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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Dancing with the stars

    Andi Berlinarts columnist
    Andi Berlin
    arts columnist

    As I stepped into the swank New York City restaurant bustling with celebrities and debutantes, I was immediately aware of the electronic Sublime remix exploding from the speakers. The upscale hangout apparently catered to the chic and sophisticated, but upon seeing it, I got the impression it was created more to impress college students who didn’t know the difference between caviar and anchovies.

    I was there, after all, for a college press junket and the big guys at Paramount Pictures wanted to pull out all their tricks. Their new comedy “”Hot Rod”” was coming to theaters in August, and the P.R. people were willing to spend more than a thousand dollars per person to get the word out. This meant a free stay at The W., one of the most upscale hotels in Union Square, free plane tickets, transportation to and from the airport, a free dinner and open bar, and $75 to spend while we were at the hotel.

    But perhaps most importantly, we got to meet one of “”Saturday Night Live’s”” currently big stars: Andy Samberg. Although that might not mean a lot to Phil Hartman purists, most people admire Andy from that ridiculous “”Dick in a Box”” skit where him and Justin Timberlake pretend to give their private parts as Christmas gifts.

    Seeing him from across the neon room, I noticed he was a great deal more attractive than he looked on YouTube. His curly brown hair complemented his fashionable dark rimmed glasses and olive complexion. Plus, his upper body reminded me of Brad Pitt’s character in “”Troy.”” The chest muscles were overtly defined, and his arms bulged from underneath his tight hipster T-shirt. Every girl in the room was glancing at him from the corner of their eyes, waiting for a chance to approach and make it seem like they were interviewing him.

    When I sat down at a table next to three other college students, our waitress brought over two pizzas, two gigantic salads, and then an enormous mix plate of sushi, spare ribs and calamari. Devouring the food, I ordered my second vodka sour of the night, hoping the drunkenness would give me enough confidence to talk to the Adonis.

    After about another hour of drinking, the glare of the lights dramatically increased and my reservations disappeared. I stumbled over to Andy and slapped his back, making an appreciative gun shape with the fingers of my other hand, and then, as if this wasn’t bad enough, smacking my tongue in an obnoxious gesture of acknowledgement.

    “”Well, hello there!”” I yelled, even though he was right next to me and the music was no longer that loud. “”My name’s Andi too. Hey, have you ever just wanted to laugh, like, right in the middle of a skit?””

    “”Um…”” Andy turned his head in my direction, and paused for a second, as if he was contemplating whether he had to answer me or not. “”Yeah, I guess. I caught myself though.””

    There was a tinge of contemptuous sarcasm in his voice, but I decided not to give up and tried one more time to start up a good conversation.

    “”That’s funny, yeah I’ve seen those skits where they all laugh the whole time. It’s good you didn’t do that. Hey what’s your favorite SNL character?””

    “”Like ever?””

    “”Yeah, ever. Like ever ever. For ever ever?”” Oh Jesus, I thought, did I just say that?

    “”Uh, I don’t really know. I like them all I guess,”” he shrugged his arms and turned the other way. That’s it; my embarrassment was complete. The only thing now to do was drink more so I’d forget about it. Tomorrow at the round table interview, I’d have another chance to talk to him. Maybe then I’d be sober enough to ask an intelligent question.

    At midnight, we finally escaped to into the overwhelming array of garbage, people, colorful lights and bars of the city. My friend from the dorms that lives in New York now met me by my hotel and took me to one of her favorite dive bars in the East Village. Although this place didn’t have bamboo canapǸs over the tables and exotic flaming mango shots, I felt a lot more at home. The dǸcor was humble but chic, and everyone here was friendly, talkative and didn’t ignore you when you asked them a bumbling question. But most of all, nobody liked Sublime. This was the New York City I had been waiting to see, the real New York City, and it made me extremely glad I didn’t take a limo to Times Square the tourist trap like the other college students were doing.

    I was having so much fun dancing on the slippery floor squashed in between dozens of excited sweating bodies, that I didn’t realize it was four in the morning when I finally left. When I woke up in the silk sheets and expensive bath robe of my extravagant but empty hotel room, I realized it was 11 in the morning and I had missed the round table discussion. Oh well. Andy Samberg may have been a New Yorker, but he wasn’t New York.

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