The Walk Of Fame, by Michael Davis
Whenever I meet a celebrity, I say one of two things: either Can I have some money? or Black people love you. Which one depends on the star. When I met Al Sharpton it would not have been cool to say black people love you… because they don’t.
I’m kidding. It’s just much more fun to say black people love you to someone who’s not black. The looks on their faces are mostly priceless… mostly. I work in television and have the opportunity to meet a bunch of Hollywood types – actors, directors and producers. When I meet someone on business I’m not quite the knucklehead I am when I meet someone at a party or some other random place.
I’m always interested in what people who don’t work in the industry think of celebrities. If you read my column regularly you know I’m hard on some Hollywood stars and their behavior. So I thought I would take the time to give you a few of my many positive encounters.
The first time I ever took a drink I was in the ninth grade and I was trying to be cool. My friend Earl and I were going to a party and we each had a bottle of really cheap wine. Earl had a bottle of Wild Irish Rose and I had a bottle of MD2020. That’s short for Mad Dog. How did two 13 years old kids get their hands on those bottles of wine? We went in and gave the clerk money, that’s how.
What about ID’s?
So Earl and I took turns drinking these bottles. Needless to say, we were ripppped. I was so drunk that I was told I left the party at 1 am but somehow did not get back to my building until 4 am. The party was in the building right next to mine. That’s a 30 second walk. I have no idea where those hours went. That was the last time I took a drink until I was well into my 30’s, and that is where my first celebrity encounter began.
I was at an Oscar® party when I went to the bar to get a Coke. The bartender insisted I have a real drink instead. He was a really funny guy and I liked talking to him, so I asked for something sweet. He said he had a drink with real gold flakes in it. Yeah, that’s right REAL GOLD FLAKES. That’s why I took it. It sounded cool, and it was. It was also potent. After two shots of this Goldschlager I spotted Julia Roberts in the corner of the room and made a beeline to her. I ignored all the other people vying for her attention and said hello. She smiled and said “Hi!” Then I said “Black people love you!” She thought that was great and we started talking.
I have NO idea what we spoke about because I can’t remember thanks to some damn gold flakes. I met her again years later and she told me she remembered meeting me. I don’t know if she did or she was just being nice, but either way she was SO cool.
When Denys Cowan and I were both working at Motown we were walking the halls on our way to lunch when we passed the CEO’s office. The door was open and in there sat Bill Duke. Most of you know Bill as an actor (the big black guy with the baldhead who was in Predator). Bill is also one of the greatest directors working today. Google him and you will see a list of credits and be amazed at what he has directed. Denys and I were HUGE fans of Bill’s work so when saw him sitting in this meeting with the CEO we took one look at each other and without any other thought (like: don’t be stupid and keep your jobs) we ran passed the outer office passed the CEO’s assistant got on our knees in front of Bill and shouted “We’re NOT worthy, we’re NOT worthy!” Lucky for us the CEO and Bill had a good sense of humor. Bill is still one of my best friends and I’ve been trying to get him to the San Diego Comic Con for 10 years now. Maybe this year…
I met Wayne Brady on the set of a TV show I was writing. The cool part about this story is Wayne knew my work on Static because he is a huge fan of animation and comics. We had started to work on an animation pitch together. Right now he’s real busy with his show but I hope to get back to that soon. Here’s the thing with Wayne. He is exactly like you think he is. He is a great GREAT guy. Whenever we have been out and someone recognizes him he will stop and chat with that person for as long as it takes. He’s just a real nice guy with a lot of talent. He’s old school in a very big way. A throwback to Danny Kaye and Sammy Davis Jr. If you don’t know who Danny Kaye is then you are so in for a treat if you decide to find out. If you don’t know who Sammy is then you are just sad.
My friend Bruce Walker is a big time record producer. He invited me to his studio and when I got there Malcolm Jamal Warner was there. Malcolm is best known as Theo in The Cosby Show, but has had several hit shows and is always working. In fact, Malcolm turns down a great deal of work because he has other interests. On such interest is music. He is a badass jazz and spoken word artist. He was recording an album when I entered the studio. Bruce introduced me and I said “Hello, Theo.” He just looked at me and said “Glad to meet you, asshole.” I knew we were going to be good friends. Malcolm and I constantly try and one up each other in public. Once at a party I saw Malcolm talking to a really pretty girl, so I swished over there and in a really over the top gay voice said “Who’s this hussy?” She just looked at Malcolm who just looked at me while I swished away. Later that night I was talking to a girl when Malcolm came up to me and said; “When did you get out?” Yeah, it’s like that.
I met Kiefer Sutherland at what used to be my favorite restaurant in the world, La Dome. La Dome was on the boarder of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills in L.A. This was my second office for a long while. I was there so often that everyone knew me and I knew everyone. I was sitting at the bar when Kiefer sat down next to me. I said “Black people love you.” He shot back. “And I love black people, and just to prove it I’m going to buy you a drink.” He was WAY cool and funny as hell. I mean this guy was funny. Really nice guy.
Don Levine is the creator of G.I. Joe. I am a HUGE G.I. Joe fan and a big collector. The 12-inch Joe’s from the 60s and 70s, not those lame ass mini-Joes that became popular in the 80s. Don Levine found out who I was from Steve Geppi (head of Diamond Distributors) and asked for a meeting. When I met Don I brought a few on my prized Joes with me for him to sign. Yeah, I brought them to a business meeting. For all I know, Don could have hated me and I never would have had a chance like this again. Hey, I’m not proud. This was DON LEVINE I still can’t believe I know this living icon. No he’s not a Hollywood type but for me he’s even cooler!
Denys Cowan and I had a meeting with Stevie Wonder at Motown. When Stevie’s assistant left the room to get something for him, Denys and I looked at each other then started waving franticly in Stevie’s face. Look, we were not trying to be disrespectable but we could swear he could see. Stevie said with a smile “That’s not funny.” Denys and I could have been knocked over with a feather. To this day we can’t get over that encounter.
Man, now that I think of it there are so many cool stories of great people I have met in Hollywood that this could turn into a book.
A book? Really…
I will leave you with just two more.
I was at La Dome one evening when I saw Rod Stewart and another guy sitting at a table. I went over and said “Black people love you.” He thought that was really cool and invited me to sit down. I sat with Rod and his friend for hours and we talked about a zillion things. Man, was he cool. I remember him asking me about Frank Sinatra and we shared our love of the Chairman of the Board. This with the guy who sung If you think I’m sexy. That was a good night.
Finally, most people who know me know I have a very little patience for idol worship. I can’t stand people who fawn over stars and hang on their every move. My pat answer to this is thus “Is Tom Cruise thinking about me? Is he writing me a check?” I’m pretty jaded when it comes to meeting stars… except one.
I met George on a studio lot where he was shooting a movie and I was writing a TV show. I saw him earlier in the day and thought he blew me off when he said he was late for his call. Then I saw him again and he seemed really happy to meet me.
My heart was all a flutter. He had told me the truth: he was late. I spend quite some time talking to George and secured a future meeting with him to talk about an animated project. There is something about George that makes him bigger than a star. He (like Wayne Brady) is a throwback to old Hollywood. He is what a movie star was back in the day. Bigger than life and talented. I just like the guy. I like his politics, I like his humor I just like him.
Yeah, it’s safe to say that when it comes to Clooney, I’m his bitch. He is just that MAD COOL.
At some point I would like to share in more detail some more stories and maybe expand on some of the above. I’m so hard on Hollywood I forget sometimes there are some great people who work here.
Now there is a flip side to these great people. Those people I have met who turn out just to be idiots. Like the really well-known actress I used to DATE who ignored me as if she did not know me when I saw her a party a month ago.
I guess she forgot those photos. Can you say You Tube?
Nah, I would never do that. Unless I have too many gold flakes…
Michael Davis is a Hollywood mogul and a Friend of ComicMix.