If I had actually been able to go to lunch 30 minutes earlier as I had planned that busy Thursday, I would not have turned on my car radio to Jonathan Brandmeier's Radio Showgram when I did. Thanks to a laborious workday, I tuned into the airwaves just in time to hear an interview, in the typically wacky Johnny B. style, with that great comedic actor Don Knotts.
Yes, if I had not motored out to retrieve my usual cheeseburger and onion rings at that exact moment, I would not have been informed of the unforgettable comedian's appearance that night at Borders Books. Needless to say, there was no question I was heading out to Westwood after work.
If you have never heard of Don Knotts before, may I be the first to welcome you to planet Earth. The man is undoubtedly an American icon an integral facet of pop-culture history. Unarguably, his greatest and most well-known role was that of Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a character for which he was nominated for an Emmy five times. He won, and deserved, all five.
Younger generations, if not aware of the bumbling law-enforcer, will recall his perhaps even more bumbling, leisure-suit-wearing Mr. Furley from Three's Company. Or perhaps you caught his more recent appearance in the hit film Pleasantville as the mysterious TV repairman the result of inspired casting.
Meeting Mr. Knotts was an honor and I was pleased to discover that he is a friendly and warm-hearted individual. He was extremely patient with each and every attendant at the book signing, taking the time to snap pictures with those who wished to do so. (He even offered to retake my picture with him when he thought he may have looked away too soon a courtesy some celebrities don't have the time for.) And despite the organizers' indication that the Q&A that was scheduled to follow the book signing was to be canceled, Mr. Knotts stayed later to answer quite a few eager attendees' inquiries about his career and experiences a chat that proved to be both informative and, quite appropriately, funny.