Randomness in NY, 1993


Inspired by Nancy’s comment, here’s an email I sent 18 Jul 1993:

While in New York last week, I found out about Broadway on Broadway, a 100th anniversary celebration or some such thing, essentially a bunch of free numbers from all the top Broadway shows, hosted by Lynn Redgrave, Martin Short, Mickey Rooney and so on.

Daniel and I arranged to meet the heretofore unseen Wes at Penn station and headed out to Times Square. We just get out of the station, and we see the Partridge Family bus heading right for us. Weird. We point and look, and they wave us to come on board. We look at each other, figger what the hell and get on board.

“7 die in bizarre Partridge Family Death Cult slaying” is going through my head, but no, it turns out to be a promo for “Nick at Night” who is now showing the Partridge Family. They ask us to pick up cardboard cut out heads of the Partridge Family characters and wave them out the window. The bus is playing really loud PF songs: “I think I love you” “Come on Get happy” over and over and over.

We ended up driving ALL over the damn city. Sticking our heads out the windows and waving, yelling, having the cardboard heads dance around. The people from Nick were these cynical “too cool” media young types, they wouldn’t talk to us, they brought their friends on for a few blocks, they also wouldn’t talk to us, they just smoked and looked “cool” while occasionally waving out the window. The three of us were totally into it, having “evil twin Reuben Kincaid” battles with one set of heads, waving at strangers, cataloguing their reactions (hilarity, confusion, amusement, refusal to look at us (very NY), refusal to acknowledge that it was funny, refusal to wave back). On and on.

We headed to where Robert Redford was directing a film, all the PAs were quite amused, holding up their walkie-talkies for coworkers to hear. Taking photos of the bus. Redford would NOT come out. It turns out he was just behind some truck. We saw his back when we drove away.

The Nick people eventually got off the bus, to go do lunch or meetings. They left us on the bus. The driver kept driving and we just took over. Once the cynical nasty types got off, we really were unfettered and not intimidated. And we talked to everyone! Got smiles, laughter from so many people.

Earlier when stopping for gas the media types went and conferred and shmoozed, and acted cool. People came up to the bus and asked questions. We answered them. What channel? Is this the REAL bus? What time is it on? and so on.

We told some people we were the New Partridge Family. One character said he thought there should be a black guy on the show and “auditioned” by doing Gary Coleman impressions, too funny.

We saw a woman wearing a Mondrian-print dress and I broke up Daniel by saying “Hey! She’s wearing our BUS!”

We probably were on the bus for 2 hours, touring most of the city, seeing hundreds of people, making most of them laugh. I would have killed for a video camera to catch reactions, most reminiscent of those Letterman sequences when he takes the camera out on the streets…
And we missed Broadway on Broadway and NONE of us cared…



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