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Paul Coates -- Confidential File, April 25, 1959

April 25, 2009 |  2:00 pm


Mash Notes and Comments

Paul_coates"Dear Mr. Coates,

"I am against smog and I understand a lot of other people, including Mayor Poulson, are against it too.

"Now you're for a lot of things and against a lot of things. And I've got to admit you aren't a bit bashful about saying so.

"But I've never heard you say anything pro or con about smog. Are you against it?" (signed) Rengam Blanco, El Monte.

-No, I believe what's good for General Motors is good for the country.


(Press release)

"Let's find a new star!

 "Put away the binoculars, stop gazing skyward and relax. It's not that kind of star. We're going to discover a new motion picture and television star, and we're leaving it all up to you. Isn't that an exciting thought?

April 25, 1959, Cover "All right now, Paul, feet up on the desk. Close your eyes because we're going star hunting in a very unconventional way. We've polled producers and directors on what qualifications they are looking for in a newcomer.

"We've put all these qualifications in a great big barrel which, with your imaginative permission, you'll let us bring into your office. With the use of more imagination on your part a tall, statuesque blond in an abbreviated spangled costume (like those 'Girl Fridays' on TV quiz shows wear) stands beside it.

"Now, with a long, graceful, swan-like arm she begins spinning the container.

"Now that our qualifications are mixed up really something good, let's begin the drawing. It's time for you to go to work, Mr. Coates.

"Stick your hand in the barrel and pull out a slip. Okay, what's it say?

"Height 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches, you reply, trying to figure what vision of loveliness you are about to assemble.

"Draw again.

 "And you do.

"What does this slip reveal about our mysterious star? 'Eyes hazel green.'

April 25, 1959, Lynching "So now our new star is really beginning to take shape. Do you want to stop or go on? Of course, you'll continue. Your imagination has been stimulated.

"Another fateful draw and we now know our gal is 113 pounds of sheer delight. And last, but not least, you rummage around to the bottom of the barrel and select a notation, which reads 38-22-36.

"How about those dimensions????

"Put them all together, Paul, and what do they spell? Marlene Willis, of course. Who, quite coincidentally, is a client we're pushing for stardom.

"This has been a real fun game, hasn't it?

"I hope you'll let us bring our barrel around again real soon for another session of star hunting." (signed) Dodge-Heigh Public Relations.

-Why don't you take your barrel and go over Niagara Falls in it?


"Dear Paul,

"Two weeks ago I wrote you a letter explaining the plot of a Don Ameche soap opera. And you printed my letter.

"Now this week I can't find Don anywhere on the air.

"Paul, what have we done?" Mickee, P.O. Box 724, Sunland.

-I know how you feel, but someone had to do it.