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Friday, August 26, 2016

"What??? And Leave Show Business???

There was an actress with a list of credits a mile long, mostly from the 1930's into the mid 1940's.
Her name was June Gittelson.
She was in the original "King Kong", "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", and "Gold Diggers of 1933"
I don't remember her in any of them.
And I don't remember most of her other movies
She was predominantly a bit player.
She was extremely obese.
In over forty of her IMDB entries, which was most of them,  her character is described as "fat girl, or 'heavy-set girl".
Maybe it's a record.
She came to my attention when recently I watched the movie "Sing, You Sinners" on TCM.
"Sing, You Sinners" is a delightful musical comedy starring Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, and a very young Donald O'Connor.
They play nightclub entertainers.  And there's a moment in one of their numbers where Bing Crosby invites a huge obese lady to dance with him.
And that was the first time I laid eyes on June Gittelson.
To my knowledge.
This led me to the IMDB page for "Sing, You Sinners".
There was an actress billed as "fat girl (uncredited)"
This led me to wonder how many other actresses shared the same skill set for work.
I don't know how often she had to audition for her roles.
Was it simply "Get me June Gittelson!!!"  or "Get me a June Gittelson type!!
Or did she have to trudge over to whichever studio was holding auditions for fat girls this week, where she had to face a roomful of other fat girls.
I'm guessing that she not only had to trudge, but had to trudge by bus.
"The Odd Couple" had it's own version of June Gittelson.
Her name was June Smaney.
Whenever we did Felix's opera club she was there as a member.
Tony insisted.
She sang, too.
Lot's o' credits, but only one that referred to her as "fat lady"
June Gittelson left us in 1983.  Almost to the point where casting her in anything would  be considered wildly politically incorrect.
But that didn't stop me from hiring a fat lady in an episode of "She's The Sheriff" where we were doing a play on the expression  "It ain't over until the fat lady sings".
And we got a real fat lady who sings.
But I remember being quite solicitous and apologetic about the fact that she was cast because she was hefty.
She said "Don't worry about it".
And at least she sang great.
I don't even remember her  name.
I couldn't believe that either June was happy about her position in show business.
Who knows?  Maybe they had totally blissful lives.
I know they both ate well.
And if I hadn't brought it up, probably nobody would remember June Gittelson's name either.
So if I rescued June Gittelson from complete obscurity for this brief time,, giving her one day in the sun, then maybe I've accomplished something.

-----------------------------------------------------------  
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Greatest Comedy Sketch I Ever Saw.

Now,  I know that comedy is completely subjective,  but I'm here to make the case
that there is one sketch that appeared on TV that was funnier, more clever, more imaginative, with more verbal dexterity, and more demanding on its actors than anything else I've ever seen.
And this includes "The, Honeymooners' "Chef of the Future" and Nichols and May's
"$65 Dollar Funeral".  Even Monty Pythons "Dead Parrot" Sketch.
These are mere contenders.
The unmitigated champeen, in my humble opinion is a sketch that appeared on
"The Four Star Revue" in 1950, and featured the host, Jack Carson, and guest Betty Kean.
I first saw this sketch about twenty years ago, when I found it at a store that specializes
in vintage TV VHS tapes.
Since VHS has gone the way of the dodo bird, I haven't been able to watch it, much less
share it with anybody.
Welcome to the twenty-first century.
A YouTube Channel called Classic TV Shows has added a whole slew of vintage stuff
that is priceless, and includes this edition of "The Four Star Revue".
I would have written about this sooner, but I wouldn't have had any way of proving
that I am right about this.
Again, it's just my opinion, but an educated one.
It was posted in February of 2016.
Go to YouTube and judge for yourself.
Type in Four Star Revue, November 22nd, 1950.
It involves Jack, and Betty, and three telephone booths.
It can be found just after the 34 minute mark, and runs about nine minutes.
It was written by Nat Hiken and Billy Friedberg.
Two major shtarkers.
They also did Sergeant Bilko.
Even if you don't agree with me, I defy you not to enjoy it.

-----------------------------------------------------------  
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ordering Things From The TV.

It has long been my ambition to have enough money so that if I see any ad on TV, that I could simply dial the toll-free number and order the product in question.
I've had enough money to do that for quite a while.
But I never indulged myself in that endeavor until about three weeks ago.
There was a product, that, if it worked, would actually upgrade my life quite a bit.
You may have seen this ad.
It's for the Get-Up-And-Go Cane.
I've been using a cane since even before my stroke, a year-and-a-half ago.
And the one thing I haven't been able to do is lift myself up from a seated position without help.
This Get-Up-And-Go Cane would seem to be a godsend.
Forty bucks.  Seems worth it.
I call the number,  I order it.
A week-and-a-half goes by.
No cane.
But I get a call from some woman from a foreign land thanking me for my order and in gratitude, they are sending me a pair of diamond earrings.
I said "Fine, just put it in the box" . 
She said no, we have to ship it separately".
I said "And who pays for shipping?"  She says "You do".
I said "don't send it.".
Okay, I'm dealing with racketeers.
I call back the toll-free number, and after about twenty minutes on hold,  I speak to a live agent
(most likely from India).
I'm told that my credit card has been declined.
This begs the question "Why didn't anyone call me to let me know that the card has been declined?"
and "Why are you offering me jewelry". 
They had no satisfactory answer for either question.
But I still wanted this cane.  So I gave them another credit card, and had them transfer me to the person who approves the credit cards.  (Another twenty minutes on hold).
This obvious foreigner tells me that the card has been approved, and that the cane will arrive within two and three business days.
Three business days came and went.
On the fourth business day, I call back (another twenty minutes on hold) and am told that I placed four orders for this cane, which begs the questions "Where did they come up with four orders?" and "Why would anyone order more than ONE of  these canes." 
So they cancelled TWO of the four canes. 
That's the best that they could do, because they both had been shipped.
And one was sent using the credit card they had told me was declined.
This fell on deaf ears.
They said that upon delivery, I could decline one of them and would not be charged for the second one. 
And it would take at least seven more working days before the cane would arrive.
So I waited and waited, and true to their word, at the end of the seventh day, one package containing
the Get-Up-And-Go cane arrived. 
I guess that in the interim, they realized that one of them was ordered with a credit card that they had declined.
I open the box, and assemble it.
What do you know?
It doesn't work.
I can't lift myself up with it.
It does make it easier for me to raise myself up from a seat where I have a table to hold on to.
Is that worth forty bucks?
I suppose.
That's why I'm not sending it back.
But it's certainly not what I paid for.
Was it worth the hassle?
It certainly was not.
Do I feel ripped off?
I certainly do.
Be careful what you wish for.
You might just get it.

-----------------------------------------------------------  
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mr. New Orleans.

I just  learned that Pete Fountain, the great jazz clarinetist,  has died in New Orleans.
I have only seen one obit so far.
From The Advocate in New Orleans.
In it, it refers to him as both 83 and 86.
That's how it is with obituaries.
You always find more than one age listed.
But not usually in the same obit.
We are getting more and more careless.
And Pete Fountain certainly deserved better than that.
Oh...another one has popped up confirming 86.
Pete Fountain has been one of my all-time favorites for as far back as I can remember.
No one had his touch.
Benny Goodman came close,  but was more inhibited.
Artie Shaw was more of a serious musician.
Woody Herman just didn't have the same set of chops.
Pete Fountain had a level of exuberance in his playing and command of his instrument that nobody else had.
My favorite of his albums, of which I have almost all, is "Mr. New Orleans"
A dozen up tunes, all in the same march tempo.
If you don't have it, get it.
Or at least listen to it on Spotify.

He appeared on the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" 59 times, or 62, depending on which obituary you believe.
Now that Carson is back on in reruns I hope I get to see most if not all of these appearances.
On my one trip to New Orleans, I was just tagging along on one of my wife's business trips.
I told her that we must make a beeline to Pete Fountain's Club, praying that he was in town.
He was, and we went, and he simply blew the roof off of the dump.
It was sensational.
He had a rare foray into vocals.
Herewith are his lyrics to the old standard "You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now":

"You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's
Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's Sweetheart
Now-ow-ow-ow-ow,
You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's
Sweetheart Now
Nobody's Sweetheart Now-ow-ow-ow,
You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Because you're Nobody's Sweetheart Now."

What's better than that? 
They don't sing 'em like that anymore.  What a hoot.
I have that someplace.  I'd have to dig it up.

There will be a traditional Jazz Funeral after the mass in the French Quarter in New Orleans.
If I was able to walk better, I'd have already made my travel plans to participate in it.
But my marching days are behind me.

R.I.P.,  Pete.

-----------------------------------------------------------  
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Once Again, The Return Of Dr. Rothman, Tune Detective.

I have a friend who knows a whole lot about old popular music.
Or at least old semi-popular music.
She threw a tune at me that seemed somewhat familiar, but I couldn't quite place it.
She thought it was called "Jingle, Jangle".
I responded with "Do you mean "I've got spurs that Jingle Jangle Jingle?"
She responded in the negative.
Then she started humming the melody.
I recognized it.
It went "Jingle Jangle, Jingy Jong Jangle".
Then she made a whip sound.
I said "It sounds like something from a Disney movie."
I did a search.
Couldn't find me no "Jingle Jangle" from no Disney movie.
Then, for some reason, the voice of Fess Parker entered my head in this regard.
I started searching Fess Parker Disney movies that had songs.
I stumbled across "Westward Ho, The Wagons!"
And there I found a song called "Wringle Wrangle, Jingy Jong Jangle".
That was it.
If I hadn't thought of Fess Parker, I'd still be searching.

For those who might be interested, here are all the lyrics to
"Wringle, Wrangle, Jingy Jong Jangle"

Giddy up there, hyah
Oh, oh

Oh, wringle wrangle
Jingy jong jangle
Mighty fine horse
I'm in love of course cause
I got me a pretty woman's love

Wringle wrangle
Jingy jong jangle
Spurs on my boots and
I don't give a hoot cause
I got me a pretty woman's love

With a dollar's worth of beans
A new pair of jeans
Got a woman to cook
And wash and things

Oh, wringle wrangle
Jingy jong jangle
If I die, I ain't gonna cry cause
I got me a pretty woman's love
(Wringle wrangle, wringle wrangle)
Yes, I got me a pretty woman's love
(Wringle wrangle, wringle wrangle)
(Wringle wrangle, jingy jong jangle)

Wringle wrangle
Jingy jong jangle
Mighty fine horse
I'm in love of course cause
I got me a pretty woman's love

Oh, wringle wrangle
Jingy jong jangle (get on there)
With spurs on my boots
He don't give a hoot cause
I got me a pretty woman's love

Got a dollar's worth of beans
New pair of jeans
Got a woman to cook
And wash and things

Oh, wringle wrangle
Jingy jong jangle
If I die, I ain't gonna cry cause
I got me a pretty woman's love
(Wringle wrangle)
Yes, I got me a pretty woman's love

(Wringle wrangle, wringle wrangle)
Giddy up there, hyah

Dr. Rothman, Tune Detective does it again!

-----------------------------------------------------------  
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Garry.

I worked with Garry Marshall for the better part of seven years in the 70's and early eighties.
I owe him my entire career.
After co-writing a spec script for "The Odd Couple" that got us hired, we lasted eight weeks.
We got hired upon Tony Randall and Jack Klugman's recommendation.
Ironically, neither Tony nor Jack had any knowledge that the other one sent our script to Garry.
But, as Tony and Jack were the lords and masters of all things "Odd Couple", if they wanted us hired,
we were hired.
The problem we had was that we were constantly being re-written by people over us who couldn't hold our pens.
We couldn't convince Tony and Jack of that, so we were fired.
But Garry saw something in us and held out a lifeline to us inviting us to keep attending run-throughs, and telling us that once our contract with our agent was up, that he wanted to manage us.
That was quite a lifeline.
Months later, true to his word, he became our manager and immediately assigned us an "Odd Couple" script to write.
We handed it in, with nobody rewriting us, and it was shot virtually the way we wrote it.
We had been around long enough to realize that this was unprecedented.
It was "hats in the air" time and we quickly became the fair-haired boys again.
It was all Garry's doing.
Garry was one of the funniest people to be around, and easily the smartest person when it came to the
business of show business.  It was a constant education.
My strength as a writer was as a story-teller.
Hanging around Garry only enhanced that ability for me.
He had what we called "peripheral story vision".
He knew immediately that if you did something on page 4, it would effect page 56.
It was astounding how accurate he could be with this.
And I eventually learned how to do it.
He went to bat for me when nobody else would.
He got me my job on 'The New Odd Couple" when the head of Paramount wouldn't hear of it.
I'd burned some bridges, including that one, but Garry somehow overcame that and jammed me down his throat.
I was lucky, because part of Garry's business genius was knowing which fights to pick, and which not to.  I could have easily fallen into the latter category.
Garry was also, in the best sense, a great bullshit artist.
When he directed Jackie Gleason in "Nothing In Common", he employed the tactic of trying to make
Gleason think that any good idea that Garry had was actually Gleason's idea.
After several of these, Gleason said to him "Gee, I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see what wonderful idea I come up with".  Gleason completely nailed him.
But I digress.
As an actor, Garry's timing was unmatched.  He was a joy to watch.
Garry was an absolute giant, and we'll never see his likes again.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Friday, July 15, 2016

Horror Stories About Prop People. Part Four.

I've saved the best, or at least the most grotesque, for last.
1978.
I was doing a pilot with Ted Knight that became a series that lasted for six episodes on CBS.
It was called "The Ted Knight Show".
Ted played the head of an escort service.
The kind that people thought didn't exist.
The kind that didn't involve prostitution.
But they in fact did exist.
Ted was very funny playing this stuffy, no nonsense boss.
The idea for the pilot was one that I witnessed by watching Lynn Redgrave and her husband talk about it on "Tomorrow with Tom Snyder".
Lynn Redgrave's husband had actually worked as one of those escorts at one of those respectable kinds.
His job, one evening, was to accompany his female client, a fairly young girl, to her parents house for dinner.  He was to be introduced as her new fiancĂ©e.
This ruse was contrived so that he would be so obnoxious that her parents would relent and give their blessing to her real boyfriend, who they also disapproved of, but not nearly as much.
And it worked.
We thought that this would be a natural for Ted Knight, who has already been established as
Mr. Stuffy, Mr. Dignity.  But he allowed himself to be pressed into service for this gig, dreading it  at every turn.
We play out the scene, and it was hilarious.
It culminated with dessert.
It was the father's birthday and they wheeled out a huge seven layer birthday cake.
Ted, commenting on how great it looked, proceeded to lean over it and take a huge bite directly out
of the cake.
No plate, just directly out of the cake.
In situations like this, the prop man has to have at least six spare cakes on hand in case something goes wrong during the filming .
And he had six spare cakes.
But at the first run-through for the writers, we used a cake that looked like  all the others.
And Ted took a huge bite into it.
The only problem was that this cake was made out of cement.
And you could hear Ted's teeth practically shatter as he bit into it.
Nobody had gone to the trouble of telling Ted it was not a real cake.
Fortunately, no serious damage was done, but really, the level of stupidity was off the charts.
All that was required was for the prop man to have read the script.
But it was too much trouble.
I dare anybody to top that one.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, July 8, 2016

Horror Stories About Prop People. Part Three.

Okay.  I was producing "Happy Days".
We were doing an episode where Ralph Malph was trying to impress a girl.
The girl was played by Amy Irving.
I'm sure it's something she's still trying to live down.
We wanted to get a pair of those eyeglasses that has Slinky eyeballs.
I mean what's more funny and character-driven than that?
We went to our prop man, the less-than-legendary Gene Gossert.
Gene was ancient then, and was, among other things the prop man  for "The Real McCoys".
And he swore up and down that they don't make the Slinky eyeballs glasses anymore.
He then fished out this pair of glasses that had little wings attached to the upper corners.
And they sparkled.  And they weren't the least bit funny.
But Gene then swore up and down that they were just as good.
Who were we to argue?
I mean, the man worked with Walter Brennan, and all.
So we were stuck and went with the glasses with the wings that sparkled.
It got nothing.
It died like a dog in front of the live audience.
They all knew better than Gene Gossert.
Cut to: a week later.  I'm on Hollywood Boulevard, going to one of my favorite movie memorabilia
shops, Larry Edmunds Bookstore.
Right there in the front window are the eyeglasses with the Slinky eyeballs.
Not only do they still make them, but they only cost twenty bucks.
Another example of the prop man simply wanting to make his own life easier by not doing his job.
I thought about buying a pair for each of the writers to wear at the next run-through, but I honestly thought he might have been so dense that he wouldn't have even realized that he was being mocked.
So I spared him the embarrassment that only we had by using those ersatz glasses.
There will be one more of these next time.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Friday, July 1, 2016

Horror Stories About Prop People. Part Two.

In a previous production of my upcoming play, my set decorator doubled as my prop person.
She was very much into making "artistic choices".
Regardless of their effects on the play.
The results were way too surreal and artsy-fartsy.
There is nothing surreal about this play.
It is totally steeped in realism.
There is a joke right at the beginning of the play that establishes it's locale as Los Angeles.
Outside the apartment window, at a proper distance, is the "Hollywood" sign.
But all that can be seen are the last three letters:  O-O-D.  Ood.
There are actual locations in L.A. that have this view.
The set decorator's "artistic choice" was to have the O-O-D sign appear right outside the window.
In huge letters.
There are no interior locations in that area  that are that close to the "Hollywood" sign.
So it was totally surreal.
But it was too late to do anything about it.
It was horrible.
A major prop in the play is a ceramic giraffe.
The "artistic choice" here was to create a ceramic giraffe that was one color: dark brown.
I asked the prop person "How many dark brown giraffes have you seen in life?"
She, of course, replied "It's my artistic choice",
I replied "Your artistic choice doesn't inform anyone in the audience the opportunity to realize that it is a giraffe".
I had to insist that she turn it into a traditional two-toned giraffe.
Which she did, quite grudgingly.
If you come to the upcoming production in Detroit  at the end of the month, you will see an O-O-D
in proper proportion and a two toned giraffe.
And we'll have a prop person with absolutely no ego.
How refreshing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, June 24, 2016

Horror Stories About Prop People.

I'm not referring to the prop people who are working on the play I'm currently rehearsing.
They are beyond reproach.
But I have dealt with some lulus in my time.
When I directed my first play, I requested that the prop man create a travel bag that had a soccer ball as it's logo. 
It is a major plot point.
It indicates how far its owner has fallen.
He used to be a major league baseball broadcaster.
Now he is reduced to being a soccer broadcaster.
He has expressed fears that this would be his fate.
Worse, it's indoor soccer---the low end.
So the prop man comes back with a bag that has a pattern like the stars-and-bars of the Confederate Flag.
And there are little soccer balls placed where the stars would be.
Now what's wrong with this picture?
This is supposed to be a sight gag.
The character doesn't even refer to it.
Theoretically, it should get a big laugh.
So what's the problem, class?
That's right.
Even in the first row, you can't see that they are soccer balls.
I actually had to say to the prop man "No, it has to be one big soccer ball.  The audience has to be able to see from the back of the house that it is in fact, a soccer ball.
You see, all he had to do was read the script.
He hadn't.
To call him a moron would be flattering.
He came back with a soccer bag that had one big soccer ball.
And the gag always got a big laugh.
It merely required thought.
As we continue, I will provide several more examples of idiot prop 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".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, June 17, 2016

What I'm Up To Lately




I'm in rehearsal for one of my plays, a 2-character romantic comedy called "Who Wants Fame?"
It will be performed in Detroit on the above dates.
If business warrants, we will extend the run.
As indicated, I will be on hand for each performance to take questions about my TV career, and the play, and just about anything that interests you.
I usually get a lot of questions from aspiring writers and actors, and I think I have some valuable advice to offer.
Detroit has become a film industry town, and I would be happy to share my knowledge.
The ticket prices are $37.50 for the really close-up seats, $35.50 for the mid-way seats, and $32.50
for the further back seats.
Beats Broadway prices by a whole lot.
The venue seats 570 people, and it's all on one level.
We offer group discounts: If you purchase ten tickets or more, the price is $25.00.
I think it's a bargain at twice the price.  But that's me.
As we get closer to production time, I will be popping up on local media, to plug my heart out.
But I don't believe that it's merely hype.
I believe in this play. I love this play.  And I think you will, too.
The phone number for tickets is 248-579-3365.
If you want a better look at the flyer, email me and ask, and I'll send you a pdf of it.
If you have any questions for me about it, email me at macchus999@comcast.net
If you don't think I'm going to be plugging the hell out of this event until it happens, then you don't know me very well.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



















Saturday, June 11, 2016

Whither Goeth Billy Gardell?

"Mike and Molly" was a really good and really successful sitcom.
It's just departed from the Primetime Airwaves.
Billy Gardell, who played Mike, began the series on equal footing with Melissa McCarthy, who played Molly.
It began with them portraying two obesely overweight people who fell in love.
This made sense, because they were both obesely overweight.
Eventually McCarthy shed a ton of weight, and became a breakout movie star.
This contributed to McCarthy's decision to leave the series, and pursue the bigger fish she now had to fry.
She seems to have made the right business decision for herself.
But Billy Gardell, whom I found equally entertaining as McCarthy, seems to have been left high and dry.
Prior to landing this gig, Gardell was a long-time working road comic.
But he has now made major TV money.
Is he really going to want to go back out and work places like "Yuk-Yuks" in Shreveport Alabama?
He's not Seinfeld.
He can't sell out Caesar's Palace whenever he wants to.
And I'd bet he wants to.
And it's probably going difficult for him to land another series of any quality, or of anything at all.
Unless maybe he also loses a ton of weight.
I really liked his work, and I really wish him well.
Perhaps this is one of the last people we need to throw any kind of benefit for.
But I'm afraid we may have seen the last of him.
And this is sad.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Monday, June 6, 2016

Muhammed Ali's Uniqueness.

Besides having been the most famous man on earth, and how your feelings about him reflected more about you than about him, he brought
something to his sport that almost no one else of his contemporaries did.
He always, even at his most undignified moments, brought total dignity to every element of his life.
Mostly nobody else in his sport had a shred of it.
Particularly among heavyweights.
With Laila Ali, Ali's daughter---Ali discouraged her from becoming a boxer.
She became one anyway.
Joe Frazier, who had like eleven kids, tried to make all of them fighters.
And they all sucked.
Early in the run of his show, David Letterman did a remote segment with Joe Frazier in Philadelphia, following Frazier to the laundromat,
where he picked up his laundry.
He was obviously mocking him.
Can anyone imagine Ali putting up with that sort of thing?
In an interview, Thomas 'Hit Man' Hearns was once asked what he wanted to do after he quit fighting.
He replied "I wants to be a axter".
I once auditioned Former Heavyweight champeen Ken Norton, who was actively attempting to become a "axter".
Hell, he made "Mandingo"
He appeared to have marbles inside and around his mouth.
I didn't hire him.
George Foreman ended up selling cookware--the George Foreman grill.
Ali never pitched anything.
Mike Tyson put a huge tattoo on his face, and spent half his life in the slammer.
Nuff' said.
Ron Lyle, a very colorful fighter, committed and was convicted of second degree murder.
Leon Spinks was a moron. Probably still is.
Sonny Liston was mob-controlled and thug that he was, did "God knows what?" to his fellow citizens.
The heavyweight ranks in Ali's time was littered with thugs and criminals.
But they tried to put Muhammed Ali in jail for his political beliefs.
And Ali handled it all with dignity.
Around the time of Ali's legal troubles, Joe Louis was hired as a "Greeter" at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
He would stand around in the blackjack pits and you could have your picture taken with him just by gambling and asking.
Joe looked like he never had any idea where he was.
I'm glad Ali didn't end up like that.
He was simply one of a kind.
God bless us all for having had him.


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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Best And The Worst At One Event.

The great Irving Benson died this week at 102.
I'll take 102 any old time.
Why was he great?
To answer that, you've got to appreciate the art of Burlesque.
I'm talking about the Minsky's variety of Burlesque, where Irving Benson was it's foremost Top Banana. I got to see him several times in
Las Vegas and Reno.
This was a funny, funny man.
He used to show up on the Milton Berle Show as Sidney Shpritzer, where he used to heckle Berle from a box like the box for the two old guys on "The Muppet Show".
I always found it funnier when he was heckling anybody else.
One night, I was faced with a dilemma: co-headlining with Benson's Minsky revue were Sandler and Young.
For the uneducated, Sandler and Young were the worst act to ever headline anything.
They were these two handsome middle-aged guys in tuxedos who sang popular songs with a gimmick: one of them was French, and he would sing the song in French.
The other was American, and sang the same song in English, contrapuntally.
It was torture.
Sometimes they'd sing different songs at the same time just to show off.
Like, the French guy would sing "Domenique-a-nique-a-nique" in French while the American would be singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" in English.
This was all they did, and it was inexcusably bad show business, yet they forged a very successful career with this shit.
They must have done at least fifty Ed Sullivan Shows.
So. Here I am in Vegas.
Do I go to see Irving Benson, with his glorious timing, knowing what else is in store for me?
Assuming that Irving goes on first, can I walk out when Sandler and Young come on?
Assuming that I had seen the last of Irving?
I decided to go and stick it out.
And there they were, doing their usual crap. It was agony.
But then I thought maybe Sandler and Young wanted to be playful and participate in the Minsky shenanigans.
That is, in fact what happened and I was glad I stayed.
But it was a tough call.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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


Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Guiltiest Pleasure Yet.

For the first time in many weeks TCM is not showing a "Bowery Boys" movie this Saturday morning.
I find this emotionally disturbing.
I am, and have always been a major fan of the "Bowery Boys" saga.
I can't get enough of them.
From the late 30's, when they showed up as the very serious "Dead End Kids", usually in prison, with John Garfield, or Ronald Reagan,
or Cagney, through the early 40's when they were the lighter-hearted "East-Side Kids", usually fighting Nazis.
This is when they made the move from Warner Brothers where money was spent on their movies, to Monogram, where nobody spent money on anything.
The lack of ensuing production values meant nothing to me. And certainly not to them.
To me, they were all just as entertaining.
But the balance of their work began in 1947 when they became "The Bowery Boys", where cheapness reached rock-bottom.
Not that there was any difference in who they portrayed.
Leo Gorcey was always some variation of the group's leader.
Usually named Muggs (real name: Ethelbert McGuiness} or Slip (Real name: Francis Aloysius Mahoney)
See a pattern?
Slip, er, Muggs was a master of malapropism that would put Norm Crosby to shame.
No one was more damaged than Gorcey as the series went on.
He aged far worse than any of the others.
They schlepped in Gorcey's father to play Louie, the soda shoppe proprietor, probably to make Gorcey look younger.
But they were playing out-and-out comedy now, to a fare-thee-well.
Huntz Hall, the eternal clown, seemed to never age.
The others were all interchangeable.
I don't think that there was one instance in any of their films where Gorcey didn't hit Hall with his hat.
And it was always funny.
I know that a lot of people look down their noses at "The Bowery Boys"
And TCM certainly gives them a lot of imprimatur.
I really hope it doesn't stop.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Mysteries Of "Let's Rock"

Julius La Rosa died this week.
I was a big fan.
I thought he was a wonderful singer, who brought great musicianship and empathy to everything he did.
Never mind all that mishegoss that went on with Arthur Godfrey.
(And I'm giving you credit for remembering him).
Julie made only one actual feature film.
It was called "Let's Rock".
I had never heard of it until it showed up on TCM about two years ago.
La Rosa got top billing, just as rock 'n roll was starting to rear its ugly head.
This was 1958. La Rosa had long survived the Godfrey firing, and was thriving.
He was cast as a ballad singer whose manager was trying to show him that ballads are dead, and the only way to stay "with it" is to switch to rock and roll.
Second billed was Phyllis Newman as his girlfriend, which I could believe, and as an aspiring rock and roll songwriter, which I couldn't.
You know the way Phyllis Newman has a way with rock and roll lyrics. They're right up her alley.
I mean, who the hell is she, Carole King?
This premise was a very tough sell.
Interestingly, Julie and Phyllis sang roughly half a dozen traditional style "pop" songs, without a hint of rock and roll.
They were all written by Hal Hackady, whose name pretty much described his abilities.
But they were all rather harmless and pleasant.
The closest Julie came to doing rock and roll was doing about a chorus of "Rock Around The Clock".
He hated doing it, and I hated hearing it.
But the movie really served as a showcase for real rock and roll singers.
This was essentially an Alan Freed movie, without the smarm and the payola.
For the Alan Freed part, they got Wink Martindale, not at all smarmy.
Each getting a song, not interacting at all with the story, were Paul Anka, Danny and The Juniors, Roy Hamilton, Della Reese, and The Royal Teens (Who Wears Short Shorts? They wear Short Shorts!)
The story is resolved by Julie realizing he should stick to ballads.
All of this begs several questions:

Was there any other way this story could play out?
Why was this movie made?
Who did they think their audience was?
Julius La Rosa as first billed, this turns off the Alan Freed crowd.
They don't know what they're getting.
Why would they show up?
How did they get La Rosa to do this movie?
The story cuts a little too close to the bone.
La Rosa survived this situation in real life, but a lot of his contemporaries didn't.
Why would he want to call attention to himself in that manner?
Maybe because he played a character with a different name, his handlers, thinking he was a schmuck, managed to convince him that he wasn't playing himself.
The scenarios are almost endless.
Maybe it was simply a matter of money, or the lack of it.
"Let's Rock" must have been made on a budget of nickels.
Yet, it was all rather entertaining, fifty years later.
Back then, it was undoubtedly designed to be the lower half of a double bill.
A second feature. That's what they had back then.
It was probably a matter of nobody giving a fuck.
And Julie was probably delighted to star in a movie.
That's my best guess.
All I've got are guesses.
No answers.
Now that Julie's gone, we'll never really know.
I prefer it when life makes sense.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Nature of the Talk Show Booking Order Beast.

I don't know how it is where you are,
but where I am I am bombarded with reruns
of The Johnny Carson show,
and The Dick Cavett show,
from when they originally aired.
I've noticed something unusual about both of them, compared to the way they do things today.
When you watch any of the talk shows today
whether its any one of the Jimmies,
or Stevens,
or James,
they all have something very much in common.
There is a pecking order to the guest list.
The biggest name for each show is invariably brought out first.
Or at least introduced first.
There must be nightly fist fights about who is the biggest star.
This is where agents make their money.
Back in the Carson/Cavett days, there was much more of a sense of randomness about it,
generally based on who the host thought would be the most entertaining.
The time allotment would be geared accordingly.
Orson Bean would get the first half hour.
Followed by someone huge like Burt Reynolds.
I had forgotten that that was the way things were.
I guess I had thought that they were also brought out based on the heft of their name.
There is a podcast on the Internet devoted to Johnny Carson where this young guy interviews all things Carson.
As a result he interviewed some of the talent bookers for Carson.
And they pretty much confirmed the notion that there was that element of randomness to it.
At least one time, though, there was a major exception.
On one particular evening on Johnny Carson, Dinah Shore was booked as the number one guest.
And Orson Welles was booked as the number two guest.
This did not sit well with Orson Welles, who, as it turns out, was prescient, way ahead of his time in terms of booking order.
And drank no wine before its time.
He told the booker in no uncertain terms that when he, Orson Welles, appeared on a talk show, he, Orson Welles, without exception, would be the number one guest.
So how would you, as the booker, like to be the one to tell Dinah Shore that she was being pushed back to number two in the guest booking order?
This booker passed the assignment over to the producer, Freddie de Cordova.
That's essentially what Freddie de Cordova was there for.
Dinah, of course, took it very graciously because she was a lady.
Imagine, if you will, if it was Yul Brynner rather than Dinah Shore.
Can you picture the fist fights that would have broken out?
The real irony here is that Yul Brynner and Orson Welles died on exactly the same day.
I wonder who got into heaven first, if, in fact, that is where they ended up?
That would have been too much for even Freddie de Cordova to handle.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Buying New Shoes for the First Time in 24 Years.

Yes, that's right.
Up until two months ago I had not bought new shoes for 24 years.
It's not that I'm cheap, although Lord knows I am.
It's not that my shoes have gone out of style, which they haven't.
It's that 24 years ago I decided to go to Payless and buy 18 pairs of shoes.
Why would a person do such a thing? Well, in my case, it's because I can't buy shoes that have laces.
To put it quite simply, I cannot tie my shoes.
And I feel rather foolish attempting to tie my shoes in front of anybody, because it takes me a good half-hour to do it.
As Payless shoes are fairly durable, and cheap,and there are many varieties of Velcro shoes there, I thought, "Why don't I just take care of my shoe purchases for the rest of my life?"
So that is what I attempted to do.
Everything was going along swimmingly until a few months ago.
I was down to the last three pairs of shoes, but I was starting to develop trouble with my feet.
They had both gotten bigger.
And I thought to myself, "Well, there goes my lifetime achievement.
It ain't never gonna happen."
So my wife and I traipsed over to Payless.
It had been so many years since I was at Payless that I didn't realize that they had changed their signs, color scheme, their entire look.
The last time I visited Payless none of the employees there now had even been born.
I had other problems.
I used to wear an 11 triple-width, but now my right foot required a 13 triple-width and my left foot required a 12 triple-width.
With two different sized feet, I had to get a pair of size 13 and a pair of size 12.
Because you can't break up a set
And they only came in one color and one style.
Clodhopper. Black Clodhopper.
However, if you ordered by mail, you could get the white version.
Which is not nearly as Clodhopperish. I know because I ordered them.
But I still had to get two pairs.
I mentioned all of this to my sister, to see if this seemed unusual to her, and she regaled me with tales of her own growing feet.
Not too long ago she was a size 8.
A nice size foot for a nice size leg.
But recently, within a very short amount of time, her feet expanded to a size 9, then size 10, then size 10 1/2 wide.
I don't know how this blossoming has affected her but, she, herself refers to what she has as "clown's feet." She says she now has "clown's feet."
She says she wears "clown shoes."
I don't consider my shoes to be disproportionate to my overall leg.
Unlike her.
I guess I feel lucky that I was able to get so much use out of those size 11's.
So what if I now have to wear sizes 12 and 13?
I'm just glad they make them that big.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ron Howard's Wedding.

Ron Howard's marriage coincided with my working on Happy Days.
Hence, I was invited to the wedding mass and the reception.
This is something that would't have happened in a million years if I weren't working on Happy Days at that time.
A highlight for me was that just about everyone that Ron Howard worked with in show business were there.
Which, if you think about it, is quite a few people that you would know.
I am talking like, 1981.
So all the surviving members of the Andy Griffith cast were there, including good old Anj and Barney Fife.
Marian the Librarian was there; Ron Howard had played Shirley Jones' little brother in The Music Man.
Ron had done a series with Henry Fonda, and everyone in that show, including Henry, were there.
Of course all the members of the cast of Happy Days were there, which involved another Henry.
Oddly enough, at the time, Henry Winkler was far more popular.
So I got to see up close, Aunt Bee, Helen Crump, Howard Sprague, and Otis Campbell.
And, as at most Gentile weddings, there was not a lot of food, just a couple of celery sticks before the mass started.
So it was a lovely afternoon, and we all mingled outside waiting for the mass to start.
I guess we were all hoping there would be a big spread afterwards.
But it was clear from about 15 minutes into the mass that we were not getting the condensed version.
This was going to be the full-on high mass.
I happen to have been seated alongside Andy Griffith, who seemed to be losing his patience a little bit.
And, as it was clear that the mass was winding down and they were about to do the actual ceremony, Garry Marshall, who was sitting in front of me, turned back towards me and said,
"Everything up until here is a lift".
I think I need to explain what a lift is.
It is an editing term.
It means you don't need this.
It means everything up until this point can be taken out, can be "a lift".
I, of course, was hysterical.
Andy Griffith was hysterical.
And then there was no reception after that.
Meaning no food.
Then nobody was hysterical; just hungry.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'm In The Hospital Today....

Prostate surgery.
So I'll be gone for a few days.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Two Varieties Of Human Beings.

What do these ten names have in common?


Fred Astaire

Cary Grant

Lawrence Olivier

Queen Elizabeth

Katherine Hepburn

Jennifer Aniston

Walter Cronkite

James Stewart

James Cagney

Hillary Clinton

------------------------
In my humble opinion, these are ten people whom I can't possibly imagine being on the toilet.
Perhaps they've never gone.


On the flip side, here are the top ten (in my opinion) people whom I can most easily imagine on the toilet.


Bernie Sanders

Jack Klugman

Jerry Lewis

Groucho and Chico Marx (as an entry)

Totie Fields

Redd Foxx

Joe E. Ross

Ernest Borgnine

Walter Matthau

and last, but certainly not least, Ethel Merman.

This is certainly not a moral judgment.
I'm not implying that one group is superior to the other.
This is purely an esthetic evaluation.

This subject came up as I was watching an episode of "The Dick Cavett Show" on the Decades Channel.
The guests were Burt Reynolds and Carol Burnett.
Burt Reynolds brought up the subject with "Kirk Douglas never goes to the bathroom."
Cavett then turned to Carol Burnett, apparently having discussed the topic previously with her.
She then offered up a name of someone who one can immediately envision on the crapper.
And she said, without batting an eyelash, "Ethel Merman".
And I laughed so hard that I literally fell on the floor.
Unfortunately, that is a way too common experience for me.
So I felt that this was worth sharing in this form, and taking it to this next level.
And I invite my readers to offer up possible contenders to crack either Top Ten in the Comments section.
By the way, I hope you all notice that the blog is now much easier to read.
You no longer have to scroll down the page to start reading an article.
As I am computer illiterate, I never knew how to get rid of all those Stat Counter signs.
My new agent noticed it, and said he could fix it. And he did.
So even if he doesn't get me any work, I will be eternally grateful.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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


Sunday, April 17, 2016

F. Lee. Part Two.

Last time, I alluded to F. Lee Bailey when I described the funniest "Odd Couple" joke I ever wrote.
This time I will allude to something almost as funny.
In the early 80's (according to Wikipedia, although I could swear it was earlier) There was a daytime syndicated TV
show called "Lie Detector".
It was hosted by F. Lee Bailey.
It was, in its way, one of television's first "reality" shows.
It was a half-hour show during which someone had a claim ,to make, usually his or her innocence regarding a crime,
told his or her story, and then was hooked up to a polygraph, with a legitimate polygraph tester supervising it.
There were usually two interviewees per show.
It seemed like the interviewee almost invariably failed the polygraph test.
F. Lee's role was to listen to the interviewee's story, usually with some overt skepticism, and when the polygraphee failed the test, F. Lee would overtly subject the polygraphee to his unique, humorless brand of scorn.
Along with the warning that you simply can't fool the polygraph.
This, of course, has since been disproved, although there is certainly a high degree of effectiveness.
But it's been supplanted by DNA evidence.
"Lie Detector" is now a product of the Stone Age.
It's a shame, though.
I remember a small-time judge, who was literally on his way to the slammer. I think he had a cab outside the studio
with the meter running, making the case for his innocence. Guilt just dripped from this guy's face.
Of course, he failed the polygraph.
This was simply a Hail Mary Pass.
And then, Bailey simply and piously heaped abuse upon him.
I found it hilarious.
It was consistently hilarious.
What he did has since been taken over by Maury Povich, whom I recall, used to have a somewhat respectable career before he turned his show into a DNA dominated version of "Who's the Real Father?"
F. Lee could have certainly brought his brand of mock-gravitas to something like that.
He represented O.J.
He's proven that he's certainly not above it.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Monday, April 11, 2016

F. Lee. Part One.

F. Lee Bailey has been much discussed lately, primarily because of his involvement in the O.J case, as recently
depicted in the series, "The Case Against O.J. Simpson"
Bailey was portrayed by Nathan Lane, who was quite appealing, although I don't think he very accurately portrayed him.
I've never seen Bailey to demonstrate any form of a sense of humor.
Lane was downright droll.
My two associations with F. Lee Bailey were actually quite funny.
Add to that, when Bailey was asked for pointers as to how he should be played replied, "Just don't portray
Robert Shapiro in an attractive light". He got his wish.
But those weren't either of my associations.
One of mine involved the best joke I ever wrote for "The Odd Couple".
And it never even got shot.
Every year on "The Odd Couple" we did a courtroom show.
In the courtroom show where Felix sued Hugh Hefner because (in a flashback) Felix takes nude photos of his future wife so she can be a potential Playmate of the Month and Hefner decides to use the photo.
Felix tries to get an injunction against it.
Of course, Felix acted as his own attorney.
And he always found a way to humiliate Oscar on the witness stand.
Oscar worked for Hefner at this point.
And when Felix attempted to discredit him, he called Oscar "one of those nameless, faceless men who skulk the hallways of every major cartel".
The most quoted line from one of these courtroom shows was when they got arrested for ticket scalping.
The form of humiliation here was how there was no intention to scalp the ticket.
They just had an extra one because Oscar couldn't get a date.
No matter how hard he tried.
This was the episode that spawned the now immortal line----
"Never assume. Because when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me".
Before the courtroom scene in the Hefner show, we wrote a scene showing Felix bringing a stack of books into the living room.
Oscar: What have you got there, Felix?
Felix: Law books! I went to a used bookstore and bought them. Boy when I get through Hefner, he'll be sorry he started up with Unger!
Oscar: (Taking the top book off of Felix's stack, opens it and looks at the inside cover) "To F. Lee, from Mom"
His mother called him F. Lee?
I think that's a perfect joke.
But it was decided to cut the scene after the first run-through.
We were running very long, and the scene really wasn't necessary.
This certainly wasn't the first time my heart was broken.
This is the first opportunity I've had to expose this joke in public.
I hope you've enjoyed it.
Next time, I'll relate the other association with F. Lee Bailey that never failed to make me laugh.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Uniquely Unusual Commercial.

They've got this commercial running in the Chicago area.
Maybe it's even running nationally.
It's for elderly people.
For a knee brace.
The manufacturer isn't even mentioned.
There's just a phone number.
The commercial is done in animation.
There's a little black child, and her much older black grandmother.
Here's the dialogue:

Ellie: Grandma, can you come put and play?
Grandma: Sure, Ellie, oh my, you might want to c'mere and help Grandma.
Ellie: What's the matter, Grandma, can you stand?
Grandma: Oh, sorry honey, it's ma' knees.
They just don't work the way they used to.

Then, there's the pitch for the knee brace.
Grandma's gotten the knee brace And now, she's roller blading down the street at about seventy miles an hour.
Ellie: Grandma, slow down! I can't keep up.
Grandma: Maybe you can use a knee brace too, Ellie.
Catch me if you can, kiddo!

Okay. I have no idea how well this knee brace really works, and we're only dealing with animation.
But here's the kicker, folks.
Several weeks into the running of this commercial, the same commercial is run, only now, Ellie and Grandma are white.
The same commercial, the same voiceovers, only now they're white.
I guess somebody figured out that they are omitting a major market share by being black to begin with.
Now they seem to randomly show the black version and the white version.
Is this racist?
I don't know.
All I know is that I've never seen anything like it.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Getting A Crap Taken On Me, From Two Separate Podcasts, Part Two.

This was from Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing, Colossal Podcast.
I never miss it.
It is always hilarious.
This one was a practically double crap taken on me.
I first met Gilbert Gottfried when he appeared in a pilot that I served as one of the Executive Producers for.
It was called "The Further Adventures of Wally Brown".
This would imply that there had been previous adventures of Wally Brown.
There hadn't been.
This was 1980.
The sole reason for its existence was that an NBC executive named Stu Sheslow thought it would be a good idea to turn the song "Charlie Brown",
(you know, "fee, fee, fi, fi, fo, fo fum! I smell smoke in the auditor-i-um! Charlie Brown! Charlie Brown! he's a clown! That Charlie Brown")
into a sitcom.
It certainly wasn't my idea.
This is why some people should never be allowed to be in show business.
But we never had a relationship with NBC, and this was our way in.
And they didn't want to pay for the use of the song, so they had us change the name to "Wally Brown".
My involvement in the project was quite peripheral.
I didn't even write it.
I don't even know if Gilbert knows my name.
I don't think we ever spoke to each other.
My former partner, Lowell Ganz, directed it, and Gilbert made reference to him.
I never saw any of Gilbert's now trademark volatility that he displayed on stage.
He was just this quiet guy.
When I first saw Gilbert's onstage persona, I thought he was doing an imitation of Lowell Ganz.
And on one of his Gilbert's podcasts, he takes a major crap on this pilot.
And I really don't blame him.
It was a major piece of crap.
My only major involvement was making sure that the guys attempting to re-create the sound of the Coasters on the original recording sounded enough like the
Coasters. At first they didn't. After I gave them some notes, they did.
That was the extent of my creative involvement.
That, plus I gave Peter Scolari his first job.
It wasn't nearly enough to remove the crappiness.
So Gilbert was right.
I don't know if there was anything that could have improved it.
Maybe if I was more hands on with the writing....
I don't think so.
As it was once said in William Goldman's wonderful book, "The Season", "The only problem with washing garbage is when you get done, it's still garbage".
On that same podcast his guest was actor-writer Tom Leopold.
I had cast Tom to play Ted Knight's son on our six episode run of "The Ted Knight Show", which was borne out of CBS's desire to cash in on the current trend of "jiggle comedy" a la "Three's Company"
Leopold referred to it as a "horrible experience, and a horrible show"
Ted played the owner of an escort service, not a front for prostitution, but a legitimate escort service.
And we hired a group of very attractive actresses to serve as the escorts.
We also had a few extras to appear as male escorts.
Tom treated this as something that could never happen.
In fact, the story for the pilot was something that actually happened to Lynn Redgrave's husband.
I saw him talking about it on the "Tom Snyder Show"
Working for a legitimate escort service, he was hired to act as a complete boor.
The girl who hired him invited him to have dinner at her parents' house, where he was to be as obnoxious as possible, so that her parents would consent to the girl marrying her real boyfriend.
Ted played the complete boor, and was hilarious.
The audience loved it, and completely bought into it.
As I said in part one, the live audience tells you. And they loved it.
Individually, they're all idiots. Collectively they're a genius.
So these places do exist, and that's what we were depicting.
As for Tom Leopold, we never gave him much to do on those six episodes.
He made no impression.
And Ted didn't like him.
He had suggested Fred Travalena for the part which was fine with us, but we thought Ted knew him and was going to set up our meeting with him.
Turns out he didn't know him.
We figured that Fred didn't want to do it, and we proceeded with the regular casting process.
It was a communications breakdown.
As I was in charge of casting, Ted blamed me for not getting Travalena.
So, no. The show wasn't borne out of any real inspiration, but it was always really funny.
And not at all because of Tom Leopold.
It was not at all horrible.
Not even Tom Leopold was horrible.


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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

My Favorite Garry Shandling Moment.

It came from an episode of "It's Garry Shandling's Show".
Red Buttons was the guest.
The premise was that Garry had this irrational fear that Red was going to replace him on his own show.
This was buttressed by the rest of the cast totally fawning over Red, and laughing at everything he said.
Once the plot was resolved, and Garry's fears were exposed as imaginary, the last five minutes were devoted to a variation of Red's routine
"They never had a dinner", called "I am everywhere"
It began with Garry asking innocuously "Have you ever been to New York?
Then Red takes over with Garry not being able to say another word.

Red: Are you kidding? Of course I've been to New York. I've been everywhere. I am everywhere.
Of course.
In Harlem, at a reunion of black hockey players for Reagan.
I was hocking, I was pucking, I was black, I was there.
That's why I'm here, right now, with you.
In Beverly Hills, at a Joan Crawford child-slapping contest.
I was childing, I was slapping, I was Joaning, I was Crawfing, I was there.
That's why I'm here. I am everywhere.

There were four or five more examples of this, one funnier than the next.
and all of this played out in a two shot of Garry and Red.
The camera did not move.
And Garry just stood there, and said nothing, looking back and forth between the camera and Red.
He completely laid out for Red.
That just made it funnier.
It was roaringly funny.
Okay, so maybe it was more of a Red Buttons moment, but it wouldn't have been nearly as good if Garry Shandling wasn't playing straight for him.

Of course, Garry was a genius, and this was simply an example of his enormous generosity as a performer.
"The Larry Sanders Show" was a major breakthrough for the sitcom form.
This is a stunning and irretrievable loss.

I will do "Getting a Crap Taken On Me From Two Separate Podcasts, Part Two", next time.
Someone like Garry Shandling just doesn't die every day.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Getting A Crap Taken On Me, From Two Separate Podcasts. Part One.

I pay a lot more attention to podcasts than to things I watch on TV.
Whenever I watch a sporting event, I usually multi-task by listening to a podcast and turning the sound off on the sporting event.
Or when Trump is on.
The ones I listen to are hosted by very funny comedians: Larry Miler, Gilbert Gottfried, Dom Irrera, Jake Johannsen, Judy Gold, Kevin Pollak, and
others.
They're all usually good for some big laughs as I get through the day.
I have worked with several of them.
On one occasion, Larry Miller mentioned that he appeared in one of my plays, and how good it was, and how much he enjoyed being in it.
It turns out that this has become the exception rather than the rule.
A few days ago, I was listening to Dom Irrera's podcast.
We'd seen him at the Comedy Store, where he killed, and not really knowing whether or not he could act, I had hired him to do three episodes of
"She's The Sheriff".
His agents put together what I recall being a ball-buster deal for him, although at the time, he had virtually no major TV exposure.
It was probably the first time he got an acting job without auditioning for it.
We created a character for him, not unlike Latka from "Taxi".
The hook was, not unlike what Andy Kaufman did when he transformed himself into his incredible Elvis impression, Dom's character "Jim" (pronounced "Heem!")
transformed himself into a hack American comic, a staple of his act.
The rest of the cast basically laid out for him.
He was terrific. The audience loved it.
I felt that out of the 22 episodes I was involved with, 18 were home runs.
And I thought that this was one of them.
After we taped that show, I hung out with Dom a little in Vegas, where he was appearing.
I took he and his then wife at the time to dinner there.
I'd chalked it up as a completely pleasant experience.
Cut to: 28 years later. I'm listening to his podcast.
And he begins bashing the entire experience.
"I did this show, "SHE's The Sheriff" like we needed to be told that it was a Lady Sheriff, yeah, show me how much you need to insult my intelligence,
and at the first table read, I looked around the room, and I couldn't believe how so many people could be so bad.
Then, a few years later, I did "Seinfeld". It was like night and day."

Well, if you thought the script was so bad, why didn't you say something?
Or did you just assume it was pointless?
Based on the deal he made, he certainly could have thrown his weight around.
Not a peep out of him.
The live audience was very supportive.
They laughed in all the right places.
That's all that matters.
To once again quote Billy Wilder, "Individually they're all idiots. Collectively they're a genius."
No, we were not "Seinfeld" Who was?
But we were a syndicated show that came on mid-season with no decent writing budget and I think I put together enough decent bodies to not ever have to feel ashamed.
And it was not stupid. Except for the 4 that didn't work. And that wasn't my fault.
What disturbs me more than anything was, as good as I can read an audience, that's how badly I can read people.
It took 28 years to realize that someone I really liked had no respect for me.
I'll still listen to his podcast, because he's still that funny.

Next time, another example of this.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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@comcast.net

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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

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About Me

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