With the recent passing of Gary David Goldberg, it has brought to mind the paucity of shows about Jews in recent years.
Gary David Goldberg had a wonderful show some years back called "Brooklyn Bridge"
It was about a young Jewish boy, growing up in the late 1950's, in Brooklyn.
It was a soft comedy.
Marion Ross was in it as the Jewish grandmother.
She was wonderful, and she displayed her enormous versatility.
"Brooklyn Bridge" was a wonderful show, and deserves to be seen again, if only to honor Gary David Goldberg's memory.
The granddaddy, or grandmommy, of all TV shows about Jews was "The Goldbergs"
It starred Gertrude Berg as Molly Goldberg.
Gertrude Berg was a true auteur of early television.
She was in complete control of the show.
She wrote the shows.
She produced the shows.
She cast the shows.
She got into fights with the networks when necessary.
"The Goldbergs' was about as Jewish as a show can get.
I have seen many episodes, and it is almost the equivalent of what 'Amos 'n Andy was for blacks.
I thought it depicted Jewish men in a very bad light.
They were pretty much all depicted as weaklings.
Particularly compared to Molly.
I don't think it holds up very well.
But Gertrude Berg was a great actress and performer.
A lot of the humor was derived from her use of malaprops.
"The Goldbergs" would have trouble finding a mass audience today.
Ever since people started getting TV sets in Wyoming, the landscape changed.
When "The Goldbergs" was a hit, only people in New York had TV sets.
The same fate befell Sid Caesar.
When TV found it's way to the boondocks, Sid Caesar was slaughtered in the ratings by Lawrence Welk.
I'll also make one of the rare excursions into including one of my own shows.
"Busting Loose" was on CBS in 1977.
We shot 26 episodes.
22 were aired.
I don't even know if the unaired episodes were even edited and spliced together.
It was a show that was ORIGINALLY about Jews.
It was an attempt by CBS to rip off the movie "Next Stop Greenwich Village", which was certainly about Jews.
And the first 4 or 5 episodes of "Busting Loose" was about a young Jewish guy in his early twenties attempting to break away from his parents.
Then, the network folk, all Jews, got rather gunshy about selling Jews to the general public, and the kid's parents gradually faded from view.
And it became the equivalent of a gang comedy, a la "Happy Days"
The word "Jew" was never mentioned again, except indirectly, in that the lead character's last name was Markowitz.
We couldn't change his name in mid stream.
But it was a really funny hardball three-camera live audience show that REALLY deserved a longer life than it had.
Like Prime Time on the OTN.
Mark Rothman, CEO of the OTN.
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 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.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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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."