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Do celebrities charge autographs now?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mupcollector1, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Just came back from a local comic book convention and got some autographed DVDs from a few heros of mine though I noticed that autographs are about $20 each. Though I can't complain, it's a little extra money in their pocket and I'm getting a change to chat with them a little bit and not hold up the line too much. lol Plus also there's some people who like to sell autographs they get from people on eBay, something I won't do personally. I remember I used to collect autographs in the mail, writing fanmail to some celebrities and got some autographs for free. So does Comic Con charge for autographs or do most celebrities just do this now a days. Again, I can't complain. I'd probably do the same if I were in there shoes just in case of someone where to sell it on eBay, but this was kind of new to me so I figure I'd ask around.
  2. D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Now? A lot of celebrities have been charging for autographs for YEARS now... frankly, I think it's wrong, however, SOME "claim" that the reason they charge is so they can donate the money to charities... but I think, like you say, it's just that little bit extra in their pockets, at the expense of their adoring fans.
  3. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps Hotel Food and TV whatever Hotel they are at as well. :p You know the old saying how some people don't bring huge amounts with them, so that could be another reason. Plus also I'm sure Comic Conventions gets a fair share some how since they get them, like we'll pay you and your publicist this much and you can keep the autograph money or something like that. Or they take 10% of the autographs, however they split it up perhaps. Plus I'm sure Celebs and Artists are probably bothered when they are in public. lol I heard a funny story from someone I meet, had a friend take him out to Dinner and he found Mel Brooks in a resterant dressed like he was homeless so no one could reconize him. He goes and bothers Mel and introduces him to this guy and Mel replies sarcasticly "So what's new with you, oh yeah that's right. Your an accountant right?" Then the two guys left Mel alone. Simular story about Groucho Marx I heard somewhere where someone bothers Groucho to insult his mother and Groucho kind of tired in a restarant says "I feel sorry for your mother, she gave birth to you." lol But I guess the person took a hint and a laugh with them. lol
    I remember Frank Oz said once "The advantage of being a puppeteer is that no one knows who you look like or what you do, so you can buy a can of beans without being bothered, but unless you want to be bothered..."lol I think that was from the Muppets & Men Documentry.

    Though It can seem like it's taking advantage of fans, though I think it's manly business with whereever they are in and a little something in their pocket. Plus it's a rough biz after all, shows can get canceled unexpectedly, a movie can end production, etc. So I guess it's harder for artists then say visual starts like Tom Cruse or Justin Bieber. lol
  4. BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    I have a ton of Muppet performers/Henson alumni's autographs and none of them ever charged me money for their autographs, though I would have willingly give them money if they asked. :p

    But I guess it depends on the circumstance, I know voice actress Tara Strong charges money for autographs that are being signed on photos her agent prints out but if you went up to her with a Powerpuff Girls DVD or something, she'll sign it without being paid. So it really depends.
    mupcollector1 likes this.
  5. DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    Used to love going to the Chicago comic con and getting autographs...Alex ROss, Kevin Smith, Sean Astin...and many others all signed for free about 10 years ago...even 5 years ago now that I think about it...the last time I went 2 years ago most were charging (Go Peter S. Beagles for free though).....it seems like that is the trend...aand the big name actors like Bruce cambell wouldn't even sign unless you prebought rather expensive tickets for them....that being said I got an autograph from Steve Whitmire in the mail from one of mys tudents and he didn't charge a thing....
  6. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yep, my experience at Dragon*Con is that most everyone you'd want to get an autograph from or take a picture with will charge ya for it. I rarely buy 'em 'cause, well, it seems chintzy to me. Oh, they have a right to charge; I just have the right to decline to buy.

    Lou Ferrigno was the first I remember charging for autographs. He'd ask $20 back when everyone else was signing for free. Now it's rare to get a free autograph. And the last time William Shatner was at D*C he was asking $70 a pop! Fer cryin' out loud, I don't care how big a name you are, that's just gouging.
    mupcollector1 likes this.
  7. MuppetsRule Active Member

    Some of the blame lies with the fans. Sports and entertainment memorabilia has become big business. Many so called fans are there to get autographs only so they can turn around and sell them on e-Bay. Why should the star not profit in the selling of his autograph?
  8. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I got some DVDs signed and I had to pay for it, one voice actor split the price in half for me which was really nice of them. :)
  9. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    And that of course isn't the full total of garage parking, admission fee, etc. lol It totally adds up, but I still had a good time. Though what's kind of disapointing is even though fans meet celebrities face to face, you only got about 2 - 3 minutes to chat with them so you don't hold up the line. So when I was meeting a few of my heros today, I thought ahead of time the most important questions I wanted to ask. But sometimes when your face to face with them, I personally feel so nervously frozen and my mouth is num that it's so hard to say something. lol I remember meeting some of the Muppeteers at Muppetfest, I forgot Jerry Nelson's first name, I called him Nelson. lol Even when I meet Caroll Spinney to get my book signed, I was so nervous that my mouth was dry. lol But it all comes out to be a beautiful memory at the end. :)
  10. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I had no idea that celebrities actually charged autographs (I know that some refuse to give them. Many years ago I read a newspaper article about celebrities who do and don't give autographs, and it mentioned one in particular who has body guards who prevent fans from asking).

    Then again, I don't have any autographs from any really big celebrities. Just a number of basketball players and Bill Byrge (Bobby from the Ernest movies... He actually came to my school one day when I was in the fifth grade). A couple weeks ago I went to a Weird Al Yankovic concert and had hoped to attend a meet-and-greet and get his autograph, but I didn't (I'd be surprised if Weird Al would charge for autographs). Oh and I have a number of autographs from Disney characters from the last two times I went to Walt Disney World.

    This reminds me of an episode of My Brother and Me where the characters went to the comic book shop because a sports star was there signing autographs. I'm not sure if the store was actually charging, but at one point when Dee Dee's friends said they didn't have anything for the star to sign, the owner pointed out she had some pictures, but then charged for them (but of course that character seemed to charge for everything). And afterwards the celebrity was asked to participate in some community fair where he signed autographs for money, but I figured that's because the fair was raising money for charity.
  11. D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You lucky pup, lol. It's a little touching hearing Caroll's anecdotes about people meeting him, and how awkward he finds it that people come up to him like, "Uh... ar-ar-are you C-C-C-C-Caroll Sp-Sp-Spinney?", because he was more accustomed to being on the other end of the spectrum when he met famous people he admired, as opposed to the other way around.
    Haha, really? Bill Byrge? What did he talk about when he came to your school? I never met him, or saw him in person before, but I've read about him, and listened to a rare interview he gave, he seems like such a nice, caring guy.
    It kind of depends on the performers' schedules as to whether or not they'll do meet-and-greets afterwards... most people I know who have gone to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood have gotten to meet with them after the show, get autographs, have pictures taken, etc, so when they came to my town about five years ago, I was hoping there would be a meet-and-greet afterwards that I could be a part of as well, but unfortunately, they had to leave immediately after their show that evening, because they had to be in Miami the next day, so so much for that.

    As far as autographs in general go, I only have two: one from Kevin Clash, one from Kathy Greenwood. Both are the results of my writing fan mail to them, and both sent back autographed pics that I never even asked for when I wrote to both of them.
  12. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It was in 1995 and I don't remember everything. And although I had seen some of the Ernest movies I wasn't that big of a fan yet and didn't remember Bobby from any of them (and the only ones I had seen were ones he was in). In fact I think that experience is what made me a bigger fan of Ernest. Since I forgot about his character I didn't think it was strange that Bill was talking but when I saw the movies (either again or for the first time) I wondered why he wasn't talking when Bill was capable of it (I think I incorrectly thought that just because an actor plays a character who doesn't talk doesn't mean that the actor is really mute).

    I remember asking which movies he was in and the titles of the ones he wasn't in (which he actually did answer... I knew of Ernest Goes to Camp but although I'd heard of it had forgotten about Ernest Rides Again), even the then-upcoming Slam Dunk Ernest (actually I don't recall him saying whether that had been released and was surprised when I saw it listed as "new" in a video store catalogue). The only other thing I remember him talking about was how the flying sequence in Ernest Goes to Jail was done, since somebody asked how they did that scene. The next day the entire fifth grade classes watched Ernest Goes to School (actually that's the one Bobby role I did remember from the movies, though his silence didn't ring a bell to me).
  13. D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Hey, yeah. As far as talking goes, Bobby seems to have at least one or two lines in the movies he appeared in, but as far as the Ernest TV series goes, and the original Chuck and Bobby commercials, yeah, he never spoke in those.
    mupcollector1 likes this.
  14. charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    One of my biggest regrets in life is misplacing an autographed picture of Bob Barker that was given to me as a young, game show obsessed child. I think my parents wrote in the show's ticket address asking for an autograph for me and I got the picture that way.

    More germane to the topic, I think it depends on the level of celebrity. I have seen several sports blogs where people try to obtain autographs of every player in a set of cards. Some athletes charge for the autograph, while some are content to send back the card without asking for anything in return.
    mupcollector1 likes this.
  15. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Thinking about how some people will want to sell celebrity autographs, particularly if the celebrities have died and are worth millions, I remember back in my days thinking if I met any of my favorites I'd have to be sure to get multiple autographs (at least one for me to always keep and the rest to sell after they die), and thinking that it'd be easy to sell a valuable autograph. At the time I hadn't heard of eBay (wouldn't be surprised if it hadn't been around yet, and wouldn't be surprised if it had), and I thought it would be easy to just go up to anybody, ask them to buy the autograph, and expect them to be willing to purchase for whatever price I charge (not to mention expecting them to actually have that amount). I also thought the same about any collectibles considered valuable, especially if they had been unopened.


    This gets me wondering how people sold valuable things like autographs in the years before eBay and other online auction sites. Heck, before the internet even... How could they get people knowing? Would they just expect somebody in their hometown to be willing to pay a high price for whatever valuable autograph they wanted to sell? Did they have a yardsale and sell the autographs for considerably higher prices than the average yard sale?
  16. fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    I was lucky enough to meet Bob McGrath twice and got autographs and pix on both occassions, and got to talk and pick his brain on Sesame-related subjects. And he has to be the nicest guy I ever met, bar none.

    Playing in bands has its advantages, because you never know who you might end up opening up for. Once we opened up for Chris Hillman (look up in the history books, back in ancient times there was a 60's band called the Byrds and word has it they were a big deal with a little ditty called "Mr. Tambourine Man". Ever hear it?)

    We got to hang out afterwards and shoot the breeze, and the stories from days gone by were just amazing. Even more than autographs, it's really cool getting to spend time with people you idolized growing up. And most of them are not the least bit snobbish, or looking to make a buck off you for a sometimes-barely-legible scribble.

    But it does drive me up the wall when people just get autographs just to sell them on ebay. that's why a lot of people I got autographs from make it personal- To (fill-in-the-blank) thanks for coming blah blah blah blah- when they personalize it to you, it makes it a little harder to turn around and sell it. (and just MAYBE you'll decide to keep it).
  17. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Oh--at Dragon*Con, I got Peter Linz's autograph. He didn't charge, and in fact after one of his panels he stood out in the hall and let people line up so each could chat with him, take photos, etc. He even brought along photos of Walter to autograph and hand out.
  18. charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    That's pretty cool! The Byrds were a killer band, plus Hillman was in the Flying Burrito Brothers too. Did you meet any other famous musicians when you played in a band?
  19. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Most Autographs I got were at signings... none of them ever charged, but these are some pretty out of the spotlight people. In fact, there were the 2 rare occasions where I didn't even need to stand in a long line for them (which balances out the two I had to, and didn't get to). And the convention holders frown the heck on that. But, I wasn't the only one that asked and only followed suit. Basically I got Kenji Terada (anime writer... wrote for Kinnikuman, so DUH I had to get his autograph), a Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Voice actor and the current voice of Freeza.

    And would you believe I had the guy who does the voice of Dean Venture (as he was doing the voice of Leonardo the turtle and Horo Horo from Shaman King) to sign an extra thing for my sister, and hers was better? I had him sign a TMNT DVD cover for myself, and a coloring page of Horo Horo for her... and he colored the Horo Horo picture. That's something.

    But other than that, I got Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen from a Warner Bros store promotion (they were touring to promote Pinky and the Brain in prime time... how much does that date me?) One of the Cosby Kids from an electronic store when I was really little (that REALLY dates me)... and a couple authors for the price of their books (though, I recall the Marc Brown signing as a ticketed event, but you got ice cream too).

    I did know one guy from another web forum I used to be on, the current voice of Dr. Eggman, charged a buck at the time... not for the autograph, mind you, but rather the shipping and handling.
  20. fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Back around 2004 when I opened up for Hillman, he was touring with his old friend Herb Pederson who he knew since before he joined the Byrds. Herb was a session guitarist who even played on the soundtracks for several Muppet movies. Small world, ain't it?
    I also got to open up for Carlene Carter (who had a stepdad named Johnny Cash-wonder if he ever scored big?), and most mind-blowing of all for me, meeting Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, who way back when had a little garage band called Jefferson Airplane, who legend has it played a little outdoor barbecue called Woodstock.
    (Wonder if anybody ever showed up? Heard the weather was crappy...)

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