Hoffman's Houston
lance ftw!

Ken Hoffman reveals his favorite Houston celebrities starring on Cameo

Hoffman reveals his favorite Houston celebrities starring on Cameo

Una Notte 2019 Lance McCullers, Jr
Lance McCullers is every bit worth his Cameo fee.  Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Pet of the week - Mario retriever
Young nd handsome Mario is our pet of the week.  Photo courtesy of Citizens for Animal Protection
Una Notte 2019 Lance McCullers, Jr
Pet of the week - Mario retriever

Talk about your Internet rabbit holes, I’ve landed on a website that turns midnight into 4 am, when it’s too late to sleep and you might as well stay up all night.

Although I still have a soft spot for videos of idiot Karens throwing a hissy fit by refusing to wear a face mask at Costco … for sheer weirdness, Cameo wins.

Cameo is sort of an Angie’s List where you can shop for celebrities who’ll video themselves doing uniquely personalized shout outs, or birthday greeting or congratulations or pretty much anything you wish. Each video is done within a week and the link emailed to you. Just give the celebrity a few details of what you want them to say. Nothing obscene or promotion for a product or political endorsement. 

Two things: First, the cost of each video varies by the fame or popularity of the celebrity. Celebrities start at $5 and can get pretty expensive. Second, cameo.com uses the term “celebrity” loosely. Many of the celebs are two steps down from Dancing with the Stars.

If you want to buy local, there are several stars of stage and screen from Houston. Astros pitcher Lance McCullers is a high-price ticket, $150, and people have raved about his videos.  One satisfied customer was thrilled that McCullers shot his “Happy Birthday” at Minute Maid Park.

Former Houston Rocket Vernon Maxwell is $120, while coach Rudy T, is $100. Former Rockets sideline reporter Michelle Margaux is $20, while current sideline reporter Cayleigh Griffin is only $15. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Astros fans might get a kick with a personalized message from color analyst Geoff Blum for $30 or reporter Julia Morales for $29. Did Julia do that on purpose? This makes no sense: Astros mascot Orbit is $58 and he doesn’t even speak. Maybe time for Blum and Morales to have a little talk with their talent agent.

Rockets public address announcer Matt Thomas is a cameo.com superstar. He will announce the starting lineup for your Little League team or driveway basketball buddies for $35. Why did he sign up to be a cameo.com personality?

“Over the years, I probably have done this for at least 100 teams,” he says. He’s done “four or five” since going pro on Cameo. Fun fact: while Thomas was not invited to do arena announcing for Rockets games in the NBA bubble in Orlando, that’s his voice introducing the Rockets starting lineup.

“I prerecorded all the names so they do use my voice when the Rockets play a ‘home’ game. They also use my ‘Rrrrrrrockets win’ when they win a home game there,” Thomas adds.

Take your time shopping, there are thousands of celebrities in 658 categories of: actors, singers, sports stars, cheerleaders, and mascots. Seriously, thousands! However, don’t expect to find Academy Award winners, candidates for the Hollywood Walk of Fame or even Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Bollywood singer Guneet Jolly is only $5. The most expensive, Caitlyn Jenner at $2,500.

The fun part is clicking on each celebrity and watching their sample greetings. Andy Dick, worth every penny of $99, seems to have just woken up, says he’s naked under the blanket, and gives a tour of his messy apartment, looking for his kitty cat who’s either escaped or is hiding under a mess of clothes.

Kato Kaelin, America’s house guest, is $60. The Unknown Comic, a fixture on the Gong Show back in the ’70s, will do a birthday greeting for $40, no extra charge for the paper bag.

Cameo is a way for celebrities from yesteryear or low on the fame totem pole to pick up pocket money for very little work. But then there are some celebrities that make you wonder, why are you here? Kevin O’Leary, the multimillionaire “Mr. Wonderful” on Shark Tank, will do your video for $1,200. Boxer Floyd Mayweather is the highest-paid fighter in history – he reportedly made $280 million for whuppin’ Conor McGregor, who’s not even a boxer. Yet Mayweather will do your video for a measly $1,000.

Practically the entire cast of The Office, except for the big stars you really want, are available. Meredith is $175. Oscar is $175. Stanley is $300. Pam’s mother is $50. Todd Packer is $175.

Among the unusual suspects: Klinger from M*A*S*H ($125), Potsie from Happy Days ($75), David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff ($300), Bud from Married with Children ($50), Meat Loaf ($100), champion hot dog eater Miki Sudo ($20), Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini ($124), Sheriff Joe Arpaio ($30), The Mooch ($55) and Boy George ($300). My favorite professional bowler Pete Weber is $20.

Weirdest of all: remember “Tan Mom?” She’ll do your video for $100.

Pet of the Week
Name: Mario, as in racing legend Mario Andretti, hockey great Mario Lemieux, Mario Lopez from Access Hollywood, and celebrity chef Mario Batali.

Birthdate: January 3, 2020. I’m the first Pet of the Week born in the roarin’ ’20s. That’s if you call living in a worldwide plague roarin.’ The good news is, dogs don’t get The Rona, plus I’ve been checked out from nose to tail by a vet here. 

Ethnicity: I’m a Retriever mix of odds and ends. Truth: mixed breeds make the best pets and live longer than snooty pedigrees. I’m what you’d call an extra beautiful dog, meaning I’m a bit of a big’un, 54 pounds of fun. I’m an indoor dog and I know a few commands like “sit” and “stay.” I’m good walking with a leash. I’m playful and love to watch TV next to you on the coach. I’m a real buddy kind of dog.

Come and get me: If you’re interested in me, and who wouldn’t, drop and email to adoptions@cap4pets.org. Bonus! All adoptions are free on Saturday, August 29, thanks to the generosity of West Houston Subaru.