Superior Starstruck


Since I joined the entertainment world in Chicago eight + years ago, I have seen and met my fair share of famous people, actors, celebrities and icons. I usually can play it cool--these people are just people like you and me, except they have people fawning over them all the time. Sometimes they want to just buy coffee, or see a show, or show up to a day's work without being stopped every 5 minutes to be told how great they are. And now that a number of my friends are getting more and more success and TV and movies, celebrities are no big deal. Unless they are someone really special.

Last night I met Michael McKean.

Fuzzy and I went to see Superior Donuts by Tracey Letts at Steppenwolf, and it was amazing. Utterly wonderful and amazing. At the meet and greet afterwards, there was a lot of talk about themes and what it means to be an American and capitalism and this and that. But to me, it was just an amazing character story about a small group of people and their relationships. About taking risks and making changes. About hope. And it moved me greatly. McKean plays the owner of a small donut shop in Uptown in Chicago--an aging hippy who is reevaluating his life. It is beautifully performed. And what is even more moving is that apparently, McKean studied our family friend Daniel Boone when creating his character. Seriously, they could be brothers. See? (note: the similarity is purely coincidental)

Michael McKean as Arthur and Jon Michael Hill (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Daniel at Highway 61 Coffee Shop (Photo by Fuzzy Gerdes)

McKean (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Daniel and folks.jpg
Daniel (with Mom and Dad) (Photo by Fuzzy Gerdes)

I get really shy at Meet and Greets and post-show discussions, because my brain usually can't follow many story lines (I have terrible listening comprehension), so I usually choose to be silent. Last night, however, I felt compelled to tell them how much the show meant to me, but my shy hand never got the attention of the moderator. Fortunately, when the meet and greet was over, McKean and Hill lingered on the set for a few minutes, so I went up to them to introduce myself and thank them for their performance. McKean was very warm, soft spoken, and kind. I told him that as a comedian, I have always admired him and his work. I am so glad that I did, although I was fighting back tears while doing so. I would have kicked myself if I had missed that opportunity.

We're talking freaking David St. Hubbins here. Amazing. Not to mention all the other amazing things he has done. SNL, A Mighty Wind, oh yeah, and he was on a little show called Laverne and Shirley. A comedy legend.

Thank you, Josh, for helping to make this happen.

In other news, this week has been a hard one for me. I am still feeling great, but I am finding myself in my anger phase over the fact that Dad is gone. It is really hitting home that I will never see him again on earth, and it is pissing me off. So much of this year has been 'dealing with things'-- dealing with loss, dealing with mom being sick, dealing with memaw in the nursing home, dealing with losing Mustapha--and now that things are settling and starting up and getting into a good vibe, the loss is really sinking in. It sucks. I miss that man more than anything. He was amazing, my hero and roll model, and a best friend. And because of it, I am now more than ever determined to be happy, to make him proud, and to see and do things that he was never able to. This inspires me.

Tomorrow, I will have 2 less teeth. Another loss, another change. Though it is inspiring me to use my blog to talk about my other surgical experience, which I have been meaning to write about for the last 5 years. I'll let everyone know next week how things go tomorrow. Have a great weekend!


It took me a second to realize Daniel Boone wasn't that black dude when I just saw the first picture.

That is so awesome. I LOVE Michael McKean. He's brilliant and seems super nice.