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Thursday, April 17, 2014

It Was The Worst Of Mickey Rooney.

Let's put aside for a moment that he made "Andy Hardy Comes Home" in 1958, when he was 38, and the boat had long since sailed, and he was way too long in  the tooth.
Let's put that aside.
Let's put aside the fact that over the next three years, he had enough clout to star in, and in one case, even co-direct, three Grade Z cheap features:
My personal favorite, "The Big Operator"---ironic, because, of course, physically, he was anything but big.
Even though he wore big clothes.
He played the King of the Underworld.
And he cast, as the sympathetic romantic leads, Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren.
That's right, Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren.
Two people who were never before or since sympathetic in anything.
It was as bad as it sounds.
He then did "The Private Lives of Adam and Eve", in which he played the Devil in the form of a snake.
Again, with Mamie Van Doren as Eve.
Adam was played by Martin Milner.
Something which I'm sure he points with pride on his resume.
What was it with Mickey and Mamie Van Doren?
One can only form an educated guess.
He immediately followed this one up with "Platinum High School".
Now, who was more platinum than Mamie Van Doren?
Only she wasn't in this one.
They got, and "introduced" Yvette Mimieux.
This was just about the time Mamie started her fling with baseball phenom Bo Belinsky.
Plus, she was obviously too old for high school, so it didn't make sense on multi-levels.
But if Bo was out of the picture, I'm pretty sure Mickey would have handed her pom-poms.
But let's put ALL that aside.
And let's put aside the two really crappy sitcoms he starred in and was in charge of, "Hey Mulligan!", and "Mickey".
All you needed to make them work were good writers he would listen to.
But let's put that aside.
And let's put aside the "Mickey and Marty" movies.
Mickey went on the Tonight Show with Johnny to explain his idea for his "Mickey and Marty"  movies.
Marty, in this case, being Marty Allen.
Marty had been undergoing one of his handful of separations from Steve Rossi.
Mickey was going to take up the slack.
As Mickey was describing the kind of cornball movies he planned to make with Marty, the audience just fidgeted, and the camera cut to Johnny, who did one of his famous takes right into the camera.
And right there, right at that moment, it was the end of the "Mickey and Marty" movies.
But let's put that aside.
Let's put it ALL aside, until next time, when I get to the one thing I can NEVER put aside.
Until then....


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 and 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 not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at


  1. This is sort-of off-topic ...

    I saw ANDY HARDY COMES HOME late one night on TCM; I stayed with it a lot longer than I otherwise might have, because Tom Duggan was in it.
    In the early-to-mid '50s, Tom Duggan was the terror of Chicago TV, talk division.
    The easiest way to describe him was as the first draft of Bill O'Reilly - big, loud, and argumentative.
    The papers hated him, and he was very popular with viewers.
    Anyway, one night Tom Duggan got into a tangle with a powerful local judge, who promptly subpoenaed him to testify in the trial that was going on.
    At this point, Duggan suddenly decided to accept a job offer in Los Angeles, and skipped town overnight.
    The judge, Daniel Covelli, issued a fugitive warrant for Duggan, which remained in effect for about a decade.
    Once in LA, Tom Duggan started making friends among the Hollywood Republican community, who put him in bits in their B-movies (ANDY HARDY was one; slightly better known was FRANKENSTEIN 1970, with Boris Karloff as the Dr. When these pictures played in Chicago - very briefly - the ads gave star billing to Duggan).
    Flash forward to 1966: Tom Duggan's father died, and Tom tried to sneak back into Chicago for the funeral.
    Judge Covelli read the obits. though, and Duggan was busted as soon as he got off the plane. The pictures of Sheriff's deputies escorting Duggan to jail made the front pages of at least two of Chicago's four papers - as did shots of Duggan being brought (in handcuffs) to his dad's burial the next day.
    The day after that, Duggan was taken to Judge Covelli's chambers, they settled up and posed for pictures (front page again), and Duggan flew back to LA.
    But Duggan's boss from 10 years before was starting up a UHF station in town, owned by the Sun-Times. He convinced his Bosses to give Duggan a prime-time show once a week (front page publicity is an incentive), so Duggan (who was as notorious in LA as he'd been in Chicago) did an LA/Chicago commute for about half a year. This turned out to be a nine-day wonder, and Duggan was back in LA permanently after that.
    A few years later, Tom Duggan was killed in a car crash in LA.
    I don't know how the papers there covered it, but here in Chicago, at least one paper (the American) gave his passing a banner headline - his last in his home town.

    As I said, off-topic, but It's a favorite story of mine, and so I pass it along here.

  2. There were two OTHER short-lived Mickey Rooney sitcoms - the abysmal A YEAR AT THE TOP with Gabe Dell, Greg Evigan and Paul Shaffer in the late 70s, and the promising, but low-rated ONE OF THE BOYS with Scatman Crothers, Nathan Lane and Dana Carvey. I liked the latter, but it never caught on.

  3. Bob,
    On the shows you refer to, Mickey was just a hired hand. He had no clout, like he did with his other crappy sitcoms.

  4. There is a chance you're eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  5. You might be qualified to get a 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."