According to Hollywood


In the early 1980’s a book was published titled Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten or something like that. It was sold like gangbusters and spawned a number of imitation books built upon the same simple premise. One of those was written by a friend of mine titled Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Television. I had been working on a very similar title about the movies. So we proposed that as a sequel using the same illustrator and publisher. But it didn’t sell. Instead we switched it around a bit and re-titled it How to Become and Act Like a Hollywood Celebrity. That sold fairly well. But since the material for the movies book was quite clever, in our opinion, I saved it for some future use. Not having found that use, I park it here for your enjoyment. It’s funny stuff, I trust you’ll agree.

Jesus has brown hair and blue eyes and is ruggedly handsome.

Every mother-in-law is an annoying pain in the ass.

You will eventually get stuck in an elevator with a person of the opposite sex and wind up falling in love before you are freed.

An elaborate song and dance number can break out anywhere and at any time.

Sooner or later you will meet your evil twin and it will not be pleasant.

Your guardian angel will appear and save you from imminent disaster.

Carefree playboy millionaires always fall in love with chorus girls.

You or somebody you love will suffer from a temporary bout of amnesia.

While boarding a taxi, a person will cut in front of you and yell, “Follow that cab!”

Smoking cigarettes was perfectly acceptable, anytime and anywhere.

Every living room has a rolling bar with an ice bucket just waiting to be used.

One of your uncles is serving time for safecracking.

One day you will get stuck in a small room with a person suffering from claustrophobia.

The seediest and most crooked characters hang out at horse tracks and pool halls.

Every private investigator solves every case and meets a babe in the process.

Beautiful young women always are orphans and live with their kindly widower grandfathers.

There is an organ grinder with a cute monkey at every street corner, and chances are he will witness a murder.


No matter which part of the universe they hail from, aliens always speak English with a British accent.

A confirmed bachelor will experience a change of heart the minute he is introduced to a thoroughly unattainable but eligible woman.

Ever since the Spanish Inquisition, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of conniving careerist bishops who know no bounds of decency or morality.

Americans who travel to Italy and France will find, in addition to good food and wine, true adventure and romance.

Corpses are commonly the objects of theft and intrigue.

Politicians facing a moral dilemma will always choose the high ground even if it torpedoes their promising careers.

When it comes to matters of the heart or solving a crime, blind people are more perceptive than those who can see.

Gangsters refer to money as dough, loot and jack. Women are dames and broads. And rivals are not killed, they’re bumped off and rubbed out.

Every Broadway musical producer will concoct a screwball scheme to finance his next show. Despite the calamity of his antics, he is beloved and his show will be a smashing success.

In every Western, the hero will get shot but only in the shoulder.

Heiresses to the leading thrones of Europe are commonly kidnapped but fall in love with one of the men who held them hostage anyway.

You will attend a wedding in which either the bride or the groom will be jilted at the altar.

Pretty your princesses typically fall in love with renegade commoners, especially newspaper reporters or police sergeants.

Strippers and prostitutes are forced into those professions because they have cute handicapped children who need an operation they can’t afford with real jobs.

The mastermind behind every diabolical plot speaks with a foreign accent.

Whenever a burglar alarm rings, the police will assume it is a false alarm

Every middle-of-the-night refrigerator raid will net a perfectly prepared chicken leg.

Behind a framed painting in every home or office is a wall safe.

Owners of nightclubs are always handsome and suave and always stop by each table to buy a round of drinks for his customers.

If one person falls into a swimming pool at a party, a dozen others will follow.

Teenagers always wager on who will lose their virginity first.

Everybody has at least one long-lost sibling who it turns out have more things in common than their parentage.

People who are suddenly struck blind will regain their eyesight after being knocked unconscious.

You will be sitting at a bar and somebody will suddenly yell, “Drinks are on me!”


Just before he dies a tragic death, the hero will be able to utter his final few words, unlike his enemies who die ignominiously.

Every person keeps a robe conveniently draped across the foot of his or her bed.

A succession of screaming headlines is the fastest and cheapest way to advance a convoluted story.

There is a hierarchy of bad guys in movies, depending on the ear. The British, French, Spaniards, Indians, Germans, Japanese, Russians, Chinese, Arabs, have all been regularly featured as baddies. Nowadays it is the Muslims and North Koreans.

Anyone can knock a guy out with the butt of a handgun.

Every old skyscraper has a ledge upon which some idiot will walk on to and threaten suicide. But he will not jump or fall even though he is dizzy drunk.

While running to escape from an axe-wielding serial killer, the pretty female prey will trip and sprain her ankle.

Sooner or later somebody you know will be forced to go incognito to prove his or her point.

High school couples are always jocks who eventually fall in love with geeks.

Just when you need to make a quick getaway, your car engine will not start.

A kidnapped beauty will always employ her feminine charms to outfox her captor.

There is a safe behind a framed painting in every home or office.

Every theatre has a stage door is monitored by an old man named Pops.

When a pregnant woman unexpectedly goes into labor, her emergency caregiver will demand hot water and plenty of towels.

Every high-speed automobile chase will smash into a fruit stand and wind up in a parking structure.

Whenever you are having a nice dinner at a nice restaurant, a woman at the table next to you will suddenly get up in anger, throw a glass of water in her date’s face and stomp away in disgust.

In preparation for a fistfight, the combatants will always spit in their palms and rub their hands together prior to throwing their punches.

Every time a cop uses a pencil, he will touch it on his tongue to wet its tip.

Sooner or later you will attend a family gathering for the reading of a rich relative’s lawsuit will and testament. And somebody will be upset with the provisions.

Fire brigades always carry a round jump net to coax people out of the windows of burning buildings.

An accidental blow to the head can change one’s personality to his or her exact opposite. The only thing that can restore them back to their former selves is a second accidental blow to the head.

Any waif or hooker can transform into a society beauty, especially if there is a wager on it.

Divorced couples always wind up getting mixed up in each other’s new marriages.

Beautiful young widowers always have adorably cute kids who are pining for a new dad. So they fix her up with a man she at first detests.

A clever jailbird can break out of any prison and make a successful escape.


Every swanky hotel has a house detective that creates more problems than he solves.

At every police station there are two or three hookers in the process of being booked.

Every man falsely accused of murder will have prove his innocence by going on the lam to solve the case himself.

Sailors on leave will always end up helping a beautiful wannabe realize her dream of starring in a Broadway show.

The friendly but bungling Irish beat cop always eventually gets his man.

A train journey in eastern Europe is the ideal locale for blackmail, intrigue and mayhem, especially if it happens to be traveling through Transylvania.

Every hitman who wants to quit the business will be called upon to do one last job and it will go terribly wrong.

When you tell your life story to a stranger, you will relive it in flashbacks.

Super heroes never die; they just go into retirement until they are needed to once again save the day.

Every elegant dance party will feature an out door terrace where a star-crossed couple can profess their love in private.

A person skinny-dipping in rural pond will always have his or her clothes stolen.

The most cunning and dangerous secret agent rival is also the sexiest.

The best way to thwart a police investigator’s attention is to act like a lunatic.

Nuns are a fun-loving group of women who always have to hide their antics from their taciturn mother superior.

Every gang of mobsters has a blonde bombshell who is sleeping with the boss.

Divorcees always get back together at the brink of remarrying others. And the “others” link up to assure a happy ending.

Every brilliant scientist is a dorky dude who will be coaxed out of his shell by his beautiful lab assistant.

Awkward goofball ner’-do-wells attract lonely heiresses like picnic baskets attract flies.

The most extraordinary adventures you experience only occur in dreams.

During World War II British and American agents easily infiltrated the highest echelons of the Nazi army even though they didn’t speak German.

Mobsters and assassins can be awfully friendly sports, especially when they are called upon to care for an orphaned child.

Nothing causes a community to rally together better than an attack of killer ants.


Every squabbling couple will wind up more deeply in love despite having just accused each other of serial infidelity.

The bigger or more miserable a curmudgeon is, the more likely he or she will come into the custody of a cute orphan relative.

Pet owners will go to any lengths to save the lives of their dogs and cats and the drama will bring their family closer together.

A couple’s love is made stronger in a screwball comedy than in a sentimental romance.

Pie factories are common locations for fighting lovers.

Members of the press are a clamoring mob who know respect no boundaries.

Disillusioned souls on the brink of suicide will be visited by an angel or a ghost who will restore their faith in mankind.

People suffering from crises of their own making will always experience redemption no matter how many people they hurt or how much money they squandered away.

Chainsaws are as likely to be used as tools of terror as they are to cut down trees.

One day your home or your car will be commandeered by a secret agent going rogue from his or her own agency.

A boy becomes a man only after getting laid…or a black eye.

Hospital nurses are always either young and gorgeous or old and cranky, never anything in between.

The most frightening and outrageous events take place in phone booths.

Miracles and magic are common every day occurrences.

Aliens, vampires and zombies wreak havoc on defenseless communities quite regularly.

Sooner or later you will find yourself in the middle of a bank robbery in progress.

Adventures in haunted houses are not uncommon, especially on stormy nights.

Every shy, anal-retentive guy’s life will be up-ended by a free-spirited hippie chick who refuses to wear a bra.

To inherent a fortune, a person will have to do something truly silly or stupid.

Sooner or later a family member or houseguest will get in trouble with their sleepwalking.

Every prosecuting attorney replaces his oath to do justice with the urge to convict the innocent.

Atomic tests in the desert will result in the resurrection of long dead monsters or creation of giant killer insects.

Jewel heists are as common as auto thefts.

A man and women who hate each other will eventually fall in love, no matter how unlikely the circumstances.

If a spouse is lost at sea, he or she will reappear on the eve of the other spouse’s remarriage.

Beautiful struggling starlets will discover, after reaching the epitome of celebrity, that she was happier when she was poor and unknown.

Whether manmade or natural, a disaster will always occur at the worst possible time but some will survive against all odds.

A smart dog will save its owner from peril no matter the obstacles that must be surmounted.

Washed-up newspaper reporters and screenwriters always redeem themselves with heroic exploits while being investigated by the police.

Two out of three love affairs is between star-crossed lovers intent on defying their stuffy and unforgiving families.

Elopements and shot-gun weddings are as common as planned ones.


Arrogant wealthy grandparents will always try to control the lives of their family members, and they will always fail.

Dipsomaniacs always wake up married after a long night’s bender.

Prostitutes are always sexy, loving and misunderstood.

Haunted houses are always creepy old mansions, never contemporary tract houses.

No matter how naughty or deviant, teenagers will always end up being sorry for their antics and their parents will always be forgiving.

Every woman drinking alone at a bar is waiting to be picked up.

Whenever a person faints, somebody with smelling salts will be nearby.

All brides are virginal if not virgins. That’s why they wear white gowns.

Everybody has a guardian angel but few of us will be fortunate enough to be visited by it.

A winning lottery ticket will always be misplaced.

A ticking clock will be attached to every time bomb.

Jilted women will quickly file breach of promise lawsuit against their ex-fiances.

Bachelors must always offer increasingly inventive excuses to put off their impending marriages despite the whining pleas of their girlfriends.

People in a hurry always say “Keep the change!” to cabbies, bellhops and waitresses.

Everybody who inherits a fortune always discover they were happier when they were broke.

The best way to loose a person’s alter ego when they get knocked on the head.

Punching or slapping a woman is not abuse, its just desserts.

Every Indian squaw is beautiful and sexy, and the chief’s daughter.

Mother Mary would have been a cover girl if she had been born two thousand years later.

Every eligible rich and beautiful woman will have three suitors but will marry an unlikely fourth.

Gold miners will find a mother lode in the last place they suspected and just before giving up the search entirely.

Every big old house has a secret passageway behind a wall of books.

One day you or somebody you know will find a suitcase full of cash that criminals are murderously anxious to reclaim.

Bank robbers are actually nice people when you finally get to know them.

Butlers, housemaids and valets were absolutely indispensable prior to World War I but disappeared entirely there after.

It is inevitable that a person walking across a bridge at night will find a person about to jump off, talk them out of it and then fall in love with him or her.

Bums and tramps are a lovable group of guys who actually enjoy being down and out.

Black characters serve more as comic relief than any purposeful function.

A woman’s first line of defense to an assailant is her charm; her second is a rolling pin.

Masquerade balls are attended as much for intrigue as frivolity.

Elvis Presley was as talented a brawler as a singer.

Sword fights between life-long rivals for the hand of a woman will not end in death but in the flinging away for the bad guy’s sword and the magnanimous forgiveness by the good guy.


The most effective tearjerkers feature either a boy and his dog or a girl and her horse.

Idealistic young doctors will spend more time fighting an indifferent medical establishment than treating its patients.

The only way to reveal a woman’s beauty is to remove her glasses and let her her down.

Ventriloquist dummies are all secretly possesses by evil demons.

Movie mothers are either weet and loving or cruel and indifferent, never anything in between.

If a child is kidnapped, the parent with beat both the police and FBI to the rescue.

Dorky bachelors always win out over suave sophisticates to win an unattainable woman’s love.

There has never been a door lock invented that can’t be jimmied opened by the skillful use of a credit card.

Loving sisters will inevitably go to war over the same man.

Every successful film and theatre producer will eventually go bust

After being shot, the number two cause of death falling off a horse and breaking one’s neck.

A transformative experience can best be had on a long road trip.

Every fugitive on the run is innocent and misunderstood.

Private investigators are always framed in the murder cases they are hired to solve.

People in transition can fit all their worldly belongings in a single suitcase.

It is a perfectly acceptable career choice to become an assassin for hire.

You will accidentally come into possession of a piece of stolen top secret microfilm.

Biographical films of famous personalities always portray them as better than they were. Conversely, those of infamous personalities always portray them as worse than they were.

Shipments of nitroglycerin are bound to encounter a bumpy road.

People often become stranded on tiny deserted islands but are rescued immediately before being declared legally dead.

The culmination of every unlikely adventure is an even more unlikely romance.

No matter how much a man loathes his wife, the only reason he will plot he murder is for her life insurance.

Ice packs and hot water bottles are just the trick for middle-of-the night ailments.

Opera singers and ballerinas make the best and least suspected wartime spies.

Nobody sings and dances better or more enthusiastically than a band of hungry and homeless gypsies.

Genuine animosity is a prerequisite to genuine romance.

Every ex con’s determination to go straight will be thwarted by a blackmail plot to force him into one last caper.

Westerns towns have an inexhaustible supply of Indians and horses such that senseless violence against them can be excused.

It is essential that every B-movie floozy be named Cookie, Ginger or Trixie.

It is not uncommon for animals to talk and the language they all know is English.

Posh casino owners are all mobsters who have beautifully appointed offices.

Irish and Italian families emigrated to America for the sole purpose of being satirized.

A vigorous slap across the face is the best way to get a person’s attention, whether or not it is deserved.

Every young secretary’s boss starts out as a reprehensible lecher who she finds a way to fall in love with anyway.

There is something about a large cafeteria, be it in a high school or military base that causes people to brawl and throw food.

It is not difficult to imagine look-alikes who find justifications to exchange identities to senselessly befuddle their family and friends.

The most audacious assassinations occur on grand courthouse steps.

Quicksand is actually quite common but only deadly to bad guys.

No picnic is complete without a red-checkered cloth, cold chicken legs and a couple of pieces of chocolate cake.

Underdog football teams always pull off a last second win with a Hail Mary pass to the end zone.

Invisibility and time travel are scientifically possible and actually quite common.

Every traveling circus is always on the brink of financial ruin but the performers sojourn on for the sake of the lovable circus owner.

There is no more badass woman than a frontier widow whose homestead is threatened by a gang of heartless and unscrupulous cattlemen.

When faced with the choice between her responsible rich fiancé and a reprehensible but handsome rogue, a woman will always choose the latter, no matter how much it angers her prim and proper parents.

The size of a man’s bank account is inverse to his sound judgment.


A woman will always fall in love with a secret admirer even though she detests him in real life.

Diamond rings, mink coats and orchids are the surest ways to a woman’s heart.

The more determined a woman is to resist marriage, the more likely she will ultimately be swept off her feet by her oldest male friend.

Every family has at least one thoroughly obnoxious relative who will always pay a surprise visit at the worst possible time.

Landlords having nothing better to do than interfere in the lives of their tenants.

At some point in your life, you and your co-workers will become locked in a room overnight and begin reminiscing about past experiences.

Most presidents’ wives looked like Raquel Welch when they were younger.

Motorcycles parked outside a bar will be accidentally knocked over by a nerd trying to impress a girl.

The best and quickest way to dazzle a woman is to dress in a tuxedo, tap dance and kiss her hand on in front of her fiancé.

Every Italian-American neighborhood boasts a wannabe opera singer who will find success as a result of the most unlikely connections.

All men possess a little black book that contains the names and phone numbers of beautiful women who are just pining to receive their calls.

A husband will always forget his anniversary date and his wife will be crestfallen as a result.

All schoolyard bullies are actually cowards at heart.

Anyone can land a plane or deliver a baby given the opportunity.

Automobiles explode quite regularly, even when they are sitting on the side of the road.

The best way to knock somebody out is with an empty, not a full, beer bottle.

Sexual shenanigans are sure to occur on trains with sleeper cars.

Cat burglars will eventually fall in love with their rich and beautiful victims – and the love will be returned.

Anybody can hotwire a car, especially under exigent circumstances like being chased by cops or criminals.

Every harrowing car chase will end with the good guy leaping from the vehicle just before it tumbles off a cliff and crashes down a canyon.

If twins are born during wartime, chances are they were cruelly separated but will be happily reunited decades later in the most unlikely circumstances.

A person can become a daring criminal or a passionate lover under the influence of hypnosis.

Monsters and aliens can be transformed into loving creatures by the naïve affections of a cute child.

Sooner or later you will be aboard an air flight on which the pilots will become incapacitated but will land safely when the controls will be taken over by a cowardly person with over-active sweat glands.

The most effective remedies for sudden illness are bromo and soda for adults and castor oil for children.

The surest was to instigate a slip and fall is to innocently drop a banana peel in the path of an unsuspecting victim.

A perfectly common Saturday afternoon pastime is to attend a hotly contested polo match.

In every maternity ward waiting room there paces a nervous first-time father who is becalmed by a sober fellow who is expecting his fourth or fifth child.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s