I directed an NBC sitcom in the ‘90’s called LATELINE. Among the folks I pushed around were now-senator Al Franken, Miguel Ferrier (I can't keep up on what series he's currently on), Megyn Price (RULES OF ENGAGEMENT), Sanaa Latham, Caroline Aaron, Michael McKean, soap opera star Lisa LoCicero, Bob Elliott (from Bob & Ray), Robert Reich (of all people), and Allison Janey.
I’ve had to direct sports stars. Karl Malone (not funny), Terry Bradshaw (sort of funny), Mike Ditka (what do you think?).
This year’s Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris was directed by me… in STARK RAVING MAD. Also in that cast was Tony Shaloub. Can you imagine a better pairing?
Joan Plowright is one of the finest actresses to ever grace a stage. And yet, she was directed by me. That was in ENCORE ENCORE where I also worked with the great Nathan Lane, and Glenne Headly (DICK TRACY).
How many of you remember PEARL? It starred Rhea Perlman and I “megged” that show. In the cast were Malcolm McDowell (the guy starred in a Stanley Kubrick film), Carol Kane, and Lucy Liu (now starring in ELEMENTARY).
But CONRAD BLOOM, which starred Mark, also featured a rather nifty cast of Linda Lavin (Broadway royalty), the late comic genius, Steve Landesberg (BARNEY MILLER), Julie Benz (murdered horribly in DEXTER), and Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham.
I also worked with Julie in ASK HARRIET. Yes, my directing resume is impressive. Willie Garson (WHITE COLLAR) also toiled in that cast. And Ed Asner guested in both of my episodes. I never got to direct him in THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, just ASK HARRIET.
On my own show, ALMOST PERFECT, in addition to the amazing cast led by Nancy Travis (I was the showrunner, they had to tolerate me), we had Lisa Edelstein (HOUSE) as a frequent and hilarious guest. I also directed her in JUST SHOOT ME. Again, these are not shows any of these people are particularly known for. Tom Verica (now in HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER) played a porn star in one episode and Katherine LaNasa (lots of hour series that didn’t last) was an occasional guest, as was Talia Balsam (Mrs. George Clooney before Amal), and comedian Steven Wright. My note to Steve was “more energy.” Actually, it was “any energy.” But damn was he funny when the cameras rolled.
BECKER provided me the chance to work with a lot of great people you didn’t know were on BECKER. Comedians Gilbert Godfried and Avery Schreiber. Among the cast members were Shawnee Smith (SAW I-XIIVI), and Jorge Garcia (found on LOST). I also got to work with Brenda Vaccaro (celebrated movie star and one-time spokesperson for Playtex Tampons), reality star and jailbird Richard Hatch, and Nicolette Sheridan (happily, I’m not involved in any of her lawsuits).
And just as you may not remember some of these shows, I’m sure a large portion of the actors and actresses I listed above don’t remember me. Well, Al Franken does. I gave to his campaign.