HBO’s true-crime docuseries McMillions is winding down, with the final episode airing next Monday, so now is a good time to check in on Agent Doug Bazooka and the other, considerably less colorful, characters of the McDonald’s Monopoly scam (the extended Colombo family can front all they want, I do not believe Jerry Colombo was anything other than a driver, at best, for the mob). The latest episode is about the arrests of Jerome “Uncle Jerry” Jacobson and the other co-conspirators, some of whom knew what they were doing, like real estate developer Dwight Baker, and some who probably didn’t fully understand the scope of the crime in which they were involved—looking at you Farmer George. When I originally wrote about this show, I called it “guilt-free true crime”, because the visible victim is a giant corporation and nobody likes those, so it’s fine to not care if McDonald’s is scammed out of some money, but we’re now getting into the fallout of the arrests and it’s not quite so guilt-free anymore.
As much as I love Doug Bazooka complaining that he was the last one to make his arrest on the big bust day, this episode is a bummer because we find out that Simon Marketing, the company responsible for administering the game for McDonald’s, took an enormous hit in the aftermath. They didn’t go out business (barely), but they lost over 70% of their revenue and thousands of employees were out of their jobs. This is the problem with scam stories. No matter how guilt-free they seem, drill down far enough and you WILL find someone who didn’t deserve to get burned. The Simon Marketing employees didn’t deserve to lose their jobs because Uncle Jerry was shady as sh-t.
But! It’s not all doom and gloom, because despite the sobering reminder that quick-rich schemes always end up screwing over somebody somewhere, McMillions is as bonkers as ever. Let’s take stock of the most batsh-t things to happen on McMillions so far:
• Doug Bazooka wears a gold “French fry” suit to the FBI’s big meeting with McDonald’s executives.
• Doug Bazooka tackles a drunk bro on a South Carolina beach to save a giant fake lottery check from being stolen.
• Doug Bazooka accidentally faxes the entire case report to a local newspaper office. (!!!!!)
• Frank Colombo orders a coffee with TEN cream and FIVE sugar.
• Heather Colombo orders a coffee with TEN cream and FIVE EQUAL.
If you are at all like me, you rewound several times to make sure you got that coffee order right. That coffee order is INSANE. I don’t believe the Colombos are in that deep with the mob—people who ARE in that deep with the mob, don’t talk about how deep they are in with the mob—but I do believe this family must not have taste buds. FIVE EQUALS? At the SAME TIME? I also had to rewind twice to make sure I understood that Doug Bazooka accidentally faxed the FBI’s entire case report for Operation Final Answer to a LOCAL NEWSPAPER OFFICE. His only excuse was, “I don’t use speed dial!” I LOVE THIS GUY. Doug Bazooka never stops delivering comedy gold. This scene MUST be in the movie.
You know who else needs to be in the movie? AJ Glomb, the cheerful fugitive who got roped into the scheme after Jerry Colombo died in a car accident (no, I do not think it was a hit). If there is a McMillions movie, and if he were still alive, Glomb would 100% be played by Dennis Farina. He is basically real-life Nick Miller’s dad. Glomb’s interview takes place in a kitchen with such beautiful, nautical bead-board cabinetry that I thought for a moment he was on a yacht. And it totally made sense that he would be on a yacht, because if anyone would be living at sea to avoid arrest, it’s AJ Glomb.
Glomb is the kind of guy the makes crime seem glamorous, if even just a little bit. He spent most of the 1970s and 1980s on the lam in Europe, and then he got arrested in San Diego because he bought a Ferrari and shipped it to himself. I have ten thousand questions for AJ Glomb. The best part? Doug Bazooka arrested Glomb! The two BEST characters in McMillions are on opposite sides of the law. The McMillions movie is not about the Colombos or the two Jerrys or the mob or any of that wanna-be Hustlers sh-t. It’s about Doug Bazooka, loose cannon rookie agent, and his great criminal nemesis, jet-setting fugitive AJ Glomb. Please. This script writes itself.