Monday, February 27, 2006

My 100th post

This is my 100th post. Alas, no big tribute issues in the trades. No lovely full page congratulatory ads from my dear friends at the agencies I’ve fired. No pictures of me with Brian Grazer. No fruit baskets. Not even one with Triscuits (the cracker of faint praise).

Fortunately, maintaining this blog has been its own reward. And it does satisfy a goal of mine – to throw my full time and effort into projects that will never pay me a dime. And by the way, that play and musical I’m working on are coming along great too.

When I began this blog I decided I should post every day. All the better to build an audience. My fear was that I’d run out of ideas (which did happen around #67 but I’ve been posting every day anyway). Frankly, I’ve been amazed by the number of people who have found this site and where they’re from. All over the world. Can people in Finland and Reykjavk, Gullbringusysla (wherever that is) really care about Porn Star Karaoke or who I feel should be voted off AMERICAN IDOL? (Brenna!!!!) And I get quite a few hits from “unknown country”. I guess that means the gang from LOST checks in from the hatch.

Folks seem to like when I offer writing tips, which is great because I love to do it. All I ask in return is that you make it and provide me with some laughs sometime down the line.

Thanks to Howard, Mike, Lee, MK, T. Whore, Alex, Matt, and everyone else who has helped me launch this folly. Hopefully the next hundred posts will be, if not as good, at least as often.

Following the Oscars on Sunday night I will file my 9th annual bitchy review. The fact that I’ve never been nominated, even for MANNEQUIN II will have no effect on my objectivity. Although, even I were nominated and won I’d still slam Debbie Allen.

****

But now I have a request. I would like YOU to write. Just a quick comment – who you are, where you’re writing from, what you like, what you don’t, etc. You can say anything…except please read my script. And wait until you READ what I say about BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN before you call me homophobic.

Thanks much. In the meantime I remain...

Never standing down from my comedy watch….

Ken

91 comments:

tonyboy said...

Hey Ken,

Congrats on 100.

I read your blog daily from Montreal and have for a few weeks now, ever since my friend sent me his bookmark collection.

I always like seeing your takes on pop culture and TV shows, even if I'm not hip to all of the references. :)

Best of luck for the next 100!
- tonyboy

Anonymous said...

Careful... people who read you consistantly may realize exactly who you are.

Please - if your children are capable of actually posting somerthing interesting - let them on their own blogs.

Careful... if you have enough to to say on a near-daily basis.... say it. Otherwise, simply refrain.

Most of all... do not take this medium as ANYTHING similar to what you actually understand!

Peace. And yes - please think about what I'm saying sit.... with all due respect.

Since3 I'm posting qanonymous.... hey, I'm DAVE.

glassblowerscat said...

Among the growing list of screenwriters' blogs I read, yours stands out not just for the daily post but for the fact that it is primarily entertaining rather than instructional. I appreciate that. Never underestimate a good laugh at the end of the day.

Ryan from Winona Lake, IN

Shawna said...

Ken, I've gotten out of the habit of blogging lately, mostly because I've been working on actual specs.

Congrats on reaching #100. The next 100 will be harder, but probably more satisfying.

I'm in L.A., like the rest of the wannabes. I'm just a squirrel tryin' to get a nut in this world.

Oh, and don't be slaggin' on Taylor, my fave American Idol. He's an old soul. Should he be American Idol? Probably not, but hey, I will buy his album when it comes out someday...

Shane said...

Hey Ken-

Based out of Sacramento, California.

Not much interesting to say about myself yet. Maybe one day. Thanks for all the interesting stories and anecdotes.

Cafrine said...

Hey, Ken.

100 Posts? That's roughly 99 more than most people achieve. Well done.

My name is Catherine and I am writing from Australia. I'm a writing student and a writer wannabe (for now - watch out world!). I check in almost daily for a cheap laugh (!) or some really helpful Survivor tips (those were invaluable).

Can't wait to read over your Bitchy Oscar Wrap. It's so good to hear from someone who doesn't think the whole thing is a gift from God.

Well done, and all the best.

DaveMH said...

I've told you this in person, but since you asked -- I read your blog everyday and enjoy it immensely. Learning and laughing -- not a bad way to spend time. Thanks, Ken.

Grubber said...

Hi Ken,
Different Dave from above. Reading from Downunder. Enjoy it and all the best.
cheers
Dave

Jason Looney said...

Longmont, Colorado. Love your blog. The blend of tips and tomfoolery is just right, IMO.

I'm keenly interested in your writing process. How do you break down what's wrong with a joke? How do you know when to throw it away? Do you try to avoid analyzing humor, or is analysis part of the craft? That type of thing.

Insight from a pro like you is invaluable. Please, never stop.

John said...

Hi Ken!

Reading via Bloglines in the City of Lost Angels.

You're always a pick-up from the very possibly close-to-isolation environment this feels like. The roommates and I especially liked the Shield/Piano teacher line.

Anonymous said...

100th episode!! Isn't some slagging-off warranted, don't we get a clip-post or something? I've been here for the past 25 or so...

Born in Seattle, as a kid listened to your stint with the M's. Now in Lexington, KY, scraping together a living and writing constantly, procrastinating perpetually...

Please understand, I hold you in the highest regard as a TV writer when I say: I want somebody other than you to read my script.

Eagerly anticipating your Oscar column. Eat your heart out, Bruce Vilanch (insert your joke of choice here)...

—Campbell Andrews

Anonymous said...

From just inside the DC Beltway in MD.

Actually, what I find interesting is the execution of ideas...

Bill

Hoffman said...

The Beav' at 100! They grow up so fast.

It's not very often I help push someone into something and it actually BECOMES something. Of course being a writing god helps a tad with the content.

Shouldn't this have been a clip post?

Hoffman said...

Campbell beat me to the clip post joke. See? I'm clever-challenged.

CharlieDontSurf said...

Hi

Names Bryan...but you can call me Seabass.

Got to La by way of the Univ of Arizona, The Cayman Islands, Alaska, and finally LMU.

Recent grad...currently working as a office assistant...trying to figure out who I have to sleep with to get a TV staff writers assistant gig.

Working on my TV specs.
Trying to ge the courage to hit on the porn stars I see in the frozen food section at the local Ralphs in Sherman Oaks.

later.

Justin said...

Ken,
I can always count on having a laugh on the blog. Thanks for the first hundred.

Justin
Writer of comics and things. Nestled between a maximum security prison and a nuclear power plant. I feel a movie comin' on.

rorybaldwin said...

Hey Ken,
found the site whilst doing the rounds of TV and screenwriting blogs, been coming back ever since. I'm a filmmaking and web designing type in Inverness, Scotland UK.

I visited Inverness, California once. It rained. A lot like it does here.

Congrats on 100 posts.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Congrats on the big One Oh Oh.

I'm reading from England (and I mean actual England not US shorthand for everywhere in the UK that's not London) and have been since around New Year, in keeping with my resolution to become less productive at work.

Of all the screenwriting blogs I read yours is definitely the one most written by a bloke called Ken. Thanks for that and the bitchy hilariousness to boot (both on the blog and on those little heard of comedies, what were they, Mash ? Cheers ? I don't see them doing much business personally but, y'know, keep plugging away at it).

Ewan

Whaledawg said...

Mad props dawg,

You know who I am because you've graciously answered a few of my questions. I'm currently reading you from Michigan but next week I'll be viewing you from LA. The week after that I hope to be viewing you from an unmarked, rusty van across the street. Then maybe from your bushes, and eventualy I plan to just move into your crawlspace.

Here's to many more happy years together,
Garrett

Anonymous said...

You want me to write, so I'll write. I read your posts from Endicott, NY (which is not quite the end of the world, but shares the same zip code). I can't recall where I first saw your blog, but that viewing inspired me to add it to my bloglines feed. Then you mentioned Volunteers and I was hooked.

Hannibal Tabu said...

My name is Hannibal Tabu. I'm a journalist and nascent novelist (my debut work, The Crown: Ascension, is available on Amazon and sample chapters are on my website) living and working in South Los Angeles.

I like your cool wit, the careful way you're able to make a joke in a comment, and watching the brain of someone who makes more money than I do doing the same basic thing -- telling stories. Even though I have zero interest in screen writing as a future for myself (not that I'd turn down a gig).

I don't have an actual "don't like" off the top of my head. You amuse me, and that's all I kind of want. Unless you'd like to hook me up with somebody who'd sign a check ... >8^p

David Bishop said...

Ken,

Congrats on 100 posts - all of them entertaining.

I live in Scotland but hail from New Zealand, have had 14 novels published but am taking an MA in Screenwriting, and will be getting my first broadcast drama credit this June. Baby steps, but it's progress.

I have to ask: do you get a residual for your work on The Simpsons. Much as I love Dancing Homer, I must have seen that episode as many times as you've posted to your blog. That, Bart the Genius and the Monorail episode. Some shit's only funny the first 99 times, you know?

Jutratest said...

I'm an aspiring writer in Canada.

I have made some minor sales, and continue to write in the evenings after my day job. I have a four pages a day rule :) Not a lot, but it keeps me pushing forward.

I mostly write drama, but really admire comedy writers, especially veteran comedy writers who have such an accumulated bag of tricks.

I think eventually I will write comedy, and that may even end up being what I'm best at.

Thanks for all 100 of your posts. You seem like a pretty good, generous guy, and most of all you seem happy with life and your career.

It's a good influence.

Anonymous said...

Dude,
You had me at 'Hello.....Greg's pants, Greg's not in them right now'. Keep up the good fight....oh this is not that kinda blog...Good luck finding a new job??? .... Whatever (said in valleygirl-ese).

Cheers

Dr Physics said...

Hi Ken from Potsdam, NY. I read you daily and love both the news and help about the industry as well as your personal and family insights. As a physicist trying to find my voice to make the switch from the factual to the made up it is refreshing to be able to see glimpses into the professional life I want to lead. My hats off to you, if Iactually wore a hat.

Jaime said...

Hey Ken congratulations on 100, may you blog a million more. This is your blog and you can write about whatever I say ignore all those fools who don't have anything nice to say, but still look to you for inspiration and help. North of Detroit in Michigan.

Mary Lewys said...

100 posts? Does that mean your blog can go into syndication?

But now I have a request. I would like YOU to write. Just a quick comment – who you are, where you’re writing from, what you like, what you don’t, etc. You can say anything…except please read my script. And wait until you READ what I say about BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN before you call me homophobic.

Mary Lewys, Cocoa, FL; I like writing and shagging, not necessarily in that order. I've enjoyed your blog every day and hope you continue to post whatever strikes your fancy. Thanks for your due diligence and keep posting! Please!

Anonymous said...

From the tundra of Duluth, MN

Congrats on #100

Andy

Marty McKee said...

Hi, Ken, Marty from Illinois here. Thanks to your enthusiastic sales push, I picked up a copy of your baseball book from Amazon for about 45 cents. I'm sure it'll be worth every penny.

I'm joking, of course! Keep up the great work. Congrats on your 100th. I'm ready to read your next 100 posts already.

Marty

Greg said...

Hi...

I'm Greg form a tiny, very small and underpolupated country called Liechtenstein. I try to become a writer myself...I even have my own blog...which is currently down through a mayor database error.

But enough of that. Congratulations to your 100th post. Your blog is great. Just keep on writing the way you did.

best wishes
greg

samuel ryan said...

ken -

I'm a Dramatic Writing student at NYU. I really enjoy hearing your take on the industry - although most of all I enjoy the sportscasting stories.

- sam

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

I'm Jack Cameron from Tacoma, Washington, a place you seem to have a fondness for mentioning. I maintain a blog at www.jackcameron.com called The South Tacoma Way. Your blog is part of my morning. I don't want you to read my script, I want to read yours. I'd love to read the full script of "Gina". Feel free to email it to me at jackcameronis@hotmail.com . Keep blogging I'll keep reading.
-Jack

Joshua James said...

Hey Ken -

Fellow blogger and writer and I admire you because, though I'm now just a simple playwright, I hope to someday write for television like you. So I love the writing tips and advice, you can't get that kind of stuff in school

But for the record, I also love it when you bitch about stupid folks in the biz and name names when doing so. Love that.

Of course, I won't ask you to read any scripts of mine, but if I ever get one of my pilots going, I'm putting your name in as showrunner. Better the devil you know than . . .

Keep up the fun work, dude -

Juancho said...

Hi Ken-

Congrats on 100!

Writing from various parts of NE Ohio, so let's just say Cleveland.

I'm a sort-of librarian by day who's trying to write (scripts, comedy routines, you name it) in my spare time. Trying to break in from the Midwest- like that's gonna happen anytime soon.

I love the writing tips, the industry stuff, and general other fun, esp. this I Dream of Gina business. Being a straight male in my mid-20s, I'm also solidly in your "Annie" demographic.

I kind of skip your American Idol posts, but only because I don't watch it. But porn karaoke was hilarious. And don't ruin Lost for me, I'm not even done with season 1 on DVD yet.

By the way, I came from the funny, I stayed for the Triscuits.

Jon said...

Greetings from cold NYC. Haven't seen "Brokeback" yet, in spite of which I keep thinking about the joke whose punch line is "Sheep? Ugh!"

Jon, friend of Rabney

Ken Levine said...

Wow. Thanks so much for the responses so far. When I wrote the post I thought "Shit, what if maybe two people write back and that's it?"

Jason Looney, I will answer your question in tomorrow's blog.

I do get residuals still for the SIMPSONS, both for writing and for doing a voice on the "Dancin' Homer" episode. Last year I got a residual for my voice work on the show that was (and I kid you not) for one cent.

It's great to hear where all of you are from and how you got to this site. And when you become famous writers I can say I knew you when. And ask you for a job.

Shawn said...

I found your blog, coming from John Rogers' blog. I liked your post, I came back, I bookmarked, I came back again. Now it's a morning ritual.

I'm in Edmonton, Alberta. I'm actually a self-employed web developer, who enjoys doing anythign creative in my spart time.

Thanks for the effort to post daily, I particlarily appreciate it. There's a blog I used to love, however the non-daily posts (sometimes not even weekly) just plain made me forget to keep going back.

My word verification is 'RAKOW'... how cool is that?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken -

Congratulations on the sticking around thing, though you've been able to do that with your writing career, why not the blog, right? I never had a doubt.
I think that is why I admire you so much -- I think as a baby tv writer like myself, one can get bogged down in trying to 'make it' and that can stall the writer from seeing the big picture - I don't just want to get on a crappy show, write for six months and then be gone, I want a career. I want to be doing this forever.
So, thanks for the professionalism, wit, and sublime observations about the biz, about writing, about life even.
Who am i? (great line from "Wallstreet," did you catch that?) I'm from the Pacific Northwest, graduated from UCLA with a degree in Philosophy and Political Science (read: unemployable) and am now on location, working on my specs, working on my angle into the biz, while in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I will be back in LA this spring/early summer.
I won't ask you to read any of my specs, but will, like one of the other commentors (commentatees?), put your name up when I have a pilot and the network wants to pair me up with a showrunner.
I love it too, when you name names in your celeb stories, but most of all, I love it when you help to break down the writing process -- what it's like in a writing room, your daily writing ritual (do you write from midnight to 12:30am or do you find you can wake up at 10:30am, watch some Gilmore Girls (I love that show, by the way) and then write for the rest of the day? This follows to what I was able to chat with Gary Ross about - Hemingway used to write 2000 words per day and then go fishing. That was his thing. Gary Ross said his thing was exercise, doing something physical at the end of a day of writing. So, what does Ken Levine do after he has reached his 2000 words?

Well, have a great day, and thanks.
Chin chin.
Pascia
pcruise@suntimesmail.com

David Bishop said...

ken levine said: I do get residuals still for the SIMPSONS, both for writing and for doing a voice on the "Dancin' Homer" episode. Last year I got a residual for my voice work on the show that was (and I kid you not) for one cent.

Reassuring to know my BBC licence fee is going to a good home. Yes, folks, in Britain you have to pay to turn on your TV. How they'll square that with broadcasting shows directly to mobile phones remains to be seen...

Byron said...

100 posts. Congratulations Ken. That's enough for a syndication deal. I'm Byron, following your adventures from my home in Santa Monica. I learned about your site from Don Barrett's L.A. Radio.Com. We've never met, although I believe we worked together at KFI in the early 80's. I've been doing free lance v.o. since leaving radio. I'm not a writer, but I do enjoy the peek behind the creative curtain that you provide. For those aspiring scribes that visit your site, I'm sure that your generosity in sharing your advice and experience is much appreciated.

the Ascetic Sensualist said...

I'm a PhD student in microbiology in Pittsburgh.

I like movies with dialogue and stories that are unpredictable and plausible.

This blog is the most entertaining thing written by a powerful Hollywood insider since that book Ben Stein wrote in the last 80's.

Webs said...

I'm Webs, but you know that.

I'm also in Montreal, but you probably know that.

I'm bitter, because you said you love my blog but I'm not linked in your list of blogs. I need that link to bring in visitors, so I can finally rake in the big bucks with my Google ads and pay to get my daughter's retainer repaired.

The Expos fiasco didn't help much either. My five-year-old asks me why we don't have a ball club anymore and I have to concentrate to restrain my apoplexy.

So show me the love, old man.

Here's a generous post topic for you.... What work are you most proud of? Is it hard to narrow that down?

Jason Orrill said...

Jason from Athens, GA-- web developer by day, wannabe animator/writer/dilettante by night.

My blog list has been mutating from one dominated by politics to something with a more healthy mix of politics, screenwriters, animators, and artists. Mmmm...artists...

Anonymous said...

Reading from NYC. Please tell more stories about Cheers, Frasier, MASH etc. Your blog is the closest I'll get to taking you out for drinks and hearing them in person.
Laurie

Anonymous said...

Reading from NYC. Please tell more stories about Cheers, Frasier, MASH etc. Your blog is the closest I'll get to taking you out for drinks and hearing them in person.
Laurie

steve colton said...

Hey Ken

I'm a wannabe sitcom hack from the UK, thanks for this blog, there's a whole archive of cool stuff here, when you're not being informative you're just plain making me chuckle. I laughed out loud in astonishment at some of your Gina excerpts ("your son was just about to give me skull"), and i loved the Cheers joke where Cliff said "or as the French call it" so much that I've hi-jacked it for my own script. You rock.

Scott the Reader said...

Script reader, aspiring writer, I've been living in the Valley for 7 months, though I'm still not sure why.

I passed 100 posts on my blog a couple of weeks ago, and celebrated by gathering together holy men of religious faiths, and having them go to a bar and try to act out funny things for my amusement.

I can't believe no one wants to make your Gina script. It denies hope to us all.

Hawise said...

Hi, I'm Cynthia from Montreal. I love to read your blog first thing in the morning (well, right after coffee, but that is a given.) I love that you post daily and I love the insider snark, much better than the TV news mags that are insider love fests. I don't really follow American Idol but I do watch (guilty pleasure) Survivior for the stupid human tricks. It would appear some of them set up camp in a flood plain again, climbing up the little hill is just too tiring I guess.
Hope to see you reach the next 100 in three or so months. Keep literate dude.

Stephen Benson said...

i also was shown the way to your blog through john rogers. i am (for lack of a better description) a jingle whore. i play the music that irritates you on commercials. i have done some "real" music gigs, but the house was built, the children clothed, fed, and educated by the desire of tv and radio to sell stuff to people. when i get introduced to people as a musician i tell them i'm a jingle whore. i don't care what you're selling (most of the time i don't even know), to whom, what ever. i love the internet because now i don't have to get dressed and go to a studio. sometimes, i do play "for real" and i am just as tickled as any whore would be when she gets a trick she actually likes. at the end of the day, however, i'm still a whore and they're still a trick. my little side gig is making chocolate truffles. that's my love labor. i also have a couple of screenplays in the works, they will probably suck when i'm done, but i'm plugging away on them. p.s. while i was in viet nam i had my life saved in a MASH unit. the docs and nurses were cool as hell.

Frank Strovel III said...

Ken,

We've talked before as well. I'm Frank in Tennessee (from Baltimore). I used to listen to you on WBAL-AM calling Orioles games.

Congratulations on post #100. I recently checked to see how many posts I had on my blog and found it sitting at 666. I don't quite know what that means.

I'm not a TV or screenwriter but when I was younger I was interested in the process of writing a scirpt. I wasn't about to write anything original, so I recorded a two-hour Carol Burnett TV movie (the Mama's Family special back in the in early 80s) and transcribed it into a script, complete with stage directions and asides and everything, just to see if I could do it.

Should I have admitted that?

I do write news. I do a morning radio show in a small town of about 10,000. News and information--not Morning Zoo stuff. I do a solo half-hour newscast, play a little music, give stuff away, etc. Nothing earth-shattering, but I've been in radio full-time for thirteen years (same show, same station) and I love it. I was a Teamster at the Baltimore Sun until I quit in 1993 and moved to Tennessee.

Think Northern Exposure but with hillbillies.

I don't even remember how or where I found your blog but I know I started reading near its beginning.

I don't watch American Idol either but you can make up for it with a few more baseball posts come Opening Day.

And I love the idea of this post since it gave me a chance to check out links to other blogs in the comments!

And DITTO on the posting everyday thing. If you've got something to say everyday, say it. If not, don't worry about it. It's your blog. You dictate the content and its frequency--not us readers.

Tom Quigley said...

Ken,

Congratulations on 100! -- What site do we have to go to to watch you blow out the candles?

I knew of you and David well before I learned about your blogsite, but can credit
Claude Hall with making me aware of your daily data dumps, and have enjoyed reading it ever since. As someone who tried to crack the sitcom writing nut while living in LA, I knew about your work on CHEERS and FRAZIER, and actually had the good fortune to deal with some of the people you knew on those and other Paramount sitcoms.

Living currently back in my home town of Rochester, NY (of which Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a native – Go, Phil!), my own experience includes writing comedy for radio and standup comedians, (even did my own on-air radio bit for a while for one of the people I wrote for). While in LA did everything from TV and movie extra work to selling furniture to seating audiences at sitcoms while writing and trying to sell my specs. Back in Rochester, have had a couple of short plays produced locally, and was fortunate enough to have Imagine Entertainment read a screenplay several years ago (which ultimately they passed on).

Keep up the great work! Keep us all laughing!

(Oh, and advice to “Trying to get the courage to hit on the porn stars I see in the frozen food section at the local Ralphs in Sherman Oaks…”: Not to be judgmental, but -- Hit on the ones who shop at the Ralphs in Chatsworth and Northridge –-they’re making a lot more money…)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

Love your blog. Just discovered it about a week ago. Big relief...I'm living in NYC now and miss all this kind of talk.

Would love it if you could talk more about being a TV writer, esp. writing pilots. When I graduated from film school a few years ago they said only very established writers who have been in TV a long time should write spec pilots.

Lately, my friends in LA say there's a new openness to pilots from newer writers without the long track record. Is this true?

I'd be very grateful for any advice you may have about steps in the process and what I should know.

Thanks!
Violet

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Long time listener, first time caller. Big fan. I'm in los angeles.

a writer too.

Ken Levine said...

Violet,
The short answer is I'd still advise against writing spec pilots until you have a track record. At best, someone will buy your script, pay you a nominal one time fee, then hire established writers and if the show becomes a huge hit all you have to show for it is a few thousand dollars.

janicem said...

Ken,
Congrats on your 100th post! Will you be going into syndication with other websites?

In Southampton NY. Counting down the last days of winter.
Janice

John Hudgens said...

Ken:
Hey, would you read my>OW!< wow, impressive "smack the people who don't read the instructions" system... :)

I'm a filmmaker in Knoxville, TN, and I've really been enjoying the blog... the script excepts and BTS stuff has been great fun to read...

So, even though I won't ask you to read anything of mine, I've got films online you can watch, if you're so inclined... drop by www.zteamproductions.com and (hopefully) I can bring a chuckle to your day with our silly little films...

Neil said...

Hi Ken,

I'm an old Beaver Cleaver fan (Ten-Q mostly, although I also enjoyed whatever B-100 airchecks I could get my hands on). I heard about your site from LARadio.com, so I've been reading since post #1, and from you I found out about Should've Asked Me and Hoffmania, so now I have 3 more blogs I check on a regular basis. Great stuff, keep up the good work. I hope I can see Gina in a theater someday.

1031 said...

Hey Ken,

I'm Dave. Just finishing up school in Omaha (Journalism degree).

I tell people I'm a writer. Perhaps one day it will be true.

I really enjoy the blog. The writing tips are helpful and the Gina script was hilarious.

Looking forward to your Oscar recap. How do you think Jon Stewart is gonna do?

doggans said...

Well, I'm yet another Dave. I'm from Connecticut, but currently in Pennsylvania. I'm a college freshman majoring in film, and as a longtime fan of "M*A*S*H", "Cheers", and "Frasier", I needless to say was very excited to discover this blog.

I've tried my hand at several screenplays, and have made a few amateur films with my friends. The screenplays and the films never coincided; most of the films I actually ended up working on were completely improvised because I was unable to find a cast with enough patience to learn lines. They're all ridiculously silly and hardly worth watching, but they were fun to make.

Although my aspiration is to be a film director, I'd probably also like a job writing for television. Basically, my passion is comedy, and always making myself better at creating it. You know how naive we young kids can be.

Anonymous said...

I’m Steve, a lawyer in Atlanta. I haven’t written any legal thrillers yet, but when I run out of dog bite cases to litigate I just might. Please keep posting; I love to read your blog each morning.

Sebastian said...

Hey Ken!

I'm currently at a swiss film school, watching Arrested Development, Curb and Flash Gordon till midnight (all shows that never got on air in Switzerland) and the one thing I wanna do before I die (I'm 20) is write and direct a sci-fi comedy film musical set in a mythological styled businessworld.
Yeah.

Love your blog.
Sebastian

Uncle Patrick said...

I guess this makes it the 100th post of yours that I have enjoyed!

That's gotta be some kind of record.

Richard Jensen said...

Ken:

Richard Jensen from Ashland, Or. Giving you what the young people like to call "The shout out".
Found your blog through Kung-Fu Monkey and digging every bit of it. I'm an actor/writer trying to hack out a piece of the pie. In the meantime, I have my own blog at my MySpace page. I'm not at 100 enteries yet but I'm making the climb.
I would love to hear more stories about "M.A.S.H.". It was one of my favorite shows as a teenager and have yet to see anything that comes close to it.

Richard

Michael Ruschena said...

Hi, I read from Australia. I bounced over from Kung-fu monkey (I think - it's been a while). My wife is an aspiring writer - I'm here to support her craft (and maybe the occasional laugh).

Julie O. said...

SMASH!

Mazel Tov!

Hi from Orlando, Florida.

I write feature comedies in various flavors.

In an attempt to maximize my procrastination time, I've trained myself to market my specs when I should be writing. And vice-versa.

k.arnold said...

HELLO, KEN

I've been reading your blog for the past four to five months now, and as I have written before and stated that you are an inspiration for those who want to be where you have been.

I am a 29 year old black male from Birmingham, Alabama and I aspire to become a filmmaker/television writer, but currently I'm a video editor for a newscast for the local CBS affiliate.

Recently I have completed a screen play that I am planning to direct locally, and I have also completed two sitcom specs as I send query letters to showrunners in an attempt to join the WGAw Writers Trainee Program.

Although I like your sense of humor, I have been dismayed by some of your cheap shot comments toward the UPN Network for its programming. One of the shows I would like to write for is UPN's "Girlfriends"...it might not bring in the "numbers" like FRIENDS OR FRAZIER but does have interesting characters and a strong following.

I have family in L.A. (Ingelwood) but I'm not sure if I want to move there until I get a foot in the door...but I will probably decide by the end of the year.

Thank you for being interested in the dreams and aspirations of others.

One Love-

The Moviequill said...

Todd: slaving away over another draft in windy Oklahoma City, doing the contest route to break in, movies mostly but I am taking a hard look at tv specs too. I WILL be sipping margaritas in LA sometime in the future (and not on vacation either) Love the Blog, Beware Of The Blog, Son Of Blog

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Your column doesn't look a day older than 75.

Congratulations! I look forward to reading blog # 101.

Doug Thompson
Toronto, Ontario

Robert Hogan said...

Big fan Ken, every since I started reading here a couple months ago. Keep up the good work. I look forward to my daily dose of Levine Logic. And I want more Gina!

Rob

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken. Good going on reaching 100. I love reading your blog here in Virginia, but what do I know, my favorite TV show of all time was the Marshall Chronicles.

Please keep them coming. Living so close to Washington, DC and our seat (make that toilet seat) of government, anything that makes me laugh instead of cry is welcome.

BTW, you remind me of someone I knew in college.

Ray

Anna said...

Hey Ken,

I'm a radio announcer in New Zealand, and have been reading your blog ever since the link came up in McVay Media Prep a few months ago.

I love the insight into the world of American media - we see lots of American shows and movies here, but don't have many opportunities to see how the industry works.

Oh, and you're very funny!

So thanks heaps because I really enjoy reading it!

Ripp said...

Hi Ken-

I'm from Milwaukee, WI and I read your blog every day. I came over at the behest of the Kung Fu Monkey, but I stayed because I think you're hilarious.

So, from all of us here in the home of the Fonz, keep up the good work. Here's to the next hundred.

Anonymous said...

I'm a child clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma (mostly child sexual abuse cases), so I'm always looking for something to make me laugh (and I like creative writing, although I don't plan to do anything professionally). Your blog is hilarious!

Congrats on the 100th post, and I look forward to reading the next 100.

EDJ

VP19 said...

Ken, I'm sorry I'm late to the party, but congratulations just the same. I'm a newspaper copy editor in Virginia who vaguely recalls your stint in Baltimore (although, I must confess, I despise the Orioles and am an avid Nationals fan -- don't take it personally!).

I respect good writing, and have a friend of mine from New Jersey (where I once worked) who's good friends with Kelsey Grammer, and I got an opportunity to see a "Frasier" episode filmed in March 2000 (the one with Robert Loggia as guest star as a restauranteur). It was fascinating to watch the creative process at work. (I should also note I attended the U. of Maryland, where I knew Peter Mehlman, later of "Seinfeld" fame, and was one of the first journalists to interview Laura Prepon of "That '70s Show," since she was from the area of Jersey where I edited a weekly paper.)

I do a little writing on my own, and in fact two years ago came up with a sitcom treatment and wrote several episodes about a (male) sitcom writer who happens to be a witch, and gets a job writing on a series about one. (Little did I know Nora Ephron's "Bewitched" would take a similar angle, although mine was far less kitschy.) So now I'm working on a feature screenplay, specifically a biopic of my all-time favorite actress, Carole Lombard; with the centennial of her birth coming up in 2008, this might be a viable project.

Continued personal and professional success.

Phil said...

Congrats Ken on the 100 posts and please sir can I have some more. I enjoy your posting on writing and structuring stories but I'd love this blog regardless for one reason only.

MASH

It's hard to describe the impact that show had on me. My father was doing his residency at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and we used to watch MASH together. It was the only medical show that he thought captured the pathos and humour of emergency medicine and I got an inkling of what he went through each day.

Phil of Australia, working in Malaysia.

Xian said...

Hi, I'm a vinter, financial analyst, money manager and maybe one day a Real Writer. I split time between Houston and Oregon wine country (as long as you don't get mixed up and go to Oregon in the winter and Houston in the summer, it's not bad).

In the meantime I enjoy reading about real writers and appreciate all the excellent advice you've taken the time to share. Also, I feel as if I've been to Hawaii now.

I too have been a DJ, and once ended up de facto traffic manager and program director because almost everyone else got fired during the most imperceptible format change ever, and the replacements never showed. I was too inexpensive to fire just then, I figure, as I was doing three jobs. Despite my love of music and hearing my own voice I changed directions early on as things looked to go from unimpressive to humiliating for me in radio.

I have to say, doing MLB play-by-play sounds like a fantastic job, especially for a hopeless baseball fan. (Adrian Gonzalez may turn out to be pretty good btw, save that autograph.)
Here’s a somewhat related question for you. Would you rather be a mogul of George Lucas’ stature or own an MLB team?

Anyway, it's inspirational to read a blog from a successful writer who has a family. Reading other blogs you sometimes get the idea that if you're not 26 and eating ramen in the Valley you might as well forget it.

Well, that's enough rambling, even though you did ask for it.

C

PS - Why do you think you're so popular with Australians, and Scandinavians?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

I'm Becky & I read from Cleveland. I found your blog via Hoffmania, and I've been reading daily ever since. I am an unabashed lover of television, and it's been really cool to read about your experiences & perspective. Congrats on your 100th post - keep them coming!

BranfordBob said...

Ken,

branfordbob here.

My old dear friend since college, Mike sent you a CD copy of the original "Smile" trax I compiled in the proper order a while back. You and I seem to share a passion for that project.

Once again, Mike is responsible for something...my finding this blog. He's relieved, because he no longer has to forward your e-mails!

Gotta run, I have a lot of catching up to do (2 postings down 99 left to go)...

BOB

albert braun said...

I live in LA and I like to write.

I scan a lot of different blogs about writing and film making, and yours is one of my two favorites. (The other one belongs to Alex, whose blog made me aware of yours.)

Thanks for the laughs and the insights. I look forward to the next hundred posts.

Tod Hunter said...

I got caught up in your blog when Hoffmania linked to your take on Porn Star Karaoke, where I've been a regular for years but never looked at it QUITE that way before.

Turns out I've been a fan of yours for years and I never knew it.

Good going on 100. Remember what Ward Kimball said when he was showing Robert Benchley his Goofy sequence in the behnd-the-scenes part of "The Reluctant Dragon":

"The first 100,000 are the hardest."

--t

jeff said...

Hey, Ken. My name's Jeff -- I'm an attorney in Southeast Michigan. I have no idea how I came across your blog, but I look forward to reading your posts, and appreciate the effort that you put into them.

emily blake said...

The one day I didn't check the blog, and you ask for feedback. At comment #82, I feel so lost in this shuffle...

From NC originally, but moved to LA in September because that's what you're supposed to do when you want to write for TV. So I did. Now I'm waiting for all that fame and glory to hit me any minute now.

I teach inner city high school kids who try to kill me on a regular basis.

af said...

Hey Ken,

Made the HUGE transition from living in Orange County to L.A. back in September. Want to make a living writing and directing movies. Recently, within the last year, I started to realize that writing in television could be an option for me. Never thought about it before that, but makes sense because man do I watch a lot of TV.

You're blog is great. As soon as I found it, which is right after you started it, I was hooked. I appreciate your practical advice on writing and the blog is pretty much never boring. Also, the fact that you update everyday is fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Leo said...

I enjoy your blog through the RSS feed on my PDA in the screenwring mecca that is Madison, Wisconsin. Lots of nameless beer-girl models live here. You should visit.

Tim said...

Hi Ken - Tim from Seattle here. I stumbled on your blog around Christmastime and now have it listed in my own blog's tabbed linkbox (direct and with RSS feed). I probably know your work best from your time as sidekick to Dave Niehaus. (Made some of those horrible M's games worth listening to.)

Keep the posts coming...

Michael Markowitz said...

Congrats on 100. We need you on that wall.

KC said...

Veen,

Love the blog, in danger of extra innings in the charity game...beautiful here in the VOS.
You'll never run out of material.

KC

Andrew Cunningham said...

I'm the translator of the Boogiepop and Kino's Journey novels, and I became a translator partly because I'm a good writer who can't do story. Yet.

Morning Ham said...

Hey Ken

Jack from Raleigh,NC where I am a radio "smart ass with a heart of gold" in the morning. (think Imus without the smarm or whats assuredly Juan Valdez' breath)
Nope. No "morning show" just a smartass with a seriously cool batch of songs to play. My co-worker Bill shared some remarkable one liners that were simply too clever for him to take credit for, and we were finally able to get him to own up to the source (after adding foam to his no-foam latte')
Of course, now I am hooked and using your wit with the reckless abandon…thanks for making ME sound a lot more clever than I am.

Jack Boston
WWMY Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill,NC

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

I live in Los Angeles and perform standup. I found your blog through John August's.

I'd like to hear more about your thoughts on the pecking order in the writer's room and what you would have done differently if you were starting from the beginning as a staff writer again.

Joz

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
I found your blog about 7 months ago through a friend, Maggie Burns (Bootstrap Productions). I now read you everyday. I am also reading all of your archived posts (hence my late comment on this post) and every comment. I really enjoy your posts and the comments of some of your regulars. Since you check your stats counter regularly you probably have seen my several hour stints at your site.
Belated congratulations on 100 posts. I read all the time, and I think it’s a shame that no one will read these aspiring writers' specs. I would offer my services (as I can’t seem to find enough reading material), but alas I have no clout in the industry. It would just be a layman opinion. And for what it's worth, your writing is among my favorite. I have also picked up books by your favorite authors. Thanks for the tips.
Best wishes,
Nancy

P.S. I hope the Levine writers summer camp becomes a reality. I've volunteered as a sponsor.