......two sitcoms for the OTN.
Both more than OTN worthy.
Both from the sixties.
Both with superior writing.
The first was from around 1967-68.
It was called "Hey, Landlord!"
It marked the Show Running debut of Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson.
The next show they commandeered was "The Odd Couple"
The two leads, Will Hutchins and Sandy Baron, were probably the weakest things about it.
The writing was easily the strongest thing about it.
That, and Michael Constantine in a major supporting role as Jack Ellenhorn, one of the tenants.
If your major memory of Michael Constantine is as the rather subdued principal on "Room 222", it's quite unfortunate.
Because if you saw him on "Hey, Landlord!", aside from not being subdued, he was side-splittingly funny.
Obviously, when I watched "Hey, Landlord!" originally, I had not yet met Garry Marshall.
After meeting Garry, I was astounded by how much he sounded like Jack Ellenhorn.
Once, during my tenure on "The Odd Couple", I met Michael Constantine in Las Vegas at the Blackjack tables.
I pointed out to him the similarity between Garry's voice and his as Jack Ellenhorn.
Constantine confessed that he was doing a blatant imitation of Garry.
"Hey, Landlord!" also marked Sally Field's transition from Gidget to The Flying Nun.
I preferred seeing her on "Hey Landlord!"
Watching more than a handful of episodes lately, I was struck by how many supporting actors were used there who also often showed up on "The Odd Couple"
And such is how stock companies are born.
The other series offered up today is from the very early sixties.
It was called "Angel"
The writing muscle was Jess Oppenheimer, primarily known as being responsible for "I Love Lucy"
This show was right in his wheelhouse.
It was an attempt to do "I Love Lucy" with a French accent.
It succeeded admirably.
Primarily because he found the right French accent.
In the form of French actress Annie Farge.
Annie Farge was the top.
She was the Colosseum.
And of course, she was the Louvre Museum.
It may be sacrilege to say, but I think she was better at being Lucy than Lucy was.
She was way younger, much prettier, had timing at least as good, and fractured the language at least as well as Desi did.
The totally astonishing thing is how, after "Angel", she seems to have completely fallen off the face of the earth.
Or at least any form of Radar or Sonar that I can get my hands on.
She did four guest shots on 60's American TV shows, none of them comedies.
Then she drifted back to France, where she worked, doing God-knows-what.
I just checked her IMDB page, and much to my distress, learned that she died two years ago at age 76.
For me not to have ever seen an obituary until now indicates the level of obscurity she had descended to.
And that's what the OTN is about: the rescue from obscurity.
So there's no chance for a comeback for Annie Farge..
At 76, Lucy was already working on her fourth.
But "Angel" still exists.
And "Hey, Landlord!" still exists.
And I would create a separate wing for them 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."