This is NOT to be meant as a response to all the BULLSHIT in the wake of the L.A. comedy BS involving the misconcieved fact that Comedian Patton Oswalt is NOT, BASED ON EXISTENTIAL FACT, an “asshole”…
I have never, ever met comedian Patton Oswalt. Ever. There was one time when I used to post videos on the first annual year run of Funnyordie.com, where I had a video titled “You’re A Vagina” in which comedian Oswalt commented on (in an albeit NEGATIVE way) and so I never replied back… outside of that, comedian Oswalt and I have never made contact. Fact.
But other people? Here are the FIVE BIGGEST ASSHOLES I’VE EVER MET…EVER.
5) Anne Beatts
Credentials: National Lampoon, Saturday Night Live, Square Pegs, A Different World
WHAT HAPPENED: One night, The Hideout (a great, conscientious music venue not far from the hip-as-beyond-balls Chicago hipster neighborhood of Wicker Park)… had an interesting night. It was an open mic of the old-school Lampoon contributors, basically. Who was there? Brian McConnachie (SNL Season 4-5 writer; co-starred in ‘Strange Brew’); Anne Beatts (started at National Lampoon; moved on to SNL; went on to do pilot productions for both Square Pegs and A Different World; Chris Miller (co-wrote Animal House)… yeah.
HERE’S WHERE IT GOT UGLY: After the Hideout Lampoon night ended, everyone broke apart in the crowd and headed out the door. Anne Beatts, accompanied by an assistant, stormed her way through the crowd. I was lucky enough to get a handshake in and she just barreled on right past me. No acknowledgement. Nothing. Later that evening, I got to chat with Brian McConnachie and Chris Miller, both of whom were really nice guys. Anne Beatts was floating around, and there was one point where she and I were face to face. She took one look at me and then scoffed, went “Ugh” and walked right past me. Jesus, lady, and I wasn’t even going to ask you about the time that you were with Michael O’Donoghue! Lighten up! Man, that was fucking terrible!
4) Russell Simmins
Credentials: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion drummer; drummer for late 90’s supergroup Butter 08, in addition to other bands; looks like Judah Friedlander minus the trucker hat and glasses.
WHAT HAPPENED: May 8, 2002. My 21st birthday. I’ve always been a JSBX fan since the mid-90’s. “Wail” is awesome; the Mike Mills-directed video of “2 Kindsa Love” was awesome too. I got a ticket to their headlining show that night at Chicago’s famed venue Metro. Liars were the opening band, too, and this was before they got exposure.
HERE’S WHERE IT GOT UGLY: During Liars’ performance, Simmins was floating around the crowd in a vain attempt to make his presence known. At one point, he stood at the back of the venue on the floor at the Metro. I, drunk (it was my 21st birthday for Chrissakes), approached him from the side and extended my hand, nothing more or less. He shook it, although he did not turn to me, nor did he even look at me. As he half-heartedly shook my hand, he kept right on looking at the stage. What a motherfucking dick. So, what’s he doing for money these days?
3) Brian Posehn
Credentials: Mr. Show, The Sarah Silverman Program, The Devil’s Rejects, anything comedy/metal related.
WHAT HAPPENED: Back in October 2011, I got asked to be a part of an ongoing monthly show at the Improv Lab. I was beyond excited. The Improv Lab, as you all know, is in conjunction with the Improv itself, and pretty much the bar. The bar at the Improv is where you’ll eventually bump into a famous person involved in comedy. The very first time I ever went to the Improv bar, I got to meet Nick Swardson, who was actually pretty cool. But on this October night, Brian Posehn was at the bar…
HERE’S WHERE IT GOT UGLY: Posehn was chatting it up with Nick Thune (whom I also met before this, and he’s also a nice guy) and I approached Posehn and extended my hand. Nothing. Posehn just kept talking to Thune. I then put my hand on his left shoulder in order to REALLY get his attention. Again, nothing. I had my fucking hand on his shoulder and he did not once turn to me or even acknowledge me. I ended up walking away, loudly muttering “asshole” as I kept right on walking.
2) Harold Ramis
Credentials: SCTV, co-wrote Animal House, directed Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, is Egon Spengler
WHAT HAPPENED: Back in October of 2003, I was struggling big time, working a shitty job as a back waiter at a private dining club in conjunction with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. One night, our manager told us that a “celebrity” was going to dine with us that night, and that he “loves to be acknowledged”. When asked of who this celebrity was, the manager replied, “Harold Ramis”. I shit you not, everyone there then looked around at each other and went, “Who?” I was the only person excited. I went, “Harold Ramis! He was Egon in Ghostbusters! He directed Groundhog Day! He co-wrote fucking Animal House!” I essentially was the only person there who even knew who Harold Ramis even was…
HERE’S WHERE IT GOT UGLY: As Ramis finished his dinner and his party (a party of 4) sat silently, waiting to finish up and leave, I approached him at his table. I simply stated, “Hi, Mr. Ramis. I’m a big admirer of what you’ve done, I just wanted you to know.” As I was pouring my heart out to him, he sat, with crossed arms, looking straight down at the table, never ever once looking at or even acknowledging me, going “Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh…” as I kept talking him up. I then mentioned that “I’m getting to comedy writing” to which he quickly replied “Good luck” in a flat, defeating, remorseless manner. Wow. I then extended my hand out to shake his. He did in fact shake my hand, although he kept right on staring down. It was the worst celebrity encounter I’ve ever had, and because of Harold “Fatass” Ramis, I am actually now uber-cautious of meeting celebrities. Thanks, asshole!
1) Billy Bob Thornton
Credentials: Sling Blade, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Bad Santa, he used to fuck Angelina Jolie in her early 20s
WHAT HAPPENED: Billy Bob Thornton was in Chicago in the early summer of 2004, filming Ice Harvest with John Cusack (speaking of celebrity assholes, I hung out once with his High Fidelty stand-in, and he told me some pretty awful horror stories about John Cusack being a megalomaniacal dick) and, lo and behold, it was directed by Harold Ramis. It flopped, thank Christ.
HERE’S WHERE IT GOT UGLY: May 8, 2004. My 23rd birthday. I was barhopping all over Lakeview. I ended up at the old Bottom Lounge, back when it was a hole-in-the-wall venue off Belmont. I was doing my share of Jameson and Patron shots by the time I stumbled outside. The first person I bump into is Billy Bob Thornton. I say, “Hey, you’re Billy Bob Thornton!” He then curtly replied, “No I’m not. I’m his cousin.” I then looked at him bewildered. I extended my hand to shake his and he didn’t budge an inch. I was like, “You fucking asshole”. I then said, “Tell Billy Bob I said Hi. I know he’s town filming Ice Harvest.” Thornton then gives me the ultimate fuck you stare and replies, “Who the fuck are you?” I then reply, “Come on, man, don’t be a dick, it’s my birthday tonight.” He continued to stare at me as if I was the biggest piece of dogshit in the galaxy. I stumbled away, and Thornton and I went our separate ways.
Yep. Celebrities are dicks!