Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

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.”

But … NO STAR.

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.

A light bulb started flashing over my little wax head.

How about “Hollywood Heads of Fame?”

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?)

Stay tuned.

8 Comments:

Blogger Gary said...

I think you should take a head count to see if anybody's interested, Uncle Lloyd. I'm NUMBER ONE!
I also think you should talk to the head cheese at the Hollywood Wax Museum to see if he'd be willing to give up the heads and donate them to the new, errrrr head lights. I think the FIRST head you should try to get is Hedy Lamarr. The next one after that should be that wonderful actress, Glenne Headly.
But you better hurry and get a head start on this great idea before somebody steals it! Just thought I'd give you a head's up on that.
I better go now, I have a headache.
NEXT!
Gary

4:44 PM

 
Blogger Lloyd Thaxton said...

SEE WHAT I MEAN?

5:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thaxton... I really don't want to be the wet blanket here...but I think your enthusiasm as caused you to over look one little detail... the heads are made of something we've mentioned here quit often.... WAX... and wax has a minor problem in the great out of doors.... They melt. Haven't you ever noticed how freaking cold it is in the museum? Its that way for a reason... not just to get the girls high beams on.

Go back to the original idea of getting a star on the Blvd. Have you spoken to MR. Grant about what it takes to get a star on the walk of fame? Do that. You may have your star faster than you might realize. But it never hurts to go ask. Good luck with that my friend. I certainly agree that you SHOULD have a star on the walk of fame. As one of the pioneers of the live broadcast tv shows. Where there were NO take two's on anything.

Later,
Robert V

10:07 AM

 
Blogger Lloyd Thaxton said...

Dear Anonymous:

How can you be "anonymous" and sign your name? You are not anonymous, you are an Anonymouse Cliquer."

I know who you are anyway, Robert V. You were one of the best video editors I ever worked with at NBC. And there were a lot of good ones. You can go to the wax HEAD of your class.

Actually I think it would be kind of cool watching all those wax HEADS melting in the hot Hollywood sun. Everyday they would have a new look.

Onward! And don't forget your torch.

LT

10:48 AM

 
Anonymous Annabellesings said...

I definitely think that having a Hollywood Heads of Fame section is something that the public would tip their hats off to! What a brainy idea, Lloyd...now how do we make this happen? Do you think that folks would be hard headed about it or would they be open minded?
It's crazy that you don't have a star after all the time you have spent entertaining us throughout the year and making us LAUGH! Let's just go put one there...anonymously and see if anyone notices!

Annabelle :)

9:48 PM

 
Blogger DrBear said...

THE MAYOR DOES
FINGER PEOPLE


... he does?

5:39 AM

 
Blogger EV Rider said...

This all puts me in mind of a great true story I remember Jeff Pasternak telling me about his famous Hollywood director father, Joe Pasternak. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Joe Pasternak has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1541 N. Vine Street.

The story goes, the price was high and Pasternak refused to pay for it himself, saying, 'a tribute you have to pay for yourself, isn't worth much'. Movie friends wouldn't have it however, (including next door neighbor Jimmy Durante), who paid the princely price so Pasternaks star got laid on the Walk of Fame after all.

12:17 PM

 
Blogger THE ROCK RELIC said...

Sounds a little like a murder mystery: "We've found the head, but there's no word yet on the body!"
How do people lose their head, anyhow, unless they stick their necks out first? And how do they do that? They "cranium"? Anyway ... LL will always be head and shoulders above the rest (I'm reminded of that each time I shampoo. Think about it.). He may have lost his head, but not his mind (DON'T DEBATE THAT, LLOYD!!).
At least we can be thankful no one had to make "heads or tails" out of it all!

The Relic of Rockdom

Now ... to look for the bodies ...

11:47 AM

 

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