Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanks!

Thanks to all of you who responded to my request yesterday and checked in.   It was very heartening hearing from you.   I had no idea I had so many Canadian readers.  Or readers named "Jeff."   I greatly appreciate your feedback and support and for now will keep things as is.   And I have some ideas for new things for next year.  Stay tuned.  

Thanks again.  And for those who haven't yet checked in, please feel free to join the party.

42 comments:

Kent Cross said...

Ken, I'm amazed that you've hit the post every day at 6;00 AM, rain or shine for 11 years. I've followed you for about 5 of those years, and really enjoy most that you've written. I've discovered other comedy writers, sought out the shows that David Isaacs wrote on his own, I've driven up to LA to see your 2 most recent plays, I even sought out a copy of "It's gone,... no wait a minute" for you to sign. I really like to hear the anecdotes from your various careers, including the baseball ones, and I like it when you put up a writing prompt and have us fill in the rest. I like reading your Friday answers and getting a glimpse into a world that I find fascinating, but don't have the chops to join.

I know that it's way to late to say it, but your entry from Wednesday pretty much summed up my frustrations as well, and I'm glad that you said it. I'm still stunned at the turn of events, and it will take me a fair amount of time to get over it.

I, for one, appreciate your decision to continue, and hope that writing this blog continues to bring you pleasure for many, many years to come.

David said...

Sorry - I only just read yesterday's post, so I'm late answering. But for what it's worth...

I got here somehow through your work on MASH. I'm one of the readers who is more interested in the comedy and TV side of your blog. I'm European, and not terribly interested in baseball. But FFS, it's your blog, and you get to do whatever you like with it. If you're interested in writing about baseball, that's fine. I'll just check in again tomorrow. And I'm sorry you have to deal with the idiot commenters you described. Trump supporters come off as very sore winners.

Snoskred said...

Thank YOU, Ken. It is pretty rare that someone such as yourself puts themselves out there in the way that you do. You do not have to do it. You could easily just close down the blog and focus on writing other things. I appreciate the time and effort you put in, and I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way. :)

Jeff Lawson said...

I forgot to check in on yesterday's post, so I thought I'd do it now.

You may not believe it at this point, but I am, in fact, a Canadian reader named Jeff.

I no longer remember how I found the blog, but I suspect it was when I was devouring information during the last WGA strike. I subscribed because I'm interested in the television industry, and I like your wit. I'm not a big baseball fan, but I appreciate your commentary on that, and radio, nonetheless.

Mark said...

I'm way outside the entertainment world but love reading your blog because I'm interested in how the sausage gets made! Or mangled.

I live outside Tucson, am a book conservator and am closer to retirement than I'd like to think. I use a flip phone, but hear it's becoming a cool thing to do so I don't know what to think about that. Frasier is my favorite tv show but didn't like the episodes where Frasier was just being an idiot.

Grew up in Seattle, went to the first Mariners game, enjoyed listening to you on the radio while I would run around Green Lake. I think baseball is the best game run by the stupidest people. I appreciated your comments on what you would change in the game. But you forgot revenue sharing and salary caps.

Keep blogging, I read it every day before work. Reminds me that there is sanity in the world in spite of what my Facebook feed tells me.

Thanks for answering my questions.

Pete Grossman said...

Hi Ken - Thanks so much for keeping this baby going. Brief BG - Reading for 6 years, turned on to it by an audio engineer friend, who was turned on to it by a former WSJ reporter. Was a PA on one of your fave pics "The Verdict," Am a copywriter and VO actor and recently turned down a multi-level marketing opportunity to own a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Justin Russo said...

I am a 99 year old trapped in a 30 year old body. I love the WWII era and entertainment but more so I love smart and wry writing from someone in the know. I've been reading your blog for a year now and it is part of my morning routine. Thank you for everything!

IdleHacker said...

I don't really have anything to say, except that you have another follower named Jeff. I stumbled on your blog a few years ago (I think someone linked to it on Twitter or something) and have followed it ever since. I'm not a comedy writer and have no aspirations to be...I just enjoy comedy and have been mostly entertained by your blog.

Alan Iverson said...

Hi Ken,

I'm mid-thirties, living in Sydney and began reading your blog some years ago...
but how I found it is a bit of a mystery to me these days.
I have vague recollections it was after I read about you in the Jane Espenson blog.

I read your blog most every day, to keep informed, entertained, and occasionally challenged, and even tried to pay it forward last year by writing a Mash script (which had a damaged water tower in the plot as a homage to a Mash script you and David wrote which also had a damaged water tower... remember which episode off the top of your head?)

I'm glad you're continuing. One suggestion though...

How about some KEN LEVINE merch? Maybe your loyal readers could pitch in a couple ideas.

Jack said...

I missed yesterday; sometimes work intrudes, but I always catch up.

I've followed your blog almost from the beginning, when neither one of us were grandfathers. Finally, we have something in common.

Before this... well, you wrote for M*A*S*H and Cheers. I watched.

You were a rock 'n' roll DJ. I listened to WLS and WCFL in Chicago, punching the buttons on the car radio to avoid the acne commercials (which somehow, despite the competition between the two powerhouses, always seemed to air in sync). OK, like you, I still sometimes do voiceovers in the car while driving to work --- ME-TV has a radio outlet in Chicago --- playing a private combination of Name That Tune and Whose Line Is It Anyway to work in something about the song title and something else before the vocal starts. But my little bon mots generally fall flat.

You've broadcast baseball games for a number of MLB teams; I've listened to White Sox games since Bob Elson was plumping for Household Finance. (Other dads taught their kids to play catch; I taught mine to keep score. Still, two of my sons pitched in college; all three played varsity baseball in high school.)

You watch the Oscars (and the Emmys, etc.) so I don't have to. And I don't. But I enjoy the posts anyway.

You write books; I've read books. (I liked your baseball book better than Must Kill TV. That was sooo dark. When I write a number of books, you can feel free to like one better than another. Just don't hold your breath waiting for them.)

You write the best eulogies.

I'm grateful that you've posted for so long and so well and I hope you continue to do so for a long time to come. Thank you.

VP81955 said...

I've learned from this year -- much of it spent on Skid Row, and only now am I seeing light at the end of the tunnel (though I'm having to commute from downtown to Calabasas and Van Nuys to do it) -- that reassurance from friends is crucial to keeping your peace of mind. I'm happy we could do that for you, Ken.

Jeannie said...

Ken, I got choked up reading today's post, grateful that you felt the love yesterday and will continue on. We need you now more than ever.

Anonymous said...

I've been here about 7 years and it is one of my everyday go to sites. I enjoy the Inside Showbiz stuff, the baseball posts, and even the comment section.

Its hard to find intelligent, funny commentary and stories and have a, mostly, polite and intelligent community. You have my gratitude for continuing this for so long.


Pam, St. Louis, MO

John in NW Ohio said...

John in NW Ohio (Toledo - Go Hens!)

61 years old. Been reading the blog for 3-4 years, I guess, and originally found it through a mention by Mark Evanier. I check in almost every weekday, when taking a break from work issues at my desk.

I especially enjoy the baseball stuff, and would enjoy reading anecdotes regarding your personal experiences with stars in the sports and/or entertainment fields.

It's obvious that you enjoy your craft immensely. Hang in there, Ken. I was deeply depressed about the Trump election, too, but am choosing to count my blessings.

Chris in Cowtown said...

Another Canadian reader here (but not named Jeff). I discovered your blog from a Canadian TV reviewer Bill Brioux in April of 2013. http://brioux.tv/2013/04/levine-don-draper-televisions-biggest-prick/

Your work continues to shine daily north of the 49th. I still watch reruns of M*A*S*H (aired back-to-back daily on the Canadian version of the History Channel), Frasier (Canadian Comedy Network), Classic Simpsons (daily on MUCH and FX Canada, as well as in French "Les Simpson" on "V"), Cheers (CHCH TV- independent channel in Ontario), Everybody Loves Raymond (DejaView Classic TV and a Local Christian TV Channel "YesTV").

As someone who had a brief tenure as a Broadcast Engineer at a radio station which shared resources with a TV station on the East coast of Canada, I love your stories of your time in the radio business and peeling back the curtain on how things work in Hollywood.

I am also a sports fan and love the baseball stories.

It is amazing the eclectic career you've had and the people you've met and the experiences you've had. Thank you for continuing to share your humour (Canadian spelling) and stories everyday.

Jeff in DC said...

This Jeff was named from the Donna Reed Show. I'm seriously running into so many other middle-aged Jeffs in the past couple years. Geez, where have all of us been! Get on the stick guys!

Andrew Bissonnette said...

Ken,
My day is always better when I read your blog and I went back and read several years of previous entries to get caught up. I am also Canadian but my name is Andrew.

Anonymous said...


I am in my mid sixties and ran across your site a couple of years ago on a list of top blogs. I have enjoyed your site ever since and read it several times a week. I especially like your historical anecdotes and I like your reviews of current shows. Dont think there is anything I truly do not like. Hope you keep writing as I need something other than political stuff to read. Thanks for all the enjoyment you have provided.

gottacook said...

Although I did reply yesterday, it seems I now must disclose that I'm also a Jeff. One of three in my bar mitzvah class, in fact.

Erich617 said...

I already commented yesterday, but I want to add something a little more personal.

By just about any standard, I have had a great life. I really can't complain. I come from a very stable middle-class family. I am white, which I mention not to brag or be a white nationalist but to acknowledge that I have probably had it A LOT easier in the United States than many other people.

And I have had such a deep, personal reaction to the election, as well as the hate crimes and race-baiting incidents that have been reported in association with it. I sit in my office, on a computer most of the day and let my imagination run wild with how terrible things are or are about to become. I have started reading about bystander intervention so that I can help intercede in the situations I feel absolutely certain I will witness.

Yesterday, I was on the bus in Los Angeles. As soon as I got on, I scanned for potential threats. I felt some alleviation because just about everybody on the bus was a person of color, so I figured they couldn't really be white nationalists. I did notice two white men who looked a little circumspect, so I kept my eye on them.

At the next stop, a black woman boarded the bus and began talking to anybody who wanted listen about how the bus had been delayed, and she had waited 40 minutes. She approached the men I had singled out and continued complaining. As I worried that my fears about them might be confirmed, the men started speaking with her, saying that they too had been waiting, and it was a real pain for them because they were on their way to a soup kitchen to receive food.

They continued talking until the men reached their stop.

Now, I don't want to diminish anybody's concerns. Maybe we are just dancing on the head of a pin. Maybe we are a day away from a race war. Maybe we are a day away from a nuclear war. Perhaps I am being completely naive. What I will say is that I expected the worst of people, but when I got out into the world, I saw the best.

YEKIMI said...

I am 59. In Ohio but from Florida. NOT Canadian but seriously giving it some thought due to the election. Not sure when I stumbled across your blog. You'd think growing up in Florida I'd be into baseball but more of a soccer guy thanks to a lot of the Cuban refugees who escaped when Castro came to power but don't mind the baseball posts. Wrote jokes for morning show DJs [and recently found out that Drew Carey was also writing jokes for one of them at the same time before Drew became famous....how cool is that?] but you can't do that anymore since computers & voice-tracking has taken over. My semi-glorious radio days [ahh, who am I kidding, my radio career was more like the Hindenburg landing] were fun up until the time the idiot owners started listening to the consultants and then wondered why the ratings were going down. Love the snarky reviews of the award shows and the general behind the scenes stories of shows you worked on. And the fact that you answer questions from your readers. I've asked questions of some other "famous" people on their websites or sent an email and either never received a reply or got a blistering "How dare you think you can talk to ME" response. Needless to say if they're on a tour or comedy gig, they won't be getting any of MY money. Now if you went on a tour or if your plays come to my area......I'm there!

Fran McCarthy said...

Fran in DC:

I've been reading the blog for about 8 years. I found it by researching the writers of my favorite sitcom episode "Rat Girl." I like the site because you're a mensch. The best personal example I have is your visit from the press box on a Sunday at Nats stadium to say hello to me and my son. Very gracious. I like almost all entries (being a baseball fan and a lover of Hawaii, I especially enjoy those. Your daily output for this blog serves as the best reminder to would be writers; writers write! Every day and a lot. You have a generous sensibility that I appreciate. But most of all I read it because ... you're funny. Thanks for all of this Ken.

Tudor Queen said...

Checking in with my favorite blogger. Sorry it took so long, but I was away this weekend. I've been reading you for a few years or more, and love every aspect of what you do here - the writing advice, the great stories about the terrific people you've worked with, the baseball columns... I love your warmth towards just about everyone, your pride in and love for your children...

And yes, I agree with those who think you're very, very funny. And a mensch.

Kaitlyn said...

Mid-20's, female and I found your blog when doing a research paper on Albania. A Google search led me to your blog post about the Albania song on Cheers.

Ken, I've been thinking a lot about this election, and while I am glad you are using your platform to speak out, I think you can do more. Trump won overwhelmingly among rural white Americans. I have relatives who are Trump supporters who absolutely fit this description. They are terrified of Muslims because they only know about the from Fox News and crap they read on Facebook. They have zero positive examples of Muslims to draw from. Ditto Hispanics, Jews, etc. Television did a tremendous job of normalizing LGBT through positive portrayals. We have seen LGBT as suburban dads, police detectives, lawyers, high school students and hilarious sidekicks. We need this kind of representation of all minorities. My aunt is never going to sit next to a hijab-wearing Muslim at her local Bob Evans. But what if she could see one on television? What if she found out that Muslims clip coupons just like she does? And argue with their spouses about toothpaste caps and where they belong? Trump is normalizing hate. The television industry should normalize diversity. It's been a complaint for years, but now I would argue you have a patriotic duty to use whatever influence you have to bring diversity to America's living rooms and as quickly as possible.

Jahn Ghalt said...

OK, to be honestly selfish, I'd love to see more stories that would go into your as-yet-not-published "Still Growing Up in the Seventies" memoir. I'll bet you've got some good military stories, which we haven't seen in the past year or so.

I'll touch on 'politics' 6-1/2 days after the AP called Pennsylvania:

My kids (20 and 21) hit the street to declare the Trumpian "not my president" (and posted that fact to Facebook). This weekend at dinner I noted this and said that they are now what the Brits call "the loyal opposition". I also mentioned that if they get started now and start leading a network they have a chance to make a real difference through influencing the local assembly, state legislature, and congressional delegation.

As for this blog, I have no problem with expressions of loyal opposition.

If I want to agree with political writing 90% of the time, I can always hop over to Reason.com.

Jeff Maxwell said...

There's an Igor and several Jeffs here, but I'm the only one who lives in Los Angeles and can claim both identities. I think.

I accidentally discovered this blog several years ago while poking around the web searching out some MASH info. Initially, I thought it was going to be a way to revisit stories about one of the best nine years of my life. But reading the blog everyday made it clear that it was much, MUCH more than what I expected.

Of all the engaging characters Ken has written for and created, I'm a grateful for the opportunity to be the recipient of the tremendous knowledge and insights of one called, Ken Levine. The guy is brilliant, clever, funny, talented, honest, generous and wise.

Thanks Ken for the insights, entertainment, laughs and education. We all know that writers must write, but nothing says you must write this blog. It is a gift, a treat, and you are appreciated.

jcs said...

44, German cancer researcher with a strong interest in US TV. Former Boston area resident, proud citizen of Red Sox Nation and regular reader of this blog since approximately 2012.

(Currently more than slightly depressed about the outcome of the US Presidential Election.)

BobinVT said...

I didn't read all the posts (there were too many), but from what I saw, the vast majority of responders check the blog daily. So Ken, you are addictive. Also, the number of posts (233 and counting) is by far the most I've ever seen. Paraphrasing Joni Mitchell, "you don't know what you've got til it might be gone".

Unknown said...

Happy belated anniversary!
I began reading your blog years ago after Jane Espenson signed off. I am a 50 something librarian living in Wisconsin currently although I have spent most of my life in other states. I have visited California but never lived there. I came for the writing tips and insights on the creative process. I have stayed because a good writer can make even American Idol and baseball fascinating.
Thank you for the blog--please continue.
Kathryn a Librarian

Mike Schryver said...

I've been reading for 8-10 years and come here every day. I don't comment much because I try to save it for when I really have something to say. And even though you didn't acknowledge my extremely funny fill-in-the-blank joke about the guy whose wife was cheating on him, I haven't given up coming here. You're a wonderful writer and a pleasure to read. (More baseball posts, please.)

Chip said...

Hi Ken, I'm 44-year old software engineer and live in Newark, DE. I've been reading your blog for 6 or 7 years I'd guess. I love the baseball stories! I also enjoy the insight into the shows you've written for and the TV industry in general. Keep up the great work!

VP81955 said...

One of my favorite parts of Los Angeles is Vermont between Beverly and Wilshire. A delightful ethnic blend -- white, black, Hispanic, Korean. An Islamic Center and Koreatown shopping mall are a few dozen feet from each other, and all get along. (Might make a lively setting for a sitcom, perhaps titled "California Seoul"?) To the right-wing punks: Nothing to be afraid of, gang.

thomas tucker said...

Glad to hear it. I really didn't mean to be impolite when I suggested you not write about politics. My meaning was that it's just not worth the heartburn. But, again, I apologize and am happy you'll keep going.

Horaceco said...

Horace, 53 African American from Washington DC. I'm not sure how I found this blog, but as a huge fan of Cheers and Frasier, I made sure I bookmarked it. Love the inside Hollywood stories, as well as the writing tips. I just wish Strasburg had been healthy in October so my Nats could have beaten your Dodgers.

Walt Patterson said...

Hi Ken - I´m yet another Canadian, although I live just outside London in the as-yet-still-United Kingdom. Brexit and Trump were a double punch in the gut. I´ve just turned 80, and do not at all like the look of my remaining years on earth. I´ve been reading your blog for at least five years, after a tipoff from Mark Evanier. Your lively wit and vivid experience always provide a refreshing tonic, whether you´re writing about television, comedy, baseball, radio, playwriting, travel or indeed any topic that attracts your attention. Thank you for providing a continuing bright spot in the gloom. More power to your elbow and your word-processor. Best wishes - Walt Patterson

Kirk said...

I'm 54, from Cleveland, and a confirmed bachelor who may be the only member of the white working class NOT to vote for TRUMP, who I abhor. My sister clued me in on the blog, and have been reading and occasionally commenting for about nine years now. I like reading about entertainment and the pop culture, especially if it concerns the era I grew up in, the 1970s. Not much of a sports fan (though I do take an interest when a hometown team makes the World Series or NBA Finals.) That said, I do find your posts about sports announcers such as Vin Scully interesting, as I consider that part of pop culture. (You may recall I once queried you about Howard Cosell. Thanks for answering that and other questions throughout the years)

Keep up the good work!

BobinVT said...

One more comment on the blog. It's such a good idea to screen the comments before posting. I'm pretty sure I could identify the comment that caused this. It was truly appalling. People can be so mean spirited and nasty when hiding behind a fake name. Let then go elsewhere to spew venom.

MIKE BOTULA said...

I can't exactly remember when I began following your blog, but it was around the time that you earned the Time Magazine kudo for "Best Blog." Your name came up in a conversation I had with another KMPC alumnus, under the general topic of "Kids who worked on the KMPC Sportswire (Webster 8-3000) and went on to fame and fortune in show biz!" Most days I click on your blog even before I go to Facebook or the days news, even the weather. It's that integral to my life. I enjoy your reminiscences about your many careers, and I pay close attention to the course in creative writing that you provide almost subliminally to your fans. It has helped me become a better writer, and I give your blog a log of credit for helping this old newsman get his first book published. Strangely enough, its not even a comedy. It's a reminiscence about my dad's adventures in the Navy during World War 2. Kind of like M*A*S*H with a straight face. Yeah, I am bummed about having a large orange in the White House. I feel like they're coming after me eventually, but until the Gestapo kicks in my front door, I'm gonna keep following Ken Levine's blog. So there!

Alan Gollom said...

Ken, I haven't been on here for a few days, so I'm chiming in now. Alan from Toronto (actually Mississauga) 63 and have been reading your blog for two or three years now. Not sure how I found it, but I'm sure glad I did. Without knowing it, I've been a fan of yours for years. I loved MASH, Cheers and Frasier and I think it's wonderful that I'm reading the blog of one of the writers of those great shows. I love comedy. I'll never forget the day my father took me to my first Marx Brothers movies. I think there are still scars on my ribs from laughing so hard!! I also share your love for baseball and radio. Anyway thank you for sharing your humour, wisdom and words. Wishing you great happiness.

Jeff :) said...

In a comical twist of irony my name is Jeff and I'm from Canada. That's like David Blaine level of craziness.

I came across your blog over 5 years ago while searching for screenwriting tips and have been hooked ever since.

I enjoy pretty much all your blog posts about any topic. I'm constantly referring to the blog to friends as "the blog I read" where I recount many of your anecdotes.

In particular I enjoy the audience participation posts such as "Friday Questions" and the occasions where you ask the readers to come up with punchline for a joke. Keep up the good work!

Greg Thompson said...

Hi, Ken. I'm an L.A. TV writer, 55, originally from Seattle (go M's) and you actually directed an episode of a show I worked on way, way back, FIRED UP. I admit I only check in every week or two (hence I missed the political mishegoss apparently) but I enjoy the blog a lot and admire your inexhaustible supply of MASH and CHEERS anecdotes, and the Friday Q&A. I get your fatigue -- the blog form itself seems to have petered out in favor of twitter, etc. -- but I hope you keep the thing going.

David Briggs said...

Hi Ken,

Love the blog, the variety, and the wisdom. I am 51, and was first introduced to you by Stu Shostak's show. I especially like blogs about behind the scenes doings on your various shows. I was in radio for 10 years, and like you, yearn for those days gone by. I teach high school, but always wish that I had continued in broadcasting....even though there is no money there either. Keep it up!