Ever since the demise of Battle of the Network Stars, you've assumed you won't have a chance to watch dozens of sitcom personalities hanging out together. We thought the same. Until last night, when the cute boy with whom we saw The Threepenny Opera (verdict: meh) brought us for a post-theatrical drink to a little spot called Bar Centrale, upstairs from Joe Allen on Restaurant Row.
At one big table, just across from us in the front room: Jay Thomas, who's been in a bunch of shows and, as we recall, was a hockey star married to Boston barmaid Carla Tortelli and subsequently the father of Murphy Brown's kid; Kevin Arnold's dad, Dan Lauria; Major Dad, Gerald McRaney; Wendie Malick, formerly of Just Shoot Me; Shuler Hensley, Jud Fry in the recent Oklahoma and someone we remember from a few episodes of Ed; and a few others we didn't recognize but maybe should have. (Annie, Producers, and Hairspray author Thomas Meehan was right next to that crew. But, then, folks like him — not former TV stars — are what you expect on Restaurant Row.)
But a trip to the restroom revealed the back room was even better. John Krasinski, adorably menschy Jim on The Office, sitting with David Schwimmer. Ana Gasteyer on a couch. And the money shot: Jerry Seinfeld (sitting there and looking relaxed and talking, fairly loudly, and presumably about the cocktail peanuts — what's the deal with them, anyway?) in a booth with Matthew Broderick.
Like that episode in which George finds the secret, Brigadoonian bar in which all the models hang out, we'd found the spot for aged sitcommers. (Which, for us, is much more exciting than the models' spot.) And so the takeaway from the evening? A weird musical, but also Jerry Seinfeld. Totally worth the $100 tickets.
Especially when they were comped.