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Bill Geist

Bill Geist

Author, columnist, humorist | Won Emmys in 1992, 2005 | Class of 1968

You know it as the place where Elvis rocked and the Flyin’ Illini rolled. But what Bill Geist remembers the building formerly known as the Assembly Hall for is Valentine’s Day 1968, when the future CBS funnyman and his bride-to-be went on their first date. 

“I took her to see Dr. Timothy Leary, the LSD guru, at the Assembly Hall,” says Geist, a Champaign Central grad. “If it was already State Farm Center, I doubt the insurance giant would have let him anywhere near the place. 

“After seeing the good doctor, we went to the Red Lion, danced the gator to the Finchley Boys and were thrown out. Great date.”