Monday, November 02, 2015

Short attention span blogging

Random thoughts in no particular order of importance except for the first one.  

Happy Birthday to my son, Matt. I love you kid. You make me proud every day.

Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals. I’m sure glad I didn’t have to host “Mets Talk” last night.

The difference: The Royals had multiple gamers; the Mets had multiple Buckners.

Anyone notice that when Fox showed Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock at the World Series they ignored Trevor Noah who was standing right next to them?

Is THE DAILY SHOW still even on?

Now that BURNT bombed can Hollywood finally stop giving us these clichéd movies centered around rogue egomaniac chefs who treat everyone like shit in the name of food preparation? Having to use Ragu does not make you a tortured artist.

Attention Hollywood: Moviegoers would rather watch Matt Damon grow potatoes than Bradley Cooper whipping up a souffle.

Fox coverage of the World Series was exhausting. Every single pitch was analyzed. Just let the game breathe. To borrow from THE MARTIAN, stop trying to science the shit out of this.

Fox analyst Frank Thomas had these comforting words: “The Mets have nothing to hang their heads about except they didn’t play very well and gave away the World Series.”  Gee, why didn't you speak at my graduation? 

And the indignities continue. When the Royals get their Championship Rings on opening day next year, guess which team they’ll be playing? Yep. The New York Mets.

The Academy screeners have begun arriving. I got FURIOUS SEVEN last week. There’s a waste of money. We don’t need to watch screeners to know that Vin Diesel deserves a Best Actor nomination.

The movie I’m most looking forward to this season is TRUMBO. I hear Bryan Cranston is extraordinary in it. Who knew the goofy dad on MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE was our next great American actor?

I’m also hearing great buzz on the new Aziz Ansari comedy, MASTER OF NONE that arrives this week on Netflix.

When Ben Carson watches SUPERGIRL, does he think it’s real?

What am I gonna do with all those tiny Scotch bottles the kids didn’t take for treat-or-treat?

Considering all the NCIS’s, joining the Navy must be like joining Al Capone's gang.   How many crimes can one branch of the service have? 

The producers of QUANTICO are being sued for stealing the idea of the show. The amazing thing is that anyone wants to take credit for that ridiculous premise.

Sorry to hear of Al Molinaro’s passing. It goes back to my mantra. Hire FUNNY people. I was surprised to learn that he was 96. I never worked with him but everyone I know who did loved him. And he got into show business the smart way. He made a fortune before becoming an actor.

Do you remember him more as Murray the cop on THE ODD COUPLE or Al Delvecchio on HAPPY DAYS?

Note to Howard Stern: Re-up with Sirius/XM. Sue them of course but stay on the air. The King of All Retirement does not have the same ring. Besides, you know you love to be on the radio.

I’m looking to put together some kind of get-together in Los Angeles this month to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of this blog. Does this even sound like something you’d like to attend? I’d hate to be standing all alone at the Palm or Chuck E. Cheese.

Networks are trimming series orders like crazy. I feel bad for the midseason shows that haven’t even premiered yet and already their orders are getting cut. “Hey, what did we do?”

I have a ten-minute One Act Play currently playing Monday nights at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City as part of their HOLLYWOOD SHORTS festival. It’s a comedy starring Paul Pape and Liz Bliss, who are both hilarious despite my direction. The piece is called WAITING FOR GO. I’ll be there so if you drop by say hi.  8 PM tonight. 

53 comments:

Peter said...

Does this even sound like something you’d like to attend?

If you can pay for my flight from London, I'll be there!

Do you remember him more as Murray the cop on THE ODD COUPLE or Al Delvecchio on HAPPY DAYS?

Odd Couple was before my time. I remember him as Al on Happy Days. He was a lovely, funny guy. It's always sad when someone passes, but I'm glad he lived a good long life. 96 is no bad age to go. Rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Murray the Cop. Definitely funnier than Al Delvecchio.
Playing chess with Felix once, staring at the board, asks Felix, "Am I black or white" . Ends the game because he lost his badge and has to go find it.

Jeff Domingues said...

I know Al Molinaro exclusively as Murray the cop. I didn't know he was on Happy Days until now. I thought the great Pat Morita ran the diner.

Roger Owen Green said...

Murray the cop, even though I watched Odd Couple all the time, but Happy Days only for a few seasons.

tavm said...

I remember Mr. Molinaro as both Murray Greshner and Al Delvechio and also from an appearance in the Jodie Foster version of Freak Friday. Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep....

Tom Scarlett said...

He'll always be Murray the Cop to me.
MYRNA: Mr. Madison said if I didn't do what he said, he'd tell everyone my secret - this is not my original nose.
FELIX: What about you, Murray?
MURRAY: It's my original nose.

Scott Whitmore said...

I'm retired Navy & nothing on TV irks me like the stupid #%£&$ NCIS franchise. Besides recruiting offices shared with other branches of the service, there is NO Navy presence in either LA or New Orleans. What rankles more though is in 20+ years of service I met a few NCIS agents & they were all good folks, but the only crimes I ever saw them working on was trying to catch sailors smoking pot.

Kirk said...

I liked Molinaro more as Murray the cop, but that's probably because Pat Morita was such a hard act to follow.

Otto said...

Ha, ha, ha . . . Ken, I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed they completely ignored Trevor Noah!! I assume it was because the Fox guys had no idea he was "anybody."
And like almost everyone else, I will always think of Molinaro as Murray the Cop - better show, funnier character.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I might be able to make it if you make it mid-December rather than this month.

wg

Pete Grossman said...

Yes, definitely noticed the snub. As It was being shown, I said to my wife, "Hey! that's Trevor Noah next to Seinfeld. Why isn't the VO numbskull mentioning him?"

And yeah, enough with the over-the-top on every freaking pitch! We don't need to be spoon fed every single fucking moment!

And while we're on the subject of in your face - The barrage to Chevy ads makes me never want to buy a Chevy! What was the ad agency and GM thinking? A smug SOB character who tells people how wrong they are will sell cars? It screams "You're an idiot!" to the viewer. Yeeesh!

Unknown said...

I would love to go to a 10th Anniversary for the Blog. And I am right here in LA so you don't have to pay for any flights from UK. May I suggest a Friday at 5 PM so we can all experience the famous west side traffic?

blinky said...

Did you read they are developing a new Star Trek TV series?
Wonder what the premise will be.

Star Trek Babies: The ultimate origin story where Spock and Kirk meet in daycare...

Star Trek Retirement Manor: The final, final frontier...

Star Trek Floating Dead: The bridge of the living zombies...

CSI: Enterprise Edition: Yeah, that's probably the one they will do.

Bill Avena said...

Will any of the retro channels be doing a Molinaro retrospective? Episodes of The Odd Couple, the Love Boat, Pink Lady & Jeff etc?

Diane D. said...

FRIDAY QUESTION: After reading all 250+ answers to your question regarding who your readers are, I was quite surprised to see how few are women.

My question is: Why do you think that is? Were you surprised?

I would love to come to your Blogfest, but I live in Florida.

Diane D. said...

However, I may travel to Pennsylvania to see your play, A or B? Please give dates and times as it nears.

Mighty Dyckerson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ron Rettig said...

If I lived within 100 miles I'd be there with bells on (sleigh bells now that it is snowing). But it is a bit of a haul from Donner Lake/Donner Pass.

James Van Hise said...

Actually ratings indicate that the new Daily Show is doing better than ever.

Roseann said...

I could be convinced to drive to LA for an evening soiree. I've got other things I can do there, too. But it has to be in November. Things change for me after December 9. Looking forward to it.

Igor said...

"The difference: The Royals had multiple gamers; the Mets had multiple Buckners."

Whoa!

With today's post, you could've put ... after each one. Except yours were funny. Loved today.

Breadbaker said...

Trevor Noah didn't fit in with the Fox narrative about long suffering Mets fans. They showed Dennis Miller, who is more their kind of person though I had forgotten his existence let alone caring about for whom he roots.

John Hammes said...

Murray: " God bless us all, everyone ... ".

Felix: " Keep saying that... someday you'll grow up to be a cop... ".


- Oscar's dream, " Scrooge Gets An Oscar " , Odd Couple Season 1 .

H Johnson said...

You're a brave soul Ken Levine. I used to write a blog about a hot rod we were building. Never would've wanted to put the nuts who read it in one room. All three of them. And that was including my mother.

Move your get together to the islands and I'm there. Other than that I'll just wish you luck and a huge bodyguard.

I'm with you on the series coverage. Oy! Better with the sound off. Makes one appreciate the time we have left with Vin Scully all the more.

Aloha

Joseph Scarbrough said...

As far as Al Molinaro is concerned, admittedly, I remember him more as Murray the Cop from THE ODD COUPLE; I've seen HAPPY DAYS, but not a lot of it, and I don't remember if I ever really got into it much, but THE ODD COUPLE I definitely got into when MeTV had it playing back-to-back every Friday night last year and I love it. Interestingly enough, I remember Jack Klugman once say that Tony Randall, being the professional that he is, was really hard to break up, but the one did he did lose it was when Murray had his nose sticking through the peep-hole in the door - that outtake was included on the Season One DVD, and he's cackling like a hen over it. That said, I forget who it was who said this (maybe Garry Marhsall, maybe Tony, I don't remember), but the reason why Murray was the only poker player who was kept after the first season was because Al worked really well with both Tony and Jack, and so they kept him and fleshed out Murray's character beyond being just another one of Oscar's poker buddies while the others (Roy, Vinny, Speed) were eventually just phased out.

I'm sorry to hear about his passing, but learning that he lived to the ripe age of 96 seems to only conclude my theory that Jews really have the secrets to longevity, don't they? I mean look at Don Rickles and Abe Vigoda - I'm pretty sure both of them can remember when Moses parted the Red Sea; I bet Joan Rivers would still be alive today if all that plastic surgery didn't get her.

gottacook said...

As far as "rogue egomaniac chefs who treat everyone like shit in the name of food preparation" go, the idea has worked well at least once as a TV series premise; I've seen some episodes of Lenny Henry's Chef! (on the local PBS affiliate, of course) and they were excellent.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

I'd love to come to the 10th anniversary blog party- but reality is stopping me. I'm waiting for Vin Diesel to appear in a Lincoln car commercial. I'm sure you'll find a use for all those mini Scotch bottles. The problem with FOX's WS coverage is that Harold Reynolds talks too much, let the game breathe a little. Who knew that A-Rod was a TV analyst savant? He's brilliant at it, --LL

The Bitter Script Reader said...

I'd be a tentative yes on the blogoversery party. End of the year schedules are crazy, but I'd love to try to make it.

Michael said...

Hi Ken - thought you would enjoy Mae Whitman's FRASIER Halloween costume. Guessing "Niles" is her boyfriend. https://instagram.com/mistergarf/

David G. Whitham said...

Murray the Cop was a more memorable character than Al Delvecchio.

Whenever I listen to Joe Buck announce a baseball game, I want to pull my hair out. I mute my TV, and listen to Howie Rose and Josh Lewin on the radio.

Yesterday, while I was waiting for game 5 to start, I pulled up Game 6 from the 86 World Series, and it made me wish Vin Scully was still doing national games. My favorite bit of sports broadcasting is how Scully handled Ray Knight scoring the winning run.

After exclaiming "Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!", he didn't say a word for over 2 minutes, allowing the pictures from the scene to tell the story. After this, he simply said, 'If a picture paints a thousand words, then you have seen a million words"

CarolMR said...

"I'm sorry to hear about his passing, but learning that he lived to the ripe age of 96 seems to only conclude my theory that Jews really have the secrets to longevity, don't they?"

Al Molinaro was Jewish?

Mr. Potamiahead said...

"Is THE DAILY SHOW still even on?"


Not only is it still on, but it's getting the same ratings that Stewart did.

It's lost that cultural cachet it had, but the writing staff is mostly held over from before. So it's basically playing as an odd "off" version of the Jon Stewart show, until Noah settles into a groove (if we assume that he will).

Bill Crider said...

Came across this quotation from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., today. Thought it was a nice compliment: "I'd rather have written 'Cheers' than anything I've written."

Tony said...

I know Al Molinaro exclusively as Murray the cop. I didn't know he was on Happy Days until now. I thought the great Pat Morita ran the diner.

Morita's stay on HAPPY DAYS was brief. He left for a series of his own, titled MR. T AND TINA, which ran for about a month before being cancelled.

Ted said...

"'I'm sorry to hear about his passing, but learning that he lived to the ripe age of 96 seems to only conclude my theory that Jews really have the secrets to longevity, don't they?'"

"Al Molinaro was Jewish?"

No, I don't think Umberto Francesca Molinaro was Jewish. But his "Odd Couple" character, Murray Greshler, would probably be considered "too Jewish" to appear in a network TV show today.

Kevin said...

Nothing to do with anything in today's blog post, but I got the complete FRASIER series on DVD last night for under fifty bucks. It was Amazon's "Deal of the Day" for Sunday. Eighty dollars off their regular price. Woo hoo!

The had the CHEERS complete series similarly marked down, but I already have that.

Also GOMER PYLE. Now there's three shows that always remind me of one another. FRASIER, CHEERS and GOMER PYLE.

Thomas said...

Saw that top picture and thought, "That's his son". It was easy after pictures of you and Annie. You all have the same smiles.

Kosmo13 said...

"Use your coaster, Murray!"

I always think of Al Molinaro first from his role on The Odd Couple. Then I remember he was Agent 44 on Get Smart. After that I might think of Happy Days, but probably not.

MikeK.Pa. said...

"Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals. I’m sure glad I didn’t have to host “Mets Talk” last night." Always glad to see a small-market team win. Daniel "Home Run" Murphy settled back to earth. Unfortunately, he brought his glove with him. Reinforced the myth (or is it?) of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx.

"And the indignities continue. When the Royals get their Championship Rings on opening day next year, guess which team they’ll be playing? Yep. The New York Mets." The Mets have five months to swallow hard and practice smiling - and Terry Collins to find a bullpen and figure out how to use them. The shot of David Wright - one of all-time gamers - watching the celebration was heartbreaking (as much as my heart can break for a NY team, that is, which isn't much). He was probably wondering if he'll get another shot again. It'll be tough with the Nats and Dodgers, motivated to impress new managers, and the Cards, who seem to have as many prospects pop up from their system every spring as weeds in my lawn.

"The movie I’m most looking forward to this season is TRUMBO. I hear Bryan Cranston is extraordinary in it. Who knew the goofy dad on MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE was our next great American actor? " I thought he should have won a couple Emmys for Hal on MITM. He was manic, vain, scared, caring. Some might think it was a bit over the top, but I loved his character. One of my favorite shows was when he was out of work and cooked up an idea to sell Christmas trees with his boys - in competition with a local church. Hilarious.

What am I gonna do with all those tiny Scotch bottles the kids didn’t take for treat-or-treat?" Bring them East with "A or B?" in April. They'll be enough of us there to help you finish them. I'll even bring the ice.

"Sorry to hear of Al Molinaro’s passing. It goes back to my mantra. Hire FUNNY people. I was surprised to learn that he was 96. I never worked with him but everyone I know who did loved him. And he got into show business the smart way. He made a fortune before becoming an actor." I read the NYT obit and was surprised he made a killing in real estate before hitting it in acting. He gets credit for helping get Robin Williams his big break as Mork.

"Note to Howard Stern: Re-up with Sirius/XM. Sue them of course but stay on the air. The King of All Retirement does not have the same ring. Besides, you know you love to be on the radio." He must wake up every morning and wonder when the bubble will burst. A big, geeky guy who looks like a distant cousin of Big Bird banking hundreds of millions of dollars for talking on the radio. I listened to him daily when he was on terrestrial radio. He's a brilliant interviewer and has a knack for getting his guests to relax and reveal things they'd never do on any other show.

Buttermilk Sky said...

You're right about the Navy and its homicide rate -- highest outside of Cabot Cove, Maine, where J.B. Fletcher lived. Chief Petty Officer seems to be the most dangerous rank.

If you want more female readers, I recommend fewer pictures of Natalie Wood and an occasional snapshot of George Clooney. But hey, it's your blog.

MikeK.Pa. said...

BTW. Always enjoy reading random thought columns. Should try to do one a month.

The New Dick Lyons said...

Let's not forget Al Molinaro's 16-year run as the spokesman for On-Cor frozen entrees. He starred in the failed pilot, "The Ugily Family." The joke was the people he met referred to him as "Mr. Ugly." I know, I was there.

On numerous occasions, the underrated "Malcolm In The Middle" featured Bryan Cranston in nothing but slightly undersized briefs as well.

Anonymous said...

"MikeK.Pa. said...
'BTW. Always enjoy reading random thought columns. Should try to do one a month.'"

I second MikeK.Pa's motion.

"Buttermilk Sky said...
'If you want more female readers, I recommend fewer pictures of Natalie Wood and an occasional snapshot of George Clooney. But hey, it's your blog.'"

1. I'm a female. I read Ken's blog daily. I just don't comment. There may be more of us reading rather than commenting.

2. If Ken were to add the occasional snapshot of Clooney, he might lose me as a reader. Matt Damon on the other hand...

--Orleanas

blogward said...

WEBCAST! WEBCAST! WEBCAST!

cadavra said...

Italian is a nationality. Judaism is a religion. They are not mutually exclusive.

Ken, I'm out of town from the 10th to the 19th, but I would absolutely come to a party if I'm here.

404 said...

I would love to be a part of an anniversary thing, but since I'm east coast, that probably ain't happening for me. However, I think a webcast of the event would be a great idea!

RCP said...

Murray the Cop was my favorite Al Molinaro character. If I'm remembering it correctly, he didn't find success as an actor until he was in his 50s - I love stories like that.

If a 10th-anniversary get-together is organized, I'd like to join in. Any day after the 16th of this month would be good for me - but if that doesn't work, I wish everyone a great time.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@RCP I have a friend who is the same way: he just recently turned 50, and he's really multi-faceted: character actor, voice actor, singer, musician, editor, but he just can't seem to catch a break; he even recently relocated to L.A., just hoping it'll increase his odds of being discovered by somebody, but it doesn't seem to be working out for him just yet. He's done a lot of underground and indie work (including doing some voice and music work for me in the past), but not enough to be noticed by the masses -- all the while, his day job is a telemarketer. Fun. Similarly, another friend of mine in his 40s also recently relocated to California and is desperately trying to break into the audience reaction business, which is something he's been wanting to do all his life, but ended up having to work in insurance instead. Just goes to show you what kind of priorities the entertainment industry has today when they willingly ignore genuinely talented and gifted people who would love to have just an opportunity to put their talent to work in favor of eye-candy people who end up willingly throwing away their talent for drugs, alcohol, and hard-partying. Sad. Al was really lucky - the older you get, the harder it is to get work - after all, look at the stigma that Hollywood doesn't want actresses over 40.

Jon H said...

I happened to watch the original version of Freaky Friday this past weekend with a friend. The scene with Al Molinaro was great, a scene of home chaos where Annabel in her mom's body has to deal with lots of people coming through the house for one reason or another, wanting money, etc. Also in this scene were the great Marvin Kaplan and Jack Sheldon ("I'm just a bill...").

Christopher Lowery said...

Murray

Anonymous said...

>Is THE DAILY SHOW still even on?

White liberal audience of The Daily Show is racist, and they have started tuning out.

cadavra said...

"White liberal audience...is racist."

To quote Jack Nicholson, "Go sell crazy somewhere else."

Patriotica said...

Loved Al in both, hard to say which one was better. He still made either show work for me.

Btw, saw your one act; loved it; Liz is too cute for words (was told there was someone else in it, not sure).

Thanks.