Hello from somewhere in Japan. Still, I never stand down from answering Friday Questions. What's yours? Kansha. (Thanks in Japanese... I think.)
gottacook leads off.
a wonderful thing that MASH DVDs allow viewers to choose to omit the
laugh track. Did you ever imagine, when working on the show, (i) whether
such a thing might be possible one day for home video, and (ii) whether
there might eventually be comedies (such as the "single-camera" type)
that were laugh track-free?
At the time we wrote MASH we
had no clue the show would still be so popular thirty years later. We
were just thrilled when THREE’S COMPANY stopped kicking our ass in the
ratings. I also never thought someday you could own the shows for your
own home library. By the way, they look better on DVD than they ever
did on the air.
But I fully expected that at some point a
single-camera show could escape the laugh track shackles. Hour dramas
that had comedy sprinkled in like MOONLIGHTING helped the cause.
On MASH at least CBS allowed us to do O.R. scenes laugh track free. “Let it go, Hawkeye. He’s gone.” (ha ha ha ha ha ha).
willie b wants to know:
all familiar with how cheap networks and studios are.
So why are writing partners or rooms of writers the norm in TV? Seems to
me the networks/studios would be happy paying just one writer instead
of a whole roomful.
They would. The trouble is very few
writers can write 22 episodes of television a year by themselves… and
not wind up in the drooling academy. All the more reason why Larry
Gelbart, Aaron Sorkin, and David E. Kelley are Gods.
From Brendan DuBois:
Frasier, at what point were the title cards written, the ones that used
puns and such to introduce different scenes? Were they part of the
original script, or were they added on later?
were a stylistic choice from the get-go. In the pilot, Peter Casey,
David Lee, and David Angell employed them to help introduce characters.
E.G. -- Before Niles’ first scene a card appeared that read “the brother”.
For the FRASIER scripts my partner and I wrote we included several
card suggestions. Some they used, some they didn’t, some they did
themselves that were better.
And finally, from Chris Ayers:
the episode where BJ is making Charles think he's gaining & losing
weight, were you the "Beanpole Levine" whose pants made Winchester think
he'd gotten fat?
Even though I pronounce it “La-Vine”, yep. A little inside joke to amuse maybe three people at the time. Now four. Thanks for noticing.