Curbing My Enthusiasm

Larry David

Larry David

For me, one of the coolest things about living in L.A. is seeing the occasional celebrity. I’ve been a pop culture addict my entire life, so even a fleeting glimpse of someone “famous” tends to get me excited. Now that I live about twenty miles out, it rarely happens, but when I used to actually live in Los Angeles, it was quite frequent, and I ran into people such as Peter Boyle crossing the street in front of my car, Maya Angelou sitting at the next table at Cheesecake Factory, and Randy Jackson (the American Idol one, not the Jackson Five one) at the dry cleaners.  
But my first real experience (as an adult anyway) being in close proximity to a celebrity was during a trip to California ten years ago. I was staying at a hotel in Santa Monica for a screenwriting conference, waiting in line to use the ATM in the lobby, and the next thing I knew, Larry David was right behind me, having a conversation with a couple of others. I was a huge fan of Seinfeld  from the beginning (unlike all those late-comers out there), and knew early on that George was based on Jerry’s real-life comedian friend who co-created, produced, and wrote for the show, so it was a big thrill for me. I wanted to say something, but his conversation with the other people was obviously going to take a while and I didn’t want to look like an idiot, so I walked away. Flash forward about four years: I’m living in West L.A. and going to get my haircut at my usual place in Santa Monica (where my wife had known the hair stylist for years), and suddenly I see Larry David coming straight toward me on the sidewalk. By this time, Curb Your Enthusiasm is out and another one of my favorite shows, so I’m about to tell him, “Hi, Mr. David, I’m a big fan,” when a young woman (probably his assistant) ran up to him and told him something important and he turned around and went back into the building he had just walked out of. I thought, “Well, that’s probably the last chance I’ll ever have to talk to him. What are the chances I’d run into him by chance more than twice?” What did I know?
So I’m leaving my gastro-endo-whatever (stomach) doctor’s office this morning, and I get to the elevators, and who’s standing there, but Larry David. If you read my earlier blog entry about PETER David, you know I like to give celebrities their space, but I’m thinking: “Okay, it must be fate for me to talk to him. This time, I’ve gotta say something…” But he’s on the phone, telling them he’s going to be there in six or seven minutes, so I know he’s in a hurry (I wasn’t eavesdropping on purpose, I swear, I just happened to hear him).  A few more people walk up, the elevator arrives, and we’re riding down. He’s standing at the front with his face to the door and his head down, so I decide maybe he wants to be left alone. Then someone gets off at the lobby and he moves out of the way for them, and as he turns, he looks directly at me. I smile and nod and start to open my mouth, and instead of a smile or nod back, I get an “Uh oh, here it comes…” look from him and he immediately turns around. “Okay, so maybe it’s not fate,” I think. We get off the elevator at the parking garage and turn in opposite directions, and there goes my chance. Again.
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~ by christophervalin on April 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “Curbing My Enthusiasm”

  1. This is great. I met Larry David a while back and totally embarassed myself. Here’s my story:

    http://thecorner33.blogspot.com/2008/12/happy-holidays-from-matt-groening-and.html

  2. Thanks! Your story is much better than mine, though.

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