I wanted to like the guy, I really did. In many ways his growing success was an inspiration to all of us. His career was moving at top speed and in short order he would be gaining superstar status. After all, he was playing the top Vegas night spots, along with concerts and comedy albums. Now, a prime time television show and an animated cartoon special would be added to his portfolio. I considered it an honor to be associated with the talented entertainer because in many ways he was paving the road to success for all of us. Being around actors and entertainers was hardly anything new for me, but this guy was incredibly successful and his popularity was soaring. I couldn’t help but be just a little bit excited about meeting the star in person.
It would be our first meeting on the Warner Bros. studio lot where the prime time television show was being filmed. Of course, we had made many visits to the Beverly Hills office for meetings, but the famous comedy star was seldom available for a sit down. His busy schedule had him on the road and meeting time was limited. For now, his new television show would keep him in town for a while, so we took advantage of the situation to discuss our plans for upcoming projects. My partner and I entered the darken soundstage and an assistant ushered us to a large trailer parked inside the stage. If you’re familiar with the world of show business you already know that a trailer is a special space reserved for those who have obtained star status. As we were shown to a small room, the star was already in a rather intense conversation with the director of the show. Their meeting quickly ended and the director headed back to the set. We imagined the issue had been settled and now it was our turn. The famous comedy star was taller than I had imagined and he leaned back in his chair as he puffed on a large Cuban cigar. The plumes of smoke might have annoyed some, but my dad was a cigar smoker so I was more than used to it. The star wasn’t rude, but there was no time for chit chat. We immediately got down to business and quickly hammered out the agenda. Having often watched the comedy star perform on stage, I suppose I was waiting for a little lightness in our conversation. Perhaps a joke or a funny comment concerning what we were hoping to do. However, there was none of that and our meeting rapidly concluded with, “take care of it,” or get that stuff done!” It appeared the star needed to get back to work, so there was little time for graciousness. This never struck me as unusual in any way. After all, celebrities are often not the same person they appear to be on stage or screen.
You’ll gain no further insights here because I have absolutely nothing to say concerning the star’s current difficult situation. I will say that from this initial meeting on the Warner Bros. studio lot so many years ago I regretfully found the star remarkably unlikable. And, I do not say this lightly, because it’s my nature to like people immediately. Even people I’ve never met before. However, something made me uncomfortable. Something nagged at me after each meeting with the famous celebrity. I truly wanted to like this guy - and he should have been my inspiration. Further, I don’t want to say he didn’t do good things on occasion, because he could show incredible generousity. However, he didn’t strike me as a good person. Sadly, my initial instincts were correct and it now appears the once well loved comedy star has proven himself to be incredibly unlikable.