Getting you ready for the long Memorial Day Weekend, here are some Friday Questions. Two things – one important and one inconsequential. Drive carefully this weekend and leave your questions in the comments section. Guess which is the important one.
71dude is first up.
Were you and David invited to work on the "MASH" finale?
No. But at the time we were co-producing CHEERS and they had a very large staff at MASH. We didn't feel slighted in the least. Had we been asked we wouldn't have been able to do it.
The way that final MASH script was written was fascinating. It got broken down into half-hour portions and divided up among the writers or teams of writers. Those writers would then co-write their section with Alan Alda. And trust me, that final episode was long enough without adding another half hour for me and David.
Jim S. asks:
Have you ever called a game that went down in the history books? What's it like to call a game that has the potential to make history. Are you more nervous, do you get charged up more? (I guess that's like 18 questions, but you get my point?)
I’ve called two no-hitters, the last game at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, the first game at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, the Padres winning a division championship, a triple-play, a balk-off win, and was there the day Glenn Davis made three errors on the same play. Talk about a “bobble” head.
I’m both charged and nervous. The beauty of baseball is that those big moments are deliciously suspenseful (except the Glenn Davis one) so I always feel my job is to just describe what’s happening and let the drama take care of itself. I try not to get too excited or hype the situation too much.
When I called the first game at Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field) I was alone on the radio for the Mariners describing the scene – all the pregame pomp and circumstance, President Clinton throwing out the first pitch, the stadium decorations, presentations, etc. Little did I know, CBS radio picked up our feed and I was actually broadcasting worldwide on the CBS radio network and the Armed Forces Radio Service. Thank God I didn’t know. I probably would have been so petrified I’d sound like Porky Pig.
From Jim S. to James P.:
In re-watching Cheers, I noticed that Diane was mentioned infrequently after she left. However, in the 10th and 11th seasons, she came up pretty frequently, the point where in the last season, she was being mentioned every few episodes.
My theory is that you guys wanted to minimize references to the character after she left to let viewers get accustomed to Rebecca on her own terms. But when you were planning the finale, you realized Diane returning would make for a great end and wanted to foreshadow that. Any thoughts?
What we found was that when Diane was mentioned it always got a laugh. So it became a running joke. She jilted Frasier at the altar and he couldn’t let it go.
That said, we only did it sparingly, not wanting to beat the joke into the ground. And they were not in preparation for the finale. At the time, we didn't know when the finale would be, whether Diane would be involved, or if Shelley was even interested and available.
But that’s when you know a show has really arrived – when you can get character laughs from characters who are no longer even there.
Any recollections of the actress Rachel Roberts? She met such a tragic end, but was a gifted comedic (Foul Play)and dramatic actress (Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Rachel Roberts played the nanny on THE TONY RANDALL SHOW. She was a wonderful British actress. At one time she was married to Rex Harrison.
She had a lovely subtle way of giving us notes. I remember one time she questioned some activity David and I gave her to do. She approached us and in the sweetest voice possible said, “So what is my motivation here, darling? I’m an out-patient?”
I still miss her.
You have such an interesting background. From DJ, to Hollywood big-wig (IMO), to MLB broadcaster. Quick question, did you pick the Mariners or did the M's pick you? How did that process work?
I was broadcasting for the Baltimore Orioles in 1991. We were finishing a road trip in Kansas City and heading home to host a series with Seattle.
The Mariners got into town early and their great announcer, Dave Niehaus, had a transistor radio and was listening to my broadcast from KC while in the bus heading to the hotel. Very fortunately for me, he really liked what he heard.
When there was an opening that Fall he remembered, called me, and invited me to apply. I did immediately. So in a sense they came to me and I came to them. Thank goodness they did. Far and away my favorite team to broadcast was (and is) the Seattle Mariners.
And finally, from Becca”
Is In 'n' Out Burger really as good as people say?
I think so. But Five Guys is really giving them a run for their money in my book. What do you guys think?
Happy Memorial Day Weekend everybody! I'm suddenly hungry.