Sunday, September 17, 2006

My 300th post

In honor of which I thought I would finally include a picture of myself.

The big news is that I’ve learned how to include photos and links. So this is what discovering quantum theory is like. Learning how to customize my site should come on my 3,000th post. My immediate goal is to learn how to proof read.

Thanks to all who now read this nonsense. I’ve met a lot of great new people and hope to meet more. So as I did on my 100th and 200th posts, I’m asking you to write in, tell me where you’re from, how you came upon this blog, and what questions or topics you’d like me to address.
Some possibilities:

More writing advice.

Is it okay to pet on the first date?

If CBS had just waited would they have hired Lonelygirl15 to anchor the news instead of Katie?

More reviews.

More travelogues of fun family trips.

More Hollywood war stories.

Behind the scenes of MASH, FRASIER, CHEERS, and CONRAD BLOOM.

Can Shelley Long really fly?

My baseball announcing days. (Bad picture of me. I apologize.)

And anything else.

Only request: no death threats please. But you are welcome to voice any criticism as long as you leave your name. It can’t be any worse than my AfterMASH reviews.

I’ll continue to try to post every day, but if I start telling stories about funny things me and the guys said at Nate n’ Al’s, stop me. Hell, just shoot me.

Thanks again! Hope to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

This is hard to admit. I just hope you won't hate me, but in 1983 I was reviewing TV shows for a short-lived, L.A.-based newsrag covering the Comedy Scene, called "Laff Tracks". There were only two or three issues ever published. In the November, 1983 issue I - God, I hate saying this - I gave "AfterM*A*S*H" a positive review. I said it was the only new comedy that justified the use of the electricity needed to watch it. In my defense I would remind you of the other comedies that debuted that fall: "Mr. Smith", about a talking orangutan in the Senate or the Cabinet or something, anyway running the government (20 years ahead of it's time!), "Oh Madeline", a terrible vehicle debasing the talents of the divine Madeline Kahn, "We Got It Made", about two brain-dead bachelors who hire a pair of breasts to be their live-in maid (One of the men who starred in this show later came out as gay. This show may have turned him.), "Just Our Luck", a rehash of "I Dream of Jeanie", only with TK Carter as a male genie for Richard Gilliland (This show would have jumped the shark when they finally married, if it had run more than a month.), "Jennifer Slept Here" with Ann Jillian as a ghost, "It's Not Easy" with Bert Convey and Jayne Meadows. I could never stand Jayne Meadows. And finally "Webster", the only show that ran. Yikes! Compared to these, "AfterM*A*S*H" was "Frasier".
For the record, I found your blog via Don Barrett's website.

Karan said...

Congratulations on entry 300. I've been coming here since sometime last December or January, mostly lurking but always enjoying my visits. I can't remember how I found your weblog...probably followed a link from somewhere else. I live in Olympia, Washington where we are as far from Hollywood as you are from Olympia. I have no question. Sorry, I tried to think up something but it's like 12am in the morning and for those of us who live in the sticks, it's like the middle of the night and I'm tired. I'll leave it up to you to continue to write about things I never thought about asking and we'll call it even. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog, came across it from a brief article on aimtoday (that website you automatically go to when you sign onto instant messenger). I want to hear some Production Assistant stories. I know they're underpaid and underappreciated, and we should probably leave them alone, but come on. You've got to have some funny PA related stories!

Phelan said...

Hey Ken. Congratulations on your 300th post. I don't remember the exact time I came across here, the only thing I remember is that I discovered this blog thanks to a link on TVSquad and I'd been visiting you since then. Greentings from Spain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken, I think I discovered your site around entry number 15. I'm Australian but live and work in SE Asia. I asked around Borneo and an American Expat teacher did know Norm Tonucci! She was most impressed but that's the only baseball story I know and I had to fall back on explaining the Leg Before Wicket rule. Cricket is not a flirty conversation topic.

Please let David know we'd love to hear from him some time in a guest post!

Tooomz said...

Congrats Ken on the 300th post. Here's hoping we see you reach 3,000+ :)

In reply to your questions, I'm from Kuwait. I'm not sure when I first started reading your blog but it's been a few months now. In my moments of boredom at work (and believe me there are a lot!) I've managed to read your archives. Like Phelan, I followed a link to your blog on

I don't read for advice or flashbacks of M*A*S*H but I enjoy them all the same. Your Frasier mentions are a treat because that's one of my favorite shows. I don't have any topics I'd like you to address. Your sense of humor and great writing is what keeps me coming back.

Anonymous said...


Congrats on reaching 300! I - well, I have a horrible memory and can't remember how I found your site, but I've enjoyed it every day since. American living in England (Cumbria), been over here 20 years now.

Travelogues, Hollywood 'war' stories - I love it all.

Just keep writing.


Denise said...

Ken! Great picture. Did anybody ever tell you you look just like Archie Leach? Just checking. Been reading your site for about six or seven months now. I found you through a TV Squad entry. I do have a question for you: which of the doctors on MASH do you think you're most like and why? Congrats on post 300.

Hawise said...

I'm in Montreal. I came by way of Complications Ensue and have been following the blog for a while now. It is a daily treat as I shoo my son on the way to the school bus. I think that embarrassing your children by adding stories of their youth may be fun and that could lead to their guest blogging about their memories of the same incidents. Fair is fair afterall.
Keep it up, it is all good.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog via TVSquad too. I have been visiting for awhile and enjoy all subjects.


Anonymous said...

I'm in Plano Texas.

I am NOT a Texan. :-)

I found your blog by way of Lee Goldberg, and finally decided to add you to my Regular Reading Rotation (RRR). I appreciate the insights and advice, although I never really was much into Cheers. Cool thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I don't know how I came across your blog, but I've been reading it long enough to have ignored your first two calls to lurkers.
It's one of my favorite ways to spend time that ought to be spent studying math.
Thanks! From Heidelberg

David J. Loehr said...

Congratulations on 300! That's better than most series (in more ways than one).

I'm in Hanover, IN (yes, that Hanover), working in theatre (both in professional theatre and the Hanover College department of theatre), but I've never met Woody. I have sat many times in the chairs he bought for the college theatre department, which is better than nothing, I suppose. But I have met "Uncle" Fergie.

I think I came here months ago through a link on the "Past Deadline" blog, and have enjoyed it daily since then. As for suggestions, just write whatever you want, I trust you.

My one question might be, did anyone ever suggest the title "After Cheers," and if so, how badly did they get hurt?

Loved your work in "To Catch a Thief," by the way.

Beth Ciotta said...

Native born Mid-westerner currently living in New Jersey. Ah, the culture shock. *g*

I found you through Lee Goldberg's blog.

I enjoy your posts, no matter the topic. But writers advice is always especially appreciated. I know you collaborated on a musical play and also several TV series. Curious as to if you have ever adapted a novel for TV or movies and how you have/or would handle that. Just curious as to how that process works.

Thanks for being here, Ken!

Anonymous said...

Also kudos on 300, Ken.

Aging radio guy, Chicago native, living in Michigan (grew up on WLS and WCFL). Have some similar interests as you-good intelligent comedy, good music, and baseball (As great as last year was, this year has been as tough to watch-it nice rooting for the world champs, and anything else is not even close) Politically, you and I are somewhat apart, but that's what makes this country great.

I was originally linked to your blog from Mark Evanier's and look forward to it every day.

Anonymous said...

300 posts is a great achievement, especially in such a short time, congratulations! Every post has been a funny and interesting read as well. I especially like the stories about screenwriting, but the travelogues and script quotes are good as well.

Came here a couple of weeks ago by way of Google, although I'm not exactly sure what I was searching for. It probably had something to do with screenwriting, but I can't remember. I've stayed ever since and read all the old entries and now I'm hooked on a blog for the first time.

I'm from Sweden by the way and currently living there as well.

The Minstrel Boy said...

congratulations! i have loved the travelogues especially. the time you completely nailed my beloved palm springs was wonderful. (the highlight was when your son noticed how appropriate it was to actually have "moron" in the name of the casino, well, that and the sintatra/golf thing) anyway, bravo and stuff.

The Curmudgeon said...

I'm The Curmudgeon, a lawyer from Chicago. I thought I wound up at your site because you were briefly proclaimed a Blog of Note -- but maybe not. However I got here, I come back every day.

I enjoy almost all of your stuff, although if you use my picture again and claim it is your own, I may sue.

If I could make one request, I'd love to see more baseball stuff. Just nothing about the White Sox for a couple of weeks; it's very painful right now. What I'd really like to know is how you could be both a screenwriter and a baseball announcer.

Das Energi said...

Hey Ken,

I came across your site after Bean at recommended it. I keep coming back for the humor. You're doing a great job with the mix of insider-Hollywood, Travelogue, social commentary.

Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading daily.

FfejL said...

Three simple words, Ken:


Anonymous said...

I came upon this blog by way of Julie:
I really enjoy it, esp. the ones about writing, ie, Mash, Cheers, Frasier.

I live in San Diego, but am from IA. I'm working on a screenplay, very slowly, but mostly a poet, have my MFA in creative writing.

Thanks and congrats!

ChrisO said...

Hi Ken

I may have responded to this before because I've been reading you for quite a while. I believe I was directed here from John Rogers' blog, Kung Fu Monkey. Now you and Jane Espenson are my daily writing blog habit. I don't get to read Kung Fu Monkey much anymore, so I guess it's a lot like when I introduced my girlfriend to my best friend.

And I agree, Mary Tyler Moore. Despite all of your references, I don't believe I've actually read a specific anecdote about her.

Oh my God, I hit the jackpot. My word verification is "lurks."

Dante Kleinberg said...

Congrats! Here's to 300 more!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Congratulations! Please stick to the usual mix of opinions, anecdotes and advice. As far as I am concerned there's no need to stick to the knows areas. I don't know or like baseball, but love reading about your adventures as a commentator. I don't need to have seen every episode of a comedy to enjoy the anecdotes about the making of it. Tell me about the camera-men on Conrad Bloom, if you want. And why not give advice about other stuff than comedies... if you know of a better way to peel an egg, I'd love to know.

redaly said...

Congratulations on reaching 300! I'm a grad student in archaeology living in San Francisco, and I found you a few months ago through Kung Fu Monkey. I think you've got a good mix of anecdotes, travelogues and 'other', although I must admit I love the anecdotes best!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Ken. I came to you a few months via a link. I used to write in a previous career, but now I'm an engineer at a defense contractor.

Anonymous said...

Way to go on reaching 300. That takes dedication.
I came to your blog through either Artful Writer or John August. I love the writing advice and your tales from the trenches. Your encouraging words are always appreciated.
I’m from Pasadena and am a struggling screenwriter. I’ve written three screenplays (two of which actually work) and am about to start my first high concept comedy. After that I plan to write my first TV spec so I always love your advice on comedy writing.

Thanks for starting the blog and keeping it up. Before we know it the 3,000 post will be here.

CM said...

I came for the baseball and the "Cheers." I stayed for the travelogues.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

i've been reading your blog for more than a month now. i'm from romania(that's a country on the,let's say, east coast of europe). i came across your blog googleing stuff about mash while watching a mind numbing romanian sitcom. although i don't always catch the pop-culture references, i'm a big fan of us tv comedy writing. mash and cheers are two of my first encounters with good tv comedy. so, although i'm new to blogs and sometimes i feel like a nosy guy watching over the fence of his way more interesting neighbour, i will continue enjoying your blog.
i'd love to read more about your curent projects, more about your partnership with david and also about your mash,cheers and fraiser days. keep up the good work and please try to put an end to csi:miami. it's killing us overhere :)

oldTiago said...

Hi from Portugal Mr Levine, I read you since the beginning. Kung Fu Monkey sent me.
I like to read almost every post you write. Except baseball and Conrad Bloom!

rdl said...

found you via The Curmudgeon. Congrats on the 300th. Did you really do all those things in your about me? If so, you don't need any help with what to write about, write away.

Anonymous said...

HI Ken:

Love your blog! I check in every couple of days. Others have mentioned it already but I still have to point out that you have teased us with some major MTM story for ages now. It sounds like a goodie and you have to spill it sooner rather than later. I mean, after the diabetes gets her you won't feel it fairplay to trash the dead! So PLEASE trash her in these the living years. THANX!

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn, NY

Long-time reader, 4th-time commenter. I can't remember how I found your blog, but it happened in January.

I'd love to hear more about your interaction with various casts. I think the M*A*S*H winter episodes idea is brilliant. I chuckle whenever I think of them.

doggans said...

I'm David. I'm a 19 year old college student, and a huge fan of M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Frasier. I don't remember how I found your blog, but I recognized your name from the credits of many of my favorite episodes of all these shows. I mostly lurk, but I enjoy each post and quite often laugh out loud.

Tamara said...

I haven't been reading your blog long but have enjoyed everything you've written about so I guess I don't have any topic suggestions or questions. Bad me.

Got here by way of Mark Evanier's blog (

Currently living a blue state existence in incredibly red Oklahoma.

VP81955 said...

Damn -- I'd have bet my money that you were a dead ringer for William Powell. Well, nobody's perfect.

Anyway, I witnessed Roger Clemens' 300th, and now I'm here for yours. Congratulations.

What I'd really like to know is how you could be both a screenwriter and a baseball announcer.

I'm waiting for John Sterling to become one of the two. Probably a screenwriter, because he certainly isn't a...

Jesse Wendel said...

Congratulations on 300, Ken.

I've been reading since your first couple of weeks. Not sure how I heard about you, but happy I did.

Live up in Seattle. Single dad, four kids. Writer/Director currently raising financing for a documentary I'm producing/directing. To be followed by being writer/director/producer on a feature.

My former mother-in-law, Judith Holstra, has an Emmy as well - for casting And the Band Played On. Some of her better known work includes 48 Hours, Cujo, Pump Up The Volume, and Judging Amy.

Not a week goes by reading you, I don't learn how to make my writing better.

Thanks for the classroom.

Anonymous said...

300! Way to go!
An attempt at a mid life career switch has me enrolled in a screenwriting program (here in LA), and my visits to your site are equally educational, less expensive and a helluva lot funnier. I love the CHEERS/MASH/FRASIER stories, the sample scenes and reviews. I nearly fell out of my chair when I read your review of Pirates 2. Hilarious. But the COOLEST post, in my opinion, was the punchline contest. I vote for more of those! Thanks for sharing your talent and experience with all of us. It is truly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
I've been a big fan of your writting for many years and was thrilled to find the link to your blog on the LARADIO site, very shortly after you started posting (I attended the "A day in the life of MASH" seminar at UCLA oh sooooo many moons ago...

I am a native of Culver City, living in exile in the San Fernando Valley, although, in the early morning hours I trek to CC to help Sirius subscribers navigate L-A and Seattle freeways. Went back to school several years ago to become the Doctor I never married and am a practicing doctor of chiropractic during normal weekday hours... and am the Cantor at my synagogue in the SFV.
'LOVE all your topics! Love the movie & TV reviews, travelogues, what ever you write makes me laugh out loud... just don't stop!

Mary Stella said...

Hi, Ken,

I'm a Jersey-born and raised romance author, now living in the Florida Keys. I know that I've been a regular visitor to your blog since before your 200th post. *g*

I found you through my friend and critique partner Beth Ciotta's blog. I love all of your stories, but especially the ones about shows you've written. I'm fascinated.

Question: Is there a current tv show that you wish you were writing?

Congrats on the 300th post.

Anonymous said...

writers tips, restaurant reviews, anecdotes from any of your projects and travels. it's all been great. congratulations on 300!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 300! Been aboard since you started, thanks to

"Random stuff" and travelogues are my favorites. I also like reading about M*A*S*H and Cheers, two of my all time favorites.

I'd love to see more about your days in the baseball broadcasting booth. It must have been a great interesting to see what it was like to work with broadcasters like Chuck Thompson, Jon Miller, Dave Niehaus etc. Would also like to read more regarding you days as Beaver Cleaver on K100 and Ten-Q! Ahh..that was when radio was fun!

Keep up the great work...really appreciate it.

Scribe LA said...

Hey Ken,
Lately I've been enjoying Frasier re-reruns as I enjoy my breakfast and coffee. This morning I was lucky to catch "Author, Author," with Frasier and Niles trying to write a book about siblings. Classic. Frasier was a fantastic show, so I would love more Frasier anecdotes. Breaking the stories, what the work week was like, etc.
Congrats on the nod by the WGA for your site. Well deserved. Here's to another 100 posts of self-deprecating wit and razor sharp observations.

AdicaRoy said...

Hi! I'm Addie, a 24-year-old Philadelphian in television production. I stumbled up this here site by linking through John Augusts' site, which I was going to for the writing advice. I started checking in here for the advice and script samples as well, but ended up staying for the travelogues. Bring em on!

Anonymous said...


I'm from Israel. And I honestly don't remember how I got here. Probably from some other blog, but I can't say which one.

Sorry for not being really helpful, but I'm also on the go on with everything camp. You're funny and interesting on almost all of them.
Though maybe I would prefer a little lest actual script parts. If I've seen the show I don't really need them, and if I didn't then I probably won't be interested.

One thing I may help helpful with is by stating that sadly you still didn't quite learn how to include photos.
I mean, the photos are there, sure. But you put the image tags mid-sentence and often mid-word. It looks fine on the blog because of its style, but if you read the blog with a different stylesheet, like on another aggregator, or for accessibility reasons, the images are literally stuck mid-word very often. From personal experience, it looks bad.
Plus, you're hotlinking/inline-linking. Which is a big social no-no. The polite thing to do is find someplace to host the images (there are some good free image hosting services if you want) and copy the images there. So that you don't take the bandwidth of other sites to show an image on your own blog with no attribution.
The rule is, roughly, "stealing image files - good, stealing bandwidth - bad". ;-)

Anonymous said...

Luckily El Al has a cargo flight going out every afternoon so if you hurry you can write a check for consulting fees and make sure it's there by morning.

Anonymous said...

Naa, it wasn't nearly technical or detailed enough to warrant consultation fees.
Besides, I'll need to hire an accountant to do tax adjustments for an additional income source, and this would come to a lot more than what I could possibly get out of Ken even if I tried.
Better to say it's a gift in exchange for the entertaining material. That way it's him who has to figure out how much it's worth for tax purposes. Much better.

Anonymous said...

I'm a New Zelander, working in Wellington as the database administrator for Weta Digital, and I believe I came here via Complications Ensue. I've been most interested in the descriptions of your work in the television industry, and would be interested to hear more about how you think the situation has changed from when you started, and how you think things might change in the next five to ten years.

Todd said...

Maybe someone has said this already in so many words, but I would like to hear stories about television projects that DIDN'T work out and why you think they didn't work out.

mernitman said...

Congrats, Ken.

You look very good with a pipe.

BrianScully said...

Hi Ken,
I've been reading your blog for about 6 months and I live in Malibu. Hey, how about talking a little about writing for "Open All Night" the series with George Dzundza. (later to become one of the first detectives on the original "Law and Order") I think that show suffered the same fate as many other very funny, well-written series or pilots that either never got picked up or were cancelled by the networks after very short runs, like "Police Squad", "Manhattan Man", "Grand", "The Pitts", and more than I can name here.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading for a couple months now, I heard about this blog through my dad (Ray). I now live across the street from the coffee bean, and work across the street from the hospital. Your blog is one of my favorite ways to deal with downtime in the lab.

Glenn said...

How about sharing some stories from your days as an improvisational comedy legend.

JP said...

Congrats on your 300th blog and many thanks for all the good writing I've enjoyed on Cheers and Frasier - wonderful!

My question is about the representation of islam on american tv. There are plenty of characters who are christian and jewish, but not muslim.

Of course this is not just tv. I remember watching the movie "independence day" and there's a scene where Jeff Goldblum reconnects with his dad and is given one of the jewish holy books. In my head I can imagine the same scene re-written so Jeff is a muslim and is given the koran - however just can't see it being produced by a us studio.

Why is this and is it a good thing for america?

Anonymous said...

Born and raised in LA, a friend of mine wrote on some shows with you, and used to forward your e-mails; he had mentioned you now have this.

I'm a huge MASH fan, I convinced my 10th Grade English teacher to let me do my term paper on the show, everyone else had to read hemingway or fitzgerald, I got to watch TV. I think I've seen every episode of cheers, so I'd love to hear more MASH and cheers stories. I also think you're opinions on television are interesting and you've actually been there, it's not somebody just talking out there ass. Well it is, but it's well written and entertaining.