I was able to get there an hour before show time on Friday, and was glad to notice that there wasn't much of a line to get in. I paid an extra $5 dollars for a special pre-show VIP badge which was kind of worth it. My brother, his fiancee Michele, my dad, and the legend of legends Ron Hart who would be making his return to Chiller for a the second time in a row were all going to come a bit later. So I was by my lonesome for the first two hours of the show. I found that being one of the first ones in the show was a benefit as it would enable me to have more access to the people I wanted to speak to, and if I played my cards right might be able to land an interview or two for my blog. Most attendees go immediately to "The Pit" to get a glimpse of the big name stars, but not me! I found my way to the smaller ballrooms first where the the lesser-known celebs that I would have more of an opportunity to speak with were sitting. Rohner and Monoson were sitting side by side in one of the room which would be awfully convenient. Although Royner got much older and Monoson was almost unrecognizable, they still looked great and were really excited when I started expressing my love for their work. Both told me they would be more than happy to do an interview with me. Because I'm such a good brother and friend, I told them I would have to come back later with my entourage to do the interviews, although deep down in my mind I was worried because if I didn't take care of them early, I might be shit out of luck. I then hit up Bruce Kulick in a different room and was able to use my negotiation skills to get a free photo taken with him. My brother would try to do the same thing two hours later, and was told it would be five dollars. It seemed there was a smaller variety of guests this time around due to being informed there would be no tent set up outside like there was at previous shows. My dad and Ron came about an hour later, and I waited with them in a line that moved rather quickly to get their tickets. I found my brother and Michelle a few minutes later patronizing Bruce Kulick just like I had done two hours ago.
Oscar Winner Richard Dreyfuss, and living legend Mickey Rooney. Here's the rundown of who else was appearing for the Halloween weekend extravaganza: Pamela Des Barres (most famous groupie of all time), Marshall Bell, Linda Blair,Bowzer (lead singer of Sha Na Na), Traci Brooks (NWA Wrestling Diva), Jake Busey (son of Gary Busey and star of Roadhouse 2), Tia Carrere (Wayne's World & True Lies star), Julie Mccullough, Joanna Cassidy, Elvira (Mistress Of The Dark), Barbara Feldon (from Get Smart), Peter Fonda (legendary actor from Easy Rider), Lance Guest (the star of classic 80's movie The Last Starfighter), Danielle Harris (cute chick from the Halloween remake), Jenilee Harrison (Susanne Sommers replacement on Three's Company), Howard Hesseman (Johnny Fever from WKRP In Cincinnati and Mr. Moore from Head Of The Class), Kane Hodder, (the dude who played Jason Voorhees in the last few Friday The 13th movies), Davy Jones (legendary singer from The Monkees), Stacy Kamano, Sara Karloff, Dominic Keating, Brian Krause (from Charmed and Return To The Blue Lagoon), George Lazenby (the second James Bond), Stefanie Powers, Jon Provost (the original Timmy from the Lassie TV show), Ali McGraw, Lawrence Monoson, Geri Reischl (my new best pal!), Clayton Rohner, Joan Severance, Caroll Spinney (Big Bird from Sesame Street), Catherine Stewart (hot 80's actress from Last Starfighter, and Weekend At Bernies), Patrick Stewart (Capt. Picard), Ann-Margret, Tara (wrestling diva formerly known as Victoria in the WWE), Dawn Wells (Mary-Ann from Gilligan's Island), Zacherly, Bruce Kulick, David Johansen
Pamela Des Barres is kind of like the Godmother of celebrities known for nothing other than being hot and sleeping around. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Lauren Conrad should pay homage to the woman who also inspired the Penny Lane character in Almost Famous. At a show like this, I'm not sure why she even was there as I questioned her appeal to horror and science fiction geeks. Because she was sitting there looking bored, I decided to greet her and hit her up with some obnoxious questions. Considering she is only known for sleeping around with rock stars, I didn't think there were any filters I needed to hide behind. I needed to know if she ever slept with Paul Stanley from KISS. Surprisingly, she indicated that the only member of KISS that she did the deed with was Gene Simmons. Pamela Des Barres also hinted an HBO drama series based on here real-life experiences was in the works, but couldn't say anything more than that.
While my brother and dad waited in line for Davy Jones, Ron Hart and I greeted the legendary Mistress Of The Dark, Elvira. On Friday, she was not in costume. Although her cleavage was not on display until Halloween the following day, she still is very hot without the costume. As a kid, I was kind of scared of Elvira, and didn't understand how television networks allowed her to appear on-screen with her noticeable cleavage. I had to pay homage to her breasts, so I thanked her for introducing me to boobies because hers were the first set that inspired me to want to play doctor as a kid. She laughed and told me I was more than welcome. I told her she must hear that all of the time, but she actually told me I was the first person to ever tell her something that personal but true.
In terms of total bitches, Joan Severance ranks up there as one of the worst celebrities I've ever met. As a kid, I was madly in love with her thanks in part to her appearances in Playboy and her nude scene in the Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor 80's comedy, See No Evil Hear No Evil. She also had the dubious honor of playing Hulk Hogan's love interest in the 1989 cult classic, No Holds Barred. Michele simply took a photo of her sitting at the table, but Joan and the guy working her table got annoyed because she must not have been selling enough autographs at her table. Considering she is not at all the big star she thinks she is, I'm not sure anybody was going to pay $25 to take a photo with her. I guess she calmed down a little bit, so I started asking her questions. When I jokingly asked her if Gene Wilder really had an erection during the shower scene from See No Evil Hear No Evil, in a total bitchy manner she asked me what did I think? There was an awkward moment of silence, and then I just walked away. Maybe now I know why she hasn't appeared in any movie or Lifetime special in the past ten years!!
Sometimes when I see a celebrity just sitting around with nobody at their table, I feel obligated to show some interest. I didn't know much about Brian Krause, but he had a big smile on his face so I walked over to see what he had appeared in. I saw that he took over for Christopher Atkins in the sequel to Blue Lagoon, a movie that I remember watching bits and pieces and absolutely hating. I simply shook my head with a smile on my face without saying a word, and he just laughed. He actually told me that Christopher Atkins was like a father figure to him, and that got us talking about Atkins and his appearance on the VH1 reality show he appeared on. I've been going to the gym the past few weeks, and reruns of Charmed are always showing on one of the television sets with Krause always on screen. Now that I know more about him, I hope to see his star rise soon in Hollywood.
How many people can say they made an impression on a C-List celebrity? Mikey Hersh can. Geri Reischl was back for the second consecutive time which is a rarity for Chiller guests as I was later told that the Chiller promoters don't like to have the same guests at back to back shows. As you probably remember from previous blog, Reischl is known as "The Fake Jan Brady" per our appearance in place of Eve Plumb on The Brady Bunch Variety Show. As I approached her to say hello, she asked me if I was Mike or Scott, and if my dad Ike was also at the show. She gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek, and I must have looked important to the few people crowded around the table. She told me she would be more than happy to do an interview with me. When I left the show, I made sure to say goodbye to my buddy and express disappointment that I couldn't interview her due to my battery dying. She told me that she was moving to Saddle River, New Jersey and shoot her an email to set up an interview later on down the road. Although she emailed Scott and I right away we met her the first time and even included a photo of us with her on her personal Myspace page, she has yet to respond to schedule the interview. Oh well! Since I've already read an in depth interview with her done by the Pop Culture Addict that pretty much answers any question I would have asked, it's no big deal. Hope to see her again at a future show, as I'm sure she will always remember the Hersh brothers.
Another highlight is when Scotty Schwartz from The Toy and Christmas Story (as well as cameos in some adult movies) walked by us in the lobby. My dad who has no shame and always thinks he is cool when meeting celebrities got right in his face and shook his hand. I was sure that Scotty was going to throw a shit fit on my dad. Instead, he just got a little confused but gave off a hearty smile. Somebody told me that he actually knows about my brother and I because of friend of his who we used to work with, and asked about us at last year's National Show. Considering he looked right at us and didn't say anything, I think somebody didn't have their facts straight.
Usually I don't pay much attention to the smorgasbord of merchandise being hawked, but there was one piece in particular that caught my attention. Some lady was selling unique costumes, one of which was an actual WWF ring crew costume probably worn in the mid-80's. The price was reasonable at $25, but it was kind of small, and when would I ever wear it again besides Halloween? If only I had the minset to try it on and get a quick picture wearing it? Oh well! Obscure things that you don't see every day that you'd like to see more of always brings a smile to my face.
One of my first pop-culture crushes was on Julie McCullough, best known as a former Playboy playmate who appeared in a few episodes of Growing Pains as Chrissy's nanny/Mike Seaver's love interest. I also enjoyed her performance and nude scenes in Big Bad Mama 2. She was super friendly with the fans and with me. I asked her if she still kept in touch with the actor she worked with in Big Bad Mama 2, and she couldn't even remember his name. Now it was on her brain, and she was embarrassed at herself for not knowing his name. I joked with her that she had a sex scene with the dude for Christ's sake, how could she not remember? I asked her about Kirk Cameron and if she keeps in touch with him. She hasn't heard from Kirk since she had left the show due to the controversy of appearing in Playboy, and mentioned that he was a religious freak who wanted to distance himself away from the show due to his crazy religious views. I asked if I could get a photo with her, to which she proclaimed she would be more than happy to but would get grief from the Chiller staff. It kind of worked out later on when she was casually walking around the show and posed for a photo with my brother and my dad. Sucks that I wasn't around due to interviewing Clayton Rohner, but oh well!
Ann Margaret was hidden away in a separate ballroom. She refused to pose for photos even if you paid the cash to get her autograph, and you were also not allowed to take any photos whatsoever. I'm not quite sure why, because per a quick peek inside, she still looked good for her age. My dad was little bummed about this because she was one of the main attractions there for him. He could care less for an autograph, but would have liked a photo with her. I met another guy wearing a Steel Panther that expressed his disgust with not being able to get a photo with her. His goal was to pose with the star of movies like Bye Bye Birdie and Tommy while holding up his fingers indicating the infamous "Shocker". If you don't know what the Shocker is, you'll have to research it on Wikipedia or google it as it's a little too offensive for some of my readers.
Richard Dreyfuss probably has the biggest line of all the guests, and deservedly so since he was an Oscar Winner in 1977 for The Goodbye Girl and appeared in classics like American Graffiti, What About Bob?, Stakeout, and of course Jaws. I figured he would not be very friendly, but he actually seemed gracious and was posing cheek to cheek with the ladies who shelled out money for his John Hancock. I figured he would charge $100, but he was only charging $25 which was pretty reasonable. Per the youtube video below, I found out that the reason for his appearance was to take his earnings and donate them towards assisting schools to provide more information to students about politics. I'm not sure any other reason why such a big star like Dreyfuss would even have attended a show like this. Although I wasn't around when he made the speech seen below, based on what I have seen and heard about it, it didn't come as much of a surprise when he made a crazy speech to the attendees.
The fourth Chiller show is coming up in April, and I sure hope I can be there for another great experience. But my kid is due to be born around the time of the show, so I'm not so sure I'll be able to make it. I sure hope so because in this day and age when very little excites me anymore, I always look forward to another great time at these Chiller Theatre shows chatting it up with actors, actresses, wrestlers, and rock stars that have had been a tremendous influence on me and my love of pop culture!! I will do everything in my power to find a way to get there come April, even if it means only spending a few hours on a Friday night. Let's wait and see!