Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Birthday, Neil Simon

Since he doesn't have a Facebook wall to write on I'll post my birthday wishes here.   Neil Simon is 89 today.  Truly one of my inspirations and heroes.  It was a great honor hosting the Neil Simon film festival on TCM last year. 

If you're an aspiring comedy writer -- TV, plays, screenplays, web series, whatever -- you owe it to yourself to study one of the absolute masters of the form.   I still re-read Neil Simon plays. 

A couple of years ago I wrote a tribute to him.  You can read it here.

So in honor of Mr. Simon's birthday I propose we shoot off fireworks tonight.  Hey, the man has won a ton of Tonys. 

9 comments:

Glenn said...

A true genius, Ken. Most of his stuff still holds up hilariously well over 40 years after being written.

Johnny Walker said...

Happy birthday, Mr Simon! I just watched The Odd Couple again recently. What a master class in script writing! Just amazing.

Michael said...

I watched an episode of Sgt. Bilko this morning on DECADES in which he ended up impersonating a sailor on a Navy ship and was surprised to see Neil Simon co-wrote the episode. I checked IMDb and turns out he wrote 20 episodes. Somehow had never come across that before.

SharoneRosen said...

Simply genius. Happy birthday Doc!

DrBOP said...

So I'm dreamin' here....what a couple of pro's from Dover could do together.....it drifts into form based on the last couple of posts....the challenge would be for you and Mistah Simon to team up on a two or three page outline for an episode of Big Bang Theory, based around the tale of the kid who blew his foot off in Central Park the other night with his homemade fireworks (totally up to you guys if he was a central character); with the secondary story being Penny's first visit to Spa Castle because she's never swimmed naked.

It writes itself.

Chris said...

I wish he HAD won a ton of Tony's. Only two of his plays, "Biloxi Blues" and "Lost in Yonkers" have won that particular award. He was named Best Author (a retired category) in 1965, but "The Odd Couple" did not win Best Play that year--"The Subject Was Roses" did! And yes, he was given a special award in the 70's, but this only proves how wrong awards can be some times. Simon should easily have won several more ("Plaza Suite" and "Broadway Bound" to name only two), but I suspect he doesn't really care. The man can write.

VincentS said...

Growing up in the 70s he practically single-handedly taught me how to laugh.

normadesmond said...

the cavett show on decades with neil was fun too.

Metal Mickey said...

If anyone as successful as Neil Simon can be said to be "underrated", I think he is, probably because he just makes it seem so effortless and easy - his characters are so well drawn that all those classic lines just seem to fall out of their mouths naturally, never forced, a good trick if you can do it...

... and the "FU" gag in The Odd Couple might be my favourite ever movie joke...

Happy birthday, sir!