In a suburb-of-nothing town like Bellingham, we take what we can get. Sure, we have cascading hills, Mt. Baker, the Bay, but as for simple urbanities—well, as all you Seattleites know, we’re lacking. I guess you could say Bellingham is a Freudian underprivileged woman of a city, suffering of penis envy--assuming that big city skyscrapers are phalli-centric symbols. And if we carry this comparison any further, our castrated city falls into a slough of psychological difficulties of Oedipal proportions that we must overcome, when all we were talking about to begin with was the non-urban nature of Bellingham.
But for being the small city folk that we are, supposedly more interested in Subaru’s, knitted things, mountain trails and kayaks, it appears we are just as naively engaged in celebrity affairs as in any other town. After all, every town, even the small ones, has their celebrities—Taos has Julia Roberts, Kansas City has George Brett, St. Louis has Nelly, Reykjavík, Iceland has Bjork, Redmond Bill Gates—and Bellingham has Ryan Stiles.
So who is Ryan Stiles anyway? Admittedly, I had no idea who he was until I moved here, but I quickly realized he’s our local celebrity. For those who don’t know, he’s the tall blonde guy on Whose Line is it Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show. And how did he end up here? Well according to Wikipedia, he was born in Seattle, and raised in Richmond, B.C., several miles north of the border. He migrated from Richmond to Vancouver, then to Toronto, and eventually down to the states migrated to Toronto then down the States as his career took off. Currently, he is owner of the Upfront Theatre located in our very own downtown Bellingham.
Initially, I admit, my assignment for this article was to interview Ryan Stiles about his upcoming comedy performance at the PAC’s concert hall on campus. But luck has it that the show sold out, so little sense did it make to do a promotional article for something that was, well, unattainable for the majority of us. So instead we at the AS Review came up with the fabulous idea to hunt down students with Ryan Stiles sightings to tell of.
Here’s what we found:
Amelia Henderson, a dance major, spotted the 6’6’’ Stiles at the Lemon Grass Café on Samish Way and Haggen.
Libby Berg, a senior, also saw Stiles at the Haggen in Fairhaven. Berg also sighted him at the I Wana Moka coffee hut on the intersection of E. Holly and N. Forest Streets.
Ty Vennowitz, 22 and also a dance major, found Stiles at the same I Wana Moka coffee stand on a different occasion. Vennowitz also ran into Stiles at the Washington State Liquor Store on Lakeway. Stiles arrived in a black Porsche
So there you have it. If you ever feel yourself l ost amidst your feelings of lacking, craving the excitement of big cities, maybe you should just stake out Haggen, I Wana Moka or the liquor store. You never know when a star sighting might occur. Or on the other hand, you can continue biking, hiking, studying, whatever you might be doing, and contemplate the origin and peculiarities of celebrity obsession.