SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE had just beaten SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for film of the year. Steven Spielberg, who had already won Oscars for SCHINDLER’S LIST in every category except Best Animated Short was really pissed. And this was mere moments after he won another Oscar for directing SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (which was very well deserved, by the way). I thought it was a little ungracious. So I decided to write a humorous review of the ceremony, poke a bit of fun at Hollywood royalty, and email it to the hundred or so people in my address list.
The response was so positive that I did it again the following year. By then my list had grown to at least 104. I added the Emmys (talk about an easy target) and also goofy travelogues.
Once I compiled enough of these travelogues I investigated getting them all published as a book. The idea was met with zero interest. But one kindly editor said, “These are very funny and if Dave Barry had written them I’d publish them tomorrow. But no one knows who the fuck you are.” (I ultimately published them myself and the hilarious Kindle version is only $3.99.)
So how do I become more well-known? First thought was a publicist until I saw what they charged. Yikes! I wanted a little higher visibility; I didn’t want to be Miley Cyrus so paying big money to get my name in the Long Beach Telegram a few times a year didn’t make sense. Nor did killing anybody or competing in the Winter Olympics.
Then my friend Howard suggested writing a blog. (This is beginning to sound like one of those old cigarette commercials. Then my priest said, “Hey, have you tried Viceroys?”)
A blog wouldn’t cost anything save for time. Who knows? It could lead to a big book deal, major speaking engagements, or taking over for Carson Daly (if not me than ANYBODY). Well, none of those things happened but the blog has been great fun to do -- now in its ninth year of daily posting. And it has gained some popularity (now 11,000,000+ visitors) – thanks in part to my annual Oscar review.
Anyway, tonight I shall once again review the Academy Awards. So much suspense. Will GRAVITY beat 12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE? Will Ellen wear a dress? Tomorrow morning the review will be up.
Just think, if Steven Spielberg had only clapped when SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE won none of this would have happened.