Prepare to Be Jealous of All the Celebrity Sightings From My First Year in LA

As with all things at the ol’ blogging headquarters lately, the “I’ve been living in LA for one year” blog is going to be late, probably by a year or so. June 1st was officially the one-year anniversary of me executing my half-assed scheme of coming to LA, getting hired to write for TV immediately, and then drowning in money for the rest of my life. That flawless-sounding plan hasn’t gone exactly how I expected. But soon enough all the pieces will fall into place. Until then, I guess I’m stuck blogging for free for all you freeloading blog readers.

Since I don’t have time for a full recap of the first 365 glorious days of my new life, I figured you’d at least want to know about all the amazing celebrity sightings my girlfriend and I have experienced over that time.

After all, it seems like you’d have to be a complete loser not to constantly be seeing celebrities all around this area.

Let’s run through this murderer’s row of incredible celebrity sightings:

1). Will Arnett

will arnett

Yes, Will Arnett is the closest thing we’ve seen to an A-list actor since we arrived in LA. Which is to say we haven’t come close to seeing a true A-list actor yet. But for fans of Arrested Development, Blades of Glory and Up All Night (not sure any fans of that show actually exist), this is a big score. We saw Will while hiking with our dog one day. Usually our dog has to stop and play with every other dog she sees on the trails, but for some reason she completely ignored Will’s dog…the one time we wanted her to go after another dog so he would have to stop and talk to us. I was ready to start pitching TV pilots with great characters for him to play, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Apparently Will has a role in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot so his star is certainly on the rise.

2). Ian Gomez

ian gomez

You know it’s a pathetic list when the #2 person on it is someone Julie and I couldn’t even name when we saw him multiple times at our favorite sports bar in Culver City. It took Julie hours of collaboration via text message with a friend of hers for us to finally figure out who the hell we were staring at. He’s this high on the list because he’s a regular on Cougar Town. Just the fact that he’s on a current TV show puts him ahead of most of the others on this list. He’s mainly a TV actor who started out way back in the 90’s on shows like Murphy Brown and Melrose Place. He’s credited with appearing in over 70 shows or films, but Cougar Town seems to be his first extended run of success on a single show.

3). Blake Anderson

blake anderson

My personal favorite on this list. I’m not sure if it counts as a true sighting because I actually met him on the set of Workaholics when a friend of a friend brought me along to watch them tape an episode. So it wasn’t a random spotting around the city or anything. But we’ll count it. Besides, I got to shake his hand and tell him I’m a comedy writer. I missed a huge opportunity though by not making a joke during the 17 seconds we talked. A perfect joke there could have had me set for life as one of his writing partners. If you haven’t watched Workaholics and you’re not adverse to raunchy college stoner humor, you should give it a try on Netflix Instant immediately. The only reason I ranked him below Mr. Gomez is because Blake doesn’t have the longevity in acting that baldy has. But Blake’s star is on the rise big time, as any Arrested Development fans should remember seeing him and his Workaholic co-stars in episode 1 of the new season.

4). Gilles Marini

gilles marini

Oh, you’ve never heard of him either? I would have never spotted this “celebrity” on my own. We were hiking in Runyon Canyon one day, a place known for its celebrity sightings, and Julie is 98% sure we walked right by him. She didn’t know his actual name either, just that he was the hot neighbor from Sex and the City, the Movie. According to IMDB, that really is all he’s known for. It looks like he’s appeared in some  well-known TV shows like Modern Family, Castle and Brothers & Sisters.

5). Kerr Smith

kerr smith

Ten years ago, Mr. Smith might have been #1 on this list because his role as Jack McPhee on Dawson’s Creek would have been relevant back then. Another Julie sighting that might have gone unnoticed by me. We were at a Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica for Cinco de Mayo when she spotted him with a group of friends. We both decided that he must have given up acting in 2003 when Dawson’s ended, but to my surprise it looks as if he’s appeared in many TV shows and films since then. To me, he’ll always be the gay guy from Dawson’s Creek whose name I never bothered to remember.

6). Brian Wilson

brian wilson

Only at #6, and already we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Maybe he should be higher on my list because his ridiculous beard coupled with the San Francisco Giants’ 2010 World Series run made him somewhat famous, but currently he’s not on a baseball team and has disappeared from the limelight entirely. So we’re sticking him at the (near) bottom. Another spotting from a Runyon Canyon hike. He was jogging and still had the long beard. Obviously that made him unmistakable. He was also wearing a lot of spandex at the time, in case that’s the type of detail that interests you.

7). Benjamin Patton

ben patton

Who the fuck is Ben Patton, right? Anyone who doesn’t have their own Wikipedia page can’t possibly be a celebrity, right? Well I present to you the 7th most exciting celebrity we’ve seen in LA: a reality show contestant whose 15 minutes of fame really did last about 15 minutes. Ready For Love, an NBC matchmaking reality show executive produced by Eva Longoria lasted all of a few episodes before it was cancelled. Since we had an actual connection to one of the contestants, we taped the show, and I can promise you it was horrific. Last July we went to a winery in Malibu and were pleasantly surprised to see that they were taping an episode of this show only a few feet away from our table. We were nearly kicked out for stalking all the people involved with the show, but not before we got to see some of the women that were vying for Ben’s affection start fighting with each other because they were so drunk off the unlimited supply of wine (not physically fighting, more like yelling at each other and crying to the producers behind each other’s backs).

So there you have it. Potentially the worst celebrity sightings list in the history of celebrities. At least we get to hear all the time about our luckier friends bumping into a Kardashian or an Oprah around town. Maybe in year two Julie and I will finally graduate from C-list sightings to B-list sightings? Fingers crossed.

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Topeka’s Biggest Celebrity Visits LA Then Writes About It…Sort Of

[Editor’s Note: You’ve probably noticed guest blogs popping up on the WBFF blog recently. Not only does this give me more free time to sit by the pool at my apartment complex and take random weekday trips to Palm Springs (my current location), but it allows me to tweak my resume to say something like, “Responsible for managing a team of writers on an internationally-renowned blog.” I’m happy to introduce a new guest blogger today, Matt Blanchette. And he’s not just any ordinary Schmoe…Matt happens to be the pride of Topeka…Yes, Topeka, Kansas. Feel free to read more about my most famous guest blogger HERE. Matt was our first official visitor in LA over the 4th of July week, and we did our best to stay busy. We agreed that having him write about his experiences would be a good way for other would-be-visitors to decide if visiting us in LA is worthwhile or not. For some reason he seemed nervous about writing too much in this blog post (something about boring people, which I try never to worry about), so I’ve taken the liberty of adding to his thoughts (my comments in red). Enjoy.]

First off, I want to thank Ross for allowing me to be his second guest blogger, and god help me I am determined to do better than a series of blogs about Euro League Soccer.

I found myself with some free time over 4th of July and campaigned some friends for a free place to stay. Ross and Julie were very insistent that I head west, so LA it was.

Our visit started with a look at Ross’ new “haircut.” And by “haircut”, I mean “letting it grow out in any direction for as long as possible without ever trying to tame it in any way.” Turns out, I missed the accompanying mustache by a few days. So if this whole comedy writer thing doesn’t pan out, I am sure there is a 70’s era porn star impersonation gig available for Ross. [It’s true, I haven’t gotten a haircut in at least three months. I tried to keep the mustache going for as long as possible, but it got really itchy and almost caused me to be unexpectedly single. Here are some pictures of the three-week experimental mustache and the “hair growing in any direction.”]

First stop on my trip, a hike in Malibu. Aside from getting lost looking for a lake, which turned out to be nothing more than a puddle, the highlight came from a 15-year-old girl at the swimming hole. Basically this was a cliff jump into the water, but one girl decided to stand on the edge of the cliff for 20 minutes while everyone screamed at her to either jump or die.

Long story short, after we left, three fire engines and ambulances raced towards the hole. I can only assume this is her:

[Matt’s totally underselling just how ridiculous this swimming hole scene was at Malibu Creek State Park. It was a small swimming area littered with douchey teenagers who had absolutely no adult supervision. If it hadn’t been so damn hot out, and if we hadn’t been promising Matt an awesome lake to swim in, we probably wouldn’t have bothered jumping into the swimming hole because it just seemed like something bad was going to happen with all those kids. Julie even said this out loud while we were swimming. The funny part (if there is a funny part to this story) was when we left the hole and were walking down the trail towards the parking lot. We heard sirens in the distance and joked about how they must be coming up to Malibu Creek because that girl who refused to jump fell off the cliff and killed herself. Two minutes later those fire engines and ambulances are tearing up the trail towards the hole. Anyway, below is a picture that kind of shows you what we’re talking about. And also, getting lost wasn’t a total downer because Matt & Julie got to play inside some props from M*A*S*H.]

After Malibu Creek, it was off to a Malibu Vineyard…where they happened to be shooting season one of “Ready For Love,” the new reality show from your favorite housewife and mine, Eva Longoria.

The setup is simple: a good-looking guy takes multiple women out on dates one after another. In this case Ben, the good-looking guy, had his choice of five or six very attractive, though malnourished, females. I admit, I do not watch reality dating shows, but it was wild.

One of the female producers (who we called Scissors, for her ability to scissor the girls to put them in a good mood) had the unenviable job of coddling each woman while Ben was on dates with the others. In one case a hysterical woman was only put at ease when she was handed another bottle of wine to suck on. Basically all the women sit in the “bullpen” and wait for Ben to call on them.

Ben did get some action, to which I gleefully proclaimed “They’re kissing, they’re kissing.” (I had an entire bottle of wine.)

Look for this scene on the show on NBC this fall!

[Matt’s description of the “They’re kissing, they’re kissing!” moment doesn’t come close to doing it justice. Here’s how I would have described it: “And after two hours of staring at these reality show contestants nonstop—to the point where we wouldn’t have been surprised if security had asked us to leave the premises—we finally saw Ben essentially choose his favorite girl by making out with her…at which point Matt turned into a fifth grader who was seeing two of his classmates kiss for the first time, and he exclaimed in a pre-pubescent shriek, “They’re kissing, they’re kissing!!!”]

Day two (4th of July) was Dodgers Day. If you have not been to Dodgers Stadium, don’t, or at least do not sit in left field. It is basically a stockade. Fans have no access to center or right field, nor the rest of the stadium. You have one bathroom, and one concession stand, which has limited food options (dodger dog, chips, and cracker jacks).

And check out the scoreboard:

I felt like I was watching RBI baseball 1993. Nicely done, Frank McCourt.

As for transportation options, there are none. The traffic is a nightmare, and to walk (which we did) takes about 30 minutes to get to civilization. Luckily we found a dive bar that included a shot of Patron with every beer.

But hey, at least the fireworks at the stadium were good.

[OK, I gotta stop you right there, Matt. The night of the baseball game escalated quickly because when we finally got to “civilization” and jumped inside a bar, the bartender confused me with a drink special to the point where I ended up ordering each of us a beer and two shots. And even though we decided that was too many shots, we went ahead and ordered a third shot just moments later. Other things of note that happened after those shots were: Matt contemplating drinking a beer that a stranger had left on our table, Matt buying a 12-pack of Budweiser over Miller Lite just because the cans had an American Flag symbol on them, Matt & Julie getting in an argument over the difference between a pizza with buffalo sauce on it and a pizza with buffalo mozzarella on it (I did the sensible thing and ordered the pizza with buffalo mozzarella AND got a side order of buffalo wings), and finally, Matt working up the courage to get a picture with one of our childhood idols, the Ultimate Warrior…see below.]

Most of you have stopped reading the blog by now so I will speed through days three and four.

[Matt is really underestimating how bored the WBFF blog readers are at their jobs. He doesn’t seem to understand that people have been reading my ramblings for months now.]

Going to the beach is never a sure bet in LA, as far as I can tell. We were not blessed in that arena.

[What Matt is trying to say here is that we didn’t get good beach weather, and as a matter of fact, I haven’t yet been to the beach in LA when it has been beach weather. I hope that changes soon because why the hell did I move here if it wasn’t for the beach? Here’s a picture to show you just how non-beachy the weather is every time I try to bring someone to a beach in California.]

[For some reason, Matt decided to leave out two of the coolest things we saw on Day Three of his visit: the back of the Hollywood sign (sure everyone can see the front of it from all over LA, but how often do you see the back?), and people randomly getting foamed up and washed down at Venice Beach.]

And if you plan to be a tourist and do sightseeing when you go to LA, appeal to Julie. Ross is not sympathetic in that area.

[Completely true. I will pretend like LA has no sightseeing or landmarks until you’re convinced. And if you’re still not convinced, I’ll tell you that they are all closed for maintenance.]

Also in LA, everyone seems to be in the entertainment business or curious if you are. And you “think” you see celebs everywhere, but we really did not see any that I know of.

[Wow, Matt totally glossed over the fact that on Night Three when we went to a free concert at the Santa Monica Pier, him & Julie spent the entire time staring at a group of people and debating whether one of the women was a celebrity. The entire night. I’m not even exaggerating. Matt was saying things like, “I watch A LOT of TV so I’d know if she was famous…unless she’s on one of those Real Housewives shows or reality TV.” To which Julie quickly replied, “Oh, I’ve got those covered. She’s not from one of those shows.”  This topic is ripe for an entirely separate blog…thinking we see famous people but never being able to put a name to the face.]

So I guess the point of this blog is to get others to visit LA, so I would recommend it. Maybe that will buy me a second blog.

[Gee, thanks for the ringing endorsement, Matt. “I guess Ross wants me to say LA was fun so others will visit…so yeah, it was fun.”]

[For anyone who does decide to visit, I can’t guarantee that we’ll see the filming of a not-going-to-be-on-the-air-long-anyway reality dating show, but I promise we can find a group of people to stare at in Santa Monica and discuss how each of them might be famous.]