I grew up as a child actor. Which means through Junior High and High School I was in a
couple of terrible TV shows, I did a slew of stupid commercials, and a couple of years
out of High School I actually co starred in a movie that won an award for the Second
Worst Movie of 1984 only next to a movie called the Baby Eaters.
Now if you want to rent Hard Rock Zombies, I promise in the first 10 minutes you’ll hear
the most horrific writing, the worst music and without a doubt you’ll witness the most
pathetic attempts at acting ever caught on film. I could go on and on about the depths of
my acting prowess and achievements but I’m here to try and make a point.
One Friday afternoon at 3:00 o’clock my agent called me and said I had a commercial
interview for a product called “Yahoo Chicken” She said to dress Westerny so I slipped
on my red checked shirt, buttoned up my 501’s, and sauntered my way into 405 traffic
headed to Lankershim near Universal Studios. After nearly two hours of bumper to
bumper madness I arrived ready to say my line!
They ushered five of us young guys into a room where we’re standing in a row, in front
of the producers and a video camera ready for our big chance. Now the guy standing
next to me is a kid named Billy Bob Scenesteeler or something like that. The guy’s not
just dressed westerny… he’s got on chaps, a holster, guns, spurs a ten gallon hat, I
wouldn’t have been surprised if the guy had cantered in on a horse.
Anyway, they point the camera at him and ask him, “What’s your name” He says “I’m
Billy Bob Scenesteeler”. They say, “What agency are you with?” He says, “Pucker Up &
Butkiss” then they say, “Well, Billy Bob, if you could only have one food for the rest of
your life, what would it be?” He says, “That’s easy, it’d be Yahoo Chicken!” And then he
yelled out a bold and hearty, “YAHOO!!!” And that was the line. He said it.
They said thank you, and they panned the camera over to me for my turn.
“What’s your name?” I said, “Geno Andrews.” “Who’s your agent?” I said Blah Blah
Blah, then they said, “If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one
food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
And before I could answer, Billy Bob steps into my frame, looks right into the camera
and says, “I’ll tell you what’d be, it’d be Yahoo Chicken, YAHOO!!!!”
I was flabbergasted. Dumbfounded. In that moment, what I call the ‘Yahoo’ moment, I
realized something — I don’t want it this bad. I’m not willing to make a Yahoo of myself
to get ahead in my career.
I never saw the commercial. But for years I’ve been tormented by the thought that
maybe Billy Bob booked. Maybe he got it cause he wanted it that bad. Like the people
that come here on the Amtrack from the mid west, grab a map to the stars homes, just
so they can go wake up Robert Dinero and ask him to be in his next movie.
I mean there are channels. If you’re in this business there are certain rules. There are
proper chains of command. Producer, below that is the Director, below that is the Actor,
below that is the crew, below that is the PA and somewhere below that is the writer.
Yahoos will not be tolerated, right?
Well I’ve written a number of screenplays. And I’ve got a comedy now that I think would
be perfect for Happy Maddison Productions. Which is Adam Sandler’s company. Now I
don’t know Adam Sandler, and unless he’s a cult fan of Hard Rock Zombies he probably
doesn’t know who I am either.
But one night, a little while back, my cousin was in town with his wife and kids and we
were all hanging out at a little park in Malibu. Just his family and mine, pitch dark, no
one else around and as we were getting ready to leave, who shows up to the park with
his toddler but Adam Sandler. He’s with Collin Hanks and some other guy I didn’t
recognize. Could have been the writer of Hard Rock Zombies… but there it was… an
opportunity. And I’m thinking to myself, Proper Channels? Or Yahoo Moment?
So under my breath, but loud enough so Sandler could hear it I said, “There goes the
neighborhood…” To which he chuckled and made some witty banter back to which I
said, “You know there’s another park like 6 blocks away if you’re looking for privacy.”
So as we’re laughing and scooping up our tired kids I come to the conclusion that if I’m
going to pitch Sandler this comedy, it’s not going to be in a Malibu sandbox with tired
kids who are currently an hour past their bed times. But maybe I should have…
They say the early bird catches the worm, but there’s a fine line between being overtly
opportunistic and being an unprofessional Yahoo.
Which reminds me of a joke…
This guys gets onto an elevator and stands next to this woman. He turns to her and
says, “Can I smell your pussy?” She says, “No you can not!” He says, “Oh… it must be