As a lifestyle reporter for Fox 11 and the Good Day LA morning show, I get the chance to do all sorts of fun things like driving a 10,000-pound monster truck, taste-testing my way through countless restaurants and slam-dunking with the Harlem Globetrotters. I also get to meet lots of fun people, including the occasional celebrity or reality TV star. And while there are still plenty of famous folks I’ve yet to meet, here are five celebs I’ve encountered that were particularly great in person.
5 Color Me Badd
“I Wanna Sex You Up!” Who could forget those five words set to music back in the 90s? (Don’t lie; you know you have it on your iPod.) Little did I know that 20 years after that song topped the charts I would reunite the boy band responsible for such lyrical poetry. OK, well I didn’t reunite the band, but I am responsible for getting the group to perform for the first time on live television once they announced their SoCal reunion tour dates in 2012. (One of my proudest pop culture achievements.) Not only did I have the guys perform on Good Day LA, but later that evening we all met up for dinner in Downtown LA and went to a concert! They’ve definitely had their ups and downs (many of them documented in the press), but based on my experience, they’re all family men now and genuinely humble. And they can still sang!!! #Trust
4 Ozzy Osbourne
One of the benefits of working at a TV station is that I never know who I’m going to run into while walking the halls backstage. Case in point: The day I literally bumped into Ozzy Osourne. He was on his way out of the studio and I was rushing back to get my hair done or something like that and before I knew it, bam! I bumped right into him. He was so polite and friendly and smelled like fresh soap. We talked a little and took a picture, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what he said to me. Only that he said it in an English accent and had the nicest disposition. Hard to believe this was the same guy who once bit off a bat’s head.
3 Tasha Smith
When I first met Tasha Smith, I didn’t know her by name, only by the crazy big-mouthed character she played in the “Why Did I Get Married?” movies. But as soon as I said hello, it was like talking to an old girlfriend. She is as hilarious as her character (minus the #cray) and makes you feel as though you’ve known her forever. Tasha is straight up fabulous.
2 Shorty Rossi
When I met Shorty Rossi (aka the “Pit Boss” on Animal Planet), I had a feeling we’d hit it off. He’s a little person with a big personality and an even bigger heart. I interviewed him while covering the Pet Expo in Long Beach and he was just so funny and down to earth, even (especially) when the cameras weren’t on. Like he says, “What you see is what you get.” He’s the kind of guy who isn’t afraid to make fun of himself or find the humor in any situation and I admire that he has devoted his life to saving animals and rescuing pit bulls. How could I not love this guy?!
1 Gordon Ramsay
He’s the foul-mouthed, short-tempered chef from “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares,” but Gordon Ramsay was anything but a nightmare when I spent the morning interviewing him at Fat Cow, his new restaurant in Los Angeles. He was charming, professional and unexpectedly full of compliments! I mean, when the guy famous for cursing out folks says you smell good and your hair is nice & shiny, it kinda goes a long way.
Lifestyle reporter and food & fun expert Mar Yvette is on a mission to show you the best places to eat, drink, shop and have fun. You can watch her weekdays on Fox 11 in Los Angeles and every Thursday morning hosting the Marpop Weekend Roundup on Good Day LA. Mar is a featured contributor for the Huffington Post and a lifestyle expert on the Ricki Lake Show.