Monday, August 07, 2006

Another typical Hollywood story

I was doing ALMOST PERFECT, the CBS mid 90’s sitcom that starred Nancy Travis. In the show, Nancy’s character had a cat, “Charlie”. We used him in about five episodes. Then I get a call from the cat’s owner/trainer/agent. He tells me that Charlie has been offered the lead in the remake of THAT DARN CAT but I was not to fret. Charlie really liked working on the show and with us. So he’ll stay with our show if we would up his fee and guarantee him all episodes produced. Naturally I was touched by Charlie’s loyalty.

I said as much as we too loved working with Charlie and greatly admired his many talents, I would hate to stand in the way of his feature career so I passed on his offer.

Unbelievably, we somehow managed to find another gray cat that could sit in a chair.

But here’s the thing…

A year later ALMOST PERFECT gets cancelled. I’m driving home, feeling really bummed out and I gaze up at a billboard touting a certain movie. My entire cast is out of work and there’s Charlie, the fucking cat, starring in a major motion picture, staring down on me, his Cheshire-like face plastered on a HUGE billboard on the Sunset Strip.

I lost track of Charlie after that. To my knowledge he didn’t catch on in films. That business can be so cruel. He probably returned to television and if there’s any justice he’s doing ARSENIC & OLD LACE in dinner theatre somewhere in Iowa tonight.

The moral: Use a litter box because you never know who you’re going to meet on the way down.

11 comments:

Paul Duca said...

This is great...a real life version of the scene from SATISFACTION you posted recently. You laugh until you feel you want to cry a little.
(and I'd wish you luck on your theatrical venture, but as they say in ALL ABOUT EVE..."geniuses don't need luck")

VP19 said...

Interesting cat tale.

In that vein, do you have any good stories about Moose (aka Eddie), the recently departed "Frasier" star? And just how do you write for an animal?

shecanfilmit said...

Lol! Not what I expected to read when I saw the title of your post. Very funny. That cat was a slut.

This Girl said...

That's hilarious! I wish I could find a cat that could sit in a chair.

The Curmudgeon said...

What if the cat only wanted a tuna upgrade? Maybe a new scratching post?

I'd like to hear from the cat -- do you think he'd blame the agent for overreaching?

The cat, by the way, is, like the guy you wrote about the other day: Also submitting spec scripts to Animal Planet.

Tom Quigley said...

When I was taking care of the audiences on MAD ABOUT YOU, the dog who played Murray (real name was Maui, just like the Hawaiian island) would be outside the soundstage near his "dressing room" with his handler, Betty Lynne. All the audience members could see him as they made their way to the stage door, and as Maui was the most placid of animals, Betty would let those who wanted to, stop and talk to him and pet him for a moment. Murray turned out to be the most popular character on the show, and if he had played his cards right, probably could have scored a development deal with TriStar Television....

John said...

You really should have done a Henry Blake on Charlie when you had the chance.

Scribe LA said...

Priceless.
Scribe

Max said...

Hilarious post, almost purrfect.

The Master said...

That's the problem with entertainment industry pussies: they get overconfident when they hear that in the world of Show Business, it's dog eat dog.

Casey McKinnon said...

I WANT to say how hilarious that is... but it's incredibly sad at the same time. I hope things are going better for you and your former cast now! You can always make a guest appearance on Galacticast ;)... although we're thinking of getting a cat and I wouldn't want to jinx you...