by Tai Moses
Thursday, May 11, 2000
As most of the nation now knows, Pacific Grove writer Brad Herzog, author of a bestseller with a seriously long title was a contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" on April 4. He did pretty well on the show, even though he only came away a thousandaire instead of a millionaire. We had to know: what was the question that stumped him? He winced. "I hate to re-live it," he says. "I've been kicking myself every day. It was a movie question: 'Which one of these American Westerns was not a remake of a Japanese film?'"
The choices were The Magnificent 7, The Outrage, High Noon and A Fistful of Dollars. Herzog says although he believed--correctly as it turned out--that the answer was High Noon, he choked under pressure.
He walked away from the show with $64,000, which hardly makes him a loser in our book. But that was only the beginning of the writer's Warholian brush with celebrity. Bantering with Regis, with 40 million of his best friends listening intently, Herzog got a chance to plug his book. He only had about 30 seconds--which is about how long it takes just to say the title. (Hint: the first three words are "States of Mind.")
"Within 24 hours," he says, "my book was the seventh best-selling book on Amazon."
The national media went into hyperdrive; the author will be in the May 15 issue of People magazine and he'll appear on a behind-the-scenes "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" special. And--he pauses dramatically--"Oprah called."
As for the book, it's gone into a massive second printing and Herzog just signed a paperback deal with Simon & Schuster.
So, life is sweet for Brad Herzog. Still, we wonder what he thinks about in the wee hours. Why wonder? "My only regret," he admits, "is not saying 'High Noon'. I honestly believe I could have won a million dollars."
Pulp Fiction Meets Aladdin
William Novim and Bob Moleski, of the local outfit Pixilated Film Group, are producing an independent feature film, with shooting scheduled to begin in October 2001. Moleski describes it as a "coming-of-age gangster fairy tale," to be shot entirely around the Monterey Peninsula. It wasn't easy prying the plot line out of Moleski, but we finally got him to tell us that the movie is about a young Italian fisherman who fishes a bottle out of the bay, and a genie comes out of it. Three wishes and much hilarity ensue.
The pair are now auditioning local talent for a video trailer shoot this summer. Interested actors should send headshots, resumes and letters to P.O. Box L, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
Especial Agents Outfox Mulder
Los Del Pueblo Actors Lab is responsible for the first offering from El Teatro Campesino's Festival of Comedy. Their spoof, The Mex-Files, chronicles the misadventures of two bilingually challenged FBI agents as they investigate (undocumented) alien abductions and secret government experiments in Silicon Valley.
It's no surprise to us that sinister forces are at work over there. What else could cause so many people to buy sport-utility vehicles? We're convinced that the proliferation of the preposterous automobile is caused by some sort of toxin, spread by the use of cell phones coated with a genetically engineered, mind-altering substance activated during periods of high traffic volume.
The Mex-Files plays this weekend only, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, at El Teatro Campesino, 705 4th, San Juan Bautista. Call 623-2444 for tickets and reservations.
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