I have accepted another
No, I'm not going to tell you either of those stories. This is a story about another celebrity.
Despite the fact my mother has 3 children, I have told her that her favorite child is a celebrity...the child who gets to be perfect. His name is Paul Reiser.
I remember when my mom told me that Paul wanted to be a stand-up comic, my response was pretty much the same as everyone else's. "He wants to be a what?" You can see why his dad tried to encourage him to stay in the family business, so he could have a real job.
Mom talked about how funny Paul was the entire time he was in town. They traveled to Wichita in a snowstorm and evidently laughed throughout the trip. For years afterward, anytime I was in the car with Mom and she saw so much as a tiny patch of snow along the road, she would say, "That snow reminds me of the time Paul and I went to Wichita in a blizzard." And she'd laugh some more. It was during one of those trips down memory lane that I jokingly said, "Paul gets to be funny and not have any flaws. He's your favorite child, isn't he?" She denied it, of course, but the "favorite child" description stuck.
I met Paul once during the time he was here and I didn't think he was particularly amusing. Clearly Mom had raised my expectations far too high, because the guy really is pretty darn funny.
As we always suspected, Paul didn't really want to go into the health food business, and at some point, he decided to give show business a try. He worked the nightclub circuit for a few years, and everyone was excited when went on the Tonight Show for the first time. We were glued to the TV for that first appearance and noted that Johnny's laughter seemed very sincere.
Then Paul got his first movie role in Diner. Of course Kevin Bacon was also in Diner, so Paul is my link to Kevin Bacon. (You know me, and I know Paul, so there's your link to Kevin Bacon, too!) Not long after Diner came out, Paul came to town for an open house at Mom's company. This time, he lived up to all of Mom's hype, and I thought he was hysterical.
Soon, he was in a bigger movie, Beverly Hills Cop. His character bleeped his way through a couple of scenes, and I thought, "Don't the writers know that his mother is going to watch this movie? Don't the writers know that my mother is going to watch this movie?" Sure enough, Mom loved seeing Paul in the movie, but she didn't care for the language. I assured Mom that Paul had no control over the script.
More movie roles followed, and then a TV show, My Two Dads, which lasted a couple of seasons. Then in 1992, Mad About You debuted. Mom thought the first few episodes talked about sex too much. But she couldn't blame Paul for that, because he had no control over the script.
"I don't know, Mom," I said. "He's the creator, writer, director, and executive producer. I'm thinking he has some say. Ahem. Who's your favorite child now?" She laughed.
Mom still enjoyed watching Paul in Mad About You throughout its run, but somehow Paul's pedestal was just a little dinged after that.
I can't imagine why. ;-)