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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Best And The Worst At One Event.

The great Irving Benson died this week at 102.
I'll take 102 any old time.
Why was he great?
To answer that, you've got to appreciate the art of Burlesque.
I'm talking about the Minsky's variety of Burlesque, where Irving Benson was it's foremost Top Banana. I got to see him several times in
Las Vegas and Reno.
This was a funny, funny man.
He used to show up on the Milton Berle Show as Sidney Shpritzer, where he used to heckle Berle from a box like the box for the two old guys on "The Muppet Show".
I always found it funnier when he was heckling anybody else.
One night, I was faced with a dilemma: co-headlining with Benson's Minsky revue were Sandler and Young.
For the uneducated, Sandler and Young were the worst act to ever headline anything.
They were these two handsome middle-aged guys in tuxedos who sang popular songs with a gimmick: one of them was French, and he would sing the song in French.
The other was American, and sang the same song in English, contrapuntally.
It was torture.
Sometimes they'd sing different songs at the same time just to show off.
Like, the French guy would sing "Domenique-a-nique-a-nique" in French while the American would be singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" in English.
This was all they did, and it was inexcusably bad show business, yet they forged a very successful career with this shit.
They must have done at least fifty Ed Sullivan Shows.
So. Here I am in Vegas.
Do I go to see Irving Benson, with his glorious timing, knowing what else is in store for me?
Assuming that Irving goes on first, can I walk out when Sandler and Young come on?
Assuming that I had seen the last of Irving?
I decided to go and stick it out.
And there they were, doing their usual crap. It was agony.
But then I thought maybe Sandler and Young wanted to be playful and participate in the Minsky shenanigans.
That is, in fact what happened and I was glad I stayed.
But it was a tough call.


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".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
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.



  1. Carol Burnett and Vicky Lawrence often sang two different songs at the same time on the Carol Burnett Show, and it drove me nuts. There was no point to it, other than to show that each singer could concentrate on their song. Some skill.

  2. And Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence could do a whole lot of other things.
    I'm just sayin'

  3. There is a chance you are eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  4. You could be eligible for a free 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."