today's blog is a repeat. Sorry. I think it's timely though, since I am going to see Joel McHale again tomorrow. This was first published in February of last year... Enjoy.

Utah is starved for celebrities. I don't know what it is, but this state has a major self-esteem issue that can only be helped by celebrities coming here and acknowledging our existence. Tara says Utah is the 8th grade girl who never got Guess jeans and has never gotten over it. Now, I had Guess jeans, so I can't relate, but I think it's cute when she tries to make analogies. I think this "celebriholism" that grips the state must be caused by the fact that the only celebrities ever associated with Utah are the Osmonds, or those who go to rehab at Cirque. We feel like we have something to prove, and therefore every celebrity who comes through town is treated ridiculously well so maybe they'll stay. It's easier than knocking them over the head and chaining them to the Temple -- which was actually a proposal in last year's legislature. So far we've managed to snag Gary Coleman, which actually has just made us feel worse as a state, while intensifying our lust for all things Hollywood.

This weekend was a perfect example of celebrity chasing in Utah. Joel McHale, the host of The Soup on E! was appearing at a comedy club in Ogden. Now, I love Joel McHale. I think he's hilarious. He's the only reason I watch The Soup since John Henson quit six years ago. However, he is hardly an A-lister. But at a small club in Ogden, for one night, he was a god.

It started with the opening act. Every time he mentioned that Joel McHale would soon be stepping on the stage the crowd would erupt in applause and screams like he had just promised everyone a puppy with money stapled to it. When McHale finally stepped on the stage I was afraid someone might faint, or throw their garments on the stage, the crowd was that excited. All through his act everyone laughed hardily, even though I would say only 80 percent of his material was really funny. The rest was the standard jokes about how you can't get a drink in Utah, or how everyone in Utah has lots of kids. I expected so much better. But it didn't matter to the others in the crowd. "Make fun of us," they seemed to say, "but just stay here."

After the show McHale stood at the back door of the club taking pictures with fans. I had brought my camera AND video camera because, after all, I've lived in this state long enough to know what's expected. But even I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I stepped out the door. There was a line all the way down the block and around the corner. Now, there are only two people I would stand in a line like that to get a picture with -- Tony Curtis and God. If they were together I might even camp out to get the shot. But this was just too much. So, I snapped a pic from a distance, and went on my merry way. After all, I've already worked through my eighth grade angst. And I'll still get to tell anyone who will listen that he's much taller in person, because I saw him in person. Maybe I'll even be able to tell the story of how I was there the night Joel McHale disappeared. After all, I did see two guys with a potato sack and a taser standing in the line. Of course, they could have also just been out on a double date... Now, that's how you make fun of Utah.


Amanda said...

Puppies with money stapled to them???

Emily-Ione said...

I would think that the Sundance Film Festival would totally fulfill the states celebrity needs for a whole year!

Miss Yvonne said...

I love Joel!

Hope you feel better soon!

musingwoman said...

I never had Guess jeans...which explains so much.

P.S. found you thru Lucky Thirteen.

Yellow Trash Diaries said...

I apparently waited on a lot of famous people over the years during Master's Week when I worked at TBonz. Stupid me, I didn't realize it most of the time.
We saw Kate Hudson and The Black Crows in Charleston a few years back. They were dressed like homeless people, except I'm sure it cost them a lot of money to achieve that look. We noticed she bummed cigarettes off of people and heard a waiter complaining that they were shitty tippers.