josh peck

I know what you’re thinking, Josh Peck, half of Nickelodeon duo “Drake & Josh.”  But please, listen to me first, because I care about you, and I don’t want to see it end like this.

The world was your oyster, Josh.  Riding high on the success of The Amanda Show, Nickelodeon gave you a lucrative contract for your own sitcom, which they promised would be called “Josh & Drake.”  You even were promised a record deal, and you brought your accordion to the set the very first day of shooting.

Then you looked across the stage, and you saw a handsome young man strumming a guitar.  You had seen him before, no?  It was Drake Bell, he worked on the Amanda Show with you!  But why was he there?  He didn’t have “the comedic timing of a young Jackie Gleason,” to quote producer Dan Schneider.

But he had eyes, two dreamy swimming pools that made even the adults on set melt every time he looked at them.  And he played that damned guitar.

Every episode, you’d trip over a box and yell, “Why is there freight in my direct path?” and the audience would chuckle.  Then that dreamy teen star Drake would walk into the room and say, “You OK buddy?” and the room would explode with laughter.  So you figured out a plan to make yourself more popular, and in the summer between seasons 2 and 3, you executed it with the precision of a sniper.

On the first day of that third season, you appeared on set 100 lbs. lighter than when you left.  But instead of lauding your efforts, the teen girls pouring in and out of Drake’s enormous dressing room just gasped in horror.

“You look like a skeleton with wet papier-mâché hanging off of it,” one exclaimed.  Another asked if you were, in fact, a balloon man who had recently been deflated.

Too much skin to be skinny, but too feeble from the eating disorder to once again put on the weight, you were trapped in a hell that you couldn’t escape.  And all the while, Drake just kept getting cuter.

Then, when all was lost, you saw her from across the room.  Her name was Vanessa Anne Hudgens, and she was perfect.  Her innocent smile, her soft singing voice, her supple skin.  You were in heaven.

Every day you’d call her just to talk.  You would go out to dinner and pay for everything, assuring her that you guys were nothing more than best friends.  You trusted her with your life, and just as importantly, with your heart.

Then Drake came into work, drunk again.  He mumbled something about the previous night, something about Muhammad Ali and strippers covered in canola oil.  Then he threw up on your shoe, stuck a hundred dollar bill in your pocket, and winked.

As he turned to walk away, his phone slipped out and fell to the ground.  His background looked familiar, though you had never seen it before.  It was Vanessa, but she wasn’t in the sweatpants she wore to hang out with you.  She was naked.

You grabbed him by the throat and demanded to know how he got that picture.  He laughed and said, “Oh, some whore sent it to me.  Guess she wanted me… whatever, I’ll just nail her and then delete her number.” Then he laughed like only Drake could laugh, and you loosened your grip.

It has been some time since then, but you haven’t forgotten about that day.  You think about it every waking hour.   You listen to Drake’s hit album and you stroke the pistol on your desk.

Don’t do it, Josh.  Your career isn’t over because your show is over; in fact, you’re going to be in three movies this year alone.  Things can only go up from here.  So whatever you do, just put the gun away.  Go eat something.  And if you need to… hug me, brother.

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