I’ll never forget the time we got a janitor on video beating the crap out of Tim Allen’s Jungle 2 Jungle standee with a broom. He must have had some deep-seated Home Improvement based trauma. The capper? He did this shirtless, howling like a monkey.
A standee is the cardboard thingy you see in the lobby of the movie theater that advertises the film. Some are fairly complicated: the one for Independence Day had a countdown clock, the X-Files one had lights inside for that eerie glow, Disney ones have a lot of moving parts, but the majority are just life-size or better renderings of the movie poster.
The Jungle 2 Jungle standee was a life-sized cut out of Tim the Tool Man and an anonymous movie kid dressed in a loincloth and some feathers. We had janitors come in from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. to clean the theaters. This is a pretty low-paying gig that has more than your share of grossness to it, so I must give third shift janitors their props. People – as they say – are pigs.
Bear in mind the company I worked for – Kerasotes – had only recently installed the cameras when this happened. The guy must have been borderline to start with. Maybe the cardboard Tim was making bad jokes nobody else could hear, I don’t know. All I know is what I saw on tape afterward:
This hulking guy with an over-sized belly and cro-mag forehead doing what looks like a Tarzan (no sound on the tape so I’m guessing) yell. He swings his broom over his head and brings it down on the Tool Man. Then he starts to go all Wrestlemania on it. He never had much of an explanation for what he’d done. He just didn’t think he’d get caught. Now, I understand not knowing that you’re being taped. But what I don’t get is how was he going to explain the sudden disappearance of the promo item before the movie had even finished its run? Needless to say, he was fired.
The Movie Mark: Thanks for the inside look, Amy. It really makes me wish that I had worked at a movie theater as a kid. Free movies, free popcorn, and plenty of chances to observe weirdos doing weirdo things. I’d take a life-size 5-foot tall Tom Cruise standee and place it in front of the R-rated screens with a sign saying, “you must be this tall to enter.” Would’ve been awesome.
Moral of the Story: Don’t take your aggressions out on a cardboard standee; find a real person instead (just kidding, kiddos).