‘Home Alone’ Star's Wild Bar Tab Story After Trump Offered to Pay

Daniel Stern shares a humorous story from his memoir

by Zain ul Abedin
‘Home Alone’ Star's Wild Bar Tab Story After Trump Offered to Pay
© Pool/Getty Images

Daniel Stern became a real-life “Wet Bandit” thanks to an encounter with Donald Trump during the filming of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." The 1992 sequel was allowed to film at the iconic Plaza Hotel, which Trump owned, in exchange for a cameo from the future president.

Stern, who reprised his role as one of the bumbling thieves, shared this anecdote in his memoir “Home and Alone”. According to Stern, Trump, who was already a notorious real estate mogul and a symbol of New York City's wealth, made a significant mistake after agreeing to let the crew film at his hotel.

“Donald ended up doing a cameo, but his real contribution was letting us film there, lending the luster of the Plaza to the movie,” Stern wrote, revealing that Trump was a “huge” fan of his. At the time, Trump had not yet entered politics, though he had teased a presidential bid in the 1980s.

Stern described Trump as “a nothing personality” with superficial conversation but acknowledged that their meeting was fruitful. Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, entered the Oak Room, eager to mingle and have their pictures taken with guests.

Trump's Costly Generosity

Now 66, Stern recalled an evening at the Plaza where he and several crew members were having drinks. Trump spotted them and loudly declared that he would cover their tab. Stern recounted that the group raised their glasses in appreciation as Trump left, feeling like the ultimate host.

Seizing the opportunity, Stern and his crew cheekily ordered drinks for the entire bar until 4 a.m., depleting the establishment’s alcohol supply. Stern estimated that the final tab was “at least seven thousand dollars,” though there was some disagreement about the exact amount.

“We still feel really good about that,” Stern concluded. Director Chris Columbus revealed to Business Insider in 2020 that Trump essentially "bullied" his way into the film. Trump, however, denied this, claiming that Columbus was eager to have him appear.

In "Home Alone 2," Trump famously guides a lost Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, to the lobby. Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel for $390 million in 1988. "Home Alone" (1990) became a classic, catapulting Culkin to stardom and leading to the New York-based sequel.