Friday Questions – come and get ‘em.
Peter gets us started.
What’s your opinion on the news that Cate Blanchett will play Lucille Ball in a biopic written by Aaron Sorkin?
Aaron, you have some ‘splainin’ to do. Actually, I think Cate Blanchett is inspired casting and Aaron Sorkin is a tremendous writer. It’ll be interesting to see how he does writing Cubans, but if anyone can pull it off he's the man.
Shawn K. asks:
Have you ever seen a joke, or gag, on another show that made you say, "How in the world, have I never thought of that?"
Yes, but I sheepishly confess I forget the show. It might’ve been THE DREW CAREY SHOW. If not, I apologize to whatever show it was.
A character said, “The penis -- mightier than the sword.” I thought, “I’ve seen the expression written out a million times – The pen is mightier than the sword – but never made that connection." Well done… whomever.
From Brian Phillips:
I've seen your entries about the men that warmed up the audiences, yourself included. Who are some of the warm up women?
There are probably others but I just don’t know who they are. There needs to be more.
An odd question, but are sound stages air conditioned? In several MASH episodes that were clearly shot on the stage, the actors seem to be dripping in sweat. And I'm talking about episodes that were not set during a heat wave. Overall, what are sound stage conditions like? In the 20th Anniversary special Alan Alda talked about a rat problem on Stage 9.
They are air conditioned but some better than others. And hot bright lights are required for shooting so depending on the stage and scene it can get toasty.
Newer stages have better air conditioning and the lighting has been improved as well.
Those old sound stages on 20th go back to the ‘30s and ‘40s.
As for rats – all sound stages have that problem. Lots of corners and crawl spaces. And if there is a lot of prop food sitting around, especially overnight, it is not uncommon to have visitors.
A show I wrote for in the ‘80s, OPEN ALL NIGHT, was set in a 24 hour convenience store so there were lots of food items on the shelves. Ratatouille and his buck tooth pals had a field day.
And finally, from Magnanimous:
Ken - If you know someone is a jerk, treats their staff miserably, treats their own family pretty miserably, does that make you unable to enjoy a show that they work on?
For example, years ago I had a terrible professional experience with someone who is now a high level producer on Empire and because of it I can't be unbiased about the show. You seem like such a professional, but I wonder if you have this issue too.
Of course. I’m human. There are certain actors I just can’t enjoy because of their off camera tyranny or general scumbagidness. I hesitate to mention a certain comedian turned sitcom star because I don’t want another fifty comments on the subject. But you know who I mean.
And there are producers whose shows I just won’t watch because of their bad behavior. Don't care how celebrated their shows are.
Being talented does not give you the right to treat people like shit. And I have little respect for those industry people who wield their power or success to steamroll over others. Especially when they’re two-faced and have this sweet public persona on camera and off camera are holy terrors.
The irony of course, is that more often than not the horrible behaving person is NOT that talented. So it's easy to skip their show.
ON ANOTHER NOTE;
Last week I wrote a rant on how many sitcoms today don't even try to be funny. My friend & colleague & fellow blogger Earl Pomerantz today offers a thoughtful rebuttal. Here's my original article. And here's Earl's response. I think next week I'll respond to his response. But check out Earl's. He's been out for awhile with Legionnaire's Disease (yikes!) so I'm thrilled he's recovered and back. Bookmark his site. It's terrific.