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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Erin Moran.

Whenever I'm asked in public to talk about people I've worked with, the name that has seemed to come up most frequently is Erin Moran, who, as most of you know, played Joanie on "Happy Days".
Most of them were aware of what amounted to a very troubled drug-related, occasionally homeless life after "Happy Days" ended.
Some have even asked me if I could have given her any advice on how to straighten herself
out and avoid her ill-deserved or perhaps much-deserved fate.
The jury might still be out.
In her darkest, leanest days, she might have been a most grateful beneficiary of  "The Costco Buffet".
But that's all I've got.
During my entire working relationship with Erin, spanning about six years,  she and I never even exchanged greetings with each other.
Most of that time, she was a child.
But, I never gave her an acting note.
I don't recall anyone ever giving her an acting note.
She never seemed to need one.
Her work always seemed to me to be exemplary.
She was quite talented.
That even extended to out-and-out trash like "Joanie Loves Chachi".
Whatever creative problems existed there, and they were awesome, I'm guessing that very few were of her making.
That would leave Scott Baio and the writing.
Scott Baio has now become a punchline for bad sitcoms, and bad actors who support Trump.
I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
She certainly deserved better than that.
In her next life, I hope she gets it.
Anyway, don't ask me about Joanie anymore.

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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.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Costco Buffet.

With Passover having just passed, it reminds me of when I was a teenager living in an apartment building in Flushing Queens.
There was no Costco at the time.
This severely pre-dated Costco.
I consider Costco perhaps the greatest advancement of the Twenty-First Century.
But back in the sixties, pre-Costco, annually, we were besieged by an ancient, Jewish man dressed with the ancient payiss and all forms of orthodoxia, would come to our door, and invariably open the conversation with "Money for Yontiff?" which was his way of begging for money, and using the Jewish holiday as the excuse.
If I was alone , I would simply turn him down, figuring that if he made it this long without my help ,the money I didn't have, he wouldn't miss.
If my sister was home, I would immediately pass him off to her, saying "a friend of yours is here".
She's still never forgiven me.
I've never wanted to see anybody go hungry, but he was never thin, so I never that concerned about him.
He must have long since passed, but it has occurred to met  that nobody enjoys the prospect of having to beg for food.
I am offering up a long term solution to the poverty problem, one that is totally self-sufficient in nature.
If you find yourself with that problem .these days, just scuffle up enough to acquire a Costco membership card.
Good for a year.  Over the course of a year, sell a few pints of blood.
That should pretty well set you up for life.
It will allow you to participate in the daily Costco buffet, which mostly consists of ladies in hairnets, passing out free samples of delicious well prepared, gourmet food samples.
You can eat enough daily that you'd simply be a glutinous pig if it wasn't enough to fill you up during the course of the day.
And you can keep coming back everyday.
You'll eat standing up, but it's a small price to pay.
You can look as raggedy as you care to, as Costco has no Dress Code.
That's half the battle.
Finding a place to live is up to you.
I can only do so much.

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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.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Top 17 Things That Make Me Laugh Harder Than Anything Else.

Whenever I'm looking to upgrade my mood, for whatever reason, these are the things that come to mind most often.
They can pretty much all be found on YouTube.
Some will be quite familiar to you.
Some might be rather obscure.
Why sixteen entries?
It's a rather arbitrary number.
I played around with other numbers, but none were just quite as funny.
Maybe I can be coaxed.
Anyway, by their nature, the list is in no particular order.

1) The last scene of the second "Newhart" series, when he wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, only to realize that everything about his second series (Larry, Darryl, and Darryl, etc.) was a dream.

2)  Sid Caesar and "The Haircuts" singing "You Are So Rare To Me" and the accompanying crazy dance.
Most Caesarian's would opt for "This is Your Story", but for me, it's diminishing returns.

3)  Jay Thomas making his annual appearance on "Letterman" to tell his "Lone Ranger" story.
     Boy, am I going to miss that.

4)  The "Gin Rummy" scene in "Born Yesterday".

5)  The Stateroom Scene from "A Night At The Opera"
      Aunt Minnie's Niece:  Is my Aunt Minnie in here?
      Groucho:  No,  but you can prowl around here if you wanna. You'll probably find somebody
      just as good!

6)  The Weenie King.  The world's oldest actor in one extended hilarious scene in Preston Sturges'
      "The Palm Beach Story".

7)   "Harry Speak-Up".  Bilko's salute to the trials and tribulations of drafting a monkey into      
        the Army.

8)  A scene from the series "Joe and Sons" ,wherein Jerry Stiller performing a eulogy, refers to the
     deceased's favorite Tuesday night parlor game, performed right after bowling.  It was called---
     "It Ain't Necessarily Beer"

9)  "The Chef of the Future".  Gleason and Carney.  The first fifteen minutes are a waste of time.
      Go right to the TV studio.  "Oooohh, it can core a apple!!!"

10)  "Who's On First?"  From the 1952 filmed Comedy Series they did.  Accept no substitutions.

11)    Stan Daniels.  Was a writer on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."  They would always have him
         get up during audience breaks, introduce him as one of the great actors of the Yiddish Theater.
         He would sing his rendition of "Ole Man River".  Check it out on YouTube.

12)    The original "In-Laws".  Peter Falk and Alan Arkin.  The keyword is "Serpentine"

13)   Jack Carson and Betty Kean in a 1950 episode of "The Four Star Revue"  November, 1950.
         It's in the second half hour.  Three telephone booths. That's all you need to know.

14)   "The $65 Funeral.  Nicholas and May.  As funny and as smart as it gets.

15)    Bob and Ray.  "The Slow Talkers of America".  I'd be just as happy with "The World's Most
       Beautiful Face Contest".

16)  Ernie Kovacs performing "The Nairobi Trio".

17)   Last and certainly not least,  Jack Benny and Gisele Mackenzie's violin duet of "Getting To
        Know You",  where she constantly upstages him.
        He was such a master of timing.

If you think I left out something on the same level,  comment on this page, and I'd be happy to consider it, or berate it, depending on my mood.
I'm just here to guide you.

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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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rickles.

We lost Don Rickles today.
He made it to ninety.
A lot of people don't.
Rickles was officially a legend.
I'm going to attempt to backtrack about him some of the things I said that were less than complementary when he was alive, even though they still apply.
Rickles was at his best working opposite Carson, or Leno or Letterman.
They all brought the best in him and vice-versa, and would all roll over and play dead for him whenever he appeared with him
Even at his advanced age.  When all he had going for himself was '''hockey puck", and being stooped over.
No wonder they all loved him.
In Martin Scorcese's documentary about him, you saw a much smarmier side of him.
He was stooped over, and spent his whole act making fun of tourists.  Usually Japanese or blacks.
This is not a fair fight.
He'd shlep some of them up on stage and perform some semi-lewd acts upon them in the name of "good fun"
I witnessed this in person on casino comps, and he did it every time.
That was usually my cue to leave..
He had a reputation for being a "nice guy", but how nice could he have been when the last time I saw him, he had an opening act, the extremely talented Lorna Luft, who came on and did a tremendous first 45 minutes.  Without billing.  Nobody knew she was appearing.
But he did enough legendary things, at least before he was 70 years old, and made me laugh often enough to deserve his place as a show business icon.
I know I've made this rant before, but I felt it bore repeating.
But, after all, the man is dead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Victor, We Hardly Knew Ye.

So, I've been watching this mini-series on FX, "Feud: Bette and Joan".
I've found it to be highly entertaining.
It entails the shooting and aftermath of the film "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?".
There is much fun to be had here.
Aside from Susan Sarandon, who is doing a great star-turn, and Jessica Lange, doing likewise,
they have an actor portraying Victor Buono, who had a major supporting role in "Baby Jane".
His name is Domenic Burgess.
I had never heard of him.
Sarandon, as Bette Davis, objects to the casting of Buono, because he is a flaming homosexual
And that's how Burgess plays it.
To quote Seinfeld, not that there is anything wrong with that.
However, I worked with Victor Buono three times.
Twice on "The Odd Couple" TV series, and once on a pilot I produced with Rita Moreno.
He was brilliant and never mincing on any of these occasions.
I had no clue about his personal lifestyle when I was around him, and always found him to be supportive. 
He was always making suggestions to improve the writing, and they always did.
It was like having another very talented writer around to draw from.
I went to Wikipedia to see what I could learn about this, and it said that he lived a totally open
homosexual lifestyle. 
So okay.  I believe it.
But I have a feeling that he never flounced it, or minced it in public, particularly in 1962.
A far less tolerant time.
Perhaps it wasn't fair to portray him this way.
I'm just sayin'.....

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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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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."