Fresh for the New Year. Here are Friday Questions:
Harold Peteresen starts us off:
TCM recently showed an hour long tribute to Robert Osborne. In it they showed a "blooper" reel where he flubs introductions to movies. Did you experience any flubs when you hosted TCM? Any you'd like to share?
Yes, and I would usually try to cover by goofing on myself. When you screw up making a radio promo nobody hears you. You’re alone in the production studio. But on television, there is an entire crew there to watch me fuck up like an idiot.
But the truth is, everybody screws up, even on live TV or live theatre. You’ve just got to roll with it (as long as it doesn’t happen every time).
If you today were to watch a MASH or Cheers that you didn't write but contributed to in the writers room, would you remember which jokes were yours?
Sometimes but not always. Because often times one person will pitch something and someone else in the room will refine it. So I’ll see a joke and remember I had a hand in it but don’t remember how.
But other times, yes, I remember distinctly that certain jokes were mine. It’s always easier to recall the jokes that worked and got a big laugh, however.
Peter has a long question for which I have a short answer.
Someone jokingly asked the other day if you're going to review Hacksaw Ridge, which has brought on my Friday question. You've written before about your feelings on Mel Gibson and your refusal to watch anything he's involved in ever again. My question is if you extends that to others who work with him, i.e. Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn are in Hacksaw Ridge, William H Macy was in Blood Father, and Kelsey Grammer was in Expendables 3. Do you lose respect for or stop talking to people who agree to do a movie with Gibson, or do you view them as working actors just earning a paycheck?
No. Just Mel.
How come Frasier & Lilith didn't end up together on Frasier??? By their last episode together I thought it was pretty obvious that they would always love each other and they were soulmates.
I would argue that they weren’t right for each other, and that all the many issues between them would keep resurfacing. The plan was to give Frasier a fresh start. It wasn’t my decision but I agree with it.
And finally, Aaron Hazouri asks…
Kind of a specific Friday question but what the hell... I met with an exec at a studio recently who asked if I had anything to pitch to him, but mentioned they'd need it fast, so I got something to him within the next 10 days. If he hates the pitches, should I expect a response? "Thanks but no thanks?" Or is it like the comics world where you assume the answer is no unless you hear otherwise?
It used to be there was courtesy and consideration in Hollywood. Not anymore. At one time you could expect at least a phone call. Eventually that gave was to email rejections. And now, they often just never call back. Yes, it’s the height of rudeness. But it’s the age where people break off serious long term romantic relationships with a text.
What’s your Friday Question?