A few months ago, Felicia Day asked me if I'd like to play a character in Season 3 of The Guild.
The conversation went something like this:
Felicia: So, I wrote this character for Season 3 of The Guild and I wondered if y—
Me: YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES YOU HAD ME AT "THE GUILD!"
Rob Reiner's Mother: I'll have what he's having.
Felicia told me that she and the other producers wanted to keep my involvement in the show and the the details of my character a secret, because they planned a big reveal at Comic-Con.
So all those times I told Twitter some variation of, "Holy crap if I could tell you what I'm working on right now, you'd be all 'OMG NO WAI' and I'd be all 'WAI' and you'd be all 'awesome!' and then I'd be all, 'I know, right?'" Now you know one of the things I was talking about.
We started shooting a few weeks later, and after some 31-hour shooting days, my work on the show was done. I still can't get into specifics about my character or the story, but I think it's safe (and totally unsurprising) to tell you that working on The Guild was as fun and wonderful as you would expect, and every single person on the cast and crew was an absolute joy to work with.
As I said on The Guild panel at Comic-Con, I've known, written, and performed with a lot of these guys for years, and I'm not surprised in the least that everyone loves them so much. It rules to see so many people in the world (millions per episode, I guess) finding out for themselves what I've known for years.
Season 3 is going to kick thirteen different kinds of ass, and I'm thrilled to be a small part of part of it. I'll talk about each episode a little more after it's released.
I'm 37! I'm not old.
Also: Happy birthday to me!
The obligatory post-comic-con, uh, post is forthcoming, but I'm a little buried in various ... things ... at the moment.
So, please enjoy this semi-relevant commercial from 1979:
I totally had one of those when I was 7, and my prize was a sheet of iron-ons. I remember being so excited when my mom put Mr. Spock and the science logo onto one of my T-shirts.
(commercial via David Markland on Twitter)
It's always kind of silly to post these things a few hours before the event (or, in this case, auto-post via programmable future-scope earlier this week) but if nothing else, anyone who came to the thing (which, once again, is in the future as I write this, the quantum reality matrix threatening to unravel around me any second now) can use this post to talk about it.
Now, on to business:
This is from a post that I originally wrote for CardSquad:
The Klondike is a dump, but like many dumps (I'm looking in your direction, Freemont Street) it is a charming and glorious dump, and an integral part of the character of Las Vegas.
I will never forget my one and only experience at the Klondike: About a decade ago, my friends and I stopped there for breakfast on our way out of town, to "soak up some local color and flavor."
We pulled into a mostly-empty parking lot, and walked into a dark, smoky casino. We made our way past ancient slots and video poker machines with burned-in monitors, and took a seat at the back of the cramped coffee shop.
Right after we placed our order, a man and a woman sat down at the table next to us. I forget what she looked like, but he was wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, and was a smelly, unshaven mess. From their conversation, it was unclear whether he'd been released, or escaped. Either way, the waitress (who was so drunk at eleven in the morning, we were concerned about open flames) didn't seem to care. Because we were all in our very early twenties, neither did we. The as-yet-unawakened writer in me furiously scribbled down every possible detail of what was clearly a moment in time we'd never want to forget.
We ate a traditional Vegas steak(?)-n-eggs breakfast, while half expecting federal marshalls to burst into the joint, and wondered if any of us would qualify as hostages or not. It never happened, though we all jumped a little bit when a scream errupted from the casino as an octogenarian hit a jackpot on the nickel slot. When we finished, we left a twenty on the table (which worked out to about a ten dollar tip) and raced down Interstate 15 toward Bat Country.
Years later, none of us could tell you anything about the games we played, where we stayed, or whether we left winners or losers, but we could all tell you, in exacting detail, about breakfast at The Klondike. In fact, it remains one of the enduring highlights of any Vegas run we've ever made.
Digging into the vault is fun.
When I was in my very early 20s, this girl who I dated and I played this celebrity lookalike game.
Whenever we saw someone who looked like a celebrity, one of us would say, "Hey, there's Nell Carter" or "Don't look now, but Kirk Cameron is shopping in Target."
One day, we were eating lunch at this Hamburger Hamlet in West Hollywood, on the extreme West end of the Sunset Strip. I looked up from my lunch to see this totally goofy looking guy, with a stupid mullet, parachute-y muscle pants, and a corduroy hat that had "Someone in Tennessee Loves Me" embroidered on the front.
"Hey," I said, "There's Chuck Norris wearing a 'Someone in Tennessee Loves Me' cap."
We cracked up and complimented each other on our insightful wit.
A few minutes later, a manager walked over to that guy's table holding a phone on a long cord, like you'd see in the old 1940s movies.
"Mr. Norris," he said, "Mr. Washington is calling from Knoxville."
This was originally written years ago, when I was still finding my personal narrative voice, and still enjoyed the beefy goodness of a slaughtered bovine creature with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. I've cleaned it up and meddled with it a tiny bit, because I can't resist meddling with things.
Many moons ago, my wife and I found ourselves at a Black Angus restaurant.
I’d like to welcome back those of you who just picked yourselves up off the floor. I don’t know what we were thinking, either.
Anyway, the waitress came over to our table after our food had been delivered, and asked, “Is everything excellent?” I could hear the italics.
I know that this poor girl was just doing her job, just as she’d been when she tried to upsell us on “a half-carafe or perhaps a full carafe of Fetzer merlot” but something inside me snapped. Before I could stop myself, I heard the following come out of my mouth: “Excellent? Excellent? No. It’s fine, and in fact I’ll even tell you that it’s nice, but excellent? If I said 'yes', I’d really be devaluing the whole word — and concept — of ‘excellent.’”
Anne gasped. A busboy three tables over dropped a stack of plates. The muzak was interrupted by the scratching of a needle across vinyl.
Remember in Cable Guy, when they’re at Medieval Times, and Janeane Garafolo looks at Matthew Broderick and just says, “... dude?” and we all know that he’s the asshole? Yeah, I was the asshole.
We all looked at each other, shocked, wondering what would happen next.
"He's not usually like this," Anne said.
"Hey! Don't apologize for me!" I said. Then, "I'm not usually like this."
"Uh-huh," she said, and disappeared into the kitchen.
"We're not getting dessert," Anne said. "In fact, we're not getting any more food that anyone in this restaurant other than us will get close to."
"That's probably a good idea."
We finished our meal, and I apologized again for what would become known as "the excellence incident." When I paid our bill, I over-tipped the girl as penance for my transgression, which I decided was intended as a lighthearted little joke that went awry between my brain and my vocal cords. But I did not — and I will not — waiver on the question of excellence. A man must stand for certain things, and I have chosen this. I have chosen to stand fast on the question of excellence.
The drive home was quieter than usual, until Anne turned to me unexpectedly and said, “Excellent? We’re at Black Angus. Let’s try for adequate and go from there.”
“Well thanks for speaking up for me when we were in there,” I said. “It was excellent that you had my back.”
My brother had one of the coolest cats in the world. We called him Freddy Snowpants, because he had furry fat hind legs that looked like he was wearing snowpants when he walked. One of my favorite things to do was stand behind him and make the "zip zip zip" noise, which always resulted in much mirth and laughter.
Jeremy just e-mailed me that Freddy's cancer finally was too much for him, and they had to put him down today.
This picture tells you everything you need to know about him, why I loved him so much, and is the way I'll remember him: