About Me


Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    The Giz Wiz Asks You! > Who's the most famous person you ever met?

    I thought of asking this after I ran into Anita Gillette while shopping. She was in many Broadway shows, and on many Goodson-Todman game shows. Thanks to the Match Game, I got to meet many celebrities. These days, I see maybe one or two celebrities a month; usually while walking on the street. Two weeks ago had a little chat with Eli Wallach, who lives on the next block. I chatted with Jerry Stiller at the gym quite often. A couple of years before he passed on, I spoke to Paul Newman at an off-Broadway preview. I told him I had satirized a few of his movies in MAD and he said: "Good! Some of them needed that."

    So who's the most famous person you ever met and/or spoke to?

    June 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterThe Giz Wiz

    In Las Vegas, the elevator doors opened and there was Sugar Ray Leonard with his retinue. I meekly stepped in, turned around, faced the door and tried not to shake.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLa Mirada Bob

    Too many to count, but one of my favorites was have Joan Rivers' bodyguards hustle her across the street to avoid having to walk by me (I did look a little biker-ish at the time, but not particularly dangerous, as I was just walking cross town on 51st St. near Broadway in the middle of the afternoon). Maybe they know something about me that I don't. At the time, I was engineering on an album Marilyn Michaels, the impressionist, was recording, and since doing an impression of Joan was part of her schtick, she was very amused.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGVDub

    I've met Sara Evans, Pam Tillis, Amy Dalley and Sugarland (country music). I also met John Ritter before he died. I met Henny Youngman and Howard Cosell before they died too. I recently met Ming Tsai and Erik Rippert (celebrity chefs). Except for Howard Cosell, they were all very nice!

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B

    Walking through London with my dad years ago the actor Richard Harris came rushing past us and tripped over dad's walking stick! He was very gracious and saw the joke.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris Thomson

    Back when the movie The Departed was being filmed in Boston, I was out for a bike ride and saw Matt Damon doing his boxing training in one of the city parks. Had a quick chat when he finished. Also I went to high school with one of the guys from the music group New Kids On The Block. Added to that, I was a background extra in the films The Gameplan and My Best Friend's Girl.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

    Henry Kissinger. At the Kennedy Airport. Few things surprised me. How short he actually is. How "ordinary people way" he traveled (no entourage or guards or anything). How friendly he was to me as a random person "pestering" him as a celebrity. 4 yrs ago.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermad tuna slice

    About a month ago, I was in DC at a restaurant in Georgetown. While leaving, my friends and I saw George Lucas eating lunch with Steven Spielberg (in town for WH correspondents dinner). I tried not to look like a dork but still managed to stare at them while walking past. I should have run back and shouted, "Jar Jar Binks?! Really?!", then shaken my head and walked away.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan the Man

    I met Walter Koenig in the SF airport one time. He was very gracious and signed an autograph.

    I've also met several astronauts at some events:
    Gene Cernan - Apollo 17 (last man on the moon)
    Ed Mitchell - Apollo 14
    Scott Carpenter - Mercury 7

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternerd1701

    I was a at a vegan restaurant called Vegan Express with my wife, sister, her husband and my uncle and we saw Andy Dick with his son eating. If you live in L.A. and have ever eaten there it's a very small restaurant, we just said hi and we all knew who he was but chatted about other things.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

    I try to avoid meeting famous people because I always seem to put my foot in my mouth, then remember it forever.
    Most vivid such memory was meeting Arthur C. Clarke at my college once (No. I won't repeat it).

    To heck with the real world, though: I've swapped tweets with Amber Macarthur, Cali Lewis, Alex Lindsey, Felica Day and, of course, Dick DeBartolo!

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWade Watson

    Tech wise: Bill Gates, Leo Laporte, Dickee D, Steve Gibson, Cali Lewis and husband Neal, Amber.
    Authors: William Gibson, Corey Doctorow.
    Musicians: Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Ramones, Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, Pretenders... lots of others.

    By far the nicest and funniest were Leo and Dick.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Cyopick

    i have met a few celebritys kirstie alley.Nancy cartwright (i was at her show and i was called up to come up to the stage for simpsons triva! i won and got autograpghed ralph wiggum t-shirt)

    September 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermark pompeo

    I worked on a play off-Broadway. Tom Hanks came to see the play and stayed afterward to talk with the cast and crew. He is just as nice as you imagine.

    September 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Zengerle

    Edward Teller - the "father" of the american H-bomb, visited our school when I was in college. He spent a day speaking with the science majors.

    September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Miller

    I met Weird Al Yankovic! My (then 6-year-old) daughter & I got backstage passes from HMV. We made him laugh :) Very, very nice man.

    I also met Gloria Steinem at a book-signing. All I could say was, "Th-th-thank you, Ms. Steinem."

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine

    Years ago when I was working for CBS Sports in " Black Rock" in Manhattan I was in an elevator alone waiting for the doors to close, I heard someone say hold the elevator and in walks Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, they both smiled at me and turned around. I almost soiled myself on the 30 floor ride up with them!!!!

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJon

    I work for Gamestop and had Robin Williams come into my store. I had a hard time remaining professional, as he is one of my favorite actors.

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsawyer

    Richard Nixon, President of the United States at the time and I was just a young boy.

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWyocold

    Meet Robert Redford in the late seventies at Snowbird Ski Resort in the parking lot. He stopped and let me take his picture.

    I've interviewed Richard Petty many times when he was still racing.
    Stood beside Dale Earnhardt senior at Western Sizzlin party at Charolotte Motor Speedway. Talked with him for about 5 minutes.
    Met David Hartman of Good Morning America in the bathroom in the media center at NASA for one of the first Space Shuttle Launches.

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPodcastBunker

    I met George Carlin back in 1969 or so after he appeared on the Dave Garroway show. He helped me look for my glove which I lost in the seating area. Really friendly - like he had nothing better to do than help me look for my glove.

    I also met Brian Wilson in 2002. As a fan for close to 40 years, I was so nervous I didn't know what to say. He was polite but he also didn't have much to say.

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve W

    I work in music production, so I've met a lot of musicians. The nicest were Reba McIntire's band (tons of fun) and Death Cab for Cutie (very social).

    My most favorite people we're working Cheech & Chong, and when I was young I got into an elevator at LaMondrian across the street from the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. In the elevator was Sam Kinison.

    September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAuriga

    Living in NYC I have seen many celebrites. I have had 2 really neat only in NYC moments. My wife and I were walking in the theater district in 1998 and a stage door opens about 15 feet in front of us and out walks Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, The Odd Couple. They were doing the Sunshine Boys. There were only a few people around so we got to meet them. In 2006 we saw The Odd Couple on Broadway. It was the first preview and we got standby tickets in the last row of the orchestra 2 seats off the aisle. Just as the lights go down, Neil Simon sits down next to me. I got to watch the Odd Couple sitting next to Neil Simon. During intermission I got to talk with him. He was very nice.

    September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklynJim

    I met Jay Leno one time in the airport. Shook his hand and had a brief chat. Nice guy.
    Living in the Nashville area, I have seen a lot of country music folks, but only met a few. I met Vince Gill and his wife Amy Grant, both very nice. My daughter and I met the three guys from Rascal Flatts. We spent quite a bit of time with them. They were doing an appearance on a local TV talk show. I just happened to be there that day to do an appearance promoting an art show I was part of, and also happened to ask my daughter to tag along. She is a big fan of the band and she was in heaven! We had no idea they were going to be on the show that day! She sat with them, got their autographs, got to hear them sing a couple of songs as she sat just a few feet away. They were great and seemed happy to talk to her and hang out with us.

    September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNorris

    I once met Charlie Callas at the Friar's Club. We were all going to a tribute/roast for Norm Crosby and Jack Carter. I asked him if he was performing and he said, in a sour mood, "yeah and they've got me going on first". I said, "Good. I'll still be awake." He didn't think it was funny. He was pissed at having to go on first.