Film & Water Special – Meeting Karen Allen


Rob talks about meeting one of his all-time favorite actors, the great Karen Allen, at the 2018 Chiller Theater show in Parsippany, NJ.

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17 responses to “Film & Water Special – Meeting Karen Allen

  1. Rob: I am glad your meeting with Karen Allen went so well. It’s nice when you get to meet someone who meant so much to you as a child and thank them for their work. I don’t go to many conventions myself but only now and again to get an autograph. I must say that Henry Winkler, John Schneider, and Nichelle Nichols were some of the kindest folks I’ve seen interact with fans. Unfortunately, I witnessed Carrie Fisher being rather rude to her fans. Fingers crossed that Miss Allen comes on the show for an episode.

    Your mystery/maybe guest is Harrison Ford? Am I right?

  2. Cool story Rob. I hope she takes you up on the podcast offer.

    I struggled to think of an actor or actress I would drop everything to meet. The older I’ve gotten the more I realise is they are just people. Having said that, I’d probably want to catch up with Hugh Jackman, because we had a friendship in the 70’s & 80’s that we could rekindle.

  3. Firstly, so glad Karen Allen got to meet Rob. I hope she calls him because that would make everyone’s dreams come true.

    People for whom I’d drop everything to meet:
    Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon (surviving members of Queen)
    Gal Gadot
    Any of the Doctors
    Paul McCartney
    Ringo Starr
    Elvis Costello
    Paul Stanley
    Ace Frehley
    Steven Sodebergh
    Tom Fontana
    David Simon
    Erin Gray
    Lynda Carter
    Jose-Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN!)
    William Shatner
    Any living astronaut
    Avery Brooks
    Leigh Nash
    Loretta Lynn
    Dolly Parton
    Bob Dylan
    Robert Plant
    Alison Krauss
    George Lucas
    Robert McGinnis
    Timothy Dalton
    Bill Sienkevitch
    Kevin Conroy
    Andre Braugher
    Kyle Secor
    Melissa Leo
    Clark Johnson
    William Friedkin
    Mike Figgis
    Alan Parker

  4. Here are some of the people I’ve had the chance to meet (book signings, public events, etc):

    Jimmy Carter (Also got Obama’s autograph but didn’t actually meet him)
    Eva Marie Saint
    Oprah Winfrey
    Bill Clinton
    John Glenn
    Tippi Hedren
    Matt Groening
    Art Spiegleman
    Will Eisner
    Neil Gaiman
    Stan Lee
    Bob Hope
    Morton Downey Jr.
    Ernest Borgnine
    Angie Dickinson
    Alex Trebek
    Tab Hunter
    Lou Gossett Jr.
    Norman Jewison
    Norman Lloyd
    Robert Osborne
    Peter Mayhew
    Julie Newmar
    Adam West
    Burt Ward
    Noel Neill
    Justin Hartley
    Margot Kidder
    Helen Slater
    Trina Robbins
    Frank Gorshin
    Yvonne Craig
    Lee Merriwether
    Robert Osborne
    Carrie Fisher
    Rita Moreno
    Tim Conway
    Nichelle Nichols
    Ann Rutherford (Gone With the Wind)
    Henry Winkler
    Garry Trudeau
    Pete Hammill

  5. Rob, I’m so happy that your meeting with Karen Allen went so well! I haven’t met a LOT of celebrities, but I volunteered at the Columbus Mid-Ohio Con a few years and chatted with a few such as Gil Gerard, Mike Grell, Patrick Stewart, Neal Adams, Sarah Douglas (Superman 2), and Mark Goddard (Lost in Space). Only Walter Koenig from Star Trek was kind of a jerk to me. Everyone else was super pleasant and fun.

    My “drop everything and meet them” person was June Lockhart from Lost in Space. I still lived in Indiana at the time but I saw that she was going to be in Columbus OH. I knew she was getting up in years so I thought I needed to make the 2 hour trip to see her, and I did. She was wonderful! We chatted about LiS as well as Petticoat Junction and Meet Me in St. Louis and her daughter Anne from Battlestar Galactica. I clearly came across as knowledgeable of her career but not creepy (I dragged my 12 year old daughter along; she gave me street cred for normalness). I saw Yvonne Craig at the same con, so you better believe I am very happy that I made the trip.

    More recently I made the 2 hour drive to Cincinnati to see Lee Meriwether. She was very gracious and friendly, and I was the 2nd person in line to see her the day I was there.

    Nowadays, I think I would drop everything to see Nichelle Nichols or George Takei if they ever showed up in my neck of the woods. Unfortunately, they never have.

  6. So glad you got to meet her Rob! Sounds like a great interaction.

    I always worry that when finally meeting a celebrity I will sound like some addled fool or disturbed stalker. So I am so much in my head with what I am going to say that … unfortunately … I probably sound like an addled fool or a disturbed stalker.

    I guess I would say that there is an A-list of stars I would love to meet: Harrison Ford, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Francis Ford Coppola. But those people don’t do conventions.

    One star I have always hoped to run into is Helen Slater. I’d probably drive 2 hours to meet her.

    1. The best place to see the A list celebs is to attend the TCM Film Fest each spring in Los Angeles. I’ve gone several times and seen Sophia Loren, Mel Brooks,Shirley MacLaine, Jerry Lewis, Maureen O’Hara, etc. This year’s guests included Scorsese and DiCaprio.

  7. So happy that you got to meet your childhood hero, and she turned out just as you had hoped. It’s such a great feeling when you have an interaction with folks like that who have meant so much to you. I hope she takes you up on that offer! Maybe that special guest interview will convince her, if she hears it!

    So I have a double in New Jersey, huh? Well, if my Skype connection goes bad, at least you have a replacement co-host a bit closer to you!


  8. This was a very enjoyable episode. It was nice to hear about how well your meeting went and, as nice as Karen Allen and her characters appear on screen, it sounds like she is just as nice in person. I would love to hear other mini-episodes about other interactions you’ve had or wish you will have with different actors.
    As for me, I guess like a lot of us nerds, it would be the same answers like Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford or even Michael J. Fox but I would assume that any convention they would be at, there would be a swarm of people also trying to see them and I’m not sure I would want to drive 2 hours for that experience. I think the people I would drive 2 hours out of my way for would be Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges for Tron, and/or Jennifer Connelly and Jim Henson (if he was still alive, is that allowed?) for Labyrinth. Those two movies have left such a mark on me, and mean so much to me, I would like to meet the people who helped make those movies.
    Looking forward to this mystery guest who knows Karen Allen. Is it Bobcat Goldthwait? John Rhys-Davies? The stage hand who tried to put antlers on the mouse?

  9. This was such a touching episode. I am so happy for you getting the chance to meet Karen Allen, and for how positive an experience it was (and not just because I also grew up with a huge crush on her). It was also great hearing how friendly she was. Good on you Rob, I think it’s fantastic you got to experience this.
    It’s also amazing to me how you always manage to post episodes that have a particular relevance to me. I just had an experience of hearing about some people being at a convention and I literally dropped everything to go…and it’s probably going to seem weird to a lot of people…but it was the cast of Starsky & Hutch. David Soul, Paul Michael Glazier, and Antonio Fargas ( Huggy Bear). I’m not even sure why and if you asked me who I most wanted to meet two months ago it would not have been on my list. But when I heard they were going to be at East Coast Comic Con, I knew immediately I had to go. It was even on my freakin 17th wedding anniversary and my wife gave me her blessings to go! (That’s how lucky I am), I don’t claim it’s one of the best shows ever or that I would even put it in my top ten list.But for some reason it always clicked with me. As a young kid, I felt a connection to their dynamic even if I didn’t understand the plots of most episodes. In college. TNT reran a lot of episodes and I taped them, very excited to watch for the first time in two decades. Then in law school, when I was going through a period I was particularly miserable, I would rewatch episodes to get my mind off of the stress. I revisited a lot of shows from my youth them, and discovered many didn’t age well, like Dukes of Hazzard or Buck Rogers. But for whatever reason, I still got into this one. So while I would never have listed it among the fandoms I would have considered myself a part of, like comics, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, or your favorite, Transformers, when I saw the announcement, I knew I just had to be there. It isn’t exactly the same experience as you and Karen Allen…but I still felt a connection because of that sheer since of joy you conveyed. Nostalgia is a hard thing to explain sometimes and it can hit you where you don’t expect. But when you asked people who they would drop everything to see, it hit me at a perfect time because I had just gone through that same experience.

  10. Sweet story, Rob. If you ever do get her on a show, I hope you’ll ask about Terminus, in which she drives a truck that has a mouth grafted into it, and then disappears half-way through even though she was the protagonist. I NEED TO KNOW THINGS!

    I’m not personally someone who is star struck, and generally avoid celebs and even “celebs” the same way I avoid anyone I don’t know personally. Why would I bother them?! So I’m not sure there’s anyone I would go out of my way to meet. It would have to happen naturally.

  11. Great episode, Rob. I’m glad that meeting her lived up to your expectations.

    I personally haven’t met very many celebrities that weren’t comics creators, although I have had a few “random encounters” with famous people in and around Charlottesville (read: I’ve had my required Dave Matthews sighting) and have met chef Tyler Florence and Ben Jones (Cooter from The Dukes of Hazard) … and had one of the most Nineties rock and roll encounters ever–both Dishwalla and the Gin Blossoms. Yeah. I’m a baller.

    Anyway, to answer your question about celebrities I would love to meet, I have to admit that I put too much thought into this because there are some really obvious ones (if Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel were doing a meet and greet an hour away from here, I’d be there three days early), but what’s the actual possibility that I will be able to meet certain famous people? So I went for people who have been making the rounds on these show circuits or who do special events (like screenings of their movies) from time to time and whose presence at a show near me would make me consider going and paying money for an autograph and picture. It should come as a shock to absolutely no one that these are mostly people from 1980s movies

    John Cusack
    Diane Franklin
    Carrie Henn
    Lynda Carter
    Lou Ferrigno
    David Hasselhoff
    William Katt
    Jane Badler
    Molly Ringwald
    any member of the cast of “Degrassi High”

    Bask in the dork that is this list!!!

  12. I visited a comic book convention in Wildwood, NJ more than 20 years ago and got to meet and get autographs from Butch Patrick, Adam West, and Clayton Moore. They also had Burt Ward, Bob Denver, Dawn Wells, and Jerry Mathers, but because of lines, I didn’t manage to get their autos. This was in the days before Ebay, so there was no charge for autographs, just a reasonable admittance fee into the con.
    I went to 2 of the earlier Monster Manias in Cherry Hill, NJ and to the Monster Bash, near Pittsburgh, in 2008 and 2009. I’ve also attended a good number of October Chiller Theatres. Met and got autographs from Ben Chapman, Ricou Browning, Candace Hilligoss (CARNIVAL OF SOULS – VERY UNCOMMON), Ingrid Pitt, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Landau, David Hedison & Brett Halsey, Robert Culp, Richard Kiel, Ron Ely, Michael Beck, Damien Thomas, Meat Loaf, Larry Storch, Doug Bradley, Kyra Schon & Bill Hinzman, Donnie Dunagan, Janet Ann Gallow, William Ragsdale, Jimmy Hunt, Bill Mumy, Gary Conway, Lou Ferigno, Yvonne Monlaur, Martine Beswick, 3 Gozilla actors (including the original, Haruo Nakajima), Elizabeth, Shepherd, Julie Adams, Martin Stephens, Louise Fletcher, Don Sullivan, Robert Dix, Angus Scrimm, and Ted Neeley. Friends have gotten me autographs of others when they went to cons in other states.
    So many that I would have loved to see have already passed on, some even in recent years. I’d love to meet Tim Curry, but his recent cons have been expensive photo ops only. Sir Ian McKellan would be a special one. Also, Lindsay Wagner, Hugo Weaving, Shawn Cassidy & Parker Stevenson, and Mark Hamill.

  13. I met a lot of actors on film sets for tv shows/films I’ve been in. (I’m the guy walking to work, sitting at a funeral, shopping at Loews, being a paparazzi, etc) . After a few minutes on set you realize they are just normal people and some of them are so multi-talented.

    My fondest celebrity encounter, I was walking to the set for “The Departed” in Boston. It was the first time I was going to be in a big production. I walk by a coffee bagel/shop and there was the Titan if films himself: Martin Charles Scorsese! He was sipping coffee and reading and writing (notes on his script?) I walk in and apologized and said “Hello Mr Scorsese, just wanted to say you are a great inspiration for me getting into film and it is an honor to be in a film of yours today.” He looks at me, cocks his head, and I could tell he is trying to process when the hell he casted me in his movie. “Oh, I am just an extra – you won’t know me.” I said. His face looked relived. “Yes it should be a quick day, not much too shoot. Nice to meet you.” And I shook his hand. “I better let you go back to your work, I just wanted to say hello.” And I left. True to his word the shoot lasted until 1:00pm and then wrapped for the day. The AD told us that it was unusual because he usually films over and over and everyone is exhausted by the end of the day. The scene I was in was right before the cop gets flung off the roof. I just liked that encounter because I was so innocent and naive. Now days I wouldn’t dare bother the director who is like God on a set. I’ve seen some directors don’t even talk to the actors directly. They sit in a booth behind a monitor and then talk to their ADs to talk to the actors. Although Ricky Gervais directing “The Invention of Lying” was an exception, he never got off his feet ever. He had a mostly British film crew who are WAY more relaxed than US film crews. I always wanted to act in the UK because of that.

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