It was world-class pandemonium on 53rd Street, right up there with the visits by Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Paris Hilton, and Ben Bernanke.
Every afternoon I stand by a second floor window in the Ed Sullivan Theater and take mediocre photos of guests as they enter and leave the Late Show with David Letterman. In the foreground of each shot is a wad of old gum I noticed on the window ledge. There may be better paparazzi photos on the internet, but this is the only place you'll find the juxtaposition of celebrities and hardened gum. Enjoy!
"A perfectly silly, genius idea" -- David Letterman
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Fans asked Will Ferrell for a photo.
He kindly obliged.
Good for you, kids; Will Ferrell's a terrific star. But would it kill you to take a moment to do this? It would mean a lot to the gum.
Sometime when you're tiny, of course.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Dr. Phil, and a rude interruption
Not only is Dr. Phil a good Late Show guest, he's also an excellent CelebriGum subject. His large shiny head serves as a beacon to distinguish him from --
"Hey, jerks! It's me, the Evil Gum on the adjacent window ledge! I get lots of great views of celebrities too, but it doesn't count because I'm not THE gum! CelebriGum purists and snobs wish I would just go away! Well, I won't go away and I won't shut up! Deal with it!"
Wow. Okay. Sounds like someone could use counseling from an unlicensed TV therapist.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Farewell To The Interns
Three times a year, the Late Shows says goodbye to a batch of college interns. As always, this winter and spring we've had a great bunch of young men and women, and CelebriGum wants to acknowledge a couple of them. Jesse was stationed near the special window every afternoon, and on a few occasions he took pictures when I couldn't:
Here's Jesse going back to the offices after a show. Thanks for everything, Jesse!
And here's a silly video that includes a cameo appearance by our hard-working writers' intern, James:
Farewell, James! And good luck with the garbage, pigeon!
Monday, May 23, 2011
The construction barrier and sign try their best to add color, but it's still one of the most monochromatic CelebriGum photos I can recall. Let's see if the photo software can help.
That's a bit perkier.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
A perfectly decent CelebriGum shot of the great Yankee hurler as he was leaving.
When he arrived, I was walking from the office building to the theater. Even though it wouldn't be a CelebriGum picture, I decided to grab a photo anyway.
Later it occurred to me, if I was taking his picture at the same time as the paparazzi shooting in the other direction, you don't suppose…?
Ladies and gentlemen, it's yours truly in the plaid shirt and jeans. The hunter has become the hunted. Or if not exactly the hunted, maybe roadkill.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
May Sweeps Episode Starring Wynton Marsalis!
May sweeps is traditionally when all the gum-related websites put up their most shocking, ratings-grabbing posts. I may look down my nose at the cheesy melodrama, but I'm in the game, and I'm playing to win.
Explosions! The gum dangling perilously at the edge! And a stunning revelation: Wynton Marsalis is my real father!
Will Wynton escape? Will he ever get to meet me, his long-lost son? Will the gum plunge to its fiery destruction?
And what about the gentleman with the cane? Is he harboring a dark secret that could tear apart our families, our community, and America itself?
Stay tuned for the next CelebriGum installment, in which all these questions will be ignored.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Seth is on the far left, about to get into the car. He dashed out so quickly that I only had time to get one hasty shot.
But what's interesting here is the mysterious red aura around the gum. Don't tell me it's lens flare. I've come up with several possibilities. It may be:
--a force field emitted by the gum to ward off curious pigeons.
--a signal the gum flashes so it can be located by the alien gum mothership.
--a visitation by the spirit of Wrigley founder William Wrigley Jr.
--a visitation by the spirit of a curious pigeon killed by the force field.
Okay, there's a chance it could be lens flare.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Alec Baldwin (Simulated)
I've learned to accept that I just can't get every celebrity. But I do regret missing some favorites. Alec Baldwin was on the April 11th show, and I was too busy to catch his arrival or his departure.
So I've put together what I believe to be an extremely accurate simulation of an Alec Baldwin CelebriGum photo.
Looking good, Alec! Hope to get you for real next time!
Friday, May 13, 2011
To keep up with the dazzling star power of "Thor" actor Chris Hemsworth, the gum had to call in reinforcements.
This is not the first appearance of the bonus windowframe gum. I discovered it last fall and posted a photo on the CelebriGum Facebook page. It also makes a cameo appearance in the Paris Hilton CelebriGum video. There's talk that it could travel across the country this summer as the CelebriGum touring company. Keep checking Ticketmaster!
While the old cell phone camera lent a certain crude charm to CelebriGum, I don't miss it. I never would have been able to get detail like this:
You can actually see the color of Ellen Page's toenail polish!
There's also plenty of nice sharp detail here as Ellen gets into her car to head downtown for a court hearing.
Update: The judge granted Ms. Page's request for a restraining order against "the weird Letterman writer taking pictures of my feet and gum." I am no longer allowed within fifty yards of her.
Monday, May 9, 2011
No less a noted photography critic than the fictitious J. Arlen Parkwood has waxed euphoric about these CelebriGum photos:
"The trio of tail light, traffic cone, and gum delineate a space that suspends the celebrity subject in a vortex of dynamic tension. The triangular motif is brilliantly echoed in Mr. Rock's legs as well as in the Euclidean forms of the window ledge."
"The shocking addition of a second traffic cone sets up a symphonic interplay of triangles, parallelograms, and powerful diagonals. The four points mark off a central void that hints at the alienating effects of fame. Did you see Chris Rock in "Death At A Funeral"? Hilarious! That bathroom scene had me laughing my ass off!"
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Katie called me the day before she was scheduled to appear on the Late Show. "Steve, you know I love CelebriGum, but if I have one complaint, it's the drabness of many of the pictures."
"I know," I said. "I try to include red taillights and orange safety cones, but many days it's a lot of gray sidewalk, cloudy weather, black cars, and people in black clothing. Not to mention the gray, sooty gum. What can we do?"
"I'll bring my blue tarp and put it over a pile of stuff on the sidewalk."
"That's a start."
"And I can carry something colorful. Maybe a peacock," Katie said.
"Don't do that. Paul Shaffer's Canadian, and Canadians are allergic to peacocks."
"Oh, right. How about I hold a dozen bananas."
"That would work, but you can't have bananas in New York anymore. Mayor Bloomberg banned them because the peels are a slipping hazard."
"Good lord. Okay, well, I'll figure out something."
Katie came up with a great solution. That striking flash of red is the bouquet of flowers from the backstage utility closet where the remains of Ed Sullivan are stored. They change the flowers every day anyway; it wasn't really stealing.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Hey, times are tough. Celebrities should be glad we still arrange free transportation to the show, rather than complaining about sharing a smelly van with Jack Hanna's animals.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
It's springtime and CelebriGum is blooming with new life!
I mean the website, not the actual piece of gum. That would be horrifying.
Many celebrity babies' first words are "Black SUV."
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Mr. Rickles exits the theater, preparing to deliver…
…a blistering stream of friendly, encouraging remarks to the photographers…
…a warm, respectful, not-at-all sarcastic greeting to fans across the street…
…and a farewell to the paparazzi that they treasured for its sincerity, affection, and broad-minded humanity.
It may look like it was a cloudy day, but wherever Don Rickles goes, it's nothing but sunshine.
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