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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 form 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

*****

Monday, August 11, 2014

Unfortunately, There Was A Ford In Our Future.

I usually try to avoid to avoid politics around these here parts, but with the fortieth anniversary of Watergate, and all the attending publicity in media surrounding it, I find myself hearing the same nice and kind things said about Gerald Ford, because he gave Richard Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for acts that would have sent any other individual who wasn't President of the United States directly to the slammer.
Do not pass Go.
Do not collect $200.
Go to Jail.
It was done in what I assume was an honest effort to "heal the nation".
Just as his serving on the Warren Commision was his attempt to heal the nation.
In both instances, I don't think much, if any actual healing took place.
Very few people believe the Warren Commission Report to this day.
I am pretty well convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed involved in the JFK assassination, but I'm far from convinced that he acted alone.
So, no healing for me there.
A lot of people protested at the time, when Ford pardoned Nixon.
I was one of them.
Not so much because I hated Nixon, which I did.
But because I believed that it set a terrible precedent.
That single act told America that what you heard about "No man is above the law" is complete bullshit.
And it probably cost Ford the upcoming election.
And he probably knew it was going to.
So he probably thought what he did was an act of nobility.
But if Ford hadn't pardoned Nixon, and Nixon had ended up in the Greybar Hotel, does anyone honestly think that Ronald Reagan would have been given a free pass for Iran-Contra?
Would Reagan even attempt it?
There is no thought of holding Bush and Cheney accountable for falsely getting thousands of people killed by creating a war in Iraq.
They knew that they would never be held criminally accountable.
As they should be.
But won't be.
And there seems to be no discussion about sending any of those crooks who supplied all those bad bank loans to those unsuspecting customers, to the clink.
All because of that nice, kind "healer", Gerald Ford.
Yes, I know that if there was no pardon, and Nixon faced an ongoing prosecution, and ended up wearing striped garments, the country would have twisted in the wind over it.
Perhaps for a long time.
But I think we would have gotten over it, and we'd certainly end up better than we are now.
In retrospect, that one act of Ford's is probably worse than anything Richard Nixon ever did.
Which is saying something.
I must go now, and continue to lick my wounds.

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

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

*****

Friday, August 8, 2014

Speaking Of Grodin....

Thinking about "Clifford", the movie I referred to last time, that I walked out on, after paying good money to see it, in which Charles Grodin disappointed me, it reminded me of another recent incident in which Charles Grodin disappointed me.
Now, don't get me completely wrong.
I have, for the most part, always admired Grodin's work, and admired him as a person, and as a talk-show guest.
But I recently listened to him on an internet podcast, where he was the solo guest for about an hour and a half.
He was his usual interesting self.
I found myself being very sympatico with his outlook on the world.
He discussed among other things, how, even at his stage of his career, he found it difficult to get meetings for people to consider producing his plays.
This is a problem that I have encountered on occasion, and it was somewhat comforting to know that I was not alone.
As he described it, he had a play running in New York that completely sold out it's run. 
So he was baffled that he couldn't even get a hearing on his next play.
He then spent some time plugging his latest book.
I found the Kindle version on Amazon, and ordered it.
And I read it.
And it turned out to be an entire regurgitation of what he said on the podcast.
Practically word for word.
Either that, or the podcast was an entire regurgitation of what he wrote in his book.
In any case, I felt I should have been warned.
And I felt completely ripped off.
Even if it was only to the tune of $3.99.
The podcast and the book also consisted of a ton of name-dropping.
Almost every sentence began with "My good friend Robert Diniro", or "My good friend Candice Bergen" and like that.
Now, I know that he worked with these people, and may indeed even be good friends with them.
But I did feel rather clobbered on my head with all of this.
The capper was when he talked about "My good friend Paul Simon".
And he related the following exchange of dialogue between him and his good friend Paul Simon.
According to Grodin, his good friend Paul Simon said to him, "D'jever notice that when you're on the phone with somebody and they say, 'I've got another call.  I'll get right back to you', that that's the new version of 'no' ? "
I hear him relate this anecdote, and my immediate reaction is "This is complete bullshit".
I mean who on earth is going to put Paul Simon on hold to take another call?
Who on earth is going to say "no" to Paul Simon about anything?!
Grodin was probably talking about his own experience, and decided to dress it up by having it come out of Paul Simon's mouth.
And I looked up Grodin's play that had a "sold out" run in New York.
It had mixed reviews.
This didn't surprise me.
For years, he had been trying to get a movie that he had written made.
It was called "Movers and Shakers".
He managed to rope Walter Matthau into playing the lead.
The first half of it was a total fiasco.
Once again, I didn't make it to the second half.
But I didn't have to leave the theater.
I just had to turn off the TV.
The "sold out run" for his play was in one of those Off-Broadway theaters with very limited seating capacity.
And a very limited run.
Not that difficult to sell out.
With it all, I still have a lot of positive feelings about Grodin.
But now, with his book, and "Movers and Shakers", and "Clifford", forewarned is forearmed.

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

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

*****
  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Two Movies That I Walked Out On, After Paying Good Money To See Them.

I almost never pay good money to see any movie.
At the movies, or pay-per-view at home.
Of course, I exclude Netflix and pay cable, like HBO and Showtime.
But Netflix, I have mainly so I can binge-watch TV series I never saw first time around.
And HBO and Showtime, I mainly have for the boxing.
The movies I see there I consider a bonus.
I binge-watch movies in the fall and winter, when the studios send me DVDs.
Or if I'm in L.A. and there are free Guild screenings.
But on rare occasions, I will actually stroll up to the box office, take out a wad of cash, and plunk it down to see a movie.
It's usually a Woody Allen movie, which won't last in my area for more than a week, or there is someone in it whose work I particularly admire, and just don't feel like waiting for DVDs or HBO.
There were two movies in this category that I plunked down the hard cash for.
I went to one of them because the stars were Martin Short and Charles Grodin.
I'd always been a major fan of Martin Short.
I'd always felt he could do no wrong.
And I'd been a sucker for Grodin since "The Heartbreak Kid" and "Midnight Run"
So I thought "Great combination!  Can't miss!"
So I loosened my wallet, parted with the dough, and took my seat.
The movie was called "Clifford".
Short played this unctuous child-man, or man-child, or child, I was never sure which.
And Grodin was his adult mentor, of sorts.
And the entire movie, at least what I saw of it, was Short being actively unctuous, constantly annoying Grodin, and Grodin either being patient with him, or losing his patience with him.
It didn't take that long for me to lose my patience with the whole thing.
And there is always that moment when you know it's not going to get any better.
So I abandoned ship midway through,, and simply considered it money wasted. 

The other experience along these lines involved someone else whose movies I always enjoyed.
Rodney Dangerfield.
I'd seen his entire output and had never been disappointed.
Until I saw, or at least half-saw, "Meet Wally Sparks"
There was nothing particularly wrong with the story.
He played a politician running for office, managing to offend everyone he met.
Not necessarily a bad idea.
The problem was the execution.
Every one out of two lines of dialogue was a setup for a "dick" joke.
And every other of the two lines of dialogue was the punchline for a "dick" joke.
Now, I like a good dick joke as well as the next fellow.
But the repetitive nature of the dick jokes in this picture was unprecedented.
Rodney totally gilded the lily.
And about halfway through this one, I realized I was on the Dick Joke Express.
And I had to hurl myself on to the tracks.
Left to his own devices, Rodney had no taste.
And he was definitely left to his own devices.
I should have learned from Martin Short and Charles Grodin:
Stay in your house. 

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

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

*****

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rothman's Take On The 2014 Emmy Nominations. Part Four.

To wrap things up:

Best Comedy Series
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Louie"
"Modern Family"
"Orange Is the New Black"
"Silicon Valley"
"Veep"
 
Love "Big Bang".  Always have.
Never saw 'Modern Family" or "Silicon Valley"
Hate "Veep".  Always have.
"Orange is the New Black" is not a comedy, and became unwatchable for me in the second season.
I always dreaded going to prison, and always felt like I was serving out a sentence by watching it.
"Louie" has also lately not been a comedy, but when he goes for it, it's better than anything else.
It's so friggin' imaginative that it's better than anything else anyway.
For me, it's "Louie.  And long overdue.
 
Best Drama Series
"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
"Game of Thrones"
"House of Cards"
"Mad Men"
"True Detective"
 
Never saw "Downton Abbey" or "Game of Thrones".
The rest of the category, for me, is loaded.
I love all of the other nominees.
And I binge-watched all of them.
Thank God for the Netflix.
"Mad Men" got weaker the later into the sixties they got.
I saw the British "House of Cards" before I saw the American version.
That made the latter rather predictable.
"True Detective"?  Terrific.
But "Breaking Bad" was unmatched.
Except maybe by "The News Room", which had better writing, but wasn't nominated.
"Breaking Bad", pulling away. 
 
Best Actress in a Drama Series
Lizzy Caplan, "Masters of Sex"
Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
 
The only ones I saw, and binge-watched, were Margulies and Wright.
Both about as good as each other.
Toss a coin.
 
Best Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Woody Harrelson, "True Detective"
Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
 
Boy, talk about loaded.
Cranston, and Hamm, and Hugh Laurie on "House" could have all played each other's parts.
Equally as well.
Spacey, as good as he is, can never make you care about him. 
All of them were exceptional.
But the way I cared about Cranston's character sets him apart.
He gets my vote.

And that's it for me and the Emmys.
Not very scientific, but perhaps quite revealing about my personal tastes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

*****
 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rothman's Take On The Emmy Nominations. Part Three.

Finally,  back to the Emmy nominations:

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, "Brookiyn Nine-Nine"
Adam Driver, "Girls"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family"
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Fred Armisen, "Portlandia"
Tony Hale, "Veep"
 
Only saw a couple of episodes of "Portlandia"
It had that Lorne Michaels "We're just kidding around" stamp all over it.
I hated it.
Hated Armisen too.
The rest of it I didn't watch.
My opinion here is worthless.
 
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Allison Janney, "Mom"
Kate Mulgrew, "Orange Is the New Black"
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live"
Anna Chlumsky, "Veep"
 
Love Bialik and Janney.
Didn't even recognize Mulgrew for the first few shows.
She was first-rate.
The girl from SNL was really good the few times I saw her.
It wasn't enough to keep me coming. 
I guess I'd give it to Janney, for displaying comedy chops I didn't know she had.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Julia Louis Dreyfus, "Veep"
Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly"
Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation"
Taylor Schilling, "Orange Is the New Black"
 
Not much to choose from here.
Not a fan of Louis-Dreyfuss or Poehler.
Didn't catch "Girls"
"Nurse Jackie and "Orange" are not comedies.
I like McCarthy, but she's not nearly the best part of that show.
Still, she wins by default.
 
Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Ricky Gervais, "Derek"
Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Louis C.K., "Louie"
William H. Macy, "Shameless"
 
This category is loaded.
Parsons walks away with that show, and has already been amply rewarded for it, much to the chagrin of Johnny Galecki.
Gervais is doing stunning work on "Derek"
It certainly took balls for Matt LeBlanc to portray himself as a completely self-indulgent asshole, which he might actually be, on "Episodes".  And why isn't THAT show even nominated?
Didn't see Cheadle or Macy.
But Louis C.K. is in an entirely other league.
He's the best thing currently on television.
He owns my vote.

We'll continue on 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

*****

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thank God For James Garner. Part Two.

It was the early 1980s.
In 1979, my former writing partner had broken up with me.
As he got the credit for everything we did as a team, I ended up being smelly fish in Hollywood.
At least for a while.
I had no idea how long this was going to last.
L.A. is a terrible place to be when you're not working.
So to avoid stinking up the town any further, I took my family and moved to the Midwest.
While we were together, my writing partner and I co-created "Laverne and Shirley" for Paramount TV.
We expected to get fairly rich from this, as we were given profit participation as part of our deal to produce it.
But we kept hearing stories about how the studios were regularly screwing stars and creators out of any profits.
Or out of most of the profits.
So my visions of sugar plums were tarnished with these fears that the same thing would happen to me.
I knew that I wouldn't see a nickel until "Laverne and Shirley" had ended it's network run.
That was a given.
From 1979 to 1982, I was only making a relatively modest income writing a handful of TV episodes.
And it was not keeping up with our expenses.
We were dipping deep into our savings.
My wife at the time even went to law school to eventually create a career for herself.
That lasted one day.
We considering selling our profit participation back to Paramount.
They were happy to buy it back.
At roughly ten cents on the dollar.
We refused their kind offer.
But even the fact that they were willing to offer us anything was a good sign.
It indicated that they would eventually have to pay us something.
But how much, and when, was something we were still in the dark about.
So we were still in the world of considering selling our house, taking out a loan, and even moving in with my wife's folks until the smoke cleared.
Then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, rumors started to float that James Garner was going to sue Universal Studios for the profits he never received on "The Rockford Files"
This gave us more than a glimmer of hope.
Enough so that we stuck to our guns, and attempted to ride it out.
Then, he actually filed suit against Universal.
It made the news.
This gave us more than more of a glimmer.
Soon, we learned that he made an out-of-court settlement with Universal.
And part of the conditions of the settlement was that he couldn't reveal the terms of it.
Which meant that he had them over a barrel, and they knew it.
And that he got paid off handsomely.
Pretty ballsy of him to do that in Hollywood, where the phrase "You'll never work in this town again!" is emblazoned over every studio gate.
But he did it, and he won.
And "The Rockford Files" was never nearly the big hit that "Laverne and Shirley" was.
So from that point on, I pretty much knew I didn't have anything to worry about.
And I wouldn't have to move in with my in-laws.
And pretty soon, almost like clockwork, I began receiving these huge profit participation checks from Paramount for "Laverne and Shirley".
But what if Garner had never made waves?
Or what if he sued, and lost?
What would that have meant for me?
But James Garner stepped up to the plate and did make waves, and he sued and essentially won, and that set the table for me, and gave me financial security for the rest of my life.
And that's why I thank God for James Garner.
And as I said before, he was a pretty swell actor.


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

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

*****











Followers

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."