Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Evening with Harry Shearer

When Judy and I love something, we love the daylights out of it... Granted, it has to be something that for some reason captures our imagination as "extraordinary", but once we find it, typically we latch onto it, and don't let go. Thus far, there is one movie and one movie only we have in common that we both can't get enough of.

Said movie is Oscar. It is a comedy from when we were much younger, starring Sylvester Stallone as a mobster who wants to go straight, as that is his dying father's final wish. As far as I am concerned, it's probably one of the most clever and hilarious movies ever. There are a lot of people, most people probably, who look at me like I have 3 heads when I say that. Tough. :-) Judy and I always put it in when we're in a mutual bad mood, and thank God for DVD's, because over the years, we burned through a couple of VHS tapes (although to be fair, one died when it got stepped on).

Last summer, Peter Riegert (who I'm sure is much more well-known for his role in Animal House) came to Bethesda to promote his new movie, King of the Corner. In Oscar, he plays a mobster-turned-butler, and I was tremendously excited to meet him. We all went up there, and when we pulled out "Oscar" he about fell on the floor. He couldn't believe someone wanted it autographed. His direct words were, "Oh my God, Oscar!"

After the stunning success of the Peter Riegert venture, we decided it would be our lifelong goal to have as many members of the cast as we could find sign the DVD. We came close to getting Tim Curry, but not close enough, and are nowhere near Sylvester Stallone or Marisa Tomei, but Mother Luck shined upon us, and sent Harry Shearer (who played one of the Finnuci Brothers, a tailor) back to DC last night.

This was not as easy as it sounds, however!! He was actually here a month ago, and I didn't go to meet him because my ladies' supper club was meeting. I agonized and agonized about it, but finally I decided that it would be more important to spend time with my friends, some of whom I do only see once per month.

While at the Alan Alda book signing, a woman told me about a website where you could find a listing of celebrity book signings all over the country, and I found it via google. (Since I'm nicer than she was, I'll give it to all of you: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Hills/8944/

Imagine my delight when I found out that Harry Shearer was coming back to sign copies of his first novel! So, of course, I decided, this was it, I would get my second autograph on the DVD. There was a minor glitch, being that the signing was going to happen in Georgetown which means a) driving into the city, which I don't like, but there's no transit) and b) finding parking, which can be a bear over there.

Now, since Mr. Shearer is quite well known as the voice of The Simpsons and as one of Christopher Guest's big ensemble players and musicians, we figured there'd be a heck of a crowd. I went early enough that I got 2 seats dead center, first row. There were seats set up for 50 people. I was shocked. I was sure there would be a lot of people there. When it came time for the signing, there were MAYBE 75 people there. Compared to the 100's I was expecting, that was kind of sad. However, Mr. Shearer was suffering an ocular migraine and was jet lagged, so it was probably better that he didn't get stuck with a huge crowd :-)

Barnes and Noble Georgetown needs to get its act together in introducing these people however!!! The guy they had working the store-wide speakers had no idea what he was doing, mispronouncing names (at one point after Harry had entered the store, he was sitting across from us in a back corner of the store and the guy announced that Henry She-har would be upstairs and Harry just looked at the ceiling and laughed), stumbling over his words, the whole 9 yards. The guy who was in charge of special events introduced Harry as a star of "A League of Their Own" so Harry first said, "I don't want to embarrass my friend here, but IMDB or Wikipedia had it wrong, I was never in 'A League of Their Own'."

Anyway, the small crowd worked well for us!! Harry didn't mind signing memoribilia, so Judy got a copy of the "A Mighty Wind" soundtrack autographed, and then I stepped forward and handed him Oscar. His reaction was the exact same as Peter Riegert's: "Oh my God, Oscar!" We had a good laugh over the whole thing, and he signed it and then agreed to pose for a picture with us.

It was a lot of fun and a great evening. I think it's my last book signing for a while--I'm planning to go meet President Carter on 11/28 in Bailey's Crossroads with a co-worker of mine. In December, I'm going to my mom's and we're going to go see Paula Deen at a book signing there. It'll be a great way to wrap up my most literary year!

UPDATE: Blogger likes me again.

2 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm very jealous .. the biggest thing I miss about not living in D.C. any more are the great book signings .. i probably would have handed the great Mr. Shearer my VHS copy of Spinal Tap

Lesley said...

Hey, I remember that movie!