Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars You Never Knew: Nick Parkyakarkus
On August 5, Mariah Carey became the 2,556th star who earned a permanent spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—whose lights already illuminated the path? Each week, PopCrush will look into the oft-forgotten icons of yesteryear. Between Slim Summerville (?), Tichi Wilkerson Kassel (!) and the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, this is Walk Through Memory Fame.
This man kind of looks like he owns a bowling alley, right? But he never even did! Meet kind-of Greek radio personality Harry Einstein, who went by "Parkyakarkus" (park your carcass) and "Nick Parkyakarkus" before dying in 1958 as Harry Einstein again. He was known for being a newspaper reporter, deciding not to be a newspaper reporter and then making Lucille Ball cry when he had a heart attack while delivering a speech at her Friars Club Roast.
The heart attack is what killed him in 1958. People who were maybe oblivious to the fact that they'd watched a man die said it was "the most hilarious speech of his career," according to The Los Angeles Times.
"That's ridiculous, no!" is something a court could have said to Einstein when he legally petitioned to have his name changed to Parkyakarkus in New York (and was immediately rebuffed). "But people only know me as Parkyakarkus!" he likely objected, insisting people only knew him as Parkyakarkus.
Parkyakarkus was the name of Einstein's character on his radio show, Meet Me at Parky's. Parkyakarkus owned a Greek restaurant, and would complain when his sous chef was sick or his dishwashers were late. He spelled roast beef phonetically, which wackily amounted to "rust bif" with his accent considered. The mix-up caused heaps of tension in the kitchen, but things mostly turned out fine.
Einsten's father was a pawnbroker from Austria.
Parkyakarkus received his star on February 8, 1960. The star is now located at 1708 Vine Street in Hollywood, which is in spitting distance of Iguana Vintage Clothing and a Trader Joe's with a disappointing wine selection (I used to shop there).