Sunday, May 01, 2011

No one dresses better than comedy writers

Thought I'd celebrate May Day with a sort of "May Day Malone" anecdote. 

I once related the story of my partner and I attending an awards ceremony looking like idiots in matching brown tuxedos and peach ruffled shirts. But that is not to suggest that I don't normally dress extremely well. In fact, I was in GQ.

No. Really.


I’m serious.

Somehow GQ magazine got wind of my going off to Syracuse in 1988 to announce minor league baseball. They decided to do an article about me. My wife is still laughing. “You in GQ?”

I did the phone interview with Ron Powers who wrote the piece. Then I got a call from their photographer. They wanted to take pictures of me that Friday at a local baseball stadium. I said fine. The photographer then wanted to know what I’d be wearing. I said I didn’t know. This was only Monday and my mom usually doesn’t pick out my clothes until the night before. He asked my measurements and said he would bring something. Now I was a little pissed off. Just because I was a writer did he automatically assume I was a schlump? I can't believe he saw me on DON KIRSCHNER'S ROCK AWARDS. I told him I would bring my own wardrobe. Obviously his concern was not assuaged. He asked if I’d bring a selection.

I’m the same height and size as Ted Danson. The next day I went to the CHEERS wardrobe guy and asked if I could borrow some Sam Malone shirts and slacks.

Friday afternoon I hooked up with the photographer. I think I was wearing a torn t-shirt. There was already a lump in his throat. I opened my trunk and let him examine my selection. The accompanying picture is a approximation. His eyes almost popped out. “Jesus, this is great stuff!” he said, astonished. “Any one of these would be perfect.” “Well YEAH,” I said as if it couldn't be more obvious. “It might surprise you to learn that most television writers are total fashion hounds. Much of the time in writers rooms is spent discussing men’s haberdashery.”

I accepted his apology and hoped that he had a new respect for how writers really felt about wardrobe.

He went off to set up his camera while I put one of the shirts on, glad that he didn’t see the “Property of Paramount Pictures” tag that was still on the sleeve.

The article came out August 1988. I see my shirt all the time in reruns.

My final broadcast of this road trip is today at 1 PM EDT as the Mariners meet the Red Sox.  Join me and Rick Rizzs for all the play-by-play on 710 ESPN Seattle and MLB.COM.  


Sebastian said...

High fly-ball to center field... foul


Sorry every time you mention you'll be doing a play-by-play I have to think of that ^^;

Mary Stella said...

Having now seen you in person, I can attest that you don't dress like a schlump. Not a "Property of" tag in sight.

John said...

The venue of your new job being Syracuse and all, you would have really messed with the heads of the folks at GQ if you had come dressed as Otto the Orange, even if MacArthur Stadium and the Carrier Dome were on opposite sides of town.

Sebastian said...

He your colleague said Le-wine.

I hope you wagged your finger at him.

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

Hey Ken, I had to delete my previous post because I can't even spell anymore!Basically, it is great to 'hear' your voice on the radio again.Brings back some good memories.Cheers.

Cap'n Bob said...

Arrrrghhhh! Ichiro loses a can of corn in the sun allowing the runner to land on third. WOuld have been the second out, and the next guy would have been the third. Instead, the M's lose on a single to center. What a gyp.

You should have shown up in one of Shelly Long's dresses for that GQ shoot, Ken. That would have popped his eyes out.

Please Don't Eat Me said...

It's a myth that writers all drive Hugos, too.

Anonymous said...

Which shirt was it? just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Also did Bill Cosby loan Ted his sweaters once The Cosby Show went off the air? Toward the end of Cheers run Sam Malone wears alot of Cosbyesque sweaters.

Sunshine Vitamin said...

Just waiting for the US WEEKLY feature with you and Ted, asking, "Who wore it better?"

WV: iNess-- the virtual version of the famed Scottish monster.

Kirk said...

Must be time for you to scan the fabled GQ article to a jpg and post it online? :)

Neumann101 said...

Wish you were going to be with the M's next week.
They seem to perk up a bit when you are around.

Rene said...

Pics or it didn't happen.

Steve Zeoli said...

I listened to your call of the game for a couple of innings, Ken. Great job. You have a nice, natural delivery of the game. I wish you were the play-by-play guy for the Red Sox!

Jeffrey said...

Hi Ken, or Beaver...

I used to listen to you on KYA when I was a really wet behind the ears fledgling disc-jockey trying much too hard to sound like the Real Don Steele. I did end up in radio at K101 in SF in 1980.

Listen, won't take up your time, Rich Brother Robbin and I email back and forth and talk on the phone about music and radio and he suggested that I get in touch with you. Told me to use his name.

Have an interesting idea for an hour long comedy-drama about a KHJ type of radio station in the mid-late '60s. It's kinda a-la like Mad Men, only set in a radio station. More drama than comedy, but real black humor in it. I envision six jocks, program director, etc as characters. Get into their personal lives. A dash or two of Hill Street Blues in it...a bit of ST.Elsewhere.

Is there anyway with your very busy schedule to discuss it with you - kick it around, get some direction with what to do with it -where to go...probably an agent, right? I would greatly appreciate a little bite of your valuable time.
Hope to hear from you, Ken. I'm a huge admirer of your great MASH and Cheers episodes, both some of my all time fave shows. Hey, quickly, didn't Almost Perfect have Kevin Pollak in it? I'm an old friend of Kevin's and I could have sworn he was in that show with Nancy Travis.

Thanks for any small time you can eek out,

Jeffrey Mark

Michael said...

Friday question on this topic: When you were a showrunner, how much input or say did you have in selecting the clothes the characters wore?

Andrew said...

I don't think my comment on your 2007 Sam and Diane comment went and even though this is a little off topic still wanted to see a comment if you look back this far. I was curious why the Cheers writers decided to never have Sam and Diane end up together. I didn't really like the split up at the end of the series, but I did enjoy the ending. Just seemed that even in Fraiser Sam and Diane still had feelings for each other. So just wondering what the reasoning was for never having them stay together?