Monday, April 22, 2013

Riske Business: The Hall of Kick-Ass Vol. 2

The Hall of Kick-Ass is back! What’s new? I’m glad you asked. Not only do we have 16 new inductees, but we also have a pledge. The Pledge of Kick-Ass will commence with every new induction. Soak it up, celebs! You’ve earned it! You made my pants hurt. Because you kicked them so hard in the ass.

As always, inductees into the Hall of Kick-Ass are being honored for providing me with a great memory or a laugh. They are all SKOWs (aka Some Kind of Wonderful).

Check out the first class of HoKA inductees here!

Note: To maximize the induction ceremony experience, listen to the official anthem of the Hall of Kick-Ass as you read.

The Pledge of Kick-Ass:
"This is my hall, y'all! All this hall! Look at my hall! It’s got MOVIE STARS! Every f***in' gender. It’s got Val Kilmer. Motherf***in' Barb-Crampton. It’s got Taylor Dayne. On repeat. TAYLOR DAYNE ON REPEAT. Constant, y'all! It’s got Escape! Calvin Klein Escape! Look at our hall. Look at our hall! It’s got ROOMS of this shit! It’s got dark tannin' oil... lay out by the pool, put on our dark tanning oil... Look at this, look at this mother***er here! Look at this mother***er! Huh? A f***ing army up in this hall!"
Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Batman) – I once saw a man wearing sunglasses inside and sitting half-asleep in a chair with his shirt mostly unbuttoned. I donated $40 to his shirt rebuild project. In return, he signed his name for me on a poster. There’s nothing sadder than watching one of your heroes fall…asleep…at an autograph convention. I was in Chicago. Billy Dee Williams was in Cloud City.
Cassandra Peterson (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Elvira’s Haunted Hills) – I used to watch Elvira: Mistress of the Dark A LOT when I was about 6 years old. I don’t know what I liked about her. Could it be that she (alongside the Universal Monsters) got me into horror? Or do I like her for two other big reasons? I once asked my Grandpa to watch her movie with me, which he did. There’s a scene at the end of the movie involving tassels and my Grandpa asked "Adam, why do you like this movie?" I said "Because she has big boobies!" My Grandpa told my Mom that he had never been more proud of me. Cut to 20 years later and I got Elvira’s autograph. My Grandpa has since passed, but I asked her to sign my poster 'To Adam and Grandpa Klein, Yours Cruelly, Elvira.' This is my longest lasting memory of my Grandpa, a great guy I wish I had more time with. Thanks Elvira. Sincerely, a couple of big boobs.

Fun Fact? An Elvira signing attracts a lot of odd people. Mostly men. While I was waiting in line, a guy behind me asked if I had gotten Cassandra Peterson’s autograph before. I said I hadn’t. He told me there are much shorter lines on the days she appears as Cassandra Peterson as opposed to Elvira. I said that it’s cooler to meet Elvira. He then goes "Oh, you like the fantasy!" I could practically feel his word-jizz. Here I am, innocently trying to savor an Adam & Grandpa Klein breast memory and this guy, man…..some people, man. Some people.
Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever, Not Another Teen Movie) – I’m not often a gushing fan, but Cerina Vincent in person made me all Dreamweaver. I stopped being Adam Riske, fan of Cabin Fever, and turned into Adam Riske, "Let’s see where this goes" guy. We flirted. It was not bullshit. Something was going on. It’s one of those moments where you’re saying all the right things and you’re almost outside of yourself going "Where are you getting this stuff? It’s good!" Then I looked at her hand and saw her giant engagement ring. My girl? Getting married? We talked about her ring for a while and I’m pretty sure I told her she deserves the best of everything. She didn’t get weirded out. Because that’s how soul mates talk. Note: I just checked IMDB, and Cerina Vincent has since separated from this guy. I hope I didn’t have something to do with it. Come and get me baby!
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, The Last Boy Scout) – I asked Danielle Harris what Bruce Willis was like when they made The Last Boy Scout. She looked up at me and said one word: "Mean." The sky is blue, water is wet, women have secrets.
Gary Lockwood (2001: A Space Odyssey, Splendor in the Grass) – What a thrill it was to meet one of the actors from 2001: A Space Odyssey, my favorite movie of all time. The question I was dying to ask him was what the space food tasted like. He answered "The same."
Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare) – As Heather signed my poster, she asked me where I was from. I told her "Chicago," to which she replied "You sound like someone from Wisconsin." F-Heads, never call an Eloi a Morlock.
Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Terminator, Near Dark) – If not for a fateful conversation with Lance Henriksen, I would have a tattoo that I would now regret. Let me explain. Lance has many tattoos. I mentioned that I was thinking of getting one. He asked of what. I said I didn’t know and that I just wanted one. He and I had a two minute conversation about how I am being stupid. I thought I was going to meet Bishop and instead I met an extension of my father.
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Freddy vs. Jason) – My Mom often asks me "Got any good gossip?" She would LOVE Robert Englund. Just from the minute I was getting his autograph, I learned a) On the set of Meet the Deedles, actress A.J. Langer (My So-Called Life, The People Under the Stairs) fell HARD for Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious, Varsity Blues), but he did not want to run a zoom zoom in her boom boom and b) Wayne Kramer, who was Paul Walker’s director for the movie Running Scared, was so poor that he was sleeping in his car when the movie wrapped. I didn’t even want an autograph at that point. I just wanted to feed Robert Englund $20s like he was a fortune teller and get more stories.
Robert Kurtzman (Wishmaster, Army of Darkness, From Dusk Till Dawn) – Wow! Just wow. Being the only fan of Wishmaster, Bob Kurtzman treated me like royalty when I asked for his autograph on a poster for the movie. Not only did he sign that, but he also gave me a concept poster for a movie called Bump which was never released. He signed that one, too. Then he walked me around for five minutes introducing me to other horror celebrities and bought me a cup of wine. It was weird. I felt like Lorraine Bracco during that long Copacabana tracking shot in Goodfellas.
Victoria Price (daughter of Vincent Price) – One of the best movie memories I will ever have is when The Portage Theater hosted a Vincent Price Vincetennial double feature of The House on Haunted Hill and The Last Man on Earth. In between the two movies, guest Victoria Price showed a slide show of family and personal photos of Vincent Price himself and told some incredible stories about his life and career. My favorite was when Vincent was very old and near the end, he would fade in and out of consciousness. One time, with his family at his bedside, he awoke long enough to firmly and breathlessly say "BALLS!" before falling back asleep. Victoria Price is also a very talented artist and designed a really cool Vincent Price T-shirt. I bought one and have worn it proudly many times since. What a great day! BALLS!
*Also I would like to immediately induct Richard Schaal (a JB nominee), John Lithgow (a Marc Brouilette nominee), Alec and Billy Baldwin (J.M. Vargas nominees), Lloyd Kaufman (a Gabriel Girard nominee) and the cast of Numb3rs (a James Garcia nominee) into the Hall of Kick-Ass. We love you all. Thanks for being kick ass!



Your turn! Who have you met that is awesome and worthy of joining the Hall of Kick-Ass?

25 comments:

  1. Wait, the Baldwins (whom I basically ignored) make the Hall of Kick-Ass on the first ballot but not Larisa Oleynik, with whom I spoke for five of the most wonderful and unforgettable minutes of my life? Adam, what the fuck man? :-O

    A couple more. As part of a production crew we were shooting a non-profit video for a local NYC church, and Martin Sheeen (while "The West Wing" was still in production) agreed to do the opening introduction for free. We were shooting it and, between takes, Martin was shooting the breeze with the crew. When Sheen found out that I was from El Salvador he got interested and we talked for a good 10 minutes about the socio-political climate (he knew all the political players and pretty much everything about the region) and, after the shoot wrapped, Martin hugged me and told me he would pray for my family that was (and still is) down there. He even called me by my first name the couple of times he called to the office afterwards. I didn't have the heart to tell him back then that I was Atheist and that this was just another job for me, but I appreciated the kindness. :-)

    Took a long elevator ride once with David Letterman and a couple of his writers. Most awkward couple of minutes you can imagine, with nobody's eyes making any eye contact and a palpable tension.

    A lifetime ago (late 1990's) I was renting videos at a local NYC video store on Columbus and 86th St. when I reached for a video (don't remember the movie) and someone else grabbed the same video at the exact same time. I look over and it was David Spade, much smaller and fragile than he appears on TV. I offered him the video and he said that I could keep it (I didn't end up renting it). I noticed all the looks he got from all the other customers at the store, who probably hadn't starred in movies that they could rent right there.

    Nice column Adam, though how many celebrities have you met? Realistically, can there be a Vol. 9 or Vol. 10 of these or are you gonna run out of people by Vol. 5? :-P

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    1. I'll get Larisa in there next time. I was trying to go with one encounter per person to spread it out. Vol. 3 will come during the summer.

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  2. I wish everyone here would take a couple hours and watch the Trailer Park Boys TV show (available on Netflix). It takes a few episodes to hit its stride but you know, if you want to be one of those hip young Americans that watches obscure Canadian TV shows, you owe it to yourselves to give it a chance. It's a mockumentary that started in 2001 filmed in and around the city I live in and it became a bit of a Canadian phenomenon. All that to say, I nominate JOHN DUNSWORTH (aka Mr. Lahey from TPB) to the Hall of Kick-Ass. I had the pleasure of meeting him both in and out of character at a charity function a couple years back. I saw him sitting at a table by himself (the typical Canadian Way is to assume they don't want to be bothered) between his on-stage bits and invited him to sit with us. He was really nice - didn't do his schtick just sat and listened to us and answered a few of our questions and excused himself to do his bit - an mostly uneventful but friendly encounter - lovely guy. Much unlike the drunk, power-hungry, ex-cop, trailer park supervisor he plays on TV - go watch it - I dare ya!

    I didn't MEET Kelly Preston so I can't speak for her kick-assness (given her husband, probably not so much?), but I did end up in the same grocery store aisle as her (in Halifax - confirmed she was shooting here) and holy shit she was gorgeous. Such an amazing presence - easy to see why she was destined to be in movies even though she was a mediocre actress.

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    1. I'm not so sure Kelly Preston is mediocre. She's never really given a chance to do anything. Like Anne Archer.

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    2. Fair enough - I guess I should've said relatively mediocre - she obviously had to be above-average amongst the general community of actors to make it as far as she has - but yeah, you could be right, just hasn't been given the opportunities to shine for whatever reason. But OMGSOPRETTY

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  3. I wish I could offer nominations for these columns, but sadly I really don't have celebrity encounters or any stories of that nature. I don't tend to actively seek out meeting celebrities for the express purpose that I would be afraid that it would tarnish my view of their work. I have some celebrities in mind who I THINK would be kick-ass to have an encounter with, but to mention them is probably cheating, and I could be completely wrong.

    I do like the kick-Ass Pledge, though!

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    1. I'm kind of in the same boat, but mostly because of my painful social awkwardness and crippling shyness. I will actively avoid talking to a famous person even when they are standing a few feet away from me. But I do love reading these stories.

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    2. Yes. That, too. I have enough trouble effectively communicating and being socially interesting or outspoken with the average human being, and I'm sure that difficulty would only be amplified in an encounter with a celebrity whose work I greatly admire.

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  5. @John & Patrick - I hear ya. I used to ask a question when I got a celebrity autographs but I don't do that much any more because it makes it more awkward I've found.

    What I find makes the interactions easiest is to remember that you have nothing to say to these people and they have nothing to say to you.

    In most cases I figure that since I am paying them for an autograph it is up to them to entertain me. I don't have to do anything other than say 'hi' or 'how are you' or 'can you make this out to Adam' and then let the conversation flow from there. They'll usually ask you something if you're quiet (e.g. they'll comment on the thing you're having signed).

    Meeting celebrities can be weird though. I still get nervous when it's happening. It feels like you're asking them out on a date.

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    1. Part of my problem is that I really only would want to meet the directors or actors who have meant a lot to me, and I don't know how to convey that in 30-second encounter. Certainly not in a way that makes me any different from anyone else. And because I don't know how to convey that, NO, I REALLY MEAN IT, I just don't bother. I do like seeing what they look like in person, though.

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  6. @Patrick - If you want to be different than everyone else you should go Avatar on them and say 'this is the bond' and then jump on the celebs back. When they start to try to shake you off, yell at them and say 'MAKE THE BOND!'

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    1. I have it on good authority that this will definitely work.

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    2. I like the idea. Because I like Avatar.

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  7. I have a few that I'd like to nominate:

    John Carpenter: this was a BIG deal for me. I was really nervous that he'd be a dick, but he wound up being very nice. I was at a special reception at a local horror convention where some of us got to mingle with the celebrities at the convention. I met a bunch of nice people like Barbara Crampton (already inducted!), Ken Foree, Tyler Mane, and a few more. Carpenter, however, was the reason I was there. As I inched closer to him I overheard everyone in front of me shower him with praise for THE THING and HALLOWEEN and THE FOG, etc. He was polite, thanked everyone for the compliments, and went on to the next person. As much as I wanted to join everyone in telling him how great he is and how much his work means to me, I thought I'd give him a break. Instead I talked to John Carpenter, one of my favorite directors ever, about basketball. I know he's a huge fan of the NBA and a Lakers fan, so instead of shining his shoes, I congratulated him on the Lakers trading for Dwight Howard which had just happened. He looked at me as if to say, "Thank you for letting me discuss something other than Kurt Russell for five minutes", and we proceeded to talk about the Lakers and the Bulls and his love of all things basketball. It was awesome.

    Brent Spiner: Amongst my group of friends, we have a running joke about our buddy Nick seriously stating that in a fight, Data would beat Darth Vader (Nerds!). So, when Data himself, Brent Spiner, showed up at a local comic con, my friend Adam and I thought it'd be great to get a signed photo for Nick. We were in line for maybe 10 minutes and here's what happened:
    - The woman in front of us was next to get something signed when an old lady strolled up from around the corner and stood next to the lady getting something signed. Mr. Spiner said to the old lady sternly, but politely, "Excuse me, but this lady was here first. You can't cut in line, ma'am." To which the lady getting her picture signed said, "Oh, no, it's okay. She's my Mother Superior." Brent responded, "Well, I'm going to hell now."
    - Right as Adam and I were to get our picture signed, a representative from the con walked over to ask how Mr. Spiner was doing. Mr. Spiner proceeded to check off everyting that this convention did wrong in getting him to the con. They didn't get him his flight or hotel information to him until the last possible second and they didn't have anyone at the airport to pick him up as promised, etc. The con worker was now flustered and tried using Adam and I to get out of this conversation, pointing to us and saying, "Maybe we can discuss this later." Mr. Spiner said, "No, I think these guys are enoying this." We were.
    - In the middle of this exchange with the con employee, FOR NO REASON AT ALL, Mr. Spiner turned to Adam and I and said, "Do you guys listen to Howard Stern?" After a second to realize he was talking to us we exclaimed, "Yes!" "I want to be on that show in the worst way." he said almost to himself before going back to telling off the con worker.
    - He signed the photo for Nick:
    "To Nick, I would kick Darth Vader's ass. Brent Spiner."

    I realize those stories about Spiner maybe make him sound like a dick, but trust me he was not. He was awesome.

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    1. He was a dick (not raging egomaniac dick, but average-to-mellow dick), just not to you or your friend but to the con guy. Celebrity treats other people badly in front of you: he/she is awesome. Celebrity treats you badly: he/she is either a dick or is having a bad day (depending on how much/little you like that celeb and his/her work).

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    2. It's my poor writing skills, JM, more than anything. While Spiner could've/should've spoke with the guy in private, he was out of sorts because he had just shown up late. He was mad that the con caused him to be late and he felt bad for making people wait. I debated even telling this story because I feared he'd come off worse than he actually was. My fears have been realized. Oh well.

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    3. OK, then, he was a righteous dick (on behalf of the con fans that had to wait). We good? :-)

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    4. Nicely done with John Carpenter conversation - if I ever have another celeb encounter I will definitely that tactic. So glad to hear he wasn't a dick too - from documentaries/interviews I've seen, I figured he was a pretty cool dude.

      I get the intended vibe of the Spiner encounter - he had some legitimate beefs (they asked!) but wasn't blowing them out of proportion - sounds like a funny guy!

      I'm a little jealous of you Major American Metropolis folks and your opportunities for interesting celebrity encounters - I'm not a big celeb-worshiper or anything, but there's always something cool about seeing them.

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    5. "...will definitely EMPLOY that tactic..."

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  8. @Mike and J.M. - Dick or no dick, the story reads like he's all balls.

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  9. From the those I've met so far, it seems like you find two types of celebrities: those who regard meeting fans a genuine pleasure and those who see it as an obligation or a business transaction.

    The coolest celebrity I've met so far was easily William Katt. I got to meet him at Rock n' Shock a few years back and since he didn't have much of a line, he took time to chat with anyone who came up. He was incredibly personable, telling fun anecdotes about the filming of House and when his very short stint on Heroes came up, he emphasized how nice Ali Larter was to him, which I thought was pretty classy. He also seemed (or made a great effort to seem) very interested in everyone, asking them where they were from and what they did.

    The only downside is that since he was also one of the first I've met, I thought all my celebrity encounters would be like that. If only.

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    1. Awesome story Tim! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. @Everyone - The Hall of Kick Ass is dick free. You may have to re-read Vol.1. KIRSTEN DUNST IS CRYING RIGHT NOW!

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