View My Stats

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Odd Couple Unexpectedly Meets Bilko. Part Two.

So we had half a story sitting on the shelf for over a year and weren't able to beat it.
Oscar has to fill in for the Theatre Critic at the paper, feels underqualified, sends Felix to the theater instead, picks his brain about the play when he gets home, then phones in what Felix says about it as his review, Felix then finds out and confronts Oscar about it.
That's what we had. So then what?
"So then what" encompasses the entire second half of the story and the show.
And we didn't have "So then what?" for over a year.
And we knew that if we could figure out "So then what?", it would probably be great.

Billy Wilder occasionally wrote movies for Ernst Lubitsch to direct.
Billy Wilder idolized Ernst Lubitsch.
Billy Wilder had a framed sign on the wall of his office that read "What would Lubitsch do?"
When Billy Wilder was on the set, directing one of his movies, and couldn't see the framed sign on the wall of his office, and found himself with a problem he couldn't solve, he would come right out and ask himself "What would Lubitsch do?"

The way Billy Wilder felt about Lubitsch is the way I felt about Nat Hiken, the great Show Runner and Creator of "Sergeant Bilko" and "Car 54, Where Are You?"
And after a fruitless year of trying to beat the Theatre Critic story, I finally decided to emulate Billy Wilder and ask the magic question :
What would Nat Hiken do?
Now, you could call it Homage, or less charitably, you could call it Stealing.
I tend to be more charitable and call it Homage.
I wracked my encyclopedic brain, recalling every episode of "Bilko" and "Car 54" until I finally came up with a major element from an episode of "Bilko" that more than did the trick.
And we had an entire story.
Next time, I'll divulge what we stole, er, paid homage to.


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.
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 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.
If you like one, contact me at
The website "On Screen & Beyond" has two has two hours of an interview I did on it's podcast in their archives.
Just Google On Screen and Beyond if your interested.




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."