Bensonhurst man finds Emmy in trash, wants to return it

The Brooklyn Paper
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A local actor and singer who found an Emmy in a garbage can near his Bensonhurst home says he’s bringing the award to the premiere of a film in Manhattan, hoping that the television award’s owner will show up to claim the prize.

“I want to return it,” said Ismael Cekic, “because I’m curious who this person is, who worked so hard to get that award.”

Cekic — “Smiley” to his friends — had just returned from and upstate studio in Woodstock where he was recording some tracks for his music website,, on Sept. 20 and was walking just a few houses down from his 28th Avenue home between Cropsey and Harway avenues, when he spotted a box full of trophies sticking out from a garbage can.

Curious, Cekic rifled through the collection of mostly cheap, plastic baseball trophies, when he spotted a golden angel holding an atom and took a liking to it.

“It just caught my eye,” he said.

But it wasn’t until two days later, when he was watching the 2013 Emmy Awards, that the eureka moment occurred.

“I’ve always wanted to be an actor, so I watch the Emmys every year,” said Cekic. “So, I had the Emmy sitting on my coffee table, and then I saw the Emmy on the TV. I must have done three double takes, and then I yelled for my wife.”

Cekic, who makes an appearance in local film-maker Eric Rivas’s latest project, “Vamp Bikers,” says he now plans on bringing the wayward Emmy to a screening of the film at the Anthology Film Archives on Nov. 27, and would be happy to hand over the award to its rightful owner.

Rivas, who’s known Cekic for 35 years, says he would not expect anything less from his good friend Smiley.

“He’s a really good kid,” said Rivas. “It looks like he’s trying to do the right thing. He just wants to return it.”

Meanwhile, Cekic can use the remaining time left to him with the Emmy to fuel his life-long fantasy of actually winning the award.

“I close my eyes and picture myself up on stage. Simon Cowell presents it to me,” said Cekic. “He’s saying, ‘Here you go Smiley, you made it.’ ”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

smiley from brooklyn says:
Thanks for sharing my story, it feels like it has been a god sent to find this emmy , I been working so hard with my production team(gotham empire productions) on my music , recording @ dreamland recording studios in wood stock NY with steven dwire , bedry mema and long time peter gabriel's drummer jerry marotta who features on my debute release "SMILEY SESSIONS" along with harvey jones- keys- (sting side man) DR.Know -strings (bad brains guitarist) . Its been very harf trying to break into the industry its a new indie production team and finding it hard promoting music with very little experiance in promo, thank god for finding this emmy because it has given me a chance to share my music with the world and share my dreams. the reviews I have gotten from friends and family and also the renown artists I have been woorking with are so positive , see for your self america! I have three of my songs on itunes - link @ . Please visit preview and download the best new raw talent NYC has seen in a while, a proceed of our music goes to wounded warriors (injured usa war veterans) so tell a freind and enjoy, see u at anthology film archives @ VAMP BIKERES premiere ,hopefully we reunite this emmy with its long lost winner, if not we will try again, thanks brooklyn paper and Thanks NYC
Nov. 26, 2013, 4:04 am
james from dyker heights says:
this story seems fishy to me. Maybe he just said he found it in trash to gain the publicity hes gaining now for his music?? i could be wrong, but just a suspicion
Nov. 26, 2013, 10:37 am
ken from Greenpoint says:
Guy's: can you please stop posting long comment's?
Nov. 26, 2013, 10:39 am
Ahem from Brooklyn says:
Couldn't be the Emmy winner was working on this film project? - worked on this publication if it was staged, for what it's worth. There's waaaaaay too much (self) promotion going on in this story - websites too -- to be believed entirely.
Nov. 26, 2013, 10:45 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
This is weird. Seems like BS to me. What on Earth makes this guy think the person who supposedly tossed out the Emmy is going to find out about this, much less show up at some screening of some random movie.

Also, doesn't it say anything on it?

Oh and Ken, the plural of Guy is Guys; plural of comment is comments. No apostrophe needed in either case.
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:13 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
If you don't mind my suggesting that there seems as though there is more to this story than meets the eye, then I hope the rest of your morning is a good one.
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:14 am
wow from Brooklyn says:

Smiley, maybe you should bring the Emmy to your local police and tell them your story.
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:28 am
Freddy from Crown Heights says:
Did ya bite it and check if it be real gold? That's what I'd do!
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:43 am
Jbob from PS says:
Emmys that have been awarded are engraved with the winners name and what they won the emmy for. If the statute has no markings on it , its probably either a replica or a prop and doesnt have a proper owner.
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:46 am
Emmy from obvious media stunt says:
Will the BP update this story when it's revealed that this guy is full of s---? How did this get published???
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:54 am
Lie from This Page says:
So..he only found out it was an Emmy when he saw one on TV? YET he always wanted to be an actor...OK...
Nov. 26, 2013, 12:02 pm
Tank from PS says:

He said he wanted to be an actor... never said a "good" actor.
Nov. 26, 2013, 12:21 pm
Smith from The Smiths says:

You'd put something from the trash in your mouth?

Nov. 26, 2013, 12:31 pm
Raymond S. Diaz from Crown Heights says:
They have bands on them and this one was missing. Its from Ed Sullivan era. Follow the News. This kid is a hero. Looking to give it back instead of pawning it for thousands. Ill Be at Vamp Bikers Premiere tmrw to see it in person and shake his hand!
Nov. 26, 2013, 12:33 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
"This kid is a hero."

A hero? A HERO?
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:11 pm
smiley from kengsington says:
Suprised to see so many comments , i just want to say that the statue is authentic and things of this stature slipp through the hands and gets overlooked until it winds up with its destined owner , wheather I find the owner or not , its a life long dream of mine to be an actor/singer , my father never let me persue the arts as a kid and its just karma showing me some love after all these years of keeping my dream alive, this emmy had so much dust on it I didn't know it was an emmy right away , just to let the readers know and people all over the country and world , NEW YORKERS CAN STILL BE NICE PEOPLE, I have been offered 10,000. Us dollars from someone already and I turned them down, the moral of the story is sometimes the struggling artist , sometimes gets a break , and this one is mine , can some people have a dream ? I got lucky , and I hope I stay lucky , if the true owner can present the missing band to this authentic emmy award confirmed by CBS as an ed sullivan era award , if they bring the missing band with the right markings , they can finaly be at ease , i make good music as to the skeptics , otherwise I would never have JERRY MAROTTA (peter gabriel band world class drummer and hall and oats session drummer) SING on my songs , everyone up in woodstock loves my music and vibe and this trophy is a god sent cause I can't afford a publisist , I wish I could, this is not a staged event, "there's a million storys in the naked city" - HATE ALL YOU WANT- is a song I did that covers this verry topic , so I salute all my fellow newyorkers , thanks for reading , see you at anthology ! VAMP BIKERS!!!!
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:13 pm
now it makes sense from here says: CBS originally did this story--something the author and editor failed to mention.
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:48 pm
now it makes sense from here says:
it's 'true owner' is probably dead or moved, and that's why it wound up in the trash--no one wanted it. check recent address changes and obits of people who lived near trash can and mystery solved.
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:50 pm
Tony from Bat Beach says:
Yo Smiley--if it's not a stunt, who did the story first? how'd they find yous? set the record straight homie!!!!
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:54 pm
smiley from kengsington says:
Cbs authenticated it as cbs airs the emmys! Its real! There's no lies here, there have been plenty of cases where "you don't know what you got " even if you've seen it on TV , having the actual trophy is a different, your not thinking emmy cause it don't say emmy , it says national acadamy of television and sciences , so that thre me off for a minute , from year to year you don't have a mental pic of somthing untill you see it again ! So there is your rebuttle ,
Nov. 26, 2013, 3:55 pm
janeta from broom County says:
This story isn't "fishy" at brother is the hardest worker I have ever know. Growing up was never easy, it wasn't easy to do what he sing and act. Everyone has a dream...hopefully his dream is going to be a reality!
Nov. 26, 2013, 4:28 pm
smiley from brooklyn says:
The mystery goes on , someone somewhere out there has the missing link , people in the past have thrown out paintings and statues worth hundreds of thousands of dollars , there has to be some one that knows someone that was a star in the 1950's in bensonhurst brooklyn that has lost this emmy, I am in the process of contacting the academy and would like to have them take a tally of all emmys given out in bensonhurst brooklyn , it shouldn't be that hard , this is like mystery that deserves hollywoods attention, the old brooklyn hollywood, we will bring hollywood back to brooklyn ! Come to watch vamp bikers premier if anything take a pic with a real emmy and the star that won it if he shows up, either way we will solve this thing , if not I will hire a private invetigator , I think I know one .....
Nov. 26, 2013, 5:20 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
now it makes sense from here says:
" CBS originally did this story--something the author and editor failed to mention."

The finder contacted CBS after seeing the Emmy Awards/statuettes on CBS.
Nov. 26, 2013, 6:40 pm
LA from Prospect Heights says:
If he found it at Benverly Hills, it might be real.
Nov. 26, 2013, 7:06 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
"there has to be some one that knows someone that was a star in the 1950's in bensonhurst brooklyn that has lost this emmy"

Not necessarily a "star" as most think of one, since there have been many, many Emmy categories.
And not necessarily from Bensonhurst -- if the thing was solen/lost elsewhere and was sold, junked, gifted, etc until it ended up in Bhurst.
Nov. 26, 2013, 7:18 pm
jay from nyc says:
emmys have an engraving on it for who or what won it, like some other poster said.
I don't get how this guy can't figure out who won it as it says so right on the front of it. That makes no sense.
Maybe he does know but he decided to use it as a prop to promote this alleged film like some other people also said. I don't see any great mystery here.
In any event who gives a toss, TV is mostly junk and they give things things out to all sorts of people, including the tv weather people.
Nov. 26, 2013, 7:30 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
jay, the engraved band apparently was missing.

Again, maybe the ID was stripped by a scared thief (who then junked or sold it) or by an awardee who hocked or traded it long ago ... and it changed hands until it ended up in a Brooklynite's garbage. Which, as we know, doesn't mean it belonged to a Bensonhurst "star."

To me, the story is curious but overhyped.
Nov. 26, 2013, 8:30 pm
Mike from Alen says:
check out a movie made about this!! Lost Oscar!
Nov. 26, 2013, 10:04 pm
Brooklynyte4ever from Kensington says:
Time will tell but for now smiley's story holds alot weight. good luck smiley, your a true New Yorker.
Nov. 27, 2013, 1:08 am
smiley from brooklyn says:
This is a song I made in woodstock NY @ dreamland rec.studios - HATE ALL YOU WANT--- /hate-all-u-want-single/id597707463
Dec. 5, 2013, 1:59 pm

Comments closed.

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