PRETTY DAMN IRRITATING
I showed up to Hollywood Hell House on Saturday with my little sin-plagued Scooby group (two gays and a Jew), all of us excited at the prospect of watching snarky comedians writhing in the pits of eternal grime and pestilence. As it turned out, Hollywood Hell House is actually located in Hollywood proper, which not only supplies the snarky comedians, but the eternal grime and pestilence as well.
We arrived about five minutes after tours started, only to be told that the event was sold out and we’d have to put our names on the wait list. (HHH offers no reservations or advance ticket sales, a move seemingly designed to thwart unscrupulous Hollywood bigshots who don’t like to wait around with commoners like me who don’t have money managers and first-look deals. And tours run continuously from 8 to 10pm, so five minutes late is also an hour and 55 minutes early, depending on how you look at it.) We were about the fifth group down on the list, so we opted to wait and hope Jesus or whoever was manning the ticket podium would look kindly upon us.
So we stood in the parking lot, and all the people who were smart enough to arrive earlier filed past us into the building. Our only entertainment was to watch as several other latecomers tried unsuccessfully to talk themselves into a ticket. A couple of people played the “don’t you know who I am” card, and we didn’t know who they were, which means they were probably agents. If anyone deserves a sneak preview of Hell, it’s agents. Nonetheless, they were made to wait, too — and glare hatefully at the admissions guy as their blood boiled and their tiny hearts thumped ever closer to giving out altogether. Maybe this was Heaven after all.
Also back-burnered was Joe Rogan, the only “famous” face we recognized in the crowd. (Everyone else in Hollywood appeared to be in the show itself.) The host of “Fear Factor” arrived about half an hour after we did, and he stood a few feet away from us as we waited in our little parking lot purgatory to learn our fate. After about 45 minutes, we were told there was no room for anyone on the wait list, so we should all leave and come back another week.
Disappointing, sure, but at least the admissions people seemed to be doing the good Christian thing and sticking to the first-come-first served policy. Well, at least that’s what I thought until this morning, when I read that Joe Rogan got in even though he arrived long after us. I can forgive most of what gets people banished to Hades in the show’s script — you know, abortions and school shootings and all of that — but line-cutting privileges for C-level celebs is a true sin in my book.
I’ll be back another week, and I’ll get there earlier next time, but I’ll be a little more cynical, and a little more jaded, a little more convinced that the words “Hollywood Hell House” are needlessly redundant. Until then…
Damn you! Damn you all to Hell!