Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My third anniversary!!

This month marks the third anniversary of this blog. 1205 posts and counting. I read an article recently that said the average number of readers for a blog is 1. So by that yardstick I’m a hit!

This little experiment in free-form writing and raging narcissism has worked out far better than I ever expected. I’ve been asked numerous times “Why do I keep doing it?” and my answer’s always the same –

I’m a writer and a writer writes.

Plus, there have been side benefits. Starting my SITCOM ROOM seminars (the latest takes place this weekend), getting invites to important industry functions (John Edwards for President cocktail party), spreading the word on what the WGA was really after in the recent strike, and being able to share a writing tip or two to help you on your way and (selfishly) giving me something to watch.

I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the interactive features I’ve done from time to time. I’ll be doing more Komedy Kontests. I just hope I can ever find another grand prize as coveted as an autographed script of AfterMASH.

Best of all has been meeting so many great new people. (Well, in truth the very best thing was receiving that Astroglide coffee mug but making new friends is a close second).

So on anniversaries like this I invite YOU to do the writing. Especially you new readers and lurkers. Please tell me where you’re from, how you found this blog, how long ago, and any feedback you might offer. What do you like? What don’t you like (besides my politics)? The last time I did this enough readers said they came for writing advice that I instituted the Friday Question of the Week. What else would you like to see more of?

All I ask is that you leave your name.

Thanks so much for your support, encouragement, and indulgence.

ON TO YEAR FOUR (something I wish I could have said about even one of the damn the series I created)!!




Eric Curtis said...

Jane Espenson linked your blog sometime last year. I've been following it ever since. I've laughed, I've cried, I've sometimes needed a shower afterwords. Keep up the great work!

Congrats on your third anniversary!

The Milner Coupe said...

I've been enjoying your site for about a year. Found it through Ron Jacob's site.

Your baseball insights and Frasier stories top my 'likes' list.

You have written on some of my favorite shows, but I have to tell you, Almost Perfect was a lot more Almost than Perfect.

Keep up the good work and here's to another three!

Anonymous said...

I found you through a link on the blog the Dimension Skipper. I have been here for the past year and have enjoyed it thoroughly...even the American Idol posts. :-)

Keep up the good work, Ken...and thanks.

Shannon said...

Longtime lurker, first time commenter (I think). I can't even remember how I first found your blog now... a link from another blog, I think, though I can't remember which. I love your sense of humor and your perspective on the entertainment industry. Keep up the great work!

Bill said...

I heard you on an Angels pre-game show, probably when you were with the M's. Since I've been enjoying FRASIER on DVD, I've been a regular reader.

Too bad you work for the Dodgers though...

Dimension Skipper said...

I found you through a mention on Nat Gertler's TV blog, I believe. Not sure how long ago. Has to have been at least two years, maybe three? Hard to say exactly... I've skipped through too many dimensions!

I already was a reader of Jane Espenson's TV writing blog and you later turned me on to Earl Pomerantz's "Just thinking" from the very beginning there. I particularly enjoy the behind-the-scenes classic sitcom stories.

Thank you for your daily entertaining posts (and for the referral to Earl's blog as well).

Ger Apeldoorn said...


Tim W. said...

I have to say I was surprised when I saw the title because it didn't seem that long ago when you posted it was your second anniversary. So I guess I've been reading your blog from up here in Vancouver for about a year and a half. I think I found your blog through Alex Epstein's blog. How I found his blog I have no idea.

I came for the writing advice, but stayed for the entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Ken from Culver City, CA! At some point in summer of '07 my friend Paula was like "hey...you love baseball and are tv obsessed, I have the blog for you" but I don't know how she heard about it, sorry!

I like baseball stuff and your sitcom writing memories the best, but you're funny as heck so I usually enjoy anything.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog while trying to find M*A*S*H scripts/transcripts online in an attempt find Hawkeye quotes. I never did find the scripts, but I come here every day and enjoy the blog immensely despite my outrageous cynicism.

If I wasn't so far away here in Australia, I'd love to gain the wisdom of a Sitcom Room. I guess I can hope for a book of sitcom tips being written someday.

Anonymous said...

Don't remember how I found out about your blog -- maybe from your book? I've been reading faithfully for about a year now. I am most interested in writing advice, though it seems most Friday questions are devoted to behind-the-scenes Cheers tidbits. I would definitely like to see more writing advice, though maybe the ball is in my court to ask writing-related questions. Either way, enjoy the blog (American Idol, politics, and all!)

Anonymous said...

I'm another who wandered in from some other forgotten blog, probably a couple of years back. I like your behind-the-scene sitcom stories. Not that big a fan of the snarky movie previews.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary!

My name is Sérgio. I've already posted a couple of times on your blog. I've the Dutch nationality, my background is Portuguese (my parents are Portuguese), I live in Italy and I dream of visiting one day the USA.

I found your blog because I'm a big fan of Cheers/Frasier/Wings and was searching more backgroundinformation because most of the DVD's don't have any extra's.

Besides that, I love writing scripts for theatre. Humor and drama. I'm talking about amateur theatre.
I like listening to advices from people who have more experience than me about writing scripts. I have heard those files where you spoke one hour with Dan(??) and you were responding to questions about all the writing. That was really cool. I'm happy that an experienced man like you wants to share your knowledge with others.

Good luck with the blog. And I've actually also a question. I received the DVD's of Wings season 7 and Cheers season 10. I noticed that in Cheers the character Cliff is more and more written as a complete maniac/crazy man. It feels like "character assassination". In the first seasons he was strange in a funny way, but in the last seasons he's strange in a way that is "scary". Also in Wings season 7 I noticed that each character went through a period that you can call "mentally crazy/mentally absurd". Is that not dangerous for a writer or a serie, in the sense that characters become unbelievable and factually seen also unmanagable? I mean, you start dealing with a one dimensional charicature instead of a personage of flesh and blood. I do not wonder about how "arcs of the personage in time" are constructed but I wonder how they're maintained.


Anonymous said...

Greetings from Cologne, Germany. I actually don't remember how I got here, probably a writing tip link list on one of the other blogs I frequent (was it Wil Wheaton? The Kung Fu Monkey? The Mystery Man?). I love everything behind the scenes of TV series production because it's really interesting to observe how differently the business works in the States and in Germany (and frustrating at times, as we writers have far less creative control over our work).

Anyway, congratulations on your anniversary!

Anonymous said...

I'm a music professor on the East Coast, and not an aspiring TV writer. But I've been an avid TV watcher for decades; I've long known, recognized, and admired your name and the good work it's been attached to; and so I always look forward to the behind-the-scenes stories that you tell so well.

I guess I found the blog through a mention or link from Television Without Pity, where I've been a participant since 2001.

Wesley Mead said...

I've been reading for around two years now. I'm not sure how I got here -- I think I saw searching for something to do with Frasier and Google linked me to a blog post of yours.

I love everything you write about, but the Friday Question of the Week is probably my favourite part. Or maybe the American Idol posts -- it's my biggest guilty pleasure and I can only justify watching it by telling myself it's so I can enjoy your blog posts about it..

And if my gratuitous use of the letter "u" in words such as "favourite" didn't make it obvious to you, I'm not from the US. I'm from England.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I found your blog around two years ago from a link by a Microsoft blogger. My favorite parts are the behind the scenes stories about shows, and how the writing process works. I like the Friday question of the week.

Nate Davis said...

I've been reading your blog for several months, though this is the first time I've commented.

Every time I read it, I'm hoping for some writing-related pearls of wisdom. Although you don't write about writing too often, I'm never disappointed by your other subjects.

The personal stories about your work in TV, radio, and baseball are always entertaining. Movie previews like this last one are great. I'm also glad to hear your son's a Red Sox fan. You've raised a good one.

Congrats on your 3rd year of blogging!

Rue said...

I found your blog sometime during the writers' strike, or the run up to it. Quite possibly it was off the link from Jane Espenson's blog. So, I've been reading since then.

I'm an aerospace engineer from Fort Worth, Texas but I also have been very interested in the television industry, particualarly the writing aspect for a long time. I'm not a writer, but I understand that good stories depend so much on the people who do the writing. And learning how that all works is interesting to me. So, yeah, I'm a big geek in about 25 different ways (and proud of it!)

Congrats on three years!

Skytalon said...

Congrats! I came by from Alan Sepinwall of Star Ledger(NJ).

I love reading about behind the scenes stuff, and your sense of humor leaves me on the floor laughing MAO.

I read ur posts first thing in the morning on my pager. Cheers me right up before going to work.

I can't write for crap, but reading other writers makes up for it. I only write well when I am angry.

Anonymous said...

I started reading it from a link in Lance Mannion's blog I think. Although it was probably at least a year ago so I may be wrong. I'm from Massachusetts where I spend my time counting pennies and nickles for a construction company.

Does this take me off the lurker list?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken:

I found your blog about two years ago when a TV Squad article linked to it and I've been a regular reader ever since.

I enjoy your sense of humor, and as the last man standing who still likes the 4-camera sitcom (or so the high-falutin TV critics would have one believe), I am particularly interested in the behind the scenes slant you provide.

Keep up the good work,


Anonymous said...

I'm here for the comic relief and the behind the scene look at some of my favorite shows.

Corinne said...

I have no recollection how I found this blog or how long I've been reading it since I added it to my Bloglines feeds. All I know is I always appreciate good writing and a good sense of humor.

I like the insider perspective of working in the entertainment industry and the background stories that you seldom hear.

Happy anniversary. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I've been a frequent reader for at least 2 years here on the east coast; congrats and multiple kudos (I think "kudoi" is the plural). I'm among the presumed minority who doesn't want any writing advice (I'm an editor, and all of my writing for publication was long ago and far away - in Minnesota, to be precise). I've always enjoyed the behind-the-scenes aspect of the business since I was a teenager and found my way here through Alan Sepinwall's site. (He's the Newark Star-Ledger TV writer who became known for his online NYPD BLUE episode reviews while still a college student.)

EK said...

My son sent me a link to your blog about a year ago, and I've been a regular reader ever since. I'm interested in TV writing because that's what my son is going to do with his life, but also because I love TV, especially the older sitcoms, and the behind-the-scenes stuff. I also enjoy your writing tips--I teach writing in a very different setting (law school), but good writing is good writing. But mostly, you make me laugh. My favorite posts are those where you just riff on something--almost anything. I always laugh out loud. So thanks, and congratulations on three years!

Tracy Helgeson said...

I came across your blog last winter via Huffington Post. Your American Idol recaps hooked me and you got into my blogline account in record time.

But then, I am pretty easy:)

Anonymous said...

It's MY third anniversary too -- of reading your blog.

This is also where I learned to laugh so hard that coffee shot out of my nose. Now that's my most requested party trick.

And Ken, as I said to you that night in Rio, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Happened upon the site during the Writer's Strike while I was looking for some updates. Stayed because I'm a huge fan of Frasier, Cheers and Wings. Plus, Ken cracks me the hell up sometimes!

Congrats on 3 years Ken!


Anonymous said...

I attended a workshop on blogs - and your blog was an example of one of the better blogs.

Reading your blog is my brush with greatness.

I think I told you this before - first I read "Zits" then I read your blog.


Unknown said...

Greetings from germany and happy anniversary!

Keep up the good work, i love your blog and all the storys.

With best regards, Michael

Chip said...

I woke up here after a drunken morning at work and just decided to stay (you're out of toilet paper, btw).

Actually, it's akin to the way I saw my first Real Live (tm) naked woman at a doctor's office when I was 8 years old. Just wandering through the corridors leaning against the wall when I fell through the door and saw something I probably shouldn't have.

If memory serves, this has been much more pleasant than accidentally seeing that 70-year-old lady in her nakedidity.

God bless you, grandma!

rob! said...

congrats, Ken!

as to what i'd like to see, maybe more articles on the actresses you've worked with, with places where we can see those actresses in menage a trois scenes in movies they've done.

Dana King said...

I can hardly remember a time when I didn't read By Ken Levine; the world must have been all in black-and-white then.

As best as I can remember, my Spousal Equivalent and devoted research assistant sent me a link one day and I recognized the name right away and got the feed. It's a regular little treat to get my work day rolling. Thanks for the laughs and insights, and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I popped by because my pal Karen Hall sent me this way during the WGA strike, when I tried to convince her to picket the Disney Studios in Orlando. (If memory serves, she wound up picketing a street corner near Universal Studios in Orlando, although it's not a production facility like Disney, but I digress.)

When I realized you co-wrote Volunteers (What? Shut up!) I made it a regular stop.

There. Happy? I-I-I didn't want to tell you, but you-you dragged it out of me.

Mary Stella said...

Happy Anniversary, Ken. I've been a daily blog reader for over two years. I need my daily dose of your humor. Not only are your daily posts wildly funny, but you have a large number of clever, funny commentors. We get more laughs for our visit than any other blog I know.

Although I write romance novels and don't aspire to write for television, I learn a lot from your writing posts. The most instructive, to me, are those that talk about how/why you did something in a scene or episode. Then you show us the results with script excerpts or the video.

Thanks for the instruction and for three years of daily entertainment.

Anonymous said...

I believe I found your blog under a rock in the backyard near the pine tree.

I enjoy the "behind the scenes" TV stories. But I'm especially enjoying your pieces about your kid-hood. I, too, grew up in Southern California, in love with radio and TV, and went on to have a career in both when I re-located to the East. And, while everyone else was into football, I was the odd duck who couldn't get enough baseball.

So please continue with stories on TV sitcoms, baseball, radio and your Southern Cal childhood. In other words, everything.

Anonymous said...

Reading for about a year.

Can't remember how I stumbled on it - mentioned by another blog, I assume.

Paul said...

Ken -

Been enjoying your blog for at least a couple of years. I live in Syracuse and a writer friend sent me a link to your site, mentioning that you had at one time worked for the Syracuse Sky Chiefs.

I especially enjoy the eclectic vibe of the blog, from AI to baseball to movies to award shows to behind-the-curtain takes on TV - and so much more. As a musician, I especially appreciate the insights in to the creative process.

But, most of all, I like it because it's funny. Thanks, and happy anniversary!


The Minstrel Boy said...

congrats ken.

big props and stuff.

Anonymous said...

I don't even remember how I found this blog towards the beginning of this year(I guess it probably was linked from another article I read). It's been a treat reading this every day, not only for a look into the comedic mind of one of the better sitcom writers of the last 30 years, but also for the wonderful memories you share from some of the best shows that were ever made(and AfterM*A*S*H). I hope you never grow tired of writing here, it really is one of the best and absolute must read blogs on the web.

YZF said...

Mazel Tov!

I've been reading since th is past year's strike. I think the link came from Aaron Barnhart's TV Barn. Or maybe Mark Evanier's newsfromme. Doesn't quite matter. You three are now my holy trinity of blogitude.

Can't think of anything I dislike about the blog... but if I had to pick a favorite section, it'd be your memoirs of growing up in the 60's. I didn't live through that decade, so it's a wonderful to hear a perspective other than "Man, if you remember the 60's, then you weren't there." Plus, it's just good writing.

But really, just keep posting whatever the hell you feel like writing.

YZ Freedman

Anonymous said...

Been reading about a year. A friend suggested I'd like your blog. As I'm in the entertainment biz (music side) in Nashville, I enjoy finding the correlations for film and music (usually the frustrations), but I especially like your reviews, from AI to upcoming movies to the lineup of the Astros.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great blog, Ken.

I found you through a Google search for "TV writer blogs" if I remember correctly.

I write pretty much anything under the sun, but I've had good success in recent contests with a comedy pilot. You helped me a great deal with that.

This is one of the few places you can consistently find advice and stories about *working* as a writer. I appreciate the fact that you share material with us, even if it's stuff that didn't make it all the way through. (Big Wave Dave's.)

This place rivals Wordplay for professional advice, though WP has recently devolved into a forum for Pirates fans (not the baseball kind) and raging amateurs who think they have it all figured out.

Since I can't afford the Sitcom Room, I just cruise through here whenever I'm looking for something related to TV writing and 9 times out of 10 I'll find it.

Keep up the good work!

Michelle said...

Mazel Tov!

I don't remember how I found this blog but I have shared it with many of my struggling-writer friends. I am teetering on the edge of the entertainment industry as a performer/comic/producer, attempting to write,and supporting myself as a lawyer,more or less. I love the TV history because I am a big comedy nerd. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ken!

I've been reading your blog since day one when you sent the e-mail announcing its creation.

You are incredibly kind, funny and clever while also being one of the most shameless self-promoters I've ever known. Now that's the perfect combination.

Best regards and keep it coming!

Nathan said...

Greetings from Brooklyn. I have no memory of how I found my way here a bit more than a year ago. But obviously I hate everything about it, because I've been checking in almost every day since.

Mister Charlie said...

My 25 year old daughter turned me onto this site some time ago, I failed to bookmark it and forgot about it, then I linked to it through HuffPo and bookmarked it this time.

You have finepolitics, a good sense of humor and good advice re: Hollyweird.

I find the behind the scene things most interesting, I think.

Unknown said...

I've been a lurker here ever since I found out about it a couple of years ago and this has turned into one of my favorite blogs. I used to listen to you on Mariner broadcasts so I was looking forward to your sense of humor and have not been disappointed. I'm also a Northwestern graduate so have been following your daughter's exploits from that perspective. I really appreciate some of your clip posts, like the one last week on Jane Leaves.

Unknown said...

I linked to your blog for the first time some time in the midst of the strike, so I suppose I came quite late to the party.

I found you via my beautiful 22 year old daughter, who is a die hard M*A*S*H fan, and avidly supported the writers during the strike.

I come from Bloomington, IN, Home of Indiana University. We are most well known for the movie Breaking Away being filmed here ages and ages ago (even before I lived here actually, Now I suppose we are most well known for being the home of John Mellencamp.

As an aspiring writer, I hope someday that Bloomington will be known for being where I am from? Hey a girl has to have a dream.

webbie said...

I'm from Nashville Tennessee and caught the blog when Blogspot made it a "blogs of note". I check in every day because..1 I love a good laugh and 2..I'm a fan of so many of your shows.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ken! I found you over 2 years ago through a link from Alan Sepinwall's blog. I'm in Charlotte, NC.

I enjoy almost everything, but it's the stories that interest me the most. I loved Cheers. I loved MASH. So, the background stories are perfect. I really like the recent addition of the Friday question.

Also, you're just a hell of a writer. Thank you!

Graeme said...

I have no memory of how I found your blog, but I have been enjoying it for a while now. I loved MASH, Cheers and Frasier and I'm a big baseball fan, and your blog combines those two things nicely. If you were to start writing about lacrosse, hockey, and technology, you'd have the perfect blog. :)

I'm from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Anonymous said...

congrats on year three! I found this blog accidently while surfing the sometimes seedy world of googlesearch. You're the only one on my bookmark list so i follow this blog pretty regularly.

Good times, great oldies.

Anonymous said...

I linked to you during the strike and have been a fan ever since. I'm not a writer (nor do I love baseball...sorry!), but I love reading your blog and I love your humor. I think it speaks volumes that you can attract those that aren't writers (or those that don't love baseball!) as well. Congrats on 3 years. I look forward to many more!

Elwood said...

I found your blog a year or two ago, via Alan Sepinwall's blog. I've been a fan for a lot longer, tho.

I really enjoy getting the backstory on Cheers, Frasier, and MASH, plus your baseball insights.

I'm in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 3 years, Ken! In blog years, that's like a hundred.

Can't remember if I found you through Jane Espenson's blog or John Rogers'. One of those. During the strike.

Not a baseball fan (even though I grew up outside of Boston, so I have to say yay Red Sox. It's a law.) And even though we share political views, I don't come here for that.

Mostly love hearing your stories about working on MASH, Cheers, and would be fun to hear any you have about Dharma and Greg (I didn't catch it until syndication, and it quickly became a favorite.)

Have been getting a kick out of reading your memoirs-in-progress about growing up in a specific part of the SF Valley, since that is my own neighborhood right now.

To all you lucky posters who are going to Ken's workshop this weekend: Have pity on a poor our-writing's-not-covered-by-the-WGA animation writer, and report back here next week so I can live vicariously through you!

Matthew Frederick said...

A link via James Wolcott's blog got me over here. I guess that was a couple of years ago. I think I've commented over here maybe just a couple of times, but this here place is definitely part of my daily read.

Every day I come over here I laugh or learn something new. Usually both.

Congrats from Missouri on 3 years!

Anonymous said...

I've been a student for about two years here. Really enjoy the writing advice, stories of your experiences in the trenches and your great observational humor.

Not so into the American idle...
bit too snarky for me.

Would love more nuts and bolts of character and plot building, secrets of comic timing, and other devices you imploy to deftly rise above the norm.

thanks for all! xoxoxox

blogward said...

I found your blog looking for the TV remote. Have you got it?

Congrats on your major achievement btw.

Anonymous said...

No idea how I came across this blog, but I know it happened before the strike. I'm a scientist, not a writer, but have often felt the urge to write something fictional. Several months after reading one of your entries about submitting scripts on spec, I suddenly had a great idea for a script for Corner Gas (which is a great series). I developed it in my mind and found some software to help me write a script.... and then used my brain to think even harder, and to check the Corner Gas website which says "We don't accept scripts on spec." Thus died an episode where Lacey would have feared that she was about to be stoned (a la Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery').


Roger Owen Green said...

I started blogging in May of 2005. My friend Fred Hembeck had a list of links on his blog and one of those people had a link to your blog. But I didn't actually start reading regularly, ironically, until you had a guest writer, writing on Frasier, I believe.

I read because I'm interested in many of the shows you worked on, even the bad ones.

Anonymous said...

I did a google search after your last announcing stint filling in for the Mariners. I read that day's post and many of the previous ones and have been addicted ever since. I love your baseball insights and MASH memories. Mostly, I just love excellent writing and am very grateful to find it here (even if it's in the comments! :) Congrats on the anniversary from Mount Vernon, WA.

Kirk said...

Happy anniversary. Two weeks ago, my sister gave me, or linked me, or gave me a link to (I'm a disgustingly late covert to the internet, so please forgive the lingo), your blog, and now I'm an avid fan.

By the way, I loved the Mash episode where Hawkeye and BJ pretend to be mad at each other as a birthday present for Frank Burns. I think I saw your name on that.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I just wanted to thank you for keep up the blog and posting daily. So many newspapers these days are shooting themselves in the foot and head by letting so many talented writers go, that it's good to know that your blog is one entertaining read that I can count on daily.

Bill Weinberger said...

I'm not sure how I stumbled on your blog. I'm sure it had something to do with trying Script Frenzy (from the folks that do National Novel Writing Month) and scouring the Internet for pointers on writing screenplays. It probably started as a link from Jane Espenson or other screenwriting blog. But I became a regular reader because of your hip insights on tv, movies, the making of tv, Seattle (where I live), SoCal (where I used to live), and life in the 60s. Keep up the funny!

Anonymous said...

Ken -

Found your blog through Raymond Chen. I really like the Cheers/Mash stuff, and depend on you to find the best writing on TV/Movies (my wife and I still do the "What is time again" line!)

Anyway - I could without the American Idol stuff - but that's me. You should put some Google Ads on your blog, I bet you could generate a few hundred bucks a year (cocktails!)

LouOCNY said...

Congrats Ken! I have now been reading this thing daily for almost two years - I fgure its about a solid week and a half of actually reading, and (sometimes) posting. As I wrote in LAST years birthday post, I found it after Googling your name after I had picked your book (IT'S GONE...NO...WAIT A MINUTE) up in somebody's bargain table Needless to day, I have always beena MASH, CHEER, etc,etc fan, so discovering your blog was finding the musings of a friend I never knew I had.

One of my proudest moments was you picking up on a post I had made about the theoretical discrepancy of your daughter's name, and turning it into a day's posting. I can only figure you were desparate that day....

I will hoist one in your honor
tonight Ken!

Megalion said...

I found you during the writer's strike and stayed because Cheers and M*A*S*H are two of my favorite shows.

I don't always agree with you about things but I'm entertained by all the insider things you post usually in your Friday questions.

And your sense of humor is entertaining too when it's not about the insider stuff.

I don't really relate to the baseball stuff but those times, I just wait for it to go away again ;)

I can hear the Hollywood Bowl in my living room (which is saying something cause I'm deaf) and grew up in the greater LA area. But I've also lived in DC, SF, and LV. I dream about moving to a picturesque town in Oregon or some other place one day but the fear of not being able to find a steady decent paying job keeps me in the urban city.

Beth Ciotta said...

Happy Anniversary, Ken!

While many blogs fizzle and fade away, yours just gets better!

I've been coming here almost daily for almost all of your three years. I value the writing advice and treasure the laughs. You're generous, clever, and flipping hilarious.

Here's hoping you don't get tired of us any time soon.

PS: Chiming in from New Jersey

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog this past Monday, but I've enjoyed reading it so far. I like it when you give advice for new writers as that's what I'm trying to get into. The stories are great too.

Keep going, I hope a new reader such as myself has plenty of fresh blogginess to savor in coming years...that almost sounds vulgar...

JF said...

I've been reading (and lurking, I suppose) for a while now. Not sure how long.

I found your blog because I subscribe to the Blogs of Note feed. Yours popped up one day and I liked it enough to subscribe.

Congrats on your anniversary. Keep it up.

Dan K said...

I found your blog when surfing the 'net for something pertaining to M*A*S*H (I can't recall what now). It's been a year and I read you every day.

Anonymous said...

I just started this year. I'm not exactly sure what brought me, or where it was linked.

Looking through the archives, though, it may have been your posts on AI stage parents.

I've been entertained ever since.

Unknown said...

Hi Ken, I found your blog over a year ago. I think it was referred to on tvsquad. I love the insight in to the writing/tv business. I'll like most of your posts except the ones about baseball as I'm Australian. And I loved all the ones during the writing strike.


Dr. Leo Marvin said...

"I read an article recently that said the average number of readers for a blog is 1."

Including the blogger?

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Here's my feedback: Congratulations and thanks for sharing your very funny commentary. Yours is my favorite non-news/political site. I'm sure a lot of studio executives have tried to tell you that just because you weren't getting paid for something didn't mean it wasn't appreciated, but in this case it happens to be true.

Like the last time you asked (I'll come up with a new answer next time), I hunted you down after hearing Rob Long's "Martini Shots" segment about how you got some idiotic studio accountant to reimburse your secretary's parking.

Mentioning Rob and remembering he's a Republican gives me a thought. (My fiancee would tell you that means it's time to affect a fascinated look while mentally preparing shopping lists and the sort). As you know, you and your Hollywood buddies wake up every morning bent on finding new ways to indoctrinate our kids with your secular-liberal multi-cultural neo-Darwinian homosexual agenda. Do you have any good stories about that?

OK, kidding aside, I'm not trying to bait you into more political commentary and the unhinged reactions it provokes. I get plenty of that elsewhere (not that I'd dissuade you from telling a good story). What I'm curious about is more meta, i.e., how the subject of culture and politics comes up in the creative and production process.

Obviously Mash came with a built in political subtext. (Like All in the Family, The Cosby Show and others that actually did have "agendas.") But I'm mainly asking about the ones that didn't, the shows that only had two purposes, i.e., to make people laugh, and to make money doing it. What role did politics and social controversy play in those shows? How did it come up and how was it resolved by writers, producers, studios, networks (execs and sensors), sponsors, audience, etc?

Anonymous said...

I found your blog 3years ago when I googled Ken Levine / Beaver Cleaver. I've been a daily reader and quite addicted ever since. I wish you would include a few more of your radio escapades now and then. I know you are probably still in therapy because of it but you were great at it, and you worked with some of the LEGENDS of the industry. I heard a tape of you in the late 70's while I was at WJBQ in Portland, Maine. Our program P.D. Played us the tape of you doing 1 night at WXLO (99X} New York. He said I want this station to sound just like this. 25 years later I began collecting airchecks and found the tape on airchecks.com. And have been a fan again ever since.
Wayne from Maine

Cap'n Bob said...

I've been here since the early days, probably via a mention on Mark Ecanier's blog. I got here by clicking the heels of my ruby slippers three times.

There's no place like home.

Anonymous said...

I have been lurking for several months and I honestly don't remember how I found your blog, but I'm so glad I found it.

I love your writing, the inside dish and the writing tips.

Anonymous said...

Ken: Congratulations! I found your blog via a link from Dan O'Day, I believe. I enjoy your tales of childhood and early days in radio. My dad was a broadcaster for 60 years and even did a brief stint with KFWB in the summer of 1961, so your stories bring back alot of warm memories of my own childhood. I also just enjoy reading good, funny writing! I'm an aspiring comedy writer (not for television) and your site has provided me with some excellent insights about the importance of character development in comedy. Thanks so much for your time, energy, and wisdom.

Rom Mom said...

Found you via Jane Espenson. I'm also a romance writer, not a scriptwriter, but writing tips are writing tips. And when they're delivered in such a hilarious wrapper, I can't resist! Keep up the good work. You make my day.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Congrats darling. I'm hoisting a vodka martini in your honor at this moment.

How did I find you? Something to do with what Little Dougie calls "LARPs". No idea what that means.

Without your blog, Little Dougie would have to go out and find real people to fight with.

I love the snarky posts, the reviews, and the backstage stuff. The columns on The Artful Dodgers not so much, as I always preferred The Fagins myself.

Naturally, I honor your association with CHEERS, as a sitcom about drinking is my kind of show, not to mention that it stole my signature sign-off for its title.

Cheers darling.

Write Away said...


I came across your blog three years ago... Can't remember the link, but I've checked in every day since. Love all your stories, the behind the scenes stuff, and the baseball updates (life-long Cubs and Padres fan, sorry). I hope to someday join in the Sitcom Room, too. Keep up the great work!

Michelle said...

I'm a lurker, first time comment, regular reader. My husband turned me on to the blog about a year ago. I don't know how he found it. His laughter prompted one too many "what are you reading?" to ignore. I am a stay at home mom. I read for pleasure only. Keep it coming. Happy Writing.

Anonymous said...

From Boston, found you blog through Chuck Sigars' "The world according to Chuck" and have been reading since year 1. Fabulous stuff, love the inside view on tv and writing, loved Almost Perfect, never understood why it was canceled, and Big Wave Daves pilot. My favorite story is still "No school in Borneo!" I'm a terrible writer so I mostly lurk.

Congratulations on starting year 3.

Mary Stella said...

Popping back on to say that I love the American Idol recaps -- snark and all. I recap AI myself and after I post on my own blog, I run over here to read what you've said.

Anonymous said...

Like so many other people, I discovered your blog through Jane Espenson's, which I discovered through my interest in science fiction (I've pubished a number of short stories, many of which will be collected in a book from Yard Dog Press next year).

I'm also a news producer at a Louisville, KY TV station, so we share an interest in that medium.

I've enjoyed your work through the years, so it's been great reading your blog and especially learning more about what it's like "behind the scenes" in a very different type of television than the kind I produce.

Dave Creek

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken:

A genuine, heartfelt congrats to you on this awesome blog.

You provide us all with great writing advice, industry insight and an occasional laugh. OK more than occasional, but don't let it go to your head.

Greetings from San Francisco, the Bay Area, home of Bay Area Theater Sports (a great improv group), really good food and enough characters to keep me rich in writing inspiration.

Until a few years ago, I lived in LA, in fact worked as a PA on a sitcom.

I often think of moving back but it is hard to leave this wacky and beautiful part of the state.

I hope to meet you someday.

Really, really appreciate the blog.


Ben Scripps said...

I only came across your blog earlier this year, but I'm glad I did. Mom always said to save the best for last, and your blog is the very last thing in my list of daily reads for that very reason. Thanks for the great reads!

Anonymous said...

You are a daily addiction...the good kind. I linked over from reelradio.com, and of course love the radio stuff, but I am also a big sitcom fan, and yours were some of the best. But one thing that most of the other commenters here haven't mentioned are your travelogues, which I find hilarious. Just one more way of saying "get out of town, would ya?"

Anea Barer said...

I was brought your blog via my cousin Lee's a couple of years ago and have been a nearly daily lurker ever since.
I especially enjoyed your coverage of the strike. I also really enjoy the yearly oscar and new show coverage as well as your regular posts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
Happy Bloogerversary. I found your site from another scriptwriter's blog, although a this point in time remembering whose is utterly beyond me. I'm a baby writer from Toronto, by which I mean both that I am fairly new at writing, and that much of what I've so far been paid to write has been for children. I am not an actual baby, although I slept funny on my neck this week and if you heard me whining you might start to wonder.
Thanks for the stories (and I say that with all the sophistication of a long-time soap opera junkie: blogs are totally "my stories").


Alleaa said...

I found you during the writers strike by accidentally pushing the "next blog" button on blogspot. Since then I sometimes stop by for a laugh.

burkept said...

I found you through a link on Paul Harris' website HarrisOnline. I initially started reading the American Idol posts, but have stuck around for all of the great stories and your very funny commentary.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary! I've been mostly a lurker for a couple of years since following a link from Hoffmania, but I did ask a question once about backward xrays in medical shows. My husband and I were big fans of MASH, Cheers and Frasier. I love the behind-the-scenes information about the shows. I also like to write so I enjoy your stories about the process. I like knowing that I can find a new post every day. Thanks for keeping up the blog! Will you ever resume writing about writers? My husband and I went to school (K-12) with Chris Marcil and are curious about him!

GirlFriday said...

From Missouri (scary, I know). I found you through Jane Espenson quite a while ago. I like everything that you write about TV, especially things that give more of a "behind the scenes" perspective. I like to know how things work, especially things I enjoy- like television. I don't love the sports stuff but that has nothing to do with the way you write it, I just don't like to read about sports. I'm glad that you "have" to write because I enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...


I guess I've been on board daily since about the second anniversary. Congratulations!

I got turned on to you via ReelRadio when I did a search for 1977 and found your aircheck. I still listen to it when I want to remember or feel down.

Found your blog through a link about a year ago when you were on KMOX with Paul Harris just before he got canned.


impwork said...

How: Link from Kung Fu Monkey blog (I think I could be wrong).

When: Sometime ago.

Who: Depending on your point of view I'm a Professional who occasionally finds the time to write something that gets published (and who sometimes writes stuff people think is amusing) or I'm a writer who is too scared to leave a well paid full time job to actually write after meeting writers who did that and ended up writing Haynes Manuals

Where: UK currently Liverpool (Lincoln -> Nottingham -> Warwickshire -> Liverpool)

Why: Because I like what you write

What: More of the same (although the baseball is usually as interesting to me as cricket would be to most Americans)

Paul Yeager said...

Thank you for the great read. I read this blog every day after a friend of mine kept sending me links every time you wrote something good about MASH. As a media member myself, its good to have your insight of what happens in your level as well. I've always wanted to know what really happened in the writers room or on the set around taping, since that's what I'm familiar with.

Please keep on typing for the next goal, a spot on VH1's Best Week Ever. You can be a guest commentator.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ken! You're the gift that keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your third anniversary, Ken! I found your blog through Don Barrett's LARP website.

I especially enjoy the baseball and radio posts. The stories from your days doing play by play are a riot. I also like all the behind the scenes info from MASH, Cheers and Frasier.

Keep up the great work and congrats again.


Anonymous said...

I just learned of this blog recently, via a political discussion list. Someone reposted your comment:

"A President usually appoints those key people instrumental in getting him elected to key administrative posts. Will Tina Fey become Secretary of State or Secretary of Agriculture?"

I LOVE your sense of humor, I bet you could make some money with it. :)

Susan said...

Hi Ken! I found your blog either from a link at the Throwing Things blog, or a link at Moxie the Maven's blog, can't remember. I live in NYC and work at an Off Broadway theater. I absolutely love your behind-the-scenes stories. I read mostly at work, so I often can't watch the videos you post along with your stories (and then forget to log in at home and watch them), but as a big tv fan, I love knowing what was happening in the writer's room or on the set or what changes happened in the script.

Knuckles Buchanan said...

I've been a fan of yours since you broadcast for the M's back in the late 80s/early 90s. And then I discovered 'Volunteers'. Someone had linked to your blog from the USS Mariner site, and I've been coming back ever since.


Anonymous said...

Indeed: Happy Blogiversary.

My own is coming up shortly; I started the first week of 2000.

I'm pretty sure I got you from my sis, PamelaJaye, who in turn got you either from Alan Sepinwall or Jane Espenson (we're both large with the Buffy).

Big M*A*S*H fan; not so much with the Cheers and Frasier... and I have to say I agree with the person who said that Almost Perfect was mostly Almost. :-}

I'm hoping that you do one more SRoom after the one that's imminent, so I'll have had time to save up the money to fly out and give it a shot; I spend far too much time anticipating TV comedy writers not to wonder if I can actually pull it off.. not that I'd necessarily want to make a living at it.


Mr. Peel aka Peter Avellino said...

Many congratulations on your anniversary! I love reading this blog and all the stories about shows you've worked on, from Cheers to MASH to, yes, Open All Night. It's always a delight to read. Even when the post has nothing to do with Lisa Edelstein.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through LARadio.com. It was only about 3 weeks old at the time, so, I went back and read from the beginning. Haven't missed a day since. many, MANY years ago, my friend Jill & I attended a one day seminar at UCLA called A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MASH. Jill & I wanted to date you and David. Neither of us had the nerve to do anything about that.

Love the stuff about writing. Love your travel logs.

Hat size extra large. 7 5/8.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Isn't this where I sign up for Inauguration tickets?

We met at the UCLA campus radio station...and it's been great watching good things happen to you!

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Prince George, BC, Canada.

I've read daily for over 1 1/2 years. I was directed to your blog by CTV's entertainment section. They had a list of Top 10 Entertainment Blogs to read if you wanted the real 'scoop' on Entertainment.

I've been reading you and DHD ever since.


Thanks to you, I've been reading Earl Pomerantz: Just Thinking... since day 1.

Thanks so much for the smiles and laughs you bring to each day.

Cap'n Bob said...

Above, I mistyped the name Mark Evanier. Now I've corrected it.

Eleanor said...

I've been reading your blog for over a year now, could be longer. Even commented before! :)
Keep blogging: it's all of interest, and you regularly make me smile/chuckle.


Unknown said...

I've been reading your posts for a couple of years now and for the life of me I can't remember how I found it.

Anyone who loves baseball like you can't be all bad and you seem to have no sacred cows when it comes to humor, like me.

I also love the insights into tv production, which I kind of was involved in for a bit.

Sam Thornton said...

I think the voices led me to your site, but it's hard to remember since I started using pie tins instead of foil.

Great work, great writing. Of course, that's just my opinion. Keep it up, anyway.

Unknown said...

I found your blog after searching your name because my boss claimed he knew you.

I like all the subjects you cover, but wish you would write more about Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Specifically, her sex scenes.

John Davies

VP81955 said...

Sorry I didn't get to you earlier, but I've been having some problems with my computer at home. Anyway, congratulations on three thrilling years, and may you have many more.

Verification word: "entro." Sounds like an internal mass transit system (perhaps set up for "Fantastic Voyage").

Anonymous said...

I'm writing from St. Louis (keep throwing in those references to Lambert Airport!), although I lived in L. A. for five years, late '70s/early '80s, so at least I can get the jokes based on Valley geography.

I've been trying to remember where I first saw reference to your weblog, but I just can't, although I'm sure the phrase "Ken Levine, writer for M*A*S*H" was involved. In turn, I've recommended you both in correspondence and in my own (much less regular than yours) on LiveJournal, including an entry specifically recommending yours and Mark Evanier's as good sources of information about the unfortunate reality behind the WGA strike.

Ever since my late dad brought home a copy for me of The Making of STAR TREK from the paperback rack of his drugstore in 1968, I've been a credits reader, fascinated by the hard, creative work done by the people who never get on camera but without whom the shows and films wouldn't exist. (One of my favorite memories is having a private conversation with Gene Roddenberry and getting to tell him just how important his writing was to this particular lonely, discontented teen-ager in the midwest -- I know by far that I wasn't the only discontented teen whose emotional survival he enabled, but not many of us got the chance to tell him in person.)

Anyway, I admire the craft and effort you put into your own work, and enjoy the atmosphere here. Best wishes to you!

Unknown said...

Sorry for posting so late. Been out of town and have a serious stomachflu now so it took me a while to catch up with your blog.


I guess you know how long I've been bothering you here and again I came here because Bob mentioned you on TV Squad. Which is funny since I hate everything he writes and love everything that pops up on this page (ok except the American Idol and "Growing up in the 60s" stuff which is still funny but not my cup of tea so I simply skip it)


I hope you had your kids around for your birthday and have the totally selfish wish of you staying around for at least another couple of decades.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I found your blog while reading an article about Frasier on Wikipedia, probably about 6 months ago. I'm in Tampa, FL.
I have always enjoyed MASH, Cheers and Frasier and was interested to read your comments about all of them and the other shows you contributed to.
Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I found you from that link on the Astroglide site..I read the blog while I'm pleasuring myself sometimes..