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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Report Card---"The Comedian"

"The Comedian" is a disaster of major proportions.  Robert DeNiro plays an aging down-on-his-luck insult comic.  They want you to buy into the fact that at one time he was good.
There is no evidence of this.
Deniro's comedy chops haven't improved since he played Rupert Pupkin in "King of Comedy"
He is consistently over-the-top-embarrassing, which is often.
I don't think that this is the effect the director wants, but go argue with DeNiro.
The director is Taylor Hackford, who has never displayed any flair for comedy.
If there is a bad taste choice to be made, and it seems like there always is, Hackford makes it.

On to the scoring:   

Is it interesting?

Like a train wreck.

Compelling even?


Is it controversial?

Only that it got made.

Is it a story worth telling?


Is it good storytelling?

Horrible, and horribly executed.

Is it well written?

It's full of what good comedians refer to as "hack material"

Is it well cast? Well played?

There are some very good actors in this.  Patti Lupone, Cloris Leachman, Charles Grodin,
all wasted.

Well shot?

Too many arbitrary, extended stockshots of  New York City bridges at night.
Nothing special.

Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Hackford brings such a lack of style to just about everything he touches, that it is rather unique.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

You don't know that the whole film takes eight years ago until the very end, when it shifts to the present, all for one lame joke.

Is it too long? Too short?

It's two hours of my life that I'll never get back.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Nothing was believable, except how everyone thought DeNiro's character was  a complete putz.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I had truly lost interest.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Still trying to get it out of my head.

Is it funny?

Only in that very hacky way..

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

It's a complete atrocity.

Is it impressive?


Overall grade: F.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

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.




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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."