Brush with Greatness


Mark At The Beer League Movie Premiere 09/13/06

New York City Here We Come...

I've been very lucky this year. Just a few months ago I got to go to the Howard Stern Film Festival. This month I got an invite to the premiere of ''Artie Lange's Beer League'' movie! If you listened to the Stern Show the week before the premiere, you'll know that getting tickets to the premiere was kind of tough for Artie. He only had 60 to give to friends, family and co-workers. I was lucky enough to have gotten some through Ckrush Entertainment, one of the production companies for the movie.

I never enjoy the ride into or out of New York City but there was no way I was going to miss going to this premiere. My wife and I headed in a little early so we could avoid some traffic and get a bite to eat. We found parking around the block from the Ziegfeld theater where the premiere was taking place. On our way there we saw Sal the Stockbroker just hanging out on the sidewalk, about 2 blocks from the theater, talking on his phone. Very strange place to see someone from the show hanging out. That was our first 'celebrity' sighting for the evening.

Into The Ziegfeld Theater.

After getting some food we wandered over to the theater and found the right spot to get our tickets. After getting jerked around a little bit by the security force, we were told to go right in to find some seats. There were a bunch of reserved seats taped off in the center so we passed by those and found some seats right in front of those. Once we sat down we noticed that there were about 9 seats directly in front of us that had some SIRIUS stickers on them like they were being reserved as well. I figured it might be Howard, Robin, Fred, Gary, Richard, Sal, JD... and whoever sitting there. No such luck there but a little later on Mel Karmazin (SIRIUS CEO) was sitting directly in front of me, just inches away!

Before Mel took his seat there was a lot going on. A bunch of the show staff showed up and sat just a few rows away. Robin walked right by and down to some seats not too far away. She was swarmed by a few fans asking for pictures. I bugged Howard 100 and 101 Program Director Tim Sabean for a few seconds since he was standing right next to my seat in the aisle. The row in front of us was being held by a guy who I knew I had seen before. I couldn't quite place the face until I heard someone say his name, Richie. It must have been Richie the SIRIUS installer to the Stars who installs the radios for celebrities.

At one point this beautiful woman came over and sat down in front of us with Richie. Of course I was curious about who she was because I'm a nosey prick. After a little eavesdropping, I heard someone mention her name... Melissa. Hmmm, Melissa... which Melissa have I heard on the show? Then someone mentioned the name Ross and it finally clicked. This was the infamous Ross Zapin's wife Melissa. ''HOW ARE YA?'' That Ross.

I went over to say hello to Doug Goodstein, Mike Gange and Scott the Engineer who were just a few rows up from us. A bunch of other people from the show filled up that area as well. Jason, Will, JD, Sal, Richard, Robin, Mr. X and a bunch of others were over there. Mutt and Kim from SFN sat next to Sal even after everything that went on this week with Sal talking about sniffing Mutt's daughter's panties when he stayed over at his house one time. They seemed to be getting along just fine.

The row in front of us was filling up and I was kind of curious about who else was going to be sitting there. Ralph Cirella showed up so I yelled out his name and extended my had. ''Ralph, Mark from'' Blank stare. ''... I did the Superfan Roundtable with you back in December...'' He remembered and also referred to something Howard said about me not too long ago when my name came up on the air. Ralph told me he thought it was cool that I stuck with my ''artistic integrity'' back when I was 'working' for Howard mentioned that on a show recently and that's not exactly what happened, but it was kind of cool that Ralph was impressed.

While all of that was going on there were people mingling around the aisle next to me. I glanced over at one point and Mel Karmazin was standing there. It turns out that Richie and Ross were saving Mel a seat, which just happened to be directly in front of me. I figured Mel wouldn't give a shit about me so I didn't bother introducing myself. I'm sure he's got more important things to worry about.

Howard's wall of securityI knew that Howard had walked into the theater when people started clapping and cheering. Both he and Beth were quickly brought to their seats and surrounded by, what I would call, a ''wall of security'' to make sure they weren't bothered by the rabid fans. Please excuse the poor quality image, I was a little too far away for the flash.

The Star And The Movie.

Artie came in shortly after Howard and Beth did. He came in to even more cheers and clapping. It was a bit past the scheduled start time for the movie so they quickly announced that they were going to be starting soon and had Artie head up to the front of the theater to make a quick speech. Artie basically thanked everyone who helped make the movie happen and gave special thanks to Howard for everything he's done for him. After that it was movie time.

I gotta say that I'm not a sports fan. I rarely (once a year) watch football and I never watch baseball so I wasn't sure how I was going to react to a movie about a softball team. As soon as the movie started I was laughing. It turned out to be a great movie and it wasn't necessary for me to like sports to enjoy the movie. Artie is great, the supporting cast were also very good. The movie went by very quickly and didn't drag on at all. There were many times that some of the lines were drowned out by laughter in the theater because it was so frequent.

I don't know how it goes at other movie premieres but there were a lot of applause after this one was over. The crowd headed out after the movie. I had to stop and say hello to Jim Florentine who has a small part in the movie. We walked out to the street with the crowd and lost Jim when he stopped to talk to someone. A bunch of the invited guests were also invited to the After Party which was held a couple of blocks away at the Providence Night Club. We ended up walking over to the party with Jason Kaplan and JD Harmeyer. I wasn't really even planning on going over to the party but it was still kind of early so I figured we could spend some time there.

The After Party.

The Providence Night Club was much bigger than I expected. There were 3 floors full of people in there. We hung out kind of keeping an eye out for celebrities and people from the show. I was looking forward to meeting Norm Macdonald but I never did see him there. I've been a fan of his and Artie's since they did The Norm Show on ABC years ago. We did talk to a bunch of the guys from the show and I did get to say a quick hello to Artie as he was whisked past us. He thanked me for coming out... I think I should be the one thanking him for making the movie.

A bunch of the supporting cast from the movie were in the club, even this 14 year old kid who plays Artie's neighbor in Beer League. I never have much to say so I just hung out on the third level of the club looking down to the first level trying to find people to say hello to. We headed out of the club around 10:15 so we could make the hour and a half drive home. As we were leaving the club there was a woman handing out gift bags. ''Oh cool!'' I said to my wife. The woman handing out the bags said ''There's nothing expensive in them!'' with a smile on her face. Gee, thanks... I guess. I wasn't expecting a gift bag so it didn't matter to me if it was an empty bag. It turned out to be a nice Beer League t-shirt and a set of four Beer League coasters. I'm not complaining.

So that's my latest Brush with Greatness. I still can't believe that I get invited to these things. I never feel like I belong at these events. I guess I must be doing something right... but whenever I go to something like this, I always hear the words ''I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy...'' going through my head like I have Wayne and Garth from ''Wayne's World'' in there.

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