I suppose it was a big deal but I didn’t think so at the time. I had just been added to the writing staff of a new network television show. The show could be described as sketch comedy and it dealt with topics of the day. Though our show could hardly be called successful, it paved the way for a good many other successful television shows such as “Saturday Night Live,” “In Living Color” and the like. We usually had our writers meeting each Monday morning so I decided to arrive early. Most of the offices on the studio lot were still vacant and employees were slow getting into work this particular day. With time to kill, I decided to head out to our sound stage where the show was being filmed. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved musty, dusty sound stages. They’re magical places where movies are made and in a strange way it’s always felt like home. It was a good size stage filled with multiple sets still under construction for the upcoming show. Off to one side was a food cart loaded with coffee, orange juice and a wide selection of donuts and rolls. Since I had nothing else to do I considered having a cup of coffee to pass the time.
As I poured my coffee I suddenly heard a rich, deep voice behind me. “Is this cofffee for us?” he inquired. I turned to see a tall, gaunt gentleman looming over me. I was momentarily taken aback when I realized the gentleman was the actor Leonard Nimoy. “Yes, of course, it is,” I managed to blurt out. “Please help yourself.” And, with those words, I quickly scurried off to my writers meeting. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to tell anyone who would listen about my close encounter with Leonard Nimoy. I also remembered being grateful that we had made a very important correction on the cover of this week’s script. It would appear someone had misspelled Mr. Nimoy’s name and I was certainly glad they had made the correction before he arrived on set.
However, what I remember most about this brief meeting with Leonard Nimoy was what a gentleman he was. I found it incredulous that an actor of his stature would ask permission before pouring a cup of coffee or taking a donut. Leonard Nimoy was a star of considerable stature when he agreed to appear on our show. The fact that he arrived on stage with none of the usual Hollywood bombast or bravado that seems to infect most of tinsel town’s thespians was something I’ll never forget. There’s one final thing I’m glad I did not do that early morning on stage. Not once did I mention Star Trek or Mr. Spock. I can’t help feeling Mr. Nimoy was grateful for that.