Sunday, August 02, 2009

My views on everything and nothing

Well, my Twitter experiment fell just a little bit short. You can still sign up. I just won't be able to look Larry King in the eye. Thanks to those who joined. Now if each of you could just tell one million of your friends…

Morgan Freeman has been having an affair with his 27 year-old step-granddaughter… for TEN years. And not only did it break up his 25-year marriage but here’s the real heartbreaking part of this story -- it also broke up his relationship with his longtime mistress. On the other hand, that’s one more thing Morgan can cross off his Bucket List.

Wow! I can’t believe the number of comments I received on my Katherine Heigl piece. People with actual names seemed to agree with me. People who didn’t hid behind “Anonymous”. What surprised me was the level of fervor and passion on both sides. Folks, we’re not talking about a member of your family here, we’re talking about an actress who starred in THE BRIDE OF CHUCKY.

This was a new one. A panhandler in Westwood shouted at me, “Hey, I need to use your phone!”

So what’s going on at my gym? Well…one of the trainers has an informercial, another is starting her own clothing line, and my workout buddy Charlie is starring in a new reality show – HOUSE HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD, premiering August 15th on Fox. But the trainer whose likeness was on a cereal box has left, as has the Savings & Loan convicted felon. So in short, the usual.

FUNNY PEOPLE is 2 hours and 25 minutes. That’s too long for a David Lean film much less a summer comedy.

Meanwhile, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER manages to be the best romantic comedy of the year in only 95 minutes. Congratulations to Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber for a terrific script.

Don’t look now but TV critics from around the country (who are still left) are all in Pasadena for the annual TCA convention. Networks and showrunners will try to win their favor as they roll out this year’s crop of new “hits”. Imagine being stuck in a room for three weeks forced to watch BARRY LYNDON on a continuous loop.

The TCA Critics Awards are in: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BIG BANG THEORY, TRUE BLOOD, MAD MEN, and YO GABBA GABBA! were the big winners. The awards are not televised. Who would be around to trash it?

I love Nurse Jackie!

I hate cat videos!

I'm tired of Adam Sandler.

Now at least Morgan Freeman has someone to go with him to the MTV Movie Awards.

Did Erin Andrews steal Gandhi’s lunch money in a past life? All she does is a great job on ESPN and is a terrific person. So lately she gets hit in the face with a foul ball (I was at CifiField that night; I tried to block it but I was in the pressbox and she was on the field), and some Norman Bates sicko took a hidden video of her nude in a hotel room and posted it on the internet. There are not enough porn sites? There are not enough loud obnoxious baseball fans that could use a line drive in the chops? Why Erin? She is not looking for attention, not dissing her employers, not dating her step-grandfather. She’s entitled to her privacy even if she is attractive and talented.

And judging by these recent actual headlines in the HuffingtonPost, there is enough goofy celebrity dish and bizarreness to keep even the hungriest of pop culture vultures satisfied.

Jon Gosselin Takes A Stroll In Kate's Hat

Ryan O'Neal: I Hit On Tatum At Farrah's Funeral

Susan Sarandon Joined Her Daughter At Pole Dance Class

Gwyneth Glows In Post-Cleanse Sparkles

Polyamory: The Newest Sexual Trend

Catching Up With Janeane Garofalo (She Still Wants Her Puppet)

Sorority President Sued For Personal Spending--Including Wax Statue Of Herself

Jude Law's Baby Mama Holds Press Conference To Ask For Privacy

And finally, this headline from

Pope Benedict XVI To Sing On New Album

I love this town, whether it's LA or Rome.


Anonymous said...

One of the best lines at this year's ESPY's was coach Don Meyer, winner of the Jimmy V Award, who thanked "the those hardworking and unknown people who had me follow Erin Andrews so closely on the red carpet."

To me the Don Meyers segment was easily the highlight of the night. If you want to see how someone handles adversity with character and class you should watch it.

2009 ESPYs Jimmy V Award

MirrorJames said...

I'm sorry Ken, but not even you could convince me of going anywhere near Twitter.

I wonder if Katherine Heigl's anonymous army will take aim at Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow after their recent comments.

Scott in HC said...

You are so right about (500) Days of Summer. It is the best movie nobody has seen this year.

Daniel said...

Do you keep getting linked by Perez Hilton or something? I mean, I've seen Lance Mannion trash random celebrities, and he never seems to get swarmed by faceless and nameless Us Weekly readers. In fact, I think it's safe to say I've never seen anyone get random hate for off-hand blog comments quite like Ken Levine. Has this turned into something that everyone "in the biz" is supposed to read? What gives?

Rob said...


It is obvious from your comments that you are fat, stupid, not a sports fan, and kick kittens in your spare time.

If you've seen any interviews with Morgan Freeman, you'd know that that's just his sense of humor, pretending to date his step-grandaughter. In fact, if you watch video of him with her, it's quite clear that his horniness is only a put-on. You just want to hate on him because you didn't like his work in the Electric Company. You probably believe the rumors about him and his costar in March of the Penguins as well.

You're a snarky, no-talent, hack writer who happened to get lucky working on a few hundred episodes of classic sitcoms.


Hmmmmm... how do I make this comment anonymous?

VW -- ouckbet -- What the bookie exclaimed when he found out I was putting money on the Orioles to win.

Max Clarke said...

Hilarious line Ken, ...I tried to block it but I was in the press box and she was on the field.

One of the writers of (500)Days of Summer, Scott Neustadter, was interviewed by Jeff Goldsmith for the podcast of Creative Screenwriting. Good guy. A lot of the movie came from his experiences.

Joe said...

Oh, come ON. Obviously Morgan Freeman is merely doing perfectly innocent research for an upcoming Woody Allen film.

(I canNOT believe I am the first person to make a Woody Allen reference.)

SharoneRosen said...

okay okay! I'm following you on Twitter now.

so, do I get a coffee mug, a toaster?

James said...

Small world - you work out with Charlie, I read your blog - he's on a new reality show, I produced/wrote new reality show...nice guy, hope the show does well for both our sakes...

playfull said...

Very good Rob.

tb said...

"Hey! I need to use your phone!"
That's great

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see "500 Days Of Summer" if the film company would release it to more theaters instead of to a FUCKING ART HOUSE CINEMA 40 MILES AWAY FROM ME! Oh, that's right, us "hicks" in the middle of the country would just be scratching our heads as we walk out of the theater thinking "What the hell was that all about?"

Baylink said...

Polyamory isn't anything like new, and it generally isn't (solely) about sex.

That is all.

WV: twoff. I dunno, but it's gotta have *something* to do with Twitter...

J.J. said...

Okay, I have to ask, what the hell is 'twitter?' And I would've been slightly more surprised about Morgan Freeman if only his step-granddaughter had turned out to be Katherine Heigl. I mean, really, the guy lives in Mississippi for crying out loud, where it is not only legal to date your granddaughter, but also encouraged.

Mike M. said...

Thank you, Ken, for verifying that 2-1/2 hours is way too long for a comedy (heck it's too long for most movies).

Now I can say a first class comedy writer agrees with me.

Also, I've been sick of Adam Sandler for about 10 years now.

WV: lytec = The "talking points" software used by the RNC.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time and now I have to chime in because this post simply freaked me out.

I am so entirely disgusted - really??? his freaking granddaughter??

And I've been SICK of Katherine Heigl since the first minute into the pilot of Grey's; sick of Adam Sandler's movie formula and GUESS WHAT?

I'm sick of Seth, too. It's my understanding that his fame has gone to his head (surprise) and he isn't much more pleasant than Ms. Heigl.

Just sickness all around.

Matt said...

I don't watch much Adam Sandler, so I can say I still love "Spanglish."

And, I can't believe I'm the first to write this, but, altogether now, "How Jon Gosselin got inside Kate's hat, I'll never know."

Rob said...

To be fair, Funny People only had two editors. To cut a Judd Apatow movie down to an hour and a half, you'd have to get four or five editors to cull through all of that classic improvised footage.

Wayne said...

A penguin narrated a documentary about Morgan Freeman's strange mating rituals. The long 70 step trek into his step-grandaughter's room.

Parick said...

Wow! I am so impressed with the concise, literate, comical and all around high-spirited, good natured blogging and responses today -- must be one liner backlash from the contimplative and slightly hurtful Heigl novel from the past week. Absolutely hysterical! The Morgan Freeman bit better be exagerated, or we're all screwed, 'cause I'm sure I'm not the only who wished he was my grandfather ...

And Rob's responses are the most brilliant out of all the response brilliance I see here --"Hmmmm ... How do I make this comment anonymous?" Great stuff. Thanks to all, I needed a good laugh to start the week.

Patrick said...

I guess I should have added that I needed a good laugh because I was blogging so damn much that I forgot to go see Funny People. Something tells me though that that 12 bucks spent wouldn't have gotten the laughs it was spent on. Only a Hollywood powerhouse producer and an over-exposed acotor of summer box office success could have the huge nads to make a movie called Funny People knowing full well that the people in the movie probably weren't going to be very funny -- if seven interesting ... Harsh I know, but they definately aren't giving up the good stuff in the trailers. And in a fit of insomnia, I saw Mr. Apatow and Mr. Sandler on Charly Rose at five a.m. this morning. Enough of these two!

whatwouldjesusdo? said...

There goes Shawshank Redemption.
And there goes March Of The Penguins....

Please, Ken, say it ain't so.

Mel Ryane said...

Final thought on Katherine Heigel:

She lives in a state with and unemployment rate of 10 1/2 percent.

No doubt she was trying to be funny but, this goes to the argument:
Know your audience.

How many do you suppose would love to have 17 hours work doing anything? And what is her hourly rate?

Tom Quigley said...

Re: Morgan Freeman -- How'd you like to be hearing this from the guy who's boinking you while you're engaged in the throes of passion: "Who's your step-grandaddy?... Who's your step-grandaddy?"....

Another thought -- How about Morgan Freeman and Katherine Heigl in a movie together: DRIVING MISS LAZY...

jbryant said...

If you give up watching movies that star actors who are douchebags, you'll give up watching movies, period.

Joe said...

I only watch cartoons, so I only have to hear douchebag actors.

dgm said...

I thought your Morgan Freeman tidbit had to be Ken Levine just toying with us and that a punchline would follow, but then I wondered why Ken Levine would want to expose himself. Er, to litigation for libel. So I Googled it and, sure enough, EWWWWW! That is just wrong in so many ways.

On a happier note, though, (500) Days of Summer is absolutely lovely, clever, well-written, poignant, funny.

David K. M. Klaus said...

The woman who coined the word "polyamory" (whose name was not mentioned in the Newsweek article you referenced) is a close friend of mine, and while I don't doubt that it seems strange to you, Mr. Levine, I think you can agree it's better than shooting your spouse's lover to death, or having serial marriages and divorces that put children into constantly changing households.

Everybody Loves Raymond notwithstanding, extended families provide more emotional support for both kids and adults than nuclear families and polyfamilies are another form of extended family. In my personal observation, I have never known a child of a polyfamily to turn out badly. I've known lots of kids of nuclear families, both lifetime-single-marriage and serial-marriage/divorce/marriage, who turned out poorly, some of them criminally. So before you apply the word "goofy" in a negative way, I respectfully suggest that in the struggle to find forms of lifestyle to keep people safe and happy, some aren't quite so "goofy" as they may seem at first glance.

VW: hanest -- most like a particular Chinese dynasty.