Adam Riff™ Mailbag

Carey Mahoney writes:
Jon, have you ever had a nickname?

Uhh…

July 1996.

On the first day of a summer school English class, the instructor asked each student to fill out an index card with information about themself, and draw a self-portrait on the back. After gazing at my self-portrait, I noted that it "looks like Ben Stiller."

Little did I know that the instructor would go through said index cards in front of the class.

"Looks like Ben Stiller? Who's Ben Stiller?"
"Uhh… He's an actor, and a director. He directed The Cable Guy."
[crickets]

Now Ben Stiller was not unknown in 1996. He had had a show on network television with his name in the title, and he was one of the leads in Reality Bites, and he had just hosted the MTV Movie Awards.

But he was unknown to everyone else in that classroom.

And so, for the next six weeks…

[raises hand]
"Yes, Actor/Director Ben Stiller!"

Jon "Ben Stiller" Yu.

1 Comment

  1. Drew 24 Jul 13 at 02:35

    This sounds like the first 1/3 of a "This American Life" segment.

    Reply

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