Here are some Friday questions. What’s yours?
It's "did-they-or-didn't-they"-time on the German MASH-forum again. this time the big question is, did Margaret and Hawkeye marry *each other* or did they marry *someone else*?
They married other people. We don’t know who. If I was Hawkeye I would have gone after Nurse Marcia (pictured). Hot Lips probably married Dick Cheney.
Someone who didn’t leave his name but should wondered:
Were you were inspired by something that happened a few years before your great "Cheers" episode where Sam pitches Piels.
A few months after the Yankees' 1978 comeback against the Red Sox, Luis Tiant signed with New York as a free agent.
He did an ad for the short-lived, barely FDA-approved Yankee Franks where he exclaimed "It's great to be with a weiner!"
Actually, no. We gave our casting director a list of possible names and Luis was available. Or at least sort of available. He was pitching winter ball in Puerto Rico and flew in between starts. The scene in question from a first year episode called “Now Pitching: Sam Malone” (that David and I wrote) was a TV commercial that Sam does with Luis, a parody of a then-popular beer campaign. Luis had maybe three lines. It took at least forty takes. Afterward, we gave him a little tour of the set and he said (at least this is what I think he said, it was impossible to understand him) “Hey, I’m going to give this acting a try”. He’s currently in between representation if any agent is interested.
And finally, from Dave Sikula (with parentheticals inside parentheticals):
I've gotten hooked on "Green Acres." Other than the production values (they seemed to have a budget of about twelve dollars, and everything is overlit [but then everything was in the 60s]), it holds up and is still an extremely funny show.
That said, I'd guess that all but a handful of the 170 episodes (over six seasons) were written by Jay Sommers and Dick Chevillat. (I think I've seen only three eps not credited to them, and we're well into Season 4.)
Would it be possible today for a team of two writers to have that kind of productivity? Most shows I see now have a huge staff of writers, assistants, and "producers." I suppose it's possible, but could you and David, say, maintain that pace for six seasons and still keep up the quality, or would you just burn out?
David and I could easily write five or six years worth of television by ourselves. The only thing is – they’d be shit. By season three think Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING. David and I wrote or rewrote practically all of season 7 of MASH and it damn near killed us. Contrast that to Larry Gelbart who essentially wrote the first four years of MASH himself and the show was never even remotely as good after he left.
It takes a very special talent to write an entire season of television considering the time pressures involved. David Kelley can do it. So can Aaron Sorkin. A few others too. Josh Schwartz I believe. It's a real gift and I hate and admirer them for it.
But having a staff of other writers is not a bad thing. Having fresh eyes, different perspectives, and different strengths can only produce a richer show. And keep the show runner out of the UCLA Medical Center (or at least delay his stay).