It has been a while since I’ve written in this space and I hope everyone is doing well, being safe and getting their COVID-19 vaccines. Remember, if you are getting your vaccine, you are being part of the solution.
Over the past month in Ontario, Canada where I live, it’s been a difficult time. A controversial, but necessary, lockdown has created a feeling of isolation, apathy and depression for a lot of people who have had enough with isolation. But, on the upside, vaccine appointments are easier to get, and much of the population have had their first shot. It’s a time of frustration, but also a time of optimism. But when looking into the government’s opening plans, we can clearly see a path to the end of the tunnel, which will allow theatres and restaurants to open again, live music and social gatherings to resume and perhaps even travel between Canada and the United States to happen once again. Things may never go back to the way they were pre-2020, but there is at least something to look forward to.
So while we wait for that time to come, I want to bring to the attention of all of you who visit samtweedle.com an on-line charity event for one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited, and the close relation it has to my work as a writer.
As most people know, my visits to Hollywood in my thirties is a big part of my personal mythology. I was trying to be an entertainment journalist and through multiple trips I had many adventures in Los Angeles. I fell in love with the city, and by respecting and researching the history of Hollywood, I found wonders on every street corner.
But possibly the most magical place in all of Hollywood is the fabulous Hollywood Museum. Located on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, The Hollywood Museum is a four-story building packed with treasures housed in the legendary Max Factor Building. Just the chance to visit that building, which still has its makeup rooms reconstructed for visitors to see, is a brush with Hollywood history itself. But when walking on every level visitors are treated to an abundance of props, costumes, set pieces and personal items of Hollywood legends ranging from megastars to the obscure.
The wonderful thing about The Hollywood Museum is that no matter what kind of movie watcher you are you are going to find something in the museum that will be meaningful to you. Whether you are just a casual movie viewer watching the current releases, or a deep diver who studies the history of film, the museum has something for you. Some of my favorite items at the museum include Pee Wee Herman’s bike, a Superman costume worn by Christopher Reeves, a monocle owned by Fritz Lange, the dress Marilyn Monroe wore to the courthouse when she married Joe DiMaggio, personal items belonging to Maila “Vampira” Nurmi, invitations to a party held by Rudolph Valentino at the Falcons’ Lair, Rocky’s boxing gloves signed by Sylvester Stallone and a bathrobe owned by Elvis Presly that still has a peanut butter stain on the collar.
But the tour de force of the museum is in the basement, which houses the original prison set from Silence of the Lambs, where you can take the same walk of terror that Jodie Foster, in the role of Agent Clarice Starling, to Hannibal Lecter’s cell, in which you are greeted by Anthony Hopkin’s original costume standing right where he stood in the film. Its chilling and thrilling and puts you right into the movie. Its an experience that is priceless.
But during COVID times, the museum, like many institutions throughout North America, has been hit hard. This wonderful institution has been hit hard financially due to being shut down to visitors, and in order for it to survive the museum has reached out to the Hollywood community to help.
Throughout June and part of July the Hollywood Museum is presenting a fun series of shows that people worldwide can access via internet streaming no matter where you are. Through the magic of modern technology the Hollywood Museum is bringing back the classic game show The Hollywood Squares! Directed by the show’s original directors Steve Grant and Bob Loudin, and produced by John Ricci Jr, the Hollywood Museum is bringing back hosts and stars from all the different versions of the show, including Peter Marshall, John Davidson and Tom Bergeron. Meanwhile, a panel of fan favorites from classic film and television participate from their own homes to recreate the wit and whimsy of the show.
Although viewers will find many of their favorites on the episodes, I’m thrilled to see so many celebrities that have talked to me for samtweedle.com since I started doing celebrity interviews again in September 2020 after a long hiatus. These include Alison Arngrim, Hank Garrett, Ruta Lee, Rich Little and Kathy Garver, as well as Glen Scarpelli and Carolyn Hennessey who will have feature articles soon at this site. Also included are other celebrities I’ve interviewed in my past including Lee Purcell, Barry Livingston, Erin Murphy, Dee Wallace, Anson Williams and Loretta Swit. So many favorites from my time working as an entertainment journalist – and people who I have loved talking to and admire very much.
Rounding up the line up of guests and hosts include Bruce Vilanch, Donna Mills, Ilene Graff, Judy Tenuta, Jim J Bullock, Gilbert Gottfried,, Perti Hawkins Byrd, Lindsay Wagner, Kevin Spirtas, Teresa Ganzel, Rico Anderson, Marc Summers , Loni Anderson, Wesley Eure, Wil Shiner, Elaine Ballace, Pat Finn, Joyce Bulifant, Jerry Mathers, Jay Johnson, Bob Bergen, Rodney Allen Rippy, Judy Norton, Robert Hays, and Kate Linder.
So how can you watch this? Well, each full-length half hour episode costs $!0 each. There are five episodes of $50 and100% of the funds raised from these episodes go right back to the Hollywood Museum. Visit https://www.stellartickets.com/o/the-hollywood-museum/events/the-hollywood-museum-squares-all-star-benefit-performance to join in the fun.
The Hollywood Museum is a place dear to my heart and the talent involved in this series is made up by some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever interviewed, and many who I’d love to someday feature here at samtweele.com. I hope you’ll support the museum by sitting down with your family and join into the fun of The Hollywood Museum Squares and, hopefully soon when travel permits, we’ll all be able to visit the museum again and see all the treasures it holds inside it’s walls. The Hollywood Museum reopens to the public on June 20th, 2021 and if you are in the Los Angeles area take the time to visit this wonderful place. If you are traveling to LA, make sure to visit. When friends of mine are traveling to Hollywood it’s the one place I tell them to visit. It’s the one place that you’re sure to have a brush with Hollywood greatness.
For more on the museum visit http://thehollywoodmuseum.com/
Stay safe friends….and get your vaccine.