10 Dubious Days That the City of L.A. Has Declared

Kobe Bryant got an oversized commemorative plaque from Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Council President Herb Wesson and City Councilmen Curren Price and Jose Huizar on Aug. 24, 2016, aka Kobe Bryant Day.EXPAND
Kobe Bryant got an oversized commemorative plaque from Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Council President Herb Wesson and City Councilmen Curren Price and Jose Huizar on Aug. 24, 2016, aka Kobe Bryant Day.

Last Tuesday was La La Land Day — La La Land as in the movie, the one in which Ryan Gosling teaches us all to love jazz, the one that almost won the Best Picture Oscar but then didn't.

Anyway, La La Land Day — April 25 — isn't a national holiday. It doesn't have as much legitimacy as, say, Sibling Day or Pie Day. Rather, it's a holiday created by resolution of the Los Angeles City Council in honor of the DVD and Blu-ray release of La La Land. The mayor played a little jazz piano, and some dancers did some "aerial dancing" on the exterior walls of City Hall, and while the city didn't pay for any of the festivities, a good chunk of our city government was taking time out of its hopefully busy Tuesday to promote the DVD release of a motion picture.

If this all sounds a bit ridiculous to you, well, you're not wrong. But the City Council has a long and ridiculous history of declaring various "days," for various reasons — not just for promoting DVDs but for promoting new-album releases, pet causes, disenfranchised groups and, of course, hugely famous athletes the councilmembers want to take selfies with.

To wit:

10. Bob Marley Day

Way back in the halcyon days of 2012, City Council declared Aug. 7 to be Bob Marley Day. The resolution, authored by local yokel Tom LaBonge, made clear the declaration was timed to coincide with the DVD release of the documentary Marley, reading, in part:

Further the City Council commends and congratulates Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald and Steve Bing/Shangri-La Entertainment for producing Marley. This documentary will be the definitive biography of the legendary artist Bob Marley, who introduced so many Americans to the joyous, celebratory music we have come to know as reggae!

Two of the legend's 13 children, Ziggy and Karen, were on hand to accept the councilman's congratulations, and Councilman Joe Buscaino reportedly sang a few verses of "Redemption Song."

9. It's a Wonderful Life Day

In 2011, the City Council boldly declared Dec. 3 to be It's a Wonderful Life Day, which coincided with both the film's 65th anniversary and its new Blu-ray release. As the resolution noted, the Blu-ray release came in something called a "Shadow Box Gift" that included "a two-disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray with a beautifully colorized version of the film in high definition and the original, digitally remastered black-and-white movie high definition, as well as 'The Magic of It's a Wonderful Life,' a documentary featurette hosted by Tom Bosley, and the original theatrical trailer. The set also includes an exclusive bell ornament and a commemorative booklet."

You had us at commemorative booklet!

8. Oingo Boingo Day

Councilman José Huizar is a pretty big music fan, so it's no surprise that he authored the 2016 resolution declaring April 20 (4-20!) as Oingo Boingo Day.

"When you heard their music, you knew it was time to get up and dance or just to jump around," Huizar said at the time.

Danny Elfman couldn't make the big ceremony, but Johnny Vatos, John Avila, Sam “Sluggo” Phipps and Carl Graves (who perform as The Johnny Vatos Oingo Boingo Dance Party) were on hand. They played an acoustic version of "Dead Man's Party" in council chambers.

Unlike most musicians' "days," which are declared to promote some sort of new album or tour, we're pretty sure this was declared just because Huizar really likes Oingo Boingo.

7. Donovan Day

In 2012, Councilman Paul Koretz finally recognized a real musical genius: Donovan, aka the British Bob Dylan (who was actually Scottish), aka the guy in Don't Look Back that Bob Dylan spends half the film making fun of. Yes, the singer-songwriter of "Mellow Yellow," "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "I Love My Shirt" was given his very own day — Sept. 3, the 50th anniversary of the release of Donovan's album Sunshine Superman and the day before the kickoff of his North American tour.

I don't know what you were doing that day, but if you weren't listening to Donovan, you were in direct violation of city law.

According to Koretz's resolution:

He and his songs bring joy, warmth, wisdom, fellowship, adventuresome pleasure, abiding happiness, and a radiant generosity of spirit to his listeners, his audiences, and wherever he goes, for Donovan Leitch — ’60s legend, icon, poet, and one of the world’s most enduring singer-songwriters — has delighted the entire world

In short, Paul Koretz feels adventuresome pleasure when he listens to Donovan.

6. Stan Lee Day

City Council doesn't spend all its time promoting DVD releases and North American tours by aging troubadours. It also spends time promoting comic book conventions! Stan Lee Day was declared to be Sept. 28, 2016, the first day of a comic book convention known as Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con, not to be confused with the real Comic-Con, which is in San Diego.

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