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Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog: August 2010 Archives

August 2010 Archives

khan_manka_house_Seychelles.jpgAs I said last year (and every year), this town is dead until after Labor Day and it's pointless for someone like me to still be here working.

So... I'm leaving this afternoon for my house in the Seychelles and will return on September 7th. 

Please don't contact me unless there is some type of explosion or fire at the studio... or if something crazier happens - like one of our movies DOESN'T fail!

My plane will be making a short stop at Teterboro in New Jersey to pick up Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.  After that, my various cellphones and gadgets will be turned off until I return to Burbank.

Anyone who tries to reach me will be fired.  Anyone who does (somehow) reach me will be killed.   

Keep working.  We've had another terrible year and everyone is to blame!

See you in September!

[REMEMBER:  Labor Day is NOT holiday at Manka Bros.  Just because I'm off doesn't mean everyone is!]

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company
manka_bros_yacht.jpgGood morning from the Canary Islands! 

I'm on the Manka Bros. Employee Yacht (The King Khan) which was paid for by all your hard work! 

As a reminder, because it is the "Employee Yacht" (paid for by a slight deduction from your weekly paychecks), one of you will be eligible to host your very own party for your friends or colleagues on this very yacht.  The date set for this party is, I believe, a Tuesday in February - so be sure and sign up for the drawing.

Because we're deep in the dog days of August, I am out of Hollywood and off the coast of Africa. 

I was finally able to arrange for my Monthly Mogul Book Club Meeting which took place yesterday.  Unfortunately, it was Rupert Murdoch's time to host the meeting which meant it was either going to be in Rupert's crappy North Hollywood apartment or his ridiculous excuse for a yacht.

rupert_murdoch_boat_the_chase_carey.jpgSince we're all out of town, we decided to meet on his boat - his shitty old rickety sea trawler in desperate need of a paint job.  He has named it "The Chase Carey".  It was once called "The Peter Chernin" but those letters appear to have been violently scratched out.

But Rupert didn't get to be Rupert by buying fancy mansions and yachts.  He got where he is today by eating mac & cheese and drinking water from the tap in his $750 / month North Hollywood apartment.

Rupert's boat was anchored near the run-down port city of Naples, Italy.  Since he didn't have a helipad on his boat, we all had to deal with the inconvenience of getting there by either jetski or motorboat. 

In attendance was Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Jeff Zucker, Ben Silverman (replacing Harvey Weinstein - who officially lost his mogul status), Bob Iger, Sumner Redstone (by phone), Les Moonves and myself.  (We really wanted to try and get some female moguls involved in the group but those are really hard to come by these days.  The only person close to mogul status is what's her name from Facebook - that chick from the Herb Allen Sun Valley Conference.)

Anyway, because I had such a hard time remembering what happened at the last book club meeting once we started doing Slivovitz shots, this time I brought a little recorder to document the event.  My assistant, Vicky, was kind enough to transcribe it and post it here:


Mogul Book Club Meeting - August 9, 2010 - Rupert Murdoch's Boat "The Chase Carey"

Rupert: Murdoch:  Thanks for coming.  Thanks Khan for pulling this all together.  I don't have anything other than Keystone Beer on the boat, so hopefully you all got my note about bringing your own drinks.  I do have a cheese plate and few leftover crackers from our TV Upfront Presentation in May. 

girl_with_the_dragon_tattoo.jpgOur book this month is "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".  I would like to thank Sumner Redstone for providing us all with a new iPad with the book preloaded onto it.

Sumner Redstone (over speaker phone):  I didn't provide any such thing!  What the fuck?  Who sent you all iPads?  I'm not in the iPad giving business!  Who sent it?  I'm not gonna kill that person - I just want to talk to him.

Bob Iger:  I got it from Philippe Dauman.  He signed both your names and said "Sorry he couldn't make it."

Sumner Redstone (over speaker phone):  Dauman?  I'm gonna kill him. 

Jeff Zucker:  Can we fucking talk about the stupid book?  I've got a meeting on Brian Roberts' yacht off Capri in two hours.

Les Moonves:  Do you still work for him or has he fired you?  Nikki Finke hasn't been clear about this.

Jeff Zucker:  Look, Leslie... I fire - I don't get fired.  Capisce?

Barry Diller:  I thought you said you had a cheese plate?

Rupert Murdoch:  Maybe Lachlan didn't set it out.  There's a cooler there on floor with ice in it.  It may be in there.

Sumner Redstone (over speaker phone):  Are we going to talk about the book?  This "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a fiery bitch.  I think I could do a show with her of some kind.

Bob Iger:  It's fiction, Sumner.

Sumner Redstone (over speaker phone):  I'll 'fiction' you - right up your ass.

Barry Diller:   There's no cheese in this cooler, Rupert.  The ice is all frosted together.  Did you have fish in here?

girl_with_the_dragon_tattoo_2.jpgKhan Manka, Jr.:  The author of that book is Swedish.  He's pretty hot right now.

Jeff Zucker:  He's dead, you moron.

Khan Manka, Jr.: 
Oh, then I guess he's pretty cold right now.  Ha.  Ha.

[Lots of laughs in the room.]

Barry Diller: 
Rupert!  Did you have fish in this cooler?  Fuck it.  Ben go back to Naples and pick up some cheese.  This is bullshit.

Jeff Zucker:  This IS bullshit.  I have to go. 

Bob Iger: 
So we're not talking about the book?

Les Moonves:  That's fine with me.  I didn't get a chance to read it. 

Ben Silverman: 
I got the coverage faxed to Diddy's yacht last night but I haven't been able to peruse it.

Sumner Redstone (over speaker phone):  I'll 'peruse' you - right up your ass!

Rupert Murdoch:
  There's a movie coming out based on the book.  I'll just watch that.  What studio's putting that out?

Khan Manka, Jr.:

Rupert Murdoch:  Fuckers ain't got "Avatar" though, do they?  Maybe we should invite Michael Lynton to the next meeting.

Jeff Zucker:  Is he really a mogul?  You never hear about him in the press.

Rupert Murdoch:  Good point.  He's out.  Please leave your booze behind, I'm having a few people over tonight.

[Everyone leaves the boat.]

Sumner Redstone (over speaker phone):  Hello?  Are we talking about the book?  Hello?  What the fuck is this?   I can wait longer than you.  I'm gonna live forever...


khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company

harry_manka.jpgNormally, I'm too busy to talk about my father's death (which happened on this date in 1976) but since I am at my Montauk beach house looking out at the Atlantic Ocean with a very nice bottle of Slivovitz, I have a little bit of time (and am drunk enough) to write 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 was called Hollywood's Dark Lord for his habit of holding certain actors and writers hostage in the attic of Building 23 on the studio lot (dubbed "The Tower") until they gave in to his demands. 

Harry Manka 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, smoked three packs of unfiltered Camel Turkish Gold cigarettes every day and smoked a box of cigars every day. 

Dad-Dad loved 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.

manka bros studio_1918_small.jpgBut 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.

On the day of his death, 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 more impressive than being in a garage band.  No matter how good our version of "Smoke On The Water" was. 

So, here we are, 34 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
gay_marriage_rights.jpgYes, even though I am still at my Montauk house on vacation (recovering from Chelsea Clinton's wedding) people still think it's okay to bother me. 

So last night, I received an urgent call from Natalie Kim - the head of Manka Bros. Human Resources.  She says she has received hundreds of emails from employees who wanted a clarification of Manka Bros.' Gay Marriage Policy

Even though I am heading out the door to play squash with Mort Zuckerman, I will take a couple of moments to address this issue.

Yes, Manka Bros. supports gay marriage. 

Married employees (gay or straight) all receive the same benefits and perks (i.e., health coverage, 401K, 10% off Studio Store merchandise, free yogurt Fridays, etc.).

danny_kaye.jpgIn fact, Manka Bros. has supported gay marriage for over 50 years - ever since my father, the asshole Harry Manka, signed a talent contract with Danny Kaye.  Part of the deal was that he would be allowed to be gay inside the studio and actually have a husband and a house on the lot. 

[Manka Bros. Corporate Legal Disclaimer: There is no proof that Danny Kaye was gay - he was just "allowed to be gay".]

Because that experiment worked so well and kept Mr. Kaye so happy, it soon became Manka Bros.' company policy - anyone who wanted to be gay and be married while at work was allowed to be.  There were some strict guidelines though: 

  • No sex on Midwest Street (only in certain alleyways of the Greenwich Village backlot set would sex be tolerated);
  • And no showtunes or cabaret music of any kind to played during company events (this remains in effect and will never be repealed as long as I draw a breath).  Headphones are okay, I just don't want to hear about it.

So, while many of you may be rejoicing in the overturning of Prop. 8, take comfort in the fact that it was always okay to be gay (and married) at Manka Bros. 

In fact, I think this is a great opportunity for some of you in a loveless sham of a heterosexual marriage (i.e., Jay McBee) to come out and try to find the same-sex man or woman of your dreams. 

Frankly, why anyone would want to be married is beyond me.  (My three ex-wives wanted to be married to me so they could all get rich in the divorce... gold digging bitches.)  But at Manka Bros., everyone is at least given that right.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company

chelsea_clinton_wedding_photo_1.jpgNow I know what it would be like to live in the Iraqi Green Zone.  It would suck. 

I am now safely on the deck of my Montauk house after a successful air lifting out of Rhinebeck yesterday afternoon. 

Before I was allowed on the chopper, a few of us were given one final harsh debriefing by the General in charge of wedding security about never repeating what we witnessed this past weekend. 

Ted Danson was sitting next to me and said it reminded him of the St. Crispin's Day speech from Shakespeare's Henry V.  I asked him 'What the fuck does Becker know about Shakespeare?'  Ted told me he was Ted Danson and not 'Becker''Becker' was just a role he played.  I then called him 'Becker' again just to end the conversation.  I don't even know why he was invited to the wedding.

[As a side note, I'm very surprised not to see more studio moguls at the wedding.  Other than Ted Turner, Steven Spielberg and me, it was a pretty lame turnout.  I don't know why I was expecting it to be more like Herb Allen's Sun Valley Conference.  Oh well, I suppose I'm honored just to have made the cut.]

I had my assistant, Vicky, send me a copy of the St. Crispin's Day speech and it really was a rewritten version of that speech.  'Becker's' not such an idiot after all.  It went something like this:

'We few, we happy few...
We band of brothers (and sisters) who were
Witness to Chelsea and Marc's great day
Must never (NEVER) repeat that which so many in the media
Would give their lives to know the truth... etc. etc.')'

Because of the stupidity of that speech and the over the top security measures, I am forced to break from my band of elite brothers and sisters and will reveal a few details about the (for the most part) very pleasant wedding I attended this weekend.

bowzer_from_sha_na_na.jpgFirst of all, somebody could have told me Bowzer is no longer in Sha Na Na!  As I mentioned last week, once I heard Sha Na Na was the wedding band, I was very excited.  I'm a huge Bowzer fan.  Dude does not get the credit he deserves as a pioneer of rock and roll. 

In his place was something called the "Bowzer Experience" - it was three different guys dressed as Bowzer in different stages of his life (Kid, Young Adult and Old Bowzer). 

Former President Bill Clinton was also very upset that he was having to pay for a 'sub-par Sha Na Na'.  He leaned over to me at one point and said:  "I think there's only one guy from the original Sha Na Na.  This is bullshit.  These guys look like they just came from a State Fair!"

That said, once they ripped into Chuck Berry's 'My Ding-a-ling' there wasn't a spot to be had on the dance floor.  Everybody (from Madeleine Albright to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich) was hopping and shaking to the music. 

Other highlights included: 

  • Bill Clinton's heartfelt toast to Chelsea and Marc.  While it was a beautiful, well-spoken toast, I was surprise that Korbel was the 'champagne' of choice.  Supposedly, it has been Chelsea's favorite since college.

  • I also felt having White Castle hamburgers as an appetizer was a little too low rent - more Arkansas than Hudson Valley (though that was the only appetizer they ran out of).

  • The Whoopee Cushions placed in the chairs at the wedding party's table was also a bizarre choice (though it did get all the intended the laughs and really loosened up the room).  It just seemed inappropriate for such a refined event.  But maybe that's why most people in this country still love the Clintons.  No one laughed louder than Bill when they all sat down. 

  • Most of the drunkenness was kept to a minimum.  I think the guests were well aware that any falls into the wedding cake or slips on the dance floor or throwing up on the Queen of Norway was going to haunt them forever.  So it was, on a whole, a very boring night.
david_blaine.jpgThere was, however, one very cool thing which happened toward the end of the evening.  The illusionist David Blaine was hired to go from table to table to do close-up magic, levitate the guests, etc. (he was certainly making a lot of Bourbon disappear). 

As one final trick, he asked everyone to  take off their right shoe.  "Now look on the bottom."

Taped to the bottom of everyone's right shoe was a $100 gift card from Best Buy with a note:  "Thanks so much for making our dream day a reality.  XXOO Chelsea and Marc."

As corny as it was, you can now get a Blu-ray player for around $100.  So I know what I'm getting with my gift card.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company

About Khan Manka, Jr.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. StudiosKhan 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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