GETTING AHEAD IN HOLLYWOOD
For the last month I have been somewhat perplexed because I don’t have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After all, I’ve been working in Hollywood for over 50 years. I was a Live-TV Pioneer, had my own successful show, directed, produced and wrote some highly rated TV shows and won several Emmys. I was honored with a Resolution by the Los Angeles City Council. Then LA Mayor James Hahn (shown in the above picture) even painted his thumb and did a finger people act while City Councilmembers Janice Hahn and Tom LaBonge cheered him on. I even got a $6.05 residual check this week from Paramount Pictures for my outstanding performance in Jerry Lewis’s “The Patsy.”
Then the truth dawned on me. As actor Alfonso Bedoya might have said in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “STAR? I don’t need no stinking STAR,” I have something better. I have a HEAD! It may not be outside on the famous sidewalk of fame, but it is there, just inside, perched on a shelf in the Hollywood Wax Museum.
I realized the advantage of this after reading two recent wax museum news articles in the Los Angeles Times. One was an obituary for my pal Hollywood Wax Museum creator Spoony Singh, who passed away on the 18th of October. Some 40 years ago Mr. Singh started the museum with this introduction, “Let's bring the stars back to Hollywood Boulevard. Let's allow people to get close and look into the eyes of their favorite entertainers.” I can only guess that he also meant don’t allow people to walk all over them.
Another article a few days later opened with, “Madame Tussauds, the legendary London wax museum, proposes to build a flashy $55-million branch in Hollywood — its first on the West Coast — on a parking lot next to historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre.”
I asked myself, can Hollywood support two Wax Museums just down the street from each other? If not, and the Hollywood Wax Museum goes belly-up, what is going to happen to my head?
You might (or might not) ask how my head ended up on the shelf in the first place. My wax figure once stood proud in a faux Lloyd Thaxton Show set back in the 60s. Then the show went off the air. To quote Museum officials in the LA Times article, “The heads of those who fade from the public's interest, such as actor-singer Dean Martin or comedian Flip Wilson, (or Lloyd Thaxton) are housed in a floor-to-ceiling storage area.” So, I assume I’ll be there as long as the museum is there. Old celebrities never die. They just melt away.
It would work this way. We take all those heads off the shelf (including mine), and mount them on top of the boulevard lampposts (French Revolution style) in direct line with the Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony might even include an angry mob carrying flaming torches, which would add a little touch of Hollywood.
This would have many advantages over placing celebrity stars in the sidewalk. For one thing tourists could now look up to their idols, not down. For another, they would never again wipe their feet on idols they never heard of.
And, don’t forget all the great puns and jokes this would engender (I know you’re thinking of one right now).
Let me say it one more time, “The Hollywood Heads Of Fame.”
What do you say we run it up a flagpole and see who salutes it.
If anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll meet you at Hollywood and Vine. The first ones to show up will definitely get a head start.
(See what I mean?)