When you wander around Hollywood, you see lots of freaky things. It's trashy. Sure, there are parts of town that are kind of cleaned up and clubby and stuff, but - like the movies - that's often just a facade.
One of the things about Hollywood that I find incredibly lame and do not understand at all are The Characters. And by this, I mean the people dressed up as celebrities or superheroes or Muppets and shit like that. I mean, it's one thing if you go to Disneyland and pose for pictures with Mickey Mouse or Goofy or Snow White or something. Disney employs some serious quality control. On Hollywood Boulevard, you just have random crazies who pick up a Spiderman costume from Target and start cruising for opportunities. Well, I guess alot of would be superstars start out in a similar way.
The majority of The Characters hanging around the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex, and mainly congregated outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre since all the tourists go there to compare their handsize with John Wayne's or someone, are pretty skanky. Their costumes are ill-fitting, the make up bad, and the impersonators don't do a great job impersonating. The other night as I was walking by with a friend, we noticed a Mexican Elvis shaking hands with a family for who he had just posed for a picture. "Yea, thanks alot, " he was saying. My friend turned to me and goes, "Oh, come on now. That's just wrong. I mean, how much effort does it take to say a little 'thankyouverymuch?' Stay in character,man!"
Absolutely. I have more respect for the skinny Spiderman doing various poses silently on the steps of the El Capitan movie theatre than that particular Elvis.
Some of these Characters are up to no good, though. I once had the shit scared out of me by a particularly good Pinhead, and in front of my relatives no less. A Charlie Chaplin type leered at me so obviously that my mother went up to him and said: "Stop looking at her like that! You're disgusting!" (Imagine that with a heavy Spanish accent and you'll understand how effective it was.)
Recently, there have been a spate of altercations and cons on Hollywood Boulevard. Not so unusual, really, except that it all seems to be happening amongst the Characters. They fight over turf, tips, costumes and attention. Like most actors. There have even been reports of them teaming up to steal wallets.
Most of the tourists don't mind them, though. The other day, I saw two little kids calling "Batman! Batman!" excitedly as the caped crusader cruised by. He didn't stop though; guess he was on a beer break.