Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Case of the Ousted Agent

It was a quiet weekend in my humble penthouse office on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards and I had decided to do another one of my private eye parodies. My quiet weekend was quickly broken by a rap on my door.

The rap was "Mama Said Knock You Out," I picked it up and put it back in its box of hacky old wordplay gags. Then someone actually knocked on my door.

"Come in," I said, and the door swung open, revealing Hollywood agent Uta Yooteeyay.

Her tight power suit screamed "business," her eyes whispered "hello sailor," her cleavage said "hubba-hubba," and her mouth said "My eyes are up here Furious D, get back to them."

"I made my choice," I said.

"I need a dick," she said, and my ears perked up from the obvious double entendre gag.

"Then I'm your man," I said, hitting the button for my automatic Murphy bed and turning on some Barry White.

"I need to hire you," said Uta, dropping a wad of bill on my desk, then taking back 10%. "As a private detective, not a gigolo."

"Private eye is my business," I said, "gigolo is my hobby."

"Will you take the job?"

"What kind of a job?"

"A whydunnit," answered Uta.

"You mean you want me to find out why who did what?"


"Then can you explain it to me, because I don't have a clue what we're talking about?" I asked.

"You've heard of Wes Anderson," said Uta.

"Yes," I said. "He makes those movies about the ennui of rich people."

"Ennui and familial dysfunction," corrected Uta.

"I stand corrected."

"Well he's dumped me as his agent," said Uta, "after I plucked him from indie film obscurity and got him movie after movie, even after they stopped making money. He just dumped me like I was a common Jennifer Aniston, and ran off with William Morris-Endeavor."

"And you want me to find out why?"


"I'll take the case!"


To get to the bottom of this case I needed to know the word on the street. So I hit the street, and after I got back from the emergency room with freshly stitched knuckles, I decided to walk on the street and ask people.

So I went to Ronald the Homeless Movie Promoter, who was standing 0n the corner outside my building holding a poster for the movie
Youth In Revolt.

"Hey Ronald," I said, "I see they're paying you to carry movie posters now."

"Yep," said Ronald. "I just found out that I'm literally half of Dimension Film's marketing budget."

"I hope you got your money up front," I said.

"Hell yeah," said Ronald. "They offered me a piece of the net, and I told them like it was offering me a piece of the Loch Ness Monster."

"I need to know something about Wes Anderson," I asked.

"Like what?"

"Like why he would dump his agent."

"Word on the street is that he blames his agent for the failure of The Fantastic Mr. Fox," said Ronald pointing a spot on Hollywood Boulevard that had the words: Wes Anderson Blames His Agent for the Failure of The Fantastic Mr. Fox painted on it in a bold Futura font.

"That's another mystery in itself," I said. "Agents line up gigs and haggle over contracts, they don't decide whether movies are successful or not. It's even less so in a career like Anderson's who pretty much writes and directs his own projects."

"Agents get blamed for all kinds of shit," said Ronald, "and that shit can ruin an agent's career. Look at me, last year I was a senior partner at the Paradigm Agency."

As I left I was going to drop some change in Ronald's case, but he got swooped up and hired as a programming executive for NBC before I could do it. I had some more digging to do.


After doing a lot of digging I found myself in the catacombs of Paris, France. Sure, it was a hellacious amount of work, but still easier than getting through airport security without a bomb in my underwear. Wes Anderson was here, keeping an apartment on the Rue De La Pretensionne, on the fabled Left Bank of the Seine. If I was going to crack this case, I had to go straight to the man himself.

The door to his apartment swung open, which was never a good sign. I stepped inside the carefully composed suite, a thematically suitable Rolling Stones song playing in the background.

"Who is it?" said a voice from beneath a stylish timeless, yet modern settee in the corner.

"My name is Furious D," I answered, "I'm a private dick."

"What do you want?" asked the voice.

"I need to speak to Wes Anderson," I said. "Is that you?"

"Yes," answered Wes Anderson as he emerged from beneath the settee. "What do you want to see me about?"

"I need to know why you dumped your agent," I said.

"It's their fault that The Fantastic Mr. Fox tanked at the box office," said Anderson, adjusting his suit, tailor made to looked just slightly out of style, while looking even more stylish.

"There are lot more reasons to blame others for that movie tanking," I replied. "You could blame the studio for poor marketing, a poor release plan, you could blame the cast for not exactly burning any calories in their performances, I mean I could only watch the preview, but everyone sounded like they just woke up, or you could blame yourself for making films that people, many of them fans, consider increasingly self indulgent."

"I could never blame myself!" said Anderson, shocked at the implication. "Martin Scorsese thinks I'm the next Martin Scorsese!"

"Martin Scorsese also thinks Leonardo DiCaprio is the next Robert DeNiro," I replied, "and that's why the previews for Shutter Island look like a high school production of The Mousetrap."

"Now you're denying me the approval parents in my films deny their children!"

"Why am I even going through all this trouble anyway," I said, "it's only a matter of time before your agent at WME defects to go work for Uta anyway. It's the circle of life in Hollywood."

Suddenly a troupe of dancers and singers appeared out of nowhere:

Gershay jenssie hai see-yem [There comes a client]
Sithi uhhmm ariemmanuel [Oh yes, it's a client]
Gersh dubbya hemmee [There comes a client]
Dwinka uhhmm soylatte [Oh yes, it's a client]
Siyay-ay [We're going to sign a contract]
Yoo-tee-hay dubya hemmee [It's a client and an agent]
Hai-see-yem ten perzenta (Se-to-kwa!)[Move to another Agency]
Arihemmanuel dubya hemmee (Asana)[Sign to another Agency]

From the day we arrive in Los Angeles
And, blinking, step into the sun
You have to see and forever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There's far too much to make in here
More to find than can ever be found
When an agent's rolling high
Through the ozone free sky
Keeps great and small waiting around
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through Paradigm and Gersh
Through CAA and Verve
Till we find our place
Parking validated
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

It's The Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through William Morris Endeavor
Back to ICM and UTA
Till we find our place
With a corner office
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

"Hey!" I barked, "this is a Private Eye parody, not a musical. Now scram so I can declare..."


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