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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Old Bread, Old Rolls, Part Six.

I know I said I was going to get back to the OTN this time, but how often do I get to do a Part Six of a formerly five-part series, when the first five parts appeared over a year-and-a-half ago?

I'm going to quote from Part Three of that series, which explained where the expression "Old Bread, Old Rolls" came from:

"The way the denizens of the bungalow colony in the Catskills when I was a kid were able to make contact with civilization was with the one telephone available to all, which was located in Mr. Lipschitz's "Canteen", which was another way of referring to what was basically a General Store.
The Canteen was the 7-11 of it's time.
With overinflated prices to match.

And the bungalow guests were at Mr. Lipschitz's mercy, pricewise.
Mr. Lipschitz also had a microphone, attached to a public address system, so that if anyone received a call, they would be paged by Mr. Lipschitz over the loudspeaker.

Now Mr. Lipschitz was an "Immie".
A Concentration Camp survivor with tattooed numbers on his arms.

This, as in the other instances I've related, caused the first generation American born Jews to resent him, along with his generally foul nature.

Mr. Lipschitz had a first generation American-born son named Warren, whom Mr. Lipschitz, with his thick foreign accent, called "Vodding".
As did everyone else there, usually mockingly, behind his back.

On what turned out in retrospect to be a typical day at the Canteen, "Vodding" cautioned his father that the expiration dates had been reached on many of the baked goods Mr. Lipschitz offered for sale.

Vodding suggested that they be replaced by the new shipment that had not yet been put on display.
Lipschitz countered with "Old bread, old rolls, they won't know the difference".

What Lipschitz was not aware of was that the microphone was turned on and that last sentence of his was heard over the P.A. system by everybody in the bungalow colony.
Within a matter of minutes, the entire population of the colony amassed in front of the Canteen, shouting "Old Bread, Old Rolls, they won't know the difference!"
Over and over.

The bungalow denizens went on strike, never to enter the Canteen until it was "Under New Management"
This took place in about a week after Lipschitz had fled.
He probably beat a hastier retreat than he had when he fled the Nazis."

So "Old bread, old rolls, they won't know the difference" became symbolic for anyone attempting to put something fraudulent over on the masses.

Well.....yesterday, I inadvertently found another great example of "Old Bread, Old Rolls"
On WeTV, I watched the very last episode aired of the series "Dobie Gillis"
It was shot in 1963.
Looking forward on my Tivo, I could see that the next episode to be shown on WeTV would be the Pilot, shot in 1959.
And they would then be airing the series sequentially again from the beginning.
I was looking forward to those early episodes, because, for one thing, Warren Beatty was in them, and for another thing, the stories at the tail end of the run were so stupid and predictable that I constantly found myself deleting them by the first fifteen minutes. I was hoping the earlier ones would not be that stupid.
But I stuck it out for the very last episode.
This was the story:
Dobie, in desperate need of money, (he was always desperately in need of money,) found himself lured into a corrupt activity---the rigging of a raffle, so that he would win enough money to impress a girl. He got himself in cahoots with the person drawing the winning number to call his number.
He then developed fantasies about how this would carry him down the road to an irredeemable life of crime.
He became conscience-stricken. The drawing was held, Dobie's number was called. He couldn't bring himself to acknowledge that he was the winner. The girl knew he had the winning ticket, was not aware of the ruse, and abandoned him. Another number was drawn, and someone else won the prize. It then turns out that his co-conspirator was not the one to draw the winning number. And Dobie had won the prize legitimately. And he basically cries "Woe is me!"

And that's how they ended the series.
The next day, WeTV aired the Pilot.
So it's also how they began the series.
My best guess is that they had just found out they had been cancelled, had one more script to turn out, and all concerned were not particularly concerned, and just said to each other "Fuck 'em! Let's just reshoot the pilot! Who'll know the difference?"
And it took WeTV airing them back to back for anyone to know the difference.
A classic case of "Old Bread Old Rolls"
The first five parts of "Old Bread Old Rolls" are still on the blog, if you missed them first time around.
They went up around the last two weeks of November 2011.
You might want to check them out.
You'll notice that Part Three has a record number of spam comments.
I just did.


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 paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. The thing that we sometimes forget about old-time TV is that nobody thought that anyone would watch any show even as much as a second time - it wasn't possible, except for filmed reruns, and everybody hated those.

    The early-TV conventional wisdom would have scoffed at such things as home video, cassettes, DVDs, DVRs, cable channels that only showed Old Stuff - preposterous!

    I don't know what kind of comments you're looking to get on this one.
    Maybe something like this:

    This past weekend, MeTV (not WeTV, that's a channel that specializes in sappy chikfliks) ran a NAKED CITY episode from its last season.
    It was the one where Frank Gorshin played a stoolie who'd been fingered, and was trying to get out of NYC ahead of the mob.
    Gorshin, who at that point was known mainly as a stand-up mimic, was on camera for most of the show, playing phone tag with Paul Burke and dodging bullets. He was damn good (my opinion; yours might differ).

    Not long before this, MeTV had on a POLICE WOMAN from about the mid-'70s.
    Patty Duke Astin (as she was then maritally known) played a 'confidential informant' (the newer euphemism for 'stoolie') who'd been fingered and was trying to get out of LA,etc.etc., and playing phone tag with Angie Dickinson and dodging bullets, and you know the rest.
    The writer credited on NAKED CITY was Shimon Wincelberg, one of their regular writers; he also recieved credit on POLICE WOMAN ( shared with one of their regular writers).
    The NAKED CITY was in 1963; the POLICE WOMAN would have been around 1975.
    Nightly reruns (and nerds like us to keep track of them) were unknown back then: who'd notice old rolls?

    As applied to DOBIE GILLIS: if you're going to have to steal anyway, who better to steal from than yourself?

    I've read that in Hollywood they've got a term for this.
    It's called "haircutting."
    And in TV, it's been in use for as long as there's been TV.
    So there's your first story.
    Expect others to follow.
    Enjoy ...

  2. There was a That Girl episode where Don Hollinger sang, and supposedly had co-written, a song called "Bupkis" which was exactly the same song Rob Petrie had co-written on the Dick Van Dyke Show. Both shows were produced by Danny Thomas and shared writers, of course. But I was surprised at the time that they thought they could get that by us, since Dick Van Dyke was in nearly daily rerun syndication.

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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."