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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.

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Eighteen Hundred And Sixty-Two Dollars Is A Lot Better Than Forty Dollars.

A while back, I mentioned that "The New Odd Couple", the one with Matthew Perry, redid one of the scripts I wrote over forty years ago on the original
"Odd Couple".
Nobody informed me of this.
Nobody sent me a check.
They just upped and did it, thinking they would just get away with it.
After a short period of stewing about it, I decided to contact the Writers Guild, to see if there could be any form of redress.
It was my understanding that they couldn't just do this and not compensate me for it.
The Writers Guild immediately created an arbitration case on my behalf.
They seemed more outraged than I was.
This was certainly encouraging.
Forms were filled out, statements were taken.
"The Odd Couple", to their credit, acknowledged some responsibility.
I would be seeing some money.
I was asked if I wished to participate in a class action suit in this matter.
I saw no reason not to.
Like I said, the Guild seemed more outraged than I was.
Weeks went by, and I was informed by letter that I would receive shared Story Credit.
I'd hoped for more, but did not really expect more, being that there was extensive rewriting of my original story.
So I accepted my fate.
I still thought I would receive a reasonable amount of money.
More weeks went by and I received by mail, a residual check for forty dollars.
Of course, my reaction was "forty dollars? I went to all that trouble for forty dollars?"
There was no point in arguing with anybody. It was what it was.
At that point, I figured that all I had to root for was further reruns of that episode.
They always diminish.
So I figured I'd get something like thirty-six dollars, then thirty-two if there was another rerun...
You get the drift.
I completely put the notion of the class action suit out of my mind.
Then, lo and behold, I received another letter from the Guild, informing me that the class action suit was settled.
Included in the envelope was a check for Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Two Dollars.
And that settled the matter.
In most show business circles, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Two Dollars would be considered chump change.
But everything's relative.
Speaking of relative, if my mother was still alive, and I related this story to her, her precise quote would be
"Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Two Dollars is a lot better than Forty Dollars"
And she'd be right.
And there's still the potential for those checks for thirty-six, thirty-two, thirty, and on down.
So I'm fine with it all.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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, March 10, 2016

Trouble At The NBA All-Star Game.

While I was busy focusing on the Oscars, I let this story slide under the rug.
I'm going back to retrieve it now.
The NBA All-Star Game aired on TNT.
I set the TiVo for it and made a bet on it.
Later on that night, I started watching the game.
Only it wasn't the NBA All-Star Game.
It was the NBA "D" All Star Game.
The minor league version, one that you can't bet on, one where you knew none of the players.
In all fairness, on the TiVo, it was clearly marked that way.
And I saw that.
For a few minutes.
Then I was bored to death, and turned it off
But I couldn't for the life of me, find the actual NBA All-Star Game.
I was beginning to feel pretty foolish.
And I couldn't find it.
I had missed the actual NBA All-Star Game.
I rechecked the Tivo.
Potential salvation was there.
TNT was going to re-run the actual NBA All-Star Game at 2 in the morning.
Not the "D" game.
The actual game.
So I set the Tivo, intending to watch it in the morning.
That next morning, I checked the Tivo, and sure enough, there was the actual NBA All-Star Game.
No harm, no foul.
So I thought.
About five minutes into their broadcast, there is a streamer at the bottom of the screen, showing the final score of the game.
Now, who on earth did they think would be watching a broadcast of a game that they knew the outcome of?
Certainly not me.
Who on earth was doing the non-thinking?
And of course, I lost my bet.
TNT, who broadcasts the NBA extensively, should certainly know better than this.
Pay somebody to pay attention.


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

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 4, 2016

The Kee-Takes Pecking Order.

Now that this Oscar business is finally over, I can finally get around to discussing something really important.
Pancakes.
Pancakes is one of the great joys of my life. When they are done right.
Too often, they are not.
As I've mentioned many times in the past, my sister had, and has, a very limited menu of things she would put in her mouth.
And I couldn't remember whether or not pancakes was one of them.
After thoroughly humiliating me, she reminded me that even before she was able to form words correctly, she loved pancakes so much that she had a way of describing them.
She referred ecstatically to them as "Kee-Takes".
So in her honor, from now on in this article, I will be referring to them as "Kee-Takes".

We will be going from worst to first as we proceed up the Kee-Takes pecking order.

Starting at the bottom was my hospital experience.
Everything was institutional food.
Including the Kee-Takes.
I don't know how they managed it, but they tasted like dust.
If you put syrup on them, they tasted like dust with syrup on them.
Of course, it was not real maple syrup, but some sort of ersatz made out of corn syrup..
And there were no better options.
I was their prisoner.
And by the way, the most popular syrups, Log Cabin, Aunt Jemima's and Vermont Maid, are all ersatz.
The easiest way to find the real thing is at Costco.
Their Kirkland brand is the real deal.
Whenever we go out for Kee-Takes, I bring a little vial of it along with me.

Taking it one level up, where you were actually paying for them, was some sort of exotic restaurant, usually Greek, or Lebanese that for some
reason that I still can't figure, was also open for breakfast.
The Kee-Takes there were invariably splotchy and had the vague taste of whatever hadn't been cleaned off of last night's grill.
I guess I deserved what I got.

Then, there's IHOP.
Never had a pleasant experience there.
It's never about the Kee-Takes themselves but rather the gooey, sugary things you can put on top of them.
All that does is cover up the blandness of the basic Kee-Take underneath.
It's not for the Kee-Take connoisseur.

Then, there's Denny's.
At Denny's on a good day, the Kee-Takes are downright passable.
Nothing to write home about, but nothing to sneer at either.

Finally, moving up to Kee-Takes of quality, I highly recommend Eggo Frozen Kee-Takes.
I'm as surprised as you are.
My four year old niece recently turned me on to them, and my life hasn't been the same since.
They're pretty cheap, you just pop'em in the toaster and voila, first rate Kee-Takes.
Who knew?
And don't stint and get the store brand. Way too much sugar.
Spend the extra dollar and get the Eggo's.

Then in the stratosphere, there's DuPars in Los Angeles.
There may be other places like DuPars around the country that take as much justified pride in their Kee-Takes, but I'm not aware of them.
If you know of any, you can provide a public service to our other readers by mentioning them.
In the meantime, you can't go wrong with the Eggo's.


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

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, February 29, 2016

The Oscar Aftermath.

We had guests over last night to watch the Oscars.
As a result, we had to watch it live.
It started out great.
On the red carpet, I've never seen so many great low-cut gowns in one place.
But when you watch the whole show live, there's no fast-forwarding.
That made it tougher.
Chris Rock was hilarious.
A great choice, certainly under the circumstances.
None of the nominees did not necessarily not deserve to win.
I guess all those technical awards for "Mad Max" were warranted.
The actors were all worthy choices, {there was no stopping DiCaprio) and I take particular pride in singling out Mark Rylance.
The "In Memoriam" reel seemed particularly light on actors, but there were no significant omissions.
Except for Abe Vigoda, and my personal favorite since I was nine, Joan Leslie.
It was overloaded with cinematographers and publicists.
And Zsa Zsa Gabor is still alive.
Go figure.
I loved that there was a crawl underneath each winner declaring who they wished to thank, and then, the winners proceeded to thank them out loud anyway.
My wife made great food and that certainly helped.
That's all I got.

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

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, February 24, 2016

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars---Best Picture.

The Big Short (Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers)

Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers)

Brooklyn (Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers)

Mad Max: Fury Road (Doug Mitchell and George Miller, Producers)

The Martian (Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam, Producers)

The Revenant (Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon, Producers)

Room (Ed Guiney, Producer)

Spotlight (Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is the category that really gets my goat.
Eight nominees.
Maybe four of which are deserved.
Strike "Brooklyn", "Mad Max: Fury Road", "The Martian", and "The Revenant"
Replace them with "Carol", "The Hateful Eight", "Trumbo" and "99 Homes".
Now there's a list that anybody's mother could love.
With that list, I would vote for "Carol".
Easily the most impressive film I've seen in quite a few years.
And it has Cate Blanchette. Or maybe you knew that.
Any other year, I could have easily voted for "The Hateful Eight" or "Trumbo"
But there is no write-in opportunity.
"99 Homes" was a much better, more dramatic version of "The Big Short".

Getting back to reality, there's only one nominee left that is worth my vote---"Room".
That was also quite excellent.
The key word there is "also".
So I am now going to stop my bellyaching and vote for "Room".

Enjoy the show!
If I've got any commentary about it, you'll hear about it afterwards.

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

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, February 22, 2016

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars---Best Director.

The Big Short, Adam McKay

Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller

The Revenant, Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Room, Lenny Abrahamson

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

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

First of all, where on earth is Quentin Tarantino for "The Hateful Eight"?
His work was so far superior to anyone else's and he wasn't even nominated?
Incredible.
Or Spielberg, for that matter for "Bridge of Spies"
His usual great attention to detail was all over the place.

"Mad Max: Fury Road"?--Are we kidding with this?

Where's Tarantino?

"The Revenant"?---Please.

Where's Tarantino?

"Room"?---A great film, but the director didn't write it, so God knows what his contribution is.

Where's Tarantino?

Adam McKay and Tom McCarthy at least had the good taste to contribute to the screenplay.

I liked "Spotlight" and "The Big Short" just about the same.
With no enthusiasm, we'll toss a coin.
It came up Tarantino.


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

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, February 21, 2016

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars---Best Actress.

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

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

Three great performances here.

Cate Blanchette----"Carol" would get my vote if it was nominated. It's a travesty that it wasn't.
She was sensational in it.

Brie Larson was awesome in "Room".

Jennifer Lawrence was a hoot in "Joy"

Didn't see Charlotte Rampling.

Saoirse Ronan was charming as a young Irish lass in "Brooklyn".
I've seen her interviewed on TV.
Guess what. That's exactly what she is.
A very low bar of difficulty.
And she couldn't overcome the problems with the script.

No one was as good as Cate Blanchette. I seem to say that whenever she makes a movie.
I'm saying 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.

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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars----Best Actor.

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Micheal Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

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

Cranston---Showy, and very accurate as Trumbo.
I love showy and accurate.

Damon----Funny and charming on Mars. That's all.

DiCaprio---Almost three hours of grunting. I don't think so.

Fassbender---I guess pretty accurate, but didn't bowl me over.

Redmayne---Good casting for a trans-sexual. I didn't care.

The one sympathy I had with the boycott is that Samuel L. Jackson wasn't nominated for "The Hateful Eight"
Talk about showy. Talk about great.

And where was Redford's nomination for "Truth"?
He was a great Dan Rather.

That being said, Cranston would still get my vote.
Jackson would finish second.
Redford third, because Rather isn't as interesting a character as Trumbo.

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

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, February 17, 2016

Back To Rothman's Oscar Picks---Best Supporting Actress.

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
-------------------------------

A no-brainer.
I'm a sucker for showy.
There was only one showy performance here, and it was great.
Jennifer Jason Leigh in "The Hateful Eight", an otherwise shamefully ignored film in the Oscar hunt.

Rooney Mara was also outstanding, but not nearly as showy.
The others all just blended together.

Jennifer Jason Leigh for me.

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

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have 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, February 15, 2016

A New Level Of Stupidity.

So I bet on the NBA All-Star Game last night.
It took me a while to find out who was carrying it.
Finally, I see that it's TNT.
I start watching the game.
It's the NBA D-League.
The minor leagues.
And that's what it says in the Comcast guide.
So where is the regular game?
All I can find is that it's being re-run at 1:30 in the morning.
The real game.
Not the D-League game.
So, I figure I'll set the Tivo for the replay and watch it in the morning.
I wake up 10AM, check the Tivo, and voila, there's the game.
I'm watching it for about five minutes, and there's a streamer running across the bottom of the screen, showing the final score of the game.
And, of course, I lost.
And of course, there was no reason to watch any further.
Everyone knows that nobody watches a basketball game when they know the result.
And TNT specializes in showing basketball games.
So who did they think their audience would be for this replay?
So how stupid are they?
I think they set a record.

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

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, February 14, 2016

Rothman's Pick For The Supreme Court.

Justice Scalia's biggest impact on the country was that he foisted, quite illegitimately, George W. Bush on the country as our President by handing him the election in 2000.
When questioned about it, he chose to only say "Get over it".
What kind of answer is that?
Now, there is only resistance by Republicans to even consider any nominee that President Obama might offer up.
If I were Obama, the first thing I would do is offer the vacancy to Elizabeth Warren.
She'd probably be reluctant to accept, and put herself through the ringer, but I'd say "Hold on Elizabeth".
Then, I'd sit down with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and offer my support to whoever agrees to appoint Elizabeth Warren once elected.
If they both do, so much the better.
The likelihood of a Democratic victory and a Democratic-controlled Senate is much more likely if the voters know that a Warren confirmation is likely.
The Republicans might cave when Obama nominates Warren, if only to hold on to the Senate.
Warren might just be up for the fight anyway,
Who knows?
Where is it written that Obama's pick has to be a Conservative?
Isn't this the point of having elected a Democrat in the first place?
Warren's credentials are impeccable.
So that's the way I'd handle it.
Just one American's opinion.

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

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, February 13, 2016

Rothman's Picks For The Oscars---Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge Of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed


Bale--Very good as always.

Hardy--Really good, but better in "Legend"---higher degree of difficulty.

Ruffalo---Quite good, but no better than anyone else. Where was Michael Keaton's nomination?

Rylance---Spectacularly effective, with extraordinary range not on display here.

Stallone---Already won as Rocky. Didn't see him in Creed. I'm guessing older and slurrier.

A very tough field. Not much to choose from.
Nobody walked away with their films.

I guess I'd give it to Rylance.


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

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, February 12, 2016

Rothman's Picks For The 2016 Oscars.

We do this every year, and as this is a year, we're doing it again.
We'll be dealing with six categories over the next few posts:

Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Director
Best Picture

As usual, this reflects my personal opinions.
Not who I think will win, but who I think SHOULD win.
I have no idea who will win.

I have seen all the nominees in these categories, except Stallone in "Creed", and Charlotte Rampling in whatever she was nominated in.
They never sent me those DVDs.
But I've seen everything else, which is far more than most of the Academy voters have seen.

We'll start 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.

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

Monday, February 8, 2016

Report Card---"Legend"

"Legend" is a very entertaining movie about identical twin London gangsters in the 60's.
They are both played by Tom Hardy, who is absolutely incredible as both twins.
That's mostly what I remember about it.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Very
A.

Compelling even?

Only Hardy's performance.
A.

Is it controversial?

Not really.
C.

Is it a story worth telling?

Yes.
A.

Is it good storytelling?

Fine.
B+.

Is it well written?

Well enough.
B.

Is it well cast? Well played?

It's all Hardy.
A.

Well shot?

Yes.
B+.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

No.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

Immediately.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

A little long.
C.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes.
B.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

No, and yes.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

No.
C.

Is it funny?

On occasion.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

No.
F.

Is it impressive?

Only Hardy.
B.

Overall grade: B.

THIS is the one he should have been nominated for. Not "The Revenant" or "Mad Max", as good as he was in those.

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

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, February 5, 2016

Report Card: "The Danish Girl"


"The Danish Girl" is not about a girl who sells Danish.
It's about the stone-age Caitlin Jenner.
It takes place in the 1920's, with Eddie Redmayne coming to terms with his sexuality.
And how he resolves it.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Not to me.
C.

Compelling even?

Perhaps to some, not me.
B-.

Is it controversial?

It was, and still is.
A.

Is it a story worth telling?

I suppose.
A.

Is it good storytelling?

It was told so grimly
C.

Is it well written?

It was totally devoid of humor.
C-.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Eddie Redmayne was quite convincing as someone who might have this problem. He seems quite feminine.
It's not like it was Ernest Borgnine or anything.
Or Jeffrey Tambor. Wait, maybe that was a bad example.
Hmm, not really. What Tambor does on "Transparent" is primarily for comedic effect.
A.

Well shot?

Rather drearily.
C.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Not in a positive way.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

Immediately.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Too long to suit me.
C.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Sort of.
C+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I didn't know where it was going, nor did I care.
B-.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

I don't care about Caitlin Jenner either.
C-.

Is it funny?

Asked and answered.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

On no level.
F.

Is it impressive?

Redmayne was kind of impressive.
B.

Overall grade: C.

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

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.

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




Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Report Card----"Mad Max: Fury Road"

This is the kind of movie that I would never consider sitting through, except for the fact that they sent me the DVD, and it was nominated for
Best Picture.
It is post-apocalyptic Cowboys and Indians.
Not my favorite thing.
The first hour-and-a-half is a complete, extremely loud shoot-'em-up, with incredibly sophisticated weaponry.
And I gave less than a crap about it.
The story was buried somewhere in there.
I sort of cared about the last half-hour, but not enough to justify what preceded it.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Mostly not.
C.

Compelling even?

Never.
D.

Is it controversial?

No.
D.

Is it a story worth telling?

No.
D.

Is it good storytelling?

Mostly not.
C-.

Is it well written?

I barely detected any writing.
C-.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Tom Hardy is probably the best actor I never heard of until this year.
Charlize Theron was quite effective.
A.

Well shot?

Extremely.
A+.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Not that I'm aware of.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

Immediately.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Way long.
C.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Somewhat.
B.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

It's Good Guys vs. Bad Guys. So what do you think?
C-.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Not at all. I was still trying to get the ringing out of my ears.
F.

Is it funny?

Rarely.
C-.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Knowing what I know now, I would have skipped it altogether.
F.

Is it impressive?

Only on a special-effects level.
C-

Overall grade: C-.

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

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, January 30, 2016

Report Card----"Bridge Of Spies"

I was pleasantly surprised by "Bridge of Spies".
I was about thirteen when this story actually happened.
And I was just that much more than a fetus that I actually remembered much of what was reported about it at the time.
But there was far more to it than that, and far more at stake.
I didn't even know that the Tom Hanks character existed, and how pivotal he was to its success.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Far more than I expected it to be.
A.

Compelling even?

On occasion.
A.

Is it controversial?

Not so much any more. It was then.
B.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

It is great storytelling.
A+.

Is it well written?

Extremely
A+.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Hanks is his usual great. I've seen Mark Rylance on Broadway, in a play called La Bete, and he gave one of the funniest performances I have ever seen.
He is one of those Alec Guinness actors who gets totally immersed in his characters and can do anything.
A+.

Well shot?

Extremely.
A+.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Spielberg always does.
A+.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

Immediately.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Never a problem.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Both. Tremendously.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Unless you're quite young, you know exactly where it's going. But it's all in the getting there.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Mainly about how much I didn't know.
A.

Is it funny?

When it wants to be.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I could have waited until HBO.
C.

Is it impressive?

Extremely.
A+.

Overall grade: A.

The less you know about this story going in, the more you get out of 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, January 27, 2016

Okay, So Who's Worse, Governor Snyder Or Cosby?

It's a no-brainer.
At worst, Cosby raped around eighty women.
They all survived.
Certainly not without trauma, but with their health.
He's admitted to at least drugging some women, albeit ostensibly by their own consent.
But we all know better.
Even so, we're talking eighty relatively healthy women.
Governor Snyder was a total scumbag when he replaced legitimately elected officials in Michigan with his own appointed "city managers".
In predominantly poor, black areas.
And there is no doubt in my mind that he knew well in advance of the magnitude of the water problem in Flint, Michigan.
And was willing to tell their citizens that there was nothing wrong with the drinking water.
"Drink all you want! It won't hurt you!"
Major health damage will be done in Flint.
We can't even fathom the extent of it.
Ten people have already been killed because of this.
It might end up killing many, many children.
And adults.
There is most-likely irreversible brain damage on it's way.
Snyder is totally responsible for this.
The buck stops with him.
Nobody else.
He doesn't even seem to understand why he's being blamed.
Sure, he doesn't.
This was not his "Katrina" as Snyder put it.
Katrina was a natural disaster.
Flint is a disaster created by Snyder.
Just to save money.
Not even a lot of money.
So he could further justify the tax breaks he gave to the rich guys who elected him.
He was told there were problems from the beginning, and just turned a blind eye to it.
And, as of this writing, nothing of substance has been done to fix the problem.
This is of course, inexcusable.
And don't give me "lack of intent".
Yes, Cosby had darker intentions, and no, Snyder didn't deliberately want to inflict damage on an entire city.
He was merely disinterested about it.
How much better is that?
At best, you can say he is a bottom-feeder, a political hack.
At worst he should be regarded as a mass murderer as the death toll mounts.
Along the lines of Adolf Eichmann, the difference being that if believed, Eichmann was only carrying out orders.
Snyder essentially gave the orders.
He must resign, be prosecuted, and throw himself on the mercy of the court, who should show him none.
Why isn't this THE biggest story of our time?
Of ANY time?

Give me Cosby any 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.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Abe Vigoda

Two things about Abe Vigoda:

I lost an actor who I wanted for the lead in a pilot we were going to shoot in the seventies.
He gave a great audition and we wanted him badly.
But the series "Fish" had sold and the actor in question was offered the third lead in "Fish".
The actor was torn.
He knew that our pilot script was better than what they were doing and what he would be doing with "Fish".
But "Fish was a guaranteed thirteen on the air.
We were just a pilot that might or might not sell.
For him, it was a virtual no-brainer.
You don't turn down a guaranteed thirteen on the air.
And he didn't. And we lost him.
They ended up shooting thirty-five episodes.
Our series also sold, and we ended up shooting twenty-seven.
In retrospect, I'm sure he felt he made the wrong choice.
I know we thought so.
And the ghost of this other actor lingered over our set during the entire run.

I always thought that Abe Vigoda worked much better in small doses, like on "Barney Miller".
I don't think they ever gave him more than one line to say at a time.
And he always scored.
Same thing with Jack Soo.
I watched 'Fish" once.
They gave him a far bigger load to carry.
He really couldn't.

My other memory of Abe Vigoda, which for the life of me, I can't fathom why I remember it, was that at around 1969, when I was making the rounds in
New York, trying to get work as an actor, I would get the trade papers every week.
Show Business and Backstage.
And in both of them, during one week, there was an ad taken out announcing that actor Abe Vigoda had changed his name to "Gabe Vigoda".
I'm not kidding.
I had heard of Abe Vigoda at the time.
He was a working, or at least semi-working actor.
This was before "The Godfather" and "Barney Miller".
This flirtation with "Gabe" couldn't have lasted more than a few months.
Did he really think it was going to change his life?
Who the hell knows?

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

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, January 23, 2016

"Report Card----"Room"

"Room" is a totally compelling movie about a woman who has been imprisoned by her husband in a 10x10 room, along with her very young son.
When the boy is five they successfully escape, the boy encounters the real world for the first time. It is a wondrous experience for him, as you would expect it would be.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Fascinating.
A+.

Compelling even?

Totally.
A+.

Is it controversial?

On all levels.
A+.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

It is great storytelling.
A+.

Is it well written?

Extremely
A+.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Brie Larson, as the mother, is tremendous.
A+.

Well shot?

Fine.
A.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Not that I could see.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

It doesn't clearly, but it really doesn't matter.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

Just right.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Both. A lot.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Never predictable.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

It is quite haunting.
A.

Is it funny?

When it wants to be.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Very much.
A+.

Is it impressive?

Stunningly.
A+.

Overall grade: A+.

You get the feeling I liked this picture.

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

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, January 20, 2016

Report Card---"The Revenant'

"The Revenant" is a large movie.
Everything about it is large.
It has a huge canvas.
It takes place in the freezing cold wilderness near Yellowstone Park, somewhere in the distant past.
We're never quite told when.
It involves Leonardo DiCaprio as a fur trapper.
Under the circumstances, this is not a safe job.
Bears are attacking him, Indians are attacking him, his own men are attacking him.
The whole movie cries out "Stay in your house. Get a desk job."
He isn't having any.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

On occasion. Not nearly enough.
C.

Compelling even?

Almost never.
D.

Is it controversial?

Some interesting moral issues are brought up.
A.

Is it a story worth telling?

I suppose.
B.

Is it good storytelling?

There is about a half hour's worth of storytelling stretched over two-and-a-half hours. The last half hour picks up a little, but it's still by the numbers.
F.

Is it well written?

There doesn't seem to be a lot of writing.
C.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Thomas Hardy, whom I will write about when I talk about "Legend" was terrific. DiCaprio, except for maybe five lines, grunted his way through the movie.
B-.

Well shot?

Fine.
A.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Not that I could see.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

It took way too long.
D.

Is it too long? Too short?

It is way, way, way too long.
F.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes but I really think these characters get what they deserve from making poor career choices.
C+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I knew exactly where it was going after about forty minutes into it.
D.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only about how it cost me about three hours of my life.
F.

Is it funny?

Not to me.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Oh, God, no!
F.

Is it impressive?

Only visually.
B+.

Overall grade: C-.

You shouldn't get a nomination for grunting, or for being this movie.

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

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, January 15, 2016

Report Card---"The Big Short"

"The Big Short" has a great premise.
A few guys have figured out that the housing bubble was about to happen in the mid 2000s and the economy is about to collapse.
Nobody takes them seriously.
So they decide to bet against the economy.
If it tanks, they win.
If it doesn't, everybody else wins, and they lose.
We like these guys, and as an audience find ourselves in the strange position of rooting for them, against our own interests.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Totally.
A+.

Compelling even?

Often
A+.

Is it controversial?

Very.
A+.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Excellent. It got a little technical. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if I had more of a business background. My wife does, and she enjoyed it even more.
I was a little confused, but I think it was my bad.
A.

Is it well written?

The dialogue is excellent.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Great cast. Great performances.
A+.

Well shot?

Fine.
A.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Not that I could see.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale?

It was a lot of places, and it never mattered
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

Length is not a problem.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Totally and totally.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I was not ahead of it.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

It certainly is thought-provoking.
A+.

Is it funny?

Quite often.
A+.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Yes.
A+.

Is it impressive?

On all levels.
A+.

Overall grade: A.

Certainly deserves its nomination.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, January 11, 2016

Report Card----"Spotlight"

"Spotlight" is essentially "All The President's Men" with the villain being the Catholic Church and the priests who have molested little boys.
As opposed to Nixon, who molested the country.
It's a little more complicated, as we suspect that one of the reporters is complicit in the cover-up.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Pretty consistently.
A.

Compelling even?

Occasionally.
A.

Is it controversial?

By nature.
A.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

I think it tipped it's hand a little early, but it was still very good storytelling.
A+.

Is it well written?

The dialogue is excellent.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Uniformly.
A+.

Well shot?

Fine.
A.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Not at all.
C-.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale?

Instantly. Boston.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

Length is not a problem.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Totally and totally.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I think I figured it out before they wanted me to.
C.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Not a lot.
C.

Is it funny?

Here and there.
B.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Not really.
F.

Is it impressive?

Quite.
A.

Overall grade: A.

This is a very good movie. The whole is better than it's parts.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, January 8, 2016

My Pat Harrington Jr. Story.

I'd never met Pat Harrington Jr. until maybe three years ago.
But in the late eighties I had a couple of very ugly phone conversations with him.
I was living in Columbus Ohio at the time, and I had recently written a play.
A friend of mine there, the local mover and shaker in Columbus, read the play, loved it, and wanted to produce it, either there, or use Columbus as a launching pad to get it to New York.
He apparently knew everybody with money in Columbus and tried to put together a reading with celebrities, and a party for potential investors that these celebrities would attend and glad-hand with the potential investors.
He asked if I could get Penny Marshall. They'd give her a first class plane ticket, put her up in a first class hotel, and feed her.
I said I'd ask.
She was in New York.
I flew to New York, script in hand.
She was staying in Lorne Michaels' Central Park West Apartment by herself.
Pretty impressive digs.
During our meeting, the phone continued to ring.
Part of her deal was that she'd have to answer Lorne Michael's phone.
At one point, she actually had to put Neil Simon on hold to talk to Paul Simon.
Then put Paul on hold to talk to Neil.
I was sitting there hoping that Carly Simon would call for the Trifecta.
No such luck.
She liked the play well enough to agree to get on the plane to Columbus, implying that this would be doing me a major favor.
I expected nothing less, and reported back my success at landing Penny.
Now, it was a matter of nailing down a male lead.
I don't remember who first came up with the name, but someone mentioned Pat Harrington Jr.
I thought it was a good idea.
I called his agent who gave me his number.
I called Pat, explained the situation to him and his first question was "How much am I getting paid?"
I was given no budget to pay anyone and told him that.
He said "Then why should I do it?"
I said that "well, Penny Marshall is doing it"
He said "Can you guarantee me that if I do it that if there is a production I will be given the part?"
I started doing my version of "homina-homina-homina".
"Are you guaranteeing this to Penny?"
It never occurred to me that Penny would even consider actually doing a production of the play.
So I say "It hasn't even come up".
He says "Well it's come up with me."
I wasn't going to lie to him.
If it was totally up to me I'd guarantee it. I knew he'd be right for it, and respected his talent that much.
But what if he came and did the reading, and stunk out the joint?
And the potential investors vetoed him?
So I said "I would like to, but I can't guarantee anything. But it's just one night out of your life, and you'll be treated well, but it is an audition.
You should want to do it because the play and the part is that good."
He was willing to look at the script, and was not impressed enough to get on the plane.
He wanted to get paid.
Ever since, I wasn't able to look at Pat Harrington Jr. on TV without getting a bellyache.
I couldn't watch "One Day at a Time" again, so it did have its upside.
We didn't attempt to replace him because shortly after, of course, as is her wont, Penny bailed on us and the event never happened.
Cut to: three years ago.
I was in L.A.
My friend Mark Evanier invited me to attend a meeting of Yarmy's Army, a social club made up of older comedians, many of whom I had hired at some point.
Pat Harrington Jr. was there. He was a founding member of Yarmy's Army. I knew he'd probably be there, and it made me anxious.
Mark Evanier introduced me to everyone.
One of the most effusive greetings I got was from Pat Harrington Jr.
Of course, I thought he had held a grudge against me all those years.
Of course, he never even remembered my name. And I hadn't met him until that night.
What on earth was I thinking?

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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams by her , 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 signed by me, 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."