Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hooray for Hollywood

I am sure you have heard this song before. It's the clichéd song to play if Hollywood is mentioned. I know if you go to Disney's California Adventure or Universal Studios you are bound to hear it at least 35 times an hour over the outdoor PA system.

But do you know the full lyrics? I didn't. I came across them the other day and some of them were a little surprising.

Take a look:

Hooray for Hollywood
That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywood!

Right off the bat we have some wacky 1930s lingo! How can you not love this song!
Ballyhoo is defined as: 1. outcry; confusion; noise. 2. misleading or sensational publicity.
I assume they are referring to the second definition. Still, it can get noisy in Hollywood. Plus I have met some confused people there. And there is often some kind of outcry, they protest at the drop of a hat. Seriously, I dropped my hat once and I was surrounded by demonstrators. Of course by "hat" I mean "a bagel" and by "demonstrators" I mean "birds" and by "surrounded" I mean "approached cautiously." I don't think this is going to get funnier so I move on.
Where any office boy
Or young mechanic
can be a panic
With just a good-looking pan
And any barmaid
Can be a star maid

I like the rhyme scheme! They go for the simple rhymes that a third grader would think of. By "pan" they mean "face." I think is more of that crazy slang.
If she dances with or without a fan
Hooray for Hollywood!
Where you're terrific
if you're even good!
Where anyone at all from Shirley Temple
to Aimee Semple

We all know Shirley Temple was a popular child actress, but who was Aimee Semple?
Sister Aimee Semple McPherson was the founder of the International Church of the Four Square Gospel and Angelus Temple. She was also radio’s first female evangelist.
is equally understood
Come on and try your luck
You could be Donald Duck
Hooray for Hollywood!

The Donald Duck reference is also a sign of the times. It may come as a surprise to people today, but after his debut Donald Duck was more popular than Mickey Mouse. Mickey was calm and reserved, but Donald was able to be angry and devilish and audiences loved this. Also, Donald appeared in many anti-Nazi cartoons before and during World War II. Donald would often play the put upon Nazi soldier who rebelled often directly against Hitler.
It was the 1955 debut of Disneyland that ultimately restored Mickey's claim as Disney's top draw.
Hooray for Hollywood!
That phony, super coney, Hollywood
They come from Chillicothes and Paducah
with their bazookas

I am kind of lost here. Let’s try to decipher these words.
coney= I have no idea. I think it just rhymed with "phony."
Chillicothes= A small town it Ohio.
Paducah= A town in Kentucky.
bazookas= A large gun that terrorists from Ohio and Kentucky would take to California in their misguided attempts to take out "those dang conies."
Wow. The song got pretty dark all the sudden.
To see their names up in lights
All armed with photos
From local rotos
With their hair in curlers
and legs in tights

Roto was an old form of printing that chemically etched the image upon a copper cylinder. This was the way many magazines used to be printed.
Hooray for Hollywood!
You may be homely in your neighborhood.
Still, if you think that you can be an actor
See Mister Factor
He'd make a monkey look good!

Mister Factor was the great makeup man Max Factor. The monkey was named Chumbles. He sure looked good.
Within a half an hour
You'll look like Tyrone Power
Hooray for Hollywood!

And Tyrone Power was a good looking actor with a name like a pro wrestler. No wonder they mentioned him.

Anyway, that’s the whole coney ballyhoo for today. Get your bazooka and push your pan against the roto until next time.


  1. Now you have the song stuck in your head, too.

  2. Anonymous7/19/2005

    Hollywood is such a far cry from my home town. My home town was so small, the hooker wore a helmet.

  3. Anonymous7/19/2005

    Wow. I love this song. The other day I was humming it as I was shuffling the cards before I bedded a double flush to the jack on a hot game of Texas Hold em. I need help.

  4. Anonymous7/19/2005

    Tyrone Power may think he is so big, but he will not be able to withstand the power of Don Muracco's elbow that he drops upon him. Thyne will of Fuji be done. Fuji-style!

  5. Anonymous7/19/2005

    Foul! Foul! One can't bring a bazooka to Hollywood! I know you are upset about the war but leave your firearms at home!

  6. Anonymous7/19/2005

    I would be willing to bet the bazookas referred to the rounder protrusions of the female anatomy. They could have probably made it clearer by using bazoombas or even mcgillicuddies. That last one would have thrown off their rhyme though.

  7. Nope, never heard of it.