"A perfectly silly, genius idea" -- David Letterman

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jack Hanna

It wasn't one of Jack's more successful guest appearances.

Somewhere between Columbus, Ohio and New York City, the monkey figured out how to open the van door.  By the time Jack pulled up at the Ed Sullivan Theater, the monkey, the cheetah, the vulture, the python, and the lobster were long gone.  

Thinking fast, Jack presented what he called "a rare orange-crested North American Kalter."  Announcer Alan Kalter gamely played along, even biting Dave and depositing something unpleasant on the stage, but the audience wasn't buying it.

This sad story has a moral: please, friends, monkey-proof your zoo vans.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey, meet Lumpa Dull Grey.

I try to avoid relying on wordplay, but, well, there you are.

Complaints may be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20530-0001, attention: Gum, Cracker, & Condiment Pun Enforcement Division.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nicolas Cage

I'm confused, I'm conflicted, my mind's in a whirl.  On the one hand, I'm grateful for this very nice Nic Cage photo taken by my co-worker Justin Stangel.  He even got the Understudy Gum.  

But I've had a chilling realization about a mysterious character who's been haunting CelebriGum for some time now.

If you're a fan of CelebriGum on Facebook, you've seen the occasional photos of the Unattended Camera Hooligan.


I don't know why it took me so long to realize that the Unattended Camera Hooligan is also… Justin Stangel.


Okay, this isn't really anything, but it's traditional to gin up some sort of bullshit melodrama for February sweeps.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

Great job, Steve.  You're shooting the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and you somehow get the camera to focus on the gum.

Things improved when cover model Kate Upton came back the next day.  

CelebriGum would like to go on record as opposed to the objectification of both women and gum.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Viola Davis

Viola Davis received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in "The Help," the remake of the 1965 Beatles movie.  Viola did an excellent job playing Ringo, and the film was well-received despite puzzling changes to the original's plot and setting.

Good luck on February 26th, Viola!  We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

People Whose Last Names Include The Letters B, H, R, L, G, & E

Two stars of CBS hit shows. Two roughly similar names that allow for a cheap gimmick entry.  And as always, one piece of gum.

Marg Helgenberger of "CSI."  

Simon Helberg of "The Big Bang Theory."

H, N, K, T, S, & A for stopping by!

(Word puzzle fans: that spells "Thanks," as well as "Hnktsa.")

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Oooh, artistic.  This is one of my recent favorites.  Couldn't bring myself to crop it at all.  I like how it's almost a black and white photo, except for the cones.  And the tiny flash of red on the rear view mirror.

And Ms. Gellar's toenails, which I discovered were painted red when I zoomed in.

Just so you know, I was actually zooming in to try to decipher any details on that scrap of paper on the sidewalk.  It's hard to make out, but I think it's a sheet from a phone message pad that says "Steve--the Museum of Modern Art returned your call, said No Thanks."


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Howard Stern and Technical Difficulties

Howard arrived when I was away from the window.  Eric Stangel graciously stepped in and snapped a couple pictures.  Thanks for helping out, Eric!  And hey, nice plaid shirt!

I came back and took over.  But as I continued shooting, I noticed a strange black shadow along the bottom of the frame, as if an eclipse was starting.  I brushed at the front of the camera, knocking something free.

The camera seemed fine, so I continued taking pictures of the King of All Media with the King of All Gum.

Only after Howard was inside did I noticed that a piece of the camera was now missing.  I'd apparently knocked it partway loose when I was hurrying to get the camera out through the bars of the window.  (Hey, nice plaid shirt, Steve!)

On my way back to the office I found this piece on the sidewalk.  Luckily it's mostly decorative, though the lens is now largely unprotected when the camera is off.

The gum has outlasted many things.  It looks like it may outlast this camera.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eli Manning

Presenting Eli Manning, New York Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XLVI MVP!

Note: due to jealousy and rage, internet service providers based in New England may attempt to block this image.  However, it's safe to say New England's blocking will come up short.

Yes!  Sports joke!  High five!

(Did the Patriots have bad blocking during the Super Bowl?  I actually don't know.  Not much of a football fan.  I watched mainly to Tweet jokes like "Super Bowl Fun Fact: Madonna is LXVII.") 

(Yes!  Roman numerals joke!  High V!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jessica Chastain

A voice called out from the crowd: "Look to your right, Jessica, star of "Coriolanus," "The Help," and "The Tree of Life"!  So Steve can get a CelebriGum photo that, unlike so many from the past year and a half, actually shows your face!  Because although Steve uses CelebriGum's absurd juxtapositions to gently mock our celebrity-mad culture, even he isn't immune to the urge to get a decent photo of a celebrity!"

I don't know who yelled that oddly formal outburst, but thank you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bill Murray, Regis, & Dave

The Super Bowl may be over, but there's more football excitement on CelebriGum!  Bill Murray's kicking field goals on 53rd Street, and once again CelebriGum gives you premium obstructed view seats!

 Bill and Dave get ready.

 Dave takes the snap from stagehand Pat Farmer.  Note the bagpiper and drummer.

 Bill approaches as referee Regis Philbin looks on…

The kick!

 It's good!  Even if the photo isn't!

The CelebriGum Bill Murray/Regis/Dave Victory Parade is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. in lower Manhattan.  Hope to see you there!  Bring the kids--it's a school holiday!  Celebrity participation not confirmed.

Bonus video: Bill Murray stretches!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Mystery Gum Chewer -- Revealed At Last

Since CelebriGum launched in August 2010, people have asked "Who chewed the gum?"  "How long has the gum been there?"  "What kind of gum is it?" 

I assumed the origin of the gum would always remain a mystery.  But I was wrong.  Here's the story that can now be told. 


Production Coordinator Mike McIntee writes The Wahoo Gazette, the daily Late Show summary and commentary.  Shortly after the CelebriGum Gallery Show and holiday party, I noticed this remark in the Wahoo Gazette:

You may ask, “How did that gum get there?”  I know the story, but I’ll leave that to Steve to tell, if he wishes."

Of course I had to pursue that lead -- the first lead I'd ever had.  

Mike told me that at the gallery show party, champagne had loosened some tongues.  He gave me the names of The Chewer and The Witness.


Like Mike and myself, Writers' Segment Producer Amy Deiboldt spends a lot of time in the hallway by Dave's dressing room in the afternoon.

Some years ago, Amy saw something about to happen and intervened, little realizing that her role in The Incident would one day change gum-based comedy forever.

Amy: "Once I heard you were taking pictures with the gum in the foreground, I realized the same gum was still clinging onto the sill.  I was not sure if (MYSTERY CHEWER) had told you it was originally her gum, so I kept quiet out of respect for her."

That's right, the Mystery Chewer is a woman.  Here she is.


This is Production Associate Sarah Eyde.  In her own words:

"I think it happened about 3-5 years ago.  I was chewing green Trident, I think.  It was springtime; the window was open on the 2nd floor outside Dave’s dressing room, and I was standing next to Amy Deiboldt with my hand out the window preparing to drop my gum when she yelled, “Don’t do that… It will land on someone’s head!”  Of course she was right, and I felt like a jerk for not thinking of that, so I ended up placing it on the ledge with the thought, “This will just disappear.”  I want the record to reflect that I don’t walk around sticking my gum on things!  Anyway, it didn’t really occur to me that it might possibly be mine until last summer, and it was a "I wonder if that’s the gum I placed on the window when Amy kindly reprimanded me for attempting to drop it to the ground?” thought."  

"There are a couple reasons I kept this to myself: 1. who really cares why the gum is there, and 2. I didn't want to be the ill-mannered, lazy employee who couldn't throw her gum in a trash can.  Then at the party I had two glasses of champagne and told Mike McIntee... Yes, I am surprised it's still there... I thought Mother Nature would have had her way with it."

Sarah adds that she's not 100% sure the gum is hers, but it seems to me like the case is closed.  

A few thoughts:

I'd like to point out that there's no trash can in that hall.  So Sarah didn't have a lot of options at the time of The Incident.

The gum's been stuck to the ledge for at least three years and maybe five.  (And Amy thought it could have even been as long as six years.)  So we could be looking at a very long-term project here.

It's probably green Trident, gum trivia buffs.  Sorry, Wrigley's fans.

Sarah says "who really cares why the gum is there."  Maybe she's right.  But after all this time, with so many people wondering, I couldn't not tell the story.  And look at you, still reading.

Sarah, thank you for being a good sport.  As Celebrity Zero, you get the full treatment.

The gum's future is unknown, but at least now we understand its past.  Now we can all get on with our lives.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kate Beckinsale

"Kate!  Do you know the identity of the Mystery Chewer who'll be revealed on Sunday?"

"Can you comment on the rumor that it's Trident gum, Kate?"

"How long has the gum been on the ledge?  Kate!  Give us something!"

"Did you chew the gum, Kate?"

"Is the chewer a celebrity or a Late Show staffer?  Or someone else?  Help us out, Kate, we've been waiting here for hours!"

"Does that guy in the red shirt really think he'll get a decent picture of you, Kate?"

"Kate!  Are you here for the countdown to CelebriGum's overhyped "Mystery Chewer Revealed" event, scheduled for halftime of the Super Bowl on celebrigum.com?"

"Kate!  Kate!  Ah, forget it, guys, she has no idea what we're talking about."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Brian Williams

Jimmy Philbin, longtime Late Show security staffer, is a familiar sight to CelebriGum fans.  Day in and day out, in all kinds of weather, he welcomes arriving guests and escorts them inside.  He appears in many of the photos I've taken.

What you don't get from the photos is the verbal abuse Jimmy often has to endure from celebrities.  Mr. Funny Nice-Guy Newsman Brian Williams is one of the worst offenders, and this particular day was no exception.  I heard it all from the window:

"No more watching the CBS Evening News!  I don't care what network you work for!  I'm a special friend of the Late Show, dammit, and that means you watch me on the NBC Nightly News!  You understand me?  I know powerful people!  One call from me and Obama puts you in Gitmo!  Oh, and check out my new show, Rock Central, moving to Wednesdays at 9, 8 Central, as of February 8th, on NBC!  You got all that, punk?"

Jimmy, thanks for your extraordinary patience in the face of such childishness.