Puerto Rico

Well, Motherfakers. I’m on the road again.  This time to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I’ll be shooting Rum Diary with Johnny Depp.  I’ve got a lot of news to share.  Fun with the cast of Wizards of Waverly Place, more on Obama including my thoughts on Special Olympics bowling and lastly a note on the passing of a good friend and St. Louis comedy writer.


San Juan Puerto Rico
San Juan Puerto Rico


I headed to the airport early Sunday morning.  It was much more stress free than my average trip to the airport because the studio provided a driver. My driver was a nice guy, but it looked like he was trying to bait me into a political argument.

He was telling me that Aaron Eckhart was in the limo before me, and so I asked who were some of the nicest people he had driven in the past.  He said he really liked George Clooney, and talked about how nice and friendly he was.  I added that I figured he would be and that I like that he has strong political convictions and that he uses his celebrity to promote causes he believes in.

That’s when he started talking about how Clooney isn’t as far to the left as Susan Sarandon, but getting there.  He went on to talk about how he thinks Obama is ruining our country.  I held my tongue.  Really?  in 60 days he’s already ruined our country?  I firmly gripped my taste-bud holder when he went on to point out that there has never been a Socialist government that’s lasted.

If he’d drank that much Kool Aid, there was no way I was going to try to convince him that Obama didn’t run on the Socialist ticket.  He’s an Amercian and a Democrat. I don’t agree with everything he’s said and done, but I’ll give him 4 years to see if his ideas will work for us.

I don’t argue politics anymore.  I’ve wasted a lot of time in the past trying to point out the holes in what I perceive in the “logic” of people who disagree with me.  And the older I get, the less sure I am that I know everything there is to know. Besides I’ve got too many friends on both sides of the aisle to start an argument about something as futile as my opinions about some policy.

 Speaking of everything Obama has said and done,  I couldn’t believe my ears when he was on The Tonight Show and said his bad bowling was “like something out of the Special Olympics.”

Whoah!  Apparently  he hasn’t spent any time bowling with a Special Olympian.  Everbody in Special Olympics has whipped my butt in bowling.  My friends John Taylor and Eddie Barbanell have made me hang my head in shame at my own bowling score.  I’ve been amazed at the bravery of Special Olympians who compete in events like downhill skiing and much more. I have to bowl in my shoot with Johnny Depp tomorrow and I know I wish I’d spent more time with John Taylor who’s the best bowler I know. 

So, I arrived in San Juan late Sunday and checked into the Caribe Hilton.  It’s one of the nicest hotels and resorts I’ve ever stayed at.

It’s right on the beach and the beach is gorgeous.  Expansive blue skies and waves crashing on the rocks.  I keep my window open most of the time since the sounds are just as beautiful.

I headed to the set of Rum Diary the next morning and on my way out I ran into David DeLuise and Jake T. Austin from Wizards of Waverly Place in the lobby.  I knew from emailing Peter Murrieta the day before that the Wizard movie was shooting at the Caribe Hilton.  I had planned on stopping by to see them after I was done, since I knew I’d get off early that day.


I didn’t know I’d be running into them that early. I also ran into Peter who told me that David pitched an idea to him about me making a cameo since I’m down here and Disney didn’t have to pay to fly me down or put me up.  So we planned on seeing if we can fit me in.  Hopefully it doesn’t distract from the scene that was written.

I arrived at the base camp for The Rum Diary and met the director Bruce Robinson and talked breifly with Aaron Eckhart.  He really was a nice guy and we talked about St. Louis a bit since he had filmed Meet Bill there a few years back.  It sounded like he had a chance to really get out and see St. Louis when he was there.  We talked about The Improv Trick and some of my other favorite things about St. Louis.

I got back to the Hilton and shot the scene for Wizards.  It’s a walk on.  I literally just walk on.  But it was a suprise cameo and only took about a half hour to shoot.



David Deluise and Selena Gomez
David DeLuise and Selena Gomez with Flat Stanley

By the way, I’m working on a slide show with Flat Stanley for my nephew Brandon.  So, technically I’m working on THREE projects in San Juan.

It was Peter Murrieta’s birthday so we all went out to a  great restaurant called Marmelade!  Whooiieee! It was delicious.  We had some amazing appetizers which included:

  • Baked Pear with feta cheese
  • Homemade Gnocci with spicy pork
  • Grilled Baby Octopus
  • White Bean Soup

And there was more. It just kept coming! The grilled baby octopus was great, but we all agreed that there’s no tasteful way of announcing any appetizer that begins with the words “grilled baby.”This jewel of a restaurant in Old San Juan was amazing.  I had a great entree too: Red Snaper with sausage and clams.  Then the desserts started coming, in taster’s platters just like the tapas appetizers.  We all agreed that the entrees were not even neccessary.  The waiter assured us that many of their guests go into a food-gasm at the end of the evening.

The White Bean Soup was an amazingly rich cream based soup with crispy bacon dust, served in a small cup, almost like an espresso cup.  You’re supposed to sip it instead of eating it with a spoon.  The big spoon they give you wouldn’t have fit into the cup anyway.

Lastly, I’d like to send my regrets to everyone in St. Louis who was close to Jamie Foehner, a very funny improviser and sketch comic.  Jamie worked in the sketch troupe Brand X, and he studied at The Second City at around the same time I did and also had Stephen Colbert as one of his teachers.

Jamie died far too young, but thankfully painlessly and quick.  It’s believed he had a heart attack sitting on a stool at his computer.  At least he went out writing.  St. Louis is a few laughs light today.

Well, it’s 1:02am and I have to leave for the set tomorrow at 6:30am.  I’d better get some sleep.  I’ll have more on the trip later.  For now, feast your eyes on this shot from my hammock this afternoon.


The Port of San Juan as seen from between my legs.
The Port of San Juan as seen from between my legs.

Published by billchott

Bill Chott is currently appearing in Marshall's Miracle, a family film about a courageous dog who survived hardships to triumph as a therapy dog. For five years he was on the Emmy-Winning Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place. Originally from St. Louis Missouri, he is a member of his high school's Hall of Fame, a Broadway Award winner for his work in I Love Lucy Live on on Stage, and the winner of the INNY awards for Best Improv Coach. He attended Central Methodist University and trained in Improvisation at The Second City. There he worked with such comedy powerhouses as Tina Fey, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert among many others. Bill starred on The Dana Carvey Show, does cartoon voices on PBS, Saturday Night Live and in film, he appeared in Galaxy Quest, Dude Where's My Car, and he was a lead role as Thomas, the Special Olympian who brings home the bronze in the Farrelly Bros. film The Ringer.

10 thoughts on “Puerto Rico

  1. Starting a trip to film a part in a movie based on a book by Hunter S. Thompson with a right-wing limo driver?! Some sort of weird serendipituous/ironic thing going on there. Otherwise, seems like a blast. Nice coincidence about Wizards being there too.


  2. Bill,
    Sounds like you’re having a great time in SJ. Spring seems to be almost here in STL, but you know MO. It could snow next month. You never know. Love the pic of you in the hammock and thanks for getting some sun on those legs. I was almost blinded. I love the blog and will definately check back again.

  3. Hey Bill, I found your blog off your myspace blog post! I love your pictures and I really enjoyed reading your post! Have a great time in Puerto Rico!

  4. What a great trip you are having! I didn’t even know that you used to blog until reading about it. I’ve been blogging for quite some time now and I too just got back into it. I took an eight month break from it.

    Okay….sorry to hear about the divorce but I don’t think I ever knew that you were married. I do hope that it wasn’t a nasty one. You’re too sweet for that. 🙂 Still remember those late night talks during college.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. I’m sure he’ll be missed by many.

    Looking forward to following your blog!

  5. Uncle Bill!
    (thanks for the directions from myspace)
    First, sunscreen is your friend, be careful in that damn sun!

    I am sorry for your loss. God always takes the good ones, early, doesn’t She?

    Love to see that you’re busy! Good luck with all 3 three projects you’re working on! I hope they multiply like rabbits.

  6. Hey! love you like my island Puerto Rico. You are welcome any time. God bless you and your carrier.

    With respect, Edwin Yumar.

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