Once, I was eating lunch with my friend Alex at La Zie in Chelsea. Suddenly, he got very still. Actually, we were both try to act terribly cool but felt very excited.
“Celebrity. 12 o’clock. See him?”
“Totally. He’s eating with his family.”
“Yeah, there are like kids galore at his table.”
He turned and looked to see whom I was talking about because that didn’t make sense with whom he had seen, and turns out we were excited to see two very different famous people.
“Who are you talking about?”
“Andy Richter. Who are you talking about?”
Edmund White had just gotten a book reviewed by the New York Times Book Review, I think Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel, which Alex loved. Andy Richter was the goofy sidekick on the old “Conan” (and the new one too apparently). His significant body of work includes keeping a straight face in staring contests with Conan, while they tried to distract him with like large, dancing chickens. He also played Borat’s boyfriend in “Talladega Nights.”
We were both like “Who is he.” Neither of us knew the other person’s celebrity. Sad moment in friendship.