Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

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mikeyicon
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Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

Post by mikeyicon » August 17th, 2016, 9:58 pm

I eventually would like to work on a bigger project with my experiences, but here's a web-friendly recap of my first Chiller experience, and for those whose attention spans are shorter than mine, I have a quick recap as well on the bottom. Enjoy, and yes, I wrote this very quickly, so be gentle on me for bad grammar and run-on sentences.
Morgan Fairchild
Morgan Fairchild
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Music and movies and TV and books and wrestling have been huge influences on my life and perhaps even skewed my outlook on life. I've always tried to gain fun experiences and meet interesting people along the way. Before 2008, I had attended random NFL and WWF autograph signings, but never really even thought about taking photos, instead being starstruck and getting a quick autograph which now probably sits covered in dust in my closet. I caught wind of this thing called Chiller Theatre in April 2008 via browsing on-line, and was blown away by the guest list featuring a lot of stars of the movies and shows I enjoyed in my youth which still hold a big place in my heart. At the last moment, I decided to not go since I was kind of on the fence, but when I saw photos on-line after the event, I was kicking myself and was determined to go the next time. I was just hoping this show was more fan-friendly than Wizard World and other shows that might have been fun, but in terms of long lines and genuine convo opportunities with the stars, royally sucked.

When the guests were being announced for the October 2008 show, my mind begun to get shaken to it's core. The amazing guest names kept on coming and coming at a rapid pace each day. Ace Frehley, WOW! The Sweathogs from Welcome Back Kotter, NO WAY (it's my favorite TV sit-com of all time and shame on anybody who has never seen it. Just watch the pilot, and don't not come back saying you laughed your ass off!) Ralph Macchio, AWESOME! Jamie Luner, MAMA! Morgan Fairchild, Leslie Nielsen, Corey Haim, Barry Williams, Dukes Of Hazzard, wrestlers, obscure 70's and 80's legends!!!! The show at the Parsippany Hilton was literally right down the street, so no excuses this time. I would go and hope the prices weren't ridiculous and lines wouldn't be too long.

My dad, my brother, and I went on Saturday around noon, and learned our first lesson about Chiller: Try to avoid going on Saturday unless it's a must. The line was crazy wrapped around the building, and it was raining which made it crappier. The nice thing about Chiller being in a hotel is that you can hang out in the lobby or the bar and still absorb some of the scene. We hung out at the bar right above what the Chiller fans know as "The Pit" and were amazed at the scene. Boom Boom from Welcome Back Kotter also worked right in front of us, and took a photo with my brother and dad without hesitation, so I figured perhaps the rules weren't so strict after all. We got Corey Haim who was sitting right below us to give us a shout-out, but knew it might just be better to come back Sunday early so we could get the whole experience. BTW, Rest in Peace, Corey! I read Corey Feldman's book, and man did Corey Haim have a rough go in the business.
Corey Haim
Corey Haim
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So on Sunday morning, we got there at nine in the morning and waited outside the ticket window. Ironically, we were in line with a fellow movie fan named Chris, who has become a friend and has his own great Chiller experience which I will discuss down the road. We talked about movies and who we wanted to see, and the time waiting flew by. We got our wristbands, and it was now on like donkey kong to truly see what this show was all about.

My memory is very good, but even I can't remember the actual order of who we went to see first. I just remember how amazing that you could talk to the guest while nobody was hawking photos or prices at us or telling us to get lost if we weren't buying anything. Except for some big names there weren't crazy lines. People were nice and even some were dressed up in costume. I felt like this was a place that was taylor-made just for me. Of course there were a lot of really strange people, but you are going to get that anywhere you go whether it be at a football game, the mall, or what have you. They had this blown up tent outside the hotel where a lot of the guests who were more to my liking were seated including the Sweathogs. We were having a ball, our adrenaline was sky high, and it was the beginning of a new hobby for me.

Quick stories about some of the guests since I could go on and on. I will provide more detail when and if I eventually write a book:

As mentioned, Welcome Back Kotter is a huge favorite of mine. I didn't expect John Travolta to be there, but having Boom Boom, Epstein, and Horshack was fine with me. Robert Hegyes (RIP!) offered my brother a piece of gum. WHOA, a piece of gum from the guy who was voted "Most Likely To Take A Life!" Ron Palillo who played the legendary Arnold Horshack was having a convo with me, I'm still getting chills even now as I am writing this, and still sad that he is no longer with us. And Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs who remembered us from the the bar the previous day, openly talking about the legacy of the show, his relationship with Travolta, the Pulp Fiction spoofs. My brother sprang for a signed photo which I'm kicking myself now for not getting, but I needed to get the photo. The Sweathogs loved us since we were true fans and springing random facts about the show to them that casual fans wouldn't know including what happened to Beau! (Only fans of the show would even get that!) I had to get a photo even though the handler was being tough that I had to shell out money. I had my dad take the camera. Boom Boom told us to get the camera ready and make it quick and didn't care about the money, neither did the other two guys. Of course my dad cut out my brother in the photo, but I got a good picture for a quick take. Rest in Peace, Epstein and Horshack!
Sweathogs
Sweathogs
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Boom Boom
Boom Boom
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KISS has been a huge part of my life, and I'm in the minority of becoming a fan in 1988 not knowing they even wore the make-up and had those amazing stage shows in the seventies. I needed the photo with Ace, and figured having an album cover to get signed would guarantee that. Since the line had died (another Chiller tip, if you are patient, Ace's line will die down on Sunday and you can walk right in). His handler indicated I could get a photo if him signing, but no posed photo. I wasn't going to pay more than the $25 I think it was at the time, but figured I would use my social skills to get the photo. I met Ace, had a brief chat about his career, and he asked shouldn't we get a photo? Since he proposed the idea, my brother snapped away, and I got my photo with Ace. He's been back numerous times since, with stricter rules and not even taking the time to speak to my kids for free (not him, his managers!), but I got what I wanted this day.
Ace Frehley (1)
Ace Frehley (1)
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Ace Frehley
Ace Frehley
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Quick highlights as I'm known to go on and on, and I know today's readers want it short and quick:

Since I didn't have my system in place yet, I paid the $10 to get a photo with Jamie Luner who I loved on Just The Ten Of Us and my wife's lifetime movies. I wasn't happy about it and felt kind of awkward to break my code to get a photo without getting an unwanted autographed photo.
Jamie Luner
Jamie Luner
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My dad found Ed Asner in one of the back rooms and indicated he was looking for him. Ed Asner jokingly replied back that he was looking for my dad, and took a photo with him for free. Ironically, I think this might have been before I had a smart phone or good digital camera, and we took on one of those quickie 24 exposure cameras. Ed Asner of course is best known as Lou Grant and the voice of Carl in Up.
Ed Asner
Ed Asner
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Robert Culp (RIP!) was in line for coffee in front of us. I knew of his work vaguely, but my dad really knew him from I Spy. We asked for a photo with him and my dad, he said nothing, looked up, did the photo, and just walked off. Not the best experience, but my dad got the photo, so cool! Believe it or not, he walking on air (as perhaps two people even get that reference!)
Robert Culp
Robert Culp
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I've heard stories that Kevin Nash is nasty to the fans, but he could not have been more pleasant when we chatted with him at this show. Although I didn't get a photo with him (which is fine!), what made up for it was a classic 30 minute conversation about his career, the Bret Hart bio that just came out which has some unkind words about him, WCW, HBK, and more. I'd get an epic photo and another great convo at a future Monster Mania anyhow, so I guess I lucked out with Big Daddy Cool.

William Forsythe is an actor with an extensive resume who I enjoyed as Flat Top in Dick Tracy among other roles. and he too has become a Chiller regular. Little did I know he does photos with fans for free. As I mentioned about him being the son of John Forsythe per a "That Guy" book I had read about character actors, he get really hot and said that was not true at all and wanted to know what the book was as he meant to sue the publishers. I mentioned next time I see him, I would bring the book to show him. Remember this for the next show.

Julie McCullough was super sweet when chatting with her for ten minutes about her role in Big Bad Mama 2 and whatever happened to the actor who played her lover in that film. She laughed and said she had no clue nor could even remember his name. My brother and dad got a photo with her for free which I had the pleasure of taking. Yet, she has become a Chiller regular, and I'd get a great photo with her and her dog at a future show.

Ralph Macchio lived up to expectations. He loved my brother's Cobra Kai shirt, and we shared a friend in common, so he let his guard down and we had a nice quick conversation about his career and family. My brother sprung for a signed photo, and I got a good photo of him chatting with my brother. He's been to a bunch more shows since, and I would eventually get a photo with him, and even a photo with him and my little karate kid down the road.
Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio
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So the first Chiller show was in the books, and WOW what an amazing experience. We no doubt knew we would be returning for the next show hoping that the sequel could live up to the original. Stay tuned next time for the next recap coming to a blog or forum near you.

Millennial Recap
Chiller Show #1 October, 2008 (Introduction To Awesomeness)

Biggest Names I Needed To Meet: Ace Frehley*, The Sweathogs (Robert Hegyes, Ron Palillo, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs*), Ralph Macchio*
Photos Gotten: Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ron Palillo, Robert Hegyes, Ace Frehley, Jamie Luner, Robert Culp#, Ed Asner#, Julie McCullough#
Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda: Ralph Macchio, Ed Asner
MVP: Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
MVP (2): Kevin Nash
MVP (3): Eddie Trunk
Biggest Douche: Terri Runnels (for throwing a hissy fit when taking a photo OF her although she had not one person at her table)
Biggest Line: Leslie Nielsen
Top Billed Name: Leslie Nielsen
Rookie (Somebody who I wasn't familiar with but interested to learn more about!): Zacherle
Best Of The Rest: Morgan Fairchild, Leslie Nielsen, Corey Haim, Scotty Schwartz, Barry Williams*, William Forsythe*, Martin Kove, John Schneider, Catherine Bach, Angie Dickinson, Linda Evans
Rating: A+


AsianDave
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Re: Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

Post by AsianDave » August 17th, 2016, 10:54 pm

mikeyicon wrote:
Morgan Fairchild hot.jpg
Wow! I wish I had known about Chiller back then! Wldve loved to have met Morgan Fairchild! I remember seeing one movie of hers called The Seduction with Andrew Stevens...man, talk about reaching puberty immediately! LOL
Thats a great line up to boot! Great stuff dude!

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Re: Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

Post by Greg2600 » August 17th, 2016, 11:00 pm

Wow, a great read. I really lament missing those years with Pee-Wee, Leslie, Asner, and Corey Haim. I went to Chiller when it was in Secaucus like 15 years ago. I went a few times, mainly to check out the vendor tables for old toys, DVDs, etc. Never again for years, and missed a lot.

PS: DoctorSatan is in the background of one of your photos.

Great Robert Culp story, when I was really little (early 80s) the family went to a car show I in NYC. Probably the old NY Colosseum. So there's a guy standing there and my father talked to him about cars and such for awhile. I didn't know who it was, but years later when I asked, he said that was Robert Culp!
The Paunch Stevenson Show pop culture podcast : http://www.paunchstevenson.com

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Re: Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

Post by Gumby » August 18th, 2016, 1:36 am

I really lament missing those years with Pee-Wee, Leslie, Asner, and Corey Haim.
You and me both! Had no idea about this show until just a few short years ago. My God, the names in this report!!!!

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Re: Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

Post by capman » August 18th, 2016, 10:18 am

Boy, do i love the 8 year after report. i like it a lot because I was there. I was really there for C. Spinney ( Big bird) my first time meeting him there and Ace on Sat. Now this is where Ace was doing free photos with a $30 auto. Line was crazy. Also, the last appearance of the super hot Jamie Luner in those kooky tents.

A great read/refresher indeed.!


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mikeyicon
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Re: Chiller Experience - Mikey's First Chiller (Introduction To Awesome!)

Post by mikeyicon » August 18th, 2016, 12:24 pm

Glad you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Chiller #2 recap coming within next 2-3 days. It's not easy since this forum is not really user-friendly. I have to get the photos below 2 MB and keep saving what I write or get timed out (i'll just write in notepad and paste it here in the future). Also as mentioned these are small recaps as I'd like to eventually work on a bigger project involving chiller and monster mania as well as other events since it might be a neat and maybe even profitable idea.

In the meantime, here are some addl. photos. Note that I won't include any photos with my brother in here without his consent, and later on when my kids become part of the experience, I don't want their photos on here either. This was one of the few shows where I just snapped away to get a feel for the experience.
Seinfeld Midget
Seinfeld Midget
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Haim & Schwartz
Haim & Schwartz
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Catherine Bach
Catherine Bach
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Linda Evans
Linda Evans
Linda Evans.jpg (513.56 KiB) Viewed 3371 times
Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton.jpg (552.26 KiB) Viewed 3371 times
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen.jpg (762.01 KiB) Viewed 3371 times
Martin Kove
Martin Kove
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Sweathogs
Sweathogs
Kotter Cast.jpg (502.9 KiB) Viewed 3371 times
Sweathogs 2
Sweathogs 2
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Kip Winger
Kip Winger
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George Kennedy
George Kennedy
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Erik Estrada
Erik Estrada
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Barry Williams
Barry Williams
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Carroll Spinney
Carroll Spinney
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