THRILLVILLE: Will "the Thrill" Viharo's weird, wild world of Pulp Fiction, B Movies, & the Lounge Lizard Lifestyle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diary of a Doorman (Entry #2)

Being a doorman is simple work. It doesn't require any creativity. Your main job is to greet the customers and make sure they're of legal age to consume alcohol. No need to glorify the gig. Plus I was standing in front of a tiki bar in Alameda, not a biker bar in Houston. No need for macho posturing, either. But I thought I'd inject some fun into the gig, both for me and for the patrons. Since a lot of people recognized me as "Will the Thrill" anyway, I'd be a doorman, Thrillville style. So instead of merely asking to see their ID, I posed a brief Pop Culture Quiz, like "Who is Jack Lord?" You may be surprised by many of the responses....

"You don't even know who I am? Book 'em, Dano."

A shocking
amount of people - few with facial hair - had never even heard of Jack Lord, or if they had heard of him, couldn't quite place the name, even after I "hummed" the popular theme song. (For the record, he most famously portrayed Steve McGarrett on one of the longest-running cop shows in TV history, Hawaii 5-0. And these folks were going into a tiki bar!) My ID inquiries were really a generational divide. The night before I was giving visitors the "Adam West Test" - what was the first thing they thought of when I said that name? If they said "Family Guy," I'd have to see the ID, whereas a "Batman" answer would get them automatically through the door. At least name recognition for Adam ran much higher than for Jack, most likely because of the fact Adam West voices himself, as "Mayor Adam West," on Family Guy.

Another test was "Name an actor in the original 'Ocean's 11'." If they said George Clooney or Brad Pitt, let's see the ID. If they said Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, or Sammy Davis Jr., they're in like Flint. I got some wiseass answers like Sean Connery, Bruce Willis and Keanu Reeves. I least I hope they were being wiseasses....This began to feel too much like my infamous protest of the remake, so I dropped it. That's when I switched to the Jack Lord bit. It's also when I realized, I am getting old. Too old to be asking these types of questions, anyway, unless I wanted to seriously date myself....Still, I couldn't help wondering, with the limitless resources on the web these days, why were younger folks lacking in curiosity, much less awareness, of pop culture prior to their birth, or even yesterday? I was born in 1963, but when I was growing up in the '70s, I knew who Glenn Miller, Abbott and Costello, James Cagney and Charlie Chaplin were. But then in those days, we all grew up watching the same shows on the same six or seven channels. Could be that these days, in this media blizzard with hundreds of options, there's just too much information to digest and explore.

Well, at least I'd accomplished something the internet had failed to do: educate these kids about Jack Lord. My job was done.

"Who the hell is Julia Roberts?"