2006: The Year in "Celebrity" Pictures

2006 was a pretty good year for photos of me taken with a hodgepodge of people with varying degrees of fame. And it culminated in what might be my favorite Christmas card photo tandem (for those unfamiliar with the Sigman Holiday Greeting, every year I send a photo of me with a person more famous than me...there are two selections per year, so you can collect and trade 'em). So, as a year-end recap, Tinsel and Rot presents the Top 10 "Celebrity" Photos of 2006:

10. Me, David Ruprecht, and David Walls

Taken after a very trying bus ride and an abbreviated "Price Is Right" show, this photo pairs Mr. Tinsel and Rot with the announcer guy (David Walls) and "Supermarket Sweep" emcee ("next time you're at the checkout counter and you hear that beep [beep, beep], think of the fun you could have on "Supermarket Sweep!") and faux Atlantic City "Price Is Right" host David Ruprecht. Honestly, if I won anything during the show, it would have paled in comparison to having a picture taken with a real live game show host. I went back and he wasn't the host anymore. And the magic was gone. But at least there was that one magical day.

9. Me and Bobby Bare Sr.

Since Bobby Bare Sr. generally stays away from touring, particularly in the Northeast, I'd given up hope that I'd ever seen him in person. But with a new album to promote ("The Moon Was Blue"), he came up east for a show at Joe's Pub. And after the show (and having him sign a bunch of albums), this photo happened. Pretty cool.

8. Me and Pete Weber

Ever since seeing Pete Weber drop a trophy on national television, he's been my favorite bowler. What? You're surprised I have a favorite bowler? Stop reading this blog. It's not for you. Anyway, I finally managed to make my way down to the U.S. Open Pro-Am in East Brunswick to see PDW in action. And I think I'm heading back this year. Photo with Walter Ray Williams this time? Time will tell. Trivia fact: Pete's wife took the photo.

7. Me and Ray "Dr. Hook" Sawyer

The only way to get me to go to Coney Island on a weeknight in the middle of a brutal heat wave is to have Ray "Dr. Hook" Sawyer on a stage singing the hits of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show (particularly those written by Shel Silverstein). Dr. Hook was part of Hippiefest, a lineup of musical giants that included Joey Molland from Badfinger, Terry Sylvester from the Hollies, Mitch Ryder, Country Joe McDonald, Mountain, and Rare Earth. I made it to Rare Earth before I bailed. I actually was hesitant to get the picture with Dr. Hook, but, really, you should never pass up the chance to get your picture taken with a guy with an eyepatch.

6. Me and Robbie "Cousin Oliver" Rist

Winner of this year's Completely Random Celebrity Encounter. Seeing the Avett Brothers and the Yayhoos on the same bill would've been plenty good for me, but when I realized that the guitarist in the opening band who looked familiar was Cousin Oliver, it became a Night for the Ages. This photo was taken mere moments after Robbie chugged a pitcher of beer, and seconds after he took a picture with me on his camera. I can only hope I made his blog.

5. Me and Miranda Lambert

Miranda narrowly beats out Frances "Paulie Walnuts's Mom/Aunt" Esemplare for Hottest Celebrity I Had a Picture Taken With in 2006. Sometimes, I think about the fact that I joined Miranda Lambert's fan club just for the opportunity to have this picture taken and I become slightly embarrassed. Then I think about the other odd things I've done in my life, and that seems to fall logically in line.

4. Me, Chris "Peter Brady" Knight, and Adrianne Curry

It's only because this was taken so early in 2006 that this didn't make it on to the 2006 Sigman Holiday Greeting. I kinda forgot about it until after the decision was made. But, really, do people still know who Adrianne Curry is? Has her absence from VH-1's Celebreality for, oh, several months, erased her from the public's memory? Maybe so. In any case, I do like this photo. I would almost like it better without Adrianne Curry, but I will refrain from completely admitting that is true lest you question my heterosexuality.

3. Me and Little Jimmy Dickens

Clearly, if more than two people in my circle of friends knew who Little Jimmy Dickens was, this would've been a lock for the Sigman Holiday Greeting. Much like the Bobby Bare Sr. situation, the possibility of ever seeing Little Jimmy Dickens seemed slight. But thanks to the magic of the yearly American Music Theatre Country Legends show (see you in March), a true dream was fulfilled. I don't think I've ever been more excited to take a picture than this one.

2. Me and Todd "Willis" Bridges

Sigman Holiday Greeting #1. "Diff'rent Strokes" was probably the first show to lay claim to the title of "My Favorite Show." And, so, the opportunity to be photographed next to Willis Jackson at the Fall Chiller Theatre show was quite welcome indeed. I suppose Gary Coleman would be cooler, but, based on his general orneriness, that seems unlikely. And Todd Bridges seemed like a good guy, though that was perhaps hastened by my willingness to give him money. Whatever it takes. Trivia fact: That's Lou Ferrigno's arm on my right.

1. Me and Toby Keith

Sigman Holiday Greeting #2. Only a picture of me and Garth Brooks would be more entertaining. And I've tried and failed to get that on numerous occasions. So, with Country Music Mortal Enemy #2 due to make an appearance on "The Colbert Report," I headed down to the studio to see what I could do. I brought a recent issue of "Country Weekly" with Mr. Red, White, and Blue on the cover, so I wouldn't have to go up to him and just ask him for a photo. After an excruciating wait with some righteously annoying autograph collectors, Toby emerged from the stage door with a few other guys and commenced signing their soon-to-be-on-Ebay crap. I got my CW signed (if anyone wants it, just ask...it's yours) and asked for a photo. My camera refused to cooperate initially, but the magic finally happened, just as a car ran over a plastic bottle and created a loud pop. That partially explains the sideways glance on Toby's face. Or maybe he just wanted to get away from me. Hard to say.

In any case, I thanked Toby for stopping, and, rather than put a boot in his ass (which is, after all, the American way), I think I actually patted him on the back. Now, yes, you could argue that any attempt on my part to insert a boot anywhere near Toby Keith's hindquarters would've resulted in him beating the holy hell out of me, but I choose to look at it a different way. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of a stellar Christmas card that I was able to momentarily overlook my blind hatred of the man for one shining moment and give him a well-deserved pat on the back. And if that's not the holiday spirit, I don't know what is.

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