04/14/2015 10:47 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Comic Nick Griffin on the Art of the Accidental Encounter

Did you ever run into someone you knew and wish you handled things better?

In David Ives' play, Sure Thing, a woman and a man have a chance meeting in a cafe. Each time someone says something off and the conversation goes south, a bell rings and the scene begins again. They get another chance to make everything right.

Imagine if our accidental encounters came with a reset bell. But since they don't, how do you stay cool, interesting and engaging when you see someone unexpectedly, especially out of context? "I'm always the guy who prefers to let the other person talk more or just ask questions," says veteran comedian Nick Griffin, who is fresh off one of many appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. "People think entertainers have exciting lives. And I figure let them go on believing that instead of telling them I'm sitting in the lobby at the Holiday Inn drinking bad coffee."

I asked Griffin to offer guidance on some specific chance encounter situations. Get the full story here at

Nick Griffin
(Photo used with permission. Corey Melton Photography)