Still recovering from last night's World Series game. As Colonel Potter might say, "It was the oyster's iceskates!" Speaking of Colonel Potter, here are Friday Questions with the first one being about him. And you can still tell us which scary movie traumatized you most. Thanks.
Becky is up first.
I was wondering what Harry Morgan was like in real life?
Becky, you’ll be happy to learn he’s a wonderful guy. Harry has a wicked sense of humor. Very droll. And is a great storyteller. During breaks he would regale us with stories of doing movies with Spencer Tracy and Elvis. And there were a lot of tales about DRAGNET and how, uh… “frugal” Jack Webb was. You’ll notice he and Jack were always in the same suits, every week. That’s because they filmed exterior shots of them entering and exiting buildings, their car, etc. and were able to use the same shots every week.
Harry is the ultimate pro. Could scan a page of dialogue once and have it perfectly memorized. Would lock in on a performance and do it perfectly the same way every time, every take. He was courteous to every member of the staff and crew and knew everyone’s name.
I saw him last at a tribute to MASH producer, Gene Reynolds a couple of years ago. Harry hadn’t seen me in ages. But he was still as sharp as ever. Remembered my name, that I was now involved with baseball. And he must’ve been only 93.
What few people don't know is that Harry is also an excellent director. Once a season he would direct an episode of MASH. During our tenure we made sure Harry got to direct one of ours. If he wasn’t such a terrific actor he would have had a great career behind the camera.
Harry has one of those faces and voices that even when he was 20 he was able to play 60. So it’s no surprise he’s a young 96. He’s been a young senior citizen for 70 years.
Here's a Friday question: why do some shows give the same writer a consulting producer and a written by credit in the same episode?
Those are two different assignments. Consulting producer is a staff position. A written by credit means he wrote the script for that week’s episode.
Have you ever worked a playoff game?
Yes, with the Padres in ’96. We lost. But I never worked a game as magnificent as last night's. Very ever have.
This is a question for Friday and you may not want to answer it but I bet that tons of your readers are wondering the same thing, so what the heck, I'll be the guy who asks:
You come across as a very modest, self-effacing, middle-class (okay, upper middle class) kind of guy, and yet you've been involved at a very high level with several extremely successful TV shows. Are you collecting fat (or thin) royalties from those programs, or is that money ancient history?
I am still collecting royalties but not enough to allow me to finally become a dick. Seriously, though, since the 1977 WGA Basic Agreements residuals are into perpetuity (God bless you, Writers Guild). The amounts have dwindled down through the years but royalties are still dribbling in. Even more exciting at this point is that shows I wrote 30 years ago are still being shown and enjoyed today.
And finally, from John based on a post about Charles Winchester of MASH:
There was an episode early in Season 6 written by Laurence Marks entitled "Change Day" in which Charles' scheme to scam people out of their script comes across more like something Frank Burns would do. Was the writing staff still trying to get a handle on who Maj. Winchester was at the time, or was this an idea thought up earlier, when Frank Burns was still the show's main foil, and then reworked to try and fit David Ogden Stiers' new character?
What’s your Friday question? And movie that sent you into therapy?