Okay, first off, Vince Vaughn really is about 73 feet tall. He’s both tall and famous simultaneously. It’s unheard of.
Wake-up call at 5:15. Fell back asleep until quarter to. Another half hour and I’m in the car on the way to the studio. It’s a six block walk from my hotel, but they don’t take any chances.
"So what’s your thing?" the driver asks.
"I’m going to dance in Times Square."
"You a professional dancer?"
"Not really, no."
The drivers are always great to talk to, cause every day they’re alone with some random new person who did something people find interesting.
"Who’d you have in here yesterday?"
"That American Idol guy. Hicks. I think I’m driving him somewhere today, too."
If you’re not onboard for the name-dropping, you might as well stop reading right now.
Got deposited at the studio in Times Square. Rode the world’s hugest elevator up to the green room (could easily accommodate a van), where the small entourage of Stride marketing and PR folks were gathering.
I can say it now. Stride long-lasting chewing gum. That is my mysterious benefactor. They sent me on this trip. They are very nice people and their gum really does last a long time.
Hair and make-up took all of 10 seconds. I removed my glasses.
The producer asked, "Don’t you wear your glasses in the video?"
"Only when I forget to take them off."
"When I think of you, you have glasses on. Would you mind wearing them?"
Alrighty. I guess we’ll be pushing the nerd angle, huh?
As I was being mic’d (bit of the industry lingo there), the sound guys blasted Sweet Lullaby through a massive speaker outside.
One of the crew yells, "Katie Couric just called. She says to turn it down!"
Turns out this is her last morning on The Today Show a few blocks over.
…soooo I guess I don’t have to worry about anyone actually watching, huh?
They brought me out into Times Square. The same spot I danced in three years ago for the last clip of the original video. I’m turned 90 degrees, so it’s a different Sony Jumbotron, but still huge.
Strangely, much less awkward.
I’m not sure I can actually use the clip I got with my camera. It’s across the street and a little too far away. Unfortunately, you only get one chance on live television. Oh, well.
I’m going to wander the city tomorrow and see if I can find any street performers willing to dance with me instead.
After that bit, they took me across for an interview outside the studio.
I want to know what I did to that girl in the center. Did I run over her dog? Do I owe her child support? Why does she hate me so?
First Charlie Gibson came out. He has a warm, avuncular presence, and jowls that you want to crawl inside of and take a nap in.
Diane Sawyer was nowhere to be seen. The producer later told me she ran into Vince Vaughan in the hallway and spontaneously started telling him about the dancing guy she’s gotta go meet outside.
These things happen.
I gotta say, she really seemed interested in the whole thing. For a lady who’s interviewed every living US president, she mustered some genuine enthusiasm for my ridiculous shtick.
Or if it was faked, at least I bought it.
Melissa said she seemed like a friend of my mom’s who hadn’t seen me since I was little and was really proud of me.
Great. So everyone knows which camera to look at but me.
Afterwards I was led inside. Vince Vaughn was there chatting with the weather guy while about 30 production women stood casually circled around him, pretending not to stare but obviously evaluating his every twitch and gesture.
It’s that thing only women and gay men can do: look with the eyes, not the head. Start with their hair, scan down to the shoes, and back up to the top before anyone notices. They pick up more in that 1/5 of a second than I would see with forensic equipment and a University grant.
The hushed reverence with which we regard celebrities…I suppose I’m as guilty as anyone, but it’s really quite silly. And don’t console yourself that everybody’s like that — it’s mostly just us Americans who so readily confuse notoriety with importance.
There’s a reason famous people keep moving to France.
I was directed toward the dinosaur elevator, but Vince Vaughn was blocking my path, so I wedged between him and the weather guy. He’s so damn tall I doubt he even noticed, but the gaggle of gawkers were stunned at my insolence.
Sat around in the green room for a while, then was led into a booth for another interview on Good Morning America radio. You get to talk longer on radio, so the answers don’t have to be quite so measured and concise. It was a pleasant 5 minute exchange.
The guy in the control room is also named Matt and he wanted me to dance with him. He is much better at it than me.
And that was it. I’m back in my hotel room and left to my own devices until Friday, when I fly home and complete my second round-the-world loop.
My hotel room has a GameCube. No room service, but all the Mario Tennis I can handle. I could be wandering around and enjoying my favorite city, but I really just want to sit on a couch and play videogames until, like, August.
Here’s the segment in super-low-quality video. I have a slight cold, so excuse the frog in my throat and no, I don’t always sound like that.