Summer Signup 2010

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This is Rob Long with Martini Shot on KCRW.

The best way to get money in Hollywood is to act like you don't need it. That's the logic, I think, behind giving millionaire celebrities lots of cool, free swag just for announcing award nominees or showing up at a charity function. On the way home from some swank event, inside every expensive car gliding away from the port cochere – or whatever that's called, let's call it an awning, but an expensive one – there's the deafening sound of tissue paper being ripped apart, bags being emptied and turned out, as whoever is in the passenger seat – and, occasionally, the driver's seat, too – tears open the gift bag to find out how much free stuff they got.

I went to an event once and they did the unthinkable – they ran out of gift bags. When word got out that the gift bag supply was running low, there was an urgent, insistent exodus of famous names and faces to the valet parking stand – so many, in fact, that the big-time executive who was getting the “Humanitarian of the Year” award, or something – it doesn't really matter, he wasn't an executive for much longer, and he certainly wasn't a humanitarian – well, he was left alone in a near-empty ballroom with just his immediate employees and the kid in the wheelchair in whom he had pretended to be interested for the past few weeks of photo sessions for the program, which leads me to this:

Aren't you glad that here at KCRW, we're honest? We're not pretending to be too cool for school. We're not beating around the bush. We need money. We need some of your money. And if possible, we'd like it today. Now, actually.

There's an odd sort of existential thing happening right now – we need our listeners to pledge something – we're not picky; we'll take whatever you think you can afford – but if you can hear this, it means you are a listener. You're listening right now. So only you know if you've given or not. Only you know if it's really about the gift bags, the free stuff. Only you know if you're the kind of person who races to the valet stand, or the kind of person who doesn't.

Look, KCRW offers the richest mix of music, talk, culture, and fun you can find on the radio dial, or on the web. KCRW is not just about cutting edge content, it's also about getting that content to you – via podcast, live streaming, iPhone app, whatever – in the most exciting and up to date manner possible.

So don't race to the valet. Become a member. Call us right now at 800-600-KCRW. That's 800-600-5279. Or online, anytime, at



Rob Long