The Return of Chiller
Susan Olsen cancelled her Chiller appearance a few days before, dashing my hopes of meeting my sixth member of the "Brady Bunch" checkerboard (Keeping score at home? Why? OK, I'll tell you--Barry "Greg" Williams, Chris "Peter" Knight, Florence "Carol" Henderson, Ann B. "Alice" Davis, Maureen "Marcia" McCormick. And, lest we forget, I've also met Robbie "Cousin Oliver" Rist. Express your jealousy in the Comments section.) I debated not going. But like the great intrepid explorers that preceded me, I decided to persevere and sally forth to the Chiller Theatre Spring 2008 Toy, Model, and Film Expo with a largely empty messenger bag, $100 to spend, and a poster tube packed tight with a "Short Circuit 2" poster. (Attach your further jealousy to your previous comment about my storied career meeting "Brady Bunch" cast members.)
That "Short Circuit 2" poster (with its awesome tagline: "Some say he's nuts. Some say he's bolts. But can Number Five make it in the big, bad city? Keep your wires crossed.") was originally obtained, I can only assume, during a particularly boring time in my life where I had too much money and spent too much time on eBay. I would've guessed that the first signature I'd get on it would be Fisher Stevens's, since he lives in NYC and does stage work every now and then. But, no, dear reader. The first signature on that poster is from Cynthia Gibb, who of course played Ben's love interest Sandy in the unforgettable sequel that will no doubt be remade soon after the forthcoming remake of the original wraps.
When I approached her table, Gibb wanted to know which poster I had. When I told her "Short Circuit 2" (in a voice low enough so no one else might overhear), she acted as if I had in my possession something so wonderfully amazing that the human mind could not possibly fully grasp the magnitude of what was happening at that moment. I imagine she had been preparing such a display of emotion all weekend. She shared that even she didn't have that poster, which I guess was meant to make me feel like I was a truly special human being. And, in a way, I am special--just not in the conventional way that you consider one special.
Anyway, she was very excited to sign the poster and then she took a picture with me.
Gibb was in between Staci Keanan (see previous post) and William Davis, a man with a long list of TV appearances but who is best known as Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files." For some reason, he was charging more ($25) than the average rate (which was $20), but I didn't see him getting much business. Keanan was slightly busier and was also apparently cleaning out her closets.
The most interesting part of the sale was that the advertised $75 "My Two Dads" jacket was sold by the time I got there. So I assume someone paid $75 for said jacket. And that makes me a little sad for that person.
Taking pictures of the celebrities at Chiller is risky business, as you don't want to seem interested enough that the celebrity or his/her assistant will think you might be willing to pay for either an autograph or a photo with the celebrity. The guy working with Jason Mewes tried to rope me into a $20 photo with Mewes, which, it turns out, is slightly over $19 than I was interested in spending. Brian O'Halloran (Dante), to his credit, was not charging for photos with him, making him slightly more admirable. Also not charging for photos with was Judah Friedlander, who asked me if I wanted to take a picture with him after he spotted me taking a picture of him. He actually seemed more excited about meeting the other celebrities at the show (particularly the hot actresses of the 1980s...I saw him handing "Dream A Little Dream"'s Meredith Salenger a business card later) than actually signing autographs himself. I give him the full Tinsel and Rot Seal of Approval.
A side note: I'm pretty sure that I saw the actual Toby (whom Friedlander played in "American Splendor") walking around in the main autograph pit. I was slightly taken aback--both at the fact that he was there and that I know what he looks like.
The main autograph pit, which I waited about an hour to get into, featured most of the big names--"big" being relative of course. For instance, here are two of the big names in the pit, the stars of their respective Hollywood families, Daniel Baldwin and Frank Stallone, who has to admit that it's no longer all that far from over.
Ernest Borgnine was the main attraction (despite inexplicably getting fifth billing on the guest list, behind Mewes, O'Halloran, Marilyn Ghigliotti [also from "Clerks"], and Micky Dolenz), and in fact had a separate line from the one for the pit. So, not wanting to wait on another line and content that he was getting his due, I skipped Borgnine, freeing up more money for me to spend. Hmmm....who to spend it on? Joe Pantoliano? Amy Dolenz (you've seen "Miracle Beach," right?)? Katey Sagal? Wait a second--what am I thinking? What kind of VH1 Celebreality fan would I be if I didn't get a picture with...
Brigitte and I make a nice couple, no? After shoving her boob into my chest for the photo, she kissed me on the cheek (very European), which she seemed to do with every guy. That's working hard for the money. I don't think I'd be willing to kiss the average Chiller attendee. Scratch that, I know I wouldn't. I saw a guy with a cast on his leg and his gnarly-looking toes exposed in the pit, and that wasn't even the most disturbing Chiller-goer. I think that would've been the guy carrying a woman around by a leash. I tried to get a picture. I failed. I did get a picture of this guy just before he grazed a french fry.
After taking pictures of celebs sitting at their tables over the course of a few hours, I started to hit that point I hit at every Chiller where I just start feeling bad for the celebrities and have to get out ASAP. So I have nothing else to really recap. But here are two pictures of former child stars Mason Reese (who was selling his own bootleg DVD of his TV appearances) and Kathy Coleman (Holly from "Land of the Lost").
See, you feel bad now, too, don't you?
My work here is done.