Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bid on Will's Ride

Back in the spring of 1999, as the story goes, NBC was so happy with the performance of its freshman sitcom Will & Grace that, in a show of gratitude, it rewarded the show's four principal cast members each with a brand-new Porsche Boxster. After taking them to lunch, then-NBC president Scott Sassa surprised the four actors with sets of keys to their new wheels, valued at just under $100,000 each. (If you don't remember all the press on that, click here for a fun piece by my friend Dennis Hensley or here for a USA Weekend piece on Debra Messing.)

[By the way, as an aside -- NBC got a lot of ink for that apparently generous move. But in 2004, I found out while researching my book Will & Grace: Fabulously Uncensored that it wasn't the network at all who really ponied up for all that horsepower. Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick told me that, thirteen episodes into the run of the series, "James Burrows [the show's fabled director] had the idea that we should reward the cast early, and let them know that they are doing a good job. We did that by way of buying them all Boxsters. I like saying that we bought them, because we did -- we paid for them. NBC likes to say that they paid for them, but the truth is that the show paid for them. And we own the show, so we paid for them."]

Whoever truly did ultimately get the Porsche dealer's bill, we do know from subsequent photos and sightings that the four stars sure did seem to enjoy tooling around L.A. in their fancy new wheels. Now, Eric McCormack, fka Will Truman, has decided to share the ride, and all for a good cause. In an email circulated this morning by the L.A.-based charity Project Angel Food, Eric explains why he's willing to part with the car in order to provide funding for the preparation and delivery of meals to those suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases.

As Eric notes above, the car is a 1999 Porsche Boxster, silver with jet black leather interior and gleaming chrome wheels. The odometer reads at only 24,601 miles. There are, he says, a few nicks and scratches -- each of which brings back memories.

"I hate to give it up," McCormack writes, "but Janet and I feel strongly that the sexiest kind of vehicle is the one that delivers meals to those who are in need."

As Grace Adler might say, "That Will -- what a mensch!"

To bid on Eric McCormack's Porsche Boxster
(plus a personalized message and autographed set of Will & Grace DVDs)
now through 3 PM on September 5, 2008:

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