Where the Stanley Cup goes, oddness follows. So Puck Daddy dispatched friend of the blog Ritch Duncan to the NHL Store to see the Holy Grail … as well as “Inside The Actors Studio” host James Lipton and some guy named Michael J. Fox.
By Ritch Duncan
There's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to spit it out.
James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor's Studio, has the Stanley Cup.
As I write these words, the greatest trophy in the world, the chalice that is not only awarded to the team that wins the greatest tournament in professional sport, but gives physical form to the respect and love of hockey history, is sitting in the home of the man who once gazed into the eyes of Martin Lawrence, and with a completely straight face said "Let's give our audience a treat, and have a look at the incomparable Shaneneh."
THAT James Lipton has the Stanley Cup. Right now.
And even more amazingly, I'm OK with that.
Friday night at 6:15 p.m., the NHL Store in Manhattan hosted a Q&A featuring James Lipton, The Stanley Cup, "keeper of the cup" Phil Pritchard, and Michael J. Fox. My office is only a 10 minute walk from the NHL store, so as a massive puckhead, former hockey blogger, Bruins fan, and admirer of the massive trainwrecks regularly provided by the NHL marketing department (Def Leppard putting the Stanley Cup upside down, anyone?) this event seemed weird enough that there was no way I could miss it.
And then, when I arrived, all ready to goof on how silly James Lipton was, they brought out the Stanley Cup, and snark just melted away.
That's how great the Stanley Cup is. Even James Lipton can't ruin it.
When Lipton was introduced, he was great. He walked to the tiny stage, and the first words out of his mouth were: "I don't for one minute think that you're here to see me."
It turns out he's a massive New York Rangers fan and spoke eloquently about being in the building when the Rangers won the cup in 1994, and how much of a fan he was of Rod Gilbert. The interviews he gave with first cup keeper Phil Pritchard, and then, legendary actor and FOCN (friend of Cam Neely) Michael J. Fox were interesting and inspiring. I came there expecting something sort of silly, but I gotta tell you, being less than 10 feet away from the Stanley Cup while Marty friggin' McFly tells stories about Bobby Orr? That's nothing short of awesome.
The highlight of the night was when a fan asked Michael J Fox who Alex P. Keaton's favorite hockey team would be. Fox thought about it for a moment and brought down the house by saying "Well, he was from Columbus … so … well … I wouldn't want to put him through that."
He concluded by saying he was impressed by the Blue Jackets, but that his character from the show Family Ties would likely be a Ranger fan, which while he might have been pandering to the hometown crowd, sounds about right to me.
As for the Cup being at Lipton's house, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually OK with it. The guy is a weirdo, sure, but a legit hockey fan, and he treated the Cup with respect. So, OK, I guess his time with the cup was part of the bargain.
Was it a little cheesy for him to brag about how he got to take the Cup home? Sure. But this is James Lipton we're talking about here. We've always known he sucks up to the big stars.
And with all due respect to the inspirational and awesome Michael J. Fox, the Stanley Cup was the biggest star of the night.
Ritch Duncan is a comedian and blogger for TruTV’s Dumb As A Blog whose book, "The Werewolf's Guide To Life: A Manual For The Newly Bitten" is available now.