View My Stats

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Honorables.

These shows, to me, are all more honorable than the previous ones mentioned.
And to me, they are more and more prestigious as we proceed down the page.

Amos N' Andy.
I know I've written about this show before.
Let me reiterate what I feel is significant about it.
It was one of the most offensive shows of it's time. And also one of the funniest. Now that we have passed it's time by almost sixty years, the
offensive element is pretty much gone, and it's still one of the funniest.
It's hard to be much funnier than Tim Moore, who played The Kingfish.

The Bob Newhart Show, and Newhart.
An entry.
Virtually indistinguishable, as Bob essentially played the same character.
Both shows had memorable supporting cast members.
Bob has been one of the great reactive comic actors, and showed off this skill equally well in both extremely well-written shows.
Only one of them started the "Hi Bob" drinking game, so perhaps the nod goes to the Bob Newhart Show.

The Tony Randall Show
The one where he played a judge and was as great as Tony Randall always was.
The one where Allyn Ann McLerie played his tight-assed secretary, Miss Reubner.
I wonder why that one hasn't shown up anywhere?

Hey, Landlord!
The first time Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson were in charge of a sitcom.
It was 3-camera, live audience, free-wheeling, and contained some great dialogue, and some great recurring performances, like Michael Constantine's as Mr. Ellenhorn, one of the tenants in the building.
He was a whole lot funnier here than on "Room 222".
But then, wasn't everybody?

He and She
Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, a real-life husband and wife, playing husband and wife.
It was very sophisticated lunacy, and both Benjamin and Prentiss showed off their major comedy chops.
As did Jack Cassidy, as the egotistical star of "Jet Man" , a Batman ripoff, based on Benjamin's cartoon strip.
It was the first show since Rob and Laura Petrie established the mold that showed a loving married couple that respected each other.

Would probably be rated higher, if for the fact that it's not really an out-and-out sitcom.
But it was extremely well done, with extremely well drawn characters, and had a pretty good share of belly laughs.

The Big Bang Theory
My first salute to Chuck Lorre, whom I think is one of the greats.
Extremely intelligent writng about extremely intelligent people.
Even if they are nerds.

Great writing.
A great introduction to Danny Devito, Christopher Lloyd, and to many, Andy Kaufman. Rarely fell short of hilarious.

I Love Lucy
An enormous output.
Was somewhat inconsistent in quality, but there was so much that was memorable, and that transcends generations, that attention must be paid.
It was Lucy in her prime, which was tough to beat.
And you had Desi running things and being brilliant on camera.
And Vivian Vance and William Frawley bringing up the rear in grand style.

More next time.


My book, "Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store, You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
You might want to check them out.

The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle. I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.

You might want to check out the Kindle Store in general. It is the wave of the future, so consider me a surfer.

The website "On Screen & Beyond" has the first hour of a 2 hour interview I did on their podcast. It will remain in their archives, and the second hour will be posted next week.
Just Google On Screen & Beyond to find it if you're interested.



  1. Thanks for mentioning the Randall show -- Allyn Ann McLerie was indeed wonderful. Remember Mario Lanza?

    I also remember the time Randall's character taught a night school class. One of the students was a comedy standout, a character named Zeke, who stole the show as far I as was concerned. I made sure to catch the actor's name at the end: Michael Keaton.

    Also, thanks for mentioning "He and She." My family loved it. We even sent the network a postcard as part of a campaign to keep it on the air after it was canceled after only one season. We were, of course, resoundingly unsuccessful.

  2. Mark, I would like to book you for a TV show I produce out of Madonna University 734..432..55..78



Blog Archive

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 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."