One of my favorite ice-breakers to play when I used to work with college students was a game I called "Brush with Fame." This was a simple game where you would go around the room to introduce yourself and then share a story about some type of celebrity interaction or sighting. I usually shared two stories. The first was Mr. McFeely of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood visiting my kindergarten class. (I also met him in DC about 30 years later.)
The second story occurred at the hotel lobby (I don't remember the name) next to Pittsburgh's Civic Arena during the 1990 NHL All-Star weekend. Wayne Gretzky signed autographs for at least an hour and was very cool about it. Meanwhile, Mario Lemieux ran through the lobby as quickly as possible and signed only a handful of autographs. I'm not at all bitter all these years later that my brother was one of the handful of people that got an autograph. Plus, I still had my Wise potato chips Lemieux poster in my room for many years. Meanwhile, I also brought some hockey cards and may have asked Kirk Muller of the New Jersey Devils to sign his card. Unfortunately, I think I handed him a John MacLean card and he replied, "That's not me."
So why do I bring this up? When I lived in San Diego in the late 90s, I visited Los Angeles several times. I assumed that people see famous folks in LA all the time, but apparently, that wasn't the case. I did have one celebrity sighting though. While waiting for (probably well over an hour for) a table at the extremely popular and trendy restaurant called The Cheesecake Factory, I recognized someone picking up food to go. I tried to overhear the conversation between this guy and the restaurant staff, but I didn't get any significant information. The guy: Teddy from the NBC Saturday morning teen TV show Hang Time.
You may know the character Teddy better by his real name, Anthony Anderson. Anderson received an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Comedy for his role on Black-ish. Whether or not he wins an Emmy this weekend, I can now include Anderson the next time I play Brush With Fame. And Carson Daly.