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Hulk Is Hulking
Hulk Is Hulking

"I met Hulk Hogan when I was four (lateish 80s) at some wrestling thing in Dallas. All I remember is that my dad got his attention as he was walking toward the ring, and when he came around he stuck out this GIANT hand and said 'Put it there, darlin'!' I recognized him but he was scary, so I peed my pants and cried. I guess it's obvious now that he wanted a handshake or a high five or.... something? No idea. Anyway, scared the piss out of me. Dude is huge"

The Govenator
The Govenator

"Arnold Schwarzenegger went to Iraq for a troop morale thing and ended up having lunch with my dad. It was my birthday, so my dad asked if Arnold would call me. Except, lunchtime in Iraq is REALLY really early in the morning in the US. My mom woke me up, handed me the phone, and I was soooooo tired that I thought my dad and some of his drunk slurring friends were out partying and screwing around. The slurring being his accent of course.
My mom laughed at me, took the phone back, and only told me who it was when I got out of bed the next morning. Sorry for thinking you were some drunk, GovSchwarzenegger"

Sup?
Sup?

"My mom found Paris Hilton incognito in an airport, came to find me, brought me to a tiny lady in a hoodie and big sunglasses in the middle of the airport, goes 'hi are you Paris Hilton?' Then pushed me in front of her and said 'here, say hi to my son!' Like I was a weird birthday gift or something. She said 'sup' I said 'sup' then she did this weird little laugh. Then my mom goes 'okay bye!' That was my sad and awkward meeting with Paris Hilton in an airport"

Gene Simmons Doesn't Rock
Gene Simmons Doesn't Rock

"Gene Simmons is a douche bag. My dad ran into him in some bar in Baltimore in the very late 70's after a show. My dad wasn't a huge KISS fan but appreciated their music and told Gene something along the lines of 'Awesome concert, thanks for the show' Gene looked at my dad and then promptly replied 'I hope the next time your sucking a-- to impress someone, you pucker more' and then walked off. My dad was pissed and went to tell his two friends he was with it was time to go, and the bartender stopped them on the way out, Gene and his entourage told the bartender my dad was paying for their drinks and left already. Cost my dad almost a hundred bucks for their alcohol they ditched him with paying. So growing up every time something with Kiss came on, my dad would relate this story and rant about how Gene Simmons can suck and go die somewhere. I was tired of hearing about it, by the time I was 14 or 15"

Chewbacca's a Softy
Chewbacca's a Softy

"Organized a good sized comic con, so I've worked with quite a few. But the saddest was really subtle:
Peter Mayhew (chewbacca), was in the green room for lunch on the 2nd day. He looks very tired and is almost totally wheelchair bound because of his terrible joint problems. I'm sitting across from him while we eat and his assistant asks if his hand is feeling alright to sign more autographs (terrible arthritis). He closes his eyes and nods his head and whispers out 'how much longer will this go today?' To which his assistant delicately replies 'just 5 more hours'. And he whimpers a little and sheds a few tears as they wheel him away from the table and back out to the fans. The saddest part is that he's the nicest guy and never denies a fan while he's at the con and always smiles even though he's in loads of physical pain"

The Not So Golden Years
The Not So Golden Years

"Betty White. It was right after the Golden Girls (and Golden Palace) had ended. Her career was not in the best place at the time. I was at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles and saw a poster promoting Betty White signing her latest book about how much she loves animals. I liked the Golden Girls so I thought I would swing by the bookstore to take a gander at Betty White. It was so sad. I'll always remember she was sitting alone at a big table with a stack of books in front of her. People were in the bookstore shopping but no one was buying her book or really acknowledging her. She just sat there, pen in hand, waiting. She would occasionally wipe off some imaginary dust to look busy. I'm getting the chills just remembering it. Of course, I was such a self-involved college kid that I just stared at her from far away. I should have just gone up and talked to her"

Wear Helmets
Wear Helmets

"I was a little kid in the 70s. Like pretty much every little boy, I thought Evel Knievel was a serious bada--. When I was about 7, I was in the airport with my mom and her boyfriend and a friend of mine. My mother's boyfriend told us that Evel was in one of the lounges. He was sitting in a back corner, drinking a glass of some kind of booze and engulfed in a cloud of cigarette smoke. We both approached him excitedly and asked for his autograph. He was obviously drunk, but he picked up a couple of cocktail napkins and scratched out his signature on both of them. Then he looked at us and said, 'before I give you these, I'm going to teach you something'. My friend at I looked at each other, totally starstruck and grinning like idiots. Evel proceeded to tap both of us on the arm. 'Does that hurt?' he asked. We both shook our heads and said no. Then he poked us lightly in the chest, 'does that hurt?' Again we both said no in unison. Then he made fists out of both hands with the middle knuckle sticking out and brought them down sharply and simultaneously, protruding knuckle first, onto both of our heads. 'Does that hurt?' he asked. Neither of us could really answer, I was holding back tears from the pain. He waited a few seconds and said: 'that's why you wear a safety helmet', and handed us the napkins"

A Lou Hat
A Lou Hat

"1993, the Wetlands bar (hippie central) in NYC. River Phoenix's band was playing, and he was clearly tripping balls. Sample between-song banter: /smooshes crappy woolen hat around on his head silently for 30 seconds, then, 'This is called a Lou hat...it's called that...because Lou makes them...ok?' Show thankfully ends, he wanders offstage and is standing by me, vaguely looking off into the distance. Me: 'Jesus, man, how many hits are you on?' Him: 'Hits? What's that?' Me: 'Acid, dude. I'm impressed you were able to play at all.' Him: 'Aw, no, man, I don't do drugs.' Few months later, he's dead on an LA sidewalk from a speedball overdose"

Line Cutter
Line Cutter

"I had waited an hour and a half in line for a ride at Great Adventure. Was in the front seat line so the wait was even longer. Finally, I was next in line--watched gleefully as my train pulled in. And Chris Rock and his family come walking up from the exit and are given my spot, without waiting at all. I was both sad and mad and have held a grudge against him ever since"

Game of Writer's Block
Game of Writer's Block

"I met George R. R. Martin at the Blaze Pizza in Evanston a couple of months back when he was in town to accept an award from Northwestern University. At the time, I was listening to the audiobook of A Clash of Kings, and he very excitedly told me, 'You've got a ways to go to catch up!' When I told him that I've already read what he's published three times, and am listening to the audiobook as a new way to experience the story, he just kind of ... deflated. He let out a big sigh, and just said, 'Yeah, I need to finish the next book. People won't stop bothering me about it'"

Broken-Hearted
Broken-Hearted

"Seeing a movie in Ottawa with my mother as a child, and Tom Green was behind us all alone, looking greyish. My mom told me not to bother him because Drew Barrymore had just dumped him"

I Was a Soldier With Sam Elliott
I Was a Soldier With Sam Elliott

"My saddest celebrity encounter was also my greatest. When I was in college I was an extra in a few scenes of 'We Were Soldiers', a Vietnam movie with Mel Gibson and Sam Elliott. While I was waiting for a bus to take me back to wardrobe one of the casting guys came up and picked me out of the crowd and asked me if I wanted to be in another scene with Sam Elliott. Of course I was ecstatic. I sat in this van waiting for Sam to come out and it was going to drive us to the scene. Finally he comes out looking all pissed off and sits in the front seat. Against my better judgement I said something to the effect of, 'Mr Elliott I'm a huge fan of yours and it's an honor to be in a scene with you'. He snaps back: 'Shut the f--k up kid.' Needless to say when Sam Elliott tells you to STFU, you do it. So that's the sad part, though getting cussed out by a guy who typically plays the bada-- in movies was cool in some way. We film the scene which is a short scene where he walks by Chris Klein and cusses at him about something. We film it over and over and I'm just some soldier walking by in the background. Occasionally between takes Sam would look over at me and scowl. After it's done we get back in the van to head back and Sam is again in the van. He turns around and says, 'Sorry about earlier kid, I just didn't want to f--k up my mood for the scene. I appreciate the compliment'. Suddenly it dawned on me that when he cussed at me he was trying to stay in character for the upcoming scene. Pretty cool experience. Followup... actually I believe the scene was between Sam Elliott and Ryan Hurst. Not sure why I said Chris Klein. I spoke with Chris and Greg Kinnear the most out of the cast. Both really nice guys. Many of you seem familiar with the scene I'm referencing, as it's a pretty funny scene where Ryan says something like 'Nice day huh sir?' and Sam says something to the effect 'How the f--k would you know what kind of day it is?'. I can't recall exactly. It's been a while since I watched the movie. I run by behind Sam in one cut and walk by in another. It was actually two separate scenes in the movie. A little more background... My buddies and I were hammered at a party and randomly decided to drive to Fort Benning to try and be extras in the movie. Somehow we managed to get in and ended up being military extras even though we weren't military. They gave us all buzz cuts and uniforms and made us stand in formation for the scene where Mel Gibson gives a speech to the troops before they go to Vietnam. That scene took up most of the day and we were all heading back to wardrobe when I got picked for the Sam Elliott scene. Honestly I probably shouldn't have been there in the first place, but it was an awesome experience. My girlfriend was super pissed about my gapped up new haircut. Totally worth it to get cussed out by Sam Elliott"

The Granola Wrapper
The Granola Wrapper

"A buddy of mine was a student at the University of Michigan while Michael Phelps was training there under Bob Bowman. He and a few friends were walking outside the natatorium and ran into Phelps, who was eating a granola bar while heading in to practice. They were pretty awestruck, and headed over in hopes of a photo or potential blumpkin. Phelps quickly finished his granola bar in order to shake my buddy's hand. As they were shaking hands he transferred the wrapper to my buddy, leaned in, whispered 'you can keep that', and promptly walked off"

Wild Joaquin
Wild Joaquin

"Joaquin Phoenix and the drummer from the Raconteurs once came into the bar I was hanging out at. (This was post crazy beard phase) He wasn't acting weird or anything but a bunch of girls I guess he knew came in and they were all mingling. Having a good time. I thought it would be fun to buy him (Joaquin) a round of whatever he was drinking. The bartender served it to him, turned around and pointed to me, and Joaquin looked dumbfounded. Like totally flattered. He bowed and mouthed 'Thank you so much!' I felt kinda dumb for doing it. Later on I found out (from the bartender) that he was acting like a madman. Not a total douche but just kinda wild. Irritating folks. Walking in front of cars in the street and being loud. When I asked for my tab (which had been pretty hefty) the bartender told me that he had picked up my bill. And all my friends bills as well. So. Crazy weirdo or not. I'll always remember that kindness. As sad as it was to see him drunkenly irritating the F out of people. F--king Joaquin Phoenix bought my tab"

Kill Bill Blocked
Kill Bill Blocked

"Not me but my mother. A number of years back my mother had a layover in an airport (not sure which one). Lots of planes were delayed at the time so people had lined up at an airport bar, my mother included. While in line, some disheveled old man who looked homeless tried to cut the line. My mother, being the wine-loving, good citizen she is yelled at him and told him to get to the back of the line like everyone else. He was startled but begrudgingly got to the back of the line. People were taken aback that she did that but it didn't faze her. The guy behind her leaned forward and said, 'do you know who that is?'. He then said David Carradine. She said, 'I don't know who that is but he has to get in line like the rest of us'"

Classy Conan
Classy Conan

"I've met Conan O'Brien twice. The first time was awesome. My wife and I were visiting NYC for our anniversary and went to see his show. (Back when he was still doing Late Night at NBC.) The guy that warmed the crowd up before Conan came out asked if it was anyone's birthday or anniversary, and I spoke up and said we were visiting for ours. When Conan came out, he came right up to us to shake our hands and give us a little present. A few years later, we went to go see his show when he was touring inbetween the Tonight Show mess and his TBS show. We were taking a walk around the theater right when his bus happened to pull up, and he came to meet us and a few other fans that were there at the time. He was so visibly exhausted and gaunt looking, after everything that he'd gone through I could totally understand. He still talked with everyone for a few minutes and went on to do a fun show with his band later that night though"

Red Eye
Red Eye

"This is more embarrassing for me... 4am in an airport I ran into Adam Savage. Strike 1: don't talk to anyone in an airport at 4am. They're just as delirious and tired as you are. Strike 2: don't f--k up and say his co-hosts name when you try to say hi. Bonus. He tweeted about 5 minutes later complaining about idiots in airports trying to say hi by calling him Jamie... Learn from my mistake"

Lewis Who?
Lewis Who?

"I saw Lewis Black walking in NYC. He told me to f--k off before I even said anything. Wasn't disappointed"

Forgotten Celebrities
Forgotten Celebrities

"I don't know if anyone outside the UK will know who this is, but I performed at a festival where one of my childhood heroes, Craig Charles, was DJing. I was a massive Red Dwarf fan so I was so excited to meet him. Seeing him backstage, he was just this middle aged guy in sunglasses and a leather jacket trying to hang out with all these young cool bands who didn't know or care who he was. That was kind of sad"

I'd Like to Buy a Vowel
I'd Like to Buy a Vowel

"I was on Jeopardy a few years ago, and was pretty disappointed to learn that the only time you see Alex Trebek is while you're on stage taping the show. He's just very dry and straightforward - not rude, but extremely businesslike"

Kiel. Richard Kiel.
Kiel. Richard Kiel.

"Richard Kiel aka Jaws from the 007 films. It was a shock to see how deteriorated he looked. Riding a scooter because his legs were done, hands shaking, half blind...still signed every DVD and posed for every photo.
Passed away two weeks after that. I also pissed of Joel Edgerton because he didn't like my question, but that's more funny than sad"

A Comedian's Comedian
A Comedian's Comedian

"I met Gilbert Gottfried at a convention, and there was nobody in his line, so we walked right up. He was very nice and soft-spoken, and I think we made his day. He was fairly close to becoming a huge star for a while, and now I bet most of those convention goers don't know anything about him"

Daryl Hannah and JFK Jr. Walk Into a Bar...
Daryl Hannah and JFK Jr. Walk Into a Bar...

"Well, I once wanted to get Daryl Hannah's autograph for my friend who had been crushing on her since FOREVER. I couldn't summon up my courage to approach her directly, so I just asked the dude sitting next to her. He put me off very politely. I went back to my friends empty handed and was complimentary of Mr. Nobody's manners. They told me I'd just asked JFK Jr for Daryl's autograph. Basically, I meant that the encounter made me out to be pretty lame. Lame for being too intimidated to just be direct and ask her, and for being so dopey I didn't even realize that the person I had the guts to ask was, in his own way, just as famous"

How's the Gouda
How's the Gouda

"I was at a cheese shop in the West Village (I realize how douchey this sounds) when I noticed James Spader was at the counter. I was in the middle of a massive Boston Legal binge at the time and absolutely adored his work. So I went to the counter and started looking at the cheese (this is casual, it's a cheese shop for f--k's sake). He was sampling cheeses and I just looked at this man whose work I so admired and respected and said 'how's the Gouda?' Apparently it's delicious. Stupid. Stupid"

Beware the Walk of Fame
Beware the Walk of Fame

"A sh-tfaced Andy Dick tried to molest my male friend on the Hollywood walk of fame, so that was more disturbing then sad"

Damn Those Olives
Damn Those Olives

"Keira Knightley and her plus one were at a bar / theatre / TV studio I used to work at. My manager told me to take a bowl of olives outside to her table. My hands were shaking so hard. She's even more beautiful in real life. I tripped on the leg of the table before hers and landed right on my face. She was ridiculously nice about it. I was mortified. Two of my colleagues were on a break a few tables over and I never heard the end of it"

Keep your Facebook Private
Keep your Facebook Private

"Lostprophets were the first band my sister really liked and Ian Watkins used to message my sister on Facebook. I remember thinking 'what a cool guy, messaging his 12 year old fans' but then the news came out and turned that memory sour"

Grooving
Grooving

"I worked as an assistant manager at a Borders Books & Music. Stephen King came in for a book signing that day, a book called 'From A Buick 8'. It was a Saturday and the store was a mob scene, so I didn't get to see him during the signing. I worked at the music counter, and what Borders used to do was allow customers to come up to the music station, they could bring us a CD or two, and we had these big headphones with chairs so people could sit and listen to a CD before buying it. It's probably an hour or so before the store closed, and I turn around to see Stephen King standing there asking me if he could listen to 'some tunes'. Of course I obliged. He sat there and listened to music until well after the store closed. He was really animated listening, which I found to be odd, but funny. I didn't have the heart to tell him the store closed at 10:00. So, it gets to about 10:20 or 10:30 and he still doesn't realize the store is empty. All the while I'm pretending to work just to avoid making it awkward. The only other closing manager was a friend of mine who ran the coffee shop in the store. He comes over to me, and tells me he's taking off for the night, and sort of all at once realizes what is going on. At any rate - Stephen King saw him out of the corner of his eye, which was enough for him to realize: 'Oh sh-t, the store is empty'. He took his headphones off, laughed, and apologized for 'getting too deep in to the groove'. I told him it was no big deal, that he was one of my favorite authors, and that I would have kept letting him listen. We were just small talking, and King says to Justin (the other manager): 'You work here too?', and Justin replied: 'Yeah, I run the coffee bar', to which Stephen King said: 'Is it too late for a coffee?'. Justin says: 'Absolutely not, I'll go brew a fresh pot'. The three of us sat in a dimly lit Borders cafe drinking coffee for just about an hour, shooting the sh-t about everything from local politics, to the Red Sox, to King's work, to our families, etc. It was an amazing experience that I'll never forget"

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