Celebs brought fun to 'Express Written Consent'
Actors, comedians, musicians among personalities to give their takes this year
If we've learned one thing over the years, it's that celebrities and baseball are a good mix, mainly because it's difficult to find anyone in mainstream Hollywood who doesn't appreciate the great pastime.
Many of them are Dodgers fans by now, of course, by way of default or proximity or convenience, but that doesn't mean L.A. is where their loyalties began. The histories spread far and wide from coast to coast, as we found out during another successful season of Klondike's "Express Written Consent," MLB.com's bold venture that brings actors, comedians and musicians out to the ballpark to chat about baseball and anything else that happens to pop up in conversation.
Through EWC, hosted by Jeremy "J.B." Brisiel, we learned that the Madden brothers bear tattoos of their beloved hometown Baltimore Orioles as well as their adopted Dodgers. We know J.B. Smoove -- perhaps best known for his role as Leon, the houseguest that would never leave in Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- loves the Yankees, dating back to the days of Billy Martin and Thurman Munson. Actor John G. McGinley falls into that category as well, laying claim to loving the Yankees back in the leaner years when they were "owned by CBS, and were the quintessence of mediocrity."
We know that an 8-year-old Rob Reiner, a Giants fan from birth, obtained and lost a Willie Mays autograph all in one angst-ridden day at the Polo Grounds, which left him, in his words, "... crying like a baby for days."
We know that 6-foot-1 Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, once met Stan Musial in a restaurant and vowed never to wash her hand again.
We also found out Tony Danza's baseball persona wasn't total fiction. Sure, he played ex-Cardinal Tony Micelli in the hit '80s show "Who's the Boss?", but as it turns out, he can play a little in real life, too. That led to him having a very -- poignant? -- moment with Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda during a celebrity baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Lasorda ran out to greet Danza following a game-winning, two-run single, and said, "This is what this team needs -- another Italian."
But what we really learned through a season's worth of EWCs is that a fun game titled "Start, bench, cut" creates all kinds of chaos for these celebs who, as it turns out, aren't so good at playing favorites.
Make Danza pick between Samantha, Angela and Mona -- his three co-stars on "Who's the Boss?," and he'll just chuckle and say, "This sucks, man. This game is no fun."
Ask Wil Wheaton, a self-proclaimed gamer, to pick between video games, role-playing games and comic books, and he'll conclude, "That's awful. Why don't you just ask me which of my children I want to drown?"
"Well, because that would be awkward," J.B. deadpanned.
The rest of the celebs interviewed had similar reactions when asked to choose between three items -- sometimes living beings, sometimes inanimate objects -- that mean something to them.
"This is a terrible thing," Reiner said.
McGinley: "I'm going to start crying. I'm going to hang myself after this."
This was, of course, all in good fun, which, by all accounts, was had by all. Ken Jeong, who at the beginning of his segment pretty much professed his undying love for Steve Garvey, was rendered practically speechless when the Dodgers legend dropped by to offer a forehead pat down and a signed Dodgers jersey. Reiner tried his hand at calling an Andy Pettitte-Yasiel Puig faceoff, and he did an excellent job of giving a pin-point description of Puig's double off the center-field wall.
Some of these EWCs got a little cheeky, too. Aisha Tyler was asked to use a baseball term to describe the first time she saw her husband, who was her college sweetheart, and she answered with, "Charge the mound."
There were some poignant moments, too, like when Jeong met Garvey.
"I know I've been joking all night, but this kid is crying on the inside," Jeong said. "Tears of joy. I can't believe that just happened. It's impossible to be cynical in this world when this just happened.
"That's what baseball is all about. That's why this is America's pastime. It is a field of dreams. It really is."
A very real moment with a guy best known as a loud, rude, flamboyant international criminal named Mr. Chow in the "Hangover" movies.
Who are we to argue?