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Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Odd Couple Unexpectedly Meets Bilko. Part Four.

So, with the image of Phil Silvers as Bilko, his head wrapped in bandages, appearing on the $64,000 Question, I took the Great Circle Route of "What if, after Felix has found out that Oscar has used him, in effect, betrayed his trust, to write his theater reviews for him, and instead of staying mad at him, starts reveling in his power, enjoying becoming a taste-maker, has the ultimate curve thrown at him, and (by the way) Oscar.
Oscar is invited to go on television on a panel discussion to discuss the state of theatre with other critics.
He knows he'd be an embarrassment, and exposed as a fraud.
Felix comes to the rescue: "What if tell you that I have the craziest idea I've ever had, but it just might work?
Oscar, desperate at this point, is willing to try anything.
Cut to: The TV panel discussion.
Real theatre critics are there.
John Simon, Dan Sullivan, and others.
Along with them are Felix and Oscar.
Oscar has his face wrapped in bandages, just like Bilko.
They go on the air, and Felix is introduced as Oscar's dentist, and announces that Oscar has just had four wisdom teeth pulled, so the best he can do is mumble his answers to Felix, and Felix will "translate" for him, actually giving his own erudite opinions.
Only they're not so erudite.
Every time he pulls Oscar to him to "mumble" his answers for Felix to "translate",
Felix says something abusive to his fellow critics.
Even something misogynistic to a female critic.
And of course, the critics all blame Oscar, thinking that these are his thoughts.
The other critics, totally offended at Oscar, walk off the show. leaving Oscar humiliated in bandages.
It was hilarious.
One of our best shows.
It got a great reaction from the studio audience.
Jay Sandrich, a great director, who directed this episode, came up to me afterwards, and said, "All right. Fess up. You did this whole show just to get Jack in the bandages".
I had to swear up and down that we had the first half of this show worked out for over a year, and couldn't beat it.
Until now, I never revealed that we paid Homage, or stole, from Bilko.
To this day, he doesn't believe me.

Now, I promised you from the beginning that this would be one of the greatest stories, if not THE greatest, that I have ever told you.
So far, it's been a pretty good story, but not one of the greatest I have ever told you.
But we're not done.
Something happened eight years later that puts it over the top.
And I'll get to it.
Just stay tuned.


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 you're interested.



  1. I am really enjoying this story, as well as its presentation!

  2. I'm a bit surprised that you didn't quote Felix's pitch line to Oscar exactly; it's my all-time favorite line ever uttered in a sitcom.

    I hope I have the wording right:

    Felix: "Are you desperate enough to go along with the stupidest, most idiotic idea I've ever had?"
    Oscar: "Am I gonna have to wear a dress?"

    I think that the word "desperate" made the whole line ...

  3. Even now, I'm still rewriting.
    I would have left in the "dress" line, though.

  4. You could be eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  5. There's a chance you're eligible to get a free Apple iPhone 7.



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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 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."