Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Random musings


I’m still on a major high over UCLA’s stunning upset over USC on Saturday. To put it in perspective, imagine VERONICA MARS beating AMERICAN IDOL. Or a rapper without a felony conviction having the number one CD in the country. And my favorite Bruin victory story comes from commenter Great Big Radio Guy. A furniture store in Culver City, H. D. Buttercup, took out an ad in Friday’s L.A. TIMES saying if you bought $2000 worth of furniture anytime before the game, it would be free if UCLA won. I wonder if this Friday they're having a "Going out of business" sale.

They’re still celebrating in Westwood. It’s a wild crazy scene! People are going into Coffee Bean and ordering ice blended mochas WITH whipped cream. Extra police have been called to restore order.

Saw LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA at the Ahmanson. I guess we LA folks are the barefoot hayseed cornpones New York theater people think we are because the audience I saw it with reacted with a collective, “Huh???” THIS won all those Tonys??? Not since little Nell was tied to the railroad tracks has there been a more melodramatic production. In fairness, I’m told in New York it was done in a much more intimate venue (the Ahmanson is the Skydome with chandeliers) with performers who didn’t go to the “Ron Liebman School of Acting”.

How many days till 24 premieres???

I read where clown Emmet Kelly Jr. passed away, a sad event, and my heart goes out to his family and friends. But I just can’t help imaging the funeral procession – one hearse filled with two hundred mourners.

Great quote by David Mamet: “Features are a marathon and TV is running until you’re dead.”

I read where some guy in New Jersey, Gary Broslma, did a little home video and now gets 15,000,000 hits. So I checked my stats and gee, I’m waaaaay behind. Even with my Chicago travelogue. But I figure, if each one of you tells one person about my blog, in another 37,537,952 years I will be at that number. So I’m encouraged.

Are Major League Baseball owners out of their fucking minds?? When Juan Pierre makes more money than Julia Roberts there’s something wrong. There is no way a small market team with no deep pockets like the Pittsburgh Pirates can even compete anymore. They should change their name to the Washington Generals – that’s the team that has lost 4,000 straight games to the Harlem Globetrotters.

I’ve been involved in a couple of interesting discussions lately on other blogs. Jane Espenson and I have been discussing the tone of your spec comedy script on her site, and Lance Mannion and I have been debating Gary Burghoff not wearing his hat in Goodbye, Radar. I know. I do have too much time on my hands.

NBC is trying to tout their new Thursday night comedy line up as the new “Must See TV”. It’s hard to take seriously when Univision is kicking their ass.

I'm always intrigued by what people Googled to get here. My most recent favorites: "Claudine Longet nude", "Bonnie Bernstein nude","Parade deaths", and "Nancy Travis tits".

Eliminate the possession arrows in college basketball.

An idea I had last year worth repeating: For you budding comedy scribes looking to write a spec that will stand out. How about doing a Christmas episode? In the ten million specs I’ve read over the years I can’t recall a single one that’s holiday themed.

I will be heading to New York for the rest of the week. Tried to get reservations at Peter Lugar’s Steakhouse for Friday night. All they had was 10:45 AM… and that’s only because they had a cancellation. I took it but money talks. I’m on the wait list for 11:15.

While I’m away, I’ve got a neat-o surprise for you FRASIER fans. Stay tuned.

Gotta go. Michael Richards is on the phone. Something about wanting to apologize to me personally. How the hell did he get my number??

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

_I just can’t help imaging the funeral procession – one hearse filled with two hundred mourners.
_

I jusr peed myself. Ken thanks for making a great day even better.

Bill Nesbitt

Anonymous said...

I went to see Borat with a ventriloquist friend and he laughed so hard he pissed in my pants.

marcj said...

Luger's has a burger and beer deal at lunchtime which is tasty. Much better though (by a long shot) is the burger at DB on Bedford Ave (blocks from Lugers). A must try if you are in the hood. (And yes, I know you don't actually have an am reservation...)

Anonymous said...

They always tell you not to write Xmas episodes.

Ken Levine said...

Who's "THEY"? Like I said, I can't remember seeing one, but I would read a Christmas spec. Why not? It would definitely stand out.

But if you're a showrunner reading this, weigh in with your opinion. I don't want to steer anybody wrong.

kathy said...

I googled Sorkin, after watching Studio 60 tonight. My husband had printed out the baseball gag for me. I've spent the night reading archives.

I'm not much of a writing, so I do the next best thing...read others.

kathy said...

Never could proof read my own stuff.

The Master said...

I am sorry to hear of Emmett's demise. I remember seeing his dad, the original Emmett Kelly, perform live in the circus when I was a little boy, 50 years ago. Hearing that his son has now died makes feel really old.

VP19 said...

This makes twice in the course of eight months that UCLA has done something good for Florida. (The first, as some of you may recall, came in the NCAA men's basketball finals...the night before the far more exciting women's title game in which Maryland upset Duke in overtime.) Still, I sort of perversely wish it had been a Michigan-Ohio State rematch, just to tick off the SEC people (they take football seriously down there, perhaps too seriously) and the old-money Pasadena Rose Bowl folks, who then wouldn't get their precious Big Ten-Pac 10 matchup. (And the next person who uses the tired phrase "granddaddy of them all" deserves a punch in the face.)

Stormy said...

That furniture store most likely had event insurance, so they shouldn't be going out of business anytime soon. It's like those halftime throwing contests during all of those conference championship games. You think Dr. Pepper is really going to shell out a million bucks if someone jumps (or throws) through all the hoops? Nah, they insure against it for pennies on the dollar and enjoy all of the publicity.

benson said...

I'm sure it's her legal name and all, but every time I see Jane Espenson's name, I think of all those stories of couples who named their offspring after the Eastcoast Sports Programming Network.

poor man said...

"Ron Liebman School of Acting"??

I knew it! This guy could only be trained by the best.

Tom Quigley said...

Now tell me again, Ken: Where is that self-storage facility where you're keeping all those 10,000 or so Christmas specs everyone in the US who wants to write for sitcoms has sent you?

Paul said...

Not true on the baseball comment. The Minnesota Twins have been contenders every year on nothing more than their own farm teams and a few cheap veterans.

Herb Popsfarter said...

Heck, I Yahoo'ded "Ken Levine Nude"

Mike Barer said...

Speaking of Frazier, I was a big fan of Peri Gilpern, the Roz character, does she still work in the biz?

Dwacon said...

Hey, you get more hits than I do, Kemosabe...

Dhppy said...

So you're a fan of Veronica Mars, eh? Do you and Rob Thomas ever get into fisticuffs over Paula Marshall?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Christmas episodes, I don't recall "Leave it To Beaver" ever doing one. You'd think the spirit of the holidays would have been something Ward could tap into as he invariably conjures up a Christmas childhood memory of his own that predictably mirrored the boys. I don't think "Cleaver" was Jewish.

CathiefromCanada said...

Your Emmet Kelly line is my Great Line of the Day. Thanks.

Ben said...

Hey Ken, just discovered your blog, became an instant favorite. LoVe the Veronica Mars reference. Only wish it was true.
I don't want to spam, but I'd love to get some feedback from you on my own blog (not updated as often, i'm afraid) - especially the writing itself. Thanks!

Miles said...

Though it was sad to hear about Emmet Kelly's death, there was a very silver lining. In the Times obit, the headline noted he had, I swear to God, large footsteps to follow in.

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-passings2dec02,1,2294159.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

Almost reminiscent of your colleague David Lloyd's most famous lines: "A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer in your pants."

And the Times got away with it.

MBFH said...

I googled "Bob Harlow's Wife"

Batocchio said...

Ken, great blog. Glad I found it.

I've heard the "no holiday episodes" guideline for specs, too - at least, the Warner Bros. Workshop folks say that. Their main arguments are that those tend to be special episodes reserved for the head writers and that the holidays have an inherent emotional power to be exploited (which I suspect they view as a cheat for a spec, or maybe an invitation for sappiness). But I'm certainly no showrunner, so I'd be interested in other perspectives.

(And I actually did write an Christmas spec this year, because the premise wouldn't work without it. ;-) )