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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Mixed Blessing Of Comcast. Part Two.

Last time out, I listed, as Ed Norton would say, Comcast's good pernts.
Today, we'll be dealing with Comcast's bad pernts.

#1) It is almost impossible, whatever your problem is, to get anyone on the phone.
After signing up with them, and receiving equipment from them, I had to install a few things so I could have cable in at least one room, and have internet access.
I called Comcast, and got recorded message choices.
Then, after making the appropriate choice, was asked by the recorded lady to enter the ten digit phone number associated with the account.
I was told that no such account exists.
This occurred repeatedly.
After appearing at my local Comcast store, providing them with the information, and being handed equipment.
I also had an appointment scheduled for five days later, the earliest they could do it, for technicians to complete the full installation.
I was handed a modem, so I could hook up the Wi-Fi.
No problem.
I knew how to do that.
I did it.
My devices indicated that it had been done successfully.
One problem though:
I couldn't get on the internet.
On any of the devices.
Oh, I could go outside of my house, and get the internet on my IPhone.
But not inside the house.
It was being blocked inside the house, for some reason.
I wanted to find out what that reason was, thus the attempted call to Comcast.
Where I was told repeatedly that no account exists.
Then, at long last, my account was recognized by the recorded lady.
This put me on a recorded loop, where I was asked the same questions over and over again.
I then realized that you had to be an Navajo Code-talker to get to speak to a human being.
Whatever was asked, I responded by relentlessly hitting "Zero" on my phone.
Eventually, this got me to a human being, who spent the first three minutes ignoring me while laughing and chatting with his fellow workers.
When he finally noticed that there was someone on the other end of the phone, we got down to business.
I asked him why I had no internet access.
After dancing around this question for about a half-an-hour, he noticed that I had a technician appointment in five days.
And that was why I had no internet access.
THEY had to turn it on.
This begged the questions "Why wasn't I told this?", and better yet, "Why was I handed a modem?"
The answers to both questions were "I don't know."
I wanted to call my local Comcast store to get answers.
Local.
Twenty minutes there, and twenty minutes back, by car.
Time I could have saved if they had a local phone number that you could call.
Like all U-Verse stores do.
But they don't.
They are unreachable by phone.
So I shlep there by car, only to get the same answers that I got from the deciphered phone call to Comcast.
Of course, the moron who handed me the modem was off that day.
I suggested that we call her, only to be met with "We don't disturb employees on their days off."
Apparently, it didn't matter how much I was disturbed.
So I went five days without internet, except for my IPhone, which did provide it once I disconnected the Wi-Fi.
How spoiled I have become.
That's all I got, is #1.
But I think it's enough.


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Mixed Blessing Of Comcast. Part One.

Part of my move to Chicago has involved having to change Cable companies.
In Detroit, I had AT&T U-Verse, which I have referred to in the past as "U-voise" in tribute to the 1950 film "Mister Universe",
during which Bert Lahr and Jack Carson, as wrestling promoters, signed the reigning "Mr. Universe" played by a very uncomfortable Vince Edwards, to a pro wrestling contract, and took every opportunity to call him, and refer to him as "Univoise".
I loved my U-Voise.
They provided very reliable service.
They had a very good channel selection.
I was in Cable Heaven.
But U-Voise wasn't available where my new house was.
All there was, was Comcast.
I was dismayed.
Part of my malaise about it was mollified when I went to the nearest Comcast store, about twenty minutes away by car, and was handed their programming guide.
I specified what Premium services I wanted, and they went out of their way to figure out how to save me money.
As good as U-Voise was, Comcast was far better in this regard.
I am a big fan of MeTV, a channel that specializes in Classic TV, and commercials directed at really old people, which I generally skip through, and was praying that Comcast also carried MeTV.
Not only do they carry MeTV, but they also carry all the clones of MeTV.
There's MeTVToo, Cosi, Antenna, and my current favorite, The Jewish Life Network.
This is definitely an upgrade from U-Voise.
U-Voise doesn't have any of these.
What I have now is an embarrassment of riches.
But this upgrade has already come at a severe price.
And it has already taken it's toll on me.
I'll get into the dark side of Comcast next time.
And by dark side, I mean Jet Black.
Yet, I have emerged unscathed.
But their faults must be exposed.
And I'll do that next time.

'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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eating Lasagna With Ballpoint Pens.

Why life isn't fair:

I'm sitting in my gorgeous new house in Chicago.
It is for the most part, filled with still packed boxes.
It will probably take much time to get everything unpacked.
But I've got my room to watch TV, and there is enough room in our bedroom for us to be quite comfortable.
However, there are several things that I count on my wife to take of, and, sad to say, she let me down.
One of those things was to provide me with eating utensils.
This issue came to a head when, after not being able to immediately retrieve the silverware from any of the investigated boxes, and my wife not bringing home any plastic silverware, where it resided in abundance at her office, we were faced with the issue of dining out, only to learn that at just about every restaurant in our immediate area, the kitchens closed at nine pm.
As my wife generally works until at least 7:30pm most nights, and then has a half-hour drive to get home, we have generally been fighting the clock to eat out locally.
The first night. not being aware of this, and not knowing where the silverware was, we began making excursions to the local restaurants, only to be turned away because it was after 9pm.
Now we did have leftovers from a previous restaurant experience, and thought we'd probably be able to find at least something that resembled a spoon or a fork.
At least one that we could share.
After much searching, we determined that we couldn't.
Knowing her as I do, I assumed that after about three weeks of hotel living out here, waiting to move in, she would have had her usual good sense to swipe at least one set of silverware from one of the restaurants that we had frequented.
But she was remiss in her duties.
And we both paid the price.
Oh, I suppose we could have gotten back into the car, and gone to the supermarket, where we could have acquired plastic forks, but we were far too demoralized at that point.
And far too cheap to pay for something we had in abundance in the house somewhere.
The leftovers in question were Italian seafood pasta, and Lasagna.
The pasta seemed manageable.
I got the idea to transform two ballpoint pens into chopsticks, and eat it like it was Chinese Lo Mein.
The Lasagna was the tricky part.
Trying to eat the Lasagna with two ballpoint pens as chopsticks was certainly a daunting process.
And of course, a thoroughly humiliating one.
I mean, think about it.
My wife is a highly valued, well paid financial executive.
I have achieved a certain amount of prestige in my show business career.
Our new house is a showplace.
We have other quite valuable real estate holdings.
And we're both sitting in our new kitchen, attempting to eat Lasagna using ballpoint pens as chopsticks.
We managed to get through it.
And we won't have to re-create this experience, as the silverware has now been uncovered.
But, at the time, my first and only thought was "How the mighty have fallen".
As Zero Mostel put it, in "The Producers", "Once I was the King of Broadway. Now, I'm wearing a cardboard belt!"

********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, October 17, 2014

Learning To Toddle.

"Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders......."

This is the beginning of Carl Sandburg's poem, "Chicago".
Why am I quoting this?
I am about to let the cat out of the proverbial bag.
My wife and I have just moved from Detroit to Chicago.
Now, this may not seem earthshaking to any of you, but it is a 5.6 on the Richter Scale to me.

I've been dropping little hints along the way over the last few months, when it was a tentative plan.
It got firmed up when my wife got a job here.
Such is my life.
I follow her around from job to job like an Army brat.
In "G'bye Dere, Part 4", a post I put up a few months ago, I got into a 29-round debate in the Comments section with "Mike from Chicago", where we debated, among other things, the relative merits and demerits of movie producer Hal Roach and baseball executive Bill Veeck, during which Mike implied that if one has never lived in Chicago, one can never have his unique perspective on life, and the appreciation of his surroundings that he enjoys.
I replied "Gee! I hope I get to live in Chicago some day so I can be as smart as you!", knowing I had this imminent move in my back pocket.
The debate deteriorated rapidly, to the point where, because of what I determined to be his tediousness, boorishness, inaccuracies,
and lack of humor, I sent him packing.
Although I believe I have detected him still lurking on the blog.
He's welcome to do that.
I just don't want to hear from him again.
I've already got quite a few "moving to Chicago" stories to tell, and they will involve the usual amount of bellyaching, although actually, I really love it here.
And I'm starting to feel smarter already.

********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Siri Sabotage.

My Siri has served me quite well.
I have always loved my Siri.
I have at least always loved the IDEA of my Siri.
But that's in the past tense.
It's all over now.
The bloom is off the rose.
The romance is over.
It used to be that I'd ask my Siri anything.
And I mean ANYTHING.
And in a jiffy, in a New York minute, Siri would be right there with the answer.
Not now.
Not any more.
Now, Siri doesn't understand a word you say.
I'm not positive why.
But she has become hard-of-hearing.
I'm not holding any kind of personal grudge.
I'm not holding Siri's feet to the fire.
I think she means well.
I think it's beyond her control.
At least with the IPhone 5.
I suspect sabotage.
Either from Apple, in an attempt to get their customers to upgrade to IPhone 6, with their "much better Siri", one that can easily understand you, or one of Apple's competitors, who has hacked into Apple, and brought the old Siri to her knees.
I am seeing commercials all the time for competing cell phone companies that compare the old Siri to Helen Keller.
But I'm sticking to my guns.
For better or worse, I'm going to keep talking to the deaf lady.
Hey, Lady!!!!!


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"I Don't Read Anybody's Blog". Part Two.

I don't think I ever mentioned this, but I have a major aversion to receiving mass e-mails.
E-mails for which I am not the sole recipient.
I feel like I am becoming a member of somebody else's audience without asking my permission.
The exception I make is when I receive a mass e-mail from someone I know is a reader of my blog.
Then, I welcome their mass e-mails.
Otherwise, I prefer my e-mails to have a more personal stamp to them, so I'm not just a member of their audience.
I know.
I write a blog.
You are all members of my audience.
But you have all come here on your own volition.
I don't put pressure on anyone to read what I have to write.
Here, I am preaching to the choir.

Several years ago, an old friend decided to put me on her mass e-mail list, after years of personal e-mail correspondence.
Subsequently, I never received any more personal e-mails from her.
She used to be a reader of my blog, but I sensed that she had stopped reading it.
That became reason enough for me to essentially dismiss her mass e-mails once I had been forced to open them.
Not too long ago, she sent me a mass e-mail, quoting an article that informed me that Lee Harvey Oswald had grown up in the Bronx, in New York City.
This was not news to me.
He and I had attended the same public school in the Bronx.
Me in kindergarten, Lee in the fourth grade.
I had once made mention of this on my blog.
So I wrote my mass e-mailing friend back and said "Tell me something I don't know".
She wrote back, un-massed, "How am I supposed to know you knew this?"
I explained that I had written about it on the blog.
She sent back those magic words: "I don't read anybody's blog any more. I don't have the time".
She doesn't have the time.
Yet she has the time to send out the equivalent of her own blog, the mass e-mail, which she does with some regularity.
Only by doing it that way, she is forcing the recipient to at least unwittingly pay attention to it.
I expressed those sentiments to her subsequently, with the request that she take me off her mass e-mail list.
That I have no problem communicating with her directly and personally, but just not in that form.
She graciously accommodated me.
Now, I receive e-mails from her that seem like mass e-mails, except that they are addressed personally to me.
Oh, well.
At least she made the effort.
I don't think I have to concern myself with her seeing this.
After all, she doesn't read anybody's blog .
She doesn't have the 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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"I Don't Read Anybody's Blog"

Several months ago, in L.A., I had dinner with a couple of guys I knew in college.
One, a good friend, who is an avid reader of my blog, and the other, who started out as a friend, and turned himself into less than an acquaintance.
During the course of eating, my friend casually mentioned that I have a blog, and that he enjoyed it, to which my less-than-acquaintance responded "I don't read anybody's blog. I don't have the time".
Notice that I didn't bring it up.
I would NEVER bring it up.
Unless I had a particular reason.
My friend brought it up.
Now, I honestly have no objection to someone not having the time to read my blog.
It's not necessarily for everybody.
I read some blogs.
I don't read others.
What I object to strenuously is someone going out of his way to tell me, in public, "I don't read anybody's blog. I don't have the time".
Like he's above it.
Like he's above me.
Like I'm not worth his time.
Now, I certainly don't mind him thinking it.
People can think whatever they want.
But why is it necessary to tell me?
If someone had told me that they had a blog that I was not aware of, I'd like to think that I'd say something like "Sounds great! I'll have to check it out."
Whether I meant it or not.
Total honesty does not have to be the order of the day.
But my less-than-acquaintance chose that other path.
And solidified his position as "Less-than-acquaintance".
He is a successful screenwriter.
I suppose I could have said "I don't go to see anybody's movies. Particularly yours. I don't have the time."
This would have been a true statement.
But, gentleman that I am, I missed a wonderful opportunity to not keep my mouth shut.
I haven't seen him since.
And do not intend to.
I suppose you can call this Blog Etiquette.
And Life Etiquette.

Next time, I will offer up another example of "I don't read anybody's blog. I don't have the time".

Until 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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


Friday, October 3, 2014

The Return Of "Ticky Tock"

Quite a few months ago, I wrote an article here called "The Saga Of Ticky Tock".
Here is essentially what I wrote:

Woody Guthrie once wrote an recorded a song called "Ticky Tock".
That's not what I am referring to here.
I mentioned after seeing the preview to "The Sound of Music" that there were charlatans in the Metropolitan area of New York who took advantage of kids in our neighborhood, convincing their starstruck mothers that their kids had the talent to send them into the stratosphere, if only they had a little coaching, which these crooks would provide.
This led to the mass auditions and rejections of these moppets for the original production of "The Sound of Music", which starred Mary Martin.
But there were other charlatans out there.
Those who took advantage of very young little "composers and lyricists", convincing them that for a fairly hefty fee, they could get their compositions published and recorded by major artists of the time.
Two such "composers and lyricists", actually I don't know who contributed what, were these two ten-year-olds named Debbie and Diane.
Their composition, which we in the neighborhood heard incessantly, was a little ditty called "Ticky Tock".
As I'm sure they had never heard of Woody Guthrie, and since I have heard his "Ticky Tock", I can assure you that they were not the same song.
I will attempt to recreate Debbie and Diane's "Ticky Tock" as best I can, considering that you can't hear the music on paper:

"When my baby left me,
I didn't know what to
do
oo
oo
ooh
When my baby left me, I was sad and
blue oo
oo
ooh

So I looked at the clock, said "Ticky Tock"
Ticky Tah
ah
ah
ock
When my baby left me.....(and then the whole thing was repeated. Over and over.)
It never ended.
It was a song without end.
It's like it was on a loop.
Now you might think that the lyrics to "Ticky Tock" were inherently stupid.
And maybe they were.
But so were many hit records at the time.
What was more inherently stupid than "Ooh ee, ooh ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang"?
Not much, but at least it had an ending.
"Ticky Tock"'s lack of one did not stop at least one shifty entrepreneur from getting Debbie and Diane's mothers to part with a significant amount of cash to see their budding geniuses handiwork wind up on the hit parade.
It never did.
But it has lived on in our memories.
Whenever my wife, or my sister, or I say a sentence that ends in the word "clock"
One of the others can be counted on saying "...said 'Ticky Tock'?"
My sister, when she was eight, actually came up with an absolutely appropriate ending to "Ticky Tock"
She sang "So I looked at the clock, said 'Ticky Tock", and started all over again."
This was to the tune of "Pick myself up, dust myself off..."
Pretty hip for an eight year old.

--------------------------------------
Fair warning, the following might appear to be more curmudgeonly and tasteless than usual, even for me.
I was born a curmudgeon, the very first post on this blog was curmudgeonly, and I'm sure I'll die a curmudgeon.
And my taste has always been questionable.
So if this sort of stuff is starting to wear you down, I suggest that you skip the rest of this, and come back next time.
Okay.
You've been warned.
Last Christmas, I had Christmas dinner `with some relatives.
After consuming way too much food, I developed what can most politely describe as a case of the trots.
Actually, it was a case of the full out runs.
So there I was, in the bathroom, sitting where one sits, in the midst of agonizingly exploding.
I hope this isn't too graphic for you.
During this cacophony, I heard my nephew, in the bedroom adjacent to the bathroom where I was doing my damage, singing a lullaby to his one year old daughter, trying to induce her to fall asleep.
His lullaby of choice was Brahms' Lullaby.
Or at least his version of it.
He did not know any of the words to it, so it was all "Da da dum, da da dum, da da dum dum, de dum dum"
Here are the lyrics to Brahms' Lullaby:

"Lullaby and goodnight, with roses bedight
With lilies o'er spread is baby's wee bed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed

Lullaby and goodnight, thy mother's delight
Bright angels beside my darling abide
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast"

The way my nephew did it, he never got past the equivalent of the first line, which ends with "roses bedight"
One line.
And he da da dummed it that way for a good half-hour.
Like it was on the same kind of a loop as "Ticky Tock"
Another song without end.
And without lyrics.
With the added aggravation of my inability to escape the situation because of my exploding bowels.
My nephew is a very nice, intelligent guy, and can't help the fact that he has no musical sense whatsoever.
Thus, I never confronted him about it, regardless of how much added pain he caused me.
I can only encourage him to have good nights, sleep tight, and not to let the bedbugs bite.

********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Freakouts From TV That I Have Known.

The actor Don Keefer died the other day, at the age of 98.
Nice run.
He had a huge list of TV credits, usually playing a rather amiable weakling.
I first became aware of him on the early 60's sitcom "Angel", which starred a very amiable French starlet named Annie Farge.
Keefer played her very amiable next door neighbor.
Doris Singleton played his not so amiable wife.
Keefer knew his way around comedy, and was very good on "Angel".
I'm probably the only person who remembers Don Keefer from "Angel".
But he is remembered vividly, if not by name, but by his face, for one of his other TV roles.
In an episode of "The Twilight Zone", he was one of a handful of people who were subject to young Billy Mumy's whims, where he was capable of "wishing" for things to come true.
Usually it was a matter of "Wishing them to the cornfield", where their heads would be sticking out from a long corn stalk.
More unique, and more frightening, was what happened to Keefer.
Mumy "wished" Keefer would become a Jack-in-the Box.
And he did.
There was Keefer's frozen smiling face, sitting on top of the spring of a Jack-in-the Box.
It was one of the most frightening things I'd ever encountered in my young life.
A total freakout.
I can never watch that episode of "The Twilight Zone " again.
I once had a table at my local Comic-Con, where I sat right next to a now grown Billy Mumy.
I mentioned Keefer and the Jack-in-the-Box. And how it freaked me out.
He said "Yeah. I get that a lot."

At least this freakout was somewhat rational.
I mean, let's face it.
It was a really horrifying image.
But there have been a couple of others that have bordered on the truly irrational.
In the early 1930's, in the opening credits of many Warner Brothers' movies, even before the big "WB" would come lurching at you, it would be preceded by this forming atom, or proton, or something, where dots would be circling around round rings, with what sounded like a bongo drum accompaniment, forming, on the beat, with a cymbal, the letters "A---A---P", against a black background.
It stood for "Associated Artists Productions"
I haven't seen it since I was a teenager, but when I did, it made me run from the room.
I don't know why, but it just freaked me out.
It probably still would.
I hope I'm never in a position to be tested again.
I don't think I'd pass.

The third freakout was not mine, but my daughter's.
It was yet another tribute to my truly terrible fathering skills.
My only previous experience with little girls was as my sister's older brother.
And I treated her mercilessly.
Thus, I treated my daughter like I treated my sister.
I am not proud of this.
My daughter was a huge fan of "The Muppet Show".
On one episode, Harry Belafonte was the guest star.
During the course of the episode, he sang an African song called "We Come From De Fire"
He was surrounded by various Muppets, all wearing scary-looking African masks, and singing along with him.
This freaked my daughter out completely, and, this already being the age of the VCR, I had recorded it.
And showed it to her at every opportunity.

I suppose I thought "Why should I be the only one to suffer?"
And I suppose it's too late for an apology, since it's 29 years later, but I'm sorry, kid.


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, September 26, 2014

Goodson-Todman---A Pretty Fair Output, Huh?

Beat the Clock (1950–1961, 1969–1974, 1979–1980)
The Better Sex (1977–1978)
Blade Rider
Blockbusters (1980–1982, 1987)
Branded (1965–1967)
Broken Sabre
By Popular Demand (1950)
Call My Bluff (1965)
Card Sharks (1978–1981, 1986–1989)
Choose Up Sides (1956)
Concentration (1973–1978, 1987–1991)
The Don Rickles Show (1968–1969)
Double Dare (1976–1977)
Family Feud (1976–1985, 1988–1995)
Get the Message (1964)
Goodyear Theater (1957–1960)
He Said, She Said (1969–1970)
It's News to Me (1951–1953, 1954)
I've Got a Secret (1952–1967, 1972–1973, 1976)
Jefferson Drum (1958–1959)
Judge for Yourself (1953–1954)
Las Vegas Beat
Make the Connection (1955)
Match Game (1962–1969, 1973–1982, 1990–1991)
Mindreaders (1979–1980)
Missing Links (1963–1964)
The Name's the Same (1951–1954, 1954–1955)
Now You See It (1974–1975, 1989)
Number Please (1961)
One Happy Family (1961)
Password (1961–1967, 1971–1975)
Password Plus and Super Password (1979–1982, 1984-1989)
Philip Marlowe (1959–1960)
Play Your Hunch (1958–1963)
The Price Is Right (1956–1965, 1972–present)
The Rebel (1959–1961)
The Richard Boone Show (1963–1964)
Rider Beyond Vengeance
Say When!! (1961–1965)
Showoffs (1975)
Snap Judgment (1967–1969)
Split Personality (1959–1960)
Tattletales (1974–1978, 1982–1984)
That's My Line (1980–1981)
To Tell the Truth (1956–1968, 1969–1978, 1980–1981, 1990–1991)
Two for the Money (1952–1956, 1957)
What's Going On? (1954)
What's My Line? (1950–1967, 1968–1975)
The Web (1950–1954)
Winner Take All (1948–1950, 1951, 1952)

This is a list of the shows that Mark Goodson and Bill Todman produced and got on the air for TV.
It doesn't even include unsold pilots.
I don't know if anyone else can even come close to matching that record for number of different shows produced.
Oh, there was the occasional Prime Time dramas or comedies, but most of them were Game Shows, of varying degrees of success.
Except for certain glaring exceptions, the game shows were of a very high standard.
Goodson and Todman, particularly Goodson, who was the brains of the outfit, were enormously influential on the tastes and the viewing habits of the American public.
In some ways, they still are.
I'm going to attempt to weave my way through this list, and comment on some of these shows.
This will be my go-to topic when I have nothing else of significance to write about.
I wrote a little about "To Tell The Truth" last time, when I wrote about Polly Bergen.
It was easily the most clever, well-crafted, and interesting game show ever.
Some of their shows created catch-phrases.
"To Tell The Truth" had one.
When they were ready to reveal the non-liar, Bud Collyer, the host, would say "Will the real ______ ________ please stand up?!
In the early 60's, in California, there was this noted Death Row inmate at San Quentin named Caryl Chessman.
He was eventually executed in the gas chamber, and subsequently cremated.
Shortly after this occurred, my sixteen year-old cousin Howie, with his usual flair for showmanship, set up three filled ashtrays on his kitchen table, and announced "Will the real Caryl Chessman please stand up?!"
Ahh...memories....

On the other end of the spectrum was "Beat The Clock", easily the most stupid game show ever.
It was all about stunts, and making the contestants look foolish.
And giving away clock-radios. Occasionally a black-and white TV.
Bud Collyer was the host there, too.
The premise was way simple: perform the stunt in the allotted time given you by the clock.
Maximum of sixty seconds.
I knew one of the "writers" on "Beat The Clock"
Writers. He was paid to come up with the stunts, and try them out in his office with the other "writer" to see if it could be performed in the allotted time.
The stunts usually involved balloons and gyrations.
In an office.
Grown men.
This was one step up from elephant-shit shoveling on the show business spectrum.
Albert Brooks, at parties, used to break out a piece of material called "Bud Collyer's funeral".
Collyer had passed away in the late 60's, so this was a re-creation.
With the clock ticking, the pall-bearers would attempt to get Bud's coffin planted in the ground in under sixty seconds.
They succeeded, and all received clock-radios.

"Til 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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Polly Bergen: I Miss Her Already.

Polly Bergen died this past week.
She was an enormously attractive and talented woman.
I'm sure most of you know who she was.
But then, most of my readers are over forty.
Anyone under forty has trouble remembering who Bob Hope was.
Polly Bergen was a great singer.
She was a great actress.
And she was a great game-show panelist.
When she was a regular panelist on Goodson-Todmsn's "To Tell The Truth", which is where I first saw her when I was ten years old, she combined those latter two talents.
Aside from being lovely to look at, and theoretically delightful to know,, she was the only panelist ever to appear on that show to create a persona for herself.
Every other panelist was essentially an extension of his or her personality, with the possible exception of Robert Q. Lewis, who, on the air, was merely unctuous, but off the air, was a total prick.
Polly Bergen, on "To Tell The Truth", played it totally flighty and ditzy, something I'm given to understand she was not at all.
Goldie Hawn, on "Laugh-In", played it totally flighty and ditzy, something she was not at all.
Polly Bergen was to "To Tell The Truth" what Goldie Hawn was to "Laugh-In"
And was just as adorable at it.
She left "To Tell The Truth" after only a few years, to be replaced by Peggy Cass, who was exactly what she seemed to be.
And I don't think she ever did a game show again.
I think she thought she was on the verge of a budding movie career.
She had a starring role in a piece of fluff called "Kisses For My President", playing, of all things, the first woman president.
And it was all played for laughs and silliness.
That seems appropriate.
I mean, really.
A woman president?
"To Tell The Truth was a really well constructed game show.
It required the panelists to be mentally alert at all times.
It required the "liars" to be mentally alert at all times.
It created a fascination for the audience for them to figure out who was lying.
I, of course, being the worst poker player in the world, could never have been a "liar" on "To Tell The Truth".
And I could never figure out who was lying.
It was one of those rare game shows that I thought was smarter than I was.
Goodson and Todman were such major purveyors of entertainment in the twentieth century that it is not fair to dwell on just "To Tell The Truth".
Next time, and perhaps the time after that, I'm going to take a more extensive overview of Goodson and Todman's output over the years.
R.I.P. Polly.

********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rothman's Guide To Hotel Etiquette. Part Two.

Picking up from last time:

If you want to sleep in, make sure that you put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, so you can provide the non-English-speaking housekeeper the opportunity to ignore it, bang on your door, and yell "Housekeeping!!", which, of course is the only word she knows in English, waking you up at the ungodly hour of 10 AM.
This forces you to yell back "Later please!!!!.
That is, if you want to be polite.
If you don't, it is certainly acceptable to leave off the "please".
Then, at 1 PM, when the front desk calls you to ask if you want your room cleaned, you have every right to say "Of course!
Whaddya think? That I'm a slob or something?? Send 'em right up!"
Then, when they still haven't showed up at 4pm, feel free to call down again and say "I'm still waiting!!!
This reminds them that your room hasn't been cleaned yet.
Then, when the housekeeper shows up at 4:45pm, feel free to rant that if she had shown up at 4:05, I would be leaving the room and be out of her way.
But since it's 4:45, I have to stay here to watch Keith Olbermann. So it's your fault.
Don't worry about hurting her feelings.
Not only can't she speak English, she can't understand it either.
So, no harm, no foul.
One of the reasons I want to sleep in late is that they serve a very early free hot breakfast downstairs, which I get up for and avail myself of, before I go back to sleep.
Now some of these hotels have very good hot breakfasts.
They have an omellete station, and a waffle machine.
Or at least one of the two.
Of course, the one I'm currently staying at has neither.
This gives me the opportunity, already knowing the answer, to ask the front desk, "Where's the waffle machine?" and "Where's the omellete station", and enjoying their sheepish grins as they tell they don't have them.
Then, when you tell them that you've stayed at cheaper hotels that do, you know they're not going to say "Then why don't you stay there?"
Because, as I indicated, they're trained to smile and shrug, and nothing else.
Back to the ones that DO have omellete stations.
This matters to me, because I don't want to put the cholesterol associated with egg yolks in me.
At omellete stations, they invariably have egg-whites or Egg Beaters available.
As opposed to the mushy, bland, cholesterol-loaded scrambled eggs available where I'm currently residing.
There is a downside to omellete stations, but merely a minor one.
Each one that I have encountered has a tip glass on the counter.
And there are always a few bucks already in it.
This is, of course, a scam.
He put the few bucks in the glass himself to encourage other poor saps to kick in.
I have proof of this.
I am often the first one down there for breakfast.
And there are already a few bucks in the tip glass.
So where did they come from?
Of course I find this offensive.
I mean, this is the man's job.
To make omelletes.
At a buffet.
A buffet I'm already paying good money for.
He's simply frying the omellete, putting it on a plate, and handing it to me.
He's not bringing it to my table and serving it to me.
Just handing it to me.
Unlike the "waitresses" whose only job is to pour me coffee, who I don't tip either.
But of course, I hold my tongue.
Because I am always multi-tasking.
Getting my juice, making a waffle (Okay, so I'm not a fanatic about cholesterol.), and if I say something about the tip-glass-scam, I leave myself open to the omellete-maker spitting in my eggs.
So I hold my tongue.
I do make a minor attempt at not holding my wrath when some slob waiting for his omellete ahead of me puts a couple of bucks in the tip glass, and hearing the omellete maker say "Thank you, sir."
Then, when the omellete maker turns back to work on my eggs, I boldly sneer at that slob because he is about to make me look cheap for NOT doing it.
Back to where I am staying now.
Most hot breakfast buffets at these places have conveyor belt toasters, enabling everyone to toast their bread or bagels at the same time.
This is very good.
Where I'm staying now, there is this one four-slice toaster.
It means that you have to wait for others to finish their toasting before you can start yours.
This is very bad.
Yesterday, I had a bagel that needed toasting.
I went to the four-slice toaster.
There were four bagel halves filling it, being toasted.
So I waited.
And I waited.
The bagel slices had stopped toasting, but they hadn't popped up.
I waited a full fifteen minutes.
I think that fifteen minutes, under the circumstances, is more than enough waiting time.
Then, I popped up the slices.
They were about two-thirds toasted.
Enough to satisfy me.
So I took them.
I appropriated them as my own, and placed my soggy scrambled eggs upon them.
I began to eat them.
About five minutes later, a ten-year old girl went to the toaster, and discovered that her bagels were gone.
I discerned this because she came rushing back to her table, coincidentally located next to mine, and exclaimed to her mother, "Mommy! Somebody took my bagels!!"
She was willing to let her bagels sit in that four-slice toaster a full twenty minutes, for Chrissakes!
I was pleased to see that it was a little girl.
It at least meant that she was young enough to learn an important life lesson:
When there is only one four-slice toaster, it is inconsiderate to leave your bagels unattended.
Most adults, excluding myself, of course, are far too set in their ways to learn anything.
As I was eating the kid's bagels, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat.
So you can turn lemons into lemonade.

I guess that's about it.

Once again, I'll close where I left off in the song:

"When the steeple bell
Says "Good night, sleep well,"
We'll thank the small hotel together

And when the steeple bell
Says "Good night, sleep well,"
We'll thank the small hotel......together!!!


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rothman's Guide To Hotel Etiquette. Part One.

My wife and I are in Chicago, staying at a hotel, and living out of suitcases.
This is a condition that will last for several weeks.
I will get into the whys and wherefores at a later date.
I have spent much time in my life in hotels, and thus, I feel eminently qualified to offer helpful hints on how to conduct yourself to maximize your pleasure when staying at such establishments.
First, when you make your reservations make sure they have precisely what you are looking for.
That way, there will be no unpleasant surprises once you arrive.
I have become somewhat handicapped within the last year.
I use a cane when I walk, or hobble.
I have practically become a full-time hobbler.
So I make sure I ask for a room near the elevator to cut down on the hobbling.
Thus, when I check in, there is no reason to even ask the clerk whether or not the room is near the elevator.
It would be unseemly and embarrassing to ask, only to be met with "Heck, you asked for it didn't you?".
No sense bestowing that kind of shame on either one of us.
So after my wife loads up several of those luggage carts that are strewn about in the lobby, (I can't help, I'm too busy hobbling. And it's mostly her stuff anyway. She over-packs.) we go up to the room on the elevator.
And trudge our way all the way down to the end of the hallway, as far away from the elevator as one can get, where our room awaits.
When this situation arises, and it often does, loud expletives are appropriate in the hallway.
The walls are pretty thick.
The other guests can't hear you anyway.
You get to the room, and the question arises: Do we want to stay here, or force them to move us to a room closer to the elevator?
As my wife would have to shoulder the move, I leave it to her to make the decision.
And she usually opts for staying in the room we were given.
She and I both know what this will lead to: My immediately getting on the phone with the Front Desk, and chewing that person out for assigning us this room, even though he or she was probably not given the memo.
They will usually ask "Would you like us to change your room?
I, knowing the answer before the question is asked, say "No. It's too inconveeeenient! We'll just have to make do!!"
This begs the question "Then why bother to make the call in the first place?"
Simply because it makes me feel better.
As I said going in, the idea is to maximize your pleasure.
One of the supreme pleasures is berating the help.
They are trained to keep smiles on their faces while being berated, which makes it even more fun.
Sometimes when you make the reservation, there are some things you just assume.
Like that there is free Wi-Fi.
Then, when you find out that there isn't, which has become a rarity, you have a GREAT reason to berate the help.
"Eleven bucks a day just for Wi-Fi? What's so special about your God-damned Wi-Fi that it's worth eleven bucks a day?
Hell, you can go to any Starbucks and get free Wi-Fi.
And they're making a fortune!
With rotten coffee!
How do you expect to keep up with that?
You can't!
Keep charging eleven bucks for Wi-Fi and this place will be out of business!
And you'll be out of a job!
And standing on breadlines!"
This is just one example of how you can handle the non-free Wi-Fi situation.
Next time, more pointers.
Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a song, with a nod to Rodgers and Hart:

"There's a small hotel
With a wishing well
I wish that we were there together
There's a bridal suite
One room bright and neat
Complete for us to share together

Looking through the window
You can see that distant steeple
Not a sign of people -- who wants people?......."

********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

















Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Nomination For The Worst TV Commercial Of At Least The Last Three Decades.

This leaves me open to exclude "Please don't squeeze the Charmin."
Not that I necessarily need to.
This one is probably worse.
"Charmin", with Mr. Whipple, bad as it was, was merely grindingly annoying.
The one I will nominate is openly, actively, mind bogglingly offensive.
And even more pointless.
At least "Charmin" sold a lot of toilet paper.
At least to my mother.
I can't imagine that this commercial helps sell anything to anybody.

With Tivo, at least I am capable of zipping through most commercials.
So my level of exposure to them is relatively minimal.
But I'm given to multi-tasking when the TV is on, which leaves me far too vulnerable.
So here goes:
There are quickly moving abstract images on the screen.
Quick cuts.
There are pictures of cars..
And the soundtrack is a British-voiced vocal, performed by what sounds like a punk-rock singer, accompanied by a loud, loud punk-rock band, singing a version of the song "My Way"
You know. "My Way".
Frank Sinatra.
Written by the world's worst successful lyricist, Paul Anka.
That "My Way".
Actually, the first few times I heard it, I didn't even realize that it was "My Way" that was being sung.
That's how distorted it was.
This may have actually been an improvement, but only in that regard.
In discussions with people I know who are younger than myself, I learned that this soundtrack was not recorded specifically for this commercial.
It turns out that this was an enormous hit record for Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols, recorded over thirty years ago.
And that's what I heard.
It is a complete assault on the ears, and has turned me into a quick-draw artist with the remote.
About the original 'My Way": The story goes that when Anka first played and sang it for Sinatra, Sinatra mulled it over, knowing that it was complete shit, but also knowing that it would be a zillion seller for him, and give him a permanent way to close his act when he made personal appearances.
That it would be his self-described personal anthem.
So Sinatra, being right on all counts, recorded it.
Anka also created another set of lyrics for it, so he could sing it himself, about Sinatra: "His Way".
It contained the lyrical phrase "not in a whiz way" to get to "He did it his way"
I swear to God.
Imagine Sinatra's distress when he heard Sid Vicious's version of it.
"How dare he?"
"This is MY god-damned song!!"
It was probably worse than my distress when I first heard it.
And here's the kicker: Until the very end of it, we didn't know that it actually was a commercial for a car.
The Acura.
Considered to be by many the most white-bread car of all.
So who was this commercial aimed at?
Kids who listened to Punk Rock Music in the seventies and eighties who are now white-bread older adults.
This commercial preaches to the choir.
People who already have Acuras, or would buy one anyway.
It's not going to get kids or black people to buy an Acura.
So what's the point?
And here's an even better kicker:
The voice-over at the end of the commercial, saying something like "Acura. You should buy one." was done by Jonathan Schwartz.
He can deny it if he wants, but it was him.
I know this because I have listened to him on the radio for many, many years.
I know that voice.
He does many voice-overs.
He has been the voice for the Sinatra station on Sirius Satellite Radio.
He is the foremost authority on all things Sinatra.
He loves all things Sinatra, except Sinatra as a human being.
He has been quoted as thinking he was a monster.
He had personal run-ins with Sinatra when he openly criticized Sinatra's Trilogy Album.
It was rumored that Sinatra even sent his goons after him.
He probably thought that "My Way" was shit too, but was smart enough in this instance to keep his mouth shut.
Schwartz has been the Keeper of the Flame of the Great American Songbook.
His father was Arthur Schwartz, who wrote wonderful popular music from the forties and fifties.
And Jonathan worships him.
So I envision one of two scenarios about Schwartz taking this voice-over gig, neither of which making him look or feel good about himself:
1) He saw the commercial that he was to apply his voice to, sold out and took the check, or
2) He just came in, not seeing the commercial, got in the recording booth, said his two lines, took the check, and went home, having no idea what he was lending his voice to.
I prefer to think it was the latter.
And I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when he saw the commercial for the first 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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****














Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Burying The Lead.

So this second video of Ray Rice beating up his wife has turned up.
This time, from inside the elevator.
And he clearly knocks her out with a round-house right.
One punch.
Now, everybody is up in arms about how lenient the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens had been.
And how what they're doing now is too little, too late.
BAD NFL!!
BAD Baltimore Ravens!!
BAD Ray Rice's wife for being complicit in the cover-up!
And of course, BAD Ray Rice!!

How about BAD Atlantic City Police Department??!!
How about BAD Atlantic City District Attorney's office??!!
No wonder Atlantic City is going to hell in a hand-basket.
I haven't heard anything about any further arrest of Ray Rice based on this new evidence.
I haven't heard anything from the D.A. about filing new charges.
Why isn't Ray Rice at least temporarily behind bars right now?
There is undeniable proof that he committed aggravated assault on this woman.
Isn't that the lead in this story?
The book should be thrown at him, whatever was agreed upon before..
Speaking of books, I write books.
If I happened to beat the shit out of my wife, no great power like the NFL would help me.
The only reason they helped Ray Rice is because there was money involved.
But as we all know, the NFL is big business.
And big business is corrupt.
So what's the surprise?
So if it was me, instead of him, I would most-likely be doing a major stretch in the slammer.
Fortunately I have no worries on that score, because if it ever came to it, my wife could beat the shit out of me.
Hell, just about ANYBODY could beat the shit out of me.
But if I was ensconced in the slammer because of something like this, I could still write.
You can't take away my pad and pencil.
Or my Writer's Guild Card.
As long as I kept up on my dues.
And theoretically, I could still make a living at my chosen profession.
If Rice was in the slammer, it would be difficult for him to suit up.
So that's how I see it.
Unless there are no new charges brought against Ray Rice, what right does anyone have to prevent him from earning his livelihood?
This is not Donald Sterling we're talking about here.
He did not commit a crime.
The NBA is a private club.
They can expel owners all they want.
Sterling walked away with billions of dollars.
It did not exactly effect his livelihood.
Back to books: In the fifties, the acclaimed writer Norman Mailer drunkenly stabbed his then-wife.
Nearly killed her.
He was known for his violent temper.
The wife didn't press charges.
She was probably scared shitless of him, just like Mrs. Rice.
He pled guilty anyway, and got a suspended sentence.
The judge was probably scared shitless too.
And there might have been mitigating circumstances here.
He was drunk.
It was just a pen-knife.
But who knows?
There was no videotape of that event.
But nobody got up in arms that Norman Mailer shouldn't be able to write again.
And he wrote plenty.
And sold a lot of books.
Here, we have graphic evidence.
We have videotape.
A lot has been made of whether or not the NFL saw the second tape before yesterday.
How come nobody is asking the police whether or not THEY saw the second tape.
They have no good answer.
Either way, the case should be re-opened.
There's certainly enough to give Rice much more than a slap on the wrist.
In court.
But if he continues to get away with it legally, that's criminal.
Except he's not the one committing the crime.
At least not this one.
The Gendarmes are.
And if it stays that way, he should be allowed to play football, just like Norman Mailer was allowed to keep writing books.
The story here is that Ray Rice must be arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and forced to break rocks with a sledgehammer for many years.
If he only serves a couple of years, and breaking rocks with a sledgehammer hasn't ruined him for football, he should be allowed to play again.
Why does a league policy have to be in place?
All you need is actual police.


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Conflicted.

Okay.
So since I put up my last article on Tuesday, Joan Rivers has died.
I did have some serious misgivings about posting the article in the first place, knowing that her death might be imminent.
But since she was still with us, and I thought I had some valid things to say, I went ahead and wrote it, and published it.
I knew that I might have a very narrow window of time, because if she was already dead, I NEVER would have published it.
Whatever I thought of Melissa Rivers, it would have been too soon.
Now, she is a grieving daughter, who had to make the heart-rending decision about whether or not to keep her mother on life support.
Melissa Rivers is most-likely a very decent human being, with the same human failings that we all have.
This is exactly how I would describe myself.
So even though I took a major crap on her on Tuesday, let me take this opportunity to extend my sympathy to her at this time.
Maybe she deserved better than what I imposed upon her.
Maybe she didn't.
I don't know for sure.
But I've never been conflicted about anything I've written before, and this has stopped me in my tracks.
I don't know if I'm a better person for it, but if I am, I have Melissa to thank.
I don't regret a word of what I wrote.
How's that for conflicted?
Anyway, I wish her nothing but the best in the future.
And I'm very pleased that I was as genuinely complementary about her mother as I legitimately felt.
What I'd written on Tuesday was done with my knives sharpened, and in perhaps questionable taste.
Which describes the way Joan Rivers conducted herself on stage consistently.
So, except for the fact that I was attacking her own flesh-and-blood daughter, I think she might have been sympatico.
Well, probably not.


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman"

*****

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rollin' On The Rivers.

Joan Rivers has been nothing but an amazingly talented woman.
Well, not nothing.
Her standup is great.
Her acting ability is superb.
She appeared as herself in an episode of "Louie" for which she should have won an Emmy.
She wasn't even nominated.
This is a shame.
Yes, she has made a mockery of plastic surgery, and as a result, is very difficult to look at.
But unlike most, she is quite open about it.
Well, how can she not be?
I wish her a speedy recovery, if this is at all possible.
Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, has been nothing.
Period.
Many moons ago, on this blog, I introduced the term "nuchshlepper", a Yiddish term meaning "One who rides the coat-tails of others for his or her success.
I'm not digressing here.
I have a point.
In an episode of the original "I Love Lucy", for God-knows-what reason, Lucy was trying to impress some people that she was a member of foreign royalty.
So she and Ethel were trying to come up with an appropriate sounding title for her.
They played around with the word "Maharani", and "Princess", and came up with a mythical kingdom, and ended up with "The Maharincess of Frannistan"
You can't get much more appropriate than that.
I maintain that Melissa Rivers is the Maharincess of Nuchshlepperstan.
Her "career", such as it is, has been totally derived from being Joan Rivers' daughter.
This ain't no Liza Minnelli we're dealing with here.
You know.
Someone who is genuinely talented, whomever she's related to.
I used to watch the Rivers' "reality" show, and could never fathom why Melissa would put up with all of Joan's meddling, and outrageous behavior towards her.
But once you factor in all of Melissa's dependency on Joan for her livelihood and lifestyle, it all falls into place.
Nobody is praying harder for Joan's complete recovery than Melissa.
Because when Joan hangs it up, that, for the most part, is the last we'll see of Melissa on the airwaves.
At least on the airwaves I watch.
Which will be particularly painful for her, since she is an out-and-out media whore.
In all fairness, I thought the same thing about Fran Drescher after she did "The Nanny" with that voice of hers.
And she has managed to show up in some places.
So my track record about such things is not impeccable.
I believe that since Joan has stopped doing the "Red Carpet gigs, so has Melissa.
Melissa will be relegated to the Home Shopping Network, where she will be hawking Joan's lines of jewelry, cosmetics, perfumes, skin-tighteners, and whatever other crap there is to hawk.
Or maybe she'll try another one of those "Help Me! I'm a Celebrity, and I'm Stuck in the Jungle, and I'm Eating Worms, and I Can't Get Outta Here!" shows.
The last refuge of D-Lister celebrities.
She'd better do it fast, because when Joan does hang it up, Melissa will already be on the F-list.
None of this is my main bone of contention with Melissa.
This is:
Her name was Melissa Rosenberg.
Rosenberg was her father's name.
Yes, he committed suicide, and maybe she resented him for it.
But changing her last name to Rivers was the ultimate act of cashing in.
The ultimate act of nuchshlepperdom.
Or maybe it was just too "Jewy" for her.
I might be taking this rather personally, because when I got divorced, over twenty years ago, my eleven year old daughter, in an act of utter hatred, immediately got her name changed to her mother's maiden name.
One decidedly less "Jewy".
And I got a call from my ex, asking me to sign a paper that would sanction this slap in the face.
That was her parting shot.
I have resented this ever since.
And I have not seen my daughter ever since.
And not necessarily by my choice.
Perhaps Melissa asked Joan if the name change would be all right.
And perhaps Joan was flattered, and regarded it as a good business decision on her part.
And perhaps Edgar Rosenberg is still rollin' over in his grave as a result.


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman"

*****

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Knee Defenders.

There has been a lot in the news this week about the Knee Defender.
For the wildly uninformed, the Knee Defender is a device that you bring on to airliners, and attach to your food tray, to prevent the person in front of you to recline his or her seat directly into your knees.
Before this week, you could have counted me as one of the wildly uninformed.
Once I became informed, I became wild, and rushed to the Knee Defender Website, and Googled all that I could about the Knee Defender.
After all, I am six feet, six inches tall, and have been victimized by the reclinings of others many times.
Often using my own more primitive version of the Knee Defender, arrogantly pushing the reclined seat back into it's upright position, and getting into arguments as a result.
Thus, I consider the Knee Defender a Godsend.
What is dismaying is that many in the media and in the airline industry think that the Knee Defender is a terrible thing, depriving recliners of their God-given right to recline.
They cite the reason that their are recliner buttons built into the seats.
So they must be there for a reason.
A reason sanctioned by many airlines that ban the use of Knee Defenders.
Even though they are not illegal.
Hell, there are oxygen masks built into the overheads.
That doesn't mean that they have to be used, except on rare occasions.
And there are occasions where it is fine to use the recline button.
Like when the person behind you is in an exit row, and has plenty of room.
Or when there is no one seated behind you.
I will never recline my seat when I am in regular coach, and there is an adult seated behind me.
At least without asking if it's all right with them.
It's only common courtesy.
Some airlines, like Spirit, have eliminated the option of reclining altogether.
And their seats have recliner buttons like everybody else's.
So the issue has been far from unanimously settled.
I usually try to avoid the problem by trying to get bumped up to first class, or paying a little extra for an exit row, or another row where extra legroom is provided.
But sometimes those options are not available.
Then, it boils down to a question of morality.
To the airlines, it boils down to a matter of money and cost-effectiveness.
But let's put that aside, at least for now.
The morality question is "Does a person have the right of slightly more comfort at the expense of someone else's suffering and possible injury?
Especially if that someone else is six feet, six inches tall?
To me it's a no-brainer.
I heard someone say on TV yesterday that there's no way anyone can tolerate not reclining on a five-hour redeye flight.
But if this six feet, six incher was on the same redeye flight, getting his knees crushed all the way, there's no way he can tolerate that recliner.
United Airlines is my main carrier, and they ban the Knee Defender.
So I'm waiting to see how things shake down, to see if there are any lawsuits, before I plunk down my 22 simoleans for my own personal Knee Defender.
A product I would otherwise crave.


********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman"

*****

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rothman's Reaction To The Emmy Awards.

I thought they were just swell.
Sweller than swell.
Maybe the best Emmy Awards Shows ever done.
One of the best Award Shows ever done.
Certainly better than this year's Tony Awards, which usually sets the standard.
Except that it is overwhelmingly gay, and this year, none of the excerpts made me want to make a trip to New York to see any of the shows.
Except for Bryan Cranston as LBJ.
And he got his just desserts last night.
The Emmy telecast seemed virtually totally straight.
They didn't even have Jane Lynch show up.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
And the Oscar telecasts have been eternal snooze-fests.
But with Seth Meyers doing a superb job as host, this show just zipped along (with the help of my Tivo, the only way to watch anything.)
Whenever they went for funny, which was often, they hit the bulls-eye.
Everybody's tongues were way up their cheeks.
I was never bored.
How often can anyone say that about an awards show?
And many if not most of my choices won.
That made it even more enjoyable.
The "In Memoriam" segment was very tastefully done.
It seemed to include many more dead folks than usual.
And certainly more movie stars who did relatively little TV than pure TV people.
Billy Crystal's tribute to Robin Williams was quite moving.
As was Letterman's on his show.
A minor quibble: Maya Angelou was included prominently in the Memoriam segment.
Just what was Maya Angelou's contribution to TV?

I have not seen any of Seth Meyers' Late Night Shows.
I tried to check to see the writers credits at the end of the telecast.
The only name I recognized was Seth Meyers.
This leads me to at least suspect that he brought his writing staff out there to help him out.
I think that this is going to cause me to start watching his show, and give him a chance to capture me as a regular viewer.

********

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".
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.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman"

*****

Friday, August 22, 2014

Come Fly With Him.

Check out this list of very, very popular songs of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s:

"Ain't That a Kick in the Head" (Big hit for Dean Martin. Used in lots of contemporary movies and commercials.)
"All My Tomorrows" (Big hit for Sinatra)
"All the Way" (Ditto)
"Call Me Irresponsible" (Oscar winner. Big hit for Jack Jones)
"Come Dance with Me" (Big hit for Sinatra)
"Come Fly with Me" (Ditto)
"High Hopes" (Ditto again)
"Love and Marriage" (NOT written for "Married With Children", but rather for a TV musicalization of the play "Our Town", and introduced by Sinatra)
"The Tender Trap" (Big hit for Sinatra)
"My Kind of Town (Ditto)
"Nancy With The Laughing Face" (More ditto)
"The Second Time Around" Introduced by Bing Crosby)
"Aren't You Glad You're You?" (Big hit for Crosby)
"But Beautiful" (Ditto)
"Here's That Rainy Day"
"Imagination"
"It Could Happen to You"
"Like Someone in Love"
"Moonlight Becomes You" (HUGE hit for Crosby)
"Personality"
"Polka Dots and Moonbeams"
"Sunday, Monday, or Always" (Big hit for Crosby)
"Swinging on a Star" (Ditto)
"Darn That Dream"
"I Thought About You"

Wonderful songs.
Wonderful melodies.
And I'm just scratching the surface.
What do they all have in common?
They were all composed by one Edward Chester Babcock.
Never heard of him?
Perhaps that's because early on, he had the good taste to change his name to Jimmy Van Heusen.
Still never heard of him?
Too bad.
You should have.
He was as influential as anyone else in creating the Great American Songbook.
And he provided more hits for Sinatra and Crosby than anyone else did.
They named Bob Hope's character Chester Babcock, after Van Heusen, in "The Road To Hong Kong"
He wrote most of the songs for the "Road" pictures.

I recently watched a great documentary about Jimmy Van Heusen on PBS.
Catch it if you can.
I learned that Van Heusen, aside from being a great songwriter, was also a fascinating man.
Looking at pictures and film of him, you could see that he was not at all attractive.
Totally bald, with a hook nose.
Yet, he was a chick-magnet.
The women were constantly swarming all over him.
Sinatra and Van Heusen were very, very close friends.
Van Heusen was Sinatra's shoulder to cry on when he needed one, which was apparently quite often.
When Sinatra attempted suicide after Ava Gardner dumped him, it was by trying to hurl himself out of the window of Van Heusen's high-rise apartment in Manhattan.
And Van Heusen was able to talk him back in.
You know how every guy wanted to be, and still wants to be, Sinatra?
Well Sinatra always wanted to be Jimmy Van Heusen.
Sinatra idolized him.
It was always said that Sinatra lived very hard.
That he never went to bed until 4 A.M.
Van Heusen never went to bed until 5 A.M.

And Van Heusen led sort of a double life.
From the time he was about twenty, he was fascinated with aviation.
He bought his own plane about a year later.
And he'd gotten his pilot's license and tooled around the country in it all the time.
It was his main mode of transportation.
When World War II broke out, Van Heusen immediately enlisted, and became one of the first test pilots for aircraft like the B-25 bombers.
The irony was that the other test pilots who worked alongside him had no idea that he had written all those wonderful songs.
A test pilot writing "Moonlight Becomes You"?
Even if he had told them, nobody would have believed him.
Towards the end of the documentary, Tony Bennett was interviewed.
And this seemed to be a fairly recent interview.
And Tony waxed ecstatic about Van Heusen's accomplishments.
He began rattling off the song titles.
Along the way, he mentioned the song "Teach Me Tonight", which was a big hit for Nat "King" Cole.
A voice made noise in my head.
It said "Teach Me Tonight"? Really?"
I don't think Van Heusen wrote "Teach Me Tonight".
That voice made that noise because I recalled an interview with the lyricist of "Teach Me Tonight", Sammy Cahn, in which he recalled the first time he heard a record of it on the radio.
He had no idea that it had been recorded.
So he called up the radio station that played it, and asked who the artists were who recorded it.
He was told "The DeCastro Sisters"
Then he asked who the songwriters were who were credited on the record.
He was told "Sammy Cahn and Gene DePaul".
Gene DePaul was a rather prominent composer in his own right.
He wrote the songs for the movie "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" and the Broadway musical and movie "Li'l Abner".
But there was no Jimmy Van Heusen here.
In all fairness to Tony Bennett, anybody's entitled to make a mistake.
Or to quote one of Van Heusen's song titles, everybody has the right to be wrong.
And he was 85 years old, and looked fairly disheveled.
It was the first time I had ever seen him where his toupee was askew.
It just wasn't sitting on his head properly.
He usually took great pains in the past to make sure that he looked impeccable in it.
I guess nobody on the camera crew had the nerve to say anything to him about it.
And then I thought, when I saw that interview with Sammy Cahn, HE was pretty old.
And he was bald.
Maybe HE was mistaken.
It was a quandary.
A quandary that took me only moments to solve.
I picked up my IPhone, and for the first and only time so far in my life, I spoke to Siri.
I asked "Who wrote the song 'Teach Me Tonight'?"
The answer came back immediately: Sammy Cahn and Gene DePaul.
So Tony was wrong.
But I felt worse about his hair.
However, this doesn't diminish Van Heusen in the least.
What a great life he had.


..........


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".
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. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. 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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman"

*****

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Robin Williams : I Kind Of Get It. 2.

This is based on almost nothing, except what I've witnessed, and what I've experienced.
I have a theory that there is a correlation between the degree of one's creativity and the potential
degree of ones capacity for Clinical Depression.
As I've already revealed the extent of my own capacity for it, it must be apparent by now that I have
a very high opinion of my own creativity.
It's about the only area in my life where I DO have a high opinion of myself.
And as most of you are regular readers, I feel like I'm preaching to the choir.
Conversely, I feel that creative hacks probably don't experience Clinical Depression to any great extent.
I can't imagine, say, Henny Youngman, as often as he's said "A fella goes into a psychiatrist's office",
actually having gone to a psychiastrist's office, because he had Clinical Depression.
Because he was a hack.
And if you're ready to commit suicide over it, you obviously do not have an overwhelming fear of death.
I've never feared death.
My attitude has always been "We're here 'til we're not".
The hacks that I know DO have an overwhelming fear of death.
And that's what drives them to the shrink.
Jackie Gleason, with all his flamboyant carousing, and drinking, and womanizing, from all accounts, was really a tragic figure.
The symptoms of Clinical Depression were all there.
I think that Ralph Kramden was a tragic figure.
The way Gleason played him was permeated with tragedy.
I think that's why Art Carney's Ed Norton was perceived by many as the funnier of the two.
And Gleason was a certified genius.
Robin Williams, Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Phil Silvers, all geniuses of comedy.
All suffered from Clinical Depression.
Corbett Monica, probably not so much.
But I'd be willing to bet that he had an overwhelming fear of death.

..........


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".
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. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. 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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman"

*****

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robin Williams: I Kind Of Get It.

A lot of people recently have asked me how well I knew Robin Williams.
They assumed that I was around to witness the birth of Mork, and perhaps because of my association with Garry Marshall, also assumed that I worked on "Mork and Mindy".
I never worked on "Mork and Mindy"
I didn't know Robin Williams at all.
I was involved in two separate regimes on "Happy Days".
They occurred before and after Mork made his appearance there.
We shot our show "Makin' It" right next door to where "Mork" was shot, so I'd see him walking around, usually with a girl on each arm.
But we'd never been introduced, so we never really met.
So I never knew Robin Williams at all.
But what with the recent days developments, I feel that I know him quite well.
We have both suffered major bouts with depression.
I don't know when his started, or how long it lasted.
Mine started in the mid-1960s, when I was sixteen, and it only began to be kept under control when drugs like Prosac and Wellbutrin were commonly prescribed.
That was in the mid-1980s.
Before that, in order to get medication as powerful as that, you most-likely had to be institutionalized.
And it wasn't until the mid 1990s that I found the medication that has consistently kept me level since then.
I consider myself very lucky to have found it.
Whatever bouts of depression I have these days are extremely minor compared to what I had been through previously.
I have been to hell and back, and now live very pleasantly to tell about it.
Maybe Robin never found his magic bullet.
It seems to be a different one for most victims.
Maybe he found it, and it's effects wore off.
A lot of people have been saying and Twittering and Blogging words to the effect of "He had so much to live for. How could he do this to himself?"
Most of the people saying this are probably poor, and not famous, and have not experienced depression.
I am not poor, I have attained a certain degree of fame, and have found myself on the same brink as the one Robin Williams went over.
Luck is the main element that has separated us.
So I feel like we are soul mates.
When you are poor, and not famous, and depressed, you think that all you need to feel all better is to get rich and famous.
This is not the kind of depressed we're talking about here.
Here, we're talking about Clinical Depression.
The kind of ravaging disease that can make you pray for the day to end so you can go to sleep and be through with it.
And the kind of disease that makes you dread going to sleep because you know that you are going to dread waking up in the morning because you are going to face more of the same all through the next day.
And the little problems that wouldn't bother most poor, non-famous people become magnified geometrically.
Because everything else is theoretically fine.
These depressions are usually cyclical.
They last about two or three weeks.
At least mine did.
And when you are in one of these cycles, you are always convinced that this is the time that the downward spiral will never turn upward again.
This is the kind of disease that fame and money can't possibly cure.
Trust me.
He went to hell and was never able to come back.
He was a comic genius whose life was filled with pain, and I can only hope that the pain has stopped.

More about this 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".
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. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. 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, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

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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."