Who I Saw, 2017 Edition

On the heels of my book inventory for 2017 is this post, my celebrity sighting inventory for 2017.  The New England sophisticate in me hates that I even considered documenting these events, much less put them on my professional website, but the budding Angelino in me, interacted with my forgetfulness, thinks it’s so cool that the people you see on screen are real people.  It’s the maturation of 5 year old me, who thought that actors that died on screen died in real life (they made that sacrifice for the money for their loved ones).  Now, it turns out that the people on screens are people who buy food where I do (Fred Armisen, Whole Foods 365) drink the same coffee (Abbi Jacobson, Intelligentsia; Alia Shawkat, Proof Bakery; Jason Mantzoukas, The League; also, I just realized I spend a lot of time at coffee shops during the week), and even love Trader Joe’s (Andre Royo, Trader Joe’s).

What follows is the list of those we saw, sorted by my favorite. * indicates people my wife saw without me.  It is tough to rank them, and we were very happy to see all of them.  Publicists, please do not write me angry e-mails.

  1. Andre Royo (Bubbles, The Wire) – We stood next to him in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s.  Trader Joe’s, just like any regular city dwelling person in fancy neighborhoods!  The saltier beard is there, but I did not hear him speak to see if the voice is the same.
  2. Abbi Jacobson (Abbi from Broad City) – At the Sunset Junction Intelligentsia, I had just thrown away my coffee as well as my wife’s.  As I returned to our table I noticed her frozen with excitement.  I have learned what that face means, so I looked around.  It took me a few seconds because Abbi had her Season 3 hair, but I had last seen her in Season 2, when it was curlier.  The best part is that we were on our way to the next door cheese shop – ugh writing that is so annoying – and so was Abbi.  She was following us, we were her celebrity!
  3. Alia Shawkat (Maebe from Arrested Development) – I know people grow and the world moves on, but Alia Shawkat will always be Maebe from Arrested Development to me.  (And Michael Cera will always be George Michael.)  I think she will always be Maebe to the other person that noticed her, at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, because that person asked for a photograph.  I’m too classy for that though; I just blog about it.
  4. Jemaine Clement (Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords, band and show)* –  My wife did yoga with him!  He was on a beginner student special at One Down Dog, right across the street from Dinosaur Coffee.  He was a beginner.  Jemaine is basically who I think I would be if I had learned guitar.
  5. Fred Armisen (SNL, generic Portland hipster on Portlandia)* – My wife literally ran into him with her cart at Whole Foods.  I assume this was the start of his courtship process – which I totally would have forgiven – but it turns out to be nothing.  He went to the Express line.
  6. Jason Mantzoukas (Rafi from The League) – Rafi is pretty much the most annoying character in any show I have regularly watched, but seeing him from 50′ away was pretty cool.  The encounter was at Dinosaur Coffee on the edge of Silver Lake, and he fit right in.


What is the secret to our success?  Being in public at off hours.  Most of these sightings happened during the week in the middle of the day or early in the morning on the weekends.


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