Friday, April 01, 2011

My year living with Candice Bergan

Picture I took of Candace Bergen in our backyard

Here are some Friday Questions.

Fanboy69 gets us started.

How did you break into movies after writing for television?

Dumb luck. Steven Spielberg saw an episode of THE JEFFERSONS my partner and I wrote and thought it was the best written half-hour he had ever seen. Needless to say, we were SHOCKED. He arranged a meeting and asked if we had any ideas for a movie. I had always wanted to write something based on an uncle of mine who pretty much led a double life. Stevie liked the idea so David and I created Indiana Jones and wrote RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC. That led to VOLUNTEERS which led to MANNEQUIN.

Lyn B. wants to know:

Of all the actresses you have known, who’s your favorite?

Professionally? I’d have to say Nancy Travis. Personally – and this was before my marriage – I had a fling with Candice Bergan. We lived together for about a year. This was in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s. What can I say? Both our fathers were ventriloquists and we both loved sex.

Anonymous asks (note: please leave your name):

I’ve written three scripts that I’m really proud of. I feel they’re good enough that I can submit them to agents. I suppose I should include a cover letter. What I don't know is what should I say in the cover letter?

Yes, you definitely should include a cover letter. And you need to grab his attention. I would say this:

Dear (whoever),

I’m seeking representation and am submitting three scripts. But I’ll be honest. I’m not yet sold on you. As you’ll see once you’ve read my material (and by the way, you have 48 hours), I will be your meal ticket. As such, I don’t like the idea of competing with other clients for your time. I require 100% commitment and attention. This might mean you have to let a few clients go. So be it. Talent trumps loyalty. I look forward to your campaign to try to sign me.

He'll remember you, that's for sure!  Best of luck.  

And finally, from Georgia Peach:

I bought your book, WHERE THE HELL AM I? TRIPS I HAVE SURVIVED and I literally can’t stop laughing. OMG!   If I get a heart attack it’s your fault. My question is: are you going to be in Atlanta any time soon to have a book signing?

Thanks, Georgia for the nice words. To be honest, I don’t really need to go out on a book tour. I’ve sold 250,000 copies on the internet just this month. Happy to say, it’s the biggest selling travel humor book in history. Meanwhile, I’m currently number three on Amazon’s Best-Selling Non-Fiction list and number four on the New York Times. I’ve been approached to go on Oprah, which is HUGE, so I’m concentrating on that for the moment. There is, unbelievably, a Ken Levine fan club and they’ve begun emailing update newsletters three times weekly. So sign up for that and you’ll be the first to know when I finally do go out on a book tour.

What’s your question? Have a nice weekend and a great April 1st.

37 comments:

The Curmudgeon said...

Why didn't you post your famous interview with Sidd Finch?

Blaze Morgan said...

To go alongside those amazing movie credits, didn't I read once of your helping Third World farmers with their crop yields? Where your prodigious efforts in soil management gained you buckets of commendations and the inspiration for "Volunteers"?

And where you learned to shovel manure so well.

Mac said...

Now I know you're lying.
In the early 70's Candice Bergen was shacked up with me and Brigitte Bardot.

Leslie said...

Man - IMDB is wrong again! I know, I know I shouldn't trust whose credited with what, but man. This is ridiculous.

Harley Davidson said...

Happy April Fool's Day Ken!

George Lucas said...

You did not create Indiana Jones... I did! You'll be hearing from my attorney Levine.

PS
I also created Volunteers, the Jeffersons and Steven Spielberg.

Steve Zeoli said...

Quick correction: In the body of your blog post you write "Candice Bergman" -- I guess conflating Candice Bergan and Ingrid Bergman, which is a pretty nice hybrid, I must say.

Patty Pornstar said...

Here's a Friday question: What's your address so I can sue you for child support for our quintuplets?

emily said...

I too, am pregnant with your child Ken.

Edgar Levine said...

I am your adult love child, Ken. You & Candy should've been more careful covering you tracks after you gave me to that nice couple from Cleveland.

I trust you have a furnished basement where I can move in.

RCP said...

You must really take us for fools, Ken.

So what's Stevie really like?

B said...

Question on MASH for Ken, even though you were not working on the show at this point:

We all know there tons of timeline and family inconsistencies during the 11 seasons of MASH. Potter being from Nebraska, Hawkeye having a sister, Margaret's father being dead in Season 2 and alive in Season 9, etc, etc.

But one episode infuriates me as a fan. Season 9, A War for All Seasons, has Potter offering a toast on New Year's Eve 1950. Are we supposed to believe Trapper, Henry, Radar and Frank were only at the 4077 for 5 months? Crazy, of course, and downright stupid. My question is why would the producer sign off on this episode, and why wouldn't even the actors (hello Alan Alda!) say something? Did they think nobody would notice? Or were they so desperate for an idea at that stage they'd not only insult fans but all the actors who had come before them?

YEKIMI said...

Hey! You left out the part where you were the "stunt double" for John Holmes when he didn't want to do the ugly girls in all those porn movies.

Mary Stella said...

I bought the book, but I haven't figured out how you can sign it on my Kindle.

Since you lived with Candace, did she ever confirm whether Charlie McCarthy had a fling with Pinnochio?

Candice Bergan said...

I've waited years to tell you this Ken, and still hate to say it now, but truthfully, of the two of you, Charley McCarthy was better in bed.

Sheri Salata said...

I'll call you after today's taping about the Murphy Brown reunion show that we are planning for sweeps. It would be great if you could do a walk-on!

Shades said...

On a day of mostly tedious gags, this one is much appreciated. Great blog Ken.

VP81955 said...

Candice Bergen said...

I've waited years to tell you this Ken, and still hate to say it now, but truthfully, of the two of you, Charlie McCarthy was better in bed.

Well, there was a Tijuana bible that detailed Charlie's bedroom romp with the lady in my avatar (who appeared on several of Charlie and Edgar's radio shows)...

wv: "ungoo" -- the antidote created by little Ronnie Howard to scale down Joy Harmon, Beau Bridges, etc. in "Village Of The Giants."

Helen said...

Hi Ken,

I'm a British screenwriter working on an idea inspired by something which happened in New York and by a location there. As I live and write in the U.K., although I'm good at dialogue, do you think I'd have more chance of someone picking it up if I transferred it to the U.K.?

Sidd Finch said...

Felix said I can pitch tonight. Will you be there?

Mike Barer said...

I smell an April Fool's joke

Charles H. Bryan said...

I have to admit to myself and embrace the fact that I fell for the story today on Morning Edition about people getting eye surgery that would replace the need for 3D glasses. However, they found that they needed corrective lenses for when they weren't watching 3D movies.

I was bitching to myself about the state of humanity for about twenty minutes before I remembered what day it is.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Candice Bergan said...
I've waited years to tell you this Ken, and still hate to say it now, but truthfully, of the two of you, Charley McCarthy was better in bed."


Charlie always had wood. However, there was the "splinters" problem, and frankly, he was "small".

And don't get me started on the role of her father's fist.

nfgusedautoparts said...

i bought an ebook copy of your book. if i email it to you, could you sign it and email it back to me?

Ken Levine said...

Happy to sign it and send it back.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You dumped Natalie Wood for Candice Bergen? How could you!

Roger Owen Green said...

BTW, it was precisely the episode of MASH that B groused about when I pretty much lost interest in the show. Especially compared with a show when Hawkeye and Trapper were in Japan in 1952.

Simon H. said...

"A War for All Seasons" drives me a little batty because what tiny bit of continuity M*A*S*H had going in terms of it's own timeline was blown completely out of the water by it. If you watch the show over the course of 11 seasons, it bizarrely seems to go backwards in time(a victim of it's own success and wanting to keep a successful show going as long as possible), with much of the 4th season occurring in the end of 1952 and beginning of 1953, Season 6 sometime in early to mid 1952, and Season 8 and 9 mostly in 1951. The only time the show probably got it right was in it's final season. It never really bothered me, but it was one of those strange things you notice when you run the show 3 dozen times in a row late at night while working at a TV station like I did. Still one of the all-time great classics despite any nitpicking one can do about this and that.

woof woof said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

No question this week but I met Terry George (writer/director of Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father) last night and he told a great anecdote about getting 85 pages of notes on a 120 page script, and telling the execs, "Why not just print the bloody notes???". Said something else about how his status gets him praise when he comes home to Ireland, but in New York "an Oscar nomination and a subway token will get you to Brooklyn". Sounds like he reads your blog!

4/02/2011 4:46 AM

Lou H. said...

Ken is too modest to mention his disk jockey action figure from 1974. Sadly, it was recalled after a few months after the FDA determined the hair posed a safety hazard for children under 3 and felines.

Nicholas said...

Hi, Ken. I was hoping you could give me some advice. Theres a stand up competition in 2 weeks with the grand prize being $1000, which could seriously help my tuition.

My question is how do I write jokes that are funny? I write stuff down I think is funny, and half of them work, half fall flat. How do I make them always funny, like your stuff?

Anonymous said...

Is Georgia Peach a nom de plume for K. Levine?

Anonymous said...

So, tell me Ken. Was Charlie McCarthy as obnoxious in person as he was on the air?

Jose said...

Ken, I was just curious, given your experience, if you suddenly had to whip up an all-new spec pilot to use as a writing sample, how long do you think it would take you?

Mark said...

OK - catching up on a week of the blog left me unfocused on the date of this post (at first)!

Robin Raven said...

Oh my goodness. I was catching up on your blog well after April 1, having only found it recently, and you SO had me going. Until the last paragraph. Although I am a far more humble writer in comparison to your amazing credits, I write for a living, and -- while I believed all the movie stuff, etc. -- the ease of internet selling even with your esteemed credits had me think, "Wait a minute...He's not usually this cocky from what I've read."

Fun read. ;-)