Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There are many reasons why I want to write this story. I can’t help but be impressed with the way the kids looked on The Lloyd Thaxton Show. Our dress code was jackets and ties for the guys and “party dresses” for the gals. Watching clips during the editing of the LTDVD, I find it amazing how dignified the teens looked while having the time of their lives.

A jacket and tie for men (and boys) has always been considered dressing for success. You won’t find any one of the Presidential candidates debating on TV without a jacket and tie.

And even though they often wear shorts, jeans or sweats under the desk, your successful male news anchor always displays a jacket and tie from the waist up. I know. I’ve been there, seen that.

Sonny and Cher, back in the 60s, set their own dress code for Rock & Roll. Sonny even got himself thrown out of a popular restaurant because his dress code and the restaurants didn’t see eye to eye. That was actually good for Sonny. It inspired his only single hit, “Laugh At Me.”

However, years later Sonny put on a jacket and tie and laughed all the way to Mayor of Palm Springs. California, and from there, all the way to a United States Congressman.

When a “dress code” is mentioned, it most always means men must wear a jacket with a tie. Here’s my theory: Men just don’t have a clue as to how to dress. Women, on the other hand, usually check out the latest fashion magazines (and each other) before venturing out into important public or private functions.

Without a dress code, this is what happens much too often. Women: pretty basic black dresses. Men: T-shirts. It would be interesting to be there to see a young man picking up his new girl friend on their first date. How does the girl hold back the disappointed expression on her face? After spending hours shopping for just the right dress and more hours making herself look beautiful, the young man at the door most often looks like he just grabbed the first thing hanging on the back of the door.

I have been given the honor of speaking next month at a prestigious club in downtown LA. It is consistently named by national speaker's organizations as one of the top 10 speaker's forums in the U.S. A sampling includes Presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon; U.S. Senators; City Mayors, astronauts and authors; religious, civic and community leaders; university presidents; major coaches; Fortune 500 CEOs and other news makers. I wouldn't be the least surprised that when the chairperson introduces me, everyone shouts, "SO WHAT."

Even with all the high-powered speakers that have gone before me, the Club has never told me what to speak about. The only caveat, “You must wear a coat and a tie.” I am almost certain that, even though there is also a women’s dress code at the club, they never have to tell a women speaker what to wear. For successful women, proper dress codes are built in at birth.

Let’s face it, we men are not as smart as women. That’s why we need dress codes. It’s like your mom telling you how to dress (and even, if your mom was like my mom, knowing how to tie your tie).

As with the Lloyd Thaxton Show, I’m a big believer in school uniforms. This is a dress code that makes a person look like they are working their way toward success. After all, that is what all those candidates for President are wearing, UNIFORMS!

Face it, it's not just happenstance that those highly successful bosses of yours in the front office are referred to as “Suits?”

Stay Tuned.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Before you start congratulating me, what you see above is not my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This was benevolently computer imaged for me by a good friend, who I suspect felt sorry for me. He knew I didn’t have my own star. For displaying this fake star, I’ll probably get hauled into jail by honorary Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant and treated to my own free celebrity mug shot. I would welcome the honor of joining the Hollywood Mug Shots of Fame.

Actually, I can save them money and time by providing my own picture.

Is this a fantastic mug shot or what?

I’m on this subject because our daughter Jennifer Weatherly (the former #1 country singer in Switzerland) was visiting Barbara and I from her home on Maui. At the same time, three of her Geneva girl friends (ages 19 to 21) were visiting LA and Jennifer wanted to be in LA to show them the sights.

One afternoon while they were out visiting world famous Hollywood Boulevard, Jennifer called me on her cell. The girls had asked if I had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They wanted to go see it and were quite disappointed when I said no. I’m sure that, in their eyes, my fame went down several steps on their stairway of the stars.

I’ve been asked that question so many times over the years. When I answer “no,” the next question is always “Why?” And, my answer is always the same, “Because no one has ever offered me one.”

Now don’t you go feeling sorry for me. I’m not the only one with a half–century in Hollywood without a star. Clint Eastwood comes to mind. Clint Eastwood is a huge movie star, an Oscar winning director and has been around for as long as I can remember. Here’s a puzzler: Gene Autry has five stars. Pat Boone has three, and there’s a star for Bugs Bunny, Godzilla, Kermit the Frog and Woody the Woodpecker. So why is there no star for Clint Eastwood? You’ll have to ask him. He may say the same as me. No one ever offered him one. Or, heaven forbid, he turned it down.

Several years back I was invited to Casey Kasem’s Hollywood Star celebration party the day he was honored. If anyone deserved a star, it was Casey. But, man, he had invited over 500 of his closest friends to enjoy a gigantic feast and drinks inside a huge tent set up right on the Boulevard. Celebrities milled around while several rock bands played and Casey’s financial advisor sweated up a storm. All I could think of was, “Please don’t offer me a star. I can’t afford it.”

Are you aware that when you are offered a star you must agree to (1) show up for the ceremony (2) celebrate in style and (3) pay $25.000. Helloooo!

Look. Having a star on the walk of fame is a great honor. And most stars do not have to pony up the $25,000 themselves. A movie, TV studio or radio station usually pays the tab to promote an upcoming event. But, I’m perfectly happy with the fact that my HEAD is on display in the Hollywood Wax Museum storage room.

Curator and chief wax artist Ken Horn in his Head Shop

At one time, of course, my head was connected to a body and displayed on a Lloyd Thaxton Show set in the middle of the museum. When the Lloyd Thaxton Show went off … so did my head. You might say it was like” The Tale of One City.”

Want a kick? The next time you’re walking along and enjoying the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, take a quick turn into the Hollywood Wax Museum. Ask someone if you can hold Lloyd Thaxton’s head. I did it once and it was a fantastic feeling.

By the way, no one recognized me. Most did recognize the head I was holding. The wax figure being more life-like than I am.

When you run into a celebrity (there are so many of them in Hollywood you can’t help but run into one), instead of asking if he or she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, ask if they have their head in the “The Hollywood Wax Head Shop of Fame.”

You might be surprised at what an elite group we “headies” actually are.

Stay tuned.