Which celebrity did TVgasm find in this sketchy van?
One of the great fringe benefits of seeing celebrities in LA is checking out their rides; so imagine my surprise when one Emmy winning actress rolled up to a restaurant in an old, rundown van that was clearly about twenty years past its prime. Yes, for a brief moment today, the glitteratti became the grundgeratti as a vehicle more apt for abductors, bums, or stoned teenagers parked directly in front of the Griddle Café in West Hollywood, causing craned-necks all around.
And as always, TVgasm was there to watch it all.My friend and I arrived at the Griddle around 1 PM. As usual, there was a wait, and so the two of us stood outside for twenty minutes, casually debating whether that tall guy on the sidewalk was an analyst for ESPN. Turned out he was, and then we killed time pondering why he was in Los Angeles and not Bristol. As you can tell, we were pretty bored.
But then suddenly that Hollywood magic worked its charm. Out of nowhere, a large, ugly, and, well, ghetto van pulled up directly next to us. As my friend and I turned our heads to see what sort of disheveled mess would come tumbling out, we were taken aback to find none other than Drea De Matteo riding shotgun. Whaaa??
Now, I don’t want to be shallow… but I will be, Since when do celebrities ride around in such crappy vehicles? Well, the thick stench of patchouli helped answer that question. Yes, this was a party van of sorts, and judging by Drea De Matteo’s loopy face and wobbly gait, it was pretty obvious that whatever began late last night was still going strong.
Nevertheless, after a few minutes of being parked in front of us, no one had emerged. Drea poked her head out the window a few times as if to say “blaaaaaah”, but aside from that, this dank van was surprisingly silent. But then the side door opened and suddenly we could see a bevy of unwashed, unkempt, and un-sober ladies most likely marveling about Pink Floyd and/or cocaine. There was a flurry of activity as a grungy couple, apparently answering the call of stranded hipsters, emerged from The Griddle and climbed into the van. Well, when you’ve got all the nappy, drug-addled hepcats in one place, why bother going into the restaurant? Have the restaurant come to you! And that’s exactly what this group did as a few waiters lifted a small table into the van.
On the one hand, that’s pretty awesome. I mean, you gather around a bunch of your friends, climb into a retro-van, and eat breakfast inside it — sounds like goofy fun. But when the people doing it look so doped up that they don’t know if they’re in a van or a sultan’s palace, it feels sad and disturbing.
Nevertheless, a few of the ladies busted out cell phones and invited friends to the impromptu party. Who, pray tell, might be showing up? Before we could eavesdrop effectively, the clan dropped a plaid curtain in order to maintain some level of privacy. Well, not so much privacy as darkness perhaps. Ms. De Matteo frequently stepped out of the van — sometimes to take pictures of her friends, sometimes to talk on her cell, and once to find a bottle of Tabasco sauce (and well, then again later to return the bottle). Sporting some red and white striped pajama bottoms, Drea seemed happy but clearly out of it as she sauntered about. We desperately tried to figure out the backstory to all this (because you know there’s a story), but the best we could do was make a few assumptions based on minute details.
Later, just as the food arrived (this posse required the assistance of three waiters), we finally discovered who the women had called: Gina Gershon. Why was this not surprising? Gina Gershon WOULD show up at a ghetto van breakfast. Whatever. It just lends further credence to my Gina Gershon/Sketchy Van corollary.
So thank you, Drea De Matteo, for finally doing something more entertaining than “Joey.”