I Spent the Night with Walt Willey . . .
By Stephanie Cabrera

Friday, June 22, 2001

And all I could do was laugh!  You read that correctly, it’s absolutely true and I’ll never look at Jackson Montgomery the same again.  I was tipped off via e-mail that Walt (his friends call him Walt) was going to perform at the Brea Improv, which is literally 20 minutes from my house.  He was headlining at the club for the weekend and I was already booked for Saturday and Sunday.  My husband Jack usually plays softball on Friday nights, but coincidentally his team had a bi that Friday.  I’m the type of person who believes things happen for a reason, so when I called my best AMC pal Judith (whose always booked months in advance) and found out she was available on Friday and just as excited to go as I was, I knew it was meant to be.  I was going to see Jackson live and I couldn’t wait. 

Of course I immediately decided to write about this in my column and share my experience with you.  I put out some feelers asking if anyone had seen Walt’s act before to get an idea of what to expect.  One lucky gal responded and said he was quite funny and she enjoyed his show.  She didn’t elaborate but I was still excited.  I planned to take my camera (just in case) and my Eye on Soaps t-shirt for him to sign.  I wasn’t sure I’d get to meet him but wanted to be prepared. 

Friday finally came and by the time we got to the Improv I was giddy.  We had dinner at the club to guarantee good seats and were in the second row – perfect.  The first two comics were amusing, but I just wanted them to get off the stage and bring on Jackson.  Once the host introduced Walt, Judith and I were screaming with delight, as was every other AMC fan.  He came out on stage and he looked hot!  I yelled to Judith, “I can’t believe Jackson is standing in front of me.”  It was surreal. 

Walt looked fabulous and said he’d recently lost 40 lbs.  I must say that he is as attractive in person as on television.  He played the guitar and sang a great parody about life on AMC and then went on to discuss a variety of topics.  He talked about turning 50 – can you believe it? – but feeling like he was 28.  He shared intimate details of his personal life and experiences (one that comes to mind is how he broke his nose – which you have to hear him tell); he was very candid in a sexy raunchy way.  I don’t want to say he was dirty, but he was – in a good way – and I liked it.  Without knowing what to expect, I was surprised at how funny Walt is.  It’s so weird to hear him talk like a regular guy and not like Jackson.  Especially when he said the f-word.  I just kept thinking, “I can’t believe Jackson just said the f-word.”  But it was easy to get past that and see him as Walt Willey the comedian.  

He seemed very down-to-earth and didn’t take himself too seriously.  Even our husbands enjoyed his show and they went reluctantly.  I enjoyed every minute of Walt’s act and couldn’t take my eyes off him.  At the end of the show he mentioned that he’d re-signed with AMC for another three years – hooray!  He also mentioned he’d stick around to sign stuff (even offering to sign one fan’s boobs – note that I was wearing a halter dress).  Oh my God!  I was going to meet Jackson! 

We hurried out of the club and got in line.  Walt sells these great t-shirts that say “I spent the night with Walt Willey … (and all I could do was laugh!), and for $20 you get a shirt, bumper sticker, magnet and autographed 8 x 10 photo.  A great deal for sure.  I was very nervous while I was in line and trying to think of something witty to say and wanting to plug Eye On Soaps.  The line moved fast so I knew my time would be limited.  I tried to play it cool acting like the serious Internet columnist I am, but inside I just wanted to touch him.  I don’t know where my words came from, but this is how it went down. 

S: “You’re really funny.” 

W: “Thanks.” 

S: “I write a weekly column about All My Children for EyeOnSoaps.com and was wondering if you would sign my Eye on Soaps t-shirt?” 

W: “Sure.  Where’s my Eye On Soaps t-shirt?” 

S: (thinking “Oh my God, he said Eye on Soaps!”) “I’ll be happy to send you one,” (thinking “I’ll be happy to do whatever you want.”).  I’m going to write about this in my column.  Can I take a picture with you?” 

W: “Well, if you could wait until after.  Aw what the hell, you’re working press go ahead.”

S: (thinking “He called me press!”)  I stand next to him and put my arm around him and smile.  Jack takes the picture and I thank Walt.

W: “Download your website to me so we can link our sites.”

S: “I’ll definitely do that and if I knew you were signing tits, I would have worn something else!”  (So much for being cool and professional, but I don’t think he heard me.)  

I was thrilled.  Judith was behind me and he signed her AMC book and she asked what happened with Jackson and Brooke.  Walt told her that they’re getting a new writer in July and he was hopeful that Jackson would get a story.  

The first thing I wanted to do was rush home and e-mail Katrina all about meeting Walt.  But we went to a bar and had a beer with a gal who was in the front row at the show.  We started talking about Walt and the show and invited her to join us since she was from out of town.  We talked about the latest on AMC – Gillian’s death and Leo’s marriage to Laura, and I shared some spoilers with them.  

The next day I checked out Walt’s website www.willeyworld.com and signed the guest book.  I told him I enjoyed his show and gave him info on Eye On Soaps.  Imagine my glee when I received an e-mail from Walt!  “Oh my God, Walt e-mailed me!”  He thanked me for my kind words and forwarded our website info to his web mistress.  I haven’t responded yet and wonder if it would be inappropriate to offer to be his e-mail mistress?  You think?  Anyway, I got my film developed yesterday thinking I would post our photo with this column.  Then I saw the picture.  Walt looks great.  Stephanie doesn’t.  I’ve checked with those who are closest to me (and brutally honest) and decided just to post Walt in the photo.  

If you have the opportunity, you need to do two things:  check out Walt’s website and appearance schedule, and if he’s ever in your neighborhood you absolutely must see him perform live.  That way you can spend the night with him too.

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