Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I did a few improv shows but always as part of a group. And I was the warm-up man on CHEERS so a few thousand people in total saw me do that. I’ve been able to lead a pretty stealth life.
The first time I was recognized was a few weeks after I began broadcasting for the Mariners in 1992. I was primarily on the radio but we had a few TV games and I would be on-camera during the openings. So that was what, 90 seconds of face time? I went to the Bellvue Mall to pick up some things one morning. I was wearing a ratty t-shirt, shorts, and needed a shave – in other words, my usual attire. Three people stopped me and said they enjoyed me on the Mariner games. I was gobsmacked.
After that I had to actual look presentable when I went outside in Seattle. Fortunately, when we went on the road I was once again anonymous and could dress like a bum in Milwaukee.
However, in Seattle I would get stopped all the time. At restaurants, my wife was always astounded when anybody wanted my autograph.
Same in San Diego when I did the Padres radio and TV. Of course the minute I stopped doing TV I was immediately forgotten. We all get our fifteen minutes, right?
Over the last few years I’ve been occasionally stopped by fans of this blog. I’m always amazed (and DELIGHTED by the way). It’s not like my photo is on the masthead. What’s been particularly nice is that on several of these occasions my daughter, Annie was with me. So it gives her the false illusion that her father is somebody.
Cubs’ pitcher, Jeff Hirsch had grown up in LA, went to UCLA, and was a regular in the audience the first season of CHEERS. He was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. (Ironically, we since have become lifelong friends.)
I must admit it’s kind of fun to be recognized. But then the paparazzi is not hanging out in trees across the street, no one who isn't hungry is going through my garbage, and embarrassing selfies are not circulating around the internet. And I bet George Wendt is just a tad weary of people shouting “Norm!” at him wherever he goes.
So if you should ever see me, please stop and say hello. I apologize in advance for how I’m dressed.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM