I spent the last couple days in Manhattan, a city known for – among many other things – Broadway. I then learned of the stagehands’ strike, meaning that you’re stuck with off – Broadway shows. There were some interesting titles, like Die Mommie Die or I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. I ended up seeing Frankenstein, keeping up on the mad scientist theme, and quickly realized how they handled the stagehands strike. At no point in the entire musical did anything on the stage change. Hm. OK. The off – Broadway stagehands weren’t even on strike, either, evidently they just couldn’t think of any way to change the stage. Clever lighting and projection made up for some of it, but stagehands matter. Everyone there matters. Hence the below.
The Blow Must Go On!
Inspired by the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike, and the Broadway stagehands’ strike, beleaguered producers declared that they, too, will go on strike until they get more money, respect, and better working conditions. Demands included upgraded private jets, the right to beat caddies, free vials of virgin actress tears, and the immediate release and reinstatement of Heidi Fleiss.
Mel Brooks, producer of The Greedy Producers and the upcoming Young Frankenstein the Greedy Jew, tried to explain. “We only want what’s fair. If we pay the stagehands, and writers, and the piss-boys, I mean janitors, and those elevator fixer guys, and all these other little people, what would be left for us? It’s good to be the king. You wanna go see this off – Broadway schlock like Die Mommie Die or I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change? Feh! I have plans for two new and totally original musicals, called Go Fuck Yourself, Grampa and Ethel’s Husband Tried Cialis.”
Charlie Sheen, producer of Two and a Half Men, agreed. “People don’t understand producers, our special circumstances and needs. Like, I don’t think people appreciate how important coke really is in Hollywood production. I give more lines to celebrities than any writer ever could. Just last week, I was trying to get things moving with this actress for our show. I was going through the usual casting routine, and the little bitch kept saying she was married. Took nine lines of Columbian table wine before she finally went into V fib and I could finish the deal. But then it all worked out, I nailed, I mean, she nailed the role. Ya got no show without no blow. Sometimes we go through a few grams just to wake up in time for morning cappuccino.” When Sheen was told that this was enough cocaine to kill anyone but a severe addict, he laughed, winked, paused, then began to cry.
George Lucas added, “We don’t really need writers. In The Empire Strikes Back, I paid Lawrence Kasdan to help write the screenplay. Cost me thousands. In the first two Star Wars movies, I wrote near everything myself. Jar Jar, the dialog between Anakin and Padme, all me. Did anyone complain? What? Well, fuck you. People will still come to movies with lines that flop off the tongue like, um, like….”
“Kitty’s last hairball?” commented a nearby striking writer.
“Methuslah’s drool?” replied another.
“Fast acting poison!” said a third.
“A narcoleptic diver!”
“Woody Allen’s condom!”
“The American dollar!”
“What the fuck are you doing?!” shrieked the fattest. “We’re on strike! No more writing!”
“Yeah! We should get paid for this!”
”But what about the pure fun of writing?”
“What?! No, no, no!! If there’s one thing any good writer hates, it’s amateurs! No more writing. Stop. Now.”