Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who are you?

I try to do this at least once a year -- throw it back to you.  I'm always curious as to who is out there.  So today I'm asking you to file a comment.

I'd like to know where in the world you are?  How old you are?  How long have you been following the blog?  How did you find out about it the first time?    How often do you read it?  What do you hope to get out of it?  What's your blood type?

And I know I'm leading with my chin but I'd also like feedback.  What topics and posts do you like and (besides baseball) what areas don't you like?

I especially want to hear from the lurkers and new followers.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.  This blog is coming up on ten years next month.  But it's still very much a work-in-progress.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for participating.  Thanks for buying my books (those of you who had). 

237 comments :

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gottacook said...

Lots of people here, me included, seem to be in their 50s and hence your junior by not too many years - so we all probably remember first-hand the days of three national broadcast networks and perhaps a few local stations in a given market, and no home recording (although once or twice in the '70s I recorded audio cassettes of Star Trek syndication-cut episodes). It's been decades since I felt that I had to see any given program upon its first broadcast - probably not since the Cheers finale in May 1993. (By choice we don't have cable - I can catch up on any series that interests me later on.)

Learned about your blog many years ago via Alan Sepinwall's blog, likely when he was at the Newark NJ Star-Ledger. I have always followed the TV and movie business, since college in the late '70s when I used to pick up weekly Variety for 75 cents (it was on newsprint then) at newsstands in center-city Philadelphia. I got great entertainment from seeing the "For Your Consideration" glossy inserts during award nomination periods: for example, one that began "THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL / BEST PICTURE" - hilarious, if you'd seen the picture.

Casey Trowbridge said...

My name is Casey Trowbridge and I am 34 years of age. I was born and raised and still reside in the town of Huron, South Dakota.

I first discovered your blog not too long after it opened though I haven't been a regular reader that entire time. I guess I became more of a regular when I read your tribute to Harry Morgan.

I'm hear because you wrote and or directed some of my favorite shows including: M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Simpsons...I really enjoyed your appearances on those Simpsons commentaries. I even have your audiobook.

I like the interactive nature of your blog and that is best exemplified by the Friday questions. I also like that I never know what to expect when I make my way over here. Things like a spec Dick Van Dyke Show script were very nice surprises.

So that's me answering some very short questions in a very lengthy manner...exactly like in real life.

Stephen Golding said...

I'm 26, live in London, UK. Been reading the blog for about a year, which is when I finished the Cheers boxset and looked online to see how many people thought it was as great a sitcom as I, and somehow stumbled across this site. I read all the posts through feedly, well, except the baseball ones... (but don't stop them on my account). I appreciate your writing style - as well as being very funny, it's precise and succinct. And publishing something every day of that quality is very impressive. Keep up the good work.

Johnny Walker said...

I loved Bioshock!

Bob K said...

Hi, Ken. I'm 51, from Southeast PA, been reading the blog a few years now (linked through Evanier), blood type unknown. (Actually, my wife knows it and I always forget it). I'm a freelance sports camera operator and sometimes producer/writer. I enjoy your approach and passion to your crafts. I love the intelligent comedy you create, as opposed to the plethora of dick joke writers out there. Love the insight into the writing process. I struggle with scriptwriting and reading you helps to remind me to take a professional approach and understand that changes and re-writing are just part of the deal and not an evil twisted plot against me. Love the radio and sportscasting stories. (I listened to the reunion air check you posted awhile back - holy crap, you're good!). I hope to meet you someday, shake your hand and say thanks.

Chris G said...

I've been reading for...at least five or six years? Recovered theater person and current academic, living in Northern New England. I really enjoy the behind the scenes looks at creating TV and writing generally, as well as your insights on current television.

Francis said...

Hi Ken, 40-something Barrister from Ireland, visiting the site for a few years now. Baseball stuff well over my head, but love the classic TV and your 'on the nose' critiques of much modern media. Remember, in the Emerald Isle 20 or 30 years ago US TV was a rarity - we only had four TV stations! Cheers and MASH were very popular (and latterly Frasier) - Cheers particularly was a can't miss for the entire family, we watched every single episode in sequence from beginning to end as it aired over here. My father shed a tear at the last MASH, and we all teared up at the end of Cheers.

Now we live in a golden age of TV, with far more choice and some really great stuff, but sadly the collective viewing has gone. As family, we still watch the same shows, but sadly not together.

Anyway, enough of this maudlin memoriam. Just want to say 'Thanks' for a sterling body of work that has stood the test of time, and for taking time to share your thoughts with the 'less-creatives'. Good Luck!

MikeK.Pa. said...

"So two bites could easily turn into twenty. That's a lot of creamed corn." Two bites of creamed corn is two bites too many.

"What will BLINDSPOT ever do that’s more compelling than finding a hot naked tattooed woman in a duffle bag?" Finding out she's just one of triplets - also naked and tattooed.

Couple Friday questions: I believe Lennon & McCartney decided on writing credits by alphabet (L before N except after C). How did Levine wind up ahead of Issacs on your credits. Also,just curious, what blog registered the most comments and how many?

Pam Wright said...

Females appear to be lacking here so I'd best come out of my lurker cave and represent the 'feminine mystique'. I'm 53, live in S.F. and have nothing do to with the industry (I work in hotel management), but love the insider stories. I'm a huge fan of Wings, MASH, Cheers, Frasier, etc. I am not a huge fan of baseball so I skip those posts. I've been reading your blog regularly for a few years after finding it on a list of top blogs. I always enjoy the blog and the comments!

JoeyH said...

Radio-TV professor in Southern Illinois. Been a reader for several years, including all your books. Heard about you from Mark Evanier. I like the content mix just as it is.

Dodgerdog said...

Hi -- female follower from the early days by way of Don Barrett's site, and your post-Oscar e-mails. Love the site, participated in one of the Sitcom Rooms, have many of your books and obviously a fan of baseball and all the stories. In "real" life I'm a college professor who writes but not for entertainment. (Well, it entertains me but that's not its primary purpose.) I appreciate all the writing advice especially finding the core and eliminating the excess. Niles is my favorite character on Cheers.

Dodgerdog said...

AKA too late at night to write comments... Niles is my favorite character on FRAZIER!

I've actually been to a concert by the Tuvian Throat Singers and I have several of their CDs. "50 Horses in my Herd" has a good beat and it's easy to dance to.

Carson said...

Late 30's. Screen- & TV-Writer and producer, although more screen lately than TV and more drama than comedy. I've been following your blog for about four years and enjoy it a great deal. In fact, when I'm supposed to be writing, I sometimes find myself reading your older blog posts instead. I lie to myself -and everyone else - and say it's research, but we all know I'm really just enjoying your musings and memories. I do own two of your books - The Me Generations...By Me - and Must Kill TV. Both were fun reads on flights and I've loaned them out numerous times. My favorite M*A*S*H* episode turned out to be written by you and David Isaacs (which is my uncle's name, so seeing that always looks weird) Out of Site, Out of Mind.

I'm not a big sports fan (I've been known to sneak airplane bottles of Jack Daniels into Dodger Stadium so I can drink Jack & Coke to make the games more fun for me), but you are so write what you love. I especially enjoy Friday questions, so please don't ever get rid of that. Just keep up the good work!

Ginger Dawn Harman said...

Well, I am bit late but that is ok! First I would like to thank Mike Barer for telling me about this blog. Now about me. I was born September 30, 1971 and named after hurricane Ginger. I survived a pretty crappy childhood but seemed to survive ok. I once ran away from a foster home and hide in the True Crime section of the library but got so scared I confessed to the Librarian. This is probably why I am a loyal fan of Burl Barer. He sorta brought me out of my shell as an adult. I am really counting on him to get me in a Jewish nursing home when I get older. Oh but we can't be in the same home because he will cramp my style. Other than that I am an ordinary gal but seem to get myself in situations at times.

pete said...

Mid-40's. I found the blog doing a Google search two years on Barney Miller writing and came across your post on the topic. I've been hooked ever since, and even bought your books. I've learned quite a bit about writing even though I do intelligence analysis. I find your experiences have a home there as well. I'm all for more baseball stories and more stories about Al from Cheers.

Thanks

Mel Agar said...

I'm a 44-year-old high school teacher. I teach English, speech, and drama. This includes serving as sponsor of the school Drama Club and coach of the speech team. I direct 2 shows a year (one "straight" show, one musical) and spend the winter taking my speech team to competitions all over West Central Illinois. In addition to that, I am an obsessive fan of sitcoms and films in general.

Eli Pasic said...

I'm a 21-year-old musical comedy writer based out of Toronto. I just adore all of the wonderful advice on craft -- joke writing, story structure, character development, etc.

playfull said...

Living in Nottingham, uk. Mid 50's male, married with one grown up daughter who annoyingly is now funnier than me.
Been dipping in and out of the blog for a few years and would love to visit the sitcom room, but with travel it is just a bit too expensive.

Like all the insider stuff and on set stories best.
And what is this 'Baseball' anyway?

donald said...

55, Live in Senoia Ga, aka Woodbury in The Walking Dead. Found you through A Large Regular, the awesome blog by Chris Lynch.

I got nothing in common with you or your basic audiemce, not really a fan of any of your shows, but I love your stories and insight.

Dr Sputnik said...

I'm an old fart who likes baseball and other good entertainment, including the TV shows that list your name in the opening credits. Good writing always draws me in, so I've been reading your blog for several years, checking in on a week's worth of posts every weekend. I have no recollection how I first found your blog, sorry -- presumably I was drawn in by a picture of Natalie Wood.

Ken Herron said...

I'm a 52-year old male in central Ohio. Im A+. I'm not sure how I found out about your blog, but I've been reading it for five years or so. I'm a computer programmer. I just find the things you write about to be interesting.

benjamin said...

Almost 40 science laboratory manager working for an American university in Doha, Qatar. I've been a long time reader of your blog and am fascinated with the melding of the creative and business sides of Hollywood. I found your blog accidentally while looking up books on the backroom politics and business practices of the entertainment industry. I was writing a funny travel blog for years, but have let it flame out. Now I've trying my hand at writing comedy screenplays just for fun.

I'd love to know your opinion on the book "Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!" by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Two guys who have totally made it in Hollywood, but are still funny, insightful, and very real about writing for the entertainment industry.

Also, what is the best way to ask you a question? In these comments? Or do you have a dedicated email?

Keep up the great writing...

Amy Headley said...

I'm a 41 year old legal assistant from Guelph, Ontario (near Toronto). I started reading several years ago after seeing the blog mentioned in Time magazine. I check in pretty much every day. It's a fascinating and funny read.

Diane D. said...

Playful
If you want to know what this "baseball" is, watch the first game of the World Series this year--I'm sure it's on the internet somewhere. The phrase "poetry in motion" must have had this game in mind when it was first conceived.

KoHoSo said...

Crestline, California...50...following for a few years...found at Mark Evanier's "News from ME" blog...catch up with posts once a week through my RSS feed reader...like to read the stories from the past and learn about the creative process...blood type: red-blooded American.

I like almost everything I see here even if certain posts cover things I don't follow any longer...which includes baseball. Radio is always a favorite along with Friday Questions. The one type of post I'm most likely to skim over is anything about awards shows but I'll still look at them to see if there's a good quip.

Anonymous said...

Spent the weekend doing truly gruesome things so just seeing this.
I'm a 53 yr old male from near Canada in NY, desperate for something funny that isn't chock full of cringe worthy sex and anatomy jokes. At the same time, I love anything to do with serial killers.
I'm a huge fan of any show you've ever written and also The Middle. And I spend a few minutes every day mourning that Susan Dey doesn't appear on my television every week anymore.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

I'm a 42-year-old married mom of 4 who's been reading for maybe five years. I always struggle to remember how I found your blog, and probably give a different answer every year, because I'm helpful like that. This year Ima go with, I think I found it through a TV critic's column, maybe Sepinwall.

Andy Richardson said...

I am a high school English teacher, 40. I like your approach to writing, practical and succinct. I read almost every post. I'm not a current fan of baseball, but I like hearing about the old stuff. I especially like the travel pieces and the bits about long gone businesses and such.

Jason said...

Found you via newsfromme a couple of years ago. 45yo male in Massachusetts, and I once worked with the "other" Ken Levine. I have nothing to do with the entertainment industry, but I like learning about things like that.

Anonymous said...

I' 50, live in Edmonton, AB, Canada been reading the blog on and off for a couple of years due to a link/recommendation in Mark Evanier's blog.

All the old posts are new to me, so I'm enjoying everything so far.

MarkM said...

I have been reading your blog for 5 or 6 years after being told about it by my friends. I first learned about you when you announced for the Orioles. When your background in writing for my favorite TV show MASH was revealed I had to find out more. I live in York PA and I'm 49 years old. I have read all of your books. I love reading about inside show biz details that we don't usually hear about. I really appreciate your sense of humor and the witty turn of a phrase that I fell in love with while watching Alan Alda and company in the seventies.

I like the mix of stories on your blog whether it's a look inside the writers room, your take on changes to laws that affect small theaters or a story about growing up around LA in the sixties.

I also enjoy the occasional pictures of Natalie Wood. Class all the way around.

Morgan Van Lent said...

34. Petaluma. I think you were on a list of best blogs in 2010ish. B+ (?)

I read your blog weekly at least: funny, astute, informative, effortless to read, and there's something new everyday. No particular favorite part. Watching the Cheers/ MASH/Taxi lineup with my dad is one of my fondest childhood memories.

Daddy Background said...

Oh yeah, how did I get here. I think it was a blogging degrees of separation thing, Jane Espensen's to Pamela Ribon's to you - not necessarily in that order.

Mel Ryane said...

So, I'm a woman. I was an avid reader of your blog for a number of years. I particularly liked reading your thoughts on movies and television. Your opinions on what you thought worked and why and the opposite. Always fun to read your recaps on the Emmys and Oscars. UNTIL. I stopped. I twigged when you wrote of an actress' arms as she presented an Oscar a few years ago. And then you lost me entirely on your Amy Schumer comments after the Emmys. I just don't get it. It's cheap. It's way old-fashioned (i'm thinking borscht belt cracks male comics made about women and how they looked) and it's bordering on Trump. You lost me.

Bobby Goldberg said...

I'm 58, grew up in L.A. about the same time you did and always appreciate the radio and TV references from those growing up years. Currently in Boston area, longtime software engineer. I *think* I found your blog randomly clicking a link from god knows where, or maybe after reading your book, The Me Generation by Me. I love your stories, your sensibility, and your work. Thanks, Ken - please keep it going!

Hayley said...

I'm a 26 year old writer from Northern CA. I've been a reader on and off for the past several years and found you while researching television writing as a career. Your blog has been insightful for me as an aspiring writer and is a joy to read. I especially value your advice on the industry, your posts for aspiring writers and I love your bts discussions about Cheers and Frasier, two shows I watched from a very young age (maybe too young) that made me want to go into writing. I hope you continue blogging for a long time to come.

Joshua Reynolds said...

Last!

I read your blog religiously. I'm a fan and the fact that you take the time to share stories and wisdom from a veteran writer is incredibly valuable to me and many others.

I'm a 41 year old writer/entrepreneur living in Los Angles. I've followed your blog for about a year and don't recall how I came upon it. I think it was on a list recommended for aspiring TV writers.

Anytoots, keep up the great work, sir.

My favorite posts are the scathing critiques on truly crappy content and any stories from your career.

Hope to make it to the anniversary party!

Best,
Josh

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