Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2022 – Day 1 – The New Guard… Not!

Yes, I did make it here.

And, yes, it sucks again – and it’s just the first night. I am dictating this to my assistant, Vicky Adler-Modry at 1:30am on July 6th.

There was drunkening tonight at Tha Drankin’ Hole (thanks to the fucking greatest bartender on the planet – Vin Tran – read the past posts at the bottom to prove his legendary status) and this may not come out as coherent – but Vicky has learned over the years how to translate from drunk to English so we’ll see how it goes.

That said, it was an epic night of old white men drinking heavily and continuing to be out-of-touch with everyone, basically, the world. (And I include myself in that description – and I’m not an out-of-touch hypocrite – I’m in an in-touch hypocrite.)

I arrived at Tha Drankin’ Hole with two twenties and a ten burning a hole in my pocket (movie nerds will get that reference) and excited to see my great friend Vin.

Vin Tran: Mr. Khan – so great to see you again!

I then checked my wallet and, turns out, I was a little light on cash.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Vin, how’s my credit here? I seem to be a little light.

Vin Tran: Your credit is fine, Mr. Khan. And, not to worry, Herb Allen is picking up the tab.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Normally, I would appreciate that, Vin, but Herbie Allen has stiffed me so often on poker bets, golf bets, personal loans… if you ever give him a dollar, he will try to pay you back in expired South African Kougarands.

Vin Tran: Well, this one is on the house.

I barely got one sip of my perfect dirty martini from Vin when Bob Chapek came into the bar and sat next to me – even though there were several empty barstools further away from me available.

Bob Chapek: Is it safe?

Khan Manka, Jr.: The fuck.

Bob Chapek: Just kidding, I know it’s not safe. Can I buy you a drink, Khan?

Khan Manka, Jr.: Supposedly, Herb Allen is picking up the tab.

Bob Chapek: (laughs) – Have you ever played poker with that prick?

Khan Manka, Jr.: I was just saying that! He has always been a dine and dash kind of guy.

Bob Chapek: Bartender, Johnny Walker Blue – double.

Vin Tran stares at Bob Chapek, confused.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Bob, you didn’t say the magic word.

Bob Chapek: Magic word.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Gay.

Bob Chapek: Ha ha, ha. This is Idaho, Khan, you can’t say “gay” here either but where’s the media pointing that out?

Khan Manka, Jr.: Touche.

Bob Chapek: So how’s your year looking… oh, fuck.

Bob Iger entered – seemingly on a cloud – not really touching the floor and approached the bar.

Bob Iger: Vin Tran, you son of a bitch, so great to see you!

They embraced.

Vin Tran: Mr. Iger–

Bob Iger: ‘Bob,’ you know that.

Vin Tran: Bob, my favorite – what will it be.

Bob Iger: When in Sun Valley, and my favorite bartender from Vietnam is here – bring on the Mekong River Eel Wine.

Vin Tran: We keep it in stock just for you, Mr. Bob.

Bob Iger put several hundred dollar bills on the bar.

Bob Iger: Keep the change.

Vin Tran: Mr. Herb Allen is covering the bill this week.

Bob Iger: Herb Allen, what a guy! He always picks up the check! Hi Khan… Bob… Chapek.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Hi Bob. How’s retirement treating you?

Bob Iger: Retirement?! I’ve never been more busy. All those charities aren’t going to philanthropize themselves!.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Still hanging from that bar?

Bob Iger: Four hours a day. Keeps me young.

Bob Chapek: Are you just here for the hikes and golf? I can’t imagine you have any business interest here.

Bob Iger: That’s the problem with you, Bob. You can’t IMAGINE. How’s the happiest place on earth?

Bob Chapek: Vin, I’ll have another.

Khan Manka, Jr.: Guys, come on, we’re all moguls. Enjoy it. I hear Herbie is planning a trivia night tonight. That could be fun.

Bob Iger: Vin, keep the river eel shit coming.

I had both Bobs from Disney on either side of me and needed a distraction before this became a full man-on-man pathetic slap fight. And… thank God, I got one in spades.

Rupert Murdoch entered the bar.

Rupert Murdoch is 91 but appeared no older than 90. He is newly-single from his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, and, it appeared, he was ready to mingle.

Rupert Murdoch: Motherfucking, Bob and Bob… and Khan!

Khan Manka, Jr.: Mick Jagger called. He wants his ex-wife back.

Rupert Murdoch: No, he doesn’t. That’s the fucking problem. Are we drinking?

Khan Manka, Jr.: Yeah.

Rupert Murdoch: Are you my wingman tonight?

Khan Manka, Jr.: For who? Sheryl Sandberg. There aren’t many women who come to this conference.

Rupert Murdoch: I mean a waitress, a valet – anything that moves.

Khan Manka, Jr.: No, not your wingman.

Over the next two hours, the Bobs, Rupert and I drank heavily. I didn’t learn much about what was happening at their businesses other than they truly think they are on top of it – so no need for new blood.

Manka Bros. has always looked to the future and have lead the way with every new innovation that the other studios either stole or copied exactly. We’re even starting a podcast division!

But I look at the Bobs and Rupert and his kids and all the other Hollywood moguls and fear we’re leaving generations of fans behind.

I can’t retire because my CFO is an Artificial Intelligence machine – Barb (innovation!) – and all my number twos keep leaving for “better jobs” (their words).

So, I’m managing this shit down until I live out my days in my house in the Seychelles.

Herb Allen (speaking of out of touch) came into the bar and made a brief painful speech about the future of some sort of bullshit.

Herb Allen: We are on the precipice of… blah blah blah…

Preach on, 84-year-visionary.

The tech CEOs, who are destroying the world’s mental health, entered a few minutes later – as robots… OK, just Zuckerberg – not drinking and really only there to try to destroy the boomer moguls in trivia.

Good luck, jack fuck!

A local actor in a regional production of ‘Ragtime’ – Jerome Todd – was the one tasked with running the trivia night to a group of drunken billionaires. Being one of the only actors of color to have a theater job in Idaho was an impressive feat – not that it meant anything to Rupert or Barry Diller who were just hoping to guess the name of the dog in ‘Wizard of Oz’ before the tech nerds.

If nothing happens tomorrow that is interesting (future of streaming, theatrical and television), I will recount the disaster tonight that was Trivia at Tha Drankin’ Hole.

Khan Manka, Jr. – Chairman & CEO – Manka Bros. StudiosThe World’s Largest Media Company

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2022 – Day 2 – Shit Storm

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2021

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2019

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2018

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2017

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2016

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2015

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2014

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2013

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2012

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2011

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2010

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2009

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Conference – 2008

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