Usually celebrities are an overblown, worthless lot, but every now and then I watch a movie or catch an interview or see a TV show with some dude in it that I think, “He seems cool–I’d like to have a beer with him and just chat.” And by that, I don’t mean “party.” I mean that they strike me as interesting people who could just be “normal” for a few hours and sit down and talk about everything and nothing over a micro-brew. I’ll have a Mac & Jack’s if it’s available.
Back in 2004, the star of Napoleon Dynamite came to my alma mater to talk about . . . Napoleon Dynamite. It was horrific in a really awesome way that I’ll have to do a post about some other time, but I did walk away from that evening thinking that he seemed like an incredibly normal guy. Granted, he is Mormon, so I’m not too sure he’d have a *beer*, but I do think that we’d be able to venture into interesting topics other than that movie for which he got a perm.
Harrison’s almost automatic in a list like this. Not only has the guy played some of the most awesome characters in cinema history, but he’s Mr. Super-Awesome in real life. I mean . . . the guy has rescued hikers in his personal helicopter a couple of times. Can you imagine being disoriented and unstable after being stranded in the wilderness for days, and then, as you’re seconds from passing out as they put you on the rescue helicopter, see Han Solo in the pilot’s seat? (Would you think to check the co-pilot’s seat for Chewbacca?) I know that after I got better, I’d want to have a beer with the guy.
Don’t ask me why. It was only recently (like within the last year-and-a-half) that I began to open up to Star Trek. I was always more of a Star Wars guy. . . . okay, not “more of a,” but “extremely a,” but I digress. There’s no denying Leonard’s coolness. I hold that it’s the same caliber of Shatner’s coolness, but Nimoy gets extra points because he’s not all, “Hey look at me!” all the time. It’s kinda like the difference between a Portland rocker and a Seattle rocker. (Don’t worry, I know what I mean.)
Duh. I’ll come right out and admit that I’m one of those Conan fans who were all up in arms over his battle with Leno and NBC, but who didn’t really watch his Tonight Show until the controversy started (after the first one, that is), and hadn’t watched Late Night since like 2003. I’m very ashamed. And I’d humbly admit this to him . . . because I need him to know my sorrow. But I believe that Conan would forgive me as we chat about funny things and guitars and Seattle. I’m also pretty sure that we’d go driving around a bit, too (hey, calm down, I only ever have one! And it’s been like an hour since I finished it), and just find random goofy things to do.
The thought that The Edge would be a great guy to sit down and have a nice talk with struck me when I saw the documentary It Might Get Loud. He just comes across as someone who doesn’t take his fame or success for granted and is still enjoying the ride. He’s definitely the pick of guys from that movie; Page is too much of a rockstar and I think White would probably complain about the bar or restaurant we were in being too ritzy (and I’m really not the dive bar type). And as far as U2 members go . . . well, Larry might be pretty cool, but we wouldn’t have that same common ground that Edge and I would; Adam would probably be uncomfortably quiet; and Bono? Heck no. I’m not sure that guy can turn off his ego for ten seconds. So there it is. Me and Edge and a couple of beers. We’d probably talk about guitars.
I considered adding Adam Savage, the other host of Mythbusters, in with Jamie, but I felt like that would be cheating (2 in 1? I’m better than that). If I’m going to pick between them, I’d honestly go with Jamie (though no love lost, Adam–you’d probably land at #11). Jamie strikes me as someone who, despite being no-nonsense when it comes to his work, can be cool and relaxed with just the right amount of dry humor in his off time. Plus, who would debate that he wouldn’t have tons of awesome stuff to talk about? They guy’s been in the special effects business for decades! I’ve heard speeches that Adam has given before, sharing old stories from his earlier days in the business, and they’re fascinating–the things he worked on, the lessons he learned; I’d love to hear the same stuff from Jamie.
Yes. Sly. Because he’s been getting some extra media attention lately (no doubt due to the soon-to-be-released action epic, The Expendables; I WILL be there), and I think the media has been extremely unfair in how they’ve represented him in a couple of recent articles. It’s like they’re trying to paint him as this jaded action star who feels robbed of the career he should have had, but it’s just not the case. Like this one, that tries to make it sound like Sly is bitter over the 1989 Batman, when in fact, if you read it, he’s just matter-of-fact about it, and even jokes a little bit. Then there’s this other one. Notice the use of the word “rejected” in the headline when talking about his audition for the role of Han Solo–that’s a subtle way to lead you into imagining pain and regret over that failed audition 35 years ago. But when you read what he actually said, he is, yet again, matter-of-fact and not bitter at all. You see? I think Sly’s a good guy who’s more “together” than they want us to think. I’m willing to bet that I’d confirm that over a Dogfish Head that his recent movie surge is because he wants to and he can, not because he’s trying to re-claim his old glory.
I defy anyone to tell me that Cronkite wasn’t one of the most interesting people of the last 100 years. The guy had a front-row seat to so much history it’s mind-boggling, so who WOULDN’T want an opportunity for a relaxed conversation with him over a cold one? Forget the formal interviews. Heck, forget the informal interviews where you get to go out on a boat with him. Leave the cameras at home, bring a six-pack, and let him bring up the stories and tell them on his own terms.
Okay, I was never a Bill Clinton fan. I’m still not. So why is he number two? Well . . . I’ve had many, many dreams since the late 90’s where I meet him and he’s this completely cool, totally relaxed guy, and he and I become buds. Like the kind of bud you’d give a fist-pound when you get to see them. I can’t explain those dreams; I really can’t. But the fact is that Bill does have a reputation for being very down-to-earth on a personal level, so why not take the opportunity to have a beer if one had the chance? I know I would.
Mike is arguably the most “wannahaveabeerwithhim-able” guy I’ve ever seen. After a single episode of Dirty Jobs, you’ll likely know what I mean. He’s just an honest guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously, and seems to love the thought of relaxing after a hard day’s work. That’s what I’m talking about. Where so many of the previous guys in their list would be interesting in a relaxed situation because of the things they’ve seen or been a part of or are into, Mike would be interesting because he’s just cool. And there’s not much more you can say about that.
Special thanks to the Mrs. for the idea for the post and for helping me remember the various people about whom I have said, “I’d like to have a beer with him.”
Has this idea crossed your mind before, or something similar? Tell me in the comments.