Business, networking, dating… there are tons of reasons why the average person needs a business card. But what about celebrities? Have you ever seen a famous person’s business card before? Here are some of my favorite celebrity business cards: Don Pardo, Steve Martin, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Neil Armstrong.
One summer in the early 1990s, I got an opportunity to go backstage at NBC’s Burbank Studios where they recorded The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. One of the guests that night was Steve Martin. While Martin was walking out into the parking lot, I said something stupid like “Hey Steve, I love Three Amigos!” I had a pen and paper in my hands just in case there was an opportunity for an autograph. But Martin said “Thanks kid,” gave me his business card, and kept walking. At first, I felt disappointed and confused. I wanted an autograph. But then I thought, WOW! I have Steve Martin’s business card.
I could be wrong, but I doubt business leaders with household names like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, handed out very many business cards during their careers. But what about Donald Trump? Before he was president, if Trump didn’t hand out a small stack of business cards every day, then I’d be surprised. And based on the back of his card, he must have done a lot of business in China and parts of Asia.
Although you may not know Don Pardo by name, you may recognize his voice. He was the original “voice” of NBC‘s Saturday Night Live. Each episode began with his signature phrase, “IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!” In addition to announcing countless TV shows and commercials, Don was also the original announcer for both Jeopardy! and The Price Is Right and the voice for NBC’s Saturday Night Live for almost 40 years.
Like Steve Martin, Pardo’s business card doesn’t actually provide the recipient with any real contact information. It’s more of a conversation piece. Pardo’s cards had raised gold lettering that said: “World Traveler. International Lover. Last Of The Big Spenders.”
I had the honor of meeting Pardo at NBC. The last bit about being a big spender is an inside joke. Anyone who knew Pardo knew how frugal he was. I had lunch with him a few times at the Grand Havana Room on 5th Avenue. I always ended up paying for his meal. At least Pardo was a cheap date. He stopped drinking in the 1980s.
Although I couldn’t find any business cards from Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was just an actor, I did find one from while he was governor of the State of California. The Governator!
Yep, even the first man to walk on the moon had a business card. After his career at NASA, Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) taught, consulted, gave speeches, and even did a little acting.
One of the companies Armstrong consulted with was Computing Technologies for Aviation (CTA), which was based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Armstrong was Chairman of CTA from 1982-1993. And as you can see, he autographed this particular card.
Back in 1976, Microsoft had 6 employees and only $22,496 in revenue. They also leased their first official office space. Here’s Bill Gates‘ first business card. It features the first Microsoft logo and the company’s first business address: Two Park Central Tower Building at 300 San Mateo Blvd, N.E., Suite 819, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Do You Have Any Celebrity Business Cards?
What about you? Do you own any notable celebrity business cards that we should include in this article? If so, send us a picture of the business card with a note from our Submit page, or post it in the comments below. Thanks!
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.