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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Last Angry Man. 2.

I used to get a lot of flack from Jack Klugman about the way I dressed.
But then, I had an excuse: I was in my early twenties.
Jack was a fully grown adult.
And he was not exactly a fashion-plate.
He did not just step out of the pages of Gentleman's Quarterly.
Aside from being less than stylish, his clothes were usually ill-fitting.
I remember Jerry Belson walking onto the Odd Couple soundstage, taking one look at Jack, and asking "Hey Jack, who shortens your pants?"
These were the days when grown men got dressed up to go on dates.
Jack's idea of getting dressed up for one particular date was to wear the kind of hat
that my grandfather would wear for Yom Kippur services in shul.

I mentioned last time that Jack kind of grew into his anger.
He was indeed an angry man.
But perhaps "passionate" is a more appropriate word.
He cared.
He cared about everything.
He truly cared about doing as good a show as was possible.
He'd go to the mat about just about anything at the drop of a hat.
Usually the kind of hat that my grandfather would wear for Yom Kippur services in shul.
His main plaint in dissecting a script was "What do I want?!!"
I can't tell you how many times I've heard Jack say "What do I want?!!"
But this was a mark of an actor truly attempting to explore the depths of his character.
And I respected him for it.
What I really respected him for is that when we would get into one of those "What do
I want?!!" discussions, and he couldn't see what, in fact,he wanted, and we could, a
verbal tennis match would ensue, and every once in a while, it would suddenly end with Jack closing his script, and announcing "You're right!"
He was a big enough man, considering what a big star he was, to actually concede an
argument unconditionally.
I endured a lot of yelling from Jack, but I willingly accepted it, because it was all coming from his passion.

Then when he went on to do "Quincy, M.E.", I found it very difficult to watch.
His character was always yelling at somebody, and I had a lot of trouble trying to separate that from the way he used to yell at me.
It felt like he still was.
But he made enormous accomplishments with that show.
He was able to get important legislation passed.
As a result, "Quincy, M.E." was one of television's most important shows.

Jack, always a major horse player, owned a racehorse, a filly he named Jaclyn Klugman, that actually finished third in the Kentucky Derby.
You never saw a happier man than Jack after that.
For all that he accomplished, and speaking for all who knew him, Jaclyn Klugman should have won the Derby that year.

Yet even more about Jack next 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 & 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 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
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. Last night I watched an ODD COUPLE repeat on MeTOO (one digital channel over from MeTV).

    It was the one with Stanley Adams as "Sure-Shot" the pool hustler.

    What I want to know:

    Did Stanley Adams really get that cue ball to jump like that?
    On cue (so to speak)?

    I know it's off topic, but I am curious ...

  2. If I recall correctly, Stanley Adams was a very good pool player. I don't remember how well he controlled the shot. We freeze-framed the shot with the ball in mid-air.
    His character name was arbitrarily changed (not by me, who wrote the first draft) to Sure-shot Wilson, from,
    for me, the more ethnically pleasing "Sidepocket Sol"
    More about Stanley Adams in the next chapter.

  3. There's a chance you're eligible to get a 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."