I’ve walked through Mall of America with a lot of celebrities, from Paul Reiser to Paula Deen, but I can’t recall anyone – even Geraldo Rivera or Kellie Pickler - attracting as much attention as Clinton Kelly did when we shopped together tonight. Perhaps it’s the fact that the "What Not to Wear" star stands a head above most of the crowd (literally – he’s 6”4), or perhaps its the fact that reality shows on cable tv get aired over and over and over, but Clinton got recognized everywhere we went. Everywhere, that is, except Villa Pizza where we stopped for a slice. Guess it’s not the most obvious place to catch the author of "Freakin’ Fabulous," which he was at the mall to promote. (I offered to at least take him to Wolfgang Puck for some halfway decent fast food, but he was much more concerned with the "fast." Didn’t even bother with a drink.) Because they see him week after week helping schlumps look better, his fans are not at all shy to approach, and Clinton is most courteous – offering compliments (he swears he never lies – it’s his rep at stake) and remaining patient through technical difficulties (why is it always so difficult to get a point-and-click to work at critical moments?) We bumped into a woman who had come in from Chicago just for his book signing (she works for the airline, at least). Clinton seemed more amused than surprised. He knows he’s fabulous…that’s the whole point. But his genuine desire to help others be better versions of themselves makes him extremely likeable. That, and the occasional snarky comment about someone’s bad shoes or hair. I’ve got lots more…read it in my Sunday "Shopping With…" column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press next week.
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