It sounds so glamorous, working in Hollywood. Doesn’t it? Sure, if you’re a studio chief or an actor with your own trailer. But if you’re a powerless minion, it’s a special kind of hell.
M— and L— seem mismatched as a comic team. They’re both type A personalities, with no foil, no straight man. Like the worst kind of Funny Guys, they are always, oppressively, “on.” Every time they see you, they do not merely crack a joke; they molest you with comedy. Their assaults are rapid-fire, cringe-inducing, often offensive. (“Nice jacket, Jim. What, did you buy it from a sand nigger in Morocco?” Grunt.) Surely, they must think, this is the way to become noticed as a formidable comic force—to launch one’s hilarity from across the room. No one is immune to it. When they walk into a pitch meeting with the Columbia execs, L— invariably begins the meeting with an antic gag, tripping, Dick Van Dyke-like, over a hassock, or a pair of crossed feet, nearly somersaulting across the room, then rubbing his knees and grimacing in theatrical pain. You can see the same pain flickering in the eyes of the execs.