The Weirdest Convention I Ever Did With Dave Dorman

Dave and I have been together for 15 years now, so as you can imagine, we’ve shared many bizarre convention adventures, given the sheer number of shows we’ve done. However, there’s one small, local convention that still wins for the most bizarre. Being there, I felt like I was floating through this weird, drug-induced pop culture dream, filled with disparate TV and film characters from my youth and early adulthood.

It was a small collectors’ show at a suburban Chicago Holiday Inn, held in this cramped, low-ceilinged, poorly lit conference room. The moment I walked in, I was met by actor Richard Kiel (Jaws from James BondSQUEE!–and hilarious in Happy Gilmore) joined by his lovely wife.

Actor Richard Kiel, JAWS in James Bond films "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker."

Actor Richard Kiel, JAWS in James Bond films “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.”

At this point, Richard was already having health issues, confined to getting around in a Rascal, which broke my heart a little. He was a gentle giant and a sweet soul, very kind to the fans.

Further down the line of tables on the same side as Richard Kiel was the elegant Goldfinger actress Shirley Eaton, who was with one of her sons hawking books of her own poetry and autographing pictures of her gold-painted Bond Girl character, Jill Masterson. That was one tzotchke I had to have, although I gifted it to a kindred James Bond fan later that evening for his birthday. (Side note: Those exotic James Bond films were a VERY. BIG. DEAL. at my house growing up. About once every February a James Bond flick was ABC’s Movie of the Week, my TV viewing highlight of the year).

Actress Shirley Eaton was still beautiful in her 70s when I met her.

Actress Shirley Eaton was still beautiful in her 70s when I met her.

Shortly past Shirley, and directly across from Dave Dorman was actress Erin Moran of Happy Days fame. You might be surprised to know that petite little Erin has this husky, whiskey-and-cigarettes tone of voice that really carries…the sort of voice that literally exhausts Dave and vexes his spirit. The gregarious sort, Erin’s voice was a loud, constant drone throughout the show. Dave couldn’t escape it, penned to his table, enduring 8 hours of it on Saturday. He actually shortened his exhibit hours on Sunday, as he could no longer bear the sound of her. Erin was great to her fans, but Dave was not one of them.

Happy Days actress Erin Moran

Happy Days actress Erin Moran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind Erin Moran was the very sweet and kind Carroll Spinney, the voice of Sesame Street’s Big Bird

Carroll Spinney, The Voice of SESAME STREET's BIG BIRD

Carroll Spinney, The Voice of SESAME STREET’s BIG BIRD

and actor Larry ThomasThe Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.

Actor Larry Thomas, the beloved Soup Nazi from Seinfeld

Actor Larry Thomas, the beloved Soup Nazi from Seinfeld

When my cousin Becky and I watched “Dazed and Confused,” we both felt as if we’d been partying all night just from watching it…it left us with this strange, hung-over feeling. And that’s how I felt after 8 hours at this collectors’ show with the most eclectic mash-up of TV and film figures from my lifetime. I still have the occasional dream–I’m the weirdo who remembers my dreams every morning–where I’m floating through that Holiday Inn pop culture blur…Dazed and Confused.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Weirdest Convention I Ever Did With Dave Dorman

  1. You had me laughing with this one! I totally feel you on this one because I have been to many small shows and the first one was the one here in Colorado Springs where I was asked to be their main event floor manager. The directors had booked a dozen guests and thankfully I knew them all from my childhood but I swear to the heavens some of those people should not have been out of their houses! They had at least 3 guests who were toting around an OXYGEN TANK! I personally would have loved to meet Richard Kiel and Shirley Eaton 🙂
    Great post by the way!

    • Thanks – it’s heart-breaking to think of them being any age beyond what we’ve seen on the TV screen, isn’t it? It’s like my parents – in my mind’s eye, they will always be 35.

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