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Friday, December 19, 2014

Report Card----"The Judge"

Robert Downey Jr. is an unscrupulous Chicago hotshot lawyer.
Robert Duvall is his estranged highly-scrupulous small-town judge father.
Logical circumstances force the two of them together, where their estrangement is tested.
This sets the movie in motion.
And it does it very well.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Very.
A.

Compelling even?

Here and there.
B.

Is it controversial?

There are moral questions that are interestingly dealt with.
A.

Is it a story worth telling?

It is a ripping yarn.
A.

Is it good storytelling?

Basically, yes.
B+.

Is it well written?

Yes. Very.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?

You've got Downey, and you've got Duvall.
You can't hardly do better than that.
And Vincent D'Inofrio, a "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" fave, a little older looking, and a little chubbier, does a nice turn as Downey's brother.
A+.

Well shot?

Very.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

A little long.
B.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes.
A.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

At first, there seemed to be about four endings, which made it seem long first, and predictable.
Then, they hit me with the fifth ending, which totally blindsided me, and wrapped up the movie really well.
A.

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

It's self contained, and not really provocative.
But not all of them have to be.
No Grade.

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?

I could have waited for HBO.
B-.

Is it impressive ?

On several levels.
A.

Overall grade: A-.

This one has a lot going for 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".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

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

*****

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Report Card----"The Theory Of Everything."

This is the one about Dr. Stephen Hawking, whom I admit I didn't know that much about.
It was mostly about the relationship between him and his wife.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Not nearly enough.
C.

Compelling even?

Never.
D.

Is it controversial?

Not in the slightest.
D.

Is it a story worth telling?

Maybe there was a story in him, but this wasn't it.
C-.

Is it good storytelling?

It concentrated on the rather soap-opera-ish "Do they love each other enough to stay together?" tale, rather than on his work, which I wanted to hear more about.
I guess I wanted it to be more like "A Beautiful Mind"---a much better movie.
D.

Is it well written?

Nothing stands out.
B-.

Is it well cast? Well played?

The guy playing Hawking looked like him, and I guess sounded like him.
He certainly didn't make himself easy to watch.
Other than that, I got nuthin'.
C.

Well shot?

I'll give them that.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

Way too long.
D.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes, and no.
C.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Not predictable,and it surprises me, but I blame my ignorance for that.
B+.

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

No.
C-.

Is it funny?

Almost never.
D.

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

It wouldn't, and it isn't.
F.

Is it impressive ?

Not to me.
C-.

Overall grade: C.

Another one of those "Let's see if we can rack up awards for nobility."


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

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

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

*****

Friday, December 12, 2014

Once Again, The Return Of "Report Cards".

It's that time of year again.
I have over a dozen DVDs sent from the West Coast studios, waiting for me to view and review them.
With many more anticipated.
I will review them with my usual "Report Card" process, designed to tell the readers no more than they need to know in order for them to determine whether or not they should want to see the movie in question.
Because I don't want to know the plot of a movie before I see it, I assume you don't either.
I said that I had more to say about the recent production of "Peter Pan"".
I've decided to take it on in Report Card fashion.
Jackie Gleason once described a TV critic as "One who describes an accident to an eyewitness."
As there have been an awful lot of eyewitnesses to this production already, I will, in this case, loosen my restrictions about discussing the plot.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Only rarely. Only intermittently.
C-.

Compelling even?

On rare occasions.
C.

Is it controversial?

Often, due to "political correctness", futzing around with the score, adding and removing things...
B-.

Is it a story worth telling?

With all the significant things that they did wrong, they still got me to cry during the last ten minutes.
That makes it a story worth telling.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

It's been told better.
C.

Is it well written?

Yes. No damage done here.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Now, we're getting down to the nits and grits.
You've got to start with Allison Williams.
I've never seen her in anything else, but here, she only displayed one arrow in her acting quiver: serious sincerity.
This eliminates a lot of other arrows that one needs to play Peter Pan: impishness, compassion, naivete, humor, joy.
All missing.
As a result, she was way too stiff.
You didn't care about her (him).
This made for a mostly tedious evening.
I kept thinking about all the possibilities for better Peter Pans that existed rather than Allison Williams.
One of them was right there on the stage: Kelli O'Hara, who played Mrs. Darling.
She's had a history of sliding into Mary Martin roles.
She is nine years younger than Mary was when she did "Peter Pan", and looks at least fifteen years younger.
And is adorable.
Hell, BRIAN Williams would have made a better Peter Pan.
He has the charm, the youthful looks, and the boyishness.
After all, he was once an actual boy.
Christopher Walken, though, WAS the compelling element.
Any time he appeared on the screen, I was hooked. And not just by his hook.
He was delightful.
You consistently can't wait to get back to Walken, who isn't on-screen nearly often enough.
The same is true of Kelli O'Hara.
Walken also accomplished something I had never seen before.
He made you care about Captain Hook.
So when you care about Captain Hook, and don't care about Peter Pan, something is out of whack.
B-.

Well directed?

If that was the best Rob Ashford could get out of Allison Williams, then no.
And Christopher Walken appeared to be uncontrollable, so no again.
D.

Well shot?

It looked gorgeous.
Much was made about the difficulties of attempting and pulling off such a complicate project.
But to me, it didn't look any more difficult than any of the last ten Super Bowl Halftime Shows.
All just as live, most involving people flying around on wires. That you didn't see.
B+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Way, way, way too long. Without Tivo, it would have been interminable.
F.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

It's fantasy, but with all it's flaws, I cared about the characters.
B+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Too much previous awareness makes it very predictable.
But the shift in concern between Hook and Peter Pan was certainly surprising.
B-.

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

It was an event. It requires you to think about it.
B+.

Is it funny?

Only Walken was funny. Very funny. For the rest of it, a lot of funny was missing. They managed to take all the humor out of Tiger Lily.
C+.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies, or for a DVD?

It was dreary from beginning to end. It's hard to put a price tag on that. Actually it isn't.
F.

Is it impressive ?

Only visually.
A-.

Overall grade: C-.

I think I've pretty much covered 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".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

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

*****


Monday, December 8, 2014

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

Okay.
So I caught up with the new production of "Peter Pan" on Saturday Night, due to my trusty Tivo.
I'll give you my general impressions of it later in the week, but today, I'd like to concentrate on one specific element.
An element that I haven't seen anyone in the blogosphere comment upon.
So in that regard, I'd like to be the first kid on my block.
There has always been a checkered history about the Music and Lyrics credits for "Peter Pan".
First, the very talented team of Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh churned out eight of the surviving songs.
Then, the powers that be felt that more help was needed, and Jule Styne and Betty Comden & Adolph Green were brought in to mop up, and provided four of their own songs.
I think that the quality in both cases was comparable.
Here is the breakdown:

"Tender Shepherd" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"I've Gotta Crow" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"Never Never Land" Jule Styne Betty Comden and Adolph Green
"I'm Flying" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"Pirate Song" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"Hook's Tango" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"Indians" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"Wendy" Jule Styne Comden and Green
"Hook's Tarantella" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"I Won't Grow Up" Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh
"Oh, My Mysterious Lady" Jule Styne Comden and Green
"Ugg-a-Wugg" Jule Styne Comden and Green
"Distant Melody" Jule Styne Comden and Green
"Captain Hook's Waltz" Jule Styne Comden and Green
"We Will Grow Up " Moose Charlap Carolyn Leigh

It's roughly eight to four, in favor of Charlap and Leigh.
I didn't realize that it was so heavily weighted that way.
So I'm watching the production, and they get to Captain Hook's tap dance number, a song called "Vengeance"
And my jaw drops about three feet.
It was a song written about fifty years ago, for a Broadway Musical called "Do-Re-Mi", which starred Phil Silvers.
It was called "Ambition".
Also by Comden, Green, and Styne.
It was a list song, during which Phil tried to convince Nancy Dussault, our heroine, that she could have everything she ever dreamed of by utilizing her wonderful singing voice by cutting a record for him.
And it was turned into "Vengeance".
All new lyrics.
Another list song, where Captain Hook mused about all the pleasures he'd derive by destroying Peter Pan.
"Vengeance" was very entertaining, and certainly gave Walken an opportunity to strut his stuff.
But, I kept asking myself, why did they have to rip off the melody to "Ambition" to accomplish this?
My first thought was that it was a song originally written for "Peter Pan", and got cut along the way, so they tossed it into "Do-Re-Mi" five years later.
As it turned out, this theory didn't hold that much water.
I had also Tivoed "The Making of Peter Pan Live", which I didn't watch until I finished watching "Peter Pan" itself.
Sure enough, there was a discussion about this song.
It involved Amanda Green, Adolph's daughter, and a somewhat prominent composer and lyricist in her own right.
Her mother is the actress Phyllis Newman.
A graphic appeared by her name---"Lyricist for Peter Pan".
With the rather large menu for the composers and lyricists for "Peter Pan" in it's opening credits, it was rather easy to overlook a credit which read "Incorporating Additional Lyrics by Amanda Green".
But it was there.
I went back and checked.
Amanda Green has gigantic teeth, considering the size of her face.
It's not a deformity, and this is not an insult. Her parents both had gigantic teeth, so it sort of makes sense.
It must have made for some interesting kissing in the Green household.
There's nothing inherently wrong with having gigantic teeth.
Dinah Shore was quite attractive with hers.
Amanda Green is rather attractive with hers.
So why am I bringing this up?
Because when asked about "Vengeance", she said it was a "New song".
Oh, the lyrics were new, I suppose, and perhaps written by her.
But who knows when they were written?
They showed the sheet music for "Vengeance"
It read "Music and Lyrics by Styne, Comden & Green, and Green.
Styne, Comden, and Green (the elder) are all long since dead.
So my question is: Just what was Betty Comden and Adolph Green's contribution to "Vengeance"?
They were only the original lyricists.
They didn't seem to have the time to write any of the lyrics to "Vengeance", being dead and all.
So why are they on the sheet music?
Maybe they did write it for the original "Peter Pan", and Amanda was just trying to keep it in the family.
Why wasn't anything lifted from the Charlap-Leigh catalogue?
Moose's son Bill is a major musical artist.
Why wasn't he asked to collaborate with Amanda?
Wouldn't that have been more fair?
Did he not get jobbed out of this?
In any case, the melody for "Vengeance" was written at least fifty-four years ago.
Some lying is going on.
A lot of children watched that interview.
So she was lying to children.
What's worse than that?
The song is not exactly new.
I think we were entitled to know that.
So she was, in effect, lying through her gigantic teeth.
Makes you wonder why she pursued and got this gig.
Maybe she was at a position to hold them at gunpoint.
But "Vengeance" wasn't enough for Amanda.
She also added two other melodies from earlier Styne, Comden, and Green shows, and set new lyrics to them:
One more from "Do-Re-Mi", which was originally "I Know About Love", changed to "Is It Only Pretend?".
The only hit song from "Do Re Mi" was "Make Someone Happy".
It was re-popularized many years later by Jimmy Durante on the soundtrack of "Sleepless In Seattle".
And bizarrely enough, Jimmy's rendition of "Make Someone Happy" showed up in one of the commercials in "Peter Pan"
Maybe if it didn't, Amanda would have ransacked that too:
"Make pirates happy,
Make just one pirate happy...."
I'm just sayin'
There was another song from another Comden, Green, Styne show, "Say Darling", "Something's Always Happening On The River", and it was turned into something weaker.
Maybe they were ALL written for and cut from "Peter Pan".
She was definitely ravaging the Styne, Comden, and Green Songbook.
I mean, she is supposed to be a composer in her own right.
Why couldn't she come up with original melodies for these songs?
Is she nothing more than a hack? A nuchshlepper?
(Boy, I haven't used THAT word in a while.)
Or maybe that was part of the deal to get permission to do any of this.
There has always been a history of dropping songs from some shows and having them turn up in others.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote a song for "South Pacific" for Lt. Cable to sing called "Suddenly Lucky".
The director, Joshua Logan, heard them play and sing it, and immediately pronounced it "The worst song he ever heard".
Undaunted, for their next show, "The King and I" they re-wrote the lyrics, and it became "Getting To Know You".
Nobody's idea of the worst anything.
When Lerner and Loewe wrote "My Fair Lady", they had this song written for it called "Say a Prayer For Me Tonight".
A lovely song.
There was no room for it, so they dropped it.
It showed up intact in their film "Gigi".
Nothing wrong with any of this.
But Styne and Comden & Green egregiously stepped over the line.
On at least one occasion.
They took a song from a show they did for Carol Burnett called "Fade Out, Fade In", a song that had seen the light of day, changed the lyrics, and re-inserted it into a show called "Hallelujah, Baby!", which starred Leslie Uggams.
It won the Tony that year for Best Musical.
Admittedly, there was very little competition that year.
Okay. They stole from themselves.
But it's still thievery.
So as far as Amanda is concerned, it's likely a case of apples and trees.
Maybe with Peter Pan, she tried to balance the books between Styne, Comden, and Green, and Charlap and Leigh.
After dropping "Mysterious Lady", a less than sexually appropriate or stellar effort of Comden and Green's, and adding the three that Amanda added, that pretty much evened the score.
And maybe it's even more crass and mercenary than that.
The CD for this show is probably going to sell in the gazillions.
It's a real stocking stuffer.
Amanda, who was given billing at the beginning of the show as "Incorporating Additional Lyrics by Amanda Green" would surely be entitled to a sizeable chunk of royalties.
And we've already established that she has the teeth to handle it.
So in a show about pirates, apparently lots of piracy is going on.

********

You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****




























Friday, December 5, 2014

My Poohpie Boy.

It's fascinating to me how it's never too late too learn something new about yourself and your life as you think you know it.
This happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
I've mentioned a website called Spotify.
It contains almost every record album one can imagine.
I've downloaded many that interest me.
Usually stuff that would be regarded by most of you as "old".
I recently did a search there for "Spike Jones".
No, not the movie director.
The old bandleader.
His band was known as the City Slickers.
His approach to music was a humorous one, supplying raucous sound effects to such dignified melodies as "Cocktails For Two".
The closest comp to Spike Jones was Victor Borge.
The approach to music was the same, but Borge's was a lot more subtle.
He never had his trombonists play the slide with their feet and with their pants rolled up.
Jones did.
So I was scouring Spotify for Spike Jones albums, and started playing one.
And one cut completely stopped me in my tracks.
It was called "My Pretty Girl", and was sung by a male chorus.
The lyrics went something like:
"My Pretty Girl
My Pretty Girl
My Girl is Very Pretty"....and went on from there.
There was nothing particularly funny about "My Pretty Girl"
At least not "funny ha-ha".
But it sure was "funny peculiar".
It happens to be the same tune as a song my mother used to sing to me when I was four.
Only my mother's version was called "My Poohpie Boy".
And when I was four, I clamored for it.
I couldn't get enough of it.
Her version went:
"My Poohpie Boy
My Poohpie Boy
My Poohpie is a shmoohpie"
There was a middle part, or release, to it, and it too was the same as "My Pretty Girl".
Yes, I remember that, as well.
That's how weird I am.
I think that one of the reasons I always clamored for it is that I thought that my mother had composed it.
She never indicated otherwise.
And now, over sixty years later, I find out that she was merely ripping off Spike Jones.
What a rude awakening.

********

You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

LAURIE METCALF!!!!!

You all know who Laurie Metcalf is, don't you?
She's that wonderful actress who is on TV all the time.
She has a flair for playing comedy in a unique way, differently as she goes from role to role.
And right now, she is going from role to role weekly, as she stars in two, count 'em, two different TV series currently on the air.
CBS's "The McCarthys", and HBO's "Getting On".
Both brilliant shows.
Both made even more brilliant by her glowing presence.
Laurie Metcalfe is to comedy and television what Meryl Streep has been to drama and movies.
Except I've also seen Laurie Metcalfe be stunning playing drama.
And I've never really seen Streep, great as she is, be stunning doing comedy.
I think that Laurie Metcalfe is rapidly assuming, or has already taken over the mantle of The Best We Have.
The word ""nuanced" could have been coined to describe her approach to acting.
I can't think of anyone whose work is as nuanced.
There certainly is no one's work that is more nuanced.
So why do I have her name in capital letters at the top of this page?
Followed by five exclamation points?
Is it because of my already expressed enthusiasm for her?
Well...to some extent.
But there's a much more important reason:
I simply cannot remember her name.
Let me amend that.
I cannot easily remember her name.
When I try to summon it up, I usually have to start with "that actress who was on 'Roseanne'", which is odd, because I never watched "Roseanne".
I suppose you'd think it has something to do with someone my age typically beginning to forget people's names.
And I do.
But not usually actors.
Or ballplayers.
Particularly those who I am a fan of.
So continually having to fish for Laurie Metcalf's name in my head is a particularly peculiar aberration.
One I'm not at all proud of.
She deserves better than that from me.
I mean, after all, she has two, count 'em two great shows on the air.
So I have put her name in capital letters, followed by five exclamation points, in the hope that it will force me to remember her name without ever having to fish for it ever again.
And I may have to constantly re-refer to this article.
I hope not.
This was a problem I never had with Meryl Streep.
I'll give her credit for that.
That name's pretty unforgettable.


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, November 28, 2014

I Think The Andy Williams Estate Has A Case.

There's this commercial running currently during the holiday season.
It's for Infiniti.
The car.
About how there are all these wonderful deals to be had if you decide to buy an Infiniti now.
Dominating the commercial is Andy Williams' recording of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town".
Only it isn't Andy Williams singing.
It's an Andy Williams sound-alike.
Infiniti paid some guy who sounds a lot like Andy Williams to sing "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town".
How do I know this?
Well, for one, I have an extremely good ear.
For another, I remember Andy Williams' recording.
It's much better than what's in this commercial.
What's in this commercial is a really cheesy version.
Not up to Andy's very high standards.
I know Andy Williams when I hear him.
And this is pretty close.
Similar orchestral arrangement and everything.
But it's not Andy Williams.
And it's not as good.
Andy Williams was a GREAT singer.
Even if he did end up in Branson.
The guy they got is pure ersatz.
Yet, another case of "Old bread, old rolls, they won't know the difference".
(See "Old Bread, Old Rolls", parts one through six.)
So why would Infiniti do this?
Ya think money has anything to do with it?
I'm sure it's a lot cheaper to hire some guy who sounds like Andy Williams than to have to fork over bigger bucks to Andy's family for the rights to use Andy's recording.
I'm sure it's a lot easier to try to get away with this, figuring that even if Andy's family heard the commercial, they might not even be able to tell the difference.
And that maybe, as far as they knew, they WERE being paid for it.
And that at least it's worth a shot for Infiniti to try to pull this off.
No, it isn't as bad as knowing that you have airbags that don't work.
But if you're willing to do that, it's certainly no major leap to try to cheat Andy Williams' family.
And if they're nickel-and-diming Andy's family, imagine how they're nickel-and-diming to use cheaper parts for the cars that they're trying to sell you.
So not only are they stealing from the Williamses, but they're also trashing his memory.
They're trying to cash in on Andy's memory, so I guess they figure that people who might buy an Infiniti still remember him.
Being that it's a holiday commercial, it won't be around for that long.
But if you see it, trust me on this one.
It ain't him.
And if any of you out there happen to know Andy's relatives, you might suggest that they lawyer up.


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Match Game.

About a month ago, in connection with Polly Bergen's death, I wrote an article about Goodson and Todman, the game show producers who turned out "To Tell The Truth", where Polly shined as a panelist.
I implied at the time that I would be writing more about the Goodson-Todman output.
But I got sidetracked by other things.
One of their shows that I had planned to write about was "The Match Game".
With Gene Rayburn as the host.
Not the sleazy, double-entendre Charles Nelson Reilly vs. Brett Somers version from the 70's, where Gene Rayburn was the host.
No. The far more interesting, conservative version from the 60's.
With Gene Rayburn as the host.
That was a completely different and better game.
It was on NBC, Monday through Friday, at 4pm.
It had two celebrities, the same ones, on all week.
Each celebrity was flanked by two civilians, and they all, quite civilly tried to make matches to blanks that needed to be filled in.
Just like the 70s sleazy version.
Except it wasn't sleazy.
There was one week that provided what I thought at the time, was about the funniest thing I'd ever seen.
The guest celebrities were Robert Culp and Bill Cosby, who were at the height of their "I Spy"" fame.
It was a major coup for NBC to get them.
Culp and Cosby, at the time, the two coolest guys on the planet, decided to have their own peculiar brand of fun with the proceedings.
They played the game quite straight, but spent literally the whole week, from beginning to end, each placing an elbow on the table in front of them, and having it collapse out from under them.
This is better known as the "elbow take".
They spent the entire week doing elbow takes.
And it got progressively funnier each time they did it.
You'd think it would be diminishing returns, but it was quite the opposite.
It was done with considerable aplomb.
Until very recently, it made me laugh just thinking about it.
Now, it doesn't.

I have been reluctant to write about this whole Cosby thing because my point of view has continued to shift.
When that first woman came out and told her story, it seemed full of holes.
This was not her first drink of the evening.
She woke up to find Cosby taking off her underwear.
Why didn't she tell him to stop?
Why did she agree to see him again subsequently?
But then, other counties started to be heard from.
And still other.
And still other.
And more and more, they matched each other's stories.
So maybe the first one was less equipped to tell her story well.
But it still matched the others.
So I have joined the consensus.
I've been looking for the closest comp to Cosby in terms of potential Fall From Grace, career-wise.
First, I thought of Fatty Arbuckle, the biggest star of his time.
Then, he faced a rape and murder rap.
He went to trial, and was acquitted and apologized to by the court, but his career and his life was still toast.
He never had any sustained career.
He was only 46 when he died.
Then, I looked towards O.J.
It seemed to be a better fit.
There still seem to be pockets of people here and there who think O.J. is innocent.
At the time of the verdict, it was the entire black population.
But Cosby has had more than fifty years, making it all the way to age 77 unsullied, or as he might perhaps put it, "unscuttled"
This is unprecedented.
But I think the boat has sailed on him.
I know that nobody has ever gone broke underestimating the American public.
This will certainly put them to a test like they have never faced.

Anyway, they still come out.
More and more accusations.
Same modus operandi.
They all match.
I can't imagine that there can be any serious recovery for Cosby.
Down to the most minute level.
I have a line in one of my plays.
It takes place in the 1980's.
It's a throwaway line: It's only a quarter to eight. Cosby isn't even on yet."
Well, that throwaway line now has to be thrown away.
I'm changing it to "Who's The Boss?"
Because I don't want the audience to be distracted, even for a moment.
I don't want them to stop thinking about the characters on stage, and start thinking about Cosby, whatever it conjures up.
And the accusers still come out.
More and more accusations every day.
Same modus operandi.
They all match.
The same blanks are repetitively filled.
And no amount of elbow takes can put an end to it.
I don't think he can elbow his way out of this one.


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, November 21, 2014

How About Chicken?


The two funniest things I ever heard about anyone saying were:
1) At a gathering of A-List celebrities at dinner aboard a yacht, one of the A-Listers initiated a game---"Who Has Met Whom?", thinking that at least one member of this group had met just about anyone that could be imagined.
His first question was "Has anyone met Eleanor Roosevelt?"
Immediately, Warren Beatty's hand shot up. "Actually, I met Eleanor Roosevelt."
From the furthest end of the table away from Beatty, another A-Lister called out to him.
"Did you fuck her?"
That's one.
2) In the 50's a struggling young actor had to take a day job working at the soda fountain at Howard Johnson's, in Times Square.
He hated this job.
He hated the clientele, primarily made up of tourists.
He hated having to discuss with them the renowned 28 flavors of Howard Johnson's ice cream.
One afternoon, a middle-aged lady sat at the counter, trying to make up her mind about which flavor of ice cream she would settle on.
and she prattled on about it, finally asking the young actor what he would recommend.
With this being the backbreaker, he responded "How about Chicken?"
He was summarily asked by management to turn in his apron and his scooper, which he didn't mind at all doing.

The quotee in both instances was Mike Nichols.

Mike Nichols was a giant, in all respects.
A great wit.
A great performer.
And that rarest of rare things, a great director.
Both stage and screen.
One of the only directors to find sustaining success on stage and screen.
There was nothing about Orson Welles that was sustaining.
Elia Kazan found it, but he had other problems.
I'm not one to easily give out compliments to directors, as I regard most of them as complete hacks.
Writers, to me, are the visionaries.
So I exempt them when I talk bout directors.
Non-writing directors are, for the most part, merely camera pushers.
When I've tried to get my movies made, negotiations usually break down when some studio attempts to foist some hack director on me, rather than allowing me to direct it myself.
I would usually say something like "Look, if you can get Mike Nichols to do it, or Scorcese, or Francis Ford Coppola, I would gladly step aside. Past that, they're all hacks."
And my movie would go back on the shelf.
I want my movies to be made well.
I would much prefer my movies not be made at all than be made badly.
As great as his great ones were, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", "The Graduate", "Carnal Knowledge", "Silkwood", "Working Girl",
"Postcards From The Edge", he also had his share of clinkers.
"The Fortune", "Heartburn", and I was not a fan of "Catch-22". I found it way too confusing.
But then I was never able to get past page 60 of the novel.
I think that Nichols understood that even a great director can't transcend a bad script.
He might have attempted to with those stiffs, but just couldn't get over the hump.
But even in the stiffs, there were almost uniformly great performances, and staggeringly great photography.
Nichols was clearly a hands-on actors director.
Even in "The Fortune", he put Stockard Channing on the map.
In "Working Girl" he managed to make me a fan of Melanie Griffith, who in subsequently lesser hands, virtually vanished from the screen.
Nichols was a great psychologist when working with actors.
Before "The Odd Couple" hit Broadway, they were a smash in Boston.
The cast, in previews in New York, was already settling in for a lengthy run.
First day of previews, Nichols completely changed the blocking.
This staggered and bewildered the cast.
Why is he doing this?
It made no difference, and it went on to be the smash hit that it was always destined to be.
When asked subsequently about the change of blocking, Nichols replied that he was worried about the cast getting too complacent, and they needed shaking up.
This also speaks to something I also believe in: the over-importance given to stage blocking in general.
Except for key moments in my plays, I have approached blocking as "just let the actors be comfortable on stage, and make sure that they don't bump into each other.
I've essentially taken my cue from Nichols, and his approach to "The Odd Couple"
I'll have more to write about directors as hacks in the future.
When Mike Nichols and Elaine May teamed up, they did this sketch called "The $65 Funeral".
It involved Mike, as the grieved relative, answering an ad for a $65 funeral, subsequently learning that absolutely nothing was included.
May asked "And how were you planning to transport the deceased to the church?
Nichols, bewildered by the question, replied ".....cab?"
He finally settled on the much more expensive Hearse.
Great sketch.
Now that it's Mike's turn, I'd certainly like to think that Diane Sawyer is going to spring for far more than the $65 funeral.
At least for the Hearse.

He certainly came a long way from "How about chicken?".

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Right Idea.

Sophie Tucker was this huge star in Vaudeville.
Mainly in the 20's and 30's, until there was no more vaudeville.
And she was old then.
After that, she was still a huge star in nightclubs.
And she also gravitated to the Ed Sullivan Show, the last vestige of Vaudeville.
That was really my only exposure to her.
I really didn't get her.
She seemed ponderous, pious, self-important, humorless, and imperious.
She sang, or talked-sang, about show business, or patriotism.
It all seemed pretty embarrassing.
Martin Short, in his new autobiography, talks about his character, Irving Cohen, the ancient Jewish songwriter,
as having been based on Sophie Tucker, whom he had only seen in similar contexts.
It was a parody.
He felt the same way about her as I did.
But there was another side to Sophie Tucker, one that I was not aware of until very recently.
There was an abundance of special material written for her when she was in Vaudeville.
Most of it was quite racy.
Most of it was quite hilarious.
Most, if not all of it, was performed by Ms. Tucker quite perfunctorally.
In that same heavy-handed style of hers.
It was, again, the wrong idea.
I learned this by seeking out her albums, which I found easily.
Why did I seek them out?
Because a couple of weeks ago, PBS aired a Michael Feinstein special, which featured other cabaret performers.
It took place at the refurbished Rainbow Room high atop 30 Rock.
Feinstein started talking about some of the stars who had played the Rainbow Room in the past.
And he mentioned Sophie Tucker.
This led to a segue for an introduction of June Squibb, the actress who was nominated for an Oscar last year as Bruce Dern's wife in "Nebraska". (She should have won.)
Feinstein told the audience that Tucker had all that special material written for her, and that Squibb would sing one of those songs that Tucker made popular long ago, "I'm Living Alone And I Like It".
Squibb, seated at a table, with drink in hand, launched into the song, and proceeded to blow the roof off the dump.
Perfect timing, perfect comedic attitude.
She was incredibly funny.
You can check this all out at PBS.org.
I think they are still showing it.
Anyway, this put an idea into my head.
I went to the Spotify website, where it seems they have every album ever recorded.
I found the Sophie Tucker album that contained "I'm Living Alone And I Like It".
It was abominably unfunny.
I then listened to many other cuts on that album.
All racy, all hilariously written, all not well-performed.
There is enough great material out there to make an entire for evening or two for a one-woman show for June Squibb to embody Sophie Tucker in a way that Sophie never deserved, but we as an audience very much do.
Either on Broadway, Off-Broadway, or in a Cabaret.
June Squibb is 83 years old now.
I don't know if she sat at that table, drink in hand because she has trouble walking or standing, but if that's the case, let her just sit there so you can drink her in.
Some enterprising producer is missing a major bet by not following through on this.
An evening with June Squibb as Sophie Tucker is very much the right idea.


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Wrong Idea.

1939.
It was a heck of a year for movies.
Among most film critics and historians, it was regarded as the greatest year for the output of great movies.
Here is just a partial list:

The Rains Came
Dodge City
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Gunga Din
The Women
Drums Along the Mohawk
Stanley and Livingstone
Union Pacific
Destry Rides Again
Jesse James
Dark Victory
Gone With the Wind
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Love Affair
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Ninotchka
Of Mice and Men
Stagecoach
The Wizard of Oz
Wuthering Heights

It's pretty hard to argue about 1939 and movies.
I'll take it one step further.
To me, 1939 was the greatest year ever for recordings of popular music.
Again, a partial list:

"All or Nothing at All"
"An Apple For The Teacher"
"Are You Havin' Any Fun?"
"At the Woodchopper's Ball"
"Back In The Saddle Again"
"The Boys in the Back Room"
"Brazil"
"Comes Love"
"Darn That Dream"
"Day In, Day Out"
"Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead"
"Do I Love You?"
"Don't Worry 'Bout Me"
"Frenesi"
"Give it Back to the Indians"
"God Bless America"
"Good Morning"
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was"
"I Get Along Without You Very Well"
"I Like to Recognize the Tune"
"I Thought About You"
"I Went to a Marvelous Party"
"If I Didn't Care"
"If I Only Had a Brain"
"I'll Never Smile Again"
"In a Mellow Tone"
"In The Mood"
"It's A Big, Wide, Wonderful World"
"The Lady's In Love With You"
"Lydia, The Tattooed Lady"
"A Man And His Dream"
"Moonlight Serenade"
"Over The Rainbow"
"Pennsylvania 6-5000"
"Perfidia"
"South American Way"
"South Of The Border"
"Stairway To The Stars"
"Strange Fruit"
"Tuxedo Junction"
"Tain't What You Do"
"Tara's Theme"
"Too Romantic"
"Two O'Clock Jump"
"We'll Meet Again"
"Well, Did You Evah!"
"What's New?"
"When You Wish upon a Star"

Pretty impressive.
But not necessarily conclusive.
What makes it conclusive for me is a song that was recorded that year that most of you have never heard of, but now consider my favorite.
I never heard of it until about five years ago, when I stumbled across it accidentally.
It was never a hit.
It received virtually no airplay, at the time, or since.
And I have taken it upon myself to make some attempt to give it the kind of exposure it has always deserved.

Throughout the history of American Popular Music, there has been the hip and the unhip.
The great hip bandleader Artie Shaw referred to Bing Crosby as the first hip white man.
Before Crosby, there were already, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong.
It was always very hard to be black and unhip.
For whites, it was very easy to be white and be Rudy Vallee, Russ Columbo, and Buddy Clark.
The early hip black bands, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chick Webb, and Jimmie Lunceford easily made way for hip white bands like Woody Herman, the above-mentioned Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, and Charlie Barnet.
Even Glenn Miller, although scoffed by some as being too commercial, was not unhip.
Unhip was left for white bands such as Sammy Kaye, Guy Lombardo, Kay Kyser, and Lawrence Welk.
There was no excuse for these particular bands.
They made a mockery of music in general.
Thus, in 1939, Charlie Barnet's band made an all-out assault on those unhip white bands with his own form of mockery.
A recording was made called ""The Wrong Idea".
Sammy Kaye, upon hearing it on the radio, successfully went through a lot of arm-twisting to get it banned from the airwaves.
So the public awareness of "The Wrong Idea" was very short-lived.
But it can be found on YouTube by typing in "The Wrong Idea-Charlie Barnet"
If you listen to it, which I strongly recommend, you will hear a very sappy instrumental first chorus, after which the vocalist comes in.
It should be noted that the vocalist is Billy May, who was Charlie Barnet's trumpet player, and one of the great hipsters of all time.
He went on to become a great arranger.
He was Sinatra's go-to guy when he couldn't get Nelson Riddle, or when he wanted something a lot more swinging than Nelson could provide.
May arranged Sinatra's entire "Come Fly With Me" album in the fifties.
Probably the swingingest album Sinatra ever did.
May then wrote "Somewhere In The Night", which was the TV series Naked City's title song for about three years.
Until they got Nelson Riddle to write another one.
So go to YouTube and indulge yourself in a treat: "The Wrong Idea", by Charlie Barnet and Billy May.
And then, tell your friends.


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Television For And About Jews. Part Two.

The last article was a prelude to the fact that I found a network on my cable system called The Jewish Life Network, or JLN.
I'm very glad that it is there.
It has quite a few shows that I hadn't seen in many years.
The Soupy Sales Sales Show.
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show.
The Jack Benny Show.
The Original Goldbergs, with Gertrude Berg.
There is also a Jackie Mason Show, that he did in 2005, that was essentially a topical news show.
What does this all add up to?
For one, a whole lot of entertainment.
For another, a whole lot of pandering.
However widely it was known, all of the above names were and/or are Jewish.
Dinah, while she was busy advertising Chevrolets with the big tail fins, never advertised that she was Jewish.
But among the tribe, word leaked out, and I think that's why we are seeing grainy black-and-white kinescopes of her fifties/early sixties variety hour, which was originally shown in color.
Even so, you can tell that it was very well done.
And she could really sing in those days.
Not like when she had her afternoon talk show, when she kept making fried chicken and attempted to sing.
Her pipes were really shot by then.
She should have stuck to frying the chicken.
Yes, Soupy Sales was Jewish.
His real name was Milton Supman.
A lot of Jews know this, and that's probably why he appears twice a day on the JLN.
I have really loved watching Soupy recently, particularly the old black-and-white shows he did locally in New York in the mid-sixties.
The original Goldbergs, with it's sappy sentimentality, and predictable plots, usually involving misunderstandings, and jumping to the wrong conclusions, a la "Three's Company", is salvaged by superior dialogue writing.
Gertrude Berg, the muscle of the writing, really knew how to turn a phrase, usually a heavily accented Jewish one.
She was very much into what Garry Marshall referred to as "verbal spins".
Something I heavily engaged in when I worked for him.
"The Jackie Mason Show" was done in 2005, so it ain't exactly topical anymore.
And it was done when I still thought he was funny.
Hindsight has pretty much changed that.
I don't know how politically correct it would be today for Jack Benny, an obvious Jew, to do a character who was obviously so cheap.
But the JLN doesn't seem to mind.
And neither do I.
His show was wonderful.
Also at the risk of political incorrectness, let me state that the JLN embodies two of the worst qualities of my people: We are notorious braggarts and notorious beggars.
And the JLN thrives in both elements.
The braggadocio involves not only an air of superiority over other peoples, but also superiority amongst each other.
The JLN has Jewish celebrities, such as Jason Alexander, and Lainie Kazan, who I think is going on her fourth face-lift, making on-camera appearances extolling the virtues of this network.
Another is Mayim Bialek, from "Blossom", and "The Big Bang Theory".
The graphics under her picture read "Ph.D. and actress Mayim Bialek"
It's a way of saying to ourselves, and to the occasional Gentile tuning in, ""Not only is she a successful actress, but she's a doctor yet".
One of my father's weirder jokes was he'd ask you "What's a phudnik?
You'd say "I don't know."
He'd say "A nudnik with a Ph.D."
I guess on every level, even among nudniks, there was a pecking order.
As far as begging goes, there is no charity related to Israel that is not ponderously paid attention to during their commercials.
When I was a college age teenager, and my sister was a high school age teenager, living in an apartment building in Flushing, Queens, we would often see this ancient Hassidic Jew, with the long black coat, the black hat, and the full beard, right out of Central Casting, roaming the streets of our neighborhood, relentlessly begging for money.
On Jewish holidays, he got brave enough to go around ringing everybody's doorbell.
You'd open the door, he'd have his hand out, and with a pitiful look in his eyes, say ""Money for Yuntiff?"
"Yuntiff" actually meant "Yom Tov", which meant "the holiday".
It didn't matter which holiday.
Passover, Chanukah, Succoth, Simchas Torah, Rosh Hashanah, Tubishvat, Yom Kippur....
He was there outside your door, ready to say "Money for Yuntiff?"
I, having no money to spare, usually handled this by looking through the peephole, seeing it was him, and not opening the door.
Once or twice, getting caught unexpectedly, I opened the door, saw and heard "Money for Yuntiff?", and said "Wait right here."
And I went to get my sister. I said "Les, there's someone here to see you."
She then came to the door, and embarrassedly turned him away.
This worked twice.
I don't think she's ever forgiven me.
The Yuntiff guy then broadened his horizons.
He started working purely American holidays as well.
Memorial Day, Fourth of July (boy, did he look sweaty in that coat.), Labor Day....
Now, here it is, Veteran's Day, and I'm looking at the commercials on the JLN.
And all I can think of is "Money for Yuntiff?"


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, November 7, 2014

Television For And About Jews.

It used to be, when I was growing up, that TV was much more for and about Jews than it is now.
That's because there hadn't yet been such a thing as a coaxial cable.
Before that, TV was geared pretty much for people in New York City who could afford TV sets.
You know.
Jews.
That's when Sid Caesar was lauded and dominated the airwaves.
Then, after the coaxial cable was laid, around 1958, people in Utah had TV sets, Lawrence Welk owned the airwaves, and Sid Caesar went on a twenty year drunk.
Catering to Jews then became non-existent.
The opposite held forth.
Networks shied away from Jews-in-front-of-the-cameras in droves.
Caesar, Phil Silvers, Milton Berle, Molly Goldberg, Jack Benny, Groucho Marx, George Burns, all gone.
All the Borscht Belt comedians gravitated to Ed Sullivan, where they never left until he did.
The was no Alan King Show, no Henny Youngman Show, and no Myron Cohen Show.
No, Sullivan was their only refuge.
So who did we have left?
Gleason. Irish.
Perry Como, Dean Martin, Italian.
Andy Williams, non-descript American.
Red Skelton, descript American.
Donny and Marie, Utah.
Sonny, Italian.
Cher, I didn't know what the hell she was, but I know it wasn't Jewish.
Jerry Lewis couldn't make a go of it on TV.
They didn't want Carl Reiner playing himself, so they got Dick Van Dyke.
Dinah Shore made every effort to hide the fact that she was Jewish, and got away with it for quite a while.
The Jews were all writers, and behind the cameras.
Oh, every once in a while, the networks got a little brave.
They gave Jackie Mason a sitcom.
Thirteen weeks, and out.
In 1976, there was a successful movie called "Next Stop, Greenwich Village", about a young Jewish boy breaking away from his parents to go share an apartment in the Village.
The following year, due to the aura surrounding me due to the success of "Laverne and Shirley", I was approached by CBS to surreptitiously adapt "Next Stop Greenwich Village" into a half-hour sitcom.
I was as surprised as anyone, knowing the history of such things.
But somebody managed to convince somebody of something, and pretty soon, a pilot for this idea was in the works.
And even more surprisingly, it sold.
We had Pat Carroll and Jack Kruschen as the parents, and a very young Adam Arkin as the breakaway son.
It was called "Busting Loose", and ran for a full season in 1977.
What was not surprising at all was that after about six weeks, CBS begged, yea pleaded for us to tone down the Jewishness.
Pat Carroll and Jack Kruschen were virtually written down, if not out, and the show became a slightly older gang comedy, on the order of "Happy Days", with not one mezuzah in sight.
I bring all this up because on my cable system here in Chicago, I have found a network that is blatantly bucking the trend:
The Jewish Life Network.
It is all, and I mean ALL things Jewish.
I will go into detail about it's programming next time.
Until then, shabat-shalom, everyone.


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We Will Be Amused.

I'm writing this the morning of election night.
As usual, I can't wait for events to transpire.
As Spencer Tracy said to his nephew, Jeffrey Hunter, in the 1958 movie, "The Last Hurrah", the greatest spectator sport in this country is politics.
I don't know if this is as true today as it was in 1958.
There are too many people today who don't even know that there is an election tonight.
So now, politics may have been surpassed by Pro Football.
Unfortunately, the major share of the population not aware of the elections are the ones most effected by the outcomes.
Particularly when it comes to the minimum wage and women's issues.
And if they are aware, they can easily be hornswoggled by the Republicans to vote against their own interests.
That people have become this dumb saddens me.
But it also amuses me.
Because none of these issues affect me personally.
I have no dog in any of these hunts.
Oh, I voted.
Also against my own interests.
Just trying to do what I thought was right.
But if my votes don't carry the day, my taxes will remain low, and I'll make out like a bandit.
And I will be amused.
The bullshit that is coming out of every candidate's mouth is highly amusing.
Everything that Chris Christie says and does is amusing and compelling.
Particularly his delusions that he is not in trouble, and is advancing himself.
That people support him for anything is amusing.
Oh, I have my villains in these races.
Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida...
I'm sure if Scott Baio was running somewhere, I'd find a way to consider him a villain too, just on name value.
But if the Scott's win tonight, its just another example of "You can fool all the people all of the time"
And I will be amused.
This whole deal about voter suppression is very dismaying.
It represents the downfall of our democracy.
Which makes it highly amusing when we try to export democracy to other countries, and they say "What about your voter suppression?"
We don't live in the world of Frank Capra movies anymore, where the people rise up at the end and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
Capra, always a staunch Republican, would probably be rolling over in his grave if he was able to see what has happened to his Party, fueled by the Koch Brothers' money.
This both saddens and amuses me.
It's not like Bush vs. Gore, where I was viscerally and emotionally involved in the outcome.
Justifiably so, as it turns out.
But it can't get any worse than that, so I remain somewhat dispassionate.
And amused.
The Democrats have been acting like wusses, abandoning Obama right and left, leaving him to twist in the wind.
We have been treated to the spectacle of Alison Lundergan-Grimes unable to admit that she voted for Obama.
Politically pointless and cowardly.
It probably will cost her any chance to beat Mitch McConnell.
The Republicans are likely to win the Senate, not that it would make much difference, unless they use it as platform to impeach Obama.
We already went through that with Clinton, and I can't think of anything that was more amusing than that.
And Clinton emerged heroically.
The Republicans won't do anything about climate change.
But I'll probably be long gone by the time the planet is killed off.
So I really don't see any downside to tonight's proceedings.
The difference between politics and Pro Football for me is that with football, I have to have a bet down to care and have a rooting interest.
With politics this year, and probably in the ongoing future, I just have to cozy up to the TV set, and let the curiosity factor take over.
Let the best man win.
Fat chance.

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Used To Illinois.


I like Illinois much more than I liked Michigan.
In many ways.
In some ways, not so much.
On the plus side, there are many more opportunities for me here in Illinois.
For one, I've already booked a slew of speaking engagements at Chicago Public Libraries, where I sell and sign my books.
It's new turf for me.
I have virtually wrung the Detroit area dry in that regard.
There seem to be opportunities to teach, and get my plays done here.
I have wrung Detroit dry in that regard.
On the minus side, I'm not quite used to living here.
For one thing, there are these things commonly known as tollbooths.
They're all over the place.
I don't think I saw one tollbooth during my entire stay in Michigan.
Here, they're all over the place.
It's not that I've never dealt with toll roads before.
I grew up in New York. On Long Island.
Long Island is replete with tollbooths.
I am one of the most physically uncoordinated humans you'll ever run across, and much time was spent in my youth attempting to toss the appropriate amount of coins into the basket at the tollbooth, almost invariably missing the basket, having to get out of the car, holding up traffic, picking the errant coins up from the pavement, and putting them back into the basket.
This particular fault has lied dormant all these years, only to be revived here in Illinois.
I am perhaps the worst living driver who was ever issued a license.
My mother WAS the worst, but she is no longer with us.
I inherited her skills, or lack of them, directly from her.
They combine a substantial lack of control of the vehicle, and a total lack of a sense of direction.
Neither of these contribute to the tollbooth problem, but there have been a couple inventions that you'd think would at least somewhat level the playing field.
One is the GPS, or Garmin, where the recorded lady gives you directions.
This device can also be found in your IPhone with Siri being your accomplice.
You'd think all I had to do was blindly follow along.
But there would always be these forks in the road where you're not sure where to make the turn.
And if you're me, you always make the wrong choice, only to hear that dreaded word "recalculating".
Then, there's this other invention, called the I-Pass.
Elsewhere, it is known as the EZ-Pass.
It allows the driver to simply flash the pass at the light at the tollbooth. and the toll is automatically paid.
Usually at a cheaper rate.
No coins. No baskets.
A Godsend.
My wife has an I-Pass, and uses it to pay the tolls to and from work every day.
I almost never drive anywhere, so I didn't need one.
Until one day that I did.
I was going to make a short round trip to the nearest Walmart.
Don't ask me why.
It's not important.
I pleaded with my wife to let me have the I-Pass that day.
She wouldn't hear of it.
She needed it for more tolls than I did.
It would have cost an extra fifty cents to give me the I-Pass.
So she gave me a change-purse, filled with coins, and left me to my own devices, with my Siri and my Garmin, to make my round trip to Walmart and back.
One of the things that has NOT leveled the playing field is that the Siri and the Garmin can both provide you with misinformation.
I managed to get all the coins in the baskets without dropping them, but, as I left the toll road to go to my hotel, the Garmin directed me back onto the toll road, forcing me to pay another toll.
It did this four times, at a buck-ninety a throw, before I got smart enough to figure out that I was being misdirected.
I turned on the Siri, which set me and the Garmin straight.
And I found my way back to the hotel.
That change-purse that my wife had given me was now practically empty.
At least seven bucks lighter.
All because she needed to save fifty cents.
Needless to say, she quickly responded by ordering me my own I-Pass.
At least one source of further embarrassment will now be spared me.
Who knows what other sources will raise their ugly heads?

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Mixed Blessing Of Comcast. Part Two.

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

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


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Mixed Blessing Of Comcast. Part One.

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

'Til then-----

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eating Lasagna With Ballpoint Pens.

Why life isn't fair:

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

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Friday, October 17, 2014

Learning To Toddle.

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

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

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

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Siri Sabotage.

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


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Thursday, October 9, 2014

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

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

Several years ago, an old friend decided to put me on her mass e-mail list, after years of personal e-mail correspondence.
Subsequently, I never received any more personal e-mails from her.
She used to be a reader of my blog, but I sensed that she had stopped reading it.
That became reason enough for me to essentially dismiss her mass e-mails once I had been forced to open them.
Not too long ago, she sent me a mass e-mail, quoting an article that informed me that Lee Harvey Oswald had grown up in the Bronx, in New York City.
This was not news to me.
He and I had attended the same public school in the Bronx.
Me in kindergarten, Lee in the fourth grade.
I had once made mention of this on my blog.
So I wrote my mass e-mailing friend back and said "Tell me something I don't know".
She wrote back, un-massed, "How am I supposed to know you knew this?"
I explained that I had written about it on the blog.
She sent back those magic words: "I don't read anybody's blog any more. I don't have the time".
She doesn't have the time.
Yet she has the time to send out the equivalent of her own blog, the mass e-mail, which she does with some regularity.
Only by doing it that way, she is forcing the recipient to at least unwittingly pay attention to it.
I expressed those sentiments to her subsequently, with the request that she take me off her mass e-mail list.
That I have no problem communicating with her directly and personally, but just not in that form.
She graciously accommodated me.
Now, I receive e-mails from her that seem like mass e-mails, except that they are addressed personally to me.
Oh, well.
At least she made the effort.
I don't think I have to concern myself with her seeing this.
After all, she doesn't read anybody's blog .
She doesn't have the time.

********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"I Don't Read Anybody's Blog"

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

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

Until then.....


********

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


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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."