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Mr. Wrong

Ready for My Close-up

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 3/28/2001

I'm not star-struck or anything--I mean, OK, maybe if I ever get to meet Anthony Zerbe or somebody like that, I'll be in awe--but otherwise I'm not too impressed with these Hollywood phony-baloneys, like on the Oscars the other night. I certainly don't have delusions of being a big Hollywood star or anything, but I see an opportunity coming up, so I monitored the big stupid awards show very carefully, because next year it might be me up there, and I want to make a good speech and get off the stage without being an Oscar-Goldwyn-Weiner.

Yeah, laugh now, suckers, but there's gonna be a big strike of teevee-commercial actors or writers or something, I'm not exactly sure, but I read someplace--and no, I don't know where, I just read it someplace. How the fuck am I supposed to remember where I read everything? It was either TV Guide, The Washington Times, The Nation, or Lowrider magazine. That's how I get a completely balanced idea on what is going on the The World. Take it from me: You read those four publications and you'll never be stumped at the cocktail party, ever.

Anyway, I heard about this strike because the guy who makes all the Law & Order shows is busting ass to get all the episodes in his contract done. That guy's a genius: He has a teevee show that has completely interchangeable and replaceable actor-parts on it, so when somebody leaves or gives him any crap--BAM!--the character gets written out and they put in a new one. Oh, you want to make more money because you've been on the show for three years? BAM! Your character quit his job in between seasons. See ya. I see, you want your character to have a deeper interior life and more emotional scenes? BAM! Your character got cancer and died in between seasons. See ya.

That's how to run a teevee show, man--don't take any shit from these kooky actors. Without somebody with a real brain there to supply them with what to say and which clothes to wear and where to stand and which way to look and what to think, they're just puppets. Even Big Bill Shakespeare knew that, with that whole "speak the speech" rap. He was like, "Look monkeys, all you gotta do is read the cue cards. I'll tell you where to stand, I'll make sure we get a good caterer, and I'll even pay someone to help you put your fucking clothes on like you're a 3-year-old or something. All you gotta do is what I tell you."

Plus, in a way, actors are kinda like prostitutes, huh? Think about it--they get paid to smooch up on each other and to psych themselves up into appearing like they're in love or hate or whatever. Yeesh. However--and you knew there was a however comin' up, right?--they get paid super-long dollars to get their strings pulled, and a whole bunch of 'em are going on strike, and I'm here, ready and waiting to take a chunk of their action, scab-style.

I have no illusions. I will be a Scab. A Hollywood Scab, but a Scab nonetheless. And not an Accidental Hollywood Scab like Tiger Woods or Liz Hurley were in that last little job-action, see? I got no problem admitting I'm covetous of all that green those master thespians are raking in. So as soon as those overpaid freaks start picketing for a living wage or shorter working hours or a better health plan or more protective sunglasses or whatever the fuck it is they don't think they're getting now, BAM! I'm sending out my head shots or composites or whatever they're called, because Hollywood loves scabs.

They even made a movie all about how wonderful and courageous scabs are, and they made it in Baltimore, U.S.A. It was called The Replacements and it was all about this real-life strike in the National Football League, and how some of the owners put together "replacement" teams. Scab teams. And Hollywood so loved and respected these scabs, they immortalized them on the silver screen in the form of Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman, two of the most accomplished and highly respected and big-bucks thespians out there. I mean, you can go ahead and have your opinions about maybe which one is a moron and which one is a deep, thoughtful, highly trained, super-duper Inside the Actors Studio dramaturgist, but between the two of these guys, you've pretty much got a nice cross-section of the dramatic community, eh? These guys, who are on somewhat opposite ends of the respectability spectrum, understand the beauty of stealing the bacon. They believed so deeply in the nobility of those scabs going in and taking those football players' jobs that they decided to get paid some long Hollywood dollars for the honor of portraying them in a movie.

Well, I believe in long Hollywood dollars too, and I'm first on the anti-picket line. Gimme, gimme, gimme the scab-dollars, baby. You're invited too, because they're gonna need a lot of scabs out there in Hollywoodland. Inside of a year, I'll even have all the scabs organized into a union, plus I'll have the movie rights to the Courageous Scabs of Hollywood story sewn up tight, and hey, I'm no Sir Larry or Dame Judi or anything, but I figure I can play the part of me.

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