When people outside of New York discover that I live in the Hamptons, one of the first things they always ask is if I ever see or know any celebrities. I never really know how to answer that question because I’m not really sure what constitutes being a celebrity. Where is the line in the East End sand drawn?
I suppose it’s sort of like the response from United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart (January 23, 1915 – December 7, 1985), who in his opinion from an obscenity case wrote that “hard-core pornography” was hard to define, but that “I know it when I see it.”
The dictionary describes celebrity as having a big name. However, that doesn’t mean that if your last name is 14 letters long, then you are a celebrity. And just because a guy from Quogue can eat 385 Oreos in four minutes doesn’t make him a celebrity, either.
We all know and recognize certain people as celebrities. They are the names we see in print and media on a regular basis. They may also be known as a “Fan Favorite, Heartthrob, Hero, Idol, Dignitary, Business Baron, Royalty, Big Shot, Politician, Bigwig, Magnate, Mogul” or “Captain of Industry.”
Last Friday night, over drinks and wings with a few friends, we decided to challenge ourselves when it came to our knowledge of those celebrities with ties to the Hamptons. The Hamptons Celebrity Name Challenge, as we called it, is very simple: Just like the alphabet game, you start with the letter A and then go around the table, with each person naming a celebrity with known ties to the Hamptons whose last name begins with that letter. After a successful name is given it moves to the next person, who then has to give a name beginning with the next letter.
Unless it was obvious, as a way to check the validity of the name and their association with the Hamptons the player had five minutes to prove it via the power of the internet. This was done using an iPad located in the center of the table. Each time a participant could not prove their celebrity offering had ties to the Hamptons, they had to put $10 into the pot and they were out of the game to boot. However, to make it a bit easier, each player also was entitled to three free passes, where for a $5 contribution, they could skip a letter or turn. The last person left standing got to keep the money.
The game started out with Alan Alda, Ed Burns, Katie Couric, Donnie Deutsch, Mica Etergun, Michael J. Fox, Richard Gere, Hearst Family, Carl Ichan, Billy Joel, Donna Karan and so on. The second time through the alphabet proved to be even more difficult and the third time was really tough.
If you decide to play the game competitively, just make sure the people you are playing against don’t have their iPhone keyed into DansHamptons.com, where they could unfairly surf for celebrity names while on a bathroom break. And they thought I had a weak bladder.
How well do you know your East End celebrities? If you can make it all the way through the alphabet—with no free passes—you are a celebrity in my book.