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Friday, July 15, 2016

Horror Stories About Prop People. Part Four.

I've saved the best, or at least the most grotesque, for last.
1978.
I was doing a pilot with Ted Knight that became a series that lasted for six episodes on CBS.
It was called "The Ted Knight Show".
Ted played the head of an escort service.
The kind that people thought didn't exist.
The kind that didn't involve prostitution.
But they in fact did exist.
Ted was very funny playing this stuffy, no nonsense boss.
The idea for the pilot was one that I witnessed by watching Lynn Redgrave and her husband talk about it on "Tomorrow with Tom Snyder".
Lynn Redgrave's husband had actually worked as one of those escorts at one of those respectable kinds.
His job, one evening, was to accompany his female client, a fairly young girl, to her parents house for dinner.  He was to be introduced as her new fiancĂ©e.
This ruse was contrived so that he would be so obnoxious that her parents would relent and give their blessing to her real boyfriend, who they also disapproved of, but not nearly as much.
And it worked.
We thought that this would be a natural for Ted Knight, who has already been established as
Mr. Stuffy, Mr. Dignity.  But he allowed himself to be pressed into service for this gig, dreading it  at every turn.
We play out the scene, and it was hilarious.
It culminated with dessert.
It was the father's birthday and they wheeled out a huge seven layer birthday cake.
Ted, commenting on how great it looked, proceeded to lean over it and take a huge bite directly out
of the cake.
No plate, just directly out of the cake.
In situations like this, the prop man has to have at least six spare cakes on hand in case something goes wrong during the filming .
And he had six spare cakes.
But at the first run-through for the writers, we used a cake that looked like  all the others.
And Ted took a huge bite into it.
The only problem was that this cake was made out of cement.
And you could hear Ted's teeth practically shatter as he bit into it.
Nobody had gone to the trouble of telling Ted it was not a real cake.
Fortunately, no serious damage was done, but really, the level of stupidity was off the charts.
All that was required was for the prop man to have read the script.
But it was too much trouble.
I dare anybody to top that one.

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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 macchus999@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
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3 comments:

  1. As I was reading this, I was reminded of an even worse misadventure involving Harold Lloyd and what was supposed to be a fake bomb....

    https://haroldlloyd.us/the-life/august-24-1919-witzel-photographers/

    ReplyDelete
  2. There's a chance you are qualified for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is a chance you're 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 macchus999@aol.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."