Ferris Bueller, Carrie Bradshaw and me

I ran into Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker and tried to act all hip and cynical. Now I'm really, really sorry.

Topics: Sarah Silverman,

Ferris Bueller, Carrie Bradshaw and me

I said something stupid to Matthew Broderick a couple of weeks ago.

I was caught up in an attempt at mildly cynical, hip, deadpan ironic humor, which didn’t work, and now I’ve appeared as a fool before an icon of my generation. I also found a nice Jewish therapist and put a nice Jewish lawyer on retainer that night, so at least I have a cushion upon which to fall back.

A rainy Thursday evening is a decent time for the most popular actress on television to go out with her husband and some friends for a bit of edgy urban comedy; such an evening is equally decent for two Pho-bloated young rabbinical students to do the same, so it was not surprising that we found ourselves in line at the box office together: myself, rabbi-to-be Justin Kerber, Sarah Jessica, Matthew and their two friends, one of whom, I later learned, once had a funny gig on the Comedy Channel with a prosthetic nose.

It was the penultimate performance of the sold-out Sarah Silverman show “Jesus Is Magic.” Silverman, an attractive, young, mildly cynical, hip, deadpan ironic comedienne has appeared on, to offer a brief sampling, “Saturday Night Live,” “Politically Incorrect” and a show on the Fox network with puppets. “Penultimate” means that the next night was the last show. (It was also Shabbos the next night. Good Shabbos.)

Before the show I bumped into Sarah Silverman, who looks more zaftig on the poster, on the street. She asked if she could sign my breast. The pen I handed her didn’t do too well on skin, so all she managed to scratch into my flesh before giving up was a single S. At that point we realized that we have the same initials. Even more fantastic is that her middle name is Bennett as well.

The show was sold out, but Justin Kerber and I had gotten our name on the standby list that afternoon. So we stood around a bit. I had just had a chat about the golden days of MTV with Colin Quinn, and was standing against the wall, hoping that I would get into the show. Colin had tickets. Maybe an “SNL” connection. Sarah Silverman had told me earlier that she couldn’t even get tickets for her own friends. So much for the bonds of the flesh, I mused as I rubbed my sore breast.

Suddenly Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick walked in front of me, entered the theater and got in line at the box office. She wore a white flowered maternity dress, soft and pretty, and a shawl. Her hair was pulled back. He wore jeans and a T-shirt and a thin moustache. I didn’t see her shoes. Mine were Israeli. New York women followed her with their eyes and flushed and blushed and quietly gushed devotional phrases such as, “I love you.” I looked at her belly. Huge with child. The Broderick-Parker child.

You Might Also Like

I followed them into the building and got on line. Rabbi-to-be Justin Kerber followed. Standing behind Matthew, but not too close, I was not exactly overhwelmed or intoxicated by this brush with celebrity — chatting with Colin Quinn and Sarah Silverman had warmed me up to the simple truth that, even though Dee Snider is the only famous person in Coral Springs, Fla., and even though I am certain that Brad Pitt is far cooler than people assume, famous people are the same size as us, buy pretzels from the same Venezuelan vendor as us, don’t smell any better and don’t even necessarily shave well. Rather, I was just strangely determined to have Matthew Broderick know that I’m a funny guy. And clever. As clever as the brand of humor we were both willing to pay 30 bucks to see that night.

So I said it.

“You were great in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’”

Wait! Don’t crinkle your brow, don’t think such retorts. Let Matthew speak your mind for you:

“I wasn’t in that movie.”

Well, beloved friends, that was the end of me. I made a brief attempt to explain the joke to him: “I know, I just figured you get tired of hearing about ‘Ferris Bueller.’” And then Matthew Broderick nodded at me the way a fellow might nod if you had just told him that you like to pee in your own socks, and then he turned away.

Sarah Jessica (the real star of this scene, no doubt — yes, she’s very pretty) didn’t hear a word of it. She looked stressed. In the city.

My joke? Just a bit of wink-wink irony, as if to say, “You’ve probably been thanked for ‘Ferris Bueller’ a thousand times, so I’ll just thank you for a movie you weren’t even in, as a sort of acknowledged irony between two clever chaps.” But actually, it was more like, “Hi Matthew, I’m stupid — no, just kidding, but I am tremendously ludicrous and abstruse. And did you know that I like to pee in my own socks?”

Maybe I should have said, “Man, ‘War Games’ was awesome. That HAL was one tough computer!”

Rabbi-to-be Justin Kerber, who is now my lawyer on a $30 retainer, was more straight with the star:

“Matthew Broderick? I love your stuff.” Glorious simplicity. Perfection. I’ve been reading the wrong lifestyle magazines.

So now I’m stuck with this moment, this shame. I just wanted to use a bit of irony. You know, a reversal of what is expected, like Sarah Silverman signing my own name on my breast. I told my new doctor, Dr. Craig Blinderman, that my joke was akin to telling Clint Eastwood that “Death Wish 3″ was his best. Or even better, thanking Harrison Ford for being the saving grace of “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” Dr. Blinderman thought that the Star Wars joke was funny, but didn’t like the Broderick one.

Neither did Broderick.

Prior to this devastating encounter, I had met my new shrink, Dr. F, who has served in the past as a lay rabbi, outside the theater. He was outside the theater looking for a convenience store, and I was outside the theater looking for a new perspective. I told him that I wanted to bring a fiery Pentecostal spirit to Reform Judaism. He gave me his card.

After the Matthew Broderick incident, I crossed the lobby to seek out Dr. F. I was beginning to admit the foolishness of my ways to the doctor when the box office fellow arrived and began to admit standby people into the theater. I made it into the show, but I don’t think that Dr. F, whose companion was the ex-daughter-in-law of Mia Farrow, got his name called, so he didn’t get to hear Sarah Silverman say, “We really have no good reason to make fun of midgets. But we do, because we’re not scared of them.”

I want to use this moment to apologize sincerely to Matthew Broderick and his stellar wife for the stupid thing I said. It was presumptuous of me to attempt to overturn the entire celebrity-fan dynamic by accosting him with an unprovoked bad joke, and it was cocky of me to assume that he (you, Matthew) would actually be receptive to my tragic efforts at clever intercourse. I hope you can find it in your hearts to let this one go so we can start fresh. If you like, you can both join me and some friends for the next two episodes of Kieslowski’s “Decalogue” this Wednesday at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema. Tickets and Raisinets are on me.

Speaking of intercourse, Sarah Silverman ends her show with a rendition of “You Are My Sunshine,” sung in three-part harmony by herself, her vagina and her ass. Honestly. She uses three microphones. The anal voice was quite deep, and it made me think of some of my own issues. I’ll probably discuss them with Dr. F when next we meet. He says that he’ll give me a therapy session if I buy him lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen.

A little beef and sympathy.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>