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King Of The Moguls: Harry Manka - 1883-1976 - Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog

King Of The Moguls: Harry Manka - 1883-1976

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harry_manka.jpgWell, I see the geeks at Manka Bros. Online have put up This Date In Manka History as the day my father died, August 5, 1976.  Normally, I'm too busy to talk about my father's death but I have a little time this morning as my masseuse is stuck in traffic.  So I have a few minutes (and a very nice Bloody Mary - thank you Cheryl) to talk about my dad.

Harry Manka was a real prick.  Not just to me but to all of my mothers (he had six wives - I've never really been sure which one was my real mother).  But people outside the family loved Harry Manka.  He had an amazing ability to stay alive.  Most people thought he would die from his sixth heart attack in 1958 - but he would go on to have three more and two strokes over the next 18 years.  He drank a bottle of Crown Royal every day.  He smoked three packs of unfiltered Camel Turkish Gold cigarettes every day.  He smoked a box of cigars every day.  All of these things made up for a very big personality and a very big asshole. 

He seemed to love horrible movies and television shows because he was constantly making them.  During the early 1970s, he nearly bankrupt our family and the studio with such gems as Escape From Satan's Planet and Black Illiad.

But this is not a day to piss on my father's grave.  This is a day to remember a man who co-founded the World's Largest Media Company (though it wasn't the largest when I took over in 1976) with my two Uncles - the great Khan Manka (Sr.) who died tragically in 1937 before I was born; and crazy Simeon Manka (1882 - 1958) who died on Hollywood Blvd. wearing only a sandwich board that read "Benny's World of Beef"

I vaguely remember the day of Harry Manka's death.  I received a call from C.J. Siegal, my dad's personal assistant, who told me he was killed on the golf course after being hit with an errant tee shot.  We knew nothing could kill my dad and suddenly he dies after being hit with a golf ball?  It was crazy.  To this day, no one has confirmed who hit the ball that killed my dad.  But we know.  He was playing with Bob Hope, Joey Levitch and President of the U.S. - GERALD FORDWho do YOU think killed Harry Manka?

king khan_3.jpgC.J. was horrified when I told him I wouldn't be able to come to the house later to be with the family because my band - King Khan - was getting ready for a very important gig at the Starlite Room in North Hollywood.  Plus, later that night I had tickets for Jefferson Starship at the Forum.  Being the son of a movie mogul, I always got backstage passes and nothing was going to stop me from using them.

The next day - August 6, 1976 - as per my father's will, I was named Chairman & CEO of Manka Bros. Studios.  I did not want this job.  I wanted to smoke dope and drop acid with my Hollywood friends.  I didn't want to wear shoes and go to an office.  I could feel that my band was really starting to take off.  But C.J. Siegal reasoned with me and said I could immediately sign my own band to the Manka Bros. Records label and record a real album.  This convinced me to take the job.  But after two weeks in that giant office with movie stars and directors begging you to make their movies, I quickly dropped the band and never recorded that album.  I realized being a media mogul is so much cooler than being in a garage band.  No matter how good our version of "Smoke On The Water" was. 

So, here we are, 33 years later, and Manka Bros. is the World's Largest Media Company

I'll leave you with one final thought - one of the last things my father ever said to me:  "If you're going to waste your life - go ahead and kill yourself.  I'll even give you the pills or the gun to do it!" - Harry Manka (1883-1976).

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

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About Khan Manka, Jr.
Khan Manka, Jr.Khan Manka, Jr. assumed the title of Chairman of the Board of Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company - following his father Harry Manka's death in 1976. Before that he was the member of several Southern California rock bands.



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