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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why I Am Not Babaloo Mandel. Part One.

One of my handful of crosses to bear over the years has been people who are vaguely aware of me and my former partner, Lowell Ganz, asking me "Aren't you the guy who wrote all those movies with Lowell Ganz?"
The answer, now and forever more is "No. That was Babaloo Mandel"
Sometimes there has been the follow-up question "Why wasn't it you?"
Over the course of the next few articles, I will attempt to answer this question at greater length.
Not because there has been any clamor for it by you loyal blog readers.
But because of the sudden clamor, after all these years, by me, to tell you about it.
This is due to circumstances that are, and have been, beyond my control.
Until perhaps now.
As the late, great Jimmy Durante used to say, "Dems is da conditions what prevails."

A couple of months ago, I was told by a friend that there was a four part interview of Lowell Ganz that could be found at the prestigious "EmmyTVLegends" website.
My first reaction, of course, was absolute envy and resentment.
Wouldn't that be anybody's?
Considering that he and I worked on the same hit TV shows?
In the same job?
That we spent virtually exactly the same amount of time toiling in the sitcom vineyards?
Considering that he and I were nominated for, and won the exact same number of Emmys?
A grand total of none, as it turns out.
Aside from the fact that he wrote all those hit movies with Mandel, was I not just as legendary?
What do the movies have to do with TV and Emmys?
Or was I just kidding myself?
So I had no desire to watch this interview.
Until last night, when the Gods of Self-Infliction took over, and I watched it.
There were lots of questions about me, and Lowell parried them with what I perceived to be his usual assortment of back-handed compliments.
The kind of thing that the untrained eye would perhaps only regard as "compliments"
It was the kind of thing that always marked our professional and personal relationship.
In private, I seemed to be someone he looked up to and valued.
In public, he seemed to take every possible opportunity to diminish me in the eyes of others.
Whether it was done out of mere insensitivity, or mere deviousness, it's something the jury is still out about.
One thing is for certain: A jury still needs to be impaneled.
This diminishing was extremely effective, and has left it's imprint on me.
In the interview, Lowell implied that all he cared about was doing good work as a writer.
And that my primary concern was in being a Producer, and the "Big Boss"
You loyal blog readers know at least enough of my work to know that I take pride in it, and consider myself to be well above the level of "Hack"
I have the pride of someone who can write by himself.
To my knowledge, Lowell has always relied on a partner.
I don't know if he's ever written a word without someone else within ten feet of him.
And I never really aspired to be Max Bialystock.
Next time, if you're still interested in this, I will delve into my history with Lowell, and further examples of what I feel was his self-promotion at my expense, including what was said in the interview.
It included his take on why we split up.
He made out-and-out incomplete and unnecessary misrepresentations, dredged up from thirty-four years ago, that put me in the harshest light possible today.
And I am here to tell you that it really more closely resembled Martin and Lewis's breakup.
In spades.
Him being Jerry, and me being Dean.
Dean survived, and so have I.
But I'm sure that Dean and I both had some very unpleasant memories.

So come back next time, as we continue our traipse down Memory Lane.


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 for one await with interest!!!

  2. I've often considered asking you about the breakup with Ganz here in the comment section, but refrained from doing so, as I know you don't take requests on this blog. However, I am extremely interested.

  3. Kirk, if you had made this request before three days ago, I never would have honored it. But I never established a policy of not taking requests in general. So feel free to request away.

  4. I stumbled onto that interview two or three months ago and fully expect the TV legends people to get to you soon enough. (They've interviewed Garry Marshall, as well.) As you said, his comments on you seem rather neutral and vague to outsiders such as ourselves; your version of events will be greatly anticipated and appreciated.

  5. I am always fascinated by these kind of stories. Fire away.

  6. You might be eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  7. You might be eligible for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.



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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."