Mr. Hollywood and His Girl

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald/May 2, 1940

(By Their Idiosyncrasies Shall Ye Know Them)

If you’re startled out of your wits in a restaurant by suddenly hearing a guy whistle and hoarsely yell, “Hey, babe!”—there’s no doubt about it. He’s that great lover, Mickey Rooney . . . . If he’s the saddest looking man in a night club, it’s Jack Benny, the comedian . . . If you ask her what her favorite joke is and she shocks you out of your shoes with her answer, she’s Carole Lombard! . . . If he’s tall and handsome and he signs his autograph “Cary Grant,” he’s Errol Flynn! . . . If you see a guy in a service station insisting on pouring the gas into his car himself, he’s Wayne Morris . . . If she’s wearing the craziest-looking hat you’ve ever seen, it could be any girl at all—but the odds are a hundred to one she’s Rosalind Russell.

If he’s gabbing about General U. S. Grant, he may have his back to you, but you can bet it’s Pat O’Brien . . . If she’s studying the menu through a lorgnette, she’s Ruby Keeler . . . If he suddenly pulls a little flute out of his pocket in a night club during a lull and starts playing it, he’s Reggie Gardiner . . . If he’s wearing a college fraternity pin, it’s not Rudy Vallee—it’s Walter Connolly . . . If she’s wearing Vallee’s fraternity pin, she’s “Pat” Dane . . . If he’s decked out in a yachting outfit and calling everybody “Old boy,” it’s Edmund Goulding, the director of “Til We Meet Again” . . . If there are only two pictures on the walls, one of Napoleon and the other of Zanuck, then you’re in Gregory Ratoff’s office.

If he’s tall and lanky and reading the comic strips in a night club—he’s Jimmy Stewart . . . If he asks the orchestra leader to play “Star Dust,” his favorite tune, it’s Allen Jones . . . If you hear the lads at Metro Whistle as a girl in a sweater ankles by, she’s not necessarily Lana Turner. More likely she’s Judy Garland . . . If he’s fast asleep at Chasen’s while everyone around him is chattering noisily, it’s Alfred Hitchcock, the round British director . . . If you hear a high-pitched laugh in the next room that could pierce a London fog, don’t bother going in to look, it’s Margot Stevenson . . . If he’s picking his teeth, scratching the side of his nose, or breaking up a cigarette holder in a night club, he’s Gary Cooper . . . If she’s riding up front in her limousine beside the chauffeur, she’s Fannie Brice.

If he glares at you when you ogle his wife, he’s Walter Wanger—and with a pretty wife like Joan Bennett, you can’t blame him . . . If he’s reciting poetry to the guests at his table in a night club, it’s not Gene Fowler or Clifford Odets, he’s Nick the Greek, the famed dice connoisseur . . . If he’s scratching Rosalind Russell’s back in a night club he probably is John McClain . . . If she’s trying to talk a cop out of a speed ticket, the odds are she’s Loretta Young . . . If he refuses to join a card game because there are women in it, he’s Charles Boyer . . . If he strolls around a night club with a camera, taking snapshots of the celebrities, he’s not a tourist. He’s Laurence Oliver . . . If he looks like the tourists’ conception of  a movie director (puttees, etc.) that’s who he is—Cecil Blount DeMille . . . If he bears a strange resemblance to Fred Astaire—but has less hair, he’s Fred Astaire . . . If she has rouge in her nostrils to make them look larger, she’s Hedy Lamarr.

If she acknowledges an introduction with a bow instead of shaking hands, she’s the youngest of the glamour girls, Shirley Temple . . . If he orders applesauce in a night club, he’s Robert Taylor . . . If the Rolls Royce is the oldest in town then Charley Chaplin and Paulette Goddard are inside . . . If he goes behind the soda fountain at a drug store and makes his own sandwich, it’s Jimminy Cricket, alias Cliff Edwards . . . If he’s the first—or the only man in the room—to rise when the orchestra plays “America,” it’s not George M. Cohan, or Harry Warner. He’s Brian Aherne, the Britisher.

If she invites the street urchins in for a soda, the Lady Bountiful is Joan Crawford . . . If she’s wearing a low-cut evening gown and there’s a mole on her back—if the back is the prettiest you’ve ever seen, she’s Ann Sheridan . . . If you see a man in a marine uniform trying to recruit marines, he’s Woody Van Dyke, the director . . . If he’s driving his girl around, the town on a motorcycle, he’s Edgar Bergen . . . If an unlighted cigar stub wobbles up and down in his mouth while he’s talking, the speaker is Ernst Lubitsch . . . If he’s asking the chef for a recipe, he’s Leo Carillo . . . If she’s mailing some letters and has forgotten to put on stamps—she’s Anita Louise.

If he strolls debonairly into a night club wearing a full dress suit and a yachting cap, he could be either of two guys—Frank Morgan or Bill Gargan . . .  If she asks the headwaiter for some garlic to rub on her French bread—she’s Jeanette MacDonald . . . If she trips on the running board while getting out of her car at a preview, it would have to be Gracie Allen . . . If he keeps his hands covered up with white mittens, he’s not Leopold Stokowski—he’s William Dieterle, the director with a phobia about germs . . . If he serves liquor to the best people in town, but doesn’t touch a drop himself, or if he’s drinking one coke after another, he’s Billy Wilkerson, the Hollywood Reporter owner . . . If the joint is closed and he’s still there, it’s Jack Oakie.

If she is jitterbugging on the dance floor and looks grown up enough to know better, she’s Dietrich . . . If he’s driving his car and his chauffeur is siting idly beside him, it’s Joe Pasternack, the producer . . . If she’s just finished an onion sandwich, and her escort doesn’t complain or insist that she chew some gum, she’s Priscilla Lane . . . If she’s entertaining friends in a restaurant with an imitation of a barking dog, she’s Olivia De Havilland . . . If he’s wearing the loudest shirts and ties in town he’s the Casper Milquetoast of the screen, Roland Young . . . If he jumps over to the extreme left when the kodakers start shooting pictures so his name will appear first in the captions (reading from left to right) he’s Ken Murray.

If the hatcheck girls at a night club are trying on an expensive fur wrap it’s Joan Crawford’s and she’s given them permission to do it . . . If she has a British flag painted on her right thumbnail, she Binnie Barnes . . . If he walks into a night club with an open shirt and no tie, he’s George Brent, who thinks night clubs are phony-bolonus . . . If the lady with him calls him “Sweetie Pie” the lady is his wife, and “Sweetie Pie” is Bogeyman Boris Karloff . . . If he draws cute little bunnies on the paper napkins and hands one to you, he’s Peter Lorre . . . If he taps you on the back in a night club, hands you a stockinged foot and asks you to tickle it—don’t be alarmed, he’s just Groucho Marx.

If he orders champagne for all the photographers in a night club and thanks them for not kodaking him with a girl, he’s Howard Hughes, the millionairman . . . If she is making a fuss about the doors being open and insists on having them closed the lady is Norma Shearer . . . If he’s wearing a winter overcoat on a hot summer’s day and is carrying a gold pill case in his vest pocket it’s Sidney Skolsky, the hypochondriac . . . If she drives her auto through a red light, she’s Penny Singleton . . . If she’s swimming in a pool with nothing but trunks on—she’s Garbo.

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