Chris Elliott

“I loved you in Manhunter!”

That was something somebody in the (overflowing I must say) audience at Chris Elliott’s Powells reading shouted just as Elliott took his place behind the microphone. And… considering the tenor of much of the question-and-answer session, it’s pretty appropriate.

See… the Q and A had the ring to it of… people dredging up obscurities from Chris Elliott’s career for the sake of impressing upon everyone (most especially Chris Elliott himself) the depth of their fandom. (To the question of “Hot Dog Boy?”, the answer: “You work up an episode once a week, and sometimes you do things you regret.” Google ‘hot dog boy’ with “Chris Elliott” or “Get A Life” and you’ll get the subject to what that refers to.)

I can say this though: his story about writing a book report for Treasure Island, not having read the book and thus making stuff up as he went along… the teacher reading it to the class, and “it was killer material”… and the report gets an “F”, but hey! “It killed!”? Somewhere in the midst of the q and a, Elliott glibbly gave it away as false. But it’s a true story. How do I know? Because it’s included in the Late Night With David Letterman — the Book (in that odd section of original material.) [See now… I can out-obscuro even that couple who brought in a poster saying “Chris Elliott IS The Regulator” (where did that thing come from??)… or that one weird fellow who raised his hand one too many time to ask a question, to whom Elliott tongue-in-cheekly pulled something reminscent of a William Shatner.)

He had his line down pat for any question concerning what Biff Henderson or Larry Bud Melmon (or likely any other cast member of Letterman) is like. Sternly, he says: “Biff Henderson has been dead for ten years.” (And thus, the audience is discouraged from asking the question more than twice.)

“Where’s Spewey?” Probably in a backlot at Fox studios somewhere. “People think that we based Spewey on E.T. No… actually Adam Resnick and I once saw this terrible movie, um… MacDonald?” (someone in the audience “Mac and Me!” “Yes! Mac and Me… and that’s where we based Spewey off of. Gawd, that was an ugly alien!” Considering that Mac and Me is a rip-off of E.T., and considering that the Spewey episode includes that parody where Chris rides off over the cliff with Spewey (CRASH!)… I don’t see what this means.

The 20-something year old woman standing to my right was most ecstatic when Chris Elliott suggested that he (and I guess it was Adam Resnick) wanted to stage performances of “Zoo Animals on Wheels”. (Read it for yourself here… Want to see that actually performed right in front of your very eyes?)

Incidentally, mentions of the movie Cabin Boy was not the applause line you’d think it might be… this was definitely more of a “Get A Life” crowd.

In defense of only a couple questions being asked about the actual book, consider that there’s not much of an opportunity to have read it. The crowd was here to purchase the book and have Elliott autograph the it.

The mother sitting diagonally in front of me… her 10 or 11 year old daughter sitting next to me (alongside her friend). The daughter had earlier noticed a book on Andy Warhol in the batch of books that are in our sight — she’s apparently doing a project on Andy Warhol for school, which I find curious. The Mom opens up the book to the photo of Chris Elliott, to see if she recognizes him. “OH! I know who he is… He was in…” (thinks hard to remember) “Snow Day!” Mom: “I knew there had to be a movie you’ve seen that had him in it.” Friend: “Oh! Also in… Scary Movie 2!” “He must be in a ton of movies!”

Two more attendees of. (the Chris Elliott Reading and Signing.

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