ME AND BILLY DEE
THOSE COMMERCIALS MADE ME THINK OF IT
A lot of famous people have come and gone through the hallways here at Today's TMJ4, but I couldn't let this guy get away without a picture.
I can't get enough of those AT&T commercials featuring Billy Dee Williams. The ultimate smooth operator plays the role brilliantly.
He's been the Colt 45 guy... apparently is some sort of stage actor, but he'll always be Lando Calrissian to me.
The border line criminal "Administrator" of the City in the Clouds, Lando was expertly played by Billy Dee. Love it.
So when he rolled through the news operation here at 720 East Capitol Drive a few years ago, I had to meet him. He was appearing as a guest on Mike Gousha's Sunday Night show.
Mike had some heavy hitters come through for that show over the years. There was kind of an unwritten rule that you just didn't bother them. You know... you don't go up and try to meet them. You don't go shaking hands. You certainly don't make them pose for pictures in the newsroom. You just let them get in and out, because you don't want to upset them, or Mike.
I respected that rule with everybody he ever had in through this place. Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Alanis Morisette, Bruce Hornsby, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hank Aaron, Kristi Yamaguchi, Senator Joe Lieberman, the Minister of Defense, Reggie White. I never bothered any of them, but I couldn't let Lando go.
He and Mike were walking out of the studio, and... poor Mike... he could see me coming from a mile away. I've got a big old grin on my face, and a camera in my hand. He sort of... half opened his mouth as if to try and thwart my effort, but I stopped him before he could start.
"Sorry Mike," I said as I approached. "I never do this, and I know it's not cool, but I don't care."
Then turning to Billy Dee I said, "But Lando Calrissian. I've got to get a picture. Mr. Williams do you mind?"
The guy was cool. Cooler than he had to be, and Mike forgave me, I guess. Mostly he was just amused that a grown man could get so much pleasure out of a handshake and picture with the Colt 45 guy.