I'm writing this article now, because it is sort of related to the previous one.
I was invited by an old friend of mine, let's call him "Marty", because that is,
in fact his name.
He and his wife saw me do a reading and signing of my paperback when I appeared at
a bookstore on Long Island.
I've known Marty since college, and he and his wife are heavily involved in the
New York chapter of Mensa, the high I.Q. organization.
And after hearing me do my act on Long Island, they invited me to be the guest
speaker at the annual Mensa event held in White Plains.
I was happy to oblige.
There is something you should know about Marty.
He has always been a somewhat socially backward individual.
Particularly when we were in college.
The words "Marty" and "date" were rarely found in the same sentence.
And when it came to storytelling, he wasn't exactly O. Henry.
He was, and is, often the butt of our contemporaries' jokes.
So I go through my usual routine at Mensa of reading several of my essays, and
then opening the floor to a Q and A.
The very intelligent audience had some very good questions.
Then someone asked me if I had any stories about Marty.
I replied that I did, but I would still like to retain him as a friend, so perhaps
this was not the time.
But there was clamoring from the crowd.
So, in a very calculated move on my part, I asked Marty if there was any story
he would like to share with the crowd.
He threw out the punchline to one of his more notorious ones---"How about
With further calculation, knowing my boy as I did, I suggested that Marty himself
tell the story, and handed him the microphone.
It was a story that took place in college, but I knew he would begin the story in public school, to establish the roots of his social awkwardness, which he did.
After about five minutes of him not even approaching what the story was about,
I said "Marty, give me back the mike!!!"
I then proceeded to tell the story from where it should have begun:
Marty had gone bowling while we were in college, and just happened to mention that
he met a girl at the bowling alley.
This was enough news to make the AP, UPI, and Reuters.
So one of our friends, not missing the opportunity to let Marty off the hook.
asked "Was she any good (nudge,nudge, wink,wink)?", to which Marty replied "Oh,
about 125, 130"
When I told it, I really cut to the chase, and got the laugh that the story
deserved, rather than the nothing that Marty would have gotten out of it.
Also, totally calculated, I segued right into the story of Ron Howard's wedding,
explaining what a "lift" was, and how everything Marty had said when he had the
mike was a "lift.
I'd completely won over the crowd with that, and ended up selling a lot of books that night.
I will make one more digression before I get back to the "Worst TV Themes" list.
This digression is not completely unrelated.
It involves music, and something I saw on TV that was also completely Godawful .
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
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'd like one, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- mark rothman
- 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 email@example.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."