Walking With Washed-Up Celebrities

The Wall Of Washed-Up Celebrities

ANDREW "DICE" CLAY comedian who's mouth was so vulgar, he was banned from MTV. His constant slurring of feminists and women in general, got ol' "Dice" in trouble and out of  work.
ANDREW "DICE" CLAY comedian who's mouth was so vulgar, he was banned from MTV. His constant slurring of feminists and women in general, got ol' "Dice" in trouble and out of work.
ANDREW MCCARTHY Less Than Zero, Pretty In Pink, and St. Elmo's Fire. Three great flicks, but where is Andrew TODAY? With his talent, I sure hope that he is not hidden-away in a flea-bit apartment in lower LA.
ANDREW MCCARTHY Less Than Zero, Pretty In Pink, and St. Elmo's Fire. Three great flicks, but where is Andrew TODAY? With his talent, I sure hope that he is not hidden-away in a flea-bit apartment in lower LA.
BRIAN BONSALL Andrew on Family Ties. Short-lived career on a hit show that is suddenly cancelled. What was left for Bonsall when agents couldn't book him as a kid anymore. I refuse to elaborate.
BRIAN BONSALL Andrew on Family Ties. Short-lived career on a hit show that is suddenly cancelled. What was left for Bonsall when agents couldn't book him as a kid anymore. I refuse to elaborate.
CARROT TOP, SCOTT THOMPSON known for his prop-comedy that thrilled audiences all over. But that too wore thin after a while and now, I guess that Top gets what comedy gigs he can get. Props included.
CARROT TOP, SCOTT THOMPSON known for his prop-comedy that thrilled audiences all over. But that too wore thin after a while and now, I guess that Top gets what comedy gigs he can get. Props included.
THE GREAT CHUCK BERRY Johnny B. Goode and other golden hits. Where is Chuck today? See what I mean? After a certain amount of fame, the spotlight fades leaving us with black and white memories of this once-great rocker.
THE GREAT CHUCK BERRY Johnny B. Goode and other golden hits. Where is Chuck today? See what I mean? After a certain amount of fame, the spotlight fades leaving us with black and white memories of this once-great rocker.
DANNY BONADUCE Danny's sharp wit on The Partridge Family is well-documented. So is his addictions to drugs and alchol. Later, Bonaduce did a radio show in Phoenix and was back on his feet. Thank God, not on his face.
DANNY BONADUCE Danny's sharp wit on The Partridge Family is well-documented. So is his addictions to drugs and alcohol. Later, Bonaduce did a radio show in Phoenix and was back on his feet. Thank God, not on his face.
DUSTIN DIAMOND "SCREECH" His annoying fingernails-on-the-blackboard screeching on Saved By The Bell wasn't enough to propel him into more teen-related shows, but it did give him a Celebrity Boxing gig.
DUSTIN DIAMOND "SCREECH" His annoying fingernails-on-the-blackboard screeching on Saved By The Bell wasn't enough to propel him into more teen-related shows, but it did give him a Celebrity Boxing gig.
THE LATE GARY COLEMAN Star of Diff'rent Strokes. After this blockbuster NBC series ended, so did Coleman's career.
THE LATE GARY COLEMAN Star of Diff'rent Strokes. After this blockbuster NBC series ended, so did Coleman's career.
KIRSTIE ALLEY Cheers. And Jennie Craig spokeswoman. Kirstie is sultry, sweet and pretty. Can anyone find her a job. Any job. Please?
KIRSTIE ALLEY Cheers. And Jennie Craig spokeswoman. Kirstie is sultry, sweet and pretty. Can anyone find her a job. Any job. Please?
MACAULAY CULKIN Home Alone, two episodes. And one flop, Good son. Have you seen Macaulay anywhere today?
MACAULAY CULKIN Home Alone, two episodes. And one flop, Good son. Have you seen Macaulay anywhere today?
MARGO KIDDER Superman movie with the now-late Christopher Reeve and Amityville Horror with James Brolin. No more Margo. This is a sad situation.
MARGO KIDDER Superman movie with the now-late Christopher Reeve and Amityville Horror with James Brolin. No more Margo. This is a sad situation.
MAYIM BIALIC Blossom. Remember Joey Lawrence's "Whoooa?" Thats all anyone remembers about Bialic and Blossom. Sad.
MAYIM BIALIC Blossom. Remember Joey Lawrence's "Whoooa?" Thats all anyone remembers about Bialic and Blossom. Sad.
RALPH MACCHIO The Outsiders, Karate Kid and My Cousin Vinny. Three hit movies. Hope the royalties are still coming in.
RALPH MACCHIO The Outsiders, Karate Kid and My Cousin Vinny. Three hit movies. Hope the royalties are still coming in.
TIFFANY BRISSETTE Small Wonder. At least she DID have that small taste of fame. God help her to not be pumping sugar-laced soda's in some 24/7 convenience store in LA.
TIFFANY BRISSETTE Small Wonder. At least she DID have that small taste of fame. God help her to not be pumping sugar-laced soda's in some 24/7 convenience store in LA.
TINA YOTHERS Jennifer on Family Ties. What else? Maybe an occasional gig at some vacation resort for retired doctors and their wives. That's it.
TINA YOTHERS Jennifer on Family Ties. What else? Maybe an occasional gig at some vacation resort for retired doctors and their wives. That's it.
TODD BRIDGES Willis on Diff'rent Strokes. With a bout with crime, guns, and drugs, we no longer see Todd anywhere except on Where Are They Now shows.
TODD BRIDGES Willis on Diff'rent Strokes. With a bout with crime, guns, and drugs, we no longer see Todd anywhere except on Where Are They Now shows.
ZACHERY TY BRYAN Home Improvement co-star. That's pretty much Bryan's resume.
ZACHERY TY BRYAN Home Improvement co-star. That's pretty much Bryan's resume.

This is the type of story that we, who live down south, in the Heart of Dixie, love to talk about on long, winter days when we are gathered in our favorite hang-out, a country store, who’s owner is retired, drawing a hefty pension, and just keeps the store open to get away from his wife. As the late country comic, Jerry Clower said, “If I’m lying - I’m dying,” for this setting still exists in 2011.

Oh yeah, we talk about the people in this story, and people like them, while we drink Community coffee, eat roasted peanuts and watch the bitter winter temperature fall outside. This story is tailor-made for days like that.

There’s no easy way to set this story up for it’s mostly filled with pain, disappointment, gloom, and depression and I am not talking about the economy in the United States either. This is a true story with true facts and no painless way to present by subject, “Walking With Washed-Up Celebrities,” so I will not pull any punches with you. I will be honest about each former celebrity, but I will do it with class, taste, and respect. If this were me in this story, I’d expect someone who’s writing about me to show me the same courtesies.

There you are. In the spotlight. Everyone’s darling. You are applauded. Revered. Even worshipped. You appear on every Hollywood-related magazine cover - inside as well. Jay Leno, David Letterman, and George Lopez (when he was on the air), all clamor for your presence. Yes, you have ‘made it.’ All those laborious years of answering casting calls, unsuccessful summer stock theater plays, and paying dues, have finally paid off. Your friends and family (that you will soon forget) in your hometown of “Rooster Neck,” Georgia, (Go, Dawgs!), all love you and point at you when they gather in one house to watch your latest movie or television show. They even jump from their chairs when you show up on the screen of their used Sanyo television and say, “Yep! I knowed that boy when he run ‘round here in bare feet,” and these rural friends and family are all beaming with pride at seeing you do well for yourself.

And, early on in your newly-acquired fame, you do go back (occasionally) home to “Rooster Neck,” Georgia, (Go, Dawgs!), to see your family and friends (that now are slowly fading in your life) to eat the obligatory holiday dinner with them so they, in their uneventful lives, can, if only for a moment, live through you vicariously to give them just a crumb or two of what success and fame tastes like.

Yes, you are the man. The woman who had it all. Your life is now hectic night and day with auditions, script readings, interviews with all outlets of the press, personal appearances, and maybe, with the grace of Almighty God, you get home from a rare, very rare 12-hour work day as opposed to the normal 19-hours of rehearsing, being fitted for wardrobe and make-up--and all the while doing all you can to answer your fan mail that is growing like a cancer every day. The post office hates for you to get mail. The mail carrier, who delivers to your movie or television studio, hides his seething hatred for you as he carts-in one, two, now it’s up to six bags of mail every day. You are no longer a celebrity. You are now a corporation controlled by agents, lawyers, press reps, and handlers who do your errands and small-talk for you now that you are “Mr. (or Ms.) Famous Person.”

Don’t complain. You asked for this in high school when you were in the stage production of “Oklahoma,” where you were so thrilled for getting to say your two lines as the unnamed cowboy in the crowd. You prayed to God every night for Him to take you into show business. Here you are. Get used to the grind, labor, and burn-out that is on its way down the tracks. Oh, you can’t see it. You cannot even see the smoke, but sometimes you feel the rails vibrate a little, but not enough for you, the famous “toast of the town,” to worry. You are famous, wealthy, well-dressed around the clock, your name is on every set of lips in the world and as you lay back one rare, quiet evening in your custom-made recliner, you sigh, “Yes, life---is---goooood.” Then you doze off to sleep.

Then one day, that day you worried about years ago, is here. The tracks that were once vibrating underneath your feet oh so slightly, are now jarring you into reality. The phone calls have all stopped. Your agent, who got you to the top and fifteen-percent of your money each month, is starting to get worried. You only laugh slightly to cover your own anxiety. Days pass. Weeks pass. The months tick off like a stopwatch used at a track and field event. Your business manager suggests (strongly) that you lay-off a few of your personal assistants, people you promised to take with you when you ‘made it.’ The phones, I should say, are silent. Your manager and agent are ‘burning the midnight oil’ to find your next movie, television appearance or role in the next big sitcom. The creek has dried up. No fish to be caught today. Or the next. Something has went terribly-but-predictably awry.

“Birney, where are all those movie deals that were supposed to be here today?” you ask Birney, your agent who spotted you one day in a movie where you were an ‘extra’ walking down the sidewalk.

“Mr. Famous, I don’t know what to make of this. My partner, “C.C.” your business manager, and I have burned up the phones trying to get you into something new, but you know this business. You’ve been around for about, what is it now, two years? You know that today’s star is tomorrow’s bird cage liner,” Birney adds before he resigns as your agent for he cannot feed his family on a zero percentage that you are paying him.

For a few months you survive on what money is left in he bank that you once craved to be more. Now it’s almost gone. Even your American Express and Visa are maxed out. You have to sell your huge, Hollywood-type mansion for way less than you paid for it due to the housing industry in America being so soft. You say goodbye to three of your four lavish, personally-designed Lamborghini’s, Rolls Royce and a Bentley for what you can get out of them to just stay afloat. You are now facing the rigid, cold face of real life, “Mr. Famous.” You live for awhile in a two-bedroom apartment out of the mainstream of society for you do not want average people to see you in your everyday clothes, the only ones you have, for you had to sell-off your personally-designed Brooks Brothers suits, sports clothes to just make the rent last month. Oh, you had to sell your golf clubs too. You now spend your days, and some nights, working the phone on the end table near your recliner (that has a torn place in the seat) in the living room to just maybe hear a friendly voice. You heard on the way up that Hollywood has a short memory and now you know that this is a real fact of life, not just an old saying. You look out the window and see a few happy people walking down the sidewalk and you envy them for having a life to be proud of while you are almost to the point of begging for someone to give you a small cameo role in their next movie or television show. You also remember, just for a test, you purposely visited your favorite grocery store in the last remaining three-piece suit you had to just see if anyone recognized you. They didn’t. Some elderly ladies thought you were Pat Sajack of Wheel of Fortune, but no one wanted to get your autograph or rip your clothes off for a souvenir.

What few friends, if you call them friends, have long-since stopped calling. Days and nights both look the same to you. You and loneliness are best friends. You would take up drinking, but you cannot afford it. But all is not lost, you, dressed in old clothes, well, your only clothes, visit your local unemployment office and find a ray of hope.

The clerk, Madge, acts glib when you answer her question, “What’s your name, son?” Then the air is let out of your balloon when she scratches her head with her government-issued #2 pencil, yellow in color, and says these words that cut into you like a stolen switchblade in an alleyway on the south side of Chicago, “Now, now. Who are you? I think I’ve seen you somewhere on . . . .(your anticipation is rising) . . .yeah, that’s it. You was that guy selling Alpo dog food on a commercial I saw with my hubby, Dick, last night. Well, Dick didn’t see you for he was asleep, but I sure did. Hey, people, this is that guy from the Alpo dog food commercial,” and when she is finished, you have no dignity, self-respect to speak of. And you now find that you are envying that guy who was in that Alpo dog food ad for you are as low as you have ever been.

What else is left? Madge has said that you will draw $455.00 a month for 12 months, but in order to get your check, you must prove to her that you are actively searching for work and you know, without looking, that no one in any business wants to hire, and it hurts you to breathe these words, “a washed-up celebrity,” but you go on down the filthy sidewalk--wishing that you had worked long enough to get your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hey, even Lassie and Trigger, famous show animals got a star, but not you. Life, right?

As you walk along you start thinking, “who is really calling the shots anyway,” and this thought keeps tormenting you when you see other now-successful people that worked shoulder-to-shoulder to you when you were famous--signing autographs, making personal appearances, and your name is never mentioned. Not even in the Star or National Enquirer. Yes, you are now at the proverbial bottom of the barrel. But not yet, you have one more idea that you want to see through before you just throw up your hands and say, “to heck with life,” and just blend in with the faceless mobs that inherit the cold, damp alleyways and underpasses of bridges in the heartless city of Hollywood that never was known for having compassion or mercy on you or any washed-up celebrity.

After hours of calling one former friend after the other, you hit pay dirt. A once-close pal, Johnny ElMancuso, a highly-talented talent scout and agent, who owes you one favor for kissing his attention-starved, moon struck wife, Peg, one time when you ate with them at a local restaurant. You laugh to yourself as you recall that dinner. Photographers and reporters from every movie and television magazine and news service were there--crowding around your table interrupting your meal of milk-fed veal, pheasant under glass, baby scallop potatoes from Spain and the most-expensive house wine available. And for publicity, you paid for the dinner for three, you, Johnny and Peg, at a mere, laughable $500.00, chicken feed to you in those days filled with wine, women, money and fame.

You almost cry as Johnny says to you over the phone, “Mr. Famous! Hey, bud, where you been? Thought you died, haw haw” Johnny always had a raw fashion of talking to people, but it was his influence that you loved.

“Have you got anything…I mean anything by way of movies, television, for me to do, man? I am almost starving here,” you say swallowing your last ounce of pride.

“Mr. Famous, uh, hold it a minute. Oh, have you talked to your folks back home in dat, uh, “Rooster Wreck,” place?” ElMancuso asks in his sharpest Italian accent.

“Oh, uh, yeah, John, but you know how it is. They all think I’m still rollin’ in money and stuff, but if they knew the truth, well, I just can’t go back to that place--it’s poverty everywhere, flies in the houses, dogs on the yards, I need a job bad, John. Help me, please,” you say and the sound of desperation is detected in your trembling voice by Johnny.

“Hey, wait a minute! I got this gig, glad I looked under dah desk mat, go figure dat, a job for you all dis time wuz under dah desk mat. Okay. Here’s what you do. Be at 2012 Beeker Street, Suite 120, tomorrow at 10 sharp. These new talent people are starting up a brand-new ting and I think you will do great wid dem,” Johnny says.

You wipe the tears that are falling from your eyes, then reply, “Johnny, my man, you don’t know how much this means to me. How can I ever repay you?” you say and with sincerity in your voice.

“Mr. Famous, we go back too far to be dis formal. How about dinner tomorrow night wid me and the misses, whatdatya say, Mr. Famous?” Johnny asks wanting to do you a huge favor for he has seen washed-up celebrities before.

“Sounds great, John! But I, uh, don’t have a car, uh, leasing it to a buddy,” you lie hopelessly grasping for some form of self-respect.

“Mr. Famous, lissen. I will send a cab to your place tomorrow night around seven. I will tell Peg that you’re coming to dine with us--she will be so thrilled to see you again. Now listen. Get some rest and clean up really nice like you always did in the days past, and dez people are sharp, Mr. Famous, so be on your best game,” Johnny advises you while your heart beats faster than Ringo Starr.

“Johnny, before I go, I want to know a little about what this, uh, role, you are sending me to audition for wants from me?” you ask taking off your scuffed shoes that will require a good polishing before tomorrow morning.

“Mr. Famous, don’t worry at all . . .this is Johnny ElMancuso, the star maker, ha, ha, I will call dez people right now to set up this audition and maybe I can pull a string or two to get you in first. How about that? Oh, the job is definitely an entertainment role. You will be seen by hundreds, no, maybe thousands of people to start, then who knows, Mr. Famous, this time about four months from now, ha, ha, we could all be seeing ya’ on dah Jay Leno Show on dat NBC network. Don’t worry so, Mr. Famous, I will handle the everything,” Johnny says reassuring you that stardom may be back in your future.

It’s now seven p.m. This brings back memories of your famous days when you could barely keep up with daily life. You walk the floor of your apartment--talking out loud making plans, arrangements, even practicing what voice you might use in the audition, but you don’t know what these new entertainment moguls want, so you do several variations of your voice. Some Spanish, some German and well, you have just decided to “wing it” when you arrive at their offices. Hey, this is what they want--spontaneity. They have heard of me, Mr. Famous, and how easily I used to just slide into one audition and with one take, the role was mine. Yeah, that’s it.

Before you retire to bed, you lay out and do your best to get the wrinkles out of your only three-piece suit, you polish what was once a $300-pair of shoes, and you make sure that you get a good night’s sleep, but hours later your eyes are fixed on the yellow-from-nicotine ceiling of your apartment. The former tenants were chain smokers. That is of no consequence now, for in a few short hours, your comeback is imminent. Mr. Famous will definitely be back. Life cannot keep you down. No sir. You will not have to worry about your family and friends (who still wonder why you never answer their letters), in “Rooster Neck, Georgia, (Go, Dawgs!) anymore. The stars are aligned just for you. The good life you once had, is a mere nine hours from now.

You cannot sleep for the excitement. To combat the insomnia, you make up from scratch, several roles that will challenge your acting abilities. You create a pirate, burglar, gangster, rap star, minister, and cowboy role and try to fit voices for each role. This exercise seems to fuel your confidence. You get sleepy from all the adrenaline and lay back on the bed and then to sleep. Uh, oh, you just remembered to call the apartment building manager to give you an eight o’ clock wake-up call. You do not want to be late for this opportunity that you now believe is a gift of God. Speaking of God, you have memories of when you first tasted fame and how you were always gracious and humble to give God all thanks, but as money, fame, cars, and women built up, He got lost in the shuffle. Now you are seeking Him to help you with some new entertainment role tomorrow.

The morning of your big day comes with a bright sun smiling at you through your dingy apartment windows. You only smile as you shower, shave, and take extra pains to look super-sharp on what is probably the biggest day of your life, well, that time you were almost nominated for an Oscar, that was then the biggest day of your life. You think of how life is never in a straight line. Life is designed with numerous twists and turns. Some safe. Some treacherous. There is no time for you to figure out if you are on a safe or treacherous turn. You have an audition to get to.

You have enough money for cab fare. Before you get out of the cab, you pay the driver, “Marko,” who smiles at the tip you gave him, for it makes you feel famous again. You sit still, take in a few deep breaths, and smile back at “Marko,” and head inside the Wild Daze Entertainment Corporate Offices. This is it. Take your time. Be cool. You smile at the pretty, young receptionist, “Julie,” who tells you to have a seat and you shouldn’t be long before a “Mr. Yang Ling,” of Tokyo, will see you. She also asks if she can get you a bottle of water, a danish or maybe a slice of pineapple. You grin and thank her.

Time goes slow. Your look at “Julie” and she smiles at you. Feels good to be back in show business you think to yourself. Then you hear the familiar buzzing tone of an office telephone system. Your heart stops. “Julie,” looks at you and coos, “You may go back now. Mr. Yang Ling,” will see you now. You straighten up your tie and wink at “Julie” an old habit of a few years ago and walk toward the twin doors made of imported Italian marble. Your hands are a bit sweaty, but this is not going to stop you. You are Mr. Famous. Able to attack and secure any role that is offered to you. Once this Yang Ling fella recognizes you, it will be bing, bang. The role is mine and I will be back home by 3 p.m. you think to yourself to boost your self-confidence.

“Ahhhh, Mr. Fameous, come-a in. Have-a seat. Nice-a to meet you,” Mr. Yang Ling, a distinguished, middle-aged man with short, black hair, says as you shake hands with him. And make eye contact, an old show business trick you learned from your first manager, “Charley Baysworth,” of San Diego, but is now deceased.

“Mr. Yang Ling, it’s definitely a pleasure for me to meet you,” you reply relaxing even with the office fixtures that are so lavish that you are almost overwhelmed.

“Mr. Fameous, I have big, big role for you in my next-a project. A mister Johnny call-a me last evening and tell me good tings about you and how you can-a do anyting dere is in show-a business,” Yang Ling says looking into your eyes.

“Mr. Yang, Johnny, I have to admit, goes on a bit, but to be honest, I've not worked in a few months, but with just a fair amount of coaching, I believe that I can do this role that you have and do it with grace, dignity, and class,” you explain while sitting up straight.

“I-a, am-a impressed, Mr. Famous. Your-a honesty is-a refreshing. Most outta work actors would just-a come in tuh my lavish office, tell-a me lies to just-a get a role. I believe that I make up mind…NOW and give you role, but the audition, ha, ha, I am-a sure that you will not be intimidated at all with all of you-a exper-ence and talent. Right, Mr. Famous?” Yang says folding his hands over his stomach.

“Look-a at time. All-a most eleven. Lunch-a time, right, Mr. Famous?” Yang says to you and by now you are feeling on “top of the world,” by you being first in line to audition for this new role and now getting to dine with the CEO himself. What a great day to be Mr. Famous. Things are starting to happen. You are more at-ease now that you have been in months.

Mr. Yang Ling punches the intercom on his expensive telephone system obviously talking to “Julie,” pretty young receptionist that smiled you when you arrived before 10 sharp for you wanted to make a extra-good impression on this new entertainment corporation.

In a few moments, you are surprised by “Julie,” the pretty, young receptionist that you winked at when you came to meet Mr. Yang Ling. She doesn’t say a word, but sits down a huge, silver platter loaded with hot dogs on Mr. Yang’s desk. “That-a be all, Miss Julie,” Yang says unfolding his napkin to place in his lap.

“Mr. Famous-a, you like dogs? Help you-a self. Plenty to go round-a. Like to see my leading actor eat ‘em up big time!” Yang says chewing a big bite of hot dog while relish trails down his chin.

Looks like you have an important choice to make. Either eat hot dogs with Yank Ling, the CEO of Wild Daze Entertainment to further cement your relationship with him, or be an idiot and decline the hot dogs and continue to be a washed-up-celebrity. You make the wise choice. You reach for a hot dog and frankly, this is the most-solid food that you have eaten in weeks. You down the first hot dog like Keioshi, the Japanese hot dog-eating champ who wins the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest each year at Coney Island. Mr. Yank winks at you and eats another hot dog himself while you sip your unsweet tea, a drink of social interaction in Tokyo. Looks like, Mr. Famous, you are on your way. Again, to the top. Say goodbye to the flea-bit motels and apartments where you have lived. No more showing up at the homeless shelter for a free meal. You did what was necessary to live, but those days are over. And to make it go better with Mr. Yang, you eat a third hot dog. He looks at you like you are a hot dog god. The look of awe covers his face. Fact is, if you wanted, you could eat six hot dogs without trying, but you hold off to show Mr. Yang that you can be moderate.

After the hot dog lunch is over, Yang summons for “Julie” to take the silver tray with the leftover hot dogs away. Then Mr. Yang says to you, “Mister Famous-a, de hot dogs, you-a like?”

“The hot dogs? Oh, haw, haw, sorry, Mr. Yang, sure, and I sincerely thank you, sir. Very delicious, I might say,” you reply to a smiling from-ear-to-ear Mr. Yang who has now reached for papers inside his desk and laid them in front of him. Then his face turns serious. You worry for only a moment. Then he speaks, “Mr.-a Fameous, we-ah, here at duh Wild Daze Enterain-a ment, have recently-a got a new-a client who wants-a the best actor in business to be dere new-a face for dere product,” Yang explains cleaning his bi-focal glasses. Now you are getting more excited by the minute.

“New client? Wow, that’s great, Mr. Yang. Just how big are they?” you ask with your breath coming in short gasps.

“Oh, Mr. Fameous, dis-a client, very, very beeg. Very, very wealthy. Lots of boo-coo money--big-a time. What dey want, dey get. Biggest-a client dis company has ever had. Do you like?” Yang asks while taking the official-looking contract-type papers in his hand.

“Oh, I see, Mr. Yang. I don’t want to appear, uh, self-centered, but is this why my friend, Johnny, called you about me and this audition?” you ask in a humble voice. Mr. Yang starts to answer you, but is distracted. “Miss Julie. You bring-a in the materials for audition, pleez?” Yang says into the intercom. Now you are really foaming at the mouth with waves of happiness running over you.

Yang sits looking into your eyes without speaking. You grow somewhat nervous. You almost speak, but “Julie” walks through the imported Italian marble doors with a solid red wiener-type costume (on a coat hanger) complete with arms and legs. You look stunned at this sudden turn of events. Yang rubs his hands together, stands to respect Julie, then asks Julie to leave the authentic red wiener costume with him. You still are in a fog of confusion. What could this stupid piece of foam rubber costume have to do with your audition, you ponder. Then as Yang breaks the silence, all of your questions are answered.

“See dis-a costume, Mister-a Famous?” Yang asks pointing to the wiener get-up.

“Yes sir, but, I, uh, am somewhat confused as to what this all means,” you stutter with small beads of sweat forming on your forehead.

“Mister-a Famous, hot dog costume--you-a like? Very much?” Yang asks with a devilish smile.

“Uh, yes sir. That’s a nifty wiener costume you have there. May I ask what it’s for?” you ask still confused--as bigger sweat droplets are now trickling down your spine.

“You-a, Mister Famous---get-a inside . . .pleez,” Yang says holding up the wiener costume.

“Uh, ha, ha, do what, sir? Get inside? You mean, in that--there--wiener thing?” you ask hoping that Yang is a practical joker. He’s not. He still insists that you get in the wiener costume.

“Mister Yang, what did Johnny tell you about me?” you argue resisting the urge to leave Yang’s office.

“Ha, ha, Mister Famous, your friend-a, Johnny say dat you best actor in business. Can do job,” Yang says now with a stern tone of voice. “Now, pleez, Mister Famous, get-a in wiener costume,” Yang insists as you get a sudden feeling of nausea in the pit of your stomach.

Slowly-but-surely you take off your suit coat, shoes and inch and squirm your way into this hideous, vulgar-looking wiener costume to the delight of Yang who almost squeals, “Dat it! Perfect it! Look-a good on yew, Mister Famous. Ha, ha, I love da way your head stick-a though the hole just-a like your head at da top,” Yang says patting you on the back.

You are now standing face-to-face looking at Yang Ling who is obviously-delighted at what he sees with you playing a wiener. Somewhere in your heart, you are seriously praying that this job pays well and will not last long.

“Mister Yang, may I ask about the pay and length of this job?” you ask still standing straight as a board. “One minute pleez,” Yang says as he summons Julie, as well as her secretary friends, to take a look at you in the wiener costume. There is nothing you can do but endure this torture.

“Julie” and her equally-attractive secretary friends giggle and snicker as they walk around you pointing at you and covering their mouths as they whisper funny things like what a fool you are for doing this and you must be desperate to be a hot dog for pay. Good thing you cannot understand Japanese.

Mister Yang sends “Julie” and her secretary friends out of the office, sits down, and begins to explain about your new job. And tells you to keep the wiener costume on and stand in front of his desk so you can hear his every word.

“Now, Mister-a Famous, job is big, big job. Pay lot-a money. Big, big,” Yang says. “You agree to work for one year, get big, big raise from big, big client,” he adds. Now is it possible for you to look any more foolish than you do at this moment.

“Mister Yang, please. How much does this job pay? I need some money in a bad way. Understand?” you ask, almost begging, praying that this is a bad dream or a bad practical joke. It’s not.

“Mister-a Famous, you get-a one-hundred thousand, five-hundred dolla’--do three week work, get starting pay of eleven-hundred dolla’,” Yang says with a twinkle in his eye.

“Mister Yang, you mean that I have to work three whole weeks without any money?” you ask.

“Now, now, no be greedy-a, Mister Famous. You starting over. Got to respect boss first, me. After I see dat you respect-a me, we talk again and give raise. How that deal?” Yang asks twiddling with his pen on the desk top.

“What does this hot dog get-up have to do with my audition or role with Wild Daze Entertainment, Mr. Yang?” you ask almost letting fire shoot from your eyes in anger and frustration.

“Mister-a Famous, ha, ha, you wear costume, stand out in front of Wild Daze Hot Dog Rest-a-urants and say to people, ‘come in now, pleez. Fresh Wild Daze Hot dogs--very tasty, big time,” Yang says with contracts in hand ready for you to sign.

“Mr. Yang. So I am to be a human hot dog and stand in front of Wild Daze Hot Dog Restaurants telling people to come in and eat hot dogs?” you ask an this time, you are angry.

“Yes, yes, Mister-a Famous. You be best at job, says Johnny. Nobody else do job dat you do so sign now, pleez,” Yang remarks while handing you the contracts.

“Where is my first restaurant and when do I start?” you ask Yang knowing that your back is against the wall. It’s this job or starve.

“Ahhh, wise choice, Mister-a Famous! Wise-a man, you are. First place, Wild Daze Hot Dogs, new restaurant just opened in place called, ahh, uh, “Rooster-a Neck, ah, Georg-ia,” you be dare first ting day after tomorrow--with hot dog costume. Work from 7 in morning until close at 11 at night,” Yang says to you as you feel the life literally drain from your body.

“Why ‘Rooster Neck, Georgia, Mister Yang? This is my hometown,” you ask hoping that Yang has made a mistake. He hasn’t.

“It because, your friend, Johnny say, you-a love to see friends and family soon and they love to see you, Mister-a Famous. You like?” Yang says as he escorts you out of his office.

“One more ting, Mister-a Famous,” Yang says. “Good ting you come to audition for job or you might be another wash-up celebrity.” he continues--shutting the imported Italian marble doors behind you.

“Sure, Mr. Yang. Sure don’t want to be a washed-up celebrity. That would be very, very humiliating,” you sarcastically mumble as you and the foam rubber, solid-red wiener costume walk down the dark, lonesome corridor onto the filthy sidewalk ready to embark on your new career that will ultimately lead to (more) fame and glory as a human hot dog. Your new career will definitely get you talked about--you might say, all at once.

As you dig into your pocket scratching for cab fare, a hint of a smile comes on your face as you look back at the Wild Daze Entertainment Corporate Office and say . . .

“This hot dog gig may not be that bad. At least MY photo is not in this story with those other washed-up celebrities.”









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Comments 4 comments

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

As usual, you are very, very entertaining. Thanks so much for digging up these "dead"celebrities. I've always wondered what people in the limelight did when no one paid attention to them and didn't applaud. Imagine that. Living for the applause and not getting it. Andrew Dice Clay? I remember that guy. He turned everyone one off. Keep writing! I'm your newest forever fan.


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

Soon as the hurricane is passed I'll have to read this. But Carrot Top was in an Anna Faris movie called Smiley Face a few years ago. Danny has a "wife-dopplinganger" if you've seen her myspace site lol. You mighta covered that.. ok, going to enjoy ride out hurricane Irene! ;)


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 4 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Interesting and entertaining. There are an awful lot of child celebrities who didn't "go anywhere" after one or two popular shows were cancelled/played out. It's kind of sad to know that we treat people as "unworthy" once they don't entertain us anymore on hit shows. I don't think it's just the "show biz" people who contribute to all of this. We are consumers of entertainment and as such, sometimes I think we aren't very nice as viewers/consumers. Some things I keep thinking about whenever I see "show biz rejects" presented. Thanks for sharing... you've given me more to think about. Voted up.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, mythbuster,

And you have given ME something more to think about. I never let it occur to me that "we" had a role in the stars' success or fame AFTER a show had peaked. Thanks, my friend. I have gained a bit of wisdom by an obviously-wiser hubber than I.

Sincerely,

Kenneth

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