On the social networking Twitter, there is the tried and true tradition “Follow Friday”, a weekly celebrated event where we get to recommend interesting Twitterers for our followers to check out and follow themselves.
To spread the love, as it were.
These “follow Friday” recommendations can be funny, inspiring, informative or just plain interesting. Fortunately for me, I know someone who is so accomplished he fits in every single list that I have.
Because he’s so accomplished, I decided to give him the royal treatment this week and give him an entire blog to extol his contributions to Twitter, to the world of entertainment and to life in general.
A lot of people aren’t familiar with Hal Sparks beyond a few certain niches. On one hand he’s been a touring comedian for decades, who plays venues all across the country. His new Showtime special, which was taped in front of a standing room only crowd, is due out early 2010, as well as his first comedy CD. But you can get tastes of his comedy via YouTube and his first standup comedy DVD “Escape From Halcatraz”.
On the other hand he’s been a character actor you’ve probably seen but may could not name. He created the iconic role of “Zoltan!” in “Dude, Where’s My Car”. He’s also had guest parts from “Frasier” to “CSI” to “Spider-Man 2” and most recently “Extract”.
Or maybe you were one of the lucky few who got to know Hal intimately through his five year stint portraying Michael Novotny on the groundbreaking show “Queer as Folk” on Showtime, where he got to flex both his comic and his dramatic chops.
He’s also spent a lot of time in the last decade as a commentator on pop culture both on E!’s Talk Soup as well as the plethora of “I Love Thes” on VH1.
He’s also voiced Mr. Q for the game show “20Q” as well as the starring role “Tak” from Nickelodeon cartoon “Tak & the Power of Juju”.
That would be enough to keep most normal human beings busy, but not Hal Sparks – who is also an accomplished musician/singer/songwriter with his very own metal band, Zero 1.
He also participated on VH1’s reality competition “Celebracadabra” where he took to magic like a fish to water and even earned a lifetime membership to the Magic Castle.
He also participated in the reality competition in 2006 “Celebrity Duets”, to compete for the chance to win money for charity.
This was not the first time Hal would invest his time and energy to raise money and awareness for charity. Hal has also participated in AIDS Walks from NYC to Los Angeles, and frequently donates his celebrity to raise awareness regarding animal cruelty and gay rights, among other political hot topics.
And speaking of political hot topics, Hal doesn’t shy away from that either. An outspoken progressive, he can be heard weekly on The Stephanie Miller Show on a segment affectionately dubbed “Hump Days with Hal”.
He’s not just playing politics, Hal is extremely well read and brings a lot of intellectual debate to the table. He’s also unafraid to take people to task who deserve to be, in a sometimes biting, but typically hilarious, way.
To round out this already impressive list, Hal is also a black belt martial artist, straight edge (no drugs or alcohol – ever), can speak several languages (including Mandarin Chinese), and is also a writer/producer.
And if all THAT weren’t enough to make you follow him (funny, inspiring, intelligent, diverse) – the best reason to follow Hal Sparks is he’s an incredible person.
Where a lot of celebrities maintain their distance from their fans, Hal embraces his fans – whom he considers his true boss – in a very real, tangible way. If you go to see Hal perform stand-up comedy, he’ll stand for hours afterward in impromptu meet and greet sessions where he’ll pose for endless photos and sign autographs until his hand cramps.
Get this… for free.
The minute you meet him he’s totally there with you in the moment, treating you as if you’re the only person on the planet.
This is true whether you are a die-hard fan (and there are more than a few) or if you’re someone who takes issue with his unapologetic views on life.
If you follow Hal Sparks, you’re not going to get lost in the shuffle like some other celebrities who tend not to respond to you if you send a Tweet his way.
He gives 110% of himself not just to his art, but to the world around him. He’s not content in just reaching his own heights of success, but also in embracing us all and encouraging us to get there right along with him.
In that way, he is the most inspiring person I’ve ever met. Of all the categories he may fit in – actor, comedian, musician – I am extremely blessed to be able to call him my friend.
If you want to learn more, check out the handy dandy new official website:
And follow Hal. Because he’s f*cking magnificent.
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