After nearly dying twice in two separate elevators in the span of about five minutes, I was rewarded with a vision. And that vision goes by the name of Floyd Henderson, otherwise known as the dad on the short-lived but much-loved (by me) family sitcom, "Smart Guy." If you've never seen the show, which aired from 1997-99, it was about an adorable, precocious wunderkind played by the younger, more talented brother of twins Tia and Tamara Mowry (of "Sister, Sister" fame). TJ is so smart that he skips six grades and ends up in high school with his less gifted, more goofy brother Marcus, and snotty, overachieving sister Yvette. The Hendersons have their ups and downs, and their wacky hijinks, but they are all bonded together by the rock that is Floyd Henderson, their good-looking, wise-cracking single father.
The Henderson family, with their kooky friend Mo,
who is not known for his failed catch phrase, "Hello d'ere!"
It was a typical sitcom, nothing revolutionary about it. But it was just dandy. I looked forward to watching reruns of "Smart Guy" and "Boy Meets World" when I got home from school and did my homework. (I just found out today that the two shows actually used the exact same high school set, thrifty!) So when I was making the badge for John Marshall Jones to attend the film industry event I work for, I could have sworn his name sounded familiar. When I saw his picture, I immediate recognized him as Floyd, one of television's most underrated dads. There are a lot of interesting people coming to the event (I won't drop names...actually I probably will). But John Marshall Jones was the one I was most stoked about. We don't usually see the people that come to the event, being trapped downstairs in the offices with the ocean view. But just knowing that he was attending, made me feel a slight sense of unwarranted superiority.
John Marshall Jones. You so crazy.
As I said, I almost died in the elevator, twice. So when I finally arrived, breathless and heart racing, at my destination, (the registration room) who should be standing there talking to my co-worker, but FLOYD FRICKIN' HENDERSON! It took me a second to recognize him, but I flipped out internally as I waited for him to finish talking. I didn't know what to say! (Though I always wonder what you're supposed to say to celebrities when you encounter them in real life. And yes, I use the term 'celebrity' loosely here.) "Hey Floyd! I mean John...You were in that awesome but quickly cancelled tv series over 10 years ago. I kinda dug you. How's tricks?" Not bloody likely. So he left, without ever knowing that I enjoyed his performance and took great comfort in his tough but amused love approach to parenting the gifted and the goofy. I later found out that my friend got even luckier and saw Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesley from "The Office") at the Ralph's in Studio City. She wins, but still. FLOYD!
The point is, after being so close to death, (or stuck in an elevator when I had to pee really bad), it was nice to see a reminder of my childhood. And the rest of the day I couldn't get the show's awesomely awkward theme rap out of my head. "He's got a way with the ladies, and he's keepin' it real. Your favorite little study buddy, he knows the deal!" Classic.