WHO'S ON VENTURA? REST OF L.A. CLINGS TO VALLEY AS NEEDED VAUDEVILLE PARTNER.Byline: Joseph Honig
GLANCE at some San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. secession polling and majority sentiment seems terribly clear: Greater Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. doesn't want to let go.
Maybe it's because Valley rebels lack organization.
Maybe woefully woe·ful also wo·ful
1. Affected by or full of woe; mournful.
2. Causing or involving woe.
3. Deplorably bad or wretched: inadequate campaign funds are to blame.
Or maybe the truth lies elsewhere, stuck between still-hazy arguments over tax hikes, tax breaks, the common good and self-determination.
It could be that frustrated Westside, Eastside and Central Los Angeles voters need an urban patsy, a civic foil.
Stylish Manhattanites lampoon outer boroughs to feel smarter and more accomplished than workaday residents of Queens or the Bronx.
In Canada, an entire nation feels smug and superior when stereotypes of quaint, unsophisticated Newfies - Newfoundlanders - inspire uproarious laughter.
In the annals of American humor American humor refers collectively to the conventions and common threads that tie together humor in the United States. It is often defined in comparison to the humor of another country - for example, how it is different from British humour or Canadian humour. , the San Fernando Valley is Brooklyn with a suntan, Buffalo in shorts and Cleveland in sandals, target of more one-liners than the late Henny Youngman
Henry "Henny" Youngman (March 16, 1906 – February 24, 1998) was a British-born American comedian and violinist famous for "one-liners," short, simple jokes ever uttered.
So funny. So convenient. Valley jokes allow denizens of, say, Silver Lake and Fairfax to feel downright cosmopolitan. Some Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, city (1990 pop. 31,971), Los Angeles co., S Calif., completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles; inc. 1914. The largely residential city is home to many motion-picture and television personalities. and Brentwood types hold sculpted sculpt
v. sculpt·ed, sculpt·ing, sculpts
1. To sculpture (an object).
2. To shape, mold, or fashion especially with artistry or precision: noses when anyone mentions Encino.
As for whippet-thin Westside hipsters, many would pierce cheeks and chins before admitting they were raised in Reseda.
Los Angeles needs the Valley the way Bud Abbott
William Alexander “Bud” Abbott (October 2, 1895 – April 24, 1974) was an American actor, producer and comedian born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. needed Lou Costello Lou Costello, born Louis Francis Cristillo, March 6, 1906 - March 3, 1959), was an American actor and comedian best known as half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott. , the way a young Dean Martin needed that prince of patsies, Jerry Lewis.
Somebody's got to take the pie in the face, suffer the pratfall or drown in seltzer.
To many Los Angeles voters, the Valley may be Cosmo Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld's fictional pal, a bumbling, delusional neighbor in nightmarish haberdashery. Yes, Kramer's amusing, they might concede, and it's wonderful to have him across the hall. But thank God we're not him. It's always great to have someone - or something - to make us feel better about who we are.
Back in postwar California, the Valley was without stigma. Jabs had yet to be thrown. It was a lush, splendid expanse of real estate that called to servicemen like a Rita Hayworth pinup pin·up
a. A picture, especially of a sexually attractive person, that is displayed on a wall.
b. A person considered a suitable model for such a picture.
Temperate climate. Palm trees. Fresh starts and first homes.
Someone even wrote a pop song about settling down in this middle-class paradise.
Movie stars were snapped at their Valley homes and ranches savoring the high life. Lucille Ball reigned as Queen of Chatsworth.
Then the roiling '60s arrived and American suburbia - its uniformity, its uneventfulness - became a whipping boy for culture czars.
The Valley, with its tract homes and often charmless modernism, was Public Enemy No. 1.
This despite the whole of L.A.'s prevailing image as a city without a city, the world's largest suburb.
But somehow, in the jokes, in the daily frustrations of metropolitan life, the Valley reminded the rest of Los Angeles that maybe things weren't so bad.
You want bad? Move to Van Nuys, Pacoima or Woodland Hills, the wise guys said. Move to the Valley.
You want gauche? Look at storied Ventura Boulevard style, screamed the fashion police: those vintage haircuts, gold chains and rhinestoned sweaters.
As if we never saw those looks in Los Feliz.
Somewhere along the way, the San Fernando Valley became an imaginary capital of bad taste, a fashion victim worthy of Mr. Blackwell's designer brickbats.
The insult, ``That's so Valley,'' became part of the California lexicon, a mainstay of comics everywhere.
From Passaic to Portland, the San Fernando Valley always leaves 'em laughing. Why not? Metaphorically speaking, it's the new Detroit.
I have in fact attended dinner parties and cocktail soirees where the Valley was gleefully glee·ful
Full of jubilant delight; joyful.
glee derided as simply a grim Los Angeles dormitory.
Even without stimulating conversation.
So should the Valley pack up and leave, a brace of L.A. schmoozers could be stuck without part of their golden city to disparage dis·par·age
tr.v. dis·par·aged, dis·par·ag·ing, dis·par·ag·es
1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle. See Synonyms at decry.
2. To reduce in esteem or rank. .
Somebody would have to find another whipping boy.
Could South Central fill the void? Who's kidding whom? Poverty and struggle are lousy comedic targets; it's hard to make fun of misfortune.
Downtown L.A.? No. Far too anonymous. Shaq might abandon the Staples Center.
Hollywood? Be serious. Tourists don't throng to punch lines. Anyway, Tinseltown's having its own vote to escape L.A.
If you believe those polls (though secessionists say they're gaining), it appears as if the Valley will be stuck inside Los Angeles for the time being.
It's so hard to let go of a patsy.
Patrick O'Connor/Staff Artist