Often times when people talk about a certain Seinfeld episode, I’m lost. I’ve probably only seen half the episodes of that show. I liked it, just didn’t watch it religiously. Last night I saw one that had comedian Kathy Griffin. This got my mind thinking about a number of autograph stories.
First was the time about 15 years ago (approximately), that I was in Los Angeles visiting a friend. We were trying to decide what to do that night. I wanted to go see The Motels (Only the Lonely, Take the L out of Lover, Suddenly Last Summer) in concert. He wanted to go see Kathy Griffin. I didn’t find her all that funny, but we went to see her. We went to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant on the beach and as we walk outside after the meal, I happened to see Martha Davis, the singer of The Motels. I told her how I was going to go to the show, but got talked into Kathy Griffin. She told me that a few weeks later she’d be down in San Diego – and as I promised, I was at that show (and couldn’t believe there were only 35 other people there to see her). This is a woman that fought cancer – twice – and has had some big ‘80s hits. Anyway, I had her sign an album and a CD (years later when she came back to town, I had her sign a “Do Not Disturb” sign from a hotel; she laughed at that).
Anyway, Kathy Griffin put on a decent show. She told the crowd she was filming it for an HBO special, which ran 8 months later. Anyway…during the show she told an autograph story I found interesting. When she had that guest spot on Seinfeld, the Oscars were right around the story (side note: for anybody interested in reading my story on the Oscar nominations, here it is: http://fox5sandiego.com/2015/01/15/87th-academy-awards-nominations-... )
Griffin said she was going to a gay friends Oscar party (“And come on, you know the gays have the best parties.”). She was reluctant to approach Jerry Seinfeld, the main star. She wanted him to sign something to her friend that said, “I’m sorry I’m missing your Oscar party, I know it’s probably going to be amazing.” As she approached Seinfeld to do this, he was arguing with somebody on the show. She interrupted to make her request, and he snapped at her, “Not now! Maybe later!”). It’s funny because I once asked Seinfeld for an autograph before a show and he screamed “Not now. After the show!” Always weird when something like that happens and another person has a similar story – especially a person that was ACTUALLY ON THE SHOW! (side note: Seinfeld did sign later, so that was cool).
Griffin quickly scampered away, not wanting to get him more upset; but hours and hours later, she asked him again. She said he didn’t seem happy about doing it. And I can’t remember the story exactly, but I don’t think he wrote the long thing about the Oscar party, either. He merely signed and personalized the autograph to him.
I once attended a Kathy Griffin booksigning, but not for an autograph. We were supposed to do an interview, but somehow, her agent/manager didn’t give her the message and it didn’t happen. I didn’t care enough to wait for a signed book in a line of 200 (although a few years later I read the book and liked it, even though I don’t find her that funny).
So it was odd to finally see the episode in which Griffin appeared. She was supposed to bring a bottle of wine for Seinfeld to give to Charles Grodin when appearing on his show (since the person on the bottle looked like Grodin). She messed up and brought a different bottle of wine. Then she was supposed to bring a doll that looked like George’s wife. Instead, she brought a different doll. Well, the other side story was Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) had blown an opportunity to get an autographed poster from The Three Tenors for a conductor she was close with. Part of that joke was his favorite tenor was the one nobody really knew – Jose Carreras (everyone could name Pavarotti and Placido Domingo). Well, Carreras was going to be the other guest on the Charles Grodin show, so Elaine asked Jerry if she could go with him to get his autograph on a poster. She was backstage, claimed to be his biggest fan, and he signed it with delight. Of course, she couldn’t pronounce his name to thank him, even as she looked at the messy signature he just signed.
When she showed up later to give it to the conductor, he was thrilled. He had to go onstage but said they’d go out after the show and celebrate. He walked out to conduct, and she accidentally knocked a bottle of red wine on the poster.
Yep. These are ALL things autograph collectors have had to deal with.