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Satire: Mel Call!

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I got my Mel call this morning.

It was surprisingly early – only 6 AM in Hollywood, 9 by me. Of course, I just assume West Coast – Mel could have been calling from anywhere. It was a 666 area code, a cell phone I guess. But the signal was five by five.

"Hello, is this Jonathan?"

See, right there I knew it wasn't somebody I knew. My friends call me Jon, my family, Jonny. But something in the caller's voice told me it wasn't a sales pitch or collection agency. (They usually ask for "Mister Sobble.") Also, the guy sounded strangely familiar.

"Speaking," I said redundantly.

"This is Mel Gibson. We've never actually met, but – maybe you've seen some of my movies?"

Actually, we had met. Mel had stolen my girlfriend during a locally famous dust-up at the Wyoming State Fair back in the 80s. But I couldn't really expect a big star like him to remember – it was probably nothing to him. Anyway, water under the bridge and all that.

"Sure," I said. "You're that crazy guy from Lethal Weapon."

"Right, right, good on ya. Anyway, I got a lot of calls to make so I'll get straight to the point." He took a deep, sexiest-man-alive kind of breath. "I'm calling every Jew in the world to personally apologize for my recent conduct. It's not a plea bargain or community service or anything like that – I just feel it's the right thing to do."

"Thanks, Mel," I said, tearing up. He might be a crazed anti-Semitic non-Holocaust-denier-denier, but I've always said he's a great actor.

"I said some things," he went on, "well – you've said some things, we've all said some things" – here he barked one of those cute little half-Aussie, half-nuts giggles – "but I really stuck my foot in it this time and I wanted to personally apologize to you. Ah, Jonathan."

"I appreciate the gesture, Melvin," I said, "but you know, in my experience, what people say when they're drunk and angry is a reflection of what's in their deepest soul. They don't blurt out things they don't mean. It's exactly the opposite. They say things they really think but normally would put a lid on."

There was a long pause. I could hear Mel breathing. I was imagining him with face paint, on a horse. What a guy. What a stand-up, sit-down guy.

"What's that you say?" he mumbled. I heard a clattering noise, like a pint of Australian-for-beer hitting the floor.

"Mel," I said. "Mel, are you drunk?"

"Well, sure," he replied. "A little. You know how much pressure I'm under, mate. It's like, probably the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I mean it could be my career at stake here. So, ah – are you, ah – gonna accept the apology?"

I stroked my weak Jewish chin. Mel probably couldn't hear the stroking – but I did wonder if maybe he could. I hadn't shaved in two days so I was kind of stubbly, and you want to look cool when you're talking to Mel Gibson. Stubbly, or something. Even just on the phone. Wouldn't you? Guys?

"Let me think about this a minute, Mel," I said slowly. "You're apologizing for making some fairly vicious anti-Semitic statements. Are you also apologizing for not speaking out against your father's Holocaust denials? ‘Cause, you know, we haven't forgotten about that. What do you say, Braveheart? I'm not one of your groupies. With me it's all or nothing."

"Jonathan," Mel said. "Will you hold on a second?"

"I'm pretty busy – will this take long?"

"No way. Be right back. I swear."

Mel put his expressive hand over the phone and I heard a muted conversation on the other side of it. Probably talking to one of those Jewish lawyers or managers he keeps on staff. I couldn't make out much, but I did hear Mel growl something about "trying to Jew him down."

Twenty or thirty seconds later he came back on the line. "I'll make you a deal, Jonathan. "I'll admit my dad is wrong, if you – hey, Jonathan, do you know I'm a big supporter of animal rights?"

"No, I didn't know that," I said, wondering where he was going with this.

"Well, I am. Now, if you promise to eat only vegetarian matzoh from now on, I'll admit my dad was wrong to deny the whatchamacallit."

"Vegetarian matzoh?"

"Yah. You know – made without the blood of Christian babies."

"Oh, that kind. Nah, it really doesn't have any flavor." And I hung up. I had no more time for that drunken idiot.

Ain't that just like an Aussie. God, I hate those people.

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. He writes the blog Park Odyssey, for which he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City—over a thousand of them. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. By night he's a working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • Josh

    “Yah. You know – made without the blood of Christian babies.”

    That was the most hilarious line I’ve read in a long time!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    I am pleased to tell you this article is being featured in the Culture Focus today, August 28th.

    Diana Hartman
    Culture Editor

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com brad schader

    Well done. Funny as hell.

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    I’m sure you’re right, Snark – that’s the cool thing about satire – you can skip the research and get stuff wrong. ;-)

  • http://www.prrag.com John Guilfoil

    Absolutely hilarious…

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com/ Howard Dratch

    Very funny article. When you wrote that “… he’s a great actor”, that was satire too, I hope. If so, it was totally excellent.

  • http://www.gohah.blogspot.com Gordon Hauptfleisch

    Jocularity, jocularity! And–I don’t know how you do this–it reads very stubbly, too.

  • Dawn

    Now that’s some fucking satire there folks!!!! Well done man, well done!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Good on you mate!

    That’s a nasty cut you got there, Jon. Do you mind if I send this to a Catholic friend of mine and see if she can’t get it published in a Catholic maagazine?

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    No, Ruvy, send it to whomever you want – this would be some kind of “liberal” Catholic magazine, I guess?…

  • Pope Benedict Arnold

    I would be surprised if you really are Jewish, because this isn’t really all that funny. I would expect more from any self-effacing Jew. I will publish this in our next publication of the
    The Vatican Today.
    Thanks for your contribution.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Great satire, Jon…or may I call you Jonny. But of course Mel’s Australian–all those outback movies…don’t let facts get in the way of a solid point of view.

    Except…despite my well-known and beloved tagline, “In Jameson Veritas,” I’ve been thinking a lot about old Mel, because as a Jew, I want to wring his fucking neck. But we just saw “we were soldiers” again–a lot of religious symbolism and activity in that movie I hadn’t realized and all of it Catholic…but I regress…the point is, he is a great actor.

    I hate to admit this…but I’m forced to…”In Jameson Veritas” is wrong. There’ve been times when I’ve been drunk that I’ve said things in anger that I don’t believe, could never believe. And I’m a happy drunk usually…a few shots and I love the world…

    Yeah there’s the movie, there’s his Neanderthal father, there’s the police scene. I want him to do more than apologize to every Jew (I haven’t gotten my call yet)…I want him…I think he…I’ve got it. First, circumcism. No anesthesia. Second, kill a Christian child at Easter so we can have our Matzoh’s the way we like them, bathed with Christian blood. Third, grow long sideburns, wear a yarmulke and tallises for one year.

    That’s enough for now. Then I’ll consider forgiving him.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Stan the man

    Jon: I agree with almost everything, mate …. but there’s a glaring error here.

    Mel’s not an Aussie (except when it’s suited him).

    He’s a genuine, down-home, native-born American. In fact, he’s as American as apple pie – an upstate New Yorker, I believe.

    He came to Oz, from memory, in his early teens and lived and went to school not far from me. We are the same age and were acquaintances through a mutual friend before he became a Hollywood superstar.

    My understanding is that he never became an Australian citizen as doing so in those days meant you lost your US citizenship. He certainly is still a US citizen and travels on a US passport.

    His father (American, too, he said, almost too gleefully) is a very conservative Catholic and Mel might have picked up a few ideas there.

    So he’s one of yours, and really, mate, you’re quite welcome to keep him – although I suspect his contrition in relation to this is genuine.

    However, in my view the racist mouthing off was the lesser of his crimes. Plenty of drunks say and do things they normally wouldn’t and his own description of himself as an alcoholic speaks volumes.

    Perhaps we’ve got our priorities wrong: the fact that was drunk and driving around in a car should have been far more cause for concern, and no doubt would have been had he hit and killed someone.

    I don’t know how it is in the states, but here, driving under the influence is regarded as a serious criminal offence and depending on blood-alcohol levels and an offender’s level of recidivism, often means a jail sentence.

    Stupidity, however, just like in the US, only carries a punishment of severe and cringe-worthy embarrassment.

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Stan: Yeah, but it’d ruin my payoff line if I needed an asterisk! “Ain’t that just like an Aussie.* *Although often popularly identified as Australian, Mel Gibson was in fact born in the United States and remains an American citizen.”

    When you wrote “you’re quite welcome to keep him” you reminded me of the classic “racial draft” Chappelle sketch.

  • Stan Denham

    Jon: thanks mate… a hoot. Up there with Black Bush.

    We need to do one of those here, but it’s fraught given the touchy, multi-cultural/multi-racial nature of Australian society these days: however, the stereotyping of Englishmen remains legal (I believe you can still be prosecuted in Australia for not taking the piss out of the English at every available opportunity) so there’s still some leeway for fun.

    Also, they never complain.

  • Father Mel Brooks

    This parody isn’t even funny. The key to Jewish humor is self-parody not in Christian bashing. If Mel Brooks had called me up to apologize for saying that Jews caused all the wars in the world I would have responded that I was truly sorry to him for not asking him to be in Robin Hood Men in Tights. For after all stealing from the rich to give to the poor is what his drunk driving arrest was all about wasn’t it?

  • http://www.chancelucky.blogspot.com chancelucky

    Well done, very funny.

    I thought Mel had been out campaigning with George Allen Jr.

  • http://dan-traeger.blogspot.com Dan Traeger

    Oh my God what a hilarious piece.I laughed so hard I broke all my furniture. Nice job.

  • Scott Butki

    Great satire piece. Good job.