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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Leonard Stern Week On The OTN. Part 2.

Two more entries from Leonard Stern for the OTN.
I watched an episode of each today.

"Diana"---A short-lived sitcom, 15 episodes, starring the to-die-for gorgeous Diana Rigg.
This was in 1973, when she was still to-die-for gorgeous.
I didn't watch or like "The Avengers"
And she wasn't decked out in leather here as she was there.
It seemed to be an active attempt to emulate the success of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
It was shot on the same lot, at the same time, as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
Diana essentially played straight to a bunch of funny characters in an office situation.
But except for Richard B. Shull, who was hilarious, the rest of the "funny characters" just weren't all that funny.
And the writing didn't help make them any funnier.
It wasn't at all bad, it just wasn't wonderful.
But if you didn't like "The Avengers", this would be an excellent opportunity to catch Diana Rigg when she was still to-die-for gorgeous.

"The Good Guys"---This show was done in the late sixties.
42 episodes were made.
It starred Bob Denver and Herb Edelman as co-owners of a diner.
Certainly not a complicated premise
I remember watching it when it was on, and enjoying it.
But not nearly as much as I enjoyed the episode I watched today.
It had everything that great sitcoms had.
GREAT writing. The kind of writing that Garry Marshall used to describe as "verbal spins", i.e., turning the language inside out and upside down.
Garry often praised me for my use of verbal spins.
It also had GREAT physical comedy.
Physical comedy good enough to rival Lucy and Ethel and Laverne and Shirley on their best days.
I'd have to say that "The Good Guys" is far and away the most underrated show that would appear on the OTN.
And reason in itself that the OTN be formed.

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
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. I have had a bunch of ideas for the OTN:

    1-it should be completely on computer streaming
    2-it should have a roulette wheel that you can spin for a random episode of a random series, as well as listings by series, writer, year, and actors
    3-each episode should have and introduction and final words by mark to give us context and point out the juicy bits

    of course this assumes that these shows still exist somewhere and one can obtain the rights. but i am up for it!

  2. Can you give an example or two of a verbal spin?

  3. There's a website called Television Obscurities that's devoted to detailed historical writeups of shows like the ones you're nominating for the OTN.
    They're always revising and updating the articles, and their writeup of THE GOOD GUYS has just undergone an extensive revision.
    The episode you saw must have come from the show's second season, if Bob and Herb were partners in the diner (they weren't in the first season).
    Anyway, you can get the lyrics to both versions of the theme song, as well as an uninterrupted instrumental from the pilot.
    As always, I can't do the URL (beyond my comprehension); just type in TELEVISION OBSCURITIES.

  4. A couple of verbal spins from that episode of "The Good Guys"
    Herb Edelman's wife (Joyce Van Patten) wants to invite someone to dinner who Herb doesn't want to see.
    She says "Who doesn't like a home-cooked meal?"
    Herb responds "Home is no place for a home-cooked meal!"
    and this exchange(They had character names, but I'm using their real ones):
    Herb: Joyce, we are going to make a fortune being this kids manager, a fortune!
    Joyce: Herb, that is the most simple-minded thing I have ever heard you say!
    Herb: Heh!
    Joyce: No, I'll tell ya something. It is the single-most simple-minded thing I've ever heard you say!
    Herb: ...single most. Uh huh....
    Joyce: Herb, it's the single most simple-minded sentence that I've ever heard you say!
    Herb: Oh yeah? THAT is, THAT is, the single most....
    Herb: ....sing--simple most sentence you've ever heard me say?
    Well would you like to hear the most single most sentence, simple, that I've ever say? I'll tell you the most simple most, single....
    You're not going to get ME mixed up!

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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."