Part one was yesterday.
Following summer camp, David and I went back to our respective jobs… although his was still waiting for him. During my two-week stint keeping America safe the radio station changed program directors. I came back. The new guy hated me. I was gone. That’s the thanks I get for keeping the Viet Cong out of Colorado.
So I moved back in with my parents in Marina Del Rey and sent around tapes trying to get another disc jockey job. Turns out a lot of program directors hated me.
But in the interim I called David and said I wanted to try writing a script. Would he want to write it with me? I’ll never forget his answer: “Who is this again?”
We met the next night at the Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset and decided to give it a try. Sadly, not only is that Hamburger Hamlet gone, but with the closing of the one in Van Nuys a couple of weeks ago, all of them are gone. (RIP Lobster Bisque.)
There was only one problem with teaming up. Neither of us had a fucking clue what to do. I had to go to a bookstore in Hollywood and buy an old ODD COUPLE script off their remainder table for $2 and use that as our guide. I didn’t even know the format. Int. Madison Apartment – Day… oh, that’s how they do it.
We had an idea to write a pilot about two kids in a dorm, thus drawing upon the only life experience either of us had had up to that point.
We’d meet on the weekends at David’s apartment on Arch Drive in Studio City (don’t look for a shrine or anything). To get us revved up, first we listened to a side of the Woody Allen stand-up album (still one of the most brilliant comedy albums EVER). Then we’d sit down at the kitchen table to write. No outline. Nothing. We didn’t know from outlines. Or structure. Or technique.
But so what? We were having a blast.
David took down the script in longhand in a college binder. I was the typist when it was finished.
After several weeks of writing I said to David, “What page do you think we’re on here?” David leafed through the binder and guestimated about 35. I held up the ODD COUPLE script and said, “Y’know, they start wrapping it up pretty quick.”
This gave us pause. We stopped writing, came up with an ending that would have cost $10,000,000 in 1973 money, wrote it in about ten minutes and that was that. We were officially writers. Ten minutes later we were in El Toritos’ pounding down tequila.
To the surprise of no one but us at the time, the script didn’t sell. But we had a great time writing it. And equally important – we made each other laugh.
There were a few funny things in the script. Enough that we decided to keep writing together.
And now I have a play that will be produced this fall at the Falcon Theatre that ironically is right around the corner from that El Torito's.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Part one was yesterday.