Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Mr. Monk" and me....

I am such a fan of the television show/crime-solving character "Monk" that I even have a "Monk" bobblehead doll at my workplace.

Adrian Monk, if you're not familiar with the series that ran for eight seasons on the USA Network and whose finale in December was the most-watched basic cable original drama series telecast of all time, was a brilliant -- but obsessive-compulsive -- and damaged ex-detective often called in by the San Francisco Police Department to help solve criminal cases.

As a mystery writer, I loved the many quirks of the character and admired his investigative skills. The dialogue and plots were always smart and witty, and the actor who portrayed Monk -- Tony Shalhoub -- could say more with a raised eyebrow or a single look than most people can communicate in an hour of talking.

"Monk" will probably live on forever in reruns on the USA cable network and also on the written page as he's the subject of at least 10 "Mr. Monk" spinoff novels by screenwriter, producer and author Lee Goldberg. But for me, "Monk" will always be synonymous with Shalhoub, who won four straight Emmys for the role. (He also may be familiar to some as Italian cabdriver Antonio Scarpacci in the long-running sitcom "Wings.")

It's no secret that one of my hobbies is "meeting" celebrities -- it sounds less dangerous than "stalking" (see this previous blog post for my celebrity encounters) -- and my fun goals last year were to meet the mystery author Dennis Lehane (and see a moose). But I never thought I'd get the opportunity to meet Tony Shalhoub, although in a six-degrees-of-separation kind of thing, he's been friends with one of my co-workers since their Wisconsin school days. However, he has yet to visit her at our New Hampshire place of employment and she can visit his bobbing head doll in my office any time.

So I was thrilled to learn he was starring on Broadway in "Lend Me a Tenor" at the same time our children in exile in D.C. agreed to meet their lonely parents halfway -- in New York City. We laughed our way through Tony's performance and those of the rest of fabulous cast, including Anthony LaPaglia (TV show "Without a Trace"), Justin Bartha ("The Hangover" and "National Treasure" 1 & 2) and Tony's real-life wife, Brooke Adams ("Days of Heaven").

At the end of the play, I positioned myself outside the stage door and handed the camera to No. 2 son. Tony was the last of the actors to exit the theater and graciously sign autographs. When I told him about my Monk bobblehead, he said, "I'm embarrassed," which I thought was a sweet reaction for someone who probably thought he'd encountered a crazed fan. He graciously posed for the photo above after I mentioned my co-worker, but jokingly said he would only do so if I could get her to go see the show, too.

Tony Shalhoub is much more handsome than his Monk bobblehead, by the way -- but not nearly as good-looking as these guys. And they were willing to pose for a New York City photo with me without setting any conditions!

10 comments:

Lisa Haselton said...

Very cool, Pat. You are the "go to" celeb meeter (sounds safer than stalker), that's for sure!

Carole said...

Nice. I would never be brave enough to do such a thing and admire anyone who will.

Pat Remick said...

I love it -- celebrity meeter! It DOES sound much better than stalker-- thanks!

Krista said...

I love Tony! He's such a talented actor. Forget Monk, though. To me he'll always be wonderful, sweet Antonio! ; )

~ Krista

Laurissa Kastle said...

How exciting to meet Tony Shalhoub! I loved "Monk" and wish it would have lasted forever. At least I have my DVDs and reruns of Monk on TV, but not the same as new episodes. :-(

Linda R said...

Oh, Pat, how exciting for you! You got to meet my favorite actor! I love the photo ~

Melissa Emerald said...

Would you believe I have never, not once seen a Monk show. I'm going to see if it's available on Netflix.

I'm glad you got to meet him! I imagine that was a quite a thrill.

E. B. Davis said...

Ah-Pat! What a great experience. I've read Lee Goldberg in EQ and love not only the Monk character, but his great great grandfather who started the quirky path. So, glad you had a wonderful weekend with your kids.
Elaine

Karen Kullgren said...

Great picture of you and Tony but more importantly great picture ofyou and your sons! What a fun weekend!

Cher'ley said...

Wow. How wonderful. I loved Monk too. I expect it to come back someday. Hopefully.

You are lucky and great pics of you, Monk and the boys.