ABC Daytime and Disney MGM Studios launched the first SuperSoap Weekend in 1996. Fans of ABC soaps from all over the country converged upon Orlando, Florida to meet and greet their favorite stars. SuperSoap proved so successful for the theme park, ABC Daytime, and the fans, it has become an annual event. Even in the wake of 9/11, SuperSoap 2001 garnered record crowds. Here is one fan's tale of meeting her all time favorite, All My Children's Michael E. Knight (Tad) at SuperSoap Weekend 6 in 2001.
Day 1: Saturday, November 3, 2001 Disney/MGM Studios, Orlando, FL
We got up very early. Michael E. Knight (Tad, AMC) was signing autographs at 9:30. (My friend Claudine and I wanted to get MEK to sign our Emmy programs. Unfortunately, due to Anthrax, they were not letting the stars sign anything other than the head shots that ABC provides. This was strictly enforced. The Disney/MGM hosts reprimanded the stars if they attempted to break this rule.)
We arrived at MGM -- after taking the slow boat to China -- when the park opened. It took 40 minutes to get through security, so we were late to MEK's line. It turned out that the line had already been cut off. We ended up just watching him (which I could do for hours.) This was the first time that another friend, Donna, had seen him in person and she took a whole roll of film in less than 10 minutes. LOL!
Let me tell you, the man looked better than ever! He was wearing black pants and a sea-foam green, short-sleeved, button-up shirt (which he left untucked--very sexy.) He should wear this color more often because it made his eyes look even bluer than they are. WOW! We stood in awe and tried to listen to the conversations he was having with the people in his line. It was so hot that his shirt was soaked with sweat within five minutes. He made a comment about this and I screamed, "I love the sweat!" He cracked up. (For some reason he kept the same shirt on all day Saturday until the final motorcade, but changed four times on Sunday when it wasn't nearly as hot. Go figure.)
The stars were told not to get off of their podiums, so MEK was squatting down next to the fans every time a picture was taken. His knees must have been killing him (although, the thought of what this was doing to his thighs was quite a turn on) because for the other three autograph sessions, he came off of his platform and did his usual hugging, kissing and posing like all of the other years.
Someone out there must be as obsessed as my particular group of MEK fans, because she asked him about the scene from 1999 when he and scene partner, Cady (McClain, Dixie), were dancing crazy in the background at Palmer and Vanessa's engagement party. She wanted to know if they played the music while they were taping since a waltz was playing, yet they were dancing all funky. He immediately went into a short imitation of the dancing for us all, then he said they play about 30 seconds of the song before taping, but not during taping, and that he and Cady have a blast goofing off. He also said that their main goal in life is to crack each other up. Too funny. Another woman was there with a newborn baby and everyone wanted MEK to hold him. I even yelled, "You need the practice for Tad and Dixie's baby." He laughed, but didn't hold the baby. Also, ABC Daytime President, Angela Shapiro, showed up at some point and MEK introduced her as his boss, "the big Kahuna." He hugged her and shook her husband/boyfriend's hand. At this point, I was chock full of adrenaline from my first MEK fix of the weekend.
Next, we went to the Motorcade/Star Conversation. This year, Walt Willey (Jackson, AMC) was the host and he was great. MEK was with OLTL folks, including his real-life wife, Catherine Hickland (Lindsay), Lawrence Lau (Sam), Hillary B. Smith (Nora) and David Fumero (Cristian). They were all great together (although David seemed quite shy and didn't say too much.) Hillary and Cat were hysterical. They may always be at odds as their characters on OLTL, but apparently they are great friends in real life. Throughout the weekend there was a lot of conversation about the pajama parties they have at MEK and Cat's house. MEK calls Hillary his other wife (more on that later.)
Walt asked MEK for one word to describe Tad. After thinking for a moment, he said, "Horny." LMAO!? Walt commented, "That's a good word for a family park." He then asked MEK which other character he would like to play. MEK said, "Adam."
The audience questions were next. The first question was when were Tad and Dixie going to have a normal love life. MEK responded, "I hope never. It's their third time around and I don't know what we can do." About 100 people screamed, "HAVE A BABY!" He said, "You want us to have a baby? Something to show for three marriages? You think there should be something to show for it?" The audience screamed, "YES!" He was also asked who was his favorite leading lady and why. He said Cady because they have known each other for so long, they have a lot of fun and are very natural. Plus, she's a wonderful actress, so over the year's it's been Cady. Of course we shout, "Awwwwww!" God, I love that man!
The Talk Show came next and was hosted by Linda Dano this year. She did a fantastic job. The same stars appeared who were in the first event. MEK and Cat came out first. MEK had a little trouble sitting on the sofa. He couldn't get comfortable because he thought it was too deep. He was squirming around and eventually ended up putting two pillows under his butt. They showed the clip from the Emmy win. Cat teared up. MEK said he really did send it to his Grandma and he was glad he got to hug Josh (Duhamel, Leo, AMC) because, "He's a damn attractive man." Then he went on to say how talented Josh was and that he is very proud of him. What a sweet guy. He talked about loving his job now more than ever because of the wonderful cast. They have a lot of fun together. Sounded like a little too much fun sometimes. LOL!
Dano asked if Tad's humor was written or ad-libbed. He said he used to ad-lib a lot, but now it's mostly written. "They've really poked into me. (He laughs.) That sounds perverted, doesn't it?" Apparently, they give him stuff that's beautifully scripted or they give him a scenario and "turn him loose with Cady." Cat said he's just as funny at home and they talked about how he's the one who stays home cooking and cleaning while she's out socializing. She called him her "little missy."
Next they showed an awesome montage of Tad (and Dixie.) It was to Jessica Simpson's song "Irresistible." (ICAM!) Dano commented that he's had a rocky road with Dixie this year--attempted murder, breakup, drugged. MEK mentioned Libidozone and said, "That stuff makes Viagra look like Diet Coke." Dano wondered if he knew what was next for Tad and...
... Dixie or if he cared. He replied, "I have such a good time with Cady that anything they give us is fun." He also talked admirably about Jesse (McCartney, ex JR), saying he loved their scenes this year and loved how they rounded out Tad by having him "adopt" JR. In addition, he commented, "They could give me and Cady the phone book and we would have a great time." AMEN!
Dano asked if MEK and Cat watch each other's shows. They do, but MEK doesn't watch himself. However, they never critique each other on their acting--a surefire way to divorce. She asked Cat how she felt about him and Dixie. Was she threatened? She replied, "Oh, no." MEK said Cat gives him little notes about his love scenes. "No, no honey, the approach was all wrong." Cat said, "You don't flare your nostrils like that at home. What was that?"
They did the Tad and Dixie poll question next (the one from abc.com.) Dano asked MEK which answer he chose. He picked when Tad gave Dixie the wishing star necklace, which was the winner. They showed the clip and when it was over, MEK commented about Cady, "Talk about someone who ages well. She looks better now than ever. She looks so good." He also remarked that when they are in scenes together he is constantly worried about having a double chin. The man is way too hard on himself. Has he looked in the mirror lately? Jeez, he couldn?t be any better looking.
Hillary B. Smith (Nora, OLTL) came out next, dressed as Catherine, wearing the same dress and a blonde wig (MEK later put this on.) She went straight for MEK, wrapped her leg around him and planted a big kiss on his lips. This is where they talked about the pajama parties. MEK commented that all of their friends know that they immediately change into silk pajamas as soon as they get home from work. (Boy, would I love to catch a glimpse of that!) Apparently, Hillary used to stay with them when she worked late. She calls their apartment the "Knight Night Inn."
Lawrence Lau (Sam, OLTL) was next, and damn, he's gorgeous. They showed a clip of Jenny and Greg. MEK commented that he looked exactly the same (he does.) Larry had on tight black jeans and MEK said, "Baby, if I tried to squeeze into those, somebody would have to call 911." To which Dano replied, "Stop cooking." Bahahaaaa!
During the audience questions, someone asked MEK how he liked wearing the coconuts, referring to a scene on AMC when he dressed in drag as a hulla dancer. He found it "strangely erotic." He had a great time doing those scenes and he loves it when they give him stuff like that. Unfortunately, the hard part is getting him to stop because he's such a ham. You think?
MEK had another autograph session after the talk show. My friend Donna and I rushed over and ended up in standby. Luckily, we did get to see him after a couple of hours. As I walked up to meet him, he reached out his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Michael." LOL! Then he gave me a hug. He was so sweaty by this time that his shirt was glued to his body. I loved it!
I took the opportunity to mention something about the notes that Cat gave him about his love scenes. I told him that "we" also had a tip. He said, "What's that?" I replied, "I hate to sound like a voyeur, but I ask that you drop your shoulder when you kiss Cady so we can see more." He laughed and said he knew he had a habit of doing that. I told him we'd appreciate it very much if he would take it into consideration. Watching the tape of this is hysterical because I must have touched his shoulder about 10 times while we were talking--anything to put my hands on him I guess.
He then asked my name and signed one of the pictures (I really didn't want it, because I have three already, but it allowed me to keep talking to him as he was signing. LOL!) I said, "I have one more question. Does the new JR (Jonathan Bennett) look older than Cady?" He replied, "Oh my God, he's 6' 2." As he was saying this, he had his hand about three inches above his head. He then said that he missed Jesse (McCartney) very much. I said I did too and we posed for pictures. He hugged me and I decided to be daring and ask for a kiss. I was expecting one on the cheek, but was hoping for the lips. I GOT THE LIPS!!!!! OMG! That man has the softest lips I've ever felt. I could have died right there a happy woman. I swear I can still feel them on my mouth. (Claudine, you were right.) He hugged me again and that was it.
After this (and lunch), my friends, Claudine, Deana and Donna went to ride the Rock 'N Roll roller coaster. I decided to pass because of my back injury. Boy, am I kicking myself now because guess who they rode with -- MEK!!!!! I am so bummed I missed it. Just my luck.
There were no more MEK events until the Motorcade finale, so we planted our tired butts on the curb to wait it out. The Motorcade was the usual. MEK and Cat were first. Cameron (Mathison, Ryan, AMC) was a little excited as he imitated Buzz Lightyear with whom he was riding. We watched all of the stars dance on stage, but we were pretty far back so we didn't see too much. We left before the Street Jam performances, so we missed Susan Lucci (Erica, AMC) singing.
Day 2: Sunday, November 4, 2001 Disney/MGM Studios, Orlando, FL
We got up early again, after about three hours of sleep. We had to be there first thing to get tickets to MEK's appearance in the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" show, and it was my mission to be in MEK's 10:00 autograph line. Because of the slow boat and security, we were late again (but we did get the tickets.) Unfortunately for me, there were already 100 people in MEK's line (the guaranteed-to-meet-him number) and about 25 in standby. I decided to take my chances and get in line. The rest of my group went to see some other stars. However, my priority was MEK. LOL! He arrived (via golf cart) dressed in khakis and a...
... Hawaiian-looking shirt. When he got off of the golf cart, he turned his back to us. It turns out he was brushing his teeth with his finger and blue, gel toothpaste. The man is a nut!? He turned back around and flashed us a smile. His teeth were blue. LOL! He must have known this was a possibility because he asked, "Are my teeth blue?" Guess he was getting prepared for all of the kisses that were coming his way. LMAO!
Anyway, after waiting two and half-hours, they cut off the line four people in front of me. ARGHHH! Susan Lucci was signing in the same spot immediately after him, so he had to go. IMHO, they purposely scheduled him to do back-to-back events or scheduled someone right after him so he didn't have to sign for three hours straight as he's done in previous years--because we all know he would have!!! So, I ended up standing in line all of that time for nothing. Well, not really because I got to stare at him for most of the duration. I then stuck around a while to get some pictures of Susan Lucci. She was outside this year for some reason, however, she stayed seated on her platform, unlike MEK who was all over the place. God love him.
The "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" game show was next. This would have been really cool if MEK would have ever made it to the hot seat. There was an actor from each show and someone from the audience was chosen to play with them. (The audience even got to play along.) That person had to draw a name from a box to see who they would play with. GH, PC and OLTL got chosen, then they ran out of time. Dammit! Plus, MEK's back was to us, so all we could see was the top of his head. There were a couple of funny moments where he cheated and helped out the others with the AMC questions, but not much else.
We then headed back to Sunday's Talk Show even though it was the same actors (as the Saturday talk show), just to hear if there were any different responses from the previous day. They talked about the Emmy win again. Because the Supporting Actor Category was first, and they were late arriving, MEK said he didn't even realize he had won until Cat smacked him on the leg and screamed, "GO!" He said the AMC cast has more fun than they should. Cat commented, "As much fun as you can have with your clothes on." "Absolutely!" MEK replied.
Linda Dano again asked if Tad's humor was his own. He again replied that the writers now know how to write the humor, but added, "They know that me and Cady together are dynamic." I'll say! The coconut stuff was scripted. They "wound him up and let him go." When asked what was next for Tad and Dixie, he said he didn't know, but he's having a lot of fun working with Darnell Williams (Jesse's ghost) and he hopes they can find a way to keep him around. He likes having someone to insult. LOL!
Cat was asked about her singing (her back-up singers were in the audience and the three of them sang a few bars) and she said she's only been singing since she was 38. MEK mouthed, "Bullshit" three times. The audience saw this and cracked up, but Cat was clueless. Apparently, she's been singing much longer. She was a Hee Haw Honey when she was 19 which MEK revealed to the world. He also revealed again this year that Cat used to date Vincent Irizarry, a.k.a. his archenemy Dr. David. Linda Dano didn't know this, which I found amusing since MEK has told this story during the Talk Show for the past three years. MEK said his life is "truly a soap opera."
He then told this amazing story about how Cat's fulfilled her dream of singing. I actually got tears in my eyes, it was so beautiful. He is so proud of her. They are very sweet together. I am so jealous. LOL!
Then, Hillary and the rest of the gang came out as they had the day before. I have to say that I never knew Hillary was so funny. She was hysterical. Again, she was all over MEK and Larry Lau when he came out. It seems Cat and Hillary are in charge of Larry's love life. He's single and a woman must pass their scrutiny before Larry can date her.
During the audience questions, MEK was asked what it would take to get Cady to SSW. He said that she was interested in coming, but they had a full roster this year and security concerns. He also said, and I quote, "I'm pretty sure that pretty soon she'll make it. I'd love to appear with her because we work so well together." Here's hoping and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. What a dream come true that would be.
The group, (with the exception of me who went to try one more time at MEK's last autograph line), went to the Star Conversation. Since I wasn't there I don't have it on my tape for detail, but I've seen Claudine's (tape of it). I don't remember much except MEK wants Tad to be "mean" again and there was a resounding "NOOOOO!" from the audience. Oh, this is also where we found out that he was at our hotel. Walt said his wife saw MEK at their hotel at a wedding. Apparently, someone MEK knew got married on Sunday at the Boardwalk and he ducked out of SSW for 15 minutes to make an appearance. He said it was "for the free food." LOL!
I got to the autograph line at 3:10 for the 4:30 signing. I was number three in standby. One thing is for sure--the man still has it. I waited another two and half-hours and was told the standby folks weren't going to make it. We begged for them to let five more people go up. It worked. This time I told MEK I didn't need an autograph (I didn't want to take time away...
...from anyone else behind me.) I congratulated him on the Emmy and told him we were there cheering him on. He appreciated it. I also told him that I wanted to see some Red Hot Monkey Lovin'. Judging by his reaction, he loved that, although he didn't say we were going to see any. Oh well.
The last event of the night was the final Motorcade and Street Jam. This time we decided to stay for the performances and we grabbed a spot on the side of the stage. By doing this, we gave up seeing the parade. This turned out to be a great idea, because we were right behind where the stars sat and watched the show. I must say, that I will never leave early again. The Street Jam was awesome. We had a great view of MEK dancing on stage. He did the usual Tad dance and it was so great watching him shake his buttocks. LMAO! Several stars sang including, Wally Kurth (Ned, GH), Kassie and James DePaiva (Blair and Max, OLTL), Coltin Scott (Nikolas, GH) and Cat. The finale of the evening was spectacular. All of the performers came out and sang "America of the Beautiful" and they shot off fireworks at the end. It was very moving and they all sounded great together.
We got one last glimpse of MEK as he walked out. He waved and thanked everyone for coming. We left after that, but not before raiding the candy store which Deana had been trying to get us to go to all weekend. I swear, the only time we ran this weekend was for the chocolate. LOL!
Day 3: Monday, November 5, 2001 -- I have to tell this story!
On Monday, we went to Animal Kingdom. I really don't know why we even bothered to go (I wasn't that impressed by the park.) We had lunch at the Rain Forrest Cafe. It got to be about 1:00 (the time "All My Children airs on the east coast") and Claudine had brought along her little TV. I kept leaving the restaurant to watch the show, and then I would come back and give updates. By 1:30 we'd had enough of Rain Forrest and we found a bench which was mostly out of the public view--thank God. We plopped down to watch the rest of AMC. Keep in mind we each spent $50 to get in into this park!
Now, see if you can picture this... Claudine, Deana and Brenda on a bench. Me behind them in the bushes, on my knees so I could see, with bamboo up the back of my shirt. Brenda holding up the antenna on the TV and all of us griping because it was too bright to get a good picture. This is what we spent $50 to do. It's so embarrassing!
It gets even better. Toward the end of the show, we were not only doing all of the above, but also yelling that Tad "better get his butt home to Dixie." All we kept thinking was what would Michael E. Knight have done if he had walked upon this pathetic picture? I'm guessing he would have run for his life. I can't say I would blame him. LMAO!!!!
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