Archive | April 2015

Chiller Theatre Spring Spectacular

My favorite show of the year came and went in just two jam-packed hours. Twice a year, I make the 30 minute drive over to the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel for the bi-annual Chiller Theatre Expo. I believe this was the 25th Chiller show, and had quite the enviable guest list. First appearances, old favorites, and of course the usual lineup of convention circuit regulars. Award-winning actress Ann-Margret and Mike Nesmith of The Monkees headlined the show, with second billing going to film & television stars to span the decades, as well as enough professional wrestlers to hold a battle royal.

As usual, I purchased a preshow ticket and got in at 5 o’clock. Almost all of the stars were already stationed at their tables, price lists up, and Sharpies in hand. The crowds were light, allowing traffic and air to flow smoothly. I came in, got pictures & signatures from everyone I needed, did plenty of socializing, had a hot dog, and still made it out in two hours.

Gavin MacLeod ~ Star of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Love Boat," Gavin clearly came dressed for the occasion. A dear man with time and story to tell for every fan who came to his table. He highly recommends his book, This Is Your Captain Speaking.

Gavin MacLeod ~ Star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Love Boat,” Gavin clearly came dressed for the occasion. A dear man with time and story to tell for every fan who came to his table. He highly recommends his book, This Is Your Captain Speaking.

Richard Karn ~ Longtime host of "Family Feud," and Tim Allen's sidekick Al on "Home Improvement," Richard a slew of great photos from the latter series. You can see a bit of a photobomb from Gilbert Gottfried, who when Richard introduced himself as Gilbert's neighbor, he comedian asked if he needed a fence up to his nose, a reference to "Home Improvement" neighbor Wilson.

Richard Karn ~ Longtime host of “Family Feud,” and Tim Allen’s sidekick Al on “Home Improvement,” Richard had a slew of great photos from the latter series. You can see a bit of a photobomb from Gilbert Gottfried, who when Richard introduced himself as Gilbert’s neighbor, the comedian asked if he needed a fence up to his nose, a reference to “Home Improvement” neighbor Wilson.

John Schneider ~ Yet another notch in my belt when it comes down to collecting the cast of "The Dukes of Hazzard." When I remarked at John's height and that he wasn't a little old man like most of the stars I meet, he said, "No, I'm just a tall old man."

John Schneider ~ Yet another notch in my belt when it comes down to collecting the cast of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” When I remarked at John’s height and that he wasn’t a little old man like most of the stars I meet, he said, “No, I’m just a tall old man.”

Vanessa Marcil ~ One of the prettiest leading ladies "General Hospital" ever had, I met Vanessa only once a number of years ago, and I've stockpiled quite a bit of memorabilia in the meantime. I narrowed it down and had her sign a few key pieces. Such a sweetheart, and just absolutely gorgeous.

Vanessa Marcil ~ One of the prettiest leading ladies “General Hospital” ever had, I met Vanessa only once a number of years ago, and I’ve stockpiled quite a bit of memorabilia in the meantime. I narrowed it down and had her sign a few key pieces. And considering I weighed over 200 lbs. and she was pregnant for our last encounter, I figured it was time for an updated photo. Such a sweetheart, and just absolutely gorgeous.

Miss Michael Learned ~ The beloved mother Olivia Walton on "The Waltons," this Emmy winner was gracious, and so sweet. One of those stars that I naturally just felt comfortable chatting with. She happily recalled her time working on "General Hospital."

Miss Michael Learned ~ The beloved mother Olivia Walton on “The Waltons,” this Emmy winner was gracious, and so sweet. One of those stars that I naturally just felt comfortable chatting with. She happily recalled her time working on “General Hospital.”

Don Most & Anson Williams ~ The "Happy Days" duo of Ralph & Potsie was great when it came to photo ops. They did individual photos for everyone and then a group photo. Great guys with great stories, and you can hear all about their days on the legendary ABC sitcom in Anson's book, Singing to a Bulldog.

Don Most & Anson Williams ~ The “Happy Days” duo of Ralph & Potsie was great when it came to photo ops. They did individual photos for everyone and then a group photo. Great guys with great stories, and you can hear all about their days on the legendary ABC sitcom in Anson’s book, Singing to a Bulldog.

Robert Colbert ~ Appearing alongside his costars from "The Time Tunnel," I got Robert for his role of Stuart Brooks on "The Young and the Restless." An original cast member on the long-running soap opera, if it weren't for Robert's ten-year contribution to the series, who knows if it would have made it to where it is today.

Robert Colbert ~ Appearing alongside his costars from “The Time Tunnel,” I got Robert for his role of Stuart Brooks on “The Young and the Restless.” An original cast member on the long-running soap opera, if it weren’t for Robert’s ten-year contribution to the series, who knows if it would have made it to where it is today.

Rip Torn ~ "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball," the words immortalized by Torn's character Patches O'Houlihan in Dodgeball. Sadly, Torn appeared to be quite ill, but in good spirits. Kudos to him for coming out to meet the legions of fans who lined up this weekend.

Rip Torn ~ “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball,” the words immortalized by Torn’s character Patches O’Houlihan in Dodgeball. Sadly, the 84 year old appeared to be quite ill, but in good spirits. Kudos to him for coming out to meet the legions of fans who lined up this weekend.

Mindy Sterling ~ Known to my generation as Frau Farbissina, Dr. Evil's lesbian henchwoman in the Austin Powers series, Mindy has done a number of series and brought to life over 100 characters, several of which she imitated for me tonight.

Mindy Sterling ~ Known to my generation as Frau Farbissina, Dr. Evil’s lesbian henchwoman in the Austin Powers series, Mindy has done a number of series and brought to life over 100 characters, several of which she imitated for me tonight.

Michael Cole ~ Star of "The Mod Squad," and also a "General Hospital" alum, regular readers will know I became acquainted with Michael and his wife, Shelley, through my good friend Wayne. It was great to see them both again and they were ever so gracious. Cannot stress how good of people they both are.

Michael Cole ~ Star of “The Mod Squad,” and also a “General Hospital” alum, regular readers will know I became acquainted with Michael and his wife, Shelley, through my good friend Wayne. It was great to see them both again and they were ever so gracious. Cannot stress enough how good of people they both are.

Brian Knobbs ~ Part of the professional wrestling tagteam, the Nasty Boys, many will remember Knobbs as Hulk Hogan's fun-loving sidekick on "Hogan Knows Best" and its followup series "Brooke Knows Best." Knobbs had fun with the photo ops, going as far as providing a costume.

Brian Knobbs ~ Part of the professional wrestling tagteam, the Nasty Boys, many will remember Knobbs as Hulk Hogan’s fun-loving sidekick on “Hogan Knows Best” and its followup series “Brooke Knows Best.” Knobbs had fun with the photo ops, going as far as providing a costume.

Wesley Eure ~ Didn't originally plan on getting Wesley, star of "Land of the Lost," but he was happy to comply when I said I wanted to send a picture to his "Days of our Lives" relations Bill & Susan Hayes who are vacationing in Virginia Beach.

Wesley Eure ~ Didn’t originally plan on getting Wesley, star of “Land of the Lost,” but he was happy to comply when I said I wanted to send a picture to his “Days of our Lives” relations Bill & Susan Hayes who are vacationing in Virginia Beach.

Overall, it was a great show as always. Couldn’t believe how fast I finished up in there. Again, a special thanks to Kevin Clement, his Chiller staff, and to all of the stars who travel from literally all corners of the world to spend the weekend with their fans.

Super Megafest Spring Fever Spectacular

After I attended my first New England Super Megafest back in November 2013, I didn’t think I would ever return. The show was crammed, unorganized, had major communication flaws, long lines, and very little guests allowed table photos. However, I am happy to report that on Saturday, April 18, I attended their Spring Fever Spectacular and had a great time. Now held at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough MA, the lines flowed smoothly, there was no congestion whatsoever, and I for one didn’t break a sweat. Whatever plan they used, I hope they stick to it.

I went in only needing to see two guests, Erik Estrada and Katherine Helmond. I feared prices would be high and photos wouldn’t be allowed like last time, so I didn’t see myself being there for very long. Luckily, everyone was posing for table photos and prices were very reasonable allowing me to get a few more added bonuses.

Erik Estrada ~ Best known for his role of Officer Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello on "CHiPs". Erik was a sweetheart. The women were all over him and to us men, he was one of the guys. Really took time to make his fans feel welcomed and like a friend.

Erik Estrada ~ Best known for his role of Officer Frank ‘Ponch’ Poncherello on “CHiPs”. Erik was a sweetheart. The women were all over him and to us men, he was one of the guys. Really took time to make his fans feel welcomed and like a friend.

Katherine Helmond ~ Known for her decades of contribution to the sitcom genre, the "Soap," "Who's the Boss?" "Coach," and "Everybody Loves Raymond" star was funny, sly, and joked about the pains of growing old. If all goes according to plan, she'll reprise her role of Doris Sherman on the upcoming NBC revival of "Coach."

Katherine Helmond ~ Known for her decades of contribution to the sitcom genre, the star of “Soap,” “Who’s the Boss?” “Coach,” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” was funny, sly, and joked about the pains of growing old. If all goes according to plan, she’ll reprise her role of Doris Sherman on the upcoming NBC revival of “Coach.”

Diana Canova ~ Seated next to her television mother, I had previously met Diana at the last Chiller show, but only dropped money for an autograph. This time, I went for a photo op. After three photos of blinking, we finally shot the flash off and captured this beauty.

Diana Canova ~ Seated next to her television mother, I had previously met Diana at the last Chiller show, but only dropped money for an autograph. This time, I went for a photo op. After three photos of blinking, we finally shot the flash off and captured this beauty.

Ken Page ~ The voice of Oogie Boogie in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, I've seen Ken at many shows before, but have never met him. I guess I was on a roll of impulse doing and finally did so today.

Ken Page ~ The voice of Oogie Boogie in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, I’ve seen Ken at many shows before, but have never met him. I guess I was on a roll of impulse doing and finally did so today.

Maria Kanellis ~ Any of my regular readers will recognize this Ring of Honor valet and former WWE Diva. Whenever I see her, I just have to get a new photo.

Maria Kanellis ~ Any of my regular readers will recognize this Ring of Honor valet and former WWE Diva. Whenever I see her, I just have to get a new photo.

All in all, a great time was had. I managed to be out of there and back on the road after just an hour, and no only does that include time spent with the above celebrities, but also browsing through the vendors’ area and catching up with many great friends whom I haven’t seen in months.

Lisa Jakub

As I have said in previous posts, April promised to be a busy month from the get-go. On Friday, April 18th, I heard author and former child actress Lisa Jakub would be on campus at Johnson & Wales University giving a talk titled What Now?, the story of a major career change in order to stay happy and true to oneself. As she puts it on her Twitter page, Lisa’s resume includes Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, and many bad TV movies.

This free event ran from noon until 2, and lunch and refreshments were served. Lisa read excerpts from her new book, You Look Like That Girl: A Child Actor Stops Pretending and Finally Grows Up, due out on June 15. I’d say there were about 20-25 people there. Lisa was great, open, honest, and really quite enlightening. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of her book, I know I’ll be reading it.

Lisa Jakub and I after her talk What Now?. Everyone in attendance agreed on one thing, Lisa looks like she hasn't aged a day since she played Lydia Hillard in 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire

Lisa Jakub and I after her talk What Now?. Everyone in attendance agreed on one thing, Lisa looks like she hasn’t aged a day since she played Lydia Hillard in 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire

General Hospital Fantasy Weekend

Like I’ve said previously, April is a busy month for me. Yesterday, April 12, I took a ride down to the Fairbridge Hotel & Conference Center in East Hanover, NJ, for the second annual General Hospital Fantasy Weekend. Conceived last year by Dino Ibelli of Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club and Linda Rohe of Coastal Entertainment, Fantasy Weekend is the east coast’s largest GH event bringing 10 cast members to New York and New Jersey for a weekend of events dedicated to the fans. I didn’t attend the inaugural event last April, but I won tickets to this year’s back in October at the Soap Fantasy Reunion event. Naturally, I’ve met the entire group of stars already, but honestly, I just can’t get enough of these folks.

Representing the #1 cast in daytime were Ian Buchanan (Duke Lavery), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine), William deVry (Julian Jerome), Kathleen Gati (Dr. Liesl Obrecht), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), Rick Hearst (Ric Lansing), Wally Kurth (Ned Ashton), Ryan Paevey (Nathan West), Michelle Stafford (Nina Clay), & Laura Wright (Carly Jacks).

I’m not even going to try and explain the flow of the event, because if you weren’t there, you’ll be confused. The event went a little longer than planned, but honestly, I was just so happy to be there, time flew right by.

William deVry (Julian) ~ Will was a little under the weather and a lot quieter than usual, but the women certainly didn't seem to mind.

William deVry (Julian) ~ Will was a little under the weather and a lot quieter than usual, but the women certainly didn’t seem to mind.

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) ~ A fan favorite for nearly 20 years, Nancy is one of the greatest. The brunt of the Q&A ended up being playfully directed at her, but like the trooper she is, she soaked it up.

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) ~ A fan favorite for nearly 20 years, Nancy is one of the greatest. The brunt of the Q&A ended up being playfully directed at her, but like the trooper she is, she soaked it up.

Wally Kurth (Ned) ~ He plays a Quartermaine, so I see past any flaws Wally may have. He's a wonderful man, and I'm sorry to see him leaving the GH event circuit so soon after we got him back.

Wally Kurth (Ned) ~ He plays a Quartermaine, so I see past any flaws Wally may have. He’s a wonderful man, and I’m sorry to see him leaving the GH event circuit so soon after we got him back. We even shared a brownie after the event!

Michelle Stafford (Nina) ~ Only met Michelle once, and you would never know it. She treated everyone as dear friends, especially us men, whom she is clearly very fond of, despite a photo of her and Nancy which Ian and Laura will never let them live down.

Michelle Stafford (Nina) ~ Only met Michelle once, and you would never know it. She treated everyone as dear friends, especially us men, whom she is clearly very fond of, despite a photo of her and Nancy which Ian and Laura will never let them live down.

Ian Buchanan (Duke) ~ Ian is just the sweetest gentleman and so dedicated to his fans. Not only does he never fail to remember names, but he knows birthdays, milestones, and probably our social security numbers.

Ian Buchanan (Duke) ~ Ian is just the sweetest gentleman and so dedicated to his fans. Not only does he never fail to remember names, but he knows birthdays, milestones, and probably our social security numbers.

Laura Wright (Carly) ~ Oh, how I adore this beauty. Haven't seen her in a couple years, but you'd never know it. Our co-host for the day, Laura becomes lovelier at every event.

Laura Wright (Carly) ~ Oh, how I adore this beauty. Haven’t seen her in a couple years, but you’d never know it. Our co-host for the day, Laura becomes lovelier at every event.

Kathleen Gati (Obrecht) ~ Talk about a real-life angel. Kathleen is so down-to-earth and to put it quite mildly, amazing. Like Ian, she remembers names and makes sure she is connected with her fans on all forms of social media.

Kathleen Gati (Obrecht) ~ Talk about a real-life angel. Kathleen is so down-to-earth and to put it quite mildly, amazing. Like Ian, she remembers names and makes sure she is connected with her fans on all forms of social media.

Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) ~ Our other co-host for the day, Tyler has been coming out to meet the fans for nearly 20 years now. I look forward to attending his Fan Club Weekend event in August.

Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) ~ Our other co-host for the day, Tyler has been coming out to meet the fans for nearly 20 years now. I look forward to attending his Fan Club Weekend event in August.

Rick Hearst (Ric) ~ We really got lucky with this batch of cast members, because here's another one who treats his fans like members of the family. Rick noticed my 35 lb weight loss since the last time we saw each other, and pulled me aside to see if my health was alright. If that's not class, I don't know what is.

Rick Hearst (Ric) ~ We really got lucky with this batch of cast members, because here’s another one who treats his fans like members of the family. Rick noticed my 35 lb weight loss since the last time we saw each other, and pulled me aside to see if my health was alright. If that’s not class, I don’t know what is.

Ryan Paevey (Nathan) ~ This was only my second time meeting Ryan, and he was a lot quieter than I expected, but like with Will, the women were drooling. I expect him to be a pro at handling these events by the time Fan Club Weekend rolls around in August.

Ryan Paevey (Nathan) ~ This was only my second time meeting Ryan, and he was a lot quieter than I expected, but like with Will, the women were drooling. I expect him to be a pro at handling these events by the time Fan Club Weekend rolls around in August.

The day was well spent in the company of so many friends I have made at these events over the years. I am truly honored to be able to call the amazing cast of General Hospital my friends. They are without a doubt, the sweetest people on this earth. And that also can be said for Kathleen’s husband, Michael, and Nancy’s daughter, Kate. A special thanks to Dino, Linda, Paula, and the two charities, Contractors for Kids and Tunnel to Towers. Looking forward to the next event!!!

On Location: November Criminals

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last checked in on here. As usual, the winter months proved to be quite uneventful for me and I went over four months without partaking in my favorite. April always promises to be quite the busy month for me, and that proved true when on March 31st, movie magic was made at just the foot of my driveway.

For the better part of the day, Chloë Grace Moretz & Ansel Elgort filmed a handful of scenes for the upcoming film, November Criminals. I went outside and watched for just over an hour, but with no signs of Chloë and Ansel taking some downtime to meet the fans who had gathered to watch, I went back inside. I came out again an hour later, and after another hour of watching, Chloë initiated the impromptu meet & greet with the now large crowd of screaming college students. Ansel followed soon after. Both took pictures with everyone and could not have been more gracious, especially after a day of filming out in the cold. David Strathairn was also present during the day, but was long gone by the time the fans got their moment with the stars.

Chloé Grace Moretz ~ Kick-Ass, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Carrie

Chloé Grace Moretz ~ Kick-Ass, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Carrie, If I Stay

Ansel Elgort ~ The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, Carrie

Ansel Elgort ~ The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, Carrie

Overall, this was a nice surprise to wake up to. It’s not every day that the stars literally come to your front door.