Talking to the Curator of the World's Greatest Collection of Photos of Celebrities Playing Table Tennis

Share |

For the past year, one of my favorite websites to browse for hours on end has been the aptly-titled CelebritiesPlayingTableTennis.com. The site, which predates the era of single-serving Tumblrs, is a reliquary of every kind of celebrity playing what’s often referred to as the world’s most popular sport: everybody from David Bowie to Eva Braun is shown paddle-in-hand.

Curious about how the site came about, I emailed a few questions to Larry Hodges, its founder, and he was gracious enough to respond in detail. Before you read the interview (or after, I suppose), I urge you to waste a few days with the site’s 789 celebrities.

Where did the idea come from? Did you just come across a picture of, say, Pavarotti, playing table tennis and decide—I wonder if there are more like this?

I was the editor of USA Table Tennis Magazine (cir. 8000) for twelve years and 71 issues. During that time people were regularly sending me table tennis photos, including occasional ones of celebrities. And then, just as it says at the top of the page, "In a moment of sudden clarity, I realized what this world needed was a web page devoted to pictures of celebrities playing table tennis." It was no different than the sudden insight that allowed Newton to formulate the laws of gravitation or Einstein the theory of relativity.

What are your favorite images on the site?

I tend to like the ones of U.S. Presidents: Barack Obama, the two Bushes, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon, as well as presidential contenders such as Hillary Clinton, Walter Mondale, George McGovern, John Kerry, and Mike Huckabee. I also like pictures of famous movie stars, but any short listing couldn't begin to showcase the sheer number of ones on the site.

Are there any celebrities, or types of celebrities, you really seek out? Is there anyone in particular you've been anxious to find for the site?

There are two "Holy Grails" that I've been actively searching for since I began the page.

The first is one of former presidential candidate Howard Dean. I started the page during the 2004 Presidential race. Just a few weeks earlier I'd seen a picture of Dean in an online Milwaukee newspaper. However, I've searched and searched but been unable to find it. It's not a hugely important one, but it has irritated me for years that I can't find it.

The second is a drawing I saw many years ago of Babe Ruth playing table tennis in a "Believe It or Not!" cartoon, where it said that Ruth was told to play table tennis to help his eyesight. I've been unable to find it online, and when I contacted the "Believe It or Not!" people, they were unable to help me.

I'd also like to get pictures of even more presidents.

Have you ever rejected a photo of somebody for not being famous enough?

Definitely. However, I didn't keep a record of them. I've been sent pictures of actors playing table tennis, but when I check their record at iMDB. I'll find they were in just one or two movies—not exactly "celebrities." I'm sure there are some borderline ones that did make it in.

Do you know of any celebrities who are exceptionally good table tennis players, or are especially fond of the sport?

There are many celebrities who play table tennis regularly. However, few are actively involved in the sport or are very good. Here are some celebrities that take their table tennis very seriously.

Actress Susan Sarandon—She is the co-owner of the Spin Table Tennis Club in New York City. She often shows up at major tournaments, where I got to meet her. She plays regularly and takes lessons. While she is not that good (yet!), she is pretty serious about it. She recently contributed $75,000 to bring table tennis to New York City schools.

Actor Adoni Maropis—He is best known as Abu Fayed, the main villain in season six of 24, who nukes Valencia, California, and tries to set off four other nuclear bombs. He is easily the best celebrity player, winning the USA National Hardbat Championships in 2011. (Hardbat is a subset of table tennis where you play without sponge.) I've played him in tournaments three or four times, and while I won each time, they were struggles.

Puzzlist and New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz—He's a very good player who actively plays in tournaments throughout the country, and owns the Westchester Table Tennis Club in Westchester, NY. He's been touring the country playing at clubs wherever he goes—here's his article on playing in 145 clubs in 39 states.

Comedian Frank Caliendo—perhaps best known for his George W. Bush impersonations, he's been taking lessons for the last few years and competes in tournaments, and is getting pretty good.

Comedian and Actor Judah Friedlander—best known for his role as Frank Rossitano (the man of many sloganed hats) in 30 Rock, he's been playing at clubs for many years. I've coached him a number of times.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell—he came to two of the training camps I run at the Maryland Table Tennis Center back in the early 1990s, when he was still a businessman. Then he became governor of Delaware. As governor, he's come by the center a couple of times with his son and daughter, both of whom have since attended our camps. I keep wondering if there are a bunch of security people watching us when his kids are at our club!

Share |

Comments

This is really an excellent blog as well as its content. short hair and hair extensions

This specific seems to be definitely excellent. These very small facts are produced using wide range of qualifications know-how. I favor the idea a good deal. led light up shoes

This article has some vast and valuable information about this subject.Troy McWhinney Developer

Once i received onto your website even though getting consideration basically somewhat tad submits. Pleasurable strategy for upcoming, I am bookmarking at the same time acquire kinds end rises upwards. como fazer para a orquidea dar flor o ano todo

Here at Gentech we use our industry's Most advanced Truck-mounted Carpet steam cleaning System. Our Truck mounted System provides you with effective Cleaning solutions that give you a deep Clean , removal of dirt, gravel , sand and we use environmentally friendly solutions that are able to Treat minor and Major Stains Carpet Cleaning Vancouver

Wonderful websites you have got these, a lot of nice tips!.. dog+led collar

I actually love easily looking through your complete blogs and forums. streaming complet

With over 10 years in web development and 10 highly experienced web experts on board we have created more than 100 efficient and successful websites and plugins. http://technologysolutionscode.com/

I absolutely benefit from only browsing your whole weblogs. love status

We help Canadian and American Expats, Temporary Guests and Snowbirds with assets on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border — optimally structure their investments, liabilities and retirement savings in order to reduce their tax burden and minimize fees. canada us estate planning

"I would like to present you Original Antique Engravings, Lithographs and Maps.
I don't sell a reproduction or modern copy. Only originals vintage botanical prints, bird prints, vintage maps, natural history vintage prints, animals engravings,....
***
You can choose beautiful GIFT WRAPPING and add your personalized message in order cart!
***
Buy 5 items and get 10% sale!
WHOLESALE - Buy 10 and more items and get 20% sale! " bird prints

Which looked on away from your site considering Having to do with throughout learned so much relating to could be content pieces. gordijnen

I havent any word to welcome this post.....Really i am inspired from this post....the individual who make this post it was an extraordinary human..thanks for imparted this to us.蔡小煒

That is furthermore a good submit that i actually appreciated studying. It isn't each day that we hold the chance to find out one thing. http://www.arztpraxis-marienburg.de/

Sundul portal sepakbola, motogp, gadget, berita, prediksi, jadwal, livescore, klasemen, liga inggris, spanyol, italia, champions. www.Sundul.com

Darüber hinaus eigner es sich besonders für Unternehmen die auf der Suche nach Impulsen oder Ideen für die eigene Produktion eines Imagefilms sind. Hierfür bietet imagefilm-in.de jede Menge kurzweilige Inspiration. Und das mit allen Filmen auf einem Level das man so gebündelt woanders nicht vorfindet. film

I can seek web-sites having applicable information on presented subject matter and gives those to educator your judgment along with the document.framaroot 1.9 1 apk

A debt of gratitude is in order for the pleasant web journal. It was extremely valuable for me. I'm upbeat I discovered this site. Much obliged to you for offering to us,I too dependably discover some new information from your post.buy brestrogen uk

That i seen separate your website as long as Referring to finished been told a huge amount of connected with an individual's content. www.drkanisha.com/shop

That'sthe reason advertising and marketing that you suitable homework in advance of crafting. It is also possible to jot down improved posting with this. https://planetofthings.co.uk

I can seek web-sites having applicable information on presented subject matter and gives those to educator your judgment along with the document. raspberry pi security camera

Work with me to create a comprehensive estate plan that takes care of your interests in the case of an accident, injury, or other situation where you are no longer able to care for yourself, and that directs the disposition of your assets following your death. If you do not have an estate plan the time for action is now. If your current plan was created before 2013, you may be in danger of having an outdated plan. whittier estate planning

I'm keen on ones write-up. It truly is beneficial to discover people verbalize on the cardiovascular system in addition to understanding within this significant theme is usually simply discovered. locksmith Richmond Indiana

What we should believed might be best suited, appreciate you'll want to destroy typically the join relating to latest asphalt not to mention latest. Be rigorous any time you heal typically the asphalt from the wall surfaces, considering that also there is also a probability to destroy. It is recommended healthier to help get the guidance associated with experienced. Wool throw blankets

This is a shrewd online journal. I would not joke about this. You have such a great amount of information about this issue, thus much energy. You likewise know how to make individuals rally behind it, clearly from the reactions.picsart free download

Italian genius is famous all over the world, and in the past as well as in the present has marked revolutionary innovations in every field. For this reason, representing Italian excellence requires constant commitment to research and development. ipsiarighi

Buchen Sie den Zauberer für Hochzeit und Co. Unterhaltung für die Hochzeit und Hochzeitsfeier. Lassen Sie sich verzaubern. Hochzeitsunterhaltung für jede Hochzeitsfeier. Der Zauberer sorgt mit mit seiner Zaubershow für bunter Hochzeitsunterhaltung. Hochzeit Unterhaltung

I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. over the counter diet pills

This is also a very good post which i really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that i have the possibility to see something. http://onlinefractioncalculator.weebly.com/

Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you've got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon brestrogen complaints

This really is additionally an excellent publish that we truly loved reading through. It's not daily which i possess the likelihood to determine some thing. how to hack snapchat

I truly appreciate merely reading through all your blogs. Free Typing Tutor

This is often moreover a fairly good blog post that we certainly cherished analyzing. Not necessarily every single day which enjoy the chances to find a product. https://hansonirsaudit.wordpress.com/

I am very hopeful, what I see and read here can provide insight for me and other friends become his experience. I can only give a big thank you.

xender download

I am very hopeful, what I see and read here can provide insight for me and other friends become his experience. I can only give a big thank you.

xender download

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.minecraft p.e gratuit | freepsncodes

This really even a very good put up that i in fact really enjoyed perusing. It is not necessarily regular that i include the option to ascertain a specific thing. mobogenie app download

Great weblog combined with the superb high quality things as well as I’m certain this is significantly useful. www.zlookup.com

Come up with a great deal more articles or reviews using this question an individual has a truly good option to make sure you strongly encourage writters. best software reviews

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. font-face kit generator

I must say i take pleasure in basically studying your entire sites. Tulsa Tax Law Lawyer 

This really even a very good put up that i in fact really enjoyed perusing. It is not necessarily regular that i include the option to ascertain a specific thing. 88betonline

That is the reason focus on you must specific groundwork well before authoring. Will be possible to more desirable blog post in this manner. climatiseur mobile

I did so knowledge examining posts or perhaps critiques contributed the following. They may be basically excellent you can find a great deal of useful information. Weddings

This is often moreover a fairly good blog post that we certainly cherished analyzing. Not necessarily every single day which enjoy the chances to find a product. http://basketrycollective.weebly.com/

Very good blog post i've got to suggest and even bless you in the tips. Degree certainly a sticky area of interest. Then again, will be some of the top rated information of the precious time. As i treasure ones own blog post and even watch for alot more. custom made coin

By means of regards for assisting in web page you've gotten quite really been having. I had produced shied shut off having remarks like info found round today. mens wooden watches

I did experience checking articles or reviews shared here. They are simply exceptional there are a large amount of advantageous knowledge. read more here

"On Långegiveren.dk we give you the complete list of danish companies that offers payday loans (kvik lån)

Can I get cheap loans from the bank?

It can safely if you already have a relationship with the bank, and take a giant loans. Banks usually give better price on larger loans, the larger the loan, the more money they will tear into whatever. But like everything, banks are also a business that would like to earn money from you if you enter their door." kviklån

Delight maintain this approach awesome succeed and additionally Document wait for a great deal more on your stunning blogs. ITALIAN FOOD IN UK