Question of the Day

Which celebrity are you a fan of although you have a feeling that they’re a jerk in real life?

Alton Brown. Good Eats was by far my favorite show on the Food Network. And I have a funny feeling he’s a gigantic douche in real life.

Comments

56 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. albaby,

    From the time I was a young impressionable teen, I was a huge fan of Elvis Costello. Then I found out about the ‘Ray Charles comment.” I was completely disillusioned. I haven’t bought an Elvis Costello album since.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. Dale,

    David Letterman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Not Alton Brown,

    Funny you should mention Alton Brown … I just read this yesterday:
    http://cleanplatter.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/the-taste-of-disillusionment/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. FlamingAtheist,

    I actually was a huge AB fan, but then his nasty spats with trolls online and his born-againess on his sleeve turned me off (in addition to the spoiler-riffic behind the scenes of good eats that ruined the magic of the show).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. FS,

    MST3K’s Mike Nelson. Terrifically funny on the show, hardcore Christian conservative IRL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Oh man, really? I’d never heard that. But I never would have guessed from his work on MST or RiffTrax.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • robert cooper,

      I am equally surprised by that. It does seem out of character with the general lefty bias of the humor on the show.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • MacCrocodile,

      Similar thing with Doug TenNapel, the animator who created The Neverhood, Skullmonkeys, and other stuff. I loved those games when I was young, but now I know of his horrible political writings, I can’t stomach any of his work any more.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. I’m with you on AB. I get this feeling about Neil Patrick Harris, but I don’t know much about his personal life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. Chris,

    Lou Reed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. For me it’s Harlan Ellison. I don’t actually think he’s a jerk, but I have heard accounts (some of them from him) of him doing jerky things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an account of him where he comes off sounding like a nice guy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • TDavis,

        About ten years ago I was a volunteer at the Motor City Comic Con. One of my duties was to act as a “gopher” for several of the celebrity guests. I spent a good deal of time with Mr. Ellison and I must say that his attitude towards me was very cordial and pleasant. However, his mood swings could be astonishing. My guess is that he’s really a decent guy that feels he has a prickly reputation to live up to.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. soren,

    Jonathan Richman… alas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. DR,

    Penn Jillette… Great magician, “libertarian” (read: douche) in real life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • mrclam,

      He’s also a Walmart apologist, which makes him an uber-jerk.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • Frankly,

      Went to their show in Vegas – a great show btw – afterwords they do the autograph thing & both of them acted like total douches to everyone. Talked to others that had the same experience. It would have been better if they had not done the signing since they really don’t like their fans & it has kept us from going to see them again.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. incredulous,

    Nobody makes me enjoy laughing as much as Louis C.K. Alas, I suspect he’s a raging dickhead. But I’m compelled to give him a pass just for being self-aware.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  12. Cornjob,

    Gene $immon$. And to call myself a fan of his now is like Captain Quint scraping his fingernails on that Amity blackboard. There was (for a brief moment in) time when his head was in the right place, then he turned something I had genuine affection for into a BRAND. Now we just can’t get this waste of space to shut up. His piss poor “acting” abilities were never more obvious than when he had a complete breakdown at his father’s grave on his “scripted” reality show. You’ll never get another dime from me Mr. $immon$. Paul, on the other hand, was nothing but honest and polite. You go Paul!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • ange,

      oh i know, i met him once and got his autograph. He rolled his eyes a lot at his fans and had this ‘i dont give a shit’ attitude.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Cornjob,

        EXACTLY, Ange! The several times I’ve met him (and not had to pay $1000 to do so)… Gene was a complete and utter tool! The other guys in those three different incarnations of the band I met couldn’t have been nicer. He’s the reason they’ll never get into the RnR Hall of Fame. $immons$ wants a cut of the admission receipts for people to come in and see their stuff. This I know firsthand from a former radio brother/HoF trustee that lives in Cleveland.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Frankly,

      How could this be a surprise? The guy acts like a total tool all the time. It would only be amazing if he actually ere a nice guy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. MacCrocodile,

    I love Carol Channing’s work. I have loved her since I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie when I was in junior high, I own a copy of Skidoo (which I haven’t yet had the nerve to see), and I hold an eternal grudge against Marilyn Monroe and Barbra Streisand for taking Carol’s signature roles away from her in what would have been great films.

    But, alas, my dear Carol has made comments in several interviews that lead me to believe we would not get along at all. She has released an album or two of religious music, has a CD of patriotic/religious music coming out this year, and has said in an interview that “you know what the Bible says about that” in reference to her gay fans, of which I am one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. Sarah Michelle Gellar. When you start giving interviews about how your hit TV show is the ruination of your life (see also: Duchovny, David), you should be pilloried by selected members of the equally-talented wait staff of the Greater Los Angeles area.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • MacCrocodile,

      Speaking of overrated, three-named actresses, I saw the making-of documentary for Ed Wood, and apparently, Sarah Jessica Parker was the only member of the cast who had the opportunity to meet her real-life counterpart, but refused. According to interviews with the real Dolores Fuller, Parker seemed to actively avoid her at cast parties and blew her off when she called to set up a meeting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Thought of another one: Orson Scott Card. Love Ender’s Game and all, but yeah….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • MacCrocodile,

      I had a somewhat strained relationship with my best friend for a moment when he insisted on defending Card. As a gay ex-Mormon myself, it was hard to get past his ability to get past Card’s politics.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Dale,

      I live in Greensboro, where Card lives. He’s kind of a big fish in a mid-size pond. He writes a column for an ultra-conservative weekly gossip paper. Never met him, but he seems ooze self-importance.

      Loved Ender’s Game, too.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. frank habets,

    Brian de Palma. In the interviews I’ve seen with him, he comes across a smug know-it-all. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s also a jerk.
    But I’ll defend his cinematic oeuvre to the death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. jen,

    Shelley Duvall

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. cyni-crow,

    Alec Baldwin…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. MacCrocodile,

    Oh, and Oscar Wilde.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  20. John,

    I think the answer is clear: Bill Maher. I love everything he says and I could watch Real Time all day, but he is clearly a huuuuuuggge a-hole and probably screams at his assistants or sexually harasses them almost as much as Bill O’Reilly. But I seriously love his comedy and the way he mocks the right-wing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  21. John,

    Or David O. Russell. Great filmmaker, repeatedly caught on film abusing actors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Tromack,

      Oh man, David O. Russell. He’s an alumni of my sister’s alma mater and gave a talk at her graduation. It was the most insane 60 minutes of my life. At one point, he stopped the talk and demanded that people sing to him. After two such people sang to him, he decided to get back into the talk. The talk was an hour long rant about how Buddhism is the only true religion, and anyone who believes anything else is an idiot.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. Whatever,

    Harrison Ford and David Fincher

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Frankly,

    probably not a guy you all know much about – Garrison Keillor. Seems all warm & fuzzy on the radio is a raging asshole in the real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. d,

    …I really love Alton Brown’s work, and I have to keep reminding myself that I am a fan of his work, not his person, and that there is a difference. I have to do that with a lot of people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. I suspect Steve Martin might be a little dick-ish but mostly because he’ll never tour my hometown with his banjo. Or make a movie on par with The Jerk or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    That guy from the new Conan movie raises all my hackles, just because he’s intensely creepy in interviews.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Fink,

    “Fan” is such a strong word…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. Paulo,

    And David Lynch. He’s a libertarian.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Curious,

    I’ve met Alton Brown and talked with him at length. Rest easy; he’s as pleasant to talk to in person as he is to watch on TV. And he’s even funnier in person when he doesn’t have to edit himself! Something along the lines of the the only reason people watch Rachael Ray is to see her bend over in front of the refrigerator…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  29. KingTaco,

    A friend of mine who is also a big fan of Alton Brown was talking him up at a family gathering which apparently made enough of an impression on his uncle (who as I understand it is a fairly big wig at CBS) that word of it got back to Mr. Brown himself. Ever since then my friend has received something from him every year around Christmas. Signed books, food items, cookware, that kind of thing.

    Aki Kaurismaki, but he’s an asshole in a charming way. He spent an entire episode of Jonathan Ross Presents: For One Week Only just screwing with the host, flat out lying and giving the most bullshit answers possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Liblady50,

    Beck. Loved his music until I found out he is a Scientilogist. Blech

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  31. Al,

    This is the problem with putting celebrities on pedestals. I’m sure Shakespeare was an ass, probably Mozart, too. My childhood idol Dan Marino was well-known for being rude and arrogant. How would anyone of us act if people kissed our ass all the time, and built a statue commemorating our greatness? Would we be humble? Our society gives so much power and influence to people who pretend to be other people (actors), or can play an instrument or sing, or who can throw a ball. Then we get mad when they’re not humble. Interesting…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  32. Mike K,

    Neil Peart of Rush comes off as an asshole. He says it’s because he’s shy, but I’ve heard stories of him flat-out ignoring a fan that just says, “Hi.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Joey Chickenskin,

    Ha Ha

    I ‘Met’ Lester Freeman and Jimmy Mcnulty last night at a Theatre Press night. Lester blew off my attempt to get an autograph in a friendly, polite way as he was going to get his friend a drink and Jimmy gave me a quick autograph. Neither were jerks but as with most celebrity ‘meetings’ it was a bit weird.

    Sometimes you kind of want the person to be a Jerk if they have those leanings. I met Henry rollins once and he was cool but kept looking everywhere but at me while he was talking and then gave me the big Hank Rollind shoulder-wrenching handshanke – again not a jerk but it was strange and hilarious.

    I expected Stephen Berkoff to be a dick so much that I didn’t even speak to him as he autographed my book as I wanted to see what happened. he smiled and was nice.

    I waited at screening to ask Quentin Tarrantino (1994) to sign a picture and a programme. When I approached him he said ‘Which one?’. I was confused and looked at him and he went on’…either this one or this one, I’m trying to eat my cake…’. I gave the picture away two days later.

    It’s a weird situation I suppose where strangers meet people they have thought about a lot, who don’t know them at all. Meeting people because you have a social reason (friend of a friend) or a work reason must be more satisfying but if you’ve been really into someone’s work you kind of want to thank them, which is weird for them.

    I love Patti Smith but I suspect that if I met her as a fan, that would probably stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Joey Chickenskin,

    This is not quite the same but Pere Ubu have an AMAZING list of protocols:

    http://ubuprojex.net/protocols.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Lauren,

    My beef with Alton Brown is with this episode of Good Eats on homebrewing. There are so many inaccuracies and fallacies in that episode that it ruined the show for me. How many other things is he wrong about that I don’t know enough to spot?

    Grr.

    And the born-again-ness. Ew.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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