Monday, August 18, 2014

State of the Blog report

Every so often the home plate umpire has to step out and warn both benches to play nice.

The comments section has become a little unruly. Generally, I don’t respond to specific comments. A) It’s your forum, and B) if I did I’d be chained to my computer all day. When could I watch MASTERS OF SEX? So better to just respond here.

I’ve been getting more and more angry trolls. Yes, they point out all the myriad reasons why I suck, but my takeaway is “Wow. I must be gaining in popularity to get this much attention.” So thank you.

It’s amazingly flattering. I have actual haters.

The trouble is their diatribes go against the tone I’m trying to set. I want this to be a fun blog, and occasionally by dumb luck – informative. Obviously, controversy sparks more discussion and generally higher traffic, but that’s not my concern. An old war story about CHEERS is not going to get the same volume of readers as Ann Coulter blaming Obama for photosynthesis.

So to steer the comments section back into a non-military zone I’ve begun deleting more Anonymous comments. But again, thanks for the attention. And now you can hate me more. So everyone wins.

One rule I’ve always had was you must leave a name. If you file an Anonymous comment and I don’t like it you’re subject to deletion. Some say they don’t know how to post otherwise. You can still sign the bottom of your piece.

Okay.  Moving on. 

Since new people always ask: If I can’t find an appropriate photo for that day’s post I feature a picture of Natalie Wood. It’s my favorite tradition.

Some readers are angry that I sometimes repost articles on the weekend. I try to repost things from three or more years back. Here’s why: I get a lot of new readers who never saw these gems originally, very few people go rummaging through the archives, traffic tends to be lighter on the weekend, and you try writing new original content every day for almost nine years. My one fear of this blog is that eventually I’ll just get tired of doing it and stop.  It's not like I'm making any money.   Reposting gives me a little breather while still providing fresh material for probably 70% of my audience. It always amuses me that readers get so angry and indignant over this. I’m so sorry you’re not getting your money’s worth from this free blog.

I know a lot of folks are annoyed by the word verification process. This is a Blogger issue. I have no say in this. I wish it easier.  If I eliminate it I'll be deluged in spam. 

From time to time there are typos and grammatical mistakes.   Think of it as part of my charm.

Friday Questions: I do try to answer as many as I can. Over the next few weeks I may add some extra days to catch up a little. But please keep ‘em coming. Some I don’t answer because I’ve answered them before. I’m thinking of compiling them all for a book, but my other books have to sell more first (“hint hint”).

Unfortunately, there will be no Sitcom Room seminar this year. I’m busy with my play, a TV pilot, teaching at USC, directing an episode of INSTANT MOM, and oh yeah – this blog. Hopefully next year I will pick it up again.

Otherwise, thanks so much for your continued support. I’ve met a lot of great people through this blog, and often the comments are more insightful or funnier than the posts themselves.  I’m always curious as to how people found this blog, where they’re from, and what topics they like the most. So feel free to weigh in.  Especially first-timers.  Just sign your name.  Thanks again.


Scott Cason said...

This is one of the more informative and insightful blogs I read on a daily basis. Thanks for your work, Ken.

E.J. Copperman said...

And above all, thanks for the picture of Natalie Wood.

Richard Y said...

Well said Ken -

Charlee Hutton said...

I honestly can't remember how I found your blog, but it remains one of my favorite things to read. Thank you, Ken, for your blog and your other work.

Lola Heatherton said...

I love you, Ken Levine, I want to bear your children! HAAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Scooter Schechtman said...

I'm more of a gassy troll, especially after my oat bran-and-spam breakfast...
There's your increased blog traffic, you're welcome!

Bill Jones said...

Keep on doing what you're doing. Thanks for your blog!

D Markell said...


I assume at some point you read all these comments, and I noticed something very troubling. I had commented (I don't very often) on the post about the anonymous writer who thought a joke was funny (the re-posted blog). My comment was a general one about listening for jokes from the audience, on a taped show and the audience.

I didn't bother to go back and read the rest of the thread until today, so was puzzled when a writer currently working in sitcom wrote me to ask if I'd known the writer in question.

Only this morning I went back to the thread and saw that someone referred to the outed writer by name and called him a "skeezer creeper." What's troubling is that person signed my name. I don't post anonymously, but you should really check this out. I never sent that post, nor would I mention another writer who I don't even know and have never worked with. Why someone would use my name is beyond me, but that fact that they can post stuff under my name is upsetting as you can understand. And no, I'm neither a nutcase who posts things and then denies them, or a coward who does the same. Just a one time sitcom writer and playwright. Who doesn't like someone else's opinions being put in his mouth, as it were.


Denis Markell

Anonymous said...

Terrible post.

Rick Lewis said...

Hi Ken,
I've enjoyed reading your blog for years. You've been spared my comments because the audio word verification was literally unsolvable (except maybe by a bot.) It's better now, so you're in for it.
Gotta love one of the three people in the world who remember Fizznicks (and I know I couldn't have spelled that correctly.)
Your old radio home of Bakersfield was a test market for them; everybody had one.
But 7-Up, who marketed it, didn't make the best floats, so the sales spike probably lasted, oh, maybe, 4 minutes.

Bob said...


I think some people were confused by the Barbara Billingsley post because it didn't have a "this post originally ran blah blah blah" at the top. I think most of us knew it was a repost and there's nothing wrong with that at all, it's just that in this internet age we weren't sure if you actually thought she died last week or not (Twitter and Facebook often report a celeb dying when they've already died a few years earlier).

I see you've changed it to "several years ago." I think you should just add a line about it being a repost in the future and not change the original post.

ZappatheUnholy said...

Some people just have to be ruiners. Doesn't matter what you post, doesn't matter what you believe. These people will take issue with it and be a general pain in the bye-bye buns. Don't sweat em, because they simply aren't worth the attention. It is fun to retaliate at times when their ignorance and stupidity is ripe for the picking.. but then they'll just come back. Keep up the good work, and good luck with the pilot.. gawd knows TV needs something fresh.

Dan Ball said...

Ken, I'm just glad you haven't become a shill like a bunch of these 20/30something quasi-religious bloggers who just become experts at voicing their opinions and somehow get invited to speaking engagements. You go to their websites and can't help but notice that they've written several books, are available for speaking engagements, etc. AND FOR WHAT? For BLOGGING. Most of them post ridiculous headlines just to grab attention and generate traffic. Sure, they have eloquent opinions on a host of subjects, but that's it. They don't really have any education or experience to back up those opinions. Yet, they're considered authorities in SEVERAL fields just because they share their non-academic opinions on the web. If there's an easier way to spread ignorance on the masses like butter and jelly, I ain't heard of it.

Thanks for backing up your blogs with anecdotes and, most of all, humor. Thanks for answering several of my Friday questions and considering the others (I'm still excited to hear your answer about liquor liability on the CHEERS set). Whether or not I find myself writing a sitcom someday, see how life in the writer's room or on the set operates through the eyes of someone who's been there for decades. I've been more or less happily stuck in Kentucky my whole/short life, so Hollywood has just seemed like a modern-day Mt. Olympus to me: a place reserved for immortals and deities. Through your stories, I see it's just a regular place where people create the things I create more than people here in KY typically do. Hopefully I'll find a regular means of getting out to LA someday and seeing just how normal it is for real.

Anyway, I'm glad you still like keeping this blog going. It's pretty staggering to consider you post at least something everyday-- weekend or not, new or repost. I've tried keeping a blog ever since I was in high school and it's tough just remembering to post once a year, let alone creating content every day when you're not getting paid.

If your sitcom gets picked up, you should take a day off. :)

onechocohall said...

Hi Ken. In response to your ?: 1) learned of your blog via Stephanie Palmer's 2-18-14 blogpost: 10 most influential screenwriting blogs, 2) from Tulsa, OK , 3) like any topics where I can glean something about the screenwriting industry. Former Ins./Banking professional turned stay-at-home mom turned aspiring screenwriter. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Michelle Hall @onechocohall

Charles Porter said...

Please don't stop blogging Ken! Your posts are so refreshing it usually makes my day when I'm feeling down about something.

If you get tired of doing it everyday, you could always do it every week perhaps?

As a TV writer still on the outside looking in, it's cool to hear what you have to say about the new shows.

Unlike a bitter critic, you have an insider's perspective, having written sitcoms for years. Please don't stop.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

I can't remember now how I originally found you, because I've been reading for a few years. But I can tell you that you're one of my favorites ... and that's saying something, because I'm a daily blogger, myself, and I have more than 200 blogs in my RSS feed. :-) I work full-time outside the home and I have four kids; I live in Birmingham, Ala., and love TV almost as much as I love my children. Actually, it gives ONE of my children a real run for his money. (You and I share a sense of humor. One of the reasons I love you so.) Also? " I’m so sorry you’re not getting your money’s worth from this free blog"? Maybe your best line. Thanks for all the free entertainment!

Mike Botula said...

Ken, thank you for the reality check. Personally, I look forward to the re-posts. You're right, many of them I hadn't read before, and I've been following you for several years. In terms of learning from you, I'd have to say that you are one of the best teachers I've known since I commenced my "Golden Years" college career three or four years ago. Keep the blog coming, and if it includes some repeats, great. I also want to thank you for re-stating the rules for signing comments. Now, let's give "Anonymous" a first name so he has a real identity. I suggest "Hieronymous." It rhymes. He can be "Mous-Mous" for short.

Lyle said...


Every day I begin with (Mark Evanier), then the one and only Ken Levin blog, then Earl Pomerantz, then Drudge (though that is getting repetitious and I may switch to Yahoo News), then a local (Escondido) political blog.

Love 'em all.

Usually takes a good hour to 1.5 hours to get through my daily ritual.

I believe I found you via Mark Evanier's recommendation; perhaps EarlPomerantz. It was about two or three years ago that I started reading and enjoying you.

Unlike a lot of your readres I DID go back and read all the archives from day one. Same with both Mark and Earl's blogs. I'm a bit obsessive/compulsive in nature and like to cover all bases.

Totally agree with you eliminating the 'anonymous' posters. If they don't have the balls (or ovaries) to stand behind what the say and ID themselves then who needs them? What value do their comments have if they hide behind a no-name?

Keep up the great work/pleasure.

lyle e davis
The Paper
(North San Diego County)

Cat said...

A word of encouragement, Ken--I love your blog and look forward to reading it everyday. Oh, and I once hit the wrong key and posted as anonymous--oh, the guilt!

middle weight said...


Canda said...

Ken, one reason that re-posts should be labeled is that some of them, like the Barbara Billingsley post, have information that will seem confusing otherwise. For example, the post said she had died over the weekend (when she in fact had died years ago), and then you mentioned that the actor who played Lumpy on "Leave It To Beaver" is Jerry Mathers financial adviser, which is impossible, since that actor died in 2013.

If someone thought that was a current post, they might go to work and spread that misinformation, or feel like an idiot after they were corrected.

It's just easier to say, "this post is from_______(fill in the date).

Nonchalant Savant said...

"I’m so sorry you’re not getting your money’s worth from this free blog."

This should be prominently displayed at the top of your blog.

Don't remember how I found you either, but appreciate your effort to let anonymous idiots be anonymous idiots somewhere else.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I have no problem with reposts, but I agree with those who say they should be labeled as such; personally, I would put something that gives the date of the original post: "This is a repost; this entry originally ran on [date here]". As others have said, it saves people from getting excited about something they think is news and so on. I started reading this blog after the Roseanne incident of 2011, which is quite a while ago, and I *have* wandered through some of the archives, but I hadn't seen the "Shecky" post before, so you're right that the reposts are often new to much of the audience. But that in itself is the problem, so (speaking with my journalistic and old-net-curmudgeon hats on) I strongly urge you to label them as reposts and note the original date.


mmryan314 said...

Ken- My reading of your blog started with the purchase of a Roku box and Netflix.I started watching Cheers about 8 months ago. I had seen it in the 80's and loved it but never took the time, at that time, to read the credits. As I watched certain episodes I went to the internet and researched my favorite episodes and the writers of them. Hence- I was directed to your blog. I love it.

Pete Grossman said...

As a copywriter I always kick my day off with your blog. Gets me in the groove. Keep on keepin' on!

Frank Paradise said...

I've been reading the blog since pretty well the beginning and have to thank Ken for all the entertaining stories and fantastic lessons for poor comedy writing fools like me given over the years. Hard to believe people actually complain or criticize Ken for giving so much of his free time to keeping us idiots entertained for nothing. Cheers!

Igor said...

People complain about reposts?!!!

If they want to come back and read more, next time make them pay double. That'll teach 'em.

Al said...

I've been reading for several years and I think I was referred from Mark Evaniers great blog. As I get older these things are harder to remember.

And the problem with trolls, as I'm sure you are aware, isn't unique to your blog. When I first got on the internet it was really great to dig into discussion sections and exchange ideas with people who thought a little different than you did.

I've since abandoned almost all discussion posts, as invariably they all devolve into screaming matches, accusations of someone being a Nazi, and posts inviting me to this business idea that they didn't believe would work, but "oh boy was I surprised".

Cliff Corcoran said...


I discovered your blog after listening to you broadcast the Mariners. I couldn't figure out why or how you knew so many tv related stories and people to chat about during the down periods of the game. So I searched your name and wham, figured out that you might be worth following beyond the Baseball venue. I've developed the habit of reading your blog most days to get my day kicked off in a light mood. Thank You!

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

:) :) :)

This is a wonderful blog.

Delete the dopes and keep up the good work.

Break a leg with the play!

Marty Fufkin said...

Blogging is a form of journalism that is practised by non-journalists. Therefore, it's understandable that there's a blind spot to certain protocols. But like other commenters pointed out, when an old article is re-printed / re-posted, the protocol is to flag it as "A re-post from ___," and not change a word of the original post, unless you also indicate that it has been edited.

Anyway, you're doing a great job. I can't imagine how much time this blog takes up or what motivates you to post every day, but I love reading your behind-the-scenes stories, opinions, and reminiscences. It's great to see a writer practising his craft for the love of it.

Mister Charlie said...

Ken, I appreciate this blog and the work that goes into it. It is fun, funny and informative. One day you will, likely, get tired and move on. Hopefully not for awhile yet.

Anonymous said...

How anyone can complain about something that's provided for free, is beyond me. And if they don't like your blog, why come here at all? Truly, it's mind-boggling.

I'm astounded that you manage to come up with interesting and entertaining topics to write about 7 days a week, minus the occasional day for repeats. I really enjoy your blog and want to thank you sincerely for taking the time to write it.

I found your blog through the DoneDealPro website, which provides a daily link.

All the best,
Margie Kaptanoglu

Charles H. Bryan said...

On the other hand, without the odd, the difficult, the vitriolic, the clueless, the entitled, and all their related ilk, we wouldn't have sitcom characters. Or dramatic characters. Or elections.

Completely unrelated to anything, but some time back there was a discussion of commentary tracks worth listening to. I'll toss in Ron Moore for his Battlestar Galactica commentaries. Sometimes his wife and cats are featured, which I found kind of endearing. He seems very honest, very complimentary towards collaborators, and when he has a problem with how things turned out, he takes the blame. He even admits when he was wrong. Good show, nice dude.

Dhppy said...

Of course. This would be the year that I had resolved to do the Sitcom Room Seminar. I was convinced all the emails about it were going to my spam folder.

B Cramer said...

Hi Ken, I have actually read all of your books. (Bought them too). Great writer. Of course, I knew you were from your TV shows. I picked up your blog from a recommendation from a friend. It gets me through each work day. What I really enjoy is all of goofy ass stuff that happens in your industry and to you during your life.

Kathleen said...

I've been reading you so long I don't remember how I "found" you (of course I'm so old I don't remember where I put my glasses 10 minutes ago rim shop). I do appreciate your blog, I don't mind typos or reposts, treasure your stories about baseball and radio, and find your tips on writing invaluable (being a fledgling playwright myself). Thank you so much and please keep on keeping on (as the kids said back in the 60's. I think. Or maybe not.)

Kathleen said...

Meant to type "rim shot", not shop.

Johnny Walker said...

What's with all the love for the haters? I guess we all need to become a bit grumpier from now on.

I love the re-posts for the most part. I haven't bothered to read all the archives, or even most of them, but when I have looked back there I've found some amazing posts. I too would like to see a note that they're reposted -- if only so I can go back and read the original comments, too.

@Denis Markell: If you login using a Google account, or an OpenID account, then it can be seen that it's really you.

Anonymous said...

Comic Book Guy: Last night's Itchy & Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.

Bart: Hey, I know it wasn’t great, but what right do you have to complain?

Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.

Bart: What? They’re giving you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? If anything, you owe them.

Comic Book Guy: Worst episode ever.

—David S. Cohen, "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", The Simpsons

Belle said...

Just stopping by the comments to say I'm probably a bit of an odd one out here, being 19 and from Australia. I found my way here in a very roundabout way after looking into the real people the MASH characters were based on, which ended up at one of your posts with a response from Gary Burghoff.

I can tell you I was incredibly happy to find something MASH related on the internet I hadn't read (I've been a huge fan since I was about 12), so I spent the next 3 days are so scrolling through the archives. I didn't cover everything though, so reposts are more than fine by me! I love your first hand accounts of writing for MASH, but to be honest pretty much all your stories are interesting and funny, so whatever you post I'll keep coming back to read.

Also, bonus points for actually updating daily! I really appreciate you taking time out from what must be a fairly busy schedule to share your stories with us :)

Ruth Comeau said...

Hi Ken,

I started reading years ago after someone on the website "Mighty Big TV" (later called recommended it. I even remember the user's name--Rinaldo! I try to check in daily or every few days because I enjoy your stories, obituaries, and random thoughts. I even bought your e-book Must Kill TV as a thank you, per your suggestion to show support!

I enjoy reading the comments as well when appropriate or as time permits. I just skip over the spammers because a lot of the commenters have interesting stuff to share too.

In any case, thank you for your daily blog. It is appreciated!

Snoskred said...

I'm from Australia as well, not sure how I got here but I enjoy reading your blog. :)

Rick Nye said...

Ken, thanks so much for not only the blog but for all the hours of writing, re-writing, rehearsing, directing, casting, dealing with difficult talent, dealing with the networks, eating bad food, getting rejected, losing sleep, losing time with family all so we could sit on our asses and be entertained for 22 minutes. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I took a class at UCLA a few years ago and your partner, David taught the class and he told us about your blog. Even though I write one-hour dramas I have learned so much from your blog and David's class. I always encourage new writers to follow you here. I've never met you in person but I think you and David are fabulous people the way you both give back and teach up and coming writers. I hope the negative stuff here doesn't get you down. Keep up the great work. Cheers, Michelle Reynolds

Hamid said...

I found the blog after watching a Cheers rerun that featured Al Rosen. I went on Google to see if there were any photos of him in his younger days and one of the results was a post by Ken about Al Rosen and not having a photo of him from his younger days.

Chris said...

Friday question: Alec Sulkin recently said on WTF that he wrote a spec Everybody Loves Raymond where it turns out that Ray and Tony Soprano went to high school together.

I know you've always advised against that, but he said he did it exactly because everybody was writing "normal" specs and everyone was tired of reading just another Raymond or just another Frasier, they wanted specs that stood out. He says it got him a job on Fox.

Any thoughts about doing this kind of thing?

Pamela said...

Love your blog; been reading it for about four years, and have been through all the archives. I'm an avid "Frasier" fan and probably found it that way.

I'm in Iowa and a writer (fiction) and actor (local stage). Therefore I cherish posts about writing or acting, and TV, movie, and radio opinions and stories. Most enjoy the "Frasier" and "Cheers" posts and the Elizabeth Montgomery love. If you ever run out of Natalie photos, you could switch to Liz.

SharoneRosen said...

With a missed day here or there, I've been enjoying your blog everyday since it began. You kept me entertained between traffic reports uplinked to Sirius XM (sitting in Culver City, describing the traffic around the Puget Sound). I've been a fan of your writing since yours and David's names first crawled across my TV in the MASH credits and I continue to love the way you write. Can't WAIT to go see your play (do I get a Big Boy combo before the show or after? Decisions, decisions...).

DAMN THE HATERS, full speed ahead!

KING OF JAZZ said...

I found your blog courtesy of blogger Mark Evanier, who recommended it to his readers.

Henry said...

Friday Question: What is your opinion on the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri? Is it your position that the National Guard and Cops should be shooting to kill when they encounter the violent thugs looting and rioting?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken
I'll always be grateful that you satisfied my curiosity about MTM's "Mary" from 1985-86.
But your blog is also always entertaining and informative. Thanks for trying to keep a clean comment section. Ire gets so old.
Tim Gray

Dan in Rhode Island said...

Hi Ken.

First let me say I appreciate you taking the time to post anything each and every day. As someone who once operated a blog myself, I know how hard it is to come up with fresh material even weekly. Keep up the good work!

Secondly, I have a Friday question. I read your recent post on Queen Elizabeth visiting the Orioles, and enjoyed it so much I bought a secondhand copy of It's Gone... No, Wait a Minute! Which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My Question: You talked about how difficult it was for you to be away from your family, and how that factored into your decision to leave Baltimore after one season. How much of that factored into your decision to join the Mariners, and how much easier was it for your family to adjust to your absence in your second year in the bigs as opposed to your first?

JCD said...

Thanks for the great work, Ken. I've been a devoted reader for many years now.

The state of internet comments in general have moved me away from that section of many great blogs and sites. Though I'm much more likely to find clever words from bright people on your blog than many others, it's become a bit of a habit not to check them.

I'll have to get back in the habit 'round here.

Anonymous said...

Ken Said:

"Since new people always ask: If I can’t find an appropriate photo for that day’s post I feature a picture of Natalie Wood."

Ken, you should ignore people who ask questions as observations, and don't even use a question mark. It means they don't really care about what they're writing. They just like to type.

JoeyH said...

Thanks for your efforts. This blog and Evanier's are my two favorites.

M Saxton said...

Been reading and enjoying for years. Mark Evanier referral. I love all your topics, except baseball. I read the archives (much shorter when I started), so I've read pretty much everything, except baseball. I don't mind the reposts at all. To be honest, I don't recognize them as reposts sometimes, so I missed it or perhaps forget. When I do recognize a repost, it's usually because I enjoyed it and look forward to spending a whole minute re reading.

Or if I don't want to re read, I'll just not. Like baseball.

I have regularly read dozens of blogs over the years. From time to time. Only yours and Mark Evanier's have kept me. So I think you are fantastic and can stomach a few reposts.

Thanks for all the great posts. Much appreciated.

Michael said...

The late, great Shirley Povich of The Washington Post, which once was a newspaper, once said that any writer needs to remember that s/he is writing for only one person: that writer. It's you and that piece of paper--or, now, computer screen. Well, it's YOUR blog, Ken. If nobody reads it, there's something wrong, but you can't be who or what you aren't. I check your blog daily and almost always find it interesting and always find it well-written.

Maryking said...

A pregame baseball interview with you brought me here! Love your stories about learning to call a game in the upper deck of Dodger Stadium. I have stayed for your MASH, Cheers and Frasier stories. Best shows on TV.

Your books are great fun and I highly recommend them. My 85 year old mom had a blast with Me Generation!

Thanks for your blog!

Ian Regan said...


Long-time British fan of your blog here. Your rants, ramblings, reminiscences and comedic essays have entertained and informed me.

Keep up the good work, sir!

Albert Giesbrecht said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Albert Giesbrecht said...

Have you thought of asking Samantha Stevens to twitch her lips, and make two Kens, so you can do all the things you want to do?

Leslie said...

Hi, Ken. I've been lurking on your blog for years. What makes you different is that you update the blog EVERY DAY. I like to see what you're writing about, even if I don't read the whole post (coughbaseballcough). If you do a re-post, I think, maybe it was one I ignored but will read this time. I don't really know what motivates you to do this. I can't even manage to post a Facebook status once a year. Keep on being awesome. Everybody who matters knows about trolls and ignores them.

RareWaves said...


I love your blog and read it daily. I find it very fun and entertaining and for the most part, I enjoy the comments, too. You've obviously dealt with discouragement before and I hope you'll continue to keep up this blog for as long as you feel like it.

Anu said...

Detractors--stop the rancor! Show some respect. This blog is written by an illustrious comedy writer who has 3 shows in the top 100 written shows of all time ranked by the WGA. He is also has been a professional baseball announcer. You know how hard it is to pronounce--let alone remember players' names? Ken can also delineate in uncanny detail his whole childhood. The man is ridiculously intelligent. God bless this Renaissance Man for writing this blog and imparting sage advice that I have applied to my non-Hollywood career.

Ken--if you ever stop penning entries it would be an internet calamity. I personally would be devastated. I've been reading your blog more or less every day since 2006 after googling the writing credits for the MASH “P.O.V” episode.

You have made me laugh in my most bleak times, through my divorce and parents being hospitalized. Moreover, you have entertained me through interminable lines of traffic and shoppers! I can't tell you the nimiety of friends I have forwarded your posts to, from award show & movie reviews to hilarious posts about calling technical support.

People--if you are looking for accurate facts--go to Wikipedia. If you find erroneous content there, edit them. This is a Blog not a Wiki. Regarding typos--who cares!? I'm not a writer but I read screenplays as a hobby. You know how many typos are in final shooting scripts? How many of you have written emails to bosses with errors? I know I have. Vis-a-vis reposts, why should he have to label them? When you watch a rerun of a show on television, the network does not state beforehand that it is a rerun. If the episode is engaging you watch it again; if it’s not, you don't. It’s really that simple folks. Please stop vexing my favorite blogger of all time! Be grateful it’s free. In fact, I'm feeling so cruddy that Ken had to squander a blog post to reproach some of his puerile readers that I am going to buy all his books today!

Dana Gabbard said...

I noticed of late the churlish tone of some comments. Glad Ken isn't allowing this outpost of sanity to become overwhelmed by the trolls. Disneyland cleans grafitti quickly with the philosophy that once the despoilers see their childish comments written on the bathroom wall have been painted over promptly they give up. Hopefully after their childish rants receive similar treatment here they'll retreat to yahoo or other places that for whatever reason endure the trolls.

I found this blog via Mark Evanier's blog. Have read it for years and found it entertaining and often very funny. I bought Must Die TV and enjoyed it greatly. Some lfe challenges have been happening of late (laid off after nearly 27 years with the same job, battling landlord in small claims court) which has inspired me to take a shot at writing a comic novel. Reading this blog is one of the inspirations for me to keep working on the damn thing (I attended a meetup for writers Sunday in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles -- very positive experience sitting at a Coffee Bean with my laptop writing with 10 writers around me doing the same). Ken, don't let the bastards get you down! Many of us appreciate you!

Oksa said...

Hello Ken,
Another evidence of your international audience : french reader here.

I found your blog through TWOP forums last year, watching for the first time Cheers and reading comments on the board to know why my beloved Diane would not grace my screen anymore. Somebody linked your blog during a discussion about Shelley Long relationships with the rest of the cast.
I think I read everything you ever wrote here about Cheers each spare minute I got during two weeks with the search function. Would have loved it at the time if you used tags !
I still come because I love your writing. Getting your thoughts on the tv/movie industry in America, even when I disagree (I laugh when I watch the Mindy Project and no, I don't like Jerry Lewis), is always a treat.

Thank you for your time and the quality read you always provide.

Barry Traylor said...

This is one of my favorite blogs so please ignore as much as you can the morons that are out there.
I am not a big fan of baseball but the days you focus on the game are no big deal for me as so many other days are insightful or just plain funny. Always look for forward to your Emmy and Oscar reviews, they are always so much better than the awards shows themselves. Darn near forgot to mention that I had clean my desk after I spewed coffee on it while reading your Beaver Cleaver blog yesterday.
Keep up the good work.

Johnny Walker said...

@Chris: When I met the awesome Jane Espenson at Ken's SITCOM ROOM seminar, she talked a little about what she called "wildcard" specs.

She suggested writing a spec for a current show, an original show, and if you wanted to, a "wildcard" where you essentially have some fun. (Mixing two shows together, for example.) She seemed to think there was value in it, and obviously Alec Sulkin has confirmed that there is.

Maria said...

One thing to always remember in life: haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.

benson said...

Ken, regarding the weekend posts, it's just a matter of branding. Harken back to your radio days. The weekend blogs should be branded "Solid Gold Weekends".

Chris said...

Friday question: When did the WGA rules about credits change? Cheers has Jimmy Burrows credited as a creator even though he doesn't even have a story credit on the pilot.

Also, what's up with the "produced by" credit given out starting season 3 to Ken Estin & Sam Simon. Nowadays, that's used for the line producer. When and why did that change?

Kathy Clifford said...

Ken, I heard you on the radio one day and the host talked about your blog. I've been reading, and enjoying it, since. Thanks.

David Arnott said...

Ken, you liar, you said you were going to be cranky. Instead, you were just as reasonable and thoughtful as you always are.

Add me to the long list of people who greatly appreciate this blog... and to the short list of people who've suggested adding some sort of date/header to your re-posts.

AAllen said...

I changed from being a reader-only to being an occasional commenter just after your first get-to-know-you post, so here goes:

I don't remember exactly how I got here, either from a talk radio mention or another blog, but it was from Dave Niehaus' passing. After reading that tribute post, I kept on reading the blog from being a fan of your baseball play-by-play.

A note for those readers who have not heard Ken's baseball coverage. Ken's baseball play-by-play is highly addictive. He respects the game, so his call is not a laugh-a-minute; the humor comes only occasionally. Like a slot machine that pays off sporadically, I hang on every minute of the broadcast waiting to hear what he will say next.

In 1994, not only was the season cut short by the strike, but I also missed Ken's voice. When the game started again, Rick Rizz was back, and Ken was gone. Then I missed a rare fill-in game, after work, when I thought it was a night game but tuned in to the end of an early evening game. Aaaarrgghhh!

I finally got you back when you became part of the regular rotation of fill-in hosts after the loss of Dave Niehaus. If a social engagement took me away from the radio on the nights you called a game, I timer recorded it, cut them up into MP3s and kept all the recordings (don't tell Bud Selig.) I got such gems as the game with the infield triple, followed by fan interference on a foul ball, and the fan was the man who dressed up as Ichiro Suzuki. I thoroughly enjoyed the story about the birth of the Angels being the result of KIRO 710 blocking good nighttime coverage of the Los Angeles station that carried the Dodgers. Right now I'm listening to the Mariners, with the replacement host that they finally decided on. And I have to say: you wuz robbed! I wuz robbed too. But I'm glad other things have worked out and you are still busy.

Unlike other commenters, I want to see more posts about baseball. You're a shining light in a nation obsessed with football.

Greg Ehrbar said...

I always read your blog and Mark Evanier's blog first every day and learned more about you through Mark and

As a favor to you and public service to everyone, here is a handy disclaimer you are free to use:

* Portions of this blog have been pre-recorded or previous released. Blog subject to change without notice. Blogger reserves the right to limit quantities. Copies of "Must Kill TV" sold separately at nominal additional charges. The content of this blog may contain nuts or may have been manufactured within several miles of nut use. Writer takes no responsibility for indignant affrontery nor can be accountable for instances in which individuals or households do not "get it". May not be valid in New Hampshire, Wyoming and Youngstown, Ohio. Select witticisms, anecdotes and/or sparkling bon mots are for external use only. Repeated use may cause unwanted flatulence.

cleo said...

I never comment, but this is a great blog. I found it last year b/c it was on the Time (I think) list of best blogs. Some of the content I like, some I'm less interested in (sports primarily) I like reading about the tv industry. I was a huge fan of Cheers. The Natalie Wood thing is great. It's your blog, do what you want with it. Haters be damned.


Mr. the work you do and the fun stories you tell. Why not have an extra comment section just for anonymous. I hate to say i do read them for the fun but hey I look at car accidents also....

Jason Hankins said...

I found this blog when it was named to Time's Top list for some year (I don't remember if it was 2011 or 2012). I really enjoy it and even if I miss a day or two I always go back and catch up.

I've also enjoyed your books and you have also pointed me at a couple of other blog's that I enjoy as well.

I also find the comments for your posts often very informative so I hope you are successful keeping the tone and people aren't scared off by negativity.

DrBOP said...

I feel about you and your blog the same way that your wife, children, relatives and friends feel about you :

That you should write MORE about baseball. :+)

Keep on chooglin'!

VP81955 said...

I get a lot of new readers who never saw these gems originally, very few people go rummaging through the archives, traffic tends to be lighter on the weekend, and you try writing new original content every day for almost nine years.

As someone who has tried to write something new on his blog for more than seven years (although my area of coverage is considerably more limited; if worse comes to worst, I can fall back on new Carole Lombard memorabilia now available at eBay), I can vouch for how tough it is, and that you do a terrific job, one I now further appreciate after becoming a Los Angeles resident. Keep it up.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story about the birth of the Angels being the result of KIRO 710 blocking good nighttime coverage of the Los Angeles station that carried the Dodgers.

KIRO may have had something to do with it, but I believe KMPC (also on 710, and the Dodgers' first LA flagship) had a relatively weak signal in the Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear Lake region, much to the chagrin of some team officials. Once the three-year deal was up, the Dodgers abandoned Gene Autry's station for the more powerful KFI, so Autry went to the AL meetings in late October 1960 hoping to get the LA expansion team's broadcast rights. He not only got them, but the franchise as well. (Of course, now the Dodgers' flagship is KLAC, whose signal isn't anywhere as strong as KMPC (now KSPN), much less KFI.

Craig Standefer said...

I found your blog via James Wolcott's blog. Thanks for all your hard work.

Mike K. Pa. said...

I'm listening to the audio book of Garry Marshall's autobiography "My Happy Days in Hollywood," which is a hoot, especially since he is reading it - a real treat. He mentioned his collaboration with Jerry Belson, which prompted me to Google Jerry. I found your tribute to him online, which led me to your blog, which I've bookmarked for regular review. A win-win for me.

Jeffro said...

To All Commenters,

In the manner of a certain set decoration piece from Cheers, Ken is basically saying:
"This is a SQUARE BLOG. Any tasteless comments will be deleted by the proprietor."


Steve Bailey said...

Ken: I am happy not to leave an anonymous post. I've loved your TV writing, and now I love your blog writing. Thanks for giving me so many thoughtful laughs. -- Sincerely, Steve Bailey, Jacksonville Beach, FL.

Herschel said...

I would like to be a troll or blog hater, but the T&BH union hated me... said I was too pretty to be a part of their clan. Found Ken's blog today and have enjoyed the reading...