Encounter 1 -
hi depp fan folks,
i just got back from the letterman taping and wanted to get my report down while everything is still fresh.
i was very lucky to get a ticket. as you might know, i work for a newspaper and at one time i did the daily tv and local event listings for the sports section. one part of my job was to keep in contact with the publicity people for the different networks. i always had a good relationship with them and it was that relationship than enabled me to get a letterman ticket. last week i called one of my old contacts and asked her if she could help me. well, she busted her ass for me! it took her a few days but yesterday morning she told me she had been successful and she got me a ticket. all i had to do was show up this afternoon with my confirmation letter and a photo i.d. of myself and i was in.
johnny was already iniside when i got to the theater. i hope those outside were able to see him. the production assistant greeting people at the door told me that since i was a guest of cbs i would have one of the best seats in the house. that was a surprise because i had thought that there would be a mad scramble for seats. the cbs guests, 40 or 50 of us i estimate, were taken to the balcony and seated in order in the front rows of the balcony. i got worried at one point because they were running out of seats in the front rows of the center section and stopped seating people when i was number 3 in line. they sent up back over to the left side, where they had already started seating people who had been behind me in line. i was almost ready to protest, when the usher asked me how many were in my party. i told him i was alone, so he smiled and pointed to a single seat on the aisle -- in the front row -- wow! i had been worried for nothing. i wanted to go to the bathroom so badly, but i had to wait until they finished filling the balcony. non-cbs guests got the seats in the back. i also found out that the seats on the floor level weren't as good as i had thought they would be. camera men and cue-card men and the director and other floor workers were running around blocking the view. but i hurried to the bathroom and got back in time for the warm-up. you know, when they tell you to laugh at everything whether it's funny or not. then they introduced the orchestra. we had a special treat because b.b. king was sitting in with the orchestra. so during the commercial breaks we had the pleasure of listening to him sing and play. having him there was an extra special attraction that i hadn't planned on. he was terrific.
they tape the show straight through without stopping so they whole thing was over in an hour. but it seemed like 3 or 4 hours before johnny came out. he was the first guest after all that silly comedy stuff and my heart certainly skipped a beat or two when he finally walked across the stage to meet dave. i think the stage actually got brighter when he came out. he was dressed in baggy pants and was wearing a vest over a plaid long-sleeved shirt, blue and green i think. he had a gold watch chain hanging out of his front pants pocket and was wearing rings on both hands. the one on the right hand was very shiny. he had on glasses with dark frames, brown, or tortoise-shell, it was a little hard to tell; but they suited him very well. he had neat facial hair in a goatee style. but the fabulous thing was his hair. it was blond, a very natural looking soft blond color, not white. and, it was gleeming. it would swing loosely whenever he moved his head. i loved that hair. needless to say, he was absolutely stunning and completely adorable. dave asked him about his gold teeth, which he said he hadn't had time to remove yet and they talked about dental problems, aparently johnny has had some root canal problems lately. he said he had to have one done during the potc filming. he had to be knocked out completely for it, 5 or 6 hours, he said. he also had a bit of a cold and was a little nasal. dave asked him about the children and he told a funny story about lily-rose asking him questions about god. i won't ruin it for those of you who will watch him tonight. he also told another funny story about going through customs with some "vitamin powder" that had exploded in his luggage. they showed a clip from potc with johnny and orlando bloom sword fighting. they discussed france a little and johnny actually made a political statement or two. again i don't want to give it all away.
sadly his time on stage wasn't long enough for me. but they were in commerical when he actually left the stage, so tv viewers probably won't see him waving to all of us and shaking hands with letterman and the crew and waving to the band members. all in all, he was totally charming, sweet, relaxed and absolutely beautiful. i was truly blessed to be that close to him. he was definitely a "presence" in the room. letterman again told the audience that johnny was the "coolest guest we ever had" and he certainly was.
unfortunately, by the time we got out of the theater, he had gone so i didn't get to meet him but i consider myself truly lucky to have been in the same place with him and it's a memory i'll carry with me always. i only hope that all his fans can have the same experience at some point. he's a treasure.
i didn't want to give too much away last night since the show hadn't aired but now that americans have had a chance to see it, i'll be gladl to tell you more. i know that some people in the u.k. will see it later today, so don't read any more if you want to be surprised.
johnny said he'd just flown in from portugal and france and that he had a 3 day cold, which he said would be a 4 day cold tomorrow. he and dave had some banter about how long the cold would last. and then he talked about customs coming on the private plane he was flying on. he said he always felt a little nervous and "guilty" under those circumstances and told about meeting the big customs man and, because of his cold, he sniffed. of course, everybody laughed at the drug reference. dave asked him about former customs experiences and he told a story about flying in from peru and being immediately stopped by customs and asked what was in the bag he was carrying. "piranhas," he told the agent. he explained to dave that he had some shellacked pirahnas in the bag and a vampire bat. "dead," he said. then he told about also having a bottle of "vitamin powder" which had exploded during the flight and when the customs agent unzipped his bag the powder poofed up the the man's face. he was very charming telling that story and quite funny. his economy with words makes his stories even funnier than they would be ordinarily.
dave asked him about his gold teeth, which he said he "forgot" to have removed before he left l.a. after filming potc and would have removed next week. then they talked about why he hadn't shown up for the show during his promotions for blow. he had had a root canal and wasn't feeling well. he said it was a double root canal and that he had had another double root canal during the filming of potc. but had been knocked out for that since it took 6-8 hours. again, his telling of the root canal story was quite funny. he told about getting an i.v., which he hadn't wanted, to be put out for the procedure. he started counting backwards, "ninety-nine, ninety-eight, -- three."
he talked a little about being an american in france and about how the american government wanted to change the name of french fries to freedom fries. he said he wanted to write a letter thanking the government for proving "globally" that they were "imbeciles." that got a big laugh. fortunately the other guest for the evening, christine todd whitman, who is a member of george w. bush's cabinet, wasn't on stage at the time.
then dave asked him about being a father. of course, his face lit up. when dave asked him what it was like he said it was like "hanging around with a miniture drunk." "you have to hold on to them, they bump into things, they laugh, they cry, they urinate, they vomit." dave asked about his daughter, his face lit up again and he told a story about lily-rose sitting him down and asking him if god was afraid of dogs, if god had seen the dinosaurs, and if god had a maid. i hope you'll be able to see the tape, because there's no way i can convey to you how funny and touching johnny was talking about how "profound" his 4-year-old daughter is.
they talked about filming potc. dave said it's a pirate story and also a ghost story, isn't it. johnny said, "i think so. i haven't seen it yet." they got ready to show a clip and dave asked him if he knew what the clip was going to be. johnny said that somebody told him something back stage, but "i don't remember." again, lots of laughter. then they showed a clip of johnny and orlando bloom sword fighting.
unfortunately that was all there was. and they didn't cut any of it, so the only thing you'll miss when you see the tape is johnny leaving the stage, waving to all of us and shaking hands with the people on stage. that was done during a commerical break.
like i said, there's no way i can convey to you how charming and truly funny he is by only telling you about it. you need to see him. so much of his humor is in the way he talks, not in just what he says. i'm sure you know that by things you've seen in the past. hopefully someone can make a tape for those of you in europe. in case you haven't heard already, he will be on abc's 20/20 this friday and on the tonight show with jay leno next friday. there are other interview coming up, too. it's going to be hard to keep up with him the next couple of weeks.