Lions and kings cause stir in Hawaii
Let's us all raise a glass of champagne and toast to all of the strange and marvelous things that happen in Hawaii, one of the strangest recently being a resort cruise ship line digitally placing a glass of champagne in the outstretched hand of the famous statue of King Kamehameha in front of the state Supreme Court building as part of a magazine advertisement.
You probably won't be shocked to find out that the native Hawaiian community found the advertisement tasteless and insulting. But Celebrity Cruises officials were. Shocked, that is. Along with being floored, amazed, embarrassed, stunned, horrified and basically taken off guard by the extremely acrimonious reaction to what I'm sure their PR firm thought was a rather clever idea.
You have to wonder whether the PR geniuses would think it clever to use the statue of Abraham Lincoln in an ad for refinancing your home ("I freed the slaves and I can free you from financial servitude. Honest!") or Martin Luther King Jr. in an ad for a mattress sale ("I had a dream, and so can you, on a brand new Super-Duper-Sleeper mattress!") or put Chief Crazy Horse in an ad for a law firm, ("Have you been injured in an accident? You'd be crazy not to Sioux!")
Celebrity Cruises has taken out full-page newspaper ads apologizing for the Kamehameha faux pax. But I notice there are an awful lot of store sales on Presidents Day weekend and the family of Martin Luther King Jr. is allowing his image to be used in some advertising. Maybe the Office of Hawaiian Affairs can make a little extra money for its constituents by allowing Kamehameha's image to be used in "tasteful" advertisements.
I'm not sure what those would be. Maybe an NFL Monday Night Football commercial featuring one of Hawaii's greatest warriors opening the game: "ARE YOU READY TO RUMMMMMMBLE??!!!"
So that's one of the strange things happening around here. One of the marvelous things comes under the "Honolulu Lite Department of Shameless Plugs," and is the upcoming "Laughs for Lions" All-Star Benefit Comedy Show to benefit Hawaii Lions Clubs. The Lions Clubs do everything from helping the blind, disabled and homeless to building bus stops to repairing schools and playgrounds. But that costs money. A lot of money.
"Laughs For Lions" will be a Las Vegas-kine comedy show hosted by legendary local comedian and actor Andy Bumatai and featuring comics such as Jordan "The Friendly Samoan" Savusa and Rufus DeMarco.
It will take place at the Mamiya Theater on Oct. 14 and include pupus and drinks and opportunities to win a deluxe stay at the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas and Hollywood memorabilia from Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Zeta-Jones and other bright lights. (I'm wondering about the Tom Cruise memorabilia. Will it be Oprah's couch that he freaked out on? Introductory membership to the Church of Scientology? Or a "Brooke Shields Is Nuts!" T-shirt?)
I put the Lions Club thing under "shameless promotion" because I'm working with on an "ongoing television project" Andy Bumatai and Jim Bryan, the guy heading public relations for the Lions Club event. Jim, who is also an accomplished professional screenwriter, asked me to be a little vague about our mysterious comedy film venture and I assured him that vagueness is my middle name. (Actually, my middle name is Gustavus, but I think it means "vagueness" in German.)
Andy and I also recently wrote a Hawaii-based action/comedy screenplay together called "The Paradise Effect." (That's when Andy disclosed privately to me that he was legendary.) Our screenplay has sent Hollywood into throes of indifference not reached since Ben Stiller allegedly proposed "Snakes on a Golf Cart" as a prequel to a movie of a similar name.
Anyway, now that all my shameless name-dropping is finished, I can go back to plugging "Laughs For Lions" which, though it sounds strange, really is marvelous. Tickets are $30 but only through advance sales. To order tickets, call 528-1073 or e-mail LaughsforLions@aol.com.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org