We all had idols when we were young – actors, singers, writers. We collected cards, shirts and tapes, and wrote fan letters hoping for a reply or an autograph. Sometimes, if you were lucky, chance would have it that you met your idol. Sometimes while enthralled…and sometimes 18 years later.

Here are a few favourite meetings with my childhood idols. Some good and some…er…well:

NKOTB (1/5): Let’s start at the beginning. New Kids on the Block was the first band that I was actually a “fan” of. I had the pillowcases, whole set of cards, shirts, cassettes, videos and a Jon doll. Know what happens when your career starts to drag 15 years after your prime? You end up playing at the Trasheteria in Peterborough. Lucky for me: Probably not so lucky for Jordan Knight. Not only did I go, but I told him it was my birthday as he was walking on stage. Halfway through the set, he sang me Happy Birthday. Not technically a meeting, but that’s enough for me.

Moxy Fruvous (2/4): As fun and fantastic meeting a hero may be, it can go south really quickly. I met Jian Ghomeshi at an industry event. I finally got the guts up to talk to him and ask him what he was up to these days. He said, “Managing lights”. I thought that was a bit weird, but maybe I knew someone who needed lights managed. I said, “Do you have a card?” He obviously did not give me his card. Then I asked where he managed lights. He said all over the world. She’s an international artist.
“LIGHTS”. The singer.
Being horrifically embarrassed, I could only shake his hand and say, “Good luck with that”.

Murray Foster was a bit better. After a few glasses of wine, a friend and I wrote “Murray: I’ve Loved You Since I Was 11! Hug Me Please!” on the back of a pizza box for a Great Big Sea concert. I got called up on stage. I got a hug. And there were rumours on the forum the next day about how I got into the after party. I didn’t, but that’s kind of awesome.

Robert Sean Leonard. I was a huge Swing Kids fan – even had a pair of two-tone wingtips. I had tickets to see him in a play in NY. While standing in the rush line, Mr. Leonard walked by. He looked down at my feet and said, “Nice shoes”. And that was that.

Michael Showalter: This is the newest of the bunch. I can still remember my brother and I watching the very first episode of The State, since we loved sketch comedy. The State quickly became one of my favourite shows, and Michael one of my favourite actors. Recently, he performed at the Horseshoe Tavern. It was one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen. Apparently I had good taste even at 13. Afterwards, I got him to sign a book and was able to tell him that my brother and I used to watch The State, and that I was a huge fan. He said, “Thanks” and nodded. Simple, but really quite lovely.

Duneedon (Sean Hewitt): This one may not be an “idol”, so to speak. In fact, his character scared the bejeezers out of me. I met Duneedon Mr. Hewitt in a pub in Port Hope. A few friends and I were talking about childhood TV shows and I mentioned Read All About It. Someone walking by said something along the lines of “Duneedon? He’s sitting in that booth”. So, I walked over and – yup. A childhood nightmare right in front of me. I introduced myself and we actually chatted for about 10 or 15 minutes. Since putting a real person to a silver floating head, the nightmares have ceased.

What about you? Have you ever met an idol? How’d it go?