If there's a real treasure of Hollywood Studios, it's something truly unique to the park and something that is quintessentially Hollywood Studios and that something would have to be the Citizens of Hollywood. Earlier this week we received some unfortunate news about a few Citizens of Hollywood being let go by Disney. Personnel changes are a fact of life with a company as large as Disney and while the cuts were not financially motivated, they still hurt. I'm not here today to bad mouth Disney, rather, I'd like to take some time to remember some of these very talented folks who will not be seen around the park anymore and to highlight their contributions to many guests.
Among the people cut, Boss Goobleman and Frederick Lewenowski of the Hollywood Public Works group were cut. If you never had a chance to see them in action, then you really missed some excellent comedic timing. They would drive up in their trademark Public Works van and attempt to do the most simple of tasks as some great comedy would take place. Often Boss Goobleman would play the "straight man" to Frederick or the others who would bumble around and often take their instructions too literally. The Public Works troupe was among the funniest and would always attract large crowds. While no one who has been cut is any less of a loss, this group will be truly missed.
"Reddy" Freddy Fiddlesticks was a man who had more energy than any Citizen of Hollywood I've ever met. The man simply never seemed to be winded or tired or took it easy because it was too hot out. Sporting his trademark sweater vest and gray hat, he was always aspiring to be Hollywood's next leading man and swooned over Hollywood's stars all the time. Hew as always trying to impress anyone who would give him attention and there was hardly a time where Freddy didn't have a big smile on his face. What was great about Freddy was he complimented a lot of the other Streetmosphere characters extremely well. Behind the scenes, the Citizens of Hollywood works as a team and whenever one character goes with a bit, the other(s) play along in an effort to make the bit funny or entertaining (and often both). Freddy was terrific at working with his co-stars to really entertain the guests. From a personal perspective, Freddy always had the time to speak with me about any questions I had related to improving this site and he was a class act.
Cynthia Bloom is a Hollywood Starlet whose job it is to look pretty and be a Hollywood star and she performed admirably. She was graceful, sophisticated and really made you feel like she was someone special if you had a chance to meet her. She has a je ne sais quoi about her and it was always funny to see her be attended to by the various directors while they completely berated the aspiring stars at the same time.
Last, but not least, is the talented Tootsie DuJour, who is an aging Hollywood star and what made her special was the fact she would do almost anything for a laugh. Physical humor is not easy but she would literally roll around on the ground, expose her legs or anything else if it would get a laugh from the crowd around her. In addition to portraying Tootsie, you could also find her alter-ego Vivian Dish, who was a Hollywood talent agent and her ability to perform both roles quite well was a testament to her wide range of acting ability.
On one occasion, I was spending the day at Hollywood Studios to do some research into the different characters and watch their shows. Each show Tootsie would notice me and the first time, she asked me if I was interested in her, to which I answered "No" very flatly. She was so distraught that I had rejected her that each show she would ask again and each time I would reply I wasn't interested, which resulted in her over-dramatically
I'm sad to see any of these talented entertainers go but nothing lasts forever and I'm grateful to all of them for providing me and many other guests some wonderful memories and some great laughs. Seeing them perform around Hollywood Studios was a real treat and always made my day at the Studios a little bit better. I wish them the best of luck in the future endeavors and I hope those who follow in their footsteps will be able to fill the rather large dresses, utility belts and sweater vests they have left behind.