If you live in Los Angeles and you’ve been to your fair share of premieres, parties, press junkets and award dinners, then you’ve also been privy to watching celebrities saunter up to the Valet stand and take their luxury automobiles out of the hands of the people who park them.
But that’s not the story, here. This story contains a combination of first-hand and second-hand intelligence (which is almost as good as the CIA and NSA’s intelligence gathering endeavors) about which celebrities do right by their car parkers and their automobile arrivers. Yes, this story is about to blow open the entire Valet tipping world and seek to prove whether or not Brad or Tom or Hugh or Matthew or Edward are doing right by those who refrain from stealing those quarters out of their coin tray.
Shall we get started?
Let’s start by talking about Brad Pitt, who is generally known as one of the most down-to-Earth, sweet dudes out in Hollywood. Not only does he take time to talk to the “regular folk” but he does so with interest and real focus. Brad has been known to do right by those in his life above and beyond the call of duty, putting his own cold hard cash towards those in need, and has given back in more ways than one. So it’s no surprise, that when Brad Pitt rolls up to the Valet stand, he’s a generous, genial, good-hearted soon-to-be Oscar winner. So what does he tip? From three separate incidents; one first-hand and two second-hand, Brad has always thrown an Andrew Jackson (i.e. $20 dollar bill) to anyone taking care of his vehicle. And in some scenarios, when it’s not even his car (but it’s a town car rented for the occasion), he still gives something back. Generosity Tip Quotient: 5/5
But what about Tom Cruise? It’s tough with Tommy Boy, because he often travels with a huge contingency of his team, often times leaving cars ready at the wait by the entrance to any facility he’s visiting, partying at, or dining in for. But Tom is also known to be a very generous and well-mannered guy, who has never taken his fame or fortune for granted. Did you know, that every Holiday, Cruise sends his famous coconut cake from Doan’s in the Valley to every single person on his holiday list? Doan’s spends weeks leading up to the holidays preparing hundreds of the cakes to be sent out as his trademark Holiday greeting card. So what does he tip? Tipping-wise, while Tom isn’t as generous as Brad, he’s still pretty loose with the cash. Between three different second-hand accounts, Tom handed over two $10’s and a $20 dollar bill on three separate Valet situations. He did so with a hand shake and the trademark Tom Cruise/Jerry Maguire smile. Generosity Tip Quotient: 4/5
The Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, having hailed from Down Under, has a slightly different approach to engaging with the Valets who take care of his cars. Because Hugh doesn’t live in Los Angeles, and is often traveling across the World, he often gets to his press junkets and premiere parties by way of town cars and SUVs that the studios are paying for. So while the compensation portion of Jackman’s trips are taken care of by those funding the films he’s in, Jackman has seen fit to give back in other ways to those taking him around the town. So what does he tip? While he isn’t necessarily handing over cash, Jackman does something different (and in some cases, more valuable). He’s been seen jumping into his town cars carrying plates of food from the events he emerged from; providing some well-needed sustenance to those who have been driving him around all day. On a previous Oscar night, often when drivers must sit around for hours just waiting for their guests to emerge from the Kodak Theater, Hugh brought a bag filled with bottled water and snacks, and even handed over one of the lucrative electronic gifts he’d landed in his Oscar Gift Basket. Generosity Tip Quotient: 4/5
Alright, alright, alright — what about Matthew McConaughey? The Wooderson of Dazed and Confused, while a seemingly good dude, is often so focused on his own stuff that he rarely pays attention to those handing him the keys to his Lincoln Continental. On more than ten occasions, those working at the Valet stand have rarely shared more than a word with the McConaugheyster, finding themselves relegated to nothing more than a walking, human keychain handing over the key to the Cont. So what does he tip? On those more than ten different occasions, McConaughey has been seen handing over crumpled dollar bills, some of which have totaled five dollars or less, but always doing so with a smile. It’s not that McConaughey is a bad guy, he’s not. It’s just that he’s so in his own head, that he barely focuses on the moment at hand or thinks about the guys parking his cars. He goes through the motions, handing over a few bucks here or there, and going on his merry way. Generosity Tip Quotient: 3/5
All that being said, we’ve saved the best for last.
Mr. Fight Club himself, Edward Norton, is known to be one of the most horrible tippers of the Valet car parking scene. Not only has he been seen grumbling and angry over the time it takes for him to get his car, but he’s often heard verbally arguing with Valet captains when someone else’s car (for those who were there waiting ahead of him) comes before his. Norton doesn’t care if you’ve been waiting there for ten minutes already when he rolls up to the Valet stand. He’s Edward Norton. From Primal Fear. His car deserves to be there before yours. So what does he tip? Not much. And it comes with an entitled, angry, often passive-aggressive attitude. Perhaps a dollar here or there, but he’ll press you on whether or not you borrowed a tissue from his center console, or took a quarter out of the dish. Generosity Tip Quotient: 2/5
There’s others. There’s the Woodys and the Hanxes and the Leos and the Dustins and the Als and the Roberts and the Christians. There’s more than enough witness accounts to call out their habits and their generosity quotients as it relates to the good, honest people, bringing their newfangled automobiles from underground to the turnaround.
But we’ll save that for our next edition of These Celebrities Tip at the Valet Stand.