Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy birthday, Cliff Levine

September 16th marks my father’s 80 birthday. How can this be? He’s not that old. He still attends classes at UCLA, plays golf, does volunteer work, travels, surfs the net, and watches 24 (although he thinks it’s gotten really bad). He has a natural curiosity and zest for life that makes him far younger than his years. And when he was young, he had a maturity far greater than his years. He was a parent in his early 20’s. I think back to myself at that age and I was a complete idiot. Feeding a plant was too much responsibility. Yet he raised a family.

I could spend three paragraphs telling you about his career – for years he was the sales manager of KABC radio in Los Angeles and then the General Manager of WLS radio in Chicago. He broke sales records, mentored many of today’s broadcasting titans, yada yada. But more important, his colleagues and co-workers loved him. He was (and is) collaborative, respectful, creative, positive, and fair. All the admirable qualities politicians say they have but of course not a single one does.

If you're looking for a role model, he's your guy. In the market for an idol? Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood combined can't touch him.

Tonight there’s a big party in his honor. I tried to get my agency to pay for it and just write it off as an Emmy party but they said no. Like NOW suddenly they develop integrity.

This has been an especially tough year and I hope, being surrounded by family and dear friends, will make for a truly joyous night. We celebrate you, dad. Happy birthday!!!!!

My Emmy review will be posted tomorrow. Probably a few hours later than usual. There will be liquor at this party.

29 comments:

A. Buck Short said...

Ken,
I hope this is not presumptuous, but one more blessing you have is being in a position to publicly acknowledge and honor a parent during his lifetime. And to have him know that.

maven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maven said...

What a great picture, Ken. Best wishes for your Dad's birthday. You're so very proud of him and I'm sure he's very proud of you.

R.A. Porter said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Levine!

Dwacon said...

80 years! Congrats!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Congratulations to you and your dad.

It's great to read a tribute to him in an age when most comedy writers (and television writers in general) can only write about how irritating their parents are.

blogward said...

Good one! I hope it's a fantastic night!

Paul Duca said...

Today Uncle Ricky over at ReelRadio added an aircheck of WLS from June, 1984...was your dad GM at the time?

The Home Office said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Levine. Your son has been entertaining and enlightening me for over twenty years now, and seems not to have succumbed to going all Hollywood on us. You should be as proud of him as you should be of the fine job you onviously did in raising him.

Anonymous said...

Ken,
I have no doubt that he is as proud of you, as you are of him. Have a great party.

FJ

RAC said...

An excellent day for a birthday party! Don't eat too much cake and ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Cliff!

Brian Scully said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Levine. And go, Red Sox... but mainly, Happy Birthday!

VP81955 said...

Congratulations to Mr. Levine, and happy birthday (as all America west of the Delaware River fervently prays for an Angels-Indians ALCS). You did well raising your son.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

Happy Birthday, Cliff! We still want you back! Door's open!

Lots of love,
Your Fans in L.A.

Anonymous said...

Cliff Levine... didn't he used to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers?

Ken, please pass along my best wishes for a happy birthday and tell him I remember him with great fondness.

Ray

CJB said...

Happy Birthday Cliff Levine!!

D. McEwan said...

Ken, congratulations to your Dad on this momentous milestone. Enjoy him much.

My own dad checked off the planet at 70, thanks in no small part to a lady named Mary Baker Eddy. He'd be 89 by now --- if he'd listened to me instead! The mature, they never listen to the wisdom of their youngers. But lemme tell ya how irritating he was ...

Well no. Not today. He was a great guy. Never drank. Never hit the wife. (Despite more than sufficient provocation for full-out murder on a daily basis.) Got up at 5 AM six days a week, 50 weeks a year, for 30 years, to go do a job that bored the bejesus out of him to support his shrill, domineering wife and smart mouth kids.

And the legacy he left earth? Well there's me, and he co-invented napalm during WWII. I'm sure many blessings have been wished his way for that.

You dad sounds like a peach. Here's to 20 more birthdays for Cliff Levine.

(Oh and Vp81995, as an American west of the Delaware River - hell, I'm west of the Los Angeles River - I don't pray, and if I did, it wouldn't concern the outcome of a baseball game. Don't be quite so quick with announcing what "All of America" is doing or wants. All baseball fans? Possibly, but America includes millions of people like myself, who pay less attention to sports than to charting the daily exploits of an ant colony.)

Steve said...

Happy birthday and many more, Mr. Levine. Obviously, being a great guy runs in the family.

Anonymous said...

Yay!!!

estiv said...

Ken, you're a lucky guy, but I get the feeling you've already figured that out. I don't think I've ever before said this without irony, but...I'm sure that your father's very proud of you. And he should be. Congratulations.

Alto2 said...

Happy Birthday, Ken's Dad! Until 120, as we say in the "tribe".

Mike said...

Hello,

We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for
www.BlogInterviewer.com . We'd like to give you the opportunity to
give us some insight on the "person behind the blog."

It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can
be submitted online at http://bloginterviewer.com/submit-an-interview

Best regards,

Mike Thomas

45 is the new 30 said...

Mazel tov to all of you on 80 years of living life so fully! What a beautiful tribute to your father you've written, Ken. It's pretty obvious that you adore your dad, and it's also pretty obvious that you come by your talent, drive, and kindness very naturally.

I hope that the party was a blast for everyone (especially your dad), and I know that your mom was there with you all in spirit.

Congrats to both Levine guys on being mutually blessed to have one another. (Lousy sentence structure, but you know what I mean!)

Mike Barer said...

A big Happy 80th to Cliff Levine!

julie said...

Dear Uncle Cliff, HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY!!! You are awesome! Lots of love from all of your admirers!
Especially me! Julie

Anonymous said...

that's you with your dad? weird, i always pictured all tv writers as looking just like Andy Breckman...

Paul said...

Oh, I'm sure he'd let Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood touch him.

Susie said...

Happy Birthday pa Levine!
You are so lucky to have one another, and what's better is that you both know it. Aw! Sweet!