Thanks again to David Isaacs for posting earlier this week. A dear reader asked how we met. It's not exactly a meet-cute and it involves the army.
Anyway, here’s how we
met. Summer 1973. Jack in the Box rolled out their first Breakfast
Jacks. DEEP THROAT was charming theatergoers. SIGMUND AND THE SEA
MONSTERS debuted on NBC. It was a great time to be alive.
had recently moved to Los Angeles from South Florida where he had
dreams of being in the industry. Doing what he didn’t know but he felt
there were more entertainment opportunities in Hollywood than Ft.
After the usual litany of odd jobs (security guard,
etc.) he finally landed at ABC – in the film shipping department. He
would send out film cans of shows to Hawaii and other network outposts.
This is a department that no longer exists in any form. But that’s due
to technology, not David.
I was a Top 40 disc jockey doing the
all-night show at KMEN in San Bernardino. I was on from midnight to six
every goddamn night trying to be funny after every record even though
my only listeners were ten 7-11 clerks and half of them were tied up in
the back after being robbed.
And for good measure, every other
day I would get a memo from the program director saying, “JUST SHUT UP
AND PLAY THE RECORDS. YOU’RE NOT FUNNY. JUST PLAY THE GODDAMN HITS!”
Neither of us had a bright future.
was in an Armed Forces Radio Reserve unit back then. My draft number
was 4, which meant if eligible I’d be drafted in one nanosecond. So I
managed to get into this unit, although it meant a commitment of six
After completing regular Basic Training and Advanced
Training my obligation was 16 hours a month and two weeks every summer.
It was during one of those summer camps that I first met Pvt. Isaacs.
a friend of his he was able to transfer into the unit upon his arrival
to California. He had no broadcast training nor any desire to become a
broadcaster but this was the army, so he was approved immediately by the
unit. It’s amazing they didn’t try to recruit him.
So now I’m in Ft.
Carson, Colorado, in the barracks, enjoying my first Breakfast Jack and
hoping to see DEEP THROAT for a third time when I notice a guy reading
the biography of George S. Kaufman (famous comedy playwright from the
20s-50s). Kaufman was an idol of mine (read MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER and
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU) and I was surprised to see someone reading
it on an army base. Actually, I was surprised to see anybody on an army
base reading any book.
So I introduced myself, we seemed to hit it off, and we discovered we both had this love for comedy.
How we decided to team up and become a writing team.