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Monday, August 31, 2015

Okay, You Want Curmudgeon, I'll Give You Curmudgeon.

I've gotten quite a few comments on the blog where my curmudgeonly attitude is appreciated.
This one's for you.
I recently heard a female comic on TV, (I think it was Sarah Silverman, but don't quote me.) tell a story about her mother and how funny she was.
She would do things like go to a restaurant, and if the service was slow, or the butter was too hard, would take out her cell phone, call the restaurant she was in and ask to speak to the manager to get her problem solved.
I thought that this was hilarious, and had every notion to apply this idea to my own arsenal if the opportunity ever presented itself.
It didn't take long.
You didn't think it would, did you?
Given a good reason, I'm usually rude to waiters.
I'll cut waitresses a little more slack, but they're usually nicer to begin with.
Call me sexist. I don't care.
My wife and I went to a very upscale pricey steakhouse in my neighborhood last Saturday night.
We had never been there before.
My wife is always on her best behavior, which is exemplary.
She does not respond well to my excursions into rudeness.
But, to her credit, she puts up with me.
The waiter comes over to take our order.
Kind of a smartass.
I ask for the house salad with blue cheese dressing.
It came with the entrée.
I don't usually order two salads. But I also wanted a Caesar Salad.
He asks me if I want blue cheese crumbles on top of the house salad..
I ask "Is there an extra charge for the crumbles?"
He replies "Yes. There is."
I see my opening.
I ask, "So if I didn't ask, you wouldn't have told me? No crumbles."
I love the crumbles.
But I felt that it was more important to admonish him for his poor communication skills.
He took the rest of the order, and left.
I never saw him again.
He was replaced by a much nicer waiter.
I'm sure that the first one told the kitchen "I don't want to serve that asshole"
The rest of our order consisted of a bowl of Lobster Bisque, a Caesar Salad that we were going to split, a New York Steak for me, and scallops for my wife.
I'd asked if I could have anchovies with the Caesar Salad.
I was told they didn't have any, but that there was anchovy paste already in the salad.
This begs the question "so how do they make the anchovy paste? There must be anchovies somewhere."
I had brought a small tin of King Oscar Brand anchovies from home.
This is what one does if you're me.
They bring out the Lobster Bisque.
It is way too tomatoey.
I let it go.
Then, they bring out the entrees and the Caesar Salad simultaneously.
The waiter, after I complained said "I thought the Caesar Salad was just for your wife."
I had specifically told him that we were going to split it. We needed two plates.
Her scallops were considered a side dish.
I applied the anchovies to the Caesar Salad. It was the only thing that prevented it from being a complete abomination.
But I didn't complain about how any of the food was prepared.
Restaurants make things the way they make things.
Then, I attempted to try my steak.
I had been given a steak-knife.
I couldn't cut through it. And it was already cold from trying to down the Caesar Salad first.
I noticed the man at the next table. He had also ordered a steak, and seemed to be having trouble cutting through it.
I asked him if he was having trouble cutting his steak.
Indeed, he was.
My moment had arrived.
I got out my cellphone and called the restaurant. I asked to speak to the manager.
After a few seconds, he got on the phone.
I said "I'm all the way in the back. I'm the guy with the cane. And thanks for seating me here. I needed the extra walking. (There
were plenty of closer places I could have been seated.) Please come to my table."
Shortly, the man showed up. He asked "What seems to be the problem?"
I replied "Where do I begin? Well, first and foremost this steak-knife is too dull to cut this steak. Do you see that guy over there? His steak-knife is too dull to cut his steak"
He replied "Oh, is that all? I'll bring you a sharper one."
I said, you might want to bring him a sharper one too.
He immediately returned with another knife for me. And for my new friend at the next table.
It cut through the steak like butter.
I looked at my friend at the next table.
He gave me the high sign.
I said to the manager "Let me get this straight. The only way you get a sharp knife in this steakhouse is by making a scene like this to get one? Everybody else gets those dull ones unless they ask?"
He replied, well we just got these new ones in...."
It sounded pretty lame to me.
Then I went through the entire litany of what was wrong with the meal.
He said "I'm sorry sir. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you? Can I offer you a free dessert?"
I said "I don't want any free dessert. All I want from you is an admission that you wouldn't want to be treated the way you treated me.'
He made that admission willingly, probably pleased that he didn't have to spring for the spring for the free dessert.
How's that for curmudgeon?

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Ultimate "If It Bleeds, it Leads".

Yes, it's very sad that two young people, a reporter and a cameraman, were cut down in the prime of life.
I suppose it's even sadder that it happened on live TV.
But really, how much sadder?
It's certainly a lot more interesting, particularly since the video is so graphic.
Although, for the most part, they don't show you the actual shooting.
They stop just short of the trigger being pulled.
But it was shown on AOL, which means that it's pretty easy for it to go viral.
They've since pulled the graphic version, but it's still easily accessible if you want to go to the trouble.
On AOL, you got to see the young girl staring into the camera, much like a deer staring into the headlights.
It's frightening.
So congratulations to those networks that at least showed that much restraint.
But let's face it.
The shooter choreographed this whole thing.
He got exactly what he wanted out of this.
His dying wish, so to speak.
He got the whole world to pay attention to this.
At least for a 24 hour news cycle.
And networks have been eager to accommodate him.
Social media only makes things worse.
But this would have happened if social media didn't even exist.
People are murdered every day.
And they go largely unnoticed.
People no worse or less important than these folks in Virginia.
But for them, there are no outpourings of grief by politicians about them.
This whole thing reminds me of the Challenger disaster in 1986.
The entire country got to witness all those Astronauts get blown up.
But if the Shuttle had gotten far enough out of camera range, without everybody's family in attendance, it wouldn't have had the kind of impact that it did.
Other Astronauts were blown up in space on other Shuttles, but they aren't remembered because we didn't see it happen.
I generally abhor Local News, because the watchword on every broadcast is "If it bleeds, it leads".
Chicago is terrible for this.
Local news is unwatchable.
They always lead with a murder.
And there's a new one every day.
There's a numbing effect to it all.
So when one becomes a national story, it only compounds the felony.
There's no getting away from it.
The only positive outcome that can happen from this is if there is a considerable beefing up of gun control.
And class, what do we think the chances are of that happening?

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Blatantly Anti-Semitic Commercial.

I'm writing about this now, because I don't know how much longer it's going to be around.
The commercial is for the Volkswagen Jetta.
Germans, of all people, should be particularly sensitive to this sort of thing.
They're not.
Three elderly obviously Jewish women, with thick Jewish accents, are taking a test drive of the new Jetta.
There is a young obviously Gentile salesman who is chauffeuring them around.
They embarrassingly openly flirt with this young salesman, who claims to not be embarrassed.
He most certainly is.
He openly indulges them.
Anything to make the sale.
The women then proceed to engage in blatant open "hondling', a Yiddish expression meaning 'bargaining beyond every boundary of good taste".
And they agree to buy the car.
If these women weren't Jewish, this commercial would never bear any resemblance to reality.
I'm not saying that this sort of thing doesn't go on.
I'm sure it does.
All the time.
It's certainly nothing I'm proud of.
But it doesn't need to be nationally exposed like this.
It's the kind of thing that leads Gentiles to think, and even say out loud, "See, I told you. They're ALL like that".
And I'm afraid that far too many of us are.
But this certainly sustains the stereotype.
Anti-Semitism is still almost as prevalent as racism.
If you replaced every reference to "Mexicans" that Donald Trump makes, and replace it with the word "Jews", he would probably be met with at least as much enthusiasm.
That's how scary he is to me.
I don't think that Germans have the right to promulgate this sort of thing.
I know quite a few Jews who still won't buy any German car.
The Holocaust, after all. was not that long ago.

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bungie.

There is this great dramatic series on Showtime called "Ray Donovan".
It stars Liev Schrieber, and Jon Voight has a major supporting part and is magnificent.
Schrieber plays Donovan and there is another actor who plays one of Donovan's brothers.
The character's name is Bungie.
It's astounding to me how events from one's past get triggered by something as seemingly insignificant as a character's name.
When I was a child, until my mid-twenties, my parents were friends with a couple from Boston, Bernie and Blanche Stone.
We would visit each other when we were in Boston, or they were in New York.
My memories of Blanche are rather vague.
But my memories of Bernie are totally vivid.
Bernie was one of my favorite people of all time.
He was a contemporary of my fathers.
I think that he was a little older.
If he's still alive, he'd be in his late 90's.
Bernie owned a record store in the late fifties.
He gave me my first Victrola when there were such things.
And my first record----David Seville's "Witch Doctor"
I loved Bernie.
He didn't have to do any of that to make me love him.
He was easily the most charming, engaging man I'd ever met.
And the Boston accent didn't hurt either.
After the Beach Boys, he stopped selling rock and roll records.
This coincided with my turning my ears off to rock and roll.
Obviously, Bernie was not without influence.
Bernie and Blanche had these friends, a couple who they'd often refer to as "Bunny and Gyawdge"
I don't specifically remember Bunny and Gyawge, but they remembered me.
Apparently, I was very appealing to them as a child.
I was an adorable baby, after all.
One thing I am certain of, is that their names were "Bunny" and "Gyawge".
They were never anything else.
But my mother, in her totally predictable way, once she mispronounced somebody's name, it remained that way for the rest of their and her lives.
No amount of correcting could make a difference.
I had a childhood friend named Steven Dezorett.
His mother played mah-jongg with my mother.
It didn't matter.
He was Steven Gazoreth, and his mother was Norma Gazoreth
And that was it. Forever.
I don't know if Norma ever had the need or desire to correct her.
If she did make the effort, it didn't take.
In the same tradition, it was never "Bunny and Gyawdge".
It was rather "Bungie and Gyawdge".
Nobody else ever called her 'Bungie".
Only my mother.
And everyone involved were way too polite to correct her.
Or maybe they, too had tried and failed.

The last time I saw Bernie was in Florida.
Bernie had retired to West Palm Beach.
I had gone with my parents to Nassau in the Caribbean to play Blackjack and brought them along.
And on the way back, I stopped off in West Palm Beach primarily so I could see Bernie again.
He was part of the agenda.
Also part of the agenda was seeing my Aunt Myrna, my mother's older divorced sister, who lived there.
Bernie had become a widower by that time.
And I knew a set-up was in the works.
I also knew it was a complete mismatch.
My Aunt Myrna was a complete loon.
The apple doesn't fall far from the other apple.
My mother was in the last six months of life, having suffered the ravages of cancer for about fifteen years..
My Aunt Myrna literally threw herself at Bernie, honestly thinking that she had a shot with him.
Bernie could not have handled it more deftly, with more aplomb.
He just oozed charm.
And my parents and I bore witness to all of this.
And of course, my mother did not check her "Bungies" at the door.
She was Bungie-ing all over the place.
It was "Bungie this, and Bungie that, here a Bungie there a Bungie, everywhere a Bungie, Bungie"
And Bernie just indulged her.
My Aunt Myrna actually had a boyfriend at the time.
His name was 'Bucky".
As Aunt Myrna started to realize that she was striking out with Bernie, she picked up the phone, and in an apartment way too small to provide any privacy, she got into a shouting match with Bucky which was way too embarrassing for all concerned.
Except for Aunt Myrna.
This was apparently standard operating procedure.
She even implied that there was someone "new" in her life, meaning Bernie.
This too rolled completely off of Bernie's back.
So now, when I watch "Ray Donovan" and Bungie is either addressed or referred to I am reduced to helpless snickering.

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's Time To Shut Down The Movie Theaters.

I can't for the life of me, figure out why anyone would go to the movies these days.
Not only is there nothing worth seeing, but you are literally taking your life in your hands.
People are getting physically attacked, shot and killed.
All of this to see Mad Max?
There may be a few good movies out there, but nothing that can't wait until they show up on HBO, or Netflix.
Most of us have large enough TV screens that we're not sacrificing anything to see these movies on a slightly smaller screen.
Do we honestly think that this trend of copycat crime, where lunatics, invade movie theaters to kill people, will ease up?
Or that better laws on gun control, or beefed up security is going to stop this?
All that's going to stop this is to shut down the movie theaters.
Have you noticed that this never occurs with live theater?
Even lunatics realize how overpriced live theater is.
Forty bucks to see a play? Are you crazy?
It's too much trouble for them.
So I have no problem with going to see a play.
So Hollywood is the problem, and it must come up with the solution.
So if you run a studio, turn everything to live streaming pay-per-view events.
Yes, you won't make money on popcorn anymore, but that only makes the movie-going experience even safer and healthier.
Yes, I'll miss the smell, but we all must make sacrifices.
Maybe they can figure out a way to pump the popcorn smell into the home and work out a home popcorn delivery system.
Fourteen year old boys will have to find another reason to leave the house.
If they Hollywood wants to save IMax, figure out a way to get it into the home.
You Hollywood guys are geniuses.
Figure out something.
There is an entire industry at stake.

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Watching Baseball With Tessie And Stanley.

I watch baseball on TV just about every day during the season.
I watch a lot of baseball.
I have the MLB package, that lets me see all the games being played.
I don't watch them all.
Only the ones I bet on.
People ask me who I root for.
I always tell them "I root for my money."
I approach betting the games scientifically.
As a result, I have a reasonably high expectation of winning.
Or at least winning more than I lose.
And I do pretty well.
But I get pretty angry on days that I lose.
I also invariably watch the games with the sound off.
They sneak commercials in places they never snuck them before.
They'll say things like "This pitching change is brought to you by Belle Tire".
It used to be brought to you by nobody.
Now, everything is a business.
The worst broadcaster in the major league games here in Chicago is Ken Harrelson who does the White Sox games.
Harrelson is the last of a dying breed, which should already have been extinct.
He is an out-and-out "homer".
He actively roots for the White Sox. Constantly.
This is bad form.
It is bush-league at it's worst.
So you have to shut the sound off.
Baseball is a very easy game to watch with the sound off.
But you don't want to sit there in silence.
So what do you do, if you're me?
If you're me you turn on Spotify and listen to your music of choice.
As I sometimes get anxiety-ridden when the games aren't going my way, I look for the most uplifting, relaxing music I can find.
I've found it by listening to British Music Hall selections, as embodied by Tessie O'Shea (best known for appearing on the first Ed Sullivan Show that featured the Beatles) and Stanley Holloway 9best known for his appearance in the original production of "My Fair Lady" (You know. "I'm gettin' married in the morning...ding dong the bells are gonna chime..."
There is a wealth of wonderful material from both of them, all in that vein.
So I watch the games along with Tessie and Stanley.
And it beats the hell out of "This pitching change is brought to you by Belle Tire."

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****








Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why I Can't Stand Chris Matthews Anymore, Part 3 or 4, I've Lost Count.

I'll be brief with this one.
Not only is he still calling out his guests for mispronouncing the name "Cheney", insisting that the family pronounces it "Cheeney", which isn't always the case (I've heard them pronounce it "Cheney") but now he consistently pronounces the word "Holocaust" as "Holly-caust"
Maybe Dick "Cheeney" pronounces it "Holly-caust"
In any case, Chris, shut up.

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Perhaps My Guiltiest Pleasure.

This is a truly embarrassing admission.
I am an unabashed fan of "Family Feud".
It's my favorite show.
I never miss it, which is almost impossible, as it is on almost constantly.
I have always loved the game itself, and have never claimed to be any better at it than anyone else, but I truly enjoy it when one of the contestants comes up with a particularly stupid answer.
This has been a truly long term addiction.
I've watched it from the 1980's in spite of Richard Dawson kissing all those women, through all the subsequent hosts who kept improving the experience.
Ray Coombs was quite entertaining before he committed suicide.
But nobody, I mean nobody is as good at hosting "Family Feud" as Steve Harvey.
He is as funny as anything.
In any context.
One thing that confuses me: they always offer the option to play or pass to whoever answers the tossup question.
I don't understand why anyone would opt to pass.
It is invariably a bad percentage move.
If that's your intent, why even try to answer the question?
You came to play, play.
I know that all the contestants are prompted to say "Good answer, good answer!" no matter how bad their teammates answers might be. And that's annoying, and only a small price to pay because they cop to it.
I'm constantly Tivoing it, so I always have at least twenty episodes on hand at any one time.
If you haven't checked in on it since Richard Dawson was kissing all the women, you all owe yourselves another go.
A word of caution: almost every question elicits some variation on the phrase "My dick" or My boobs" or both.
If this offends you, I suggest that you loosen up.
I promise you that it will be worth it.
And I say this with no shame.
That's how funny it is.

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

One Of The Great Jokes.

I am about to tell you what I consider to be one of the great jokes.
I would be surprised to learn that you are familiar with it, because I've never met anyone who has heard it before whenever I've told it .
Let me preface it by alerting you that it might be perceived as completely racist, sexist, with one of the filthiest punch-lines you'll ever hear.
If this puts you off, stop right here and come back next time.

Okay. Here goes.
It's Harlem in the 1930s.
Doctor George "Kingfish" Stevens is strolling down 125th Street.
As he passes the Apollo Theater, he encounters his good friend and colleague Andrew H. Brown.

Andy: Hello dere, Kingfish.
Kingfish: Ohhhh, hello dere brother Andy! It's been a while.
Andy: Yeah, I guess it has.
Kingfish: Are you feelin' all right, son?
Andy: Oh yeah. I feels fine.
Kingfish: Are you sure? Because you looks bad!
Andy: Well that's strange, because I feels good.
Kingfish: Well you may feels good, but you looks bad!!
Andy: This is beyond my comprehensiveness, because I feels good!
Kingfish: Son, you looks bad! And you can't take any chances with your health.
Look, my office is just a few doors down. Why don't you let me check you out.
So they head up to Doctor Kingfish's office and Andy gets a complete examination.
Kingfish can't find anything wrong with Andy.
Andy: I told you! I feels good!
Kingfish: That may be, but you still looks bad! Uh, maybe we's approaching this the wrong way.
Lemme look through the Encyclopedia of Medicine, dere. It's got all the answers!
Kingfish gets the Encyclopedia of Medicine from down off a high shelf.
He starts rummaging through it.
Kingfish: Let me see, dere...."Looks good, feels good"...
Andy: That's not it!
Kingfish: Oh yeah, you're right. Uh, "Looks bad, feels bad"...
Andy: That ain't it either!
Kingfish: Looks good and feels bad?
Andy: No, no, no! That's not it!!
Kingfish: You're right. It ain't. Oh wait a minute. Here it is. "Looks bad, and feels good"
Doctor Kingfish slowly lifts his head and stares Andy dead in the eye.
Kingfish: I wants you to brace yourself. Brother Andy...son...you a vagina!!
----------------------
If you liked it, tell your friends.
f you didn't, keep it to yourself.
But if you got this far, how could you not like it?
In any case, I don't want to hear any voices of protest.
You've all been warned.
And I just had a stroke.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, July 17, 2015

When Life Imitates Art A Little Too Closely.

One more hospital story:

In my last hospital stay, I was easily placed in the coldest room in the hospital.
This was not by choice.
I was constantly asking for more blankets, and they were all thin ones, and never enough.
I was freezing every night.
Then, about two days before I checked out, everyone received warm, lush blankets.
The kind I wished I had for my entire stay.
I asked one of the nurses why, all of a sudden, we were getting these blankets.
I was told that there was going to be an inspection by someone who mattered, and after the inspection, they were going to be taken back.
I insisted that I keep mine, and they acquiesced.
This situation ran parallel to a scene in Billy Wilder's great "Stalag 17", where the Red Cross was going to inspect the American P.O.W. barracks, so the Nazis supplied the P.O.W.'s with fresh linens and blankets.
As soon as the Red Cross representatives left, the linens and blankets were removed, and the P.O.W.s were left to sleep in whatever lice ridden filth they had before.
Needless to say, I complained long and loud about it, and even offered up the "Stalag 17" analogy.
Comparing them to Nazis.
It pretty much fell upon deaf ears.
I think that I was very lucky to get out of there when I did.
That hospital did very much to advance my recovery, but I spent a whole lot of unnecessary frigid nights.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"You Are Cool! " Part 2..

The latter group of those about whom one can legitimately sarcastically say "You are cool!" contain several political figures, exclusively of the Republican variety.
I suppose a case can be made that all Republicans can be put in that category, and that there really isn't any variety among them.
I wouldn't say it about Rick Santorum, or Paul Ryan.
I don't agree with a word they say, but they both seem to handle themselves with at least some dignity.
On the far, other end of the spectrum is Bobby Jindal.
The idea that this man is attempting to run for President is so short-sighted.
Where does he think he's going to get people to vote for him?
Who on earth is going to vote for someone who so closely resembles Alfred E. Neuman?
It's not just his looks.
He seems to have the emptiest head of any politician out there.
There's not even any concept of cool.

Ann Coulter goes on TV whenever anyone lets her so she can hawk her latest book, where she yells and yammers and has nothing good to say about anyone.
Yeah, Ann, you are cool.

Bill Kristol, the political columnist, as opposed to Billy Crystal, the great entertainer, who appears far too regularly on "This Week With George Stephanopolous" as the representative of smarminess has another claim to the title----he is invariably wrong about everything.
He is often asked to offer up a prediction about something. He is never right.
I mean never.
What does it take to get this man off television?
The fact that he has the nerve to accept the check they give him is the epitome of cheek.
And the antithesis of cool.

I would have more than just to say in passing Dennis Miller, the King of Smarm.
But his career is essentially over, so I don't want to indulge in overkill.
But yeah, Dennis, you are cool.

And finally, Mandy Patinkin.
Mandy Patinkin is in many ways a great singer and performer.
But not all ways.
He has this regular tendency to go way over the top.
In a truly sickeningly way.
And you never know when it's going to happen.
And when it does, you wan't to yell out "Yeah Mandy, you are cool!"

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****







Monday, June 29, 2015

"You Are Cool!" Part 1

When my sister was an adolescent she started berating me because I didn't like the Beatles.
She loved them.
I would stop her by saying, "Yeah, Les, you are cool, and that would infuriate her and shut her up.
I would do it often enough that at some point she would say to me, "Mark, I am cool."
At which point I would point out to her that anyone who would say "I am cool" is automatically not cool.
That would infuriate her even more.
It occurred to me with some current events that there are more and more examples of people who think they are cool and are far from it.
Another way of expressing this is, "You feel way too good about yourself!"

Exhibit A: Donald Trump.
From that entrance he made descending on the escalator as he announced his candidacy, to every warped thought he has about anybody liking him, he certainly feels waaaay too good about himself.
He is not cool.
I can't imagine anybody, including himself, making the case that he is cool.

Exhibit B: Jonathan Schwartz
I have often brought myself to saying about the D.J. who represents the Great American Songbook, "Yes, Jonathan, you are cool!"
Now he is very knowledgeable about the subject and tells some great stories, but there is always a major element of namedropping.
Just yesterday, on his radio show, he did a tribute to Richard Rodgers on his 113th birthday.
At what point did a 113th birthday become something to celebrate?
Jonathan used this as an excuse to tell a lot of anecdotes about Rodgers, or "Dick," as he referred to him, since he knew him as a child.
So it was "Dick" this and "Dick" that; you never heard so much Dicking in your life.
And his live studio audience were all current cabaret singers who were fawning over everything he said because they wanted him to play their records.
Yeah, Jonathan, you are cool!

Exhibit C: A group of not-cool people.
I love buying and wearing athletic uniforms from various teams.
I very much understand people who do that.
What I don't for the life of me understand is why people buy athletic uniforms that have some famous athlete's name on the back.
It's one thing to identify with a team; it's another to identify that specifically with that person.
It's as if you think you are him.
I think that what I do is fairly cool and what they do is not cool at all.
I'm embarrassed to be at a game with them.

I've got several more exhibits and it will have to wait until next time.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****


Friday, June 19, 2015

A Tale of Two Hospitals

When they brought me to the first hospital I went to after my stroke, I experienced much dismay.
A dismay I did not express when previously writing about it.
They were helping me on the road to recovery to some extent,
but there were a lot of downsides.
The main one being the quality of the food.
It was, to put it charitably, institutional food, and I could not eat a drop of it.
I felt I needed all sorts of excuses to not eat their food.
I had my wife bring in boxes of shredded wheat and raisins and all I required of them was skim milk, which they provided.
Whenever I had dinner, it was because she brought it for me.
This hospital is considered the premier hospital for the kind of illness I had.
So, of course, I considered this inexcusable.
There was a great deal of impersonality from the therapists.
I knew they were helping me somewhat, but it seemed that they did not care particularly.
Again, I found this somewhat disconcerting.
My most vivid memory of that place is how many MRIs I had to go through.
Every time they did one I felt one I felt like I was reliving the opening credits of Ben Casey, where all you saw were the hospital lights overhead.
The only other upside was that I had a private room.
The next step was to move me to a sub-acute facility.
My attitude was "Oh, my God, how much worse can it be?"
As it turns out it was far better in many ways.
The level of caring by the therapists has been awesome and I am recovering much more rapidly than anyone had expected me to.
I am using a walker and I am just days away from being able to use a cane.
Which was kind of where I was when I had the stroke.
These people understand their reputation.
They know that they are Avis to the other hospital's Hertz.
So they are striving constantly to prove that they should be number one.
They also certainly accomplished that in terms of the level of food that they serve.
It is downright edible.
I know we are still dealing with food in an institution, but it is of far higher quality.
And it is served very attractively, making you think that it is far higher than it actually is.
Not that this place is without its dark side.
I do have to share a room with somebody; there are no private rooms here.
That is not really unpleasant, except for the fact that we share a very small bathroom,
and any time one of us makes a mess, no one is rushing to clean it up.
So I find myself in the awkward position of having to clean up his mess.
This shouldn't happen; that is their job.
As I do go to dinner in the dining room most of the time, occasionally there will be an experience where someone who really shouldn't be in public goes there too and behaves wretchedly.
Yesterday, one of the patients who I see there very often, and who spends most of his time coughing his brains out, hacking up phlegm, sat down at my table,where I was by myself.
He seemed to have no awareness that he was violating my rights.
Maybe it was like this at the other hospital, too, I just didn't get a chance to find out.
So I actually complained to the nurses about him and he was immediately placed at another table.
But, again, why did I have to complain? Why did I have to take the initiative?
They saw what was going on!
How did it become my responsibility to get rid of him?
At least no one thought I was out of line by complaining.
The nurses are usually very pleasant and usually try to please you.
Another chink in the armor --- there are all these little black foofies all over the place in the room.
They make the beds everyday.
New sheets and everything.
And I know I didn't bring them with me from home.
We don't have any little black foofies at home.
It's something this hospital provides.
I don't know why, and I don't know how to get rid of them.
The other one didn't have them.
It's really been starting to bug me.
One last fly in the ointment: there is a woman who works here whose job is the job of a professional cheerleader.
She talks to the patients as if they were nine years old.
Now a lot of people need a person like this; they need to be talked to as if they were nine years old.
But I am not one of them.
The only reason I put up with her is that she bought both of my books.
That buys a lot of good will.
They actually let me do one of my "library appearances" here.
Which I needed to do to test out my voice, which is coming back strong.
It went over very well.
I expect to get out of here and go home in about a week and a half.
I am doing everything I can to accelerate the process.
The end is in sight, but I am beginning to feel like a prisoner here.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

One Of The Most Delightful Sundays I've Ever Spent.

Yes. After having a stroke and everything.
A great day betting on baseball.
And then, I had a dilemma.
The Tony Awards were on that night.
Head-to-head against the NBA finals.
Game One was one of the great games.
And I have money on the Cavs for the series.
And I am still in the hospital, where I don't have access to TiVo.
So whatever choice I made, it meant I wasn't going to see the other one.
My wife was going to sit here and watch it with me, whatever one I chose.
And I was generally more inclined to watch the Tony Awards, as was she.
So the decision was made.
We watched the Tony Awards with occasional flipping to the game during commercials.
I was immediately taken with what I saw on the Tony Awards,
realizing that there were so many shows that had not opened yet the last time I was in New York,
and that I wanted to see all of them, with the occasional passes of seeing the game during commercials,
did not give me the flavor of the game.
I am sharing the room that I am in with one other person.
And he had his TV set tuned to something completely other.
I didn't feel I had the right to say to him:
"Hey, how about putting on the game, so I could see that, too?"
Then, in the second quarter, purely on his on volition, he turned on the game.
At which point I separated the curtain between us, and was able to see both the game and the Tony Awards at the same time.
This is something I never would have done if I was home.
If I was home, I would have TiVoed the one and watched the other live.
So this, in fact, was even better.
No, not worth the stroke. I'm just saying...
Did I mention that the Tony Awards was uniformly fabulous?
Just about every musical number they did from every show was magnificent.
Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming were wonderful hosts; there was humor everywhere.
And there was practically no appearance by Nathan Lane, even.
But Larry David was there, and was totally hilarious.
I am planning my next trip to New York as soon as I am well enough to go.
It was a gift when I really needed one.
Yes, there were glitches.
You couldn't see the Memorial Reel. It was too small. But I'm just quibbling.
And after Tony's ended, I was able to concentrate solely on the NBA Finals.
which they went into overtime for the second time in a row.
Except, this time, the Cavs held on and pulled it out, something that nobody expected to happen.
Another gift.
That's some lot of gifts over the course of about three hours.
So we were able to turn a liability into an asset.
I can only wish you those kind of days.

P.S. I am feeling better day after day and able to do more things by myself.
Just today I was able to stand in the bathroom and shave myself
without having to hold on to anything.
This is major.
I appreciate all of your thoughtfulness and your kindness, and, once again, I will try to keep up the communication at this source.
Watch This Space.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Burying Another Lead

When I started talking about the stoke, I realized that there is key information I didn't tell you up front that is significantly more interesting than the stoke itself.
The stroke happened about a month ago at the end of April.
It was on a Saturday morning.
I'd had an MRI scheduled at the local hospital that morning for a minor backache that had practically vanished at that point.
But I had the appointment anyway, so, like a good boy scout, I went.
My wife was on a flight on the way back from a trip to India on business, so I was all alone in the house, and feeling very strange.
I had almost no balance and walking was extremely difficult.
Any sane human being at that point would have called an ambulance to take them to the hospital.
But me, being the schmuck that I was, I had no real sense of just how damaged I was at the time.
I attempted to guts it out by driving the mile or so to the hospital.
So I got behind the wheel, opened the garage door, started the engine, and drove.
My driving was no worse than it usually is.
This is an extremely accurate comment on my ability to drive to begin with.
Horrible.
I parked in one of the handicap spaces, right in front of the hospital, and practically crawled to the main entrance, where I virtually flopped down in front of the people who admit you.
They immediately saw the problem.
I didn't even get to mention the MRI to them.
It was certainly not high on my priorities at that point.
They glommed on to what the problem was, and I was quickly diagnosed with having had a stroke.
I was also met with incredulity, because I had driven myself to the hospital without any assistance.
That in itself in their eyes should have left me for dead.
As it turns out, I have been very lucky, and the stroke was a very minor one.
My speech is practically fully restored.
My walking is a work in progress, but we are all very optimistic about it.
Around here, I am considered to be this week's walking miracle. Or at least hobbling miracle.
I'll be happy to accept that title.
I am improving every day and the prognosis is very good for a full recovery.
I am still in a hospital, not the one I was in a few weeks ago, but a sub-acute facility.
Next time I am going to write about this facility, because I am very content with what they are doing here, and I need to describe the difference between where I started out and where I am now.
I hope to be writing more and more frequently as things improve.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****





Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Progress Report

I imagine that many of you out there are wondering how I am.
Considering what I have been through the past few weeks I would have to say I am in pretty good spirits.
The schedule now is to release me from the hospital next Saturday.
Even though the nursing staff has been first rate I can't wait to go home.
Most of the staff have been very nice to me.
Quite a few are very attractive.
Which is a bonus.
I look around and I see people in far worse shape than I'm in.
I was thinking recently about several well-known people who have died or have been on the verge of dying for quite a while and their varying outlooks towards death as it approaches.
One of them is Sam Simon who was one of the main creators of THE SIMPSONS.
He spent the last few years of his life attempting to give away all of his money to charitable causes.
Valerie Harper, who apparently has terminal cancer, has been relentlessly optimistic about it and has outlived her diagnosis considerably.
Alan Jay Lerner, who wrote the book and lyrics for My Fair Lady, spent opening night of My Fair Lady wracked in sobs because he felt that he had peaked as far as anything he might do again in his life.
The person who discovered him sobbing like that was his wife at the time. Her name was Nancy Olson. She was best known for playing Betty Schaefer in the movie Sunset Boulevard.
Even though Gigi and Camelot were soon to follow, I suppose to him they still did not top My Fair Lady; apparently it didn't matter to him.
And my attitude about all this used to be:
You know, I kinda get it. Yeah, it's pretty impressive to have written My Fair Lady. But if you can still not appreciate it for what it is then you live with the consequences and perhaps your life is the lesser for it.
However, with my stroke I now have more of an opinion about Alan Jay Lerner.
I think he was full of beans.
And it was really much more of a case of being grateful for what you have and what you have accomplished than what you haven't.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****





Saturday, May 16, 2015

Coming Full Circle with Garry Marshall

It has been customary by just about everybody in show business to only say nice things about Garry Marshall.
I am about to break that tradition.
Up until very recently, I have had no reason to break the mold followed by others.
As you may have heard, over the weekend I had a stroke, which has kept me away from posting on the blog, but something has happened which has caused me to say "what the hell" to this topic.
I was watching the most recent episode of the new Odd Couple on TV. The one with Matthew Perry and the other guy whose name I can't remember.
It now lists Garry as executive producer. His title has been growing and growing since the series has continued.
This was of little concern to me until the episode this past week, which was a direct rip-off of an episode written by me and my former partner, Lowell Ganz.
I doubt that anybody, including Lowell, gives a crap about this, but I do.
And if Lowell wasn't filthy rich, he probably also would care.
But I am not filthy rich, and I have not at all been consulted about this new show since it began.
This leads me to wonder why.
Garry's attitude about arbitration has been well-documented on this blog before. He doesn't believe in it.
All this has accomplished is taking money out of my pocket.
I know this sounds like major crabbing, but, in the days when we wrote this script, there was such a thing as breaking scripts down into story credit and teleplay credit.
Story credit was pretty much chump change compared to what it is now.
Now, story credit is worth at least as much as what I would have gotten for teleplay credit.
And since it has been quite a while since I have done any TV work, I feel this is a major slap in the face and something should be done about it.
So the first thing I am doing about it is mentioning it here.
I'll probably get around to filing a formal complaint with the Writers' Guild.
I hope it won't have to get that far, but if it does, I hope that they will see my point, and that I will be compensated roughly akin to about $25,000.
I hope you don't take this as personal bellyaching, but the case must be made by me.
Garry over the years has done many very nice things for me, but, by the same token, I have done very nice things for him, and I feel the scales are about even.
Garry is pushing 80 at this point. I don't know which side he is pushing from, but I don't really feel like picking on anybody in that condition anyway.
Of course I never heard anything from Garry since my stroke, which has been a little disconcerting.
I even got a nice text from Lowell, wishing me well, which was a surprise.
I am recuperating to some extent, but I am still a very sick boy. Someone else is typing this for me. I would like to get back to the typewriter myself soon.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****




Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I've Had Better Weekends.

Okay, I'll get right to the trivia question.
Nobody came close to getting the entire answer.
There were some nice tries, and there were lots of things that could be looked up.
Only Nick had one set of correct answers. He identified "Sheldrake" as the last name used in three Wilder movies: "Sunset Boulevard","Kiss Me, Stupid", and "The Apartment".
The other two answers are as follows:
In "Double Indemnity" Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson worked for the Pacific All-Risk Insurance Co.
In "Ace In the Hole" (a.k.a.) "The Big Carnival", Frank Cady, the bald guy from "Petticoat Junction" and "Green Acres", was
interviewed by a local reporter. When asked where he worked, he replied "The Pacific All-Risk Insurance Company.
And last, the theme music for "Stalag 17" is "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
In "The Fortune Cookie", Jack Lemmon's wife lands a local TV singing commercial for Lindenbaum's Linoleum.
It's to the tune of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
So that's that.
The rest of the weekend was a lot more ominous.
Saturday morning, I had a stroke.
My speech is slurred, and my walking is almost non-existent.
I may have to take a vacation from the blog.
I'll try to keep you posted. In the interim feel free to e-mail me.

-----------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****








Friday, May 1, 2015

Re-Climbing Mount Everest.

Once upon a time, before there was such a thing as an Internet, I was the King of Trivia.
I was the Sir Edmund Hillary to Trivia's Mount Everest.
And I knew who HE was without having to look it up.
But the Internet has now completely levelled the playing field.
ANYONE can be just as good a Trivia player as me just by pushing a couple of buttons on the computer machine.
Or, even more humiliating, the IPhone machine.
I had a major talent that no longer means anything.
But here I am today, making one last effort to scale Everest, with a Trivia Question, the answer to which can not be found by pushing
any amount of buttons on the computer machine.
I tried looking it up, and could not find the answers anywhere.
But I know them to be right.
AS usual, for me, they fall under the heading of Show Business Trivia.
You might consider this a revival of "This Week's Game", which I used to offer up regularly on weekends around here.
In order to get the correct answers, you either have to wrack your brain to come up with them, or you simply have to know it
through life experience.
This one ain't gonna be easy.
Okay, here goes:

Billy Wilder made at least three movies in which he made oblique references to three OTHER Billy Wilder movies.
They are all in the nature of "inside jokes'.
One each per movie.
Name each of the three movies.
Provide the oblique reference to the other movies.
Name the movies referred to.
And provide the oblique references.
Here's a clue: You won't be able to find it by Googling "What movies did Billy Wilder make where he referenced other Billy Wilder
movies?"
I tried that.
It wont help you.
Feel free to post any responses or questions in the Comments section.

As when we used to play "This Week's Game", I will offer a prize for the winner(s), not that I expect there to be any:
The same thing Jackie Gleason, on his variety show, as Stanley R. Sogg, the commercial pitchman on the Late, Late, Late, Late, Late, Late, Late Show, used to offer to his audience:
As he put it,
"......and last but not least, a three-pound wedge of Fatchamarra's Matzaroni Cheese."
But there's no shipping.
You'll have to come to Chicago to pick it up.
And you have to say, out loud, and with expression, "I want my cheese!"

If I stump you all, I am re-claiming Everest.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Shout-Out To Mountain View, California.

I have this thing at my disposal called a Stat Counter.
It tells me all about my readership on the blog.
How many hits I'm getting per day, per week, where the hits are coming from, how long the reader is lingering on the article, and which article and/or articles they are lingering on.
Now, this isn't an exact science.
There is no accounting for what happens if the reader has a page of the website on, neglects it, and then goes back to it.
There is no way to actually determine how long an individual is actually lingering religiously on the blog.
But an interesting and unprecedented thing has happened.
There is this one reader, or perhaps one family, or two readers, or whatever, hailing from at or around Mountain View, California.
This is apparently near Salinas California.
And he or she or they are constant readers of the blog.
By constant, I mean hours at a time.
And this has been going on for at least several months.
Now don't get me wrong.
I don't feel like I'm being stalked.
I find it all very flattering.
Articles are constantly being read and re-read.
There are certain books that I have found to be consistently re-readable.
"Yes, I Can", Sammy Davis's autobiography, was one.
My sister and I would constantly read passages out loud to each other from "Yes I Can".
And it was very quotable.
The same thing pertains to Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint"
I'm pleased to think that there are people out there who find my stuff re-readable.
But there is a point to my bringing all this.
You citizens of the Mountain View environs, how many of you that this applies to, are missing out on something.
You don't have to continually re-read things you've already read.
My e-books at the Amazon Kindle Store each contain roughly 500 pages each of articles that haven't been on the blog in quite some time.
"Show Runner"
"Show Runner Two, the sequel"
"The Man Is Dead"
and
"Report Cards" (This last one is closer to 300 pages.)
And I'm guessing that you haven't read any of them.
Just go there and type in my name
Now, I don't want anyone to think that this is just shameless pluggery on my part.
With the Kindle Books, Amazon makes most of the money anyway.
I only receive a mere pittance.
I'm simply trying to reward my Mountain View readership for their loyalty.
And I would like to hear from you personally.
Here is my e-mail address: macchus999@aol.com
Come in, Mountain View!!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, April 24, 2015

For Daily Use.

Lately, it has been more and more difficult for me to filter out commercials from my Tivo.
This is because I have been doing a lot more multi-tasking while having the TV on.
I'm not usually watching it.
I'm listening to it.
So I hear the commercials.
One that has gotten my attention is the one for Cialis.
Cialis is one of them boner pills.
I don't know if it's any better than any of them other boner pills on the market.
I don't have the need to indulge in the product in general.
But according to where I find these commercials, I seem to be the target audience.
In the Cialis commercials, it is repeatedly referred to as "Cialis, for daily use".
I think they are trying to create a catchphrase, and I think it's working.
This has all caused me to do some ruminating.
When my sister and I were kids, and we shared a private language.
One of the expressions that my sister created was "For days!"
Or, as she pronounced it, ""Fiddays!"
As in "How long did you have to stay at that wedding?"
"Fiddays!"
After one recent viewing, or listening, to the Cialis commercial, it occurred to me that my sister might have also been exposed
to it.
This led to me wondering if she remembered having added "Fiddays!" to the lexicon.
And if she had, whether it caused her to respond to the TV screen, "Cialis, Fiddaily Use!!
Or, at least, ""Cialis, Fiddays!!"
This prompted me to call her, and get to the bottom of all of this.
She had not seen the commercial.
She did, in fact, remember "Fiddays!!"
And she immediately saw the wisdom of matching the two together.
There was some debate as to whether it was funnier to say "Cialis, fiddaily use!!", or Cialis, fiddays!!"
It was a tossup.
She has now seen the commercial for the umpteenth time, and now, without exception, says, after the announcer says "Cialis..."
out loud, and with expression, "Fiddays!!", or upon occasion "Fiddaily use!!.
I have repeatedly mentioned that I consider my sister perhaps THE funniest person in the world.
Perhaps she is an acquired taste.
In any case, I must admit that I am not without influence.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Last But Not Least....

The big Kahuna of all Battle-Axes---(drum roll, please...) Ethel Merman!
Mainly known as the great Broadway Musical Star that she was, she also made some indelible forays into battle-axedom.
Ethel never had much of a movie career.
The moguls deemed her too big for the movie screen.
They were wrong.
Whenever she made a movie, she was glorious in it.
Her approach to acting: When she was standing in the wings, waiting to go on for one of her opening nights, she was asked if she was nervous.
She replied "What do I have to be nervous about?? I know my lines!!"
She played a great battle-axe as Donald O'Connor's mother in "There's No Business Like Show Business", when he came home drunk one night, and she submerged his head under the a bathroom sink filled with water, almost killing him in the process.
She was the first Mama Rose in "Gypsy", and from all indications, played it totally one-dimensionally battle-axe.
Those who succeeded her in the role, some of whom I saw, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly, Patti Lupone, Angela Lansbury, Rosalind Russell, each added subtle three dimensional shadings.
None were battle-axes.
Ethel was.
But her Coup de Grace was her role in Stanley Kramer's "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".
She played Milton Berle's hen-pecking mother-in-law.
To a fare-thee well.
No matter who else was in the picture, she hen-pecked them.
She was as funny as anyone could imagine, and was alone, worth the price of admission.
Until Ethel came along in that movie, there was a mold that needed breaking and she took it upon herself to break it.
She stands alone.

Okay. I'm done with this topic.
I'll bet some of you thought I'd never get here.
Perhaps it was a bit self-indulgent.
Perhaps I have been playing to the band.
But it amused me, and that has become the main reason I write this blog.
From the beginning of this series, I asked you to not offer any suggestions of those I have left out until the last entry.
Well, this is it.
If you feel that there is anyone I have egregiously left out, now is the time to make yourself heard in the comments section.
I hope to hear from you.

*****

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mopping Up With The Battle-Axes.

We're almost home.
This is the next-to last Battle-Axe entry.
It consists primarily of those who would be considered Honorable Mentions.

Elvia Allman: Primarily remembered as Lucy and Ethel's supervisor when they worked on the chocolate candy conveyor belt line.
Elvia was the one who called out "Speed it up a little!!.
She played Oscar's mother on an episode of "The Odd Couple", and she was nobody to mess around with, in character, and in life.

Reta Shaw: Leant her formidable presence to many hard-edged women roles.
She was a regular on Mr. Peepers, and played an Army Sergeant style maid on the Odd Couple.

Doris Packer: Mostly known as Chatsworth Osborne's mother on "Dobie Gillis"---Nasty, nasty boy!!"

Hattie McDaniel: Won an Oscar as the battle-axe 'Mammy" in "Gone With The Wind"
She excelled.
There were three actresses who played "Beulah" on the TV series.
She was the only one who played the role as a battle-axe.

Roseanne: I don't think she'd object to the label.

Patsy Kelly: Hilariously unfeminine. Teamed with Thelma Todd, who was hilariously feminine, in many comedy shorts in the early 1930's.

Jo Van Fleet: Great actress. Best known as James Dean's mother, who he didn't know he had, in "East of Eden".
Always a formidable, threatening presence.

We'll wrap up the entire series next time, much to the relief of many, I'm guessing, with a tribute to the all-time Battle-Axe Queen.
After that, I will welcome your comments if there are any battle-axes that you don't think I gave their proper due.

'Til then.....

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Some Of Your More Benign Battle-Axes.

These were actresses who were never really laff-riots, but definitely, consistently, played women you didn't want to mess with.

Maudie Prickett: Usually played spinsters. Had a recurring role as Jack Benny's secretary.
Jack seemed to have a penchant for finding battle-axes to play off of.

Nora Marlowe, Connie Gilchrist: Usually played charwomen with hearts of gold.
Connie's was a lot more gold than Nora's.

Audrey Christie: Henpecked her way through "Fair Exchange", where Eddie Foy Jr. was the victim.
She was also Billy Bigelow's nemesis and owner of the Carousel in the movie of the same name.
You always had the impression that she had the hots for Billy.

Nancy Kulp: Scored big on two Paul Henning series, "The Bob Cummings Show"e where she played bird-watcher Pamela Livingstone, pronouncd "stone", who continually lusted after Bob, to no avail.
Then, she became Mr. Drysdale's right-hand "man", where she spent the entire series lusting after Jethro, again, to no avail.
But she was totally hilarious.

Conchatta Ferrell: If but nothing but "Two and a Half Men", she belongs here.

Florence Stanley: Played Fish's wife opposite Abe Vigoda. Also replaced Bea Arthur as Yente the Matchmaker in Fiddler.

Kay Medford: Great, funny character actress. One strange piece of casting: She showed up as Andy Griffith's wife in Kazan's
""A Face in the Crowd". She must have been twenty years older than him. This might be explained by Kazan's original pursuit of Jackie Gleason for Griffith's part, then realized that he had to go younger.
And that he simply had to fire Kay Medford, but didn't.

Eileen Brennan: Except for "Private Benjamin", I always considered her to be a musical comedy performer.
But she earned her "stripes" with Private Benjamin".

Elsa Lanchester: Earned her place in battle-axe history by playing "The Bride of Frankenstein", and Charles Laughton's nurse in
"Witness For The Prosecution", where I think Laughton actually referred to her as a battle-axe.

Marcia Lewis: Another one of those actresses who played Mama Morton, the prison matron in "Chicago"
I allways found her to be a little sweeter than the usual battle axe.

Doris Singleton: A very attractive woman, who appeared in everything, and henpecked everyone.
Perhaps best known as Carolyn Applebee, who Lucy was always trying to impress.
It always helped Lucy to have a bitchier actress on stage than she was.

Next time, more shtarker actresses, leading up to the grand dame of them all.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, April 10, 2015

THE Funniest Battle-Axes. Part Two.

More great, great, hilarious battle-axes:

Verna Felton: Best known as easily the funniest performer on the sitcom "December Bride" as Hilda Crocker, Spring Byington's best friend. EVERYBODY played straight to her, as she delivered sledgehammer punch-lines that never missed.
She also scored big as Dennis Day's mother on "The Jack Benny Show".
It was an inspiration to have someone play Dennis Day's mother.
And casting Verna Felton to play her was a bigger inspiration.

Beatrice Pons: Utterly hilarious as Joe E. Ross's hatchet-faced wife on both ""Sergeant Bilko" and "Car 54, Where Are You?"
I had never seen her in anything else before or since, but lately she has shown up in the original "Goldbergs" series, where she played straight to Gertrude Berg.
Gertrude Berg seemed to decree that no other actress get laughs besides Gertrude Berg.

Amanda Randolph: Absolutely owned the stage as Danny Thomas's maid, Louise, on "Make Room For Daddy".
Same deal as Kingfish's mother-in-law on "Amos 'n Andy.
A major hoot.

Nancy Walker: A great Battle-axe before she was ever Rhoda's mother.
Usually on Broadway. She was a great physical comedienne.

Honorable Mention: Frances Langford. She carved a major battle-axe niche for herself as Blanche Bickerson on "The Bickersons"
Only problem was that they very rarely gave her the punch-lines.
Don Ameche got all the punch-lines.
So Langford did all the straight set-ups.
It became one-note, and repetitious.
I don't know where the blame lies.
But the show itself was extremely funny.

Next time, more benign battle-axes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

THE Funniest Battle-Axes.

Last time, when I discussed the movie "Caged", I neglected to mention that it was a relentlessly grim movie.
The seven, count 'em, seven battle-axes in "Caged" were not the type that you would hire because of their comedic abilities.
They were, in general, menacing, scary women.
As they should be.
This week, I'm going to talk about women who would have been totally miscast in "Caged"
Because they were all hilarious.
And all one-dimensionally funny.
Their mere presence would make you laugh.
They'd at least make ME laugh.
As soon as they'd show up.

The first time I saw Iris Adrian show up was in the very first episode of "The Abbott and Costello" TV show.
Right off the top.
Bud and Lou emerged from their brownstone apartment building, and stopped on the landing.
Iris Adrian came storming up the stairs, took one look at Costello, and, wlelding her folded umbrella, bellowed in her shrill voice,
"How dare you remind me of somebody I hate!!", and clopped him over the head with her umbrella.
And we were off to the races.
She made an impression.
She graduated to the Jack Benny Show, where she played a succession of waitresses, manicurists, secretaries, and as a last resort, Jack's date for the evening.
When Barbara Nichols was busy.
Benny knew he was slumming.
Whatever job she held, she could be counted on saying to him "Hiya, Mac!, to which Benny would respond "That's JACK!!"
She showed up to audition for me, and, delighted to see that she was still alive, put her to work in three different series.
Her work in "The Ted Knight Show" was exemplary.
The main reason I started this series was that a friend of mine sent me a DVD that contained a hilarious episode of "My Friend Irma". Iris Adrian had a major role in it.
On the same DVD was an episode of the series "Angel"
It was uproarious.
Primarily because because of that hilarious battle-axe, Bella Bruck.
Bella Bruck can best be described as Doris Roberts if Doris Roberts was funny.
There is no room here for Doris Roberts.
Doris Roberts was way too three dimensional.
She always wanted you to feel sorry for her.
I didn't. Ever.
We used Bella Bruck three times on "The Odd Couple"
Once, as Oscar's extremely slow secretary.
She consistently made Jack Klugman laugh during rehearsals.
It was always the highlight of our yearly gag reels at the rap party.
Bella Bruck would have been a much better version of Raymond's mother.

Estelle Harris: George Costanzas mother. 'Nuff said.

Honorable mention; Clara Peller---"Where's the Beef??"

There are more hilarious battle-axes that I will address next time.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, April 2, 2015

THE Great Battle-Axe Movie.

1950.
A movie came out called "Caged".
It contained at least seven, count 'em, seven battle-axes.
Figures.
It took place in a women's prison.
Sort of an "expose" on life in a women's prison.
There were even some whom you ordinarily wouldn't think of as battle-axes:
Ellen Corby, better known as Ma Walton in that series.
Jane Darwell, better known as Ma Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath".
Both got to show their fangs in "Caged".
Lee Patrick, known to many as Henrietta Topper, Cosmo's wife in that wonderful series "Topper".
But that was an excursion for her.
She usually played hard-boiled dames, like Bogart's secretary in "The Maltese Falcon".
And like in "Caged".
Then you had your usual gang of traditional battle-axes:

Agnes Moorehead, as the Warden.
Hope Emerson, that six foot four inch monster of a "woman", who was the chief enforcer of prison policy.
She was also well remembered for her appearance in "Adam's Rib", where in a show of women's equality, she lifted Spencer Tracy over her head with one hand, by his one heel.
She went on to play "Mother" in Peter Gunn", in a desperate attempt to make that show interesting.
I think she died during the run, and was replaced by the afore-mentioned Minerva Urecal.
The afore-mentioned-Betty Garde, very scary, was also in "Caged"
Jan Sterling battle-axed her way through "Caged".
Maybe you didn't consider Jan Sterling to be a battle-axe.
I call your attention to Billy Wilder's great "Ace In The Hole", where, as the wife of a miner stuck in a cave-in, she was ready to drop her drawers for Kirk Douglas, who was there to revive his career as a big-shot reporter.
There was also an episode of "Naked City" where she badgered her small-time ex-con husband, Jack Klugman, to kidnap a little girl, and then to try to force him to kill the child when things didn't pan out well.
That's battle-axe enough for me.
"Caged" is pretty impressive.
Seven battle-axes, seven.
In one movie.
Ya can't beat it.
I don't want to scare you or anything, but we're not nearly done with the subject matter.
If you're completely sick of it, you might want to come back in about three weeks.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The "Annie" Battle-Axes.

Since my last post, I had a major head-smacking moment.
I'd said that I thought I was done with "Battle-axes from Broadway".
I forgot about Miss Hannigan.
The Queen of the Battle-Axes.
"Annie" has probably provided us with more battle-axes per capita than any other show, considering all the productions and road companies there have been.
I know this because I asked my Siri "Who were all the actresses who played Miss Hannigan?
It directed me to a website called abouttheartists.com.
It had a section devoted totally to Miss Hannigan.
Every replacement, every road company, even every community theater production.
It's a fairly new website, so it's still incomplete.
But it's thorough.
Dorothy Loudon originated the role, and I never previously thought of her as a battle-axe.
But it turns out that she sort of WAS one in real life.
At least to the extent that she hated kids.
Hated being around them, hated sharing the stage with them.
So she has earned her wings.
Here are some of the better-known Miss Hannigan battle-axes that show up on the website:
Jane Lynch--who better?
Ruth Kobart---won a Tony for playing David Burns' hen-pecking wife in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum".
Born for the role.
Sally Struthers---really wasn't one on TV, but I've heard stories.
Wanda Sykes---Boy, I would have loved to see that.
Nell Carter---I once sat at the next table from her at a restaurant in Atlantic City.
She had one of the hugest meals I'd ever seen sitting in front of her.
And she must have been pushing four hundred pounds at that point.
She downed every bite.
I was afraid that she was going to reach over and grab some of MY food.
I started guarding it very closely.
She was impressive, but I thought "At this pace, maybe she's got about six months left".
To quote Colonel Hall about Private Doberman, "he's got to be about three hundred calories away from exploding".
Nell Carter died about eight months later.
I guess you could say she beat the spread.
JoAnne Worley---right on the money.
Kathleen Freeman---one of my all-time favorites. I'll bet she was great.
I worked with her once, and have a great story to share with you about her.
But that's for another time.
So, to sum up, "Annie" is the Broadway Battle-Axe Champeen.
Next time, filmdom's all-time Battle-Axe movie.


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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



*****


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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."