Harry Connick Jr. drops by Leon's for some custard - and serves some, too
How does Harry Connick Jr. kick back and relax the morning after a Saturday night show at the Riverside Theater? Apparently he cures his custard craving, as Sunday afternoon he tweeted out that he stopped by Leon's Frozen Custard for a sweet treat.
"Apparently at the concert, he was talking to some of the concertgoers at the show about frozen custard ... and he threw out to the crowd that if somebody would go out and get him some frozen custard, he would provide tickets and airline transportation to his next show in New York," said Leon's owner Ron Schneider. "So somebody went to the gas station and got some garbage and brought it back, and apparently he caught on that this wasn't what he wanted. So don't know if anybody got a plane ticket or not."
UPDATE: According to fans at the show, a mother/daughter tandem were summoned by Connick Jr. to fetch him some custard. They came back with Purple Door Ice Cream – certainly not "garbage" ... but also not custard. According to fans, Connick Jr. poked fun at the duo, but still gave them the tickets to "Harry."
Handling the on-stage shunning like champions, Purple Door announced after the publishing of this article a special "Garbage Sundae" beginning Tuesday, May 17 at noon, featuring a scoop of ice cream piled with every one of their 10 toppings. As an added bonus, $2 of each Garbage Sundae purchase goes toward Milwaukee Riverkeeper – a deal and cause that's most certainly the opposite of garbage.
According to the tweet and Schneider, however, Connick Jr. got a lot more than just a scoop of butter pecan at Leon's. As his wardrobe in the photo implies, Connick Jr. also donned a Leon's hat and apron, and helped serve up some scoops, as well, as a part of his upcoming new syndicated daytime talk show, "Harry," premiering this fall. It would seem one of the show's segments involves the singer dropping by local businesses and hotspots and taking over for a bit as an employee.
"They handed him a shirt, an apron and a hat," Schneider said. "I guess he didn't actually do much preparing with the product, but he was at the window, talking with customers and interacting."
At some point, according to Schneider, Connick Jr. took a break from dishing out desserts to indulge in some himself – in the form of a custard-eating contest with a lucky Leon's employee (the guy seen posing in the Twitter photo with the singer, to be exact).
"They filmed them out in front of the roadside, the two of them sitting there with a half-gallon each and a spoon," Schneider said.
Unfortunately, no word on who won the custard-off.
Celebrity visits are pretty much a regular part of the Leon's experience nowadays. Back in the summer of 2012, for instance, Neil Diamond dropped by for a pre-Summerfest scoop. Food personality Andrew Zimmern and even some random Japanese TV program made time for visits to the frozen custard hotspot, as well.
In fact, according to Schneider, a few weeks ago, FOX – complete with a 40-man crew in tow – filmed some scenes at the custard stand for the pilot of "Recon," an upcoming TV spy drama from "The Vampire Diaries" writer/producer Caroline Dries.
While most of these showbiz visits are sweet, Schneider noted that some can leave a sour taste.
"We've had some Hollywood types or media types who come by, and I won't name any names, but some of them are just completely full of themselves and not really fun," he said. "I understand why some of them are the way they are, but there's no point in being indifferent or rude."
Luckily, judging by Schneider and his employees' accounts, Connick Jr.'s visit fell overwhelmingly into the former category, as he came off "very nice" and "a pretty regular guy," pleasantly poking fun with customers and employees.
"He teased some of the customers a little bit, and everybody, once they knew who he was, took it good-naturedly," Schneider said. "I guess it went well enough for what they want to do."
Schneider wasn't told a specific day when the episode would air, and there's no official date for the premiere of "Harry" other than in the fall of this year. In the meantime, though, the Leon's owner has some ideas of his own.
"I'm thinking maybe now what we need to do is have a celebrity employee of the week," he joked.
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