Top 10 people to have a beer with before you die

Way back when, my Uncle Marc was in a bar when low-and-behold he met the great wrestler Andre the Giant. My Uncle is a large man himself, about 6-foot-2, but to this day he's still struck by Andre's legendary size. "Large!!" he wrote back to me after I texted him for confirmation of the family lore. "Sat right next to him, nice guy."

My uncle couldn't remember what Andre had to drink, though: "Maybe a club soda. Maybe," he said.

I've always wanted to have a beer with a celebrity but I've never even had so much as the opportunity to meet one in a bar (although I did have my picture taken with James Franco once). But I got to thinking recently, if I could have a beer, or a few beers, with anyone, who would I choose? Here's my Top 10:

10.) Johnny Knoxville – I'm not a real fan of Jackass and Johnny Knoxville's other work. But last year when The Day asked readers to send in pictures of themselves and a celebrity, one woman sent in a wild photo of herself and Mr. Knoxville. Ever since seeing that I've wondered what it'd be like to party with the Jackass star.

9.) Bill Clinton – Don't let the State of the Unions and the international summits fool you. When the Coors Extra Gold and Doritos come out, this two-time president knows how to party down like any good southern boy. Remember when he cracked up that time at that joke Boris Yeltsin told? Trust me. This guy likes to have a good time.

8.) Martha Stewart – Martha seems to be the person a lot of people love to hate. But I don't get that. If you watch her show, she's really cool. She's got a very dry, almost even irreverent sense of humor. It seems like she also has an ability to get along with a wide range of people – from rapper Ludacris to CNBC's Jim Cramer. I feel like if I had a drink with Martha, it'd be like hanging out with someone I'd known for years. After a couple of IPAs we'd sneak into the kitchen and make a pizza from scratch. While snacking on the pizza and having a few more IPAs, we'd clean and redecorate the whole house to surprise my wife when she got home.

7.) Desmond from LOST (Henry Ian Cusick) – LOST is probably my favorite television drama of all time and Desmond is probably my favorite character from the show. I almost bought a shirt that said, "Desmond is my constant." I loved the way the character called everyone "brotha." He just seemed like a cool guy. But this pick banks on the assumption that the actor, Henry Ian Cusick, is just like his television character. So it could be a gamble.

6.) Barney Frank – This thought came to me after seeing a photo of the Massachusetts congressman totally chillin', wearing what looked at first glance like a t-shirt on the House floor (it actually was a casual long sleeve shirt). You cannot tell me this guy doesn't like to get down and have a good time. There's only one thing about having a beer with Mr. Frank. There's something a little suspicious or untrustworthy about the guy. He seems like the type to ditch his friends the second the police roll up on the party. So buyer beware!

5.) Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kppi – Anyone who has watched the Today show knows these ladies like a good drink. On the show, it seems like they only drink the good stuff. But I'm sure if they came to your backyard barbeque they'd be walking around with Colt 45s in their hands.

4.) Don Rickles – Don Rickles is the crabbiest, most insulting curmudgeon out there. If we got a drink together, I think I'd get a real kick out of listening to him just start stuff with anyone who walked into the bar. But Don seems like the kind of guy who could turn on you quick. I'd like to think it'd be he and I having a knee-slappingly good time making fun of everyone. But it could just as easily become him roasting me the whole time, and I certainly would not be able to go toe-to-toe with him on the comebacks.

3.) Joan Rivers – When I was a kid, my sister and I lived for the Joan Rivers' show on E and her red carpet mayhem. Her sassiness and her 'nothing-is-sacred' attitude make her the perfect person to share a few beers with. I'm not sure if Joan drinks or not. But if she doesn't, I'd be fine making an exception for her and sharing a few Shirley Temples.

2.) Michael Caine - I've always loved listening to Michael Caine speak. He also strikes me as a cool, laid back guy and just a genuinely likable Brit. But he is a little up there in age so I hope he'd be able to stay up longer than just one beer.

1.) Charles Barkley – Mr. Barkley was my favorite athlete when I was a kid. He said whatever he wanted, apparently ate whatever he wanted and didn't care if anyone knew he swung a golf club like a wounded giraffe. I never liked the phoniness of athletes like Tiger Woods who wanted you to believe some contrived image of them. That's why I loved and still love Charles Barkley's 'what you see is what you get' attitude. Those qualities make him the perfect guy to sit back and have a few cold ones with.


Follow me on twitter @FoodBeverageCT. Send your compliments or hate mail to

Reader Comments