9:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Richard Weitz Recruits Childhood Heroes for 50th Birthday Party: "Darth Vader in a Mosh Pit Was a Highlight"
It's too bad Richard Weitz doesn't turn 50 every weekend.
The WME partner and prolific Instagrammer celebrated his milestone birthday over the April 28 weekend, rallying high school friends, longtime clients and Hollywood pals for an eclectic schedule of events that had the town buzzing. On Friday, Weitz spent quality time with high school friends from Pennsylvania’s Cheltenham High School who had flown in especially for the occasion. Later that evening, the agent got roasted by comedian Jeffrey Ross at private events venue Carondelet.
Nothing, however, compared to Saturday night’s main event when guests packed into Quixote Studios in West Hollywood. Executives like Disney’s Dana Walden, Amazon’s Jennifer Salke and CBS' David Nevins mingled with John Legend, John Mayer, Rob Lowe and Fred Savage, taking in the sights and sounds from the event. And there was a lot to see. Weitz curated a performance by idols LL Cool J, Rev Run and Morris Day and the Time, flew in his hometown hero, the Phillie Phanatic mascot, and recruited Darth Vader and Stormtroopers to make the rounds inside the bash.
The icing on the cake had to be the detailed re-creation of Weitz's teenage bedroom, complete with posters of his youthful obsessions (Run DMC, Dr. J, Ferris Bueller's Day Off). The food was also pretty rich: Brentwood standout pizzeria Pizzana served up gourmet pies, and East Coast junk pastries like Yodels and Devil Dogs were served. “It was pretty epic,” longtime friend and client Melvin Mar tells THR. “I was describing it to somebody as if Barry Goldberg got rich and decided to throw himself a bar mitzvah. Darth Vader dancing in the middle of a mosh pit was a highlight.”
WME partner Ari Greenburg’s birthday gift was a highlight for Weitz — custom made “Richard Weitz 2018-2019 Tour” T-shirts that feature dates and locations of every event the indefatigable agent attended over the course of a year. “This may be my favorite gift of all time,” praised Weitz on Instagram. “Never grow up no matter how old you are! An epic and most memorable 50th to celebrate with my friends, family, clients, Star Wars characters, Phillie Phanatic and everyone who touches my life or who’s life I’ve had a small part of. This was one night I’ll never forget!”
Something the guests will have no trouble remembering is the video tribute that played to kick off the festivities. Weitz's brother, Andrew Weitz, an executive style consultant and founder of The Weitz Effect (andTHR contributor), produced a 24-minute birthday package and did so by corralling many of Weitz's friends, colleagues, clients, peers and family members to help paint a full 360-degree portrait of who he is beneath the agent exterior. Plenty of screen time was devoted to his Instagram presences, catch phrases ("Nobody cares!"), live concerts, Apple and Mimeo photo books obsessions. But what had a more heartfelt impact was his love for his family, his fierce devotion to his clients and his ever-infectious joie de vivre.
A version of this story first appeared in the May 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.