The business of hunting down one of the best in the business.
No, not Lady Gaga. When it was revealed that the pop super star took cover at a Mets game last week in Jerry Seinfeld's luxury box, the Mets organization apologized...to Seinfeld. ?
Sounds like a great plot for his old show.
One of my favorite episodes of "Seinfeld" was the time Jerry's hand got cramped from signing tiny royalty checks. I, too, get tiny royalty checks. From "Seinfeld". I was lucky enough to appear in the show's finale as part of "Rivera Live" coverage of the trial involving Seinfeld and his friends. Steve North was Geraldo Rivera's senior producer back in 1998 when our scenes were shot. Steve currently works as a writer for the "CBS Early Show", but he never really closed the book on the Seinfeld affair. Until now.
Here, in this guest blog, Steve explains why. By the way, if Steve North wants something from you, just give it to him and save yourself some time. ?
My 12-Step, 12-Year Seinfeld Saga, by Steve North ?
1. March, 1998: Larry David comes to CNBC to tape a segment featuring Geraldo Rivera, for the final episode of "Seinfeld".
I have everybody in the studio sign confidentiality agreements and lock the doors. Larry sits next to me and dictates the top-secret script, as I type it into the prompter. As soon as I hear him speak, I realize that he is George Costanza.
The one-page document features the name "Jane" a total of seven times, spoken and in parenthesis... a record that still stands to this day. ?
2. May, 1998: The show airs, and I write an article about the fact that I've had this top secret script on my dining room table for two months.
I belatedly remember that I've been collecting autographs since 1963, and wonder, why didn't I ask Larry to sign the script of this moment in TV history? ?
3. I send Larry a print-out of the script, and ask if he can also get Jerry to sign it. He sends it back signed, and writes a separate message, saying "You'll have to settle for me; I have no idea where Jerry is".
I do not settle. I have personal notes to me from Truman, Nixon, Clinton, Groucho Marx, Martin Luther King, Jr. and a thousand other celebs. This ain't my first time at the autograph rodeo, boys. This will be a cinch. ?
4. I find Jerry's media relations person (we'll call her Elizabeth, since that's her name), and ask if I can get her the script for Jerry to sign. No prob, she says. I wisely make a copy, and send it off to Los Angeles. ?
5. Months go by; not a word. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I call Elizabeth. She has no idea where it is. (There is something wrong with that). She apologizes. I tell her I have a copy, and I'll send her that, if Jerry will sign it. She assures me he will. I wisely make a copy of the copy, and send it to L.A. ?
6. Months go by, not a word. I call Elizabeth. Again. Someone else takes the call this time. And tells me they have no idea where it is. Again. ?
7. Two years later, I calm down. Figure I'll give it another shot. I'm nothing if not persistent. Call Elizabeth's office, and find a helpful assistant who's appalled at this tragic saga, and assures me it will get signed this time.
I wisely make a copy of the copy of the copy, and send it to L.A. I hear nothing. I call months later; Elizabeth and her entire staff have apparently entered the witness protection program, never to be seen again. ?
8. Cut to the next century. It's now 2002, I'm in L.A. having a fancy dinner at the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset. Who's a couple of tables over? Jerry and a bunch of friends. They're laughing and having a great time. I want to go over and remind Jerry that we went to Queens College together, and that I still don't have a signed copy of the script.
I wisely refrain. ?
9. May, 2010: I arrive at work at the CBS Broadcast Center. Standing outside the front door is Jerry Seinfeld, in animated conversation with the host of his "Marriage Ref" show, which is being taped at CBS. I slow down, hoping they'll say goodbye and part, and I'll be able to speak to Jerry. (See # 8). They keep talking.
I wisely refrain, and enter the building. ?
10. Time for one last try. I contact the executive producer of Marriage Ref, and recount the sorry tale. She says she'll get it done, and asks me to get the script to her senior producer. They're all in the building, so I know it can't get lost this time. I bring in the copy of the copy of the copy of the script, along with the Newsweek cover of the last edition of Seinfeld. I want him to autograph that too. He owes me now. ?
11. The senior producer says Jerry will be in to edit two days later; she'll get it signed then. He doesn't show up. She gives it to Jerry's assistant, who removes it from the building. The assistant says he'll sign it. She asks for my address. She says she's putting it in the mail on a Friday. It does not show up on the following Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is at the bottom of Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill. ?
12. The mail arrives Saturday afternoon. The script and the Newsweek cover are both signed. My long Seinfeld nightmare is over. Yada, yada, yada...