Combover

That's Tokyo Town

By Brett Gelman

All photos by Janicza Bravo

LIGHTS!

CAMERA!

COMBOVER!

I smell the glitz. I taste the glam. I play racquetball with the moon. I shtup the stars. Every morning I thank God for who I am and for what I have. Which is everything. I am everything. I’m a producer, bubaleh.

This town. You need to know how to make it work for you. Hollywood, baby! And a lot of schmucks use that phrase. Hollywood, baby! But I’m one of the only ones who can say those two beautiful words and mean it. Hollywood, baby! Why? I know what those two words mean.

Hollywood: The land of plenty. The fountain of youth. The dream maker and shatterer.
Baby: All of us in the beginning. Cute, smooth, little old men.

OR

Baby: A hot shiksa broad who needs a job and has specific talents to obtain one.

And the secret to saying those two GORGEOUS words and them really meaning something is you have to make them meld. Hollywood must be your baby. You must nurture this town. You need to breastfeed it. Keep it strong, teach it new words, and once it’s nurtured enough, you lay it down on your California king-size mattress and make love to it. You tell it what to do, but you also listen to what it wants. You lie naked with this town and gaze on each other’s bodies in worship. This town is my Torah. My beautiful, naked, talented Torah with a taste for salami.

They call me Combover, based on how I wear my hair. To me, the combover is one of the best metaphors for making big bucks in this business. It covers up your imperfections, while at the same time calling attention to them. Thus making you question whether the imperfection is an imperfection at all. It’s all there but not there. “What’s there?” That’s the question you gotta make everyone ask. Make them wonder about your mystery, and they’ll do anything for you to learn what that mystery is about. Never let them know what that is, boychick. For that will be the day they kill you.

Today I’m angry. Very angry. Which I hate. What does anger get you except more anger? When I’m angry at some putz in this town, I get double-angry. First I get angry about what I’m angry about, and then I get angry about being angry.

I’m producing this movie. Robbie Pickering is writing it. You know him. He’s the town’s new resident Aryan genius. A wunderkind with golden hair. Hitler would have been very proud. Not that it would do anything for little Picks. He might have the glow of a Nazi, but he hates himself just like a good Jewish boy should.

I first met him after I saw his crowd-wower Natural Collection, which won everything under the sun and even the ocean at Cannes two years ago. I approached him and said I’d pay him roughly 200 grand to write an adaptation of The Magnificent Gregory by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He didn’t think he could do the novel justice, but he asked if I’d be willing to pay him $25,000 to write a little idea he had been tinkering with lately, about a private dick who takes on a seemingly simple case and is led into a netherworld of dirty politics and psychological turmoil. The movie’s name: Tokyo Town.

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