Also, for those that haven’t heard, he has the most incredible backstage area. He has it set up like a nightclub. There’s a bar with anything you want to drink. Pool tables, video games, music. The time I was back there, I was chatting with Dwayne “the rock” Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Chris Cornell (Soundgarden singer), and a super model whose name escapes me. My friend was most thrilled to meet Cranston. The second season of Breaking Bad had started, and the show was getting critical praise, but wasn’t nearly as big a phenomenon as it became. Now, we worked in radio together, and although she wasn’t as into autographs as I was, she’d occasionally have bands sign their new CDs. She had him sign her VIP wristband, and he was excited to do it. He mentioned something like, “With the Rock right over there, and it’s me you’re wanting to see...this is terrific.”
He couldn’t have been nicer.
Now, as much as I love collecting autographs, there are two things I try not to do. One is...not ask for autographs when it might look unprofessional. Here are these celebrities waiting to go onstage to be interviewed by Kimmel, or even if it’s an hour before show time, to just chill out. They don’t want to feel like they’re being stalked by fans backstage. Second...I have to be a big fan. Since I didn’t care much for the Rock, and I didn’t watch Breaking Bad, I left them alone. I did have a CD for Chris Cornell to autograph, but I waited until after the show and after he performed.
I also had a Crank Yankers DVD for Kimmel. I always thought that show, which he wrote, produced, and voiced...was underrated. I even went and had a Crank Yankers T-shirt made for the occasion [side note: I’ve long told autograph seekers, if you want to stand out and not look like somebody that’s just going to sell your stuff on eBay, wear a shirt from the artist you’re trying to get].
Kimmel and I joked a little bit about the show.
A few hours before the show started, I saw his security guard and sidekick Guillermo walking over to get some food. I said hello to him, and he smiled and said, with his thick accent, “You want a picture with me or something?”
I didn’t, but...I gladly took one.
Now, one of my favorite things is when Kimmel sends Guillermo to the red carpet of the Oscars. He’ll often convince the stars to down shots of tequilla with him. He’ll often ask inappropriate questions, but it works a lot better than when Howard Stern would send Stuttering John to events to do the same thing. It’s partly because Guillermo’s questions are funnier, and they’re rarely mean spirited. It also helps that he has a thick accent, and so the celeb can feel like they have the upperhand, no matter how awkward things get.
Last night I was thrilled to see that Guillermo was at the Super Bowl, asking a variety of bizarre questions. He kept asking players what Tom Brady smells like. The most common answer was “flowers.” The funniest answer -- money.
Grumpy Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked to smile more, and he reluctantly did. Yet he got tired of Guillermo really quick.
Guillermo did his usual of asking certain players to hug him. But of course, my favorite thing was the autographs. Guillermo asked various players to “Autograph my football.” Of course, being from Mexico, his football was a soccer ball. And the players all signed it. Falcons QB (and probably the league MVP) Matt Ryan did it. Tom Brady signed it, and threw the ball back to Guillermo, complimenting him on his catch (especially since he did it with a microphone in hand).
The only person that refused to sign the soccer ball? You guessed it -- Bill Belichick.
And they wonder why they’re the most hated team in the league.
I had hoped Kimmel would give the soccer ball to one of the audience members, but it never made another appearance. I’m guessing it’ll be in Guillermo’s office for awhile, and perhaps someday -- it’ll be auctioned off. It’s certainly a collectors item.