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8 People We Would Love to Meet for Coffee (Inspired by Our Podcasts!)

By: Madeleine Coyne

Have you ever considered the question, “If you could have coffee with anybody, living or deceased, who would it be?”  Well, we have, and we wanted to share our list with you, for each person was hand-picked for specific reasons.  Although probably not your typical list of celebrities (or list of celebrities you would clump together), we are not your typical company; we appreciate the classics, the greats, the originals!


1. Jane Austen

Okay, technically, we would love to have tea with Jane Austen (as she wrote in Mansfield Park, “But, indeed, I would rather have nothing but tea”).  With her, we could talk about important stuff like social propriety, men with agreeable appearances, and women with amiable dispositions, soaking up all the advice we could about love and friendship.  Maybe we would play a game of whist, but most likely we would just sit together and enjoy each other’s company.  (And yes, we know that this picture is not actually of Jane Austen, but of Anne Hathaway portraying Jane Austen in Becoming Jane; a wonderful movie, btw).

However, before meeting Ms. Austen for tea, I think it would be wise if we brushed up on her stories, such as Sense and Sensibility:



2. Frank Sinatra

Can you just imagine sitting with Frank and chatting with him about his incredible life and legacy?  Not only did is he one of the best-selling music artists of all time, but he was also a successful movie actor.  We would love to ask his advice on how to be successful in life, and we would have lots of questions for him, including asking him whether or not he was really the inspiration for Johnny Fontane in The Godfather due to his underhanded dealings with the Corleone family.  And, of course, we would love nothing more than to have him serenade us in real life with that magical voice of his.  

Because it is hard to pick one song by him, we would probably ask him to sing a rendition of one of his personal favorite classic pieces from The Great American Songbook, such as Gershwin’s “Love Walked In.”

3. Jim Gaffigan

Since this guy is actually very much alive, we might have a better shot at coffee with this guy.  He has established himself as a king of comedy, and we love him because of his honest, relatable, clean, and absolutely hilarious comedy pieces.  We’re fairly confident he might spill his coffee on his shirt while talking to us, but that would only make us love him more.  And one thing is for certain: we would not run out of material to talk about.  As the father of 5 children, we know that he has plenty of stories and funny material to share.  

It might help us, though, to listen to some of his comedy routines before meeting him, to get us ready and excited.  His bits are located in several of our What’s So Funny! podcast episodes, such as this one interviewing Eddie Brill.

4. Tom Hanks

This guy is another one we might stand a chance to meet, since our headquarters is located in Cleveland, Ohio, and Tom Hanks actually got his acting start in Cleveland!  (He might even pick the coffee place in Cleveland to meet at!)  We are huge fans of Tom and his great repertoire of work, so it would be amazing to pick his brain about his various roles in our favorite films, from Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan to Toy Story and Sully.  We also know that we would have plenty in common to talk about, especially since Tom shares our love for the Indians and for Lake Erie.

The biggest Tom Hanks stars of all happen to be our GREENLIGHTReviews movie reviewers, Ann Elder and Les Roberts, so we would most likely listen to them discuss their favorite things about Tom before our coffee date with him.

5. Ernest Hemingway

While we run the risk of witnessing Ernest “spike” his coffee (as he was a notorious drinker), we think it would be worth it due to his fascinating life and brilliant mind.  Even though we know quite a bit about him from biographies, we would love to hear from the man himself about his struggles as a writer, his inspirations, and his lessons learned.  After all, classics like A Farewell to Arms aren’t just born overnight!

And speaking of A Farewell to Arms, we better brush up on that one before we meet him!

6. Ella Fitzgerald

Oh to be able to have coffee with Ella!  It would be amazing to hear that crystal-clear voice of hers in person and listen to her tell her story.  Her name is certainly one that will go down in history, particularly because of her many recordings of songs from The Great American Songbook.  Ira Gershwin himself once said, “I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.”

There is nothing like Ella’s voice in “It Might as Well Be Spring,” and there would truly be nothing like meeting her.

7. Flip Wilson

How much fun would it be to sit, chat, and laugh with Flip Wilson?!  I’m pretty sure that we would become funnier just by being in his presence (after all, he did say, “Funny is an attitude”).  The only trouble would be spilling or spitting out our coffee as we laughed with him! He is certainly one of our comedy idols, and we love it when comedians on our show, What’s So Funny!, include clips from Flip’s old comedy routines.

This clip about ugly babies from our episode interviewing Kevin McPeek is golden, and gives us an idea of what we could expect at a coffee date with Flip.

8. Emma Stone

Does she look ready for a coffee date with us or what? Unlike some of the other people on this list, Emma Stone is very much alive, young, and relevant.  We’re pretty sure that this Oscar-winning actress could have coffee with just about anyone she wanted to, but we like to dream that she would say yes to a coffee date with us if we asked her.  We really are huge fans, and we promise that we would not make her return to her old job as a barista, but would treat her to coffee ourselves (it’s a La La Land reference, in case you are one of the few people left in the world who has not seen the movie).  

And speaking of La La Land, we really can never get enough of this movie. Emma, we loved you enough to give you two green lights; now please meet us for coffee!

And that just about sums up our list of people we would love to meet for coffee! (Although we could add plenty of other people to it, don’t you worry!)  Please tell us who you would add to this list on social media - we’re dying to know!

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