I’m the other Ken Levine.
There’s the Ken Levine who is a big video game designer. He’s a giant in the industry. I probably get twenty people a day logging on here thinking I’m him. Sorry. I’m not. I don’t even own a video game.
Then, according to imdb, I was the location manager on JURASSIC PARK and FLIPPER. I don’t know who that Ken Levine was but I still get Christmas cards from dolphins.
I mention all of this to set the record straight because there is a Ken Levine impostor. I know what you’re thinking – why would anyone in their right mind want to impersonate me?
Because there was a jingle.
In the early 80’s I was pulling a weekend shift as a disc jockey on KFI Los Angeles. (CHEERS had just started and who knew if it was going to last?) The station commissioned a new jingle package and one sang “Ken Levine KFI 6-40”. Next to an Emmy there is no greater honor than having your own jock jingle.
A few years after I left they hired a new guy and since they already had this nifty paid-for jingle they insisted he use the name Ken Levine.
So now I’m getting people saying they heard me on the radio. I listened to him and well, he was me with a lobotomy. I called the station manager to protest. He said, “Tough shit. Call the union” and hung up on me. Nice.
I then did call the union. That station would be sorry they ever messed with me! The AFTRA official told me there was nothing they could do. What?? As a radio performer the only thing you have to identify yourself is your name. He shrugged. I said you can’t register with SAG as Paul Newman. You can’t join the WGA as Neil Simon. Still, they were powerless. Talk about a toothless union.
For the next year I had to endure friends saying, “I heard you on KFI. What happened? You used to be funny.”
And then a few years later the station went to a talk format and I did a couple of fill-in shifts. They wondered if maybe I shouldn’t use another name because they recently had a guy named Ken Levine.
I managed to keep the name and if anyone else tries to use it I will cause a shock wave. Wait a minute, that’s one of the games created by the other me. Jesus, now even I’m confused.