What Richard Erdman added to whatever he appeared in was a light, sophisticated, interesting, humor-filled, grounded, believable presence.
He did this on good shows, like "Lou Grant" and "The Burns and Allen Show", both of which he appeared only intermittently, and on mediocre shows, where he appeared regularly.
Those mediocre shows needed him more than the good shows.
Because they were mediocre, and he was still good.
His presence was needed much more on those mediocre shows.
It definitely raised the level of those shows.
The two shows that I'm offering up for the OTN today were definitely mediocre.
I remember enjoying both of them when they were first on in the late 50s-early 60's.
And the only reason I am considering them is because of Richard Erdman.
The first is "The Tab Hunter Show", a sitcom that Tab Hunter was supposed to carry the load on.
But Richard Erdman, playing a grownup, more realistic version of Chatsworth Osborne Jr., single-handedly carried the load ably.
I saw an episode of "The Tab Hunter Show" recently, and from what I had remembered previously, it was disconcertingly bad.
Tab Hunter added nothing to it, and the storytelling was abysmal.
But the dialogue was pretty good.
Mainly because most of it was handled by Richard Erdman with aplomb.
"Aplomb" is THE word that defines Richard Erdman.
Defines, because Richard Erdman is alive, in his nineties.
I'm sure he's handling that with aplomb as well.
The other show I'm submitting is a one-season wonder called "The Saints and Sinners"
It was a drama about a crusading newspaper reporter played by Nick Adams.
And boy, did he crusade.
I don't think he got any bonuses in his reporter salary for crusading, but that didn't stop him.
He overactingly crusaded all over the place.
The tone of "Saints and Sinners" was relentlessly high pressure, tense and melodramatic.
I think one of the producers thought that what it needed was a light, sophisticated, interesting, humor-filled, grounded, believable, non-crusading presence.
So they quite intelligently cast Richard Erdman as the wryly funny photographer for the newspaper.
He more than once played the equivalent of what Oscar Levant played in the movies.
The wryly commenting best friend to Robert Alda in the Gershwin biopic, or John Garfield in "Humoresque" or Gene Kelly in "An American In Paris", or Fred Astaire in "The Barkeleys of Broadway"
After Oscar Levant stopped playing those parts, someone had to step into the breach.
And Richard Erdman did some great breach-stepping.
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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- The 100 Funniest Words.
- Richard Erdman On The OTN. Part Two.
- Richard Erdman On The OTN.
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- ....And No More Ribbons, Either.
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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."