The Hardest Hike

Back in the late ’70s, when I was still able to be up and around, my wife Claire and I enjoyed hiking Vermont Canyon in Griffith Park. It’s a pretty good hike with trails winding around to the top of a couple of the tallest peaks in LA. Usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how hot it is. On this one day, which I recall being fairly hot out, Claire wasn’t feeling well and so I did the hike alone. It was actually quite nice, as the silence and higher elevation really seemed to clear my head. When I reached the top of the peak (I think it’s called Dante’s View if I’m not mistaken), I looked out over Los Angeles, glimmering in the early daylight like billions of diamonds had been scattered all over the city. I thought of Claire. After I caught my breath and had some water, I began the descent, but a couple steps down the steep path I slipped on some loose pebbles and slid into the brush. Suddenly I hear a deafening roar and then everything was black for a second, but I quickly realized I’d just been bitten in the calf by a bobcat. My leg was torn to shreds. I was sure this was it for me, but then suddenly a shirtless hiker with a headband and wrap-around sun shades jumped down into the brush and took the bobcat from behind, then took me from behind, then took me down the canyon to get medical attention. That hiker was Chuck Woolery.

— DENNY (Los Angeles, CA)

Sun Tea

It was mid-afternoon, and I’d just finished mowing Ms. Levy’s lawn. I remember being frustrated because it was an older mower, with the grass catch bag off to the side, which made it hard to get close to the fence if you were going the wrong way. For the most part, the yard was flat except for a 10-15 yard length in the middle that sloped down quite a bit… made it tricky to keep the mower wheel lines straight. Finally reaching a point of unbearable frustration and exhaustion, I climbed the steps up to the deck, grabbed the sun tea jug, opened the screen door, and headed back into Ms. Levy’s house. I noticed that my crocs had tracked some grass across the kitchen so I kicked them off and turned toward the fridge to grab some ice. When I closed the fridge, the game show host Chuck Woolery was just standing where the door was, looking at me weirdly, and he grunted something about water wreaking havoc on bamboo floors. Then he took me from behind by the kitchen island. I spilled some of the sun tea.

— JAROD (Calabasas, CA)

Rising Star

I was starring in a sitcom back in the ’80s. Let’s call it “Chuck the Babysitter Who Is Responsible for Everything”. Once the show really started to hit and became a popular success, my agents and managers had me going around town meeting everybody with an office. Everybody wants a piece, especially when you’re young and on the covers of all the teenybopper magazines. I got offered everything: Flight of the Navigator. One Crazy Summer. Teen Wolf. Airwolf. You name it. It was all happening. So anyway, I’m talking to some Executive Schmuck at his offices in Beverly Hills, I don’t even remember what it was about, but we finish the meeting and his assistant validates my valet parking for the garage downstairs. Well I get down there to pick up my car and the attendant says “That’ll be $12.95”, but I try to tell him it was validated. He says it was only validated for one hour, but our meeting ran an hour and forty-five (because that schmuck had the balls to make me wait 15 minutes!), so I still owed the extra $12.95. Fuming at this point, I march my ass back to the elevators to go get my goddamned validation. On the way up, this other guy in the elevator hits the emergency stop button, turns me around, takes me from behind, and keeps telling me what a pretty little star I am while also humming the theme from my sitcom. Turns out it was Chuck Woolery! Love that guy.

— SCOTT (Hollywood, CA)

Never Forget

I lost my brother on September 11th. I try not to get into the “it should have been me” stuff because those types of thoughts aren’t going to bring him back - and above that - aren’t entirely true. He was the one who wanted to take the reins at our father’s courier company in New York - I never did. I always had bigger plans; loftier ambitions. It sounds particularly shitty saying that now that he’s dead, but I think it’s okay. Jake wouldn’t mind. Anyway, I was in Los Angeles working on a web series for Crackle.com when word started spreading that an elite unite of Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden. It was a Tuesday (I believe it happened on a Sunday, but word spreads slowly when you’re working 14 hour days on comedic shorts about what would happen if medical marijuana turned people into zombies. Genius, right?) The cast and I were banging out some killer ‘roke at Dimples in Burbank when my phone rang. I stepped outside to answer it, but quickly dropped the call. It was then that I heard a familiar voice. “Service in the Valley sucks - you can borrow my phone if you want.” It was Chuck Woolery, from TV. He handed me his phone, I called my brother’s widow back, talked for a minute, hung up, returned the phone, walked into the alleyway and settled behind a dumpster where Chuck Woolery then brutally took me from behind. In retrospect, I guess I just needed to feel something.

— STEVE (Valley Village, CA)

The Deathly Hallows

I’m sort of an insane Harry Potter fan, so I was definitely jacked to see the last movie at midnight the day it opened. I got tickets for the Universal City Walk, cause it was one of the only places it was playing in 3D in like all of LA. I’m a big fan, but I don’t like dress up or whatever because, hello, I’m 31, not 12. I def got there early though cause I figured the place would be an Azkaban of wacko Potter nerds, but the douchedicks at the theater wouldn’t let us in till like 11:30, so I had a good two hours to kill. I checked out the City Walk scene for awhile, because they got a bunch of cool store and restaurants and shit, but I didn’t have enough extra cash to do the Zero-Gravity Bungee-Blast Silo, so I got some Yogurtland then just sat on my hands until the AMC people finally let us into the theater. I got my Sour Patch Kids and a Mr. Pibb (standard), then went into the theater. But soon as the previews start some dude in the front row dressed like Dumbledore starts yelling fake spells and shit and totally spazzing out so everyone keeps telling him to shush. Not even being about to let this nerd ruin DH pt. 2 for me, I finally get up to go tell him what’s what, but when I stand in front of him down by the screen, he whispers something and actually fucking freezes me where I stand, like with magic or something (or maybe it was poison dart, I dunno it was dark). Then he took me from behind while calling me Voldemort. Everyone was too busy watching the opening credits to even notice! When he finished, he pushed me to the ground and pulled down his fake beard so only I could see it. It was Chuck Woolery. Needless to say, I got my money back and did that Bungee-Blast instead.

— SETH (Los Angeles, CA)

Spago

When I first got to LA, my aunt Carol, who was a pretty big producer back then, pulled some strings to get me a job as hostess at Spago. I worked lunches mostly, but would pick up dinner shifts whenever I could, cause that was when most of the real players came into the place. Every Wednesday night at 8:30pm Michael Ovitz would dine there with his family, and at that time, he was the man to know in showbiz. Thinking if I could just get him to take notice of me it could be a real break for my acting, one night I paid off the other girls 20 bucks each (which was basically all my money for the week) to let me be the one to take Mr. Ovitz to his table. As I walked him across the restaurant, I smiled as brightly as I ever had, and tried my best to move with the kind of elegance and grace I’d only seen on the Miss America Pageant. When we finally got to table 37, his regular spot, I pulled chairs for his children and wife, handed him the wine menu and asked, “Will you be starting with your usual, Mr. Ovitz?” Looking across the restaurant, right through me, Ovitz handed me a piece of paper and, “Please give this to the gentleman by the coat room immediately.” Wanting to do as I was told, I rushed to the coat room and found the man rifling through jacket pockets. I tapped him on the shoulder, then handed him the note. As he read it, I noticed he looked vaguely familiar, but that’s when he threw a trench coat over both us and took me from behind as quickly as he could. Later I realized that man was Chuck Woolery, the original host from Wheel of Fortune. Never found out what the note said, but I suspect it was probably something about Pat Sajack.

— EVELYN (Van Nuys, CA)

Meet Cute

The other night my friend Kelly invited me to a party at some producer’s house in the Hills. When we got there I was surprised by how young everyone was, because the party was basically just like every college party I’ve ever been to, except the people were all a couple years older and the house and furniture was nicer. They had this elaborate Tiki bar thing set up out by the pool, and while we’re waiting in line to get a drink, I start talking to this guy Eric. Turns out he’s a writer (which also is what I’m trying to do), and works on that show “Modern Family”. He was really nice and funny, and we sort of hit off I guess, so we end up spending most of the night just talking to each other. When I finally realize how late it’s gotten, I can’t find Kelly anywhere, so I end up just getting a ride home from Eric. He drops me off, we make a date to go see that movie “Beginners” the next day, and we quickly peck each other goodnight. Back in my apartment, I’m heating up a ham and cheese Lean Pocket when I get a text from Kelly that just says, “Watch out!” and then all of a sudden Chuck Woolery pulls me into my own pantry, takes me from behind, then takes off with my Lean Pocket.

— ALLY (Los Feliz, CA)

Surf Rider

A few years back my girlfriend got me surfing lessons for my birthday. So one Saturday morning, I went down to this weird beach sorta by the airport, and met a couple of hippie-looking dudes unpacking boards and equipment out of this run-down LA Surf School van. There was just me, and this touristy dad and his daughter. The instructors gave us some wet suits that smelled like mildew and told us to lay flat on these boards they’d put out on the beach. For like thirty minutes we didn’t even go into the water, but just kept practicing popping up on the board. Anyway, finally they paddle us out into the breakwaters, and I swear to god, I got up on my first try, and rode this wave all the way up to shore! But that’s when Chuck Woolery, the guy from TV, popped up out of the shallows, dragged me into his Land Cruiser, and took me from behind. I thought he was Alan Thicke at first, but he kept grunting his name, so I put two and two together.

— JAY (San Dimas, CA)

The General

My agent sent me on a general meeting with the casting department at the CBS-Radford Studio. This is in 1991, I think. When I got there, the receptionist told me to wait in the lobby and gave me a water. I was just leafing through one of the trade magazines when all of a sudden this kid who introduced himself as Ron and couldn’t have been older than 17 approached me and asked me to follow him. I went in to a big conference room with a bunch of executive types who all just nodded and smiled politely but didn’t get up or say anything, then followed Ron through another door into a pretty dark office. He told me it was the Studio Commissary, then left me alone. About 5 minutes later, the door opened, and in walks Chuck Woolery, who I recognized from watching The Love Connection. He looked very put together. After sizing me up for a moment, but without saying a word, Chuck handed me a single autographed headshot (except the weird thing is he’d autographed my own headshot), then brusquely took me from behind.

— TASHA (El Segundo, CA)