Best of OC 2004: Part 1


1. Steve Martin. As a teen, Martin worked at the Bird Cage Theater in Knott’s and at the Magic Shop in Disneyland, where he honed his talents for magic, juggling, banjo-playing, crafting balloon animals and existential farce.

2. Michelle Pfeiffer. Her first performing job was playing Alice from Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland in the Main Street Electrical Parade during the mid-’70s.

3. Rene Russo. Was once a store cashier at Disneyland. Check!

4. Jennifer Stewart. This famed deep-throater worked at Disneyland before entering the porn industry.

5. Joanna Kerns. The mom from Growing Pains played the Blue Fairy that led off the Main Street Electrical Parade.

6-7. Ron Ziegler and H.R. Haldeman. Richard Nixon’s press secretary and chief adviser worked at the park in their pre-Watergate years and knew many of its secrets. Walt Disney had reportedly used Nixon’s suggestion to install microphones in Club 33’s chandeliers.


1. Kenny Rogers (Ronnie Allen, Anaheim Hills)

2. Robin Williams (John Garrett, Costa Mesa)

3. Elizabeth Taylor (Carole Reed, Lake Forest)

4. David Letterman (Greg Chelew, Laguna Beach)

5. Ed Sullivan (Jerry Hoban, Laguna Niguel)

6. Alan Alda (Marv Cline, Huntington Beach)

7. Rhea Perlman (Kathe Wayne, Mission Viejo)

8. Bill Clinton (Tom Biehn, Huntington Beach)

9. Hillary Clinton (Teresa Barnwell, Costa Mesa)

10. Pope John Paul II (Gene Greytak, Santa Ana)

11. Howard Stern (Rob Gephart, Huntington Beach)

12. Meryl Streep (Julie Amiblore, Huntington Beach)

13. Russell Crowe (Ross Seymour, Orange)

14. Patrick Stewart (Ray O’dell, Costa Mesa)



1. Between Sections 520 and 521, Row R. The very last row in the uppermost netherworld of the $12-view section. There are several seats here where you’ve got the entire stairway for legroom, and it’s wide enough so you don’t have to stand up for every joker who needs to make a beer/piss run after every inning. There’s a pristine view of the clogged 57 freeway or, off in the distance on a clear day, these things called "mountains." During scorching-summer-day games, you’re always in the shade and—best of all—right behind home plate. A couple of hundred feet up, sure, but still. Caveat: sometimes bees like to make hives in the overhead speaker boxes, which means the entire section will need to be evacuated.

2. Section 258 or 259, Row G. The Left Field Pavilion, also known as the family section. Sure, you’ve got screaming, indifferent toddlers to deal with, but if your hips are particularly wide, these armrest-lacking seats are not only the cheapest in the park ($9 for adults, $5 for the kids), but they’re also some of the comfiest—at least we think so. They’re also the perfect locale for snagging supersized Vladdy Guererro home run balls, and you can berate the visiting team’s bullpen . . . chair!

3. The Knothole Club. The Club Level restaurant in the right field corner. Exclusive to Club Level and Suite ticket holders, who pay a minimum of $30 per game for their ducats, but it’s an underpublicized fact that the Knothole opens to everyone after the sixth inning—even your average beach-ball-battering, wave-starting View Level lifer. It’s a pretty good deal, too—by the sixth, the monied minions have mostly left, so it’s relatively easy to get a table, especially on weekday nights (and the burgers, pricey though they are, ain’t half-bad). You can watch the game in air-conditioned comfiness and pretend you know Arte Moreno personally.

4. The View Level railing behind Section 501, next to the men’s room. This narrow standing space isn’t a seat and you can’t see the infield, but you’re golden if all you want is to watch home runs clear the fence and the fireworks that shoot off when one of them is belted by an Angel. You can also smoke here, but there’s another thing: Notice that small, ivy-sheltered parking lot in the near distance? That’s where Angels players leave their cars (count the Hummers!). See what your ticket and beer money buys? You also have a similar view of the playing field from the right field corner, but no Mercedes or Lex-flecked parking lot and you’d be blasted by a gaggle of steamy, stinky air conditioning units.

5. Behind Sections 210 and 211. Standing room again, but those people sitting just a few feet in front of you? They had to pony up several thousand dollars for their Terrace Level season tickets—suckahs! This is the spot where we always wind up around the seventh or eighth inning, and not just because it gets us out of the stadium and into our car faster once Troy Percival records the final out. Here, you’ve got all the intimacy without the expense. (Don’t wanna stand? Then lean against the steel support column adorned with the Bengie Molina poster—at least until the curmudgeonly usher shoos you away.) On hot days, there’s a nice draft coming from the breezeway behind you, and this is also a primo spot to watch for people cutting out early—so you can sneak down and take their seats, natch.

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