Niel Gaiman before Good Omens premiere


Bow tie mishap almost causes Neil Gaiman to miss ‘Good Omens’ premiere

It takes a village.


Nahila Bonfiglio


Posted on May 30, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 11:37 am CDT

One of the authors of the book behind Amazon’s upcoming supernatural comedy Good Omens almost missed the show’s premiere this week—all over a bow-tie.

Neil Gaiman, the 58-year-old co-author of Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, was more than 30 minutes late to the premiere of the Amazon original, according to a Twitter thread posted by his wife. Amanda Palmer, a musician and author herself, tweeted an amusing breakdown of Gaiman’s bow tie-related struggles in the lead-up to the premiere.

According to Palmer, Gaiman insisted on wearing a bow tie to the premiere. Even after discovering that neither he nor his wife knew how to tie a bow tie, he stuck to his guns. “We were at a standstill,” Palmer wrote. “I didn’t know how to tie a bow-tie. Neil’s agent didn’t know how to tie a bow-tie. Neils’ assistant didn’t know how to tie a bow-tie. Nobody working at the hotel knew how to tie a bow-tie.”

The trouble kept mounting from there. Palmer explained in the thread that Gaiman continued to stick to his aesthetic preference, even after his publicist—also without bow tie expertise—failed to ascertain the knowledge from a YouTube instructional video. Even the hotel concierge reportedly came in to assist, calling out for aid from random passersby. It turns out that knowledge of tying bow ties is a rare thing indeed.

Palmer explained that Gaiman began to panic when he realized that no one was able to assist him. “It was funny at first,” she wrote. “Then he simply melted down. Nobody could make jokes about how we were very late and how nobody could tie a bow-tie. We were now a half-hour late.”

Then, a hero emerged.

“Eventually the guy from the barber shop next-door came to the rescue,” Palmer wrote. “This is Daniel, the guy from the barbershop next to the hotel who knew how to tie a bow-tie. He is the reason Neil attended the premiere of Good Omens tonight. Thank you, Daniel.”

We should all thank Daniel for retaining a skill we’ve apparently left behind as a society. Because of him, Gaiman was able to attend the premiere for a series he has been hard at work on since the death of his co-author, Terry Pratchett. According to Deadline, Gaiman began the process around five years ago, after receiving a letter from the ailing Pratchett: “He said ‘you have to make this into a television show and I want to watch it… before the lights go out,’” Gaiman said of Pratchett. “I said ‘yes’ and then Terry died and I flew home from his funeral and started writing episode one at a time when nothing seemed very funny.”

Even though Pratchett didn’t manage to see the premiere himself, Gaiman arrived less than an hour late, according to Palmer. Bow tie impeccably bound, he sat near the seat in which they placed the deceased Pratchett’s hat with a big bag of popcorn.

Palmer’s Twitter thread had a final message for her husband, which all the bow tie lovers out there should remember.

“Neil. clip-on, or plan,” she said.


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*First Published: May 30, 2019, 7:59 am CDT