Monday, November 14, 2016

My eleventh anniversary

This month will make it eleven years since I started this blog.   I've tried to maintain a new post a day (except for last week although some of you noted that technically it was a post) for all eleven years. 

I'll be honest with you, last week was very tough.  As blog moderator I blocked a lot of your comments (besides the usual idiot trolls who I just delete and don't even read).  Considering the emotional state you knew I was in, I didn't need gloating, I didn't need ugliness, I didn't need to be told to just suck it up.  We all go through shit in our lives and for the most part I spare you mine. That's not what you log on for and I get that.  You want to be entertained, you want my dubious advice, you want anything to distract you from work.  Thus I keep churning out the posts even when I'm dealing with the crap we call life. 

So when one time I announce that I'm really wrecked and people write in saying stop whining and go back to funny posts I get very cranky. 

There were several points last week when I seriously thought, "Fuck this!  What do I need this grief for? I'll just shut the blog down, walk away, and pick it back up again if and when I feel like it."   I decided ultimately not to do that, but I'm sort of at a crossroads here.

What I always do for these annual anniversary posts is ask you to take charge.  I'd love to know who is out there and why you're here?  Especially now.  So if I may, in the comments section could you please tell me who you are, where you're from, how old you are (you can round it off), how you found the blog, how long you've been reading it, how often you read it, and what you like and don't like about it?   You can be honest.  I know a lot of you don't like baseball posts but every so often I do them anyway.  And you'll notice I've done very few AMERICAN IDOL recaps lately.  But this feedback has helped me shape the content of the blog as I've tried to provide you with more of what you prefer.   This year it's going to help me decide how to go forward. 

So thanks in advance.  And thanks for being a part of a great eleven year run. 


1 – 200 of 260   Newer›   Newest»
slgc said...

Hey Ken,

I'm glad you're not shutting down the blog. I enjoy reading it each day.

My husband and I had the plasure of meeting you in Hatboro in April when you were there for A Or B? I'm a 50-ish year old New Yorker living in exile in New Jersey. A friend introduced me to your blog ages ago because I love Cheers and am a big baseball fan.

What I like depends on my mood on a given day and how much time I have. Sometimes I read raptly, while some days I'm pressed for time and skim; don't change anything on my account. That said, your behind the scenes stories are particularly entertaining.

decal1028 said...

Hey Ken,

Yeah, thankless job, and then people complain?

55 year old Easterner, can't remember how I stumbled on the blog but I read it every day. Perfect storm for me as I love baseball and my brother works in TV so I love all the inside TV stuff too. I hope you decide to keep sharing with us, wouldn't blame you if you packed it in though.

Best of luck either way.

Mark said...

Hi Ken, it's Mark from Los Angeles. I've been reading for about eight years. I think I found you from Pop Candy in the USA Today.

Anyways, the things I enjoy in your blog are your miscellaneous rants and your reviews. Please do more of these. Happy 11th anniversary!!

Herve Villachaize said...

Hi Ken - I'm 40ish, currently in the DC area but grew up in Seattle. I was a huge Groo the Wanderer fan in high school/college and (much later) found your blog via Evanier's blog, but of course I also remembered you from M's broadcasts. I worked in radio for a while, including as network board op for KIRO during the fabled summer of 95. I was in the studio when Kevin Cremin kicked the plug out of the wall in Chicago (dead air!!!), I almost knocked a bucket of popcorn out of Reggie Jackson's hands in the press box during game 3 of the ALDS, and I got to spend a few innings of a midsummer game in the booth with Dave, Kevin, and Ron. Best summer ever. So I, at least, enjoy your baseball posts, along with all the other stuff. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

63. Live in Ohio, but from NY. Been reading your blog for about 5 years; think I saw a link/cite on Mark Evanier's blog. Her mostly for your industry insights (and a chuckle or 2); especially like Fridays. Also like your reminiscing about the 60s and 70s (if you haven't read Bob Greene's Be True to Your School and/or Cheeseburgers, you should). Really ticked off that people would not honor your request regarding post-election posting - they evidenced the same type of smugness that they were attributing to nonTrumpers.


Carol said...

I'm Carol, been a reader for ages,and was lucky enough to be part of the East Coast premiere of A or B? last year. (and BTW we're taking Going, Going, Gone to the board to see if/when we can do that one too.)

I really enjoy reading this blog for the writing advice, and the 'Hollywood insider stuff' and just because I enjoy your POV and the humour you tend to bring into every day in your posts. Baseball stuff...not quite as much. :)I honestly can't remember why I started reading the blog. I probably clicked on something that led me here, but I'm glad it did.

I also like the people who post on here; generally a smart, well-spoken (written?) bunch of people from all walks of life. It's fun to see what they have to say on any given day.

Doug in Dallas said...

I'm a 48-year old architect in Dallas and have been reading and enjoying your blog for ten years, now. I'm a big Cheers fan and I stumbled onto your 2006 blog post about interesting facts about the Cheers bar set. Been reading your posts every day since then. Keep up the good work, Ken!

ally said...

Dearest Ken, I'm an east coast reader who gets to work right around the time your blog posts a new entry. It's a great way to start my day, and I've been a huge fan for a long time, with a handful of Friday Questions that you've answered. Whatever you choose to write, I will read, and whenever you decide to stop, I will cry, but until then, I will continue to enjoy everything you decide to share on your blog. In the meantime, please think about starting that 2-hour radio show on Sirius . . .

Brian said...

Brian Phillips, McDonough, GA (originally from just outside NYC), 53, I believe I found it through the recommendation of a friend. I've read the blog for seven years. I read it five days a week. I enjoy the insider information, Friday questions and the reviews.

I am a huge fan of your work. My family and I have enjoyed the hours of entertainment you and David Isaacs have written over the years, but some of the parody "What if...?" scripts you post I don't read. Sometimes it is a take on a show I don't watch, or sometimes I say, "Oh, I'll read this later" and don't.

This is not to dissuade you, but in all honesty, that is the least favorite bit of what I see. I have read some and enjoyed them.

David Schwartz said...

Hi Ken. My name is David Schwartz and I'm a Marriage/Family/Therapist. I grew up in New York City (Greenwich Village of all places), and have been in Los Angeles since 1980. I'm 58 years young (ah, who am I kidding...), and I enjoy your blog tremendously. I have been a fan of your work for years and have specifically followed shows that you and your partner worked on as I found them the sharpest and most well-written episodes of whatever series it happened to be. Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked on television, both in production and as a writer. I wanted to become a sitcom writer myself, but was one of those people who was "this close" to making it, in that I got an agent, worked on an off with a partner on spec scripts, worked in production on sitcoms, but either didn't get the breaks or didn't have material that leapt off the page and grabbed the right person.

I did break in, however, as an animation writer in the 80's and spent a decade writing cartoons for television for many programs that people of a certain age grew up watching (Duck Tales, GI Joe, Alvin and the Chipmunks, etc)... Then, after almost 30 years of television writing and production work, I switched careers and became a therapist. It's a great profession and very gratifying when I can help people gain insight to make their lives work better.

As for what I like about your blog and the type of posts you do... For me, when you write about the inner workings of the television industry, those are the posts I enjoy the most. As someone who swam around that pool trying to get into the deeper end of it, I really appreciate hearing about the scripting process, the network ordeals, all of that stuff, as I get to have a better understanding of the industry and the way it works (or doesn't work). I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the efforts you make at sharing your life with us. And Happy Anniversary!!

Mike Barer said...

Mike Barer,I found this blog from a link on Lee Goldberg's blog. I Remembered Ken from his Mariner broadcast days. I have a blog myself that I have maintained for 11 years. I'm 59 and partner in a couple of franchises of The UPS Store in Bellevue, Washington.
At one time, blogs were very plentiful, but with the advent of social media, they have become few and far between. I'm glad to see this one continue.
I read this blog because it is well done and a good example for mine. I always find it entertaining. Ken, congrats on 11 years.

Anonymous said...

Ray from Liverpool in England (dont mention the Beatles please!).
I have been reading for about 8 years i think. I came to the blog through googling your profile as i have always enjoyed your writing since MASH.
i check the blog every day

Bill from Toronto said...

Ken, it's Bill from Toronto. Let's round my age to 50. Not sure how I came to find your blog, maybe an internet search when I came -- too late -- to the notion of sitcom writing as a career prospect. Now I log in every day and enjoy the variety: writing tips, TV reviews, industry insight, vacation montages, baseball (although I don't follow the sport), radio reminisces, birth announcements and spats with Roseanne. As long as you find value in the blog, please keep posting and I'll keep reading.

William said...

Hi Ken,

I'm William from Toronto. Been reading faithfully for about six of your eleven years. Congratulations on the anniversary! Pretty well like everything you post - especially the TV scriptwriting and the insider stories.

Here's to eleven more years at least!!

Anonymous said...

Bill from Sunnyvale, 52, don't quite remember how I found the blog, but been reading daily for at least 7 years.
Haven't found much that I don't like; big baseball and TV fan, and have enjoyed your travelogues.
Have enjoyed your writing, have bought your books; haven't seen the plays as LA is a long trip. Waiting for you to do a book signing or reading in the Cupertino area.

Harley said...

I'm 55 and from Maryland (DC suburbs). Found your blog 4 years ago from newsfromme. I look forward to most posts (reruns, not so much), and sad I can't see your show in LA!

Stephanie said...

My name is Stephanie, I'm 60+ and I've been following your blog for at least 6 years. I read it to start my day and I really enjoy your random rants.

Unknown said...

Hi Ken,
You have a great blog that I read every day (with Dilbert).
I'm Larry H, from near Wilmington NC (but Navy brat w/strong CA ties), 59, found blog in ~2012 via Time mag review. Love baseball & "good" TV/movies/music (especially Cheers, MASH, Frazier - your stuff). Everything you like, so do I. Wish I still lived in CA & could come to LA to see your play(s).
Hope you keep the blog going - don't let the negative remarks get to you & I also hope USA can survive Donald Trump "leadership".

Jeannie said...

First off: for trolls to smack you when you're down makes me so angry. I love your blog. It's free of ads. You were quite clear that you were upset about the election. So I am really sorry you had to put up with that crap on top of the results. Onto your questions. I am a 50something writer from New Hampshire who can't remember how I found this blog (nor can I recall breakfast from 2 hours ago), but have been reading for about 10 years. I read you every day. I like hearing your entertaining POV about any topic, and as a die-hard Sox (now Cubs) fan, I actually enjoy the baseball stuff. And once again, for what it's worth, I'm so sorry about the reactions last week. Isn't having a lock on all 3 branches of govt enough for some people?

opimus said...

Dave 54 from Chicago. I've been reading you about 7 years via Mark Evanier. I really enjoy your radio stories.

Chez said...

Been here for about 6 months. My friend and I are writing a pilot for a sitcom. I'm 36. Your posts have been very helpful and funny. Thanks for doing them. I genuinely hope you continue. You seriously inspire us!

julian said...

hi Ken,

sorry to hear about the trolls. tribalism trumps empathy, i guess.

i'm in my 40's, from Canada. i stop in at the blog almost every day.

i love the baseball, radio, TV, and writing stuff. overall, i'm a completely satisfied freeloader. i'd go out of my way to attend yr play if it makes it to Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal, or if i'm stateside somewhere when it plays again.


Daryl Royal said...

Hey Ken, I'm Daryl Royal, 60 years of age, from the Detroit area. I believe I came to your site about five years ago, after reading of it on Mark Evanier's site. I have read it ever since. I enjoy the variety of things you discuss, and find that even when I'm not that interested in the topic, your humorous and irreverent approach draws me in. Please don't stop!

Take care,

FFS said...

71 years old. Live in Toronto. Found blog while watching Peter Pan on NBC in 2014 a month afterwards on my PVR (yup, that's what we call a DVR) and Googling the cast and wondering if I was the only one that thought Christopher Walken was a poor casting choice. Found your review and then started on your archives. Read every day or what my wife calls playing on my iPad. Only improvement would be more hockey posts.

Harkaway said...

I'm Harkaway, 60ish, live in London, a cultural historian and I've read everything you have posted. I can't remember how I found you, but your blog has been cheering me up for years. I particularly like the way you write about writing, because much of what you say is true for any type of writing. Even writing nonfiction, you have to have a narrative thread (or story), be aware of your audience, and be alive to the demands of the people who you wish will publish you.

But I'm also just a great devotee of TV history, so I like your reviews, your analyses of why some things succeed and some things fail, and your take on just about everything.

Last week was tough for many of your readers and I appreciated your dilemma about posting. I wouldn't have been able to read anything until now any way.

So congratulations on the 11th anniversary. Don't disappear; I need stability in my life right now--and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Happy 11th Anniversary!

BobinVT said...

I am from northern Vermont. Small town America. I am 65 years old, so your contemporary, although with a very different background growing up. I found your blog accidentally while researching Jack Benny. I check your blog daily.

I am a big baseball fan, so enjoy those posts. Also like posts/clips regarding comedians of a certain age: Benny, Silvers, Gleason, Carson, Winters, Dangerfield, etc. Being a fossil, I don't get current comedians. Posts about classic comedies, Van Dyke, MTM, etc. are always fun for me. Any post that is like a biography or about a famous person (most recently Vin Scully) I always read from top to bottom. Also enjoy any post that features a list of any sort (favorite movie comedies, etc.). Posts involving your radio days, or your formative years are also favorites. I guess I like the latter for the contrast with my own fifties and sixties experiences. I really enjoy any reviews of movies, awards shows, or pretty much anything. Even if I haven't watched a show, you reviews are always humorous. Your tributes to notables that pass away are always heartfelt and touching. I like reading about your budding career as a playwright, even though my location does not enable me to attend your plays. Also, anything about movies, or humorous inside Hollywood stories like pitch meeting experiences.

What I don't enjoy as much include anything about comedy writing. I know that's your forte, but I have no interest or aspirations about comedy writing. I just want to enjoy the results. So when a post starts on that topic, I never get beyond the first few sentences. Same thing for posts about current TV shows. The last network show I watched was Frasier, which I thought was one of the best written shows ever. But Two Broke Girls? No. I know it's sacrilege, but I don't like most MASH posts. I liked the show until it got real preachy, about midway through the run. And I think it's kind of been done to death on your blog.

I am conservative, but did not vote for a Trump. I appreciate the lack of politics on your blog, and understand last week's exception to that. You obviously get the fact that those who want political stuff have plenty of other options, and your lack of politics is another plus for your blog.

Finally, the most amazing thing about your blog is your ability to generate such entertaining material EVERY DAY. You even work weekends. While obviously not every post will be a home run, your batting average is extremely high. Such productivity and quality devoted to a non-paying gig is extremely rare and remarkable. So thank you for all the work you put into this. I know it's not easy, but you are part of my morning routine, so I would really miss your blog if you stopped. Do you have any idea how many read your blog?

BobinVT said...

I am from northern Vermont. Small town America. I am 65 years old, so your contemporary, although with a very different background growing up. I found your blog accidentally while researching Jack Benny. I check your blog daily.

I am a big baseball fan, so enjoy those posts. Also like posts/clips regarding comedians of a certain age: Benny, Silvers, Gleason, Carson, Winters, Dangerfield, etc. Being a fossil, I don't get current comedians. Posts about classic comedies, Van Dyke, MTM, etc. are always fun for me. Any post that is like a biography or about a famous person (most recently Vin Scully) I always read from top to bottom. Also enjoy any post that features a list of any sort (favorite movie comedies, etc.). Posts involving your radio days, or your formative years are also favorites. I guess I like the latter for the contrast with my own fifties and sixties experiences. I really enjoy any reviews of movies, awards shows, or pretty much anything. Even if I haven't watched a show, you reviews are always humorous. Your tributes to notables that pass away are always heartfelt and touching. I like reading about your budding career as a playwright, even though my location does not enable me to attend your plays. Also, anything about movies, or humorous inside Hollywood stories like pitch meeting experiences.

What I don't enjoy as much include anything about comedy writing. I know that's your forte, but I have no interest or aspirations about comedy writing. I just want to enjoy the results. So when a post starts on that topic, I never get beyond the first few sentences. Same thing for posts about current TV shows. The last network show I watched was Frasier, which I thought was one of the best written shows ever. But Two Broke Girls? No. I know it's sacrilege, but I don't like most MASH posts. I liked the show until it got real preachy, about midway through the run. And I think it's kind of been done to death on your blog.

I am conservative, but did not vote for a Trump. I appreciate the lack of politics on your blog, and understand last week's exception to that. You obviously get the fact that those who want political stuff have plenty of other options, and your lack of politics is another plus for your blog.

Finally, the most amazing thing about your blog is your ability to generate such entertaining material EVERY DAY. You even work weekends. While obviously not every post will be a home run, your batting average is extremely high. Such productivity and quality devoted to a non-paying gig is extremely rare and remarkable. So thank you for all the work you put into this. I know it's not easy, but you are part of my morning routine, so I would really miss your blog if you stopped. Do you have any idea how many read your blog?

Marsha said...

Hi Ken! I'm Marsha, I'm 45 years old, currently live in Chicago (though I'm originally from New York). I can no longer remember how I found your blog because I've been reading it for so long. Probably not from the beginning, but close to it. I am both a TV junkie (and, of course, big fan of your work) and a baseball junkie, so your blog hits for me on all cylinders. (Though I'll never be as big a Natalie Wood fan as you are. As if anyone could be.)

I am always grateful for the laughs you give me and the insight you bring to any topic. I learn a lot from you while also being entertained. I watch TV differently because of you, and have a greater appreciation for baseball announcers because of you.

I am very sorry that last week was made harder for you by some commenters. Whether or not we agree, we should always show compassion for each other.

Thank you for this blog - I, for one, greatly appreciate all the work you put in. Reading this blog has brought me a great deal of knowledge and laughter, and I'm very, very grateful.

William said...

I am a social worker from Elsinore, Denmark (yup, the city from Hamlet-fame). I am 40 years old, and I guess I've been reading your blog for 7-8 years. It is the only blog I've ever found, and then proceeded to go through the entire archive. I've done some semi-pro and quite amateurish dramatics - a one man play based on Hamlet, where his surviving friend Horatio retells the story - but besides that no connection with the entertainment-industry. I am fascinated by a glimpse into the world behind the curtains. Whether it is sports, movies, politics or TV, I love finding out about the process, and the amount of work, going into the product, that the rest of us get to see. I mostly read biographies, I watch a lot of documentaries, and I read blogs like yours. So I love every post that takes us backstage, and (probably due to being European) I couldn't care less about baseball.

I hope you keep your blog going, but all goods things do come to an end, so do not feel obligated to keep going or posting every day. The blog is free, and giving away your work for free means never having to say you are sorry.

Bobby Goldberg said...

Thanks Ken, for not giving up. It was an awful week for more than half of the country - we will be needing humor and thoughtfulness and kindness more than ever. I grew up in L.A. around the same time you did and I believe we were built from much of the same material. Your stuff always resonates with me and gives me something to look forward to. I hope you can find it in yourself to continue, once the reality of our new world settles in bit. Hang in there, man.

Larry Asher said...


I'm in my early 60s (how did that happen?!) and have been reading your blog for about five years. As a Seattle Mariners victim, er, uh, fan, I loved the two stretches when you called their games. So sorry everyone, but you can always write more baseball posts. My other faves are your reminiscinces about your early days in radio. Keep up the wonderful work and congrats on 11 years.

P,S, I won't tell you to suck it up, because the election of the name I cannot say truly does suck. I am flabbergasted at how little I understand slightly less than half of the country.

Stephen Marks said...

A very happy anniversary to you Ken. Where is the clip of Ed Ames throwing the tomahawk at the cowboy's crotch?

Okay, so to answer your questions:

Age: 45

Reside: Niagara Falls, Ontario

Your blog: Been coming every day for about 3 years. I found it simply out of curiosity after seeing yours and Mr. Issacs name on my television screen for years.

What I don't like about the blog: That monthly subscription fee. Come on man, how about a discount.

What I like about the blog: Your honesty. You've told stories about bombing, about being rejected, about hearing crickets, second guessing yourself, writers that were better than you in your opinion, unfortunate encounters with women, about your feelings toward others in your industry and, of course, this past week. You've really laid it out there in a way not a lot of us could. It is something to be admired. Another thing is how you will allow any comment as long as it doesn't demean another poster or really cross the line. I've been deleted a few times by you but it was because I crossed that line, I totally got it.
And if we feel that we need to say "fuck" or "shit" or "R.J. Wagner murdered his wife" when we vent you understand the context. So THANK YOU KEN for my 3 years out of the 11. By the way folks here is the first line from Ken's first post, entitled FIRST POST: "For everyone who has said to me "you should start a blog" here it is. Now what?"

Joey Smallwood said...

Hi Ken,

I've been a reader since very early in your blog's first year of existence. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and I'm 46 y.o. I read the blog near-daily, and I always look forward to your stories about writing for MASH, Cheers, and of course the shows you created or co-created. And as an avid fan of the sport, your baseball stories are always a highlight.

Many people don't realize how challenging it can be to create daily content for a blog. I really appreciate your dedication, and am awed that you can create compelling content again and again. Don't let the bastards get you down, and I hope we can look forward to a great daily read for years to come.

Thanks Ken!

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I'll just say "Thanks" and leave it at that.


Joel said...

Greetings Ken,

I have been reading/lurking your blog for a long time - at least 8 or 9 years. I do remember starting to read your blog and then going back a couple years of archived materials. And then following the links to other sites such as Earl's. Your blog is an internet time black hole for me.

Being from Calgary AB Canada, I guess I'm living vicariously through your blogging and getting insight into some worlds that I knew little about. I read every blog post. The passion you exhibit towards telling the stories of unknown (to me) radio jockeys, station managers, baseball announcers etc. are consistently touching and entertaining.

I grew up in the 80's watching MASH reruns every 6:30pm and loved Cheers as well. I love the behind the scenes looks at the various world's you inhabited and helped create. How you keep blogging daily - and with actual content - is inspiring.

If I can shape your blog in an way, I would suggest that you have more stories on some of the great people that you've crossed paths with - fringe or not, in front of the camera or behind or in an announcer booth. Like the Taylor Negrons/Stu Nisbets of the world. Most of us will never know them beyond their regular and varied appearances on a variety of shows.

You're a positive influence in this world - keep doing what you do.

Vicariously yours,

-- joel

Hermite said...

Thanks for sticking around. Been reading your blog every day since the beginning. I've commented a few times. I love your writing, your humor, your compassion. If you go away, I will really miss you.

I gave up watching TV 10 years ago. Your shows, and other oldies, set a bar no one seems able to reach any longer, so I said the hell with it. I wanted to tell you, though: THANK YOU for telling us about Fargo. I just bought DVDs of the first 2 seasons and I absolutely love it. You weren't kidding about Ted Danson.

So, you continue to bring joy into the life of this almost 70-yr-old woman living the the remote northwest. Carry on!

JR said...

Really like your TV show recommendations, MASH memories, baseball stories. How comedy shows are developed. B100 was my radio station in high school in San Diego - so those stories always strike home. Snarky award show reviews are fun. I can pass on American Idol.

Keep it up - my only hope is the president elect will turn out better than the amazingly low bar we have set for him!

Terry said...

Ken, I live in Kansas City and I just turned 45 a few weeks ago. That's the first time I've actually typed that sentence and it hurt to do so, but I did it anyway just for you!

I love your blog and I have recommended it to more than a few people over the years. My favorite things are usually the behind the scenes scoop from your days in television and movies (being a fanatic of both myself that's only natural). I also enjoy your posts about the 60s and being a fellow radio guy I love reading about what radio was like back in the day.

I don't get into the baseball posts as much because I'm not a huge sports guy, but I usually find them entertaining and informative regardless. I also really enjoy the reader questions on Friday and you've even answered one of mine in the past (and made fun of another one but at least you didn't mention me by name that time!)

I know last week was rough but I'll say to you what I said to family and friends on my own post trying to come to terms with the whole thing: We don't give up. We go on.

Michael said...

I THINK I found you when I was searching for what you were doing at the time I found the blog. Of course I knew your work, especially from MASH and Frasier (I never was that big a fan of Cheers--sorry). And I'd read your wonderful book about your year with the Orioles, in part because my dream had been to be the Dodgers broadcaster (or work with THE Dodgers broadcaster), and it was fun to read about your dream. I'm still a Dodger fan, still a fan of good television and writing, and still here.

1955david said...

Hello Ken. My name is David. I’m 61 years. I own a used bookstore. I read your column daily, and I look forward to it. I have no interest in screenwriting however enjoy all your pieces on the craft. I am a big baseball fan and am always fascinated by the stories you tell. I am a “Cheers” fan, so right there you are a hero. I hesitate to say that I never cared for “Mash” but respect what a groundbreaking show it was. I heard you on KABC morning radio years ago and your blog was mentioned, I checked it out and have been back every morning since. Your blog is a warm, comfortable way to start the day. Whatever you decide, I thank you for the great pieces you’ve shared.

Don R. said...

Ken, may I say that following your life -- or at least the part you let us share -- is fun, instructive, and quite an honor, really. Every time you thought of something you wanted to do -- cartooning, radio, TV scripting, baseball announcing, playwriting -- you've done it, and done it well. We started in radio about the same time and I kept hearing about Beaver Cleaver the DJ actually being a writer on MASH and was impressed, but finding out about all you've done, and your willingness to share, has impressed me even more. Keep up the good work and don't worry about the trolls. They're just pissed they can't do what you've done.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I love your blog and read it every single day. (I'm 60 and have no professional association with arts or entertainment, though I DID go to college with Karen Hall! I remember when she got the call from MASH, but that's another story.) I am a curious person and interested in how things work. One day I was exploring the craft of comedy writing and came across your blog and have come back nearly every day since. I enjoy reading the stories behind the MASH/Cheers shows I loved. Aside from your terrific, interesting perspective, one other thing I love: you are a pro who posts something every single day, no matter what. I have come to admire that discipline, especially when other bloggers I've enjoyed peter out over (a short) time. It makes me sad (though not surprised) to hear about the trolls with their gloating and ugly comments. Don't get discouraged - keep posting your wonderful, funny stuff!

Greg said...

Ken, I love your blog and read it every single day. (I'm 60 and have no professional association with arts or entertainment, though I DID go to college with Karen Hall! I remember when she got the call from MASH, but that's another story.) I am a curious person and interested in how things work. One day I was exploring the craft of comedy writing and came across your blog and have come back nearly every day since. I enjoy reading the stories behind the MASH/Cheers shows I loved. Aside from your terrific, interesting perspective, one other thing I love: you are a pro who posts something every single day, no matter what. I have come to admire that discipline, especially when other bloggers I've enjoyed peter out over (a short) time. It makes me sad (though not surprised) to hear about the trolls with their gloating and ugly comments. Don't get discouraged - keep posting your wonderful, funny stuff!

Jeff said...

Ken, I've been reading blogs since before they were even called that, and I've never understood criticizing an author for what they do or don't write.

People who write blogs provide absolutely free entertainment, which the end user can read or ignore as they wish. If a blog author like yourself chooses to host comments, we can toss in our two cents -- we can agree, disagree, share stories about our aunt's bunions, whatever.

But one thing it's not our place to do is say, "You shouldn't write that. I don't like it, so you should write something else.

I enjoy the humor and insight your blog provides to me every day, and I'm thankful to you for providing it. I happen to align with you politically, but even if I didn't, I'd still read for those reasons, and if the politics got to the point where they outweighed my enjoyment of the other content, I would stop reading. I wouldn't tell you to stop writing.

I hope you do continue writing this blog, and that the weight of dealing with the jerks doesn't cause you to feel it's no longer worth your time. If it does, I'll be sad, but it's your decision. You have a paying job, and this ain't it.

Thanks again.

Dave Creek said...

I'm Dave Creek from Louisville, KY. I'll be 63 next month. Yikes! I believe I originally found this blog through Jane Espenson's now-defunct one. I read it every day and especially enjoy entries about writing, especially since I'm a writer myself.

I'm also a retired TV news producer, and although that's a very different kind of television from the kind you do, Ken, I also appreciate any behind-the-scenes tales of working in the TV business.

I'm not a fan of any sports, but I at least skim the baseball posts and I certainly understand those are probably some of your readers' favorites. If you're ever in Louisville, you'll have to check out the Louisville Bats at Slugger Field, which has what they call a "retro-classic" design. In other words, it's supposed to look like an old-timey field.

(Shameless plug: check out my science fiction at

Joseph said...

I'm late 30s and live in LA. I found your blog through Johnaugust (when he used to link to other blogs.) I love to posts on the craft of writing and your life in the business but I read everything.

Jeff said...

Ken, I've been reading blogs since before they were even called that, and I've never understood criticizing an author for what they do or don't write.

People who write blogs provide absolutely free entertainment, which the end user can read or ignore as they wish. If a blog author like yourself chooses to host comments, we can toss in our two cents -- we can agree, disagree, share stories about our aunt's bunions, whatever.

But one thing it's not our place to do is say, "You shouldn't write that. I don't like it, so you should write something else.

I enjoy the humor and insight your blog provides to me every day, and I'm thankful to you for providing it. I happen to align with you politically, but even if I didn't, I'd still read for those reasons, and if the politics got to the point where they outweighed my enjoyment of the other content, I would stop reading. I wouldn't tell you to stop writing.

I hope you do continue writing this blog, and that the weight of dealing with the jerks doesn't cause you to feel it's no longer worth your time. If it does, I'll be sad, but it's your decision. You have a paying job, and this ain't it.

Thanks again.

(My apologies if this went up twice. It didn't seem to submit the first time.)

Blondi Blathers said...

I'm relatively new to your blog, Ken, and don't remember how I found it. I do find it entertaining and informative, and I like blogs that update daily, something I also do most of the time. Not an 11-year perfect record, mind you!
I'm in Saskatchewan, Canada; age 57; out on a farm.
And can't recall the rest of your questions.
But hello!

Roger Owen Green said...

You are one of the sites I check every single day. And I'm sorry you've had to deal with the trolls.

Jahn Ghalt said...

The reason I found this blog has been washer away by the terrific content. Great stuff I never knew about the TV biz, announcing in baseball, life for the normal 99% in 60s SoCal (the 1% got plenty of attention).

AS for how to move forward I'd say you should please yourself. Write whatever you want and the rest will follow.


American Who?

Colin! said...

Hi! I'm Colin, 23, and I'm a Davisite, working in Sacramento. I found your blog a few years ago after I played Bioshock and was looking for the OTHER Ken Levine, but I stayed because you touch on so many things that I have only a passing knowledge of, and reading your blog gives me weird insights into television and sports. It's also really funny half the time, which helps.

Also, I really appreciate the "coverage" of the election. I was disconsolate about Trump, and every bit of commiseration was welcome.

I use an RSS feed reader, and I read every post you publish. So, thank you for all the reading material! And I really hope Trump doesn't destroy this blog too.

Tim B. said...

Tim from Milwaukee here, in his 40s. I really do adore your blog. I read it every weekday right after Mark Evanier's blog, from which I found yours a couple years back. I love reading the stories providing a window into TV production. I've started watching MASH and Cheers again, and have more appreciation for them from your stories. I also find your baseball posts great, since that's the best sport. [ Bob Uecker is the best baseball announcer, but I'm fine with us disagreeing on that point. ;) ]

Ben Scripps said...

I'm Mork, though in real life people tend to call me Ben. Partially because it's my name, but mostly because calling me "Mork" would be silly.

I'm a TV director. Not for scripted programs, but live newscasts at a network affiliate. I live in Michigan, in a city which could only very generously be called "not rural". The sort of place where farming stories are not only in the newscast, but sometimes *lead* the show as the big story of the day.

I don't remember what got me here in the first place, but I've been reading for at least six or seven years. I don't care if they're baseball articles or TV articles or comedy articles or LA radio articles or growing up in the 60's articles (or even blatant plugs for your book, which is still available in all popular and unpopular formats). Your writing is what brings me back. It's always a good day when I fire up my RSS reader and see the "new post" notification next to your blog's name.

As for last week's events, two things have been comforting me:

1. We survived eight years of someone many of us thought would be the worst president ever, and he tried to prove us right by almost choking to death on a pretzel and looking like this when he couldn't get a door to open;

2. I imagine two brothers playing with Legos. Older brother has used the Legos to build a house, but all little brother wants to do is destroy it. He keeps trying and trying and trying until older brother screams at him to stop, prompting mother to come in and send older brother to his room. Older brother's pleas of how little brother is going to destroy the Lego house fall on deaf ears. Sure enough, when older brother is allowed out again, the Lego house lies in ruins. But the building blocks are all still there. True, they're scattered around the floor, but older brother remembers how they went together, and he remembers what worked well the first time and what didn't work. And he knows that the tough part wasn't in putting the bricks together. The tough part was just getting the bricks in the first place.

The bricks may be knocked down over the next four years, but we can put them back together. We know what works, and we know what doesn't work. But the bricks are there.

This nation has survived for nearly a quarter of a millennium (barring that one brief period of experimentation we had in the 1860's). I refuse to believe that if we're gonna be taken down, it's by a guy with hair like that.

Anonymous said...

47 years old, from SF Valley, I fell in love with Cheers at 12, found your blog perusing the internet for Cheers stuff. I read every day, and no, I don't care for the baseball entries, but you knew that.

Unknown said...

Although I've known Ken awhile I am kind of new to the blog which I enjoy every day and look forward to posting

Canadian Dude said...

I'm a 50-something Canadian comedy writer/producer. Because I ply my trade in Canada I've worked on everything from preschool series (with puppets) to a really dark and profane late-night show (funnily enough, also with puppets).

I've been following you for about 5-6 years. I'm not sure how I found the site - I clicked on a link and never looked back.

Your blog is the first thing I check out when I get up. I don't have a favourite theme, you're always great fun to read (and occasionally profound and thought-provoking). One thing that really impresses me is that you are very inclusive of your followers - I love that you regularly give folks a heads-up that you can found at a show, or a coffee shop and that you invite them to say hello (knowing that you'll probably be getting a spec script or two plunked in your hands).

Please don't let the trolls get your down. That's their primary purpose in life - to bitterly shit on others. If the internet has done anything, it's been to bring to light just how many screwed-up people are out there!

Reading you each day is a delight. And if you do decide to hang 'em up (I hope you don't)... thank you for all the laughs.

Jim Grey said...

I'm Jim Grey, 49, from Indianapolis.

I probably found this blog via a link from Mark Evanier's blog. I have no idea how long I've been reading but it's been years. Not all 11.

I enjoy reading your stories, things that happened in your life, regardless of whether they were in radio, TV, baseball, or whatever. You tell them well.

Don't let the b*$tards get you down.

VP81955 said...

Been proud to have been part of this for most of those 11 years, as I moved to SoCal and sought a screenwriting career of my own. (And despite some setbacks, I intend to succeed.) Thank you and this blog community so much for your encouragement.

Mary Ann Lewis said...


My name is Mary Ann Lewis. I am 49 years old. I live on the Space Coast of Florida. I work in I.T. to pay the bills, but I write. I've been writing for what seems to be all my life, with a few poems, articles and short stories published. Currently, I am writing my first novel (on draft four; it may be ready for an agent after this).

I wish I had a better memory as to how and when I came to this blog. If I check the date on my Internet shortcut, it says 2013. My laptop is three years old, so I suspect the link is older than that.

If I had to guess, I came here for writing advice and stayed for the insight on the many topics you post. I know nothing about baseball (other than how to drink beer and eat hot dogs in the stands during the game), but have learned a great deal. I love your sense of humor and your writing.

I am sorry you had to deal with hate/negativity, especially when you give so much. I sympathize with the frustration you must feel, and I wish I knew of a way to help. Thank you for your time every day, your wisdom and humanity.

Eric J said...

I'm a 75 year old ex-motorcycle and auto writer. The closest I came to TV writing was selling my house in the Valley to a new hire A-Team writer 30+ years ago.

I think you have a great balance of material here. I could do without the DJ and baseball posts, but I read them and often enjoy them. It's always interesting to get a peek into someone's life I would not ordinarily meet. So are the very occasional political posts. I don't come here for that, but it would be unnatural to read a personal blog for half a dozen years and have no idea of your politics or other careers. You're open and giving to writers, new and old. Your blog is an integral part of my morning ritual.

Post more Natalie Wood.

Michael Hagerty said...

I'm Mike Hagerty, age 60, in Sacramento, California. I've been reading the blog maybe the full eleven years...if not, very close. I learned about it because Ken and I are both contributors to Reelradio. I'm a fan of Ken's work from Beaver Cleaver at K-100 and on to his writing and producing for TV. Sorry to say I've never heard his baseball announcing, but I'm sure I'd enjoy that too. What do I like about the site? The stories. What it was and is really like in the business. There are very few writers who can make me laugh out loud. Most days, Ken does.

Tim G. said...

Hi Ken. I don't know where this phrase comes from but it's the first thing that pops in my mind with regard to your quandary: Don't let the bastards get you down. I even read about effing BASEBALL and DJs owing to you, just because your brand of insight and humor redeems any topic. Maybe that can at least counterbalance a gloating troll or two. I can't claim to be a prized reader. The doorman at my office called me a "fucking dork" under his breath one day, and he's probably right. It's a tough world and you're a welcoming voice.
I'm in Chicago, from Wisconsin, 55, and found your blog in 2011 when I was looking for info about Mary Tyler Moore's 1985 sitcom. I have been reading you almost every day since. You have an edge without being inhumane. You're proud of your children's accomplishments. You appreciate beauty (Natalie Wood). You are absurd at times (great balm!). You seem decent and just the fact that you post each day is a sort of beacon against darker forces in our country. If not a beacon, then at least a penlight when things get overwhelming... I could go on. I just hate to think that rampant nastiness would compel you to withdraw.
Most of all, I respect your humor. It is too soon to find humor in the fact that a NY con man and Slovenian prostitute will occupy the White House. But the republic is stronger than than any single unworthy occupant. And any humor you offer up is heartening. I'm sorry the trolls get to you. They'd probably get to me too if I were in your position. And who needs the BS?
I need your column. It makes each day more interesting and the residual effect is that it often sends me back to shows I have not thought about for a long time. It also reinforces an idea of a certain kind of decency. Without sounding too grand, you perform a public service. The marvelous thing is that you're also self-deprecating about it. In its proportion, your work is perfect. To those who object to your political views, they are welcome to go shit in their hats.
Thank YOU in advance.

JR Smith said...

As a kid in the 60s and 70s, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a disc jockey on the radio. There was no real clear cut path to a job in radio at that time. I found a little ad in the back of Broadcasting Magazine for a place called The Don Martin School of Communications in Hollywood. I decided that's where I wanted to go after high school...and I did. Packed a few things in a duffle bag and grabbed a flight to LAX. The bus from the airport dropped me off in front of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and that's where I spent my first night. The Martin School was in a tall building on Hollywood Boulevard with a Hamburger Hamlet restaurant on the first floor. I rented a studio apartment on Ivar Avenue. I had no car, so each night, I'd walk home like elven blocks of Hollywood Boulevard at 11:30PM. Remember, this was 1970s Hollywood Boulevard, not today's version. Think hookers and drug dealers and geeky kid from a small town in Upstate New York stepping over puddles of various bodily fluids on the Walk of Fame each night. In my little duffle bag, I packed a Radio Shack AM/FM/Cassette portable. I had no TV in my apartment. No phone. There was no internet then. All I could do at night was listen to Los Angeles radio. And I did. And I found KTNQ "LA's Only Rock-n-Roller" and a high energy crazy DJ named Beaver Cleaver. I loved listening to you and all the talent on TEN-Q.

After the Martin School, I worked in radio, then in television...eventually finding my way over to the advertising side of the business. Sometimes, I think about real Top 40 radio and how much fun it was and how much I miss it. A few years ago, I was thinking about TEN-Q and wondered what became of the station and the talent. I Googled you and found this blog. I stop by here every day over my morning coffee and enjoy your posts, especially when they're about real radio.

This blog is fun. I'd miss it if it were gone. Selfishly, you are connection to my past. A time when almost anything was possible. I'd miss that too.

Anonymous said...

Paula, DFW, 40, it's been so long ago I don't remember where I first ran across it, I've been reading at least 8 yrs, it's in my reader so whenever you post I get it, and I like all of it, it always makes me smile, even if our political views are very different.

Bg Porter said...

Hi, Ken.
If I haven't been reading since the very beginning, I don't think that I missed too much. The matter of how I found your blog is lost to my aging memory.

I come for the inside baseball on making TV, a little of the inside baseball about radio (even broadcasting baseball games) but skim/skip actual baseball material.

Also: Natalie Wood pix.

J. Allison said...

Hey Ken, sorry to hear you took some crap on the site last week. I'm glad you're persevering and continuing to post. I look forward to reading what you have to say each day.

I've been reading for 5-6 years now. Maybe more...time seems to just keep on speeding up! I'm 53, a SoCal native, and I found you based on a pre-game interview you did with the Angels announcing crew a while back. Once I knew you loved baseball and wrote for both MASH and Cheers I figured I had to check out your blog. Glad I did. Please keep it up! I know it's difficult, but we do appreciate your efforts.

- Jeff A., La Habra Heights, CA

Hobbes said...

Hi Ken. I’ve been reading your blog for several years now although I don’t remember how I found it. I’m a few weeks shy of 50 years old and I live in St. Louis County, Missouri, (by necessity, not choice) after having spent four years in Chicago and, prior to that, living in Michigan. I love your stories about the TV shows where you’ve worked, as well as your insider information about the entertainment industry as a whole.

I don’t watch any network TV shows anymore but stick to original programming on cable (mostly HBO — Veep, Silicon Valley, and Insecure are favs). M*A*S*H will always be one of my favorites, though. I cycle through my DVDs of shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Absolutely Fabulous, All in the Family, China Beach, The West Wing, and thirtysomething.

Even though we’re of a different generation, my politics align with yours and I’m still trying to process the events of last week and this whole election cycle. I feel like this is 2000 all over again and that there is a lot of bad stuff waiting for us on the horizon.

Chris Barr said...

Live from Sacramento! 65 now and have been reading almost from the beginning, with a couple years off in the middle. I got turned onto you because my son was a budding screenwriter and it kept me in his orbit. I read now, faithfully, because I like the way you write and because I like that you wear your heart on your sleeve. And I too don't care about baseball but I read those posts anyway for the same above reasons. Illegitmus Non Carborundum, and please continue to show us how to keep the faith.

Jeff said...

I found your blog via Mark Evanier, years ago, I've lost count. I appreciate the "insider" viewpoints for both baseball and showbiz. Generally, I loathe political discussions.

Molly said...

I’m Molly, I’m 33 and I’m from the north of England (though, sadly, I do not sound like Jane Leeves). I’m fairly new around here, having only come across your blog a couple of months ago. I’ve haven't posted a comment before, but reading today’s post I couldn’t help myself. (And apparently, having started, couldn’t help myself to the tune of a short essay — sorry about that.)

During a conversation with a friend about the West Wing a couple of months ago, I was saying how great Alan Alda was in the last couple of seasons. She asked whether I’d ever seen M*A*S*H. On hearing that I hadn’t, she told me to go and buy the DVDs immediately. Long story short — I’m up to mid-Season-six and completely hooked. One of the only things I’ve ever watched that can have you spit-taking tea with laughter one minute and crying the next. (And that’s without counting the intervening thirty seconds that you spent yelling at the general injustice of the world.)

Searching online for more information about M*A*S*H, I saw a reference to your blog. I’ve always loved Frasier too, so I couldn’t resist clicking on the link. I’ve been here most days since, reading the new posts and gradually browsing back through the eleven years I’ve missed!

So apropos of all that, here’s what I wanted to say: I love reading what you have to write. As a comedy addict, it’s true that I came for the insights into what goes into writing comedy. But I’ve loved reading what you’ve had to say about everything else too. Radio, other bits of the media, your travels, life in the USA — hey, I’ve enjoyed reading the bits about baseball too, even if I don’t understand the technicalities (understatement of the year).

So happy 11th blogoversary and please, if at all possible, don’t let the people who give you grief suck the joy out of it. This blog, along with the rest of your writing, has given so many people so much pleasure — and I’m one of them, so testify! More power to your highly entertaining arm. If you see what I mean. And I promise to be more concise the next time I comment…

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Fish gotta swim. Ken gotta write.

Reader since the beginning and find the daily blog to temper my upset at daily nonsense. Love the writing. Love the showbiz. Like the baseball.

You know what? I've been dodging NYT subscription deals as well as those of other papers I read monthly by reaching my free-read limit with each and rotating to the next one. Works great. I do the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune..and a bunch others.

...but I'd pay to subscribe to yours. :)

A buck a week? Two? We're talkin' high finance here, but there's got to be a way for you to get a little bump for all of this effort - other than the cross promotion for your other projects.

I wish I had an easy answer to the question of how to make money blogging. Writing ransom notes would pay better. A lot less work, too.

Be Boss,


PS Which reminds me: After the election, I found myself in my little home library just reading the memos from Ron Jacobs in his KHJ book. Very comforting, actually.

Unknown said...

Hey Ken!

My name is Sean and I'm in NoCal and im almost 40. I found this blog as a ling from Wil Wheaton's blog several years ago and now you're daily reading. I, for one, love the baseball posts, even though I'm a Giants fan. But growing up watching Cheers (first run) and Mash (reruns)I love reading your insight on how TV works.

Regardless of who anyone supported in the election, the internet was an ugly(er) place last week. I'm glad you're not shutting down. But maybe a vacation from the blog would help.

Jeff R said...

Jeff - Seattle - 60 - Found blog through Reel Radio - I am a professional fundraising auctioneer for 16 years after a 25 year career in radio.
Been with you about 3 years - What I like is a different perspective on LOTS of topics. For me it is another voice with a wide sample of experience that is fun to share. I don't always agree, but I love the presentation of your ideas and opinions. I have bought and read two of your books while I travel the country on my way to another auction.
I admire the fact that you can take your thoughts and actually put them on "paper" in a cogent way!
Keep it long as YOU want to do it!

Craig B. said...

Hi Ken,

I love your blog and read it every single day and have been reading it for 5+ years. It came up on a list of must read blogs and as soon as I saw the author I knew it would be great. I am from Seattle, pushing 50 and got to know you and your humor through your Mariners broadcasts. I still miss you doing the games.

I hope you keep on blogging and posting. You are greatly appreciated and I am sorry for the idiots that are out there and don't respect others. Why must this society always have to have a right and wrong. Diversity is great and we should respect it, embrace it and promote it on both sides of the political arena.

I am looking forward to your next award show review and some baseball stories as spring is not that far away.


RyderDA said...

A 58 year old guy from near Banff, Canada, who has no connection to comedy writing, no longer has TV at all, and doesn't stream via Netflix, either, who has been a daily reader for 6+ years. Yeah, I don't do the baseball thing, but since I'm not a sports fan, I wouldn't read posts if you wrote about Jai Alai either. But it's your blog; white whatever you want.

So why do I stay? Simple. It is endlessly fascinating to learn how people who are the top of their game doing whatever they do, get to the top, stay at the top and continue over time to do what only a small fraction of their peer group can do. Understanding how you do your thing, and your insights as to how people like Chuck Lorre, Aaron Sorkin, The Charles Brother and other true geniuses do what they do is fascinating, educational and inspirational -- even if TV comedy writing (or watching most of it) isn't my thing. Even the fact that you make time blog something EVERY day (while appearing to spend 100% of your time watching shows or writing plays or directing or writing shows or teaching comedy writing or calling baseball games -- you are an Energizer bunny) is inspirational.

I hate to admit, but I don't find many of your posts that funny; mostly, I don't get the inside jokes since I don't get the references. Nor was I a huge Cheers or MASH fan -- but I know those and others were amazing shows, brilliantly written. Yes, there was a time I dabbled in comedy as a pure sideline (doing Improv with folks who went on to KIDS IN THE HALL, KING OF THE HILL and others). And yes, I know how valuable Improv is to any creative person.

Proud to be a part of your 11 year journey.

Mark--> said...

Ken--I'm Mark, a mathematician from Michigan. I've been reading your blog for years now--no idea when I got started, although I'm pretty sure it was Mark Evanier's blog that first directed me here. I'm a big fan of your posts on your radio days--the tale of your one night at WLS never fails to make me laugh. A lot.

Thanks for years of great reading.

David said...

I'm David from Monroe, Michigan (south of Detroit Michigan, north of Toledo, Ohio). I'm 53 and read an article talking about your blog being one of the best that year. I started reading your blog 9 years ago. I read your blog daily....right after 9AM when the new entry posts to the site. I'm a TV nerd. I love all the inside TV stories....stories about you and your partner and the writing process, shows you've worked on or created, stories about the actors you have worked with. I've never been a baseball fan but I've come to appreciate it more after reading your blogs and the love of the game.

Xmastime said...

I'm here because I too have been blogging for 11 years and I love "Wings"! :)

Brian O. said...

43-year old Iowan who found you, I think, via Mark Evanier's blog. Your blog is a service which you owe us nothing. I'm becoming a baseball fan thanks to you. Still wish you'd try your hand at cartooning again. My one irritation about you is continuing to write DOCTOR WHO as DR WHO which is just as petty I can be. Thank you for tolerating me.

404 said...

Chuck Hamilton, 42, from Summerville, South Carolina (right outside of Charleston). I've been coming back here every day for about 7 or 8 years now, but I couldn't tell you anymore how I originally found this blog. I'm sure one of these annual posts from four or five years ago probably has me chiming in and giving that answer.

Anyway, I originally read this blog for the TV nostalgia and info, but really love everything you do. The baseball posts are, I guess, my least favorite, but even those are enjoyable to me when done sparingly. I love the Hollywood stories, the insider scoops on some of my favorite shows growing up, your movie reviews, and your general take on media today. I read your playwright updates with jealousy for those who live close enough to attend one of your plays.

Glad to hear you're sticking with us for the time being!

Unknown said...

Hang in there, Ken. For me the toughest part about last week was trying to explain to middle school girls of color how someone who had said terrible things about so many different groups of people had been elected to the highest office in the land, without even garnering the most votes. Not to mention what it all might mean for their families' futures. We need laughter now more than ever, and hope that things will work out in the end.

Corvus Imbrifer said...

"...I announce that I'm really wrecked and people write in saying stop whining and go back to funny posts..."

What an awful thing to write to someone who writes for a living and provides us daily writings for free. Deplorable, even.

"Funny" posts? The successful projects you write about here weren't great because they were merely 'funny,' they were meaningful. Absent meaning we might as well be reading '10 Celebrities that Spilled Drinks At the Oscars'.

Have you done a column on your take on the nature of comedy?

"When you get down to it, at it's root, Comedy is truth, absurdity, and pain. One of my little mottos is: 'Do you remember the Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown kicked the football and kissed the Little Red Haired Girl? Neither do I.' Lev Yilmaz

From the heart of Hollywood (Century City) hello and thank you for eleven years! Looking forward to the next eleven.


alopecia said...

I'm Jeff, a doughy, 59-year-old white guy born and raised in Southern California, and who isn't in The Industry. I've been reading your blog since 2008 or '09 and for the life of me I can't remember how I first got here (it had to have been a link from another writing blog, but I can't remember which).

As for the content, hey, I'm just along for the ride. Write about baseball, radio, comedy, actors, the process of writing, the weather, re-grouting the shower, whatever. I'll read it. I'm here for a few minutes of pleasant company, laughs, and insights into things I don't know.

And what wretched, meaningless lives the trolls are livng if being unpleasant on the internet is the high point of the day.

Rod said...

I'm 55 from Lynnwood, Wa. a suburb north of Seattle. I found this blog when Dave Grosby was talking on air about the excellent eulogy that you had written about M's broadcaster Dave Niehaus. Of course I remembered you from your days as a Mariners broadcaster, and have enjoyed your daily posting ever since.

Pumphouse said...

I'm 65, a Minnesotan suburbanite and work in a technical field. I enjoy reading you column especially the insights about how sausages (um, I mean TV shows and baseball play by play) are made. And you have pointed me toward some quality TV shows that I otherwise would have skipped. My sincere thanks for that.

Occasionally I choose to skip a posting, but I hold no ill will if you choose to write about something I'm not interested in.

Last week was bad and I think I fully understand your comments and feelings. Take whatever break or new direction you feel necessary(or helpful). When you are back, I'll be happy to pick up again.

AllieG said...

Please don't shut this blog down. I am a 67-year old man from Lexington, MA who likes to laugh and who adores your tales of show biz past, especially the radio station stories. I love baseball, so am happy when you do them. And if this isn't too much of a downer compliment, your obituaries when folks in show business, especially comedy, pass on are eloquent and loving.
I've had a tough week, too. But stopping laughing won't cure what ails me.

Grace said...

47-year-old female in Albuquerque, NM. I don't remember how I found your blog, but I read it every day and have recommended it to many others. I especially love the insights and behind-the-scenes stuff from shows you've worked on. The baseball stuff probably interests me the least, but I figure it's good to broaden my horizons so I read it anyway. I hope you'll keep blogging!

Dan said...

Long time reader/fan here. I enjoy the views into the entertainment world, recaps of things I would never otherwise even know about, writing advice and tips (not a writer), and even the baseball stuff. :)

I'll be around after you figure out your next steps.

Dan Wolfe said...

Well, lemme see...

I started reading this blog when I stumbled across it and recognized your name from our mutual friend, Jim Overman, who mentioned it back in the days when I was in Hollywood trying to build a career as an actor.

Since the acting thing wasn't working out as planned, I took what turned out to be a six-year active duty tour shortly after 9/11. Now, nearly 15 years later, I find myself a federal employee here in the DC area after retiring from a rather unconventional nearly 29 year Army career in both active and reserve units.

I did radio early on in my career working on-air in college, commercially and with AFRTS, which is where I met the aforementioned Overman guy. And I worked as a technoid for a number of networks and production houses in LA doing master control and videotape and the like. So this blog has it all for me, really: radio, the biz, the occasional Army bit.

Not sure how long I've been reading it, but I read it every day and it never fails to entertain. My hat's off to you for your continuing dedication, discipline and talent!


Jeff said...

I'm a mid-forties New Yorker, looking out my office window at Trump Tower (the Gray House?) at this very moment. I truly admire your dedication to publishing new content everyday, and truly appreciate it as well. I found your blog originally when I was Googling about some CHEERS trivia... I went back and read a bunch of the archives, and read the new posts daily. Thanks for providing a creative, rational, angst-free corner of the Internet!

Unknown said...

56 female indy area - been reading you daily at least 6 years- i find you entertaining so please don't stop - i sent a supportive message last week - i still believe it will all be ok - so in the words of ford perfect - Don't Panic. I love your Natalie Wood posts. Hang in there.

Jeff Weigel said...

I'm a 58-year-old freelance author and illustrator of children's books and comics/graphic novels (with about a dozen book published). I most enjoy your writing advice (from which I've learned a lot), your Hollywood stories in general, but I read almost everything everyday—even baseball posts. I've been reading even since Mark Evanier first mentioned your blog on his blog long ago. I'll be here as long as you are.

FYI—I've had a tough week, too, with no end in sight yet. Let's all try to move forward. As Springsteen says: "I'll meet you further on up the road".

ProstHelmut! said...

Hey Ken,

39-year old guy from Germany here.

I'm a professional story writer in the video games industry. Recently, reading your blog has helped me through some pretty tough times. It's enabled me to deal with decisions from up-top that I didn't necessarily... fully agree with.
Your insightful, smartly written posts about the TV industry made me realize that some things are really universal, no matter what medium you write for (they might be even more universal if you write a sitcom for Universal studios... but I'm lacking firm evidence).
Anyway, that alone has been worth A LOT! It may sound weird, but some of your anecdotes about ego-driven rewrites were just what the Doctor ordered at that time. Nod-inducing stuff, at the very least. It made me giggle in moments of crisis. Not the mad kind of giggles, of course. Well, not exclusively.

It's also made consider giving MASH a go - which is show I ignored during my childhood. Watched a lot of Cheers reruns in the middle of the night though, when I was a teenager. Your work has definitely influenced me in a lot of ways.

More importantly, I'm also working on a small-scale sitcom project in the interactive fiction sector in my free time. I've bee doing a lot of thinking about adapting the genre into a different format and some of your views on writing have been invaluable.

Also, I can easily skip the baseball stuff. Don't change anything about the variety on your blog. It's great to find out more about the person behind it.

RogerF said...

I'm 52 from Chicago and reading you each day is one of the highlights of my morning break. I love the perspective you have given us about the operational day-to-day of writing, broadcasting, directing and your dealings within the industry.

My particular favorites are when you write something insightful and admiring about a writer or actor. In an era that makes it difficult to sort out appearances from image, this is wonderful stuff. Your great compliments about Ted Danson made me appreciate him even more and think of him as doing more than just playing some version of himself on screen. When you mentioned how great Sandra Bullock was to everyone on a set and particularly respectful of writers, I appreciated her that much more and found myself rooting for her to get great roles. Your tributes to other writers and actors both alive and passed are one of about two dozen reasons I look forward to your comments each day.

I too was put off by the snarky comments you received--c'mon, is there a sense of gratitude out there anywhere? What kind of people just have to kick people when they are down? Whatever you choose to do, I respect that impulse. Your readership and true fans would follow you into whatever way you most want to express yourself. You have completely and totally earned our trust. So trust yourself. We sure do.

Jim McFadden said...

I'm a 58year-old computer programmer from Chattanooga. I got here via Mark Evanier's blog. I really enjoy the stories from TV and radio, but I also enjoy learning about the creative process and how writers/directors/producers make the decisions they make. I hope you'll keep it up.

Radiostew said...

64, yikes! Lived in L.A. from ‘84-’93, banging my head against the wall, trying to break into the sitcom world. Hung out with fellow Ohioans, Anderson and O’Shannon at CHEERS filmings, but I don’t remember if I met you at the show. Maybe at the ‘Show 200’ party? Autry Museum, right? Anyway, I am back in Ohio and I produce a weekly radio show featuring World War Two veterans telling their stories. Been on the air for more than 15 years with this. Not getting rich, but I enjoy the creative control. I enjoy your blog because it reminds me of my time in L.A.

Unknown said...

Hi Ken! This is Melanie, long-time reader and first time commentor! I'm in my late 30's and from West Michigan. I found this blog off of some sort of year end list - either it was TIME or Entertainment Weekly where they had a list of the best blogs to read. I've been reading every day ever since - I think about 5 years now. Also, thanks for joining twitter!! That's been a real treat. I like reading about anything entertainment related - but especially TV. I like all your insights into writing and producing TV shows, when you get snarky about the industry and also I love your recaps of the awards shows! Please consider continuing the live tweeting of Oscars, Emmys, Superbowl, etc. - large pop culture events. The Friday questions are also very interesting - perhaps we can do Wednesday and Friday questions, I love seeing what other people ask. Last week was rough for a lot of us, myself included. The best advice I got was ignore social media and just breathe into yourself let yourself feel the pain, anger, fear, numbness - whatever it is you are feeling - feel it, acknowledge it and then in time you can move on. Don't let anyone else tell you how to manage your emotions. Reading your blog is a total bright spot in my lunch hour every day and I would miss it very much if you went away.

Adam said...

I really hope you don't stop the block Ken. I'm a 25 year old guy from England and I check in daily. I found the blog back when you appeared on the Talk Salad and Scrambled Eggs podcast with Kevin Smith and Matt Mira and I really enjoyed your stories on the show.

As a huge fan of Frasier and its ilk I really like all the behind the scenes info and stories about all those shows. As a non-American when you write about Baseball you may as well be using another language to me but I enjoy your writing enough to read those posts as well.

Whatever you decide to do, thanks for the entertaining read

Johnny Walker said...

Ken, I would honestly say this: I want this blog to be fun for you to write. I want it to be what you want it to be. I'd like it to reflect you. If I don't like it, or if anyone doesn't like that, I/they can leave.

As a professional, you may think that's a terrible way to think about writing, and not why you do it each day, I don't know. I read your blog far more frequently than Earl's, even though I've often really enjoyed what he's written, so maybe you should ignore me, but I think the most interesting writing comes from honesty. So I'm happy for the blog to be a reflection of you.

Really sorry to hear got so much grief for having grief, but I'm very glad you decided to push on. Given the political climate, and what I've just written, I'd be more than happy for your political leanings to come through. But maybe I'm biased because I'm liberal, too.

Thanks for keeping going.

Unknown said...

I'm a longtime reader, first time commentor. I'm in my late 30's and from West Michigan. I found the blog because it was on some sort of year-end best of list - either Time or Entertainment Weekly. I read a few posts and then have been reading it every day ever since - 5 years, I think. I love reading about the Entertainment Industry, Pop Culture and specifically, TV. I enjoy those posts the most. And, welcome to Twitter!! I follow you on twitter. I love it when you live-tweet big pop culture events - Oscars, Emmy's, Superbowl, etc. Keep it up! The Friday Questions are also what keeps me coming back - what about doing Wednesday and Friday Questions - I feel like there would be enough to fill both days. Reading your blog at lunch is one of the bright spots in my day so Thank You!!

Morgan Van Lent said...

Hi, Ken!

I'm a 35 year old video editor writing to you from Petaluma, CA. I found your blog through some other writing blog that I don't remember the name of, and I visit your blog almost daily. I'm happy to read all types of posts from you, but I'm most interested in your op-ed style posts about the business and the current state of television, mainly because they're funny. I also like your reviews of movies/tv/whatever. You have an interesting and informed perspective on things that enriches my own point of view. Also, I'm impressed/comforted by the daily updates. I consider your blog to be one of the more valuable resources in my online existence, and, if the revolution comes, I'd come here for advice on what to do next.


Morgan V.

Lyle said...

lyle e davis
formre broadcaster (25 years in radio ... DJ, traffic reporter, sales, management, ownership)
Currently editor/publisher of The Paper, a weekly newspaper serving North San Diego County, 20,000 copies per week; an eclectic look at news, cover story deals with a broad spectrum of issues, lots of feature stories and "Give Us This Day Our Daily Chuckle," our jokes column.
Just turned 78; when asked why I don't retire I reply, "because I'm having too damned much fun!"

No interest or desire in writing a novel or screen pay, yet I churn ut enough words to publish two or three novels in a year; just not my cup of tea nor desire. Eyes are beginning to go because of all the research I do in putting together cover stories and features.

Divorced, father of two sons, have moved back in with my ex-wife as she came down with dementia and needs someone to look after her; left a 16 year relationship with another woman (whom I still see 2-3 times a week, and with whom I remain very close).

Your blog is a must read every day. I'm fairly certian I found you through Mark Evanier, who is another must read, daily. Have been a loyal read for, probably, about 8 or 9 years.

Love all your show biz stories, your radio stories. Keep up the great work!

Betty said...

60 (no rounding required)year old Southern married mom CPA who has spent the second half her life in Pittsburgh.

I found your blog earlier this year when I googled something and one of your articles popped up. I enjoyed it so much that I bookmarked it, and check it (more or less) every day. I also bought (and read, and enjoyed) your books for the Kindle app on my phone.

I don't do sportsball, but I still read your baseball columns, mostly. I'm more likely to read them than when you're talking about a current show I don't watch. I'm a big fan of pretty much all the non-current shows you talk about.

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. It's your blog.

Johnny Hy said...

49 year Financial Advisor from Atlanta. I have been reading for 5-6 years and don't remember how I came across it (memory is the second thing to go) Love the blog, please keep up the good work. Please feel free to talk about what you like and what interests you, that's why we come here! Thanks for doing the blog, it has been great.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Missie from San Diego, age 36, elementary school teacher currently on maternity leave. Got the recommendation from the Time article. Enjoy your writing about various topics. You have lived life well.

Dhruv said...

Hi Mr. Levine,

Favorite blog. Thank you very much. Please continue the great writing.

I had mentioned this before - was searching a few years back thru net for a honest review of Oscars and cross-check the number of viewers that the host always crows about in the beginning ("a billion people are watching us" - Yeah right!!!). One which was not fawning and grovelling like Indian media's. Found yours.

I don't understand many of the blogs since its related to TV shows of your country, but still read a few for your observation of society and the times we live in. Great movie reviews, though rare.

Have been reading old archives, currently in 2011.
Bookmarked, reading everyday.
Commenting for the past few months.

I am looking forward to the Hollywood mutual kiss-ass season to begin. Would love to read you ripping apart the facade of humility of Hollywood holy cows.

My favorite is the Sam Rubin description (I don't know who that is, but you really pummel him :) ) and Golden Globe review (waiters, busboys Ha ha ha...).

I am 30. Engineer.

I have always wondered why no ads or some promotion takes place in your blog. Because you work hard to entertain us everyday, so why not get some compensation for it?

Anyway, continue sir. Thank you once again.....Happy Anniversary.

gottacook said...

Please don't quit. At this point I would continue reading every day even if ALL your posts were about baseball. (My wife and I did watch much of the World Series, including the final game, but usually we don't care about pro sports at all.)

I have reached the age of 60 and have been reading your blog for nearly 10 years, commenting now and then. As I recall, I learned about this site through Alan Sepinwall when he was writing for the Newark Star-Ledger. I live just outside DC (Maryland suburbs) and both of our daughters are now college-age.

We are liberal Jews and accordingly horrified. For me the closest equivalent experience is the 2004 election, when Bush II was "re"-elected, just barely.

I've been employed for 22 years by a nonprofit, long-established science advocacy association in DC, and it looks like our work will become even more important. Luckily I no longer have to commute into DC, except for one meeting per month.

Writing every day for 11 years is a great achievement, even considering the occasional rerun. Thanks!

Jeremiah Avery said...

Hello, Ken. I'm 36 and live in the D.C. Metro area. I've been reading the blog since around 2007 or early 2008 via links from Mark Evanier's blog.

I've enjoyed your posts on the writing process as well as the behind the scenes stories of some shows I really enjoyed watching growing up. Your reviews of award shows crack me up and give me a much-needed laugh. Though I don't always agree with some tv/movie reviews (then again, there's no one I agree 100% of the time with) they're not ad hominem and are constructive which is refreshing.

All the best.

darms said...

I'm 60 in Austin TX and you are a daily read as I appreciate your humor & insights. Thanks for all that you do

B A said...

Retired machinist here, old enough to remember the original STAR TREK, never too old to complain about bad TV. I'm happy to lurk here, just glad Ken's blog exists. I've even picked up a few pointers about the sportsball stuff here.

John said...

Hi Ken! Thank you sincerely for not quitting your blog. I read it almost every day.

I'm 50 and a big fan of both Cheers and MASH. I found your blog while googling stories about Cheers. I've been reading your blog for years!

I enjoy your stories about working as a writer and director most, but your baseball stories are always a good read too!

Congratulatons on 11 years!

Rick said...

I'm a playwright and journalist from CT now living in Canada. (Been here a long time - so it wasn't Trump who got me here, but I suspect he's the one who will keep me here.) I'm coming up on 72 ... just a kid, really. I was lucky enough to be among that first "class" of your sitcom room, so I've been a longtime fan. I read your blog because it is a breath of fresh air in a sea of cynical bullshit that pretends to be about writing. I also enjoy reading stories about your TV writing career - because I consider those years to be the Golden Age of TV comedy. I also appreciate your discipline in turning out a blog - day after day - for eleven years! An awesome accomplishment. So don't stop, if you can. Voices of honesty and humour are as rare as hen's teeth! Couragio!

flurb said...

I'm an actor and director in regional theater, and I have had a company dedicated to reviving worthy older work - i.e. "classic" theater. I'm in my fifties. I worship Larry Gelbart, as all decent human beings should.

I've been reading your blog for about five years, because you are funny and oftentimes wise, and you go at the business of show from an interesting angle.

Your response to the election didn't surprise me one whit; your writing reveals that you are unfailingly kind, and it's been hard for kind people this week.

I hope you keep going.


Giacomone said...

Hi Ken!
I'm 36, designer from Trieste, Italy. I've been following your blog for 6 years. Always been a fan of Frasier, I think I came here from the frasieronline forum. I like your friday post but the ones I like the most are when you critic movies or tv series, please do more of them!

BluePedal said...

Ken, hey nowww

I'm David from Bowie, Maryland (40+). I have a show idea called David Bowie or David from Bowie but that's for another day. I've been reading the blog for maybe 2 years?

I believe I searched your name because I wondered what became of your baseball broadcasting days after your stint with the Orioles. I was a big fan of your announcing. The Orioles still have Joe Angel and I love him. I guess now that I think of it I may have searched your name after finally losing it after yet another Orioles TV broadcast left my ears numb from non-stop stat dropping and monotone, humorless yakking from Jim Palmer. Jim Palmer - The baseball color man with absolutely no color and verbal diarrhea. Hey get me I'm going on a baseball rant.

I read your blog because I love the insider stuff and the old stories from the 70's and 80's. The writing advice and how to run a show advice isn't my scene but I love reading it. You're pretty ginchy too and it comes across in your blog.

norm said...

I have been reading for about 5 years. Read your books and live in "Fly over Indiana" I enjoyed acting 50 + years ago and am now 67 y.o.
You have had an interesting life with the radio career, maybe I wish I had taken that turn for a career and that is why I like reading about yours.

Oh and Frasier and Cheers are 2 top comedies of the color era.

So now let's keep the politics out of it.

Barak Weinstein said...

I'm a former theater sound designer and A1 - and a baseball fan. I really enjoy your behind the scenes stories of entertainment and sports. I don't know how I stumbled across the blog, but I've been a daily reader for a few years. Thanks for writing!

Andrew said...

I am a 46-year-old attorney in Columbus, Ohio.
I found the blog via a Google search about the story behind the final Newhart episode. No offense, but I had never heard your name before, so your blog was an unexpected epiphany for me. Because I love Mash, Cheers, and Frasier, I started reading through the archives. After that I was hooked.
I think I've been reading it for about three years. I check in almost every day.
My favorite types of posts:
1) all the behind-the-scenes stories about the various TV shows you've worked on (especially the three I just named);
2) Friday questions;
3) movie reviews - I wish you'd do more of them, including favorite movies from the past (like you did for Heartbreak Kid).
Thank you for all that you do here. You have been a very welcome respite from the mundane drudgeries of life.

Diane D. said...

Baby Boomer, living in NorthWest Florida.
Retired nurse; have been reading the blog for 5 years.
Found it accidentally while looking up something about CHEERS.
Have read it (including all comments) every day since.

I love the industry stories, especially your specific experiences (good and bad); I love your radio stories (but not the commenter's radio stories); I love your baseball talk; and I love your reviews of movies and award shows (even though I love award shows and you don't).

I'm not wild about your gross stories, like the story about "performance art" that was a naked woman knitting from a ball of yarn stored in her vagina, which she had been doing for several months, and since she was young this meant that every 28 days there was something interesting on the knitted product. However, when I thought of it just now I laughed my ass off. Maybe you've made me "grow." Although I doubt the young woman was going for humor.

I like your blog so much, I have even forgiven you for not wanting SAM AND DIANE to end up together---haven't gotten over it, but I have forgiven you (not the Charles brothers, though). Thank you, Ken Levine!

chuckcd said...

I am 55 and have been reading for about 6-7 years. I like the baseball posts.
I like the behind the scenes info about TV shows. I was a PA for a couple years
on Entertainment Tonight and and a short lived series called Mr. Sunshine. I worked for the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles/Pacoima Angels for 6 years.

Love your writing and all the TV shows you have worked on. Found your blog after doing some research on a MASH episode.

Here's to another eleven years!

No pressure...

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken.

Love your blog. I'm a 50 year old Canadian. Been reading for the last couple of years due to recommendation from Mark Evanier on his blog.

Enjoying your books too! Thanks for the stories and the insight!


sandm1n said...

I don't fit in many regular groups - I run a comic book shop, used to be a sportswriter and have no desire to be a screenwriter of any type. I perform wedding for my gay friends when they can't get regular clergymen to do it and I'm active in animal rescue work.
I find your writing fun and friendly. It's fascinating to see the inside workings of comedy writing. And if you are going through a bad week - lots of us are struggling with our new president and his crew - well, I can sympathize.
I just tell my friends we have to stick together, work hard and hope for better days ahead. Thanks, Ken, for the laughs and the columns. I know lots of us appreciate it.

JustMy2Cents said...

Love, love, LOVE this blog...

I only found it recently because I'm a Cheers fan, but I love reading what you have to say, Ken.

Thank you!

Rich said...

Ken -- Can't tell you how much pleasure I've gotten from your wonderful blog these many years. Astonishing productivity, comparable to Garrison Keillor's run at Prairie Home Companion. Like you, I'm an ex-D.J. (KTYD-FM, Santa Barbara), comedy writer (albeit for radio commercials and theme park projects), and baseball enthusiast (I was at Koufax's perfect game).

As much as I love the daily posts, here's what I would advise. You've proved you can do this every day. Like me, you sense (I think) that something unsettling has happened -- and is happening -- in America. You might want to consider declaring this project a success and either cutting back to 3 (profound) posts a week, or starting a new project. What's needed now? What's worth doing? What makes a difference?

No matter what path you take, thank you for the brilliant work. It's like a reassuring message from a great friend I don't happen to know personally.

Pat Howard said...

Hey Ken I'm Pat Howard 65 living alone retired in Bad Axe MI. I read your blog everyday.Love the baseball stuff radio your inside tv stories theater not so much never see it.I forget how I found your blog but I really enjoy your humor an your outlook.I to am depressed by the election but I've been that way for years Wish you the best.

sandm1n said...

I'm a comic book shop owner (32 years now!), a former reporter and sportswriter. I perform weddings for my gay friends when they can't get a regular clergyman to do it and I'm active in animal rescue work.
I love your column and find the "backstage" looks at screenwriting and TV fascinating. And I know lots of us are struggling right now along with you. We just have to keep fighting, keep helping our family, our friends and our neighbors. Only way we'll get through this.

Erich617 said...

I am 34 and live in Los Angeles. I have worked in the entertainment industry and write sketch comedy. I enjoy Friday questions and behind-the-scenes stories about the entertainment industry as well as opinions about comedy, writing, and the like.

I had posted a question last week in regard to your reaction to the election, and you answered it at least in part in your follow-up. I understand your frustration. All I will say is that I have read this blog every single day (weekends, I skim) since I read about it in Alan Sepinwall's column almost 10 years ago. It means something to me, and I really hope to read it for another 10.

Mark Murphy said...

I'm a freelance editor and proofreader. I've also had several short mystery stories published. I'm from your old stomping grounds of Syracuse, N.Y.

I can't remember how I found out about the blog or how long I've been reading it except to say I've been looking at it almost every day for a damn long time.

I admit I'm not that interested in your sports posts, but I'm not annoyed by them. At least 95 percent of the time you write about stuff that I AM interested in, so I'd be a jerk to complain.

There are two kinds of posts that you do that I particularly like. One is your broadcasting war stories. They're hilarious -- especially the one about your one all-night stint in Chicago -- and I always pass them on to a friend who's a former broadcaster and who enjoys them a lot.

Even more, I like your posts about writing. I learn a lot from them.

And I admire how you write something every day. It's an object lesson in professionalism.

As far as I'm concerned, you should keep on doing what you're doing, and we should all be grateful.

richfigel said...

Aloha, Ken -

I'm a screenwriter who lives in Kailua, HI, and I read your blog largely because I love your insights into writing for TV -- especially sitcoms, since I grew up watching the classics: Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, Cheers, Frasier, Taxi, MASH... and I really miss smart, funny writing. Also, I've had stuff optioned (not produced) and enjoy your insights into the business.

So, last week I had a meeting with the Paramount TV development VP and a CE to talk about my TRIGGERS pilot, which they liked enough to request a meeting through my manager... now ex-manager. Apparently, I bombed so badly my manager sent me an email afterwards saying he thought we should "part ways" because I was not a good fit! Wow, talk about bad meetings.

Thing was, I had never taken a general meeting with high level execs before and I got so nervous I just began to ramble and randomly pitch ideas because they didn't seem to be responding. I couldn't get a read on them -- yet earlier in the week, I was selected to pitch at the AFM conference in Santa Monica and my big budget action comedy spec, STUNT GUYS, went over great! I thought I would kill it at Paramount and walked back to West Hollywood via Santa Monica from the Paramount lot...

I actually took a photo of the theater showing your play, so I could show it to my wife when I got home -- this is the writer of some of the Cheers and Frasier episodes we've been watching on late night reruns, I've talked about because I read your blogs and happen to agree with a lot of what you say about the state of TV comedy writing.

Please, keep writing your blog and sharing your insights and feelings. And next time you're on Oahu, I would love to do lunch or luau (on me, of course). I'll buy you a Mai Tai or whatever, but won't be drinking though... my TV pilot is a drama/comedy about counselors at a treatment center for all types of addictions, and they're in recovery too -- like myself, so I no longer drink!

Mahalo for your blog,
Rich Figel
Kailua, HI

11/14/2016 1:18 PM

Buttermilk Sky said...

It must give you pride to have readers all over the world. I'm a 60+ New Yorker living in Georgia through no fault of my own. I love the baseball posts, radio stories (esp. your encounter with Hell's Angels), reviews of award shows and pictures of your gorgeous granddaughter (more, please). To write every day is a serious commitment and I hope you keep making it as long as possible. Something tells me the next four years will be brutally short on laughs.

Unknown said...

Been in a depression/fog since Tuesday. Coming back now, and taking names.
The thing that's helped are shows like Samantha Bee, Colbert, Jon Oliver. And this blog. Chelsea Handler's show was not comedy this week, she had Barbara Boxer on talking about the election, Kamala who won Boxer's seat in CA. But watching it and reading blogs like this are cathartic. Seeing that I'm not the only person pissed off that almost half this country is biased towards one group or several. Even if they won't admit it, they voted for someone who proposed it. So thank you for giving us time to think about what's happening in this country.
I'm a woman in my 50s living in NYC. I don't even remember how I found this blog, but have been riveted ever since (over 5 years, because I came to see you in Seattle to sign a couple books while we were out there) Not a baseball fan, but you manage to make it almost interesting. Especially love the tidbits about tv shows that you've worked on. I'm a fan of all of them. Including MASH, Cheers and Frasier since they began.

Joe in DC said...

+Who I am: I’m Joe, a comms guy with a union back east who dabbles in radio on the side.
+Where I’m from: I’ve lived in the DC area long enough to call it home now.
+How old I am: Just turned 50 and still dealing with it.
+How I found the blog: Can’t recall exactly how I found the blog, but I knew you first as Jon Miller’s color guy for Orioles broadcasts in the early ‘90s, when was I was a part-time board (bored) op at a 1,000-watt AM station in Northern Virginia. Whenever it was that I stumbled on it, I subscribed and have stuck with you ever since.
+How long I’ve been reading it: I’d estimate 10 years or so.
+How often I read it: Daily.
+What I like and don’t like about it: I like everything, especially the insider stories about writing, directing, the good old days. Change nothing, please.

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary Ken!
I think I came to your blog many years ago from James Wolcott's old blog and have been checking your blog almost daily ever since. I'm 56 years old and live in Newport, Rhode Island. I enjoy your writing very much, from your advice to new writers, travel writings, reminisces about the shows you've worked on. You've also graciously answered a couple of my Friday questions.

Ted Kilvington said...

I'm Ted Kilvington from a small town in Michigan. 48 years old, a husband and father of 6; a leader in my church, I sing in the choir. A former member of the U.S. military, I currently work for a criminal justice agency. And believe it or not I'm a flaming liberal.

I found your blog via Evanier's. I like everything you write, and although I'm not a baseball fan (haven't watched a game in years) I find you usually make your baseball posts interesting.

I especially enjoy your radio stories. As someone who dabbles in that area (I do a Justice League podcast) I am always looking for ways to learn more about the art of making my subject entertaining.

Keep up the great work!

Mister Charlie said...


Just keep on doing what you're doing. It's what brings the folks in.

My 20 something daughter turned me on to your blog about 8, maybe ten years ago. Not big on baseball, but that's just me.

I visit daily, and don't usually comment, but long as you're asking...keep on truckin'. It's all one can do ... be the best at being oneself.

thomas tucker said...

I've been reading your blog for probably 8 years, at least. First, when I lived in Austin, TX, and now, where I live in Washington State. I bought your books and enjoyed them. I read your blog pretty much daily because I grew up on, and loved, TV comedies from the 60's, 70's and 80's. I also think the inside scoop on show biz is fascinating, and I even enjoy your writing about travel and baseball becasue it all makes me laugh. I have to admit that I was miffed last week when you blocked my comment. But I go to many other blogs to read about political stuff and don't come here to read your take on politics. I read you to laugh. Just being honest, although, having said that, it's your blog and you can write whatever you want. Bottom line: your blog has given me more pleaure that anything else I read.

ChipO said...

who you are: On the no AC night at GGG, I am the guy who sat in front of you, said he listened to you in Tidewater. (dang that was hot - and nobody left).
where you're from: Orig - raised in Richmond VA, college and a few years in Atl. Then Tidewater VA. Then, for the immediate past 30 yrs: SoCal. Past 25 yrs in Altadena.
how old you are: 60
how you found the blog: can't remember
how long you've been reading it: less than a year
how often you read it: DAILY!!
what you like about it: everything
and don't like about it: nothing
You can be honest: of course ('cept, I now realize I left Tidewater before you arrived, so, I didn't hear you broadcast there).
baseball posts: Very educational - please maintain them.

When I lived in Atlanta I read Lewis Grizzard every day. Since leaving Atl, I haven't found any daily dose which similarly satisfies.
You have filled that hole. You're not the same, not at all. But you cover/report on life, with humor when appropriate. Not every day will be life changing, so we have entertainment and sports to fill those gaps and you view those well, as well.
I can't fathom how you crank out the daily doses of wisdom while maintaining an income - congratulations and thank you.

Snoskred said...

Hey Ken,

I posted a comment on your day after election day post. I see it has not been published and I am very sorry if you felt it was trying to upset you further, because that was not my intention at all. I was just as shocked and horrified by the result as you were. I cannot recall what I wrote in my comment, to be honest. It was a bad and depressing few days, even for me living in Australia. I had a friend from the USA visiting here at the time.

Then someone reminded me that delusional white men have been in charge before, and it kinda sorta went ok. I mean sure, they were not quite as delusional as this particular person, who seems to think he has an actual head of hair and that his orange shade of skin is totes normal..

I hope you continue to blog and I am genuinely sorry that people took that opportunity to be less than optimal people. I want to believe that at the heart of people there is goodness and excellence, but I am beginning to suspect that the writers of The Walking Dead and Westworld might be correct and at the heart of people there is a desire to watch the world burn and hurt others, and they will set fire to it themselves, if they get a chance. :/

Anyway, my friend from the USA has returned home, and the spare bedroom is now free if you should need it. We are big MASH fans here, probably something to do with the fact that it played pretty much every weekday, and they are still running it regularly on the "new" "free" channels.

I love to read anything you write, I do not understand a lot of the baseball stuff but I love the way you write about it anyway. I especially love the Emmy and award show posts. We do get to see most of them here and so it is a bit of a shared experience for me reading what you write about those shows.

I am keeping a good thought for America. :)

Roseann said...

Ken, I believe you broke the internet. I typed my life story and when I hit PUBLISH I got an ERROR 503. And my life story disappeared..... I can't do it again - it was brilliant and it will never be as good. Sob.

Unknown said...

I'm 28, from north central Wisconsin, and I found this blog in an effort to find out more about people who have worked on FRASIER. I stumbled over here sometime this year, and it is now my homepage.

With the exception of last week, there's not much that I don't like about the blog. (I have political beliefs, but I have been keeping away from intentionally following politics for some time. I'm not here for politics, but I won't jump down your throat for an occasional political post.) Otherwise, I check in every day during my first break at work (shoe factory). It gives me something to look forward to. I enjoy the anecdotes about your experiences in sitcom production and more recently in play writing.

Some people may not like baseball posts, but I actually watched Game 4 of the World Series in part because of this blog. Before that I attended a free game in Wausau of a Northwoods League (Loggers @ Woodchucks) game in 2008, but had crappy seats and couldn't appreciate the game. I don't even remember who won. Bob Uecker used to be just a voice on the radio. Hopefully I can get a better job so that the games fit into my schedule and Mr. Baseball can be someone to look forward to listening to next year.

I come here also for tips on writing. (A while back you answered a question of mine that was published as a full post. Thank you for your answer.)

Keep up the good work. Trolls are attention whores and should be shved back into the sewer with the other rats. As for me (and I'm sure many others), this blog is something of a refuge in the crapfest we call life.

ChgoMagic said...

Who am I? A 48 yr old Chicago native, professional magician, speaker, and writer. I don't remember how I found the blog, but I've been a daily visitor since I did. I enjoy all of it, even bought your memoir. I'm a big fan of history, baseball, and comedy. There are lessons that can apply to writing the scripts to my performance pieces and I often share them with other performers.

RandomJottings said...

Hey Ken, I'm Peter and I live in the Scottish highlands in the U.K. I've been reading for about a year. I came across the blog via the Kevin Smith podcasts you did (with Matt Mira). Their enthusiasm pushed me to this blog and coincided with listening to another podcast (Ben Blacker's Nerdist Writers' Panel) which further opened up my interest in writing for tv. I'm a 35 year old, former journalist and now a teacher and enjoy helping my students who are interested in a career in writing getting to read someone with some much experience. I love the blog pieces. I don't read every day, but I save up the posts to read weekly. Please don't listen to the naysayers out there. If they want to start paying for content they can, otherwise they can shut up. I don't read many of the baseball posts as I don't understand them (apart from the announcer ones, they're great) but I'm very grateful for the time you take to produce such a professional product. Please keep up the good work!

Norm said...

HI KEN: I'm Norm from Los Angeles and I've been reading it daily since close to day one.

FIRST OFF: to the people who fall into the heavy negative category: please remember "how much you are paying for this blog." Point made!

I'm retired from "Show Business" but still enjoy reading the various things you cover and hearing "constructive" feedback from most of the participants on this blog.

Subject-wise: I think anything is open for discussion and I hope it goes on for a long, long time!

Steve Bailey said...

Since you asked, I'm 55 years old and I hail from Jacksonville Beach, FL. I think I began reading your blog a couple of years ago when another of my favorite bloggers, Mark Evanier, linked to it. I've admired your TV writing ever since I started reading credits, and I enjoy your blog just as much. I perfectly understood your funk of last week and am glad you didn't remove your blog because of the people who tried to tell you to "get over it" -- people say those same things to persons suffering from depressing because the latter don't want to be bothered with life's unpleasantries. Don't change a thing about your blog -- I don't even follow baseball, and I find your sports-related blog entries just as entertaining as everything else you write.

Cap'n Bob said...

I'll turn 69 on Saturday. I'm not sure how I discovered this blog or when, but I've enjoyed most of it and read it every day. I live in Tacoma, WA, but traveled a lot when I was a kid because my father was a Navy man. I'm a Nam vet and retired from a civilian job with the Air Force after 32 years.

I enjoy your show biz insider posts and your baseball talk. Some of my politics overlap with yours, most don't, but it's your blog and you can discuss what you want.

Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Hi my names Sean and I'm 40 years old. I found your blog looking for what went into making Cheers and Wings every week and I enjoy it a great deal. It's nice having a non political but interesting blog to read every day. After the jarring election year that was 2016 I have sworn off all politics and political sites so.....I am largely left with just your blog and googling the latest info on the Gilmore Girls revival. So my ideal for the site would be no politics and mucho Cheers and Wings information.

But regardless I still really enjoy the blog. Thank you Ken.

TGM said...

Ken-I am a couple of years younger than you, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and first heard of you when I was a student at the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop (and I know what you thought about that). About five years ago,I ran across your blog and now read it faithfully every morning. I have read all of your books and seen a couple of your plays. When I met you briefly at one of your plays, I was appreciated your humility and accessibility.

I am a huge baseball fan, at one time hoped to be in the radio business, and have tried my hand at writing. Some of your radio mentors were also people I admired (Sweet Dick Whittington, Gary Owens, and Robert W. Morgan). So I enjoy any of your blogs about writing, broadcasting, and baseball. I also have shared many of your entries and books with others my age who grew up in the Valley. I think, however, that I enjoy your elegies the most. Some of your tributes to your friends who have passed away are incredibly beautiful and moving.

So I hope you continue-there are others like me who look forward to being part of your world every day. Thanks for treating us like friends.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken, Eric here. 25 year old Philadelphian and future staff writer for Star Trek: Discovery (atleast that's what I tell myself before I go to bed at night).

I found your blog on Feedly while searching for screenwriting blogs to add to my daily reading list this past summer. I read 3-5 times a week, in particular your posts on screenwriting and comedy.

What I enjoy the most is the knowledge you share about your experiences in the industry, it's given me some insight into what I might experience should I get hired to a show. Also love the personal stuff too, if it was all screenwriting I would think you were a robot or something.

It's hard to find screenwriting bloggers that don't hold a tinge of cynicism, so I like that you've found a way to be blunt yet not overly negative when talking about the industry.

Thanks for letting me share, enjoy the week!


Unknown said...


Just finished reading your book, The Me Me, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your adventures in the Valley during the 60's. Also being 66, I paralleled your life at Audubon Jr. High and Hamilton High, as well as UCLA. Though my Jewish home was somewhat dissimilar to yours, mine being one of a single mother and then, the evil step dad, your writing brought back memories I had successfully suppressed for 50 years. It's amazing how accurately you described the times growing up in L.A. (although those of us on the Westside called you guys, the San Fernando Valley Jews and to this day I am not sure if it was a derogatory or envious term). Again, thanks for giving me respite from the incredibly depressing events of last week...

John said...

51 years old, found the blog about 6 months ago and not even sure where. I live in LA so the company town aspect of the blog is very interesting to me. I'm a big baseball fan so that might have been my avenue for finding your site.

VincentS said...

I've been one the block for about seven years. I'm a GenXer (sorry, Ken, that's the closest you'll get to my exact age), an actor/writer based in NYC, and had the privilege of meeting you at the New School this past summer. I really like the blog, especially the baseball and writing stories. Thanks for asking our input. My week's been good.

DrBOP said...

MORE Natalie Wood, baseball and old Jewish comics.
So anything you got on the Rodney Dangerfield's cross-dressing fastballer bit would be PERFECT!

DAMN the trolls cap'n, FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!

(Small blasphemous note......slow down, brother.....couple of posts a week would be when your inspired, NOT required.....enjoy every sandwich.)

mmryan314 said...

Almost 70, retired teacher, mother of 5, grandmother of many ( including my biological ones), widowed after 42 years of marriage. I was born and raised in WI.but moved to Oregon after my husband died. Four of my five children have settled on the west coast.I so much enjoy your blog, it`s a " must " part of my daily routine. Still bummed about last week. Thanks for doing this Ken.

Troy said...

Hello, Ken!

I dare say I am one of your younger readers. This year, I am 23 years old, fresh out of college, working in a tiny Japanese town's middle school as a teaching assistant. I came to your blog originally from the Times article. With a psychiatrist in my family, I was raised on a TV diet consisting largely of Frasier.

I plowed through the back-catalog of posts when I first arrived (2 years ago-ish), but I read your blog daily. Thanks for posting for 11 (!!) years, and ope you continue to for the future, commenter ridiculousness aside.


Anonymous said...

I am Ron, Irish and I'm 38. I grew up watching Cheers, Frasier, Wings etc and I think I found this blog by googling one of those about 6 years ago. I've been following it religiously ever since.
I love your posts on character development, writing in general and producing/directing tv shows. The baseball stuff not so much (Hey I'm Irish) but I can live with it!

Last week I noticed a change in tone in your blog and clearly it was because you felt incredibly passionate about the cause. You are more than entitled to this after all you've given us. As an Irish man the result sent a cold chill down my spine so I can only imagine how you must feel.

I look forward to reading this blog everyday and it is a constant no matter what kind of day I'm having. I'm sure there are countless others who feel the same way as I do. I want to thank you for your honesty, dedication and of course sense of humour. We all need something to lift our spirits. It is certainly needed right now and I hope that in four years the political landscape will be drastically different and I will still be entertained by this blog. Having said that I hope you keep going only as long as you are still enjoying it.

p.s I really enjoyed your "complete the punchline" contests too.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the backstage stuff about your foray into live theater. I particularly enjoyed your visit to Hatboro to see a production of your show which you had no imput, other than the script, of course.

Michael from Vancouver said...

A Canadian here who has lived between various parts of Asia and Canada for the past few years. I was a teen during that golden age of Cheers and Taxi, and grew up around the great MTM/Norman Lear shows. Old enough to remember watching the pilot shows of Cheers and Frasier when they first aired, and remember what great delight both of them were. Shocked when the most irritating and dull character from Cheers got his own spin-off (prepared to see crap that was just milking Cheers fame), which made me hold Frasier in such high regard that the best, sharpest, funniest show on TV at that time could have been built around him -- that was genius!

I don't want to use the word "nostalgia" to describe the joy of your blog, because that diminishes it. Yes, it's fun to have my memories rekindled by your posts. But more than that, I love hearing the insider stories behind the great shows. You write like a regular guy who got lucky working for the best shows at the best time, which makes you relateable.

I don't work in the industry, and I don't have any particular, special interest in TV (or baseball). I'm just a fan of good, interesting writing, and you provide that every day. I'm more of a news junkie -- I usually hit The Guardian and the New Yorker before hitting your site -- but I rely on you every day for that oasis away from the depressing parts of the world. You're a reminder that good writing comes from daily practice, and that personal reflections can be fun and informative without being egotistical.

Thanks for the blog!

Rebecca said...

Hi Ken - My name is Rebecca, I am in my mid thirties and from Toronto. I have been reading for about 7 years and I believe that it was a link from Entertainment Weekly on the best blogs. I check in about twice a week. I love reading any of the emmy/oscar etc recaps as I find them to be funny and true. Really enjoyed when you talked about The Good Wife. I hope it continues with the spin off. I love when you talk about Fraser and Raymond as I still watch old episodes. I like hearing about Hawaii. As someone who likes pop culture, all the tv/movie posts I find interesting. I saw in the comments that you have quite a few readers from Toronto. Bring your play here, we have a great theatre crowd!

Mike Moody said...

Hi Ken,

I love the blog. I love the little insights into writing. I love the baseball stories.

When I read your post, I wanted to encourage you to stay. Then I realized that was selfish and unfair. Do what you need to do. If the world is taking too big a toll on you, then you need to do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family.

I suspect if you step away the blog will be gone for good -- I've seen it happen many times over the years -- and It'll go with FJM as the blog I miss the most.

The whole situation is a sad commentary on what society and the Internet has become and why we can't have nice things.

I hope things go better for you and it gets easier to laugh.


Curt Alliaume said...

I think I left a comment along these lines last year, but here goes:

54 years old later this year. Work in educational publishing. Married, one teenage son. No show business or baseball career history, but a big pop culture and baseball history buff. Left of center politically (not that it should matter here). Have your book "It's Gone!... No, Wait a Minute," need to finish the whole thing this time around.

And I genuinely appreciate what you do, and taking the extra time to create and update this blog.

Kafkasrecruit said...

I'm in my mid-50s. I have never read your blog. A friend of mine does and she sent me some of the comments others made in response to your post today. Your Anniversary.

I am simply leaving a comment here in a show of solidarity. As another human being. A thinking one. Right here. Glad you are too and will occasionally read your blog now. Keep standing.....

kanana said...


mr ken levine please don't give up the blog. I love you man I read your stuff and have so for a long time like 3 years 4 years at least. I am in Tish DDW at NYU. I love Dancing Homer and Saturdays of Thunder. You've taught me so much.

Don't listen to people telling you negative things. You've written for the Simpsons screw them!! If you feel like giving me more personal advice, I tried taking your seminar at NYU this summer but was unsuccessful, but maybe you have syllabus or handouts, email them to

Unknown said...

Hi Ken, my name's Nolan, I'm 48 and I've been reading your blog for about 3 years now. I don't remember if it was a link from Wil Wheaton or Earl Pomerantz that led me here but I was hooked as soon as I arrived and read you every day. I enjoy the show biz inside info, MASH and Cheers memories and your baseball stories. I especially enjoyed your stories about Vin Scully who was the voice of my youth before I moved away to Giant country and crossed over to the dark side. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and houmor with us day after day. It makes a hard day easier to know you'll be there with something entertaining to read after I finish with the hard news and need some cheering up. Keep up the great work!

Charles H. Bryan said...

56, Michigan, found you via Mark Evanier's blog, for which I should buy him a gift. Yours and his are the only two blogs I regularly read. I have no requests regarding subject matter as you bring something smart, funny, touching to each. Baseball is perfectly welcome, though I miss the AMERICAN IDOL recaps. I've read each of your books (except your early baseball book, which I hope will be an ebook someday), and I recommend them to anyone who enjoys your blog or who just enjoys good funny writing.

It saddens me that this last week has been a rough one for you. Please know that many of appreciate the generous sharing of you time, talent, and experience, and wish you nothing but the best.

To better days, and congratulations on 11 years.

Timothy said...

Ken, I'm 39, currently living in the great state of Rhode Island, but from Upstate NY way back in the day. I honestly can't remember how I found your blog, but it is one of a few that I read every day. I think it might have been from a M*A*S*H related website, as I'm a big nerdy fan of that show, but I stuck around because of your thoughtful and funny writing. I'm not a baseball fan myself and I will admit to glossing over a lot of your baseball posts, but every so often I will read one and be entertained and informed. Not everything you do has to be for everyone, but what I think I enjoy most is reading about your passions. I will admit that I get a kick out of seeing your name on an episode of M*A*S*H or Cheers and thinking to myself hey! I have a semi-personal connection to that guy!

Keep up the good work.

AJ Thomas said...

I'm a 22 year old living in Ohio. My dad always watched M*A*S*H reruns when I was little, which I soon adopted as my favorite show. I was just doing some googling one night and stumbled upon your blog. I've been reading steadily for the last 5ish years. I try to check in everyday. I love the behind the scenes stories especially of M*A*S*H and Frasier. I also enjoy the anecdotes of the LA life (whatever that may be...). What I don't like? When you don't answer my Friday Questions! Haha. Thanks for doing this. It really is a good laugh on most days.

sanford said...

Is this a record for comments. I can't remember how long I have been reading the blog. I am sure I found it through some one retweeting one of your blog pieces. I have been reading it ever since. I am 69 and live in Racine, Wis. I usually skip the blogs about the actual writing of shows or plays. I do like reading how the shows are put together and the problems of doing it, how scenes have been shot for instance. As a base ball fan I do enjoy your baseball posts. So keep those up. By the way I feel the same way you do about the election. It is depressing that Trump has put in anti semite in the White House.

Stephen said...

I'm 35 (or will be soon enough), grew up as a military brat, lived 10 years in Hampton Roads, home of the Tidewater Tides (who I never saw as, for whatever reasons, I moved on from baseball to soccer and basketball along with football, by middle school), and now live in Portland, Oregon. I can't recall how long I've been reading the blog or where I found it, but a few years at least. I read it somewhere between daily and weekly, catching up on posts from my RSS reader. I feel like I grew up watching Wings and then Frasier, so I'm sure I came here initially for Frasier stories. Now I enjoy most everything you post, whether it's learning inside show-biz, laughing at a comedic post, or just hearing your take on something. I'm bored by a few, but I don't think I can group them into a genre, and they're easy enough to skim.

Lyn said...


Been with you for the eleven years, also was settle resident and mariner season ticket holder. plan on seeing your blog for another eleven years

Doug said...


We're not of the same political stripe, but I don't care and I hope you don't either. You're funny, you're talented, and you've made me laugh for many, many years. Thanks for this blog. It's really appreciated, and if you didn't have yet another outlet for your creativity, you would probably rant at home over the cluelessness of network executives, the paucity of real jokes on TV, and the infield fly rule. Your wife would probably get really annoyed at you. And who needs that? Be practical.

Leslie said...

Hi Ken,

I am 40 years old from Northern California. I read almost every day - I like baseball, travel, and your inside details about writing. I found your blog from a link posted by one of the San Francisco Giants beat writers a year or two ago. I have felt the same as you over the last week. Thank you for all your posts!

Guy Nicolucci said...

Fuck advice. Love your work

Chris Lansdown said...

I'm a programmer, father of three, writer (self-published some novels) and bowhunter (puts meat in the freezer) who lives in Pennsylvania. I'm a few years from forty, and I got into your blog probably the best part of 10 years ago, when I was doing a lot of reading about screenwriting. While I certainly find your screenwriting posts the most interesting, despite not watching baseball, I've found your baseball posts interesting. Especially the Aaron Sorkin one. :)

I grew up on M*A*S*H, so I especially love hearing about it, but at the same time when you talk about any sort of world I'm not a part of (like being a playwright), it's interesting to hear your perspective on it.

Thank you for writing your blog for so long, it's been a pleasure reading it.

DR said...

Hi Ken,
Shame to hear that you received criticism for you post last week. You really contribute a lot of your time to the blog and I would hope people reading it respect you and your effort and act accordingly.
I've been reading almost daily for at least 4 years. I enjoy your writing style and ability to find humor whatever the topic. It's good that you write about a wide variety of subjects. It's too hard for me to pick a favorite topic but I like when you describe your work process, whether it be breaking a script, making decisions for your play or getting prepared for a radio broadcast. It's interesting to read about how you tackle problems.

thirteen said...

I'm 63 and live with my wife in farm country in Maryland. I used to work for CBS News, which means I scream at the TV a lot when Pelley's on, because the whole operation has gone to shit since I left. I found you thanks to a reference on Mark Evanier's blog; that must have been five or six years ago. I read your blog every night. I love the inside-TV stories in particular, but I'm enjoying hearing about baseball and your new play and, well, pretty much everything. Thanks so much for all of it.

Jeff said...

I'm Jeff from Wisconsin. I'm a comedy nerd, so I'm here for those insights. But also for the baseball and the radio tales. Also for the insight into writing, directing and acting -- and now staging plays -- because my son is majoring in theatre in college. All of it much enjoyed and much appreciated.

euphoria0504 said...

Jack Lechner. I teach film and television at Columbia in NYC, and use your blog often in teaching the latter (and sometimes the former ... such as your hypothetical studio notes on "Juno"). I've been reading it since pretty near the beginning, and see no reason to stop now. I have very little interest in baseball, but love just about everything else you write. Please keep going!

Jack Lechner said...

Hi, Ken. I'm Jack Lechner, a TV and film producer who teaches at the Columbia grad program in NYC. I often use your blog in teaching both film and TV. While I have very little interest in baseball, I love just about everything else you write. Keep going!

Mike B said...

Hi Ken—

First things first – agreed it’s been a really depressing and scary week. I think we will pull through it—and who knows we may even wind up a little stronger as a country eventually. That said, your voice and your presence is important for me and for so many others, so I’m glad and thankful that you are continuing with this blog.

OK now to answer your questions: I’m a 44-year old male IT worker living in Seattle. I became a faithful reader of your blog about 6 years ago, based on raves from Seattle Mariners bloggers of the time. I read your blog almost every weekday morning- and if I miss a day, will usually go back and catch up. I love the radio, baseball, and TV stories in particular. For changes - maybe you can mix in more reviews of current TV shows and movies– they are insightful and hilarious.

Thanks again, and here’s to 11 more years!

Vickster said...

Hi Ken - I'm in my mid 50’s and I've been reading you blog since I saw it on Time's list. I have it on my Feedly so I see all your posts! I appreciate all the inside television stories. You share wonderful tips about writing. I'm not a writer but I find it interesting. i find all your posts entertaining and I appreciate the time you take to share with us. I'm so sorry there were nasty-hearted people who had nothing better to do with their time than to be unkind to you. I also was upset about the election...numb for a few days. The world shifted last week.
So...thank you so much, Ken and congratultions on you blog anniversary. 😄

Nick said...

Hi Ken,
I'm a 39 year old English teacher from country NSW in Australia. I first started to read your blog about five or six years ago now and i have it bookmarked to browse every week. I believe I found it during your "feud" with Rosanne (must have seen a link from another site) and I know it was after you were mentioned in Time Magazine (if I'm remembering that correctly). I love your blog because of your quick wit and your "inside baseball" knowledge of the TV and film industry. I particularly enjoy anything you write about how sitcoms are put together. Cheers is one of my favourite shows of all time and I have loved MASH since I was a kid - so I was certainly thrilled when I found your blog and realised you were partially responsible for both.
I gotta confess I don't read the baseball posts though.
Anyway I'm hoping you'll keep writing cos I'll keep reading. Anything light hearted to read for the next four years has got to be a godsend.
All the best.

DBenson said...

I was guided over here by Mark Evanier's blog, another must-read. As a quasi-writer (30-odd years of newspaper advertising copy) I find inspiration and education most days and entertainment all days.

Jerry Barber said...

Hi Ken My name is Jerry B. I worked with you at KLOS in the 70's, and with your dad Cliff as a salesman at KABC. I think we were on competing stations in Bakersfield in 71 or 72. You KERN, me KAFY. I love your inside stories about radio, TV, award shows, and sports. Your insight and humor are wonderful.
I got to sit next to Vin Scully for many years working on Dodgertalk. I did audio for sitcoms for many years too. Who's The Boss, Married With Children, 227, and Garry Shandling. Even though I never worked on Two Guys and A Girl, I was on the set a few times, but I guess not when you were directing it.
I was fortunate enough to do 7 or 8 Academy Awards, one Superbowl (Palo Alto), Monday Night Football with Frank, Dandy, and Howard, and the 84 olympics. I have some great stories from those experiences too. Please don't give up the blog!!
I hope you and your father are doing well. Cliff is a great guy.
Would love to connect via email or phone one day.

Stephen C. said...

Hey Ken,
I've been reading several years now. I'm 58 and and avid theatre goer so I really enjoy hearing about your plays. I work with a local community theatre in North Jersey as a director and set designer/builder. My favorite part of the blog are your reviews. They are the funniest. Also love baseball and football and having lived many years near Philly think Harry Kallas was the best announcer ever. I would love to get copies of your plays to read and perhaps do at my local theatre. Please keep up with the blog. We all need some humor right now. Thanks

Dee said...

I'm Dee, 35 years old and I'm an expat who works at an international school in Southeast Asia. I grew up watching MASH reruns and got hooked on Frasier shortly after I went to college. Around that time Nick at Nite started airing Cheers reruns, which became my favorite show of them all. I've been dabbling in screenwriting for about three and a half years now and first discovered your blog through a writing buddy of mine. I enjoyed the content and when I realized that you'd written for so many of my favorite shows, well, I couldn't help sticking around! I read your blog every day, and my favorite parts are where you talk about the writing process and the behind the scenes bits of Cheers. I enjoy reading your thoughts on everything, though, and look forward to hopefully many more years of doing the same.

Mimi said...

Hi Ken
I'm a 38 year old first-generation immigrant woman living in the Bay Area. I think I've been reading your blog pretty much since the beginning. I grew up watching MASH (in India!) and when I moved to the US for grad school, someone loaned me an ancient TV with rabbit ears that caught only 1 local station, which had endless Cheers re-runs. I'm a huge fan of your work and was SO thrilled to find your blog. I love your snarky reviews of award shows, I love your tales of your days as a radio jockey, I even like your baseball bits(and I don't even understand baseball!). I was even all set to drive to LA to see A or B? in 2014, but I got distracted by the birth of my first child :)
Your posts brighten up my day, and God knows we need some brightening up in the days ahead. This last week has been unreal,but I hope you find the drive to keep writing for us. Thank you for everything.

Kai said...

Hi Ken,

my name is Kai (39), from Aachen/Germany.
I think I found your blog through that TIME Top 25 blog list (I don't read TIME anymore). Or by Mark Evanier (I still visit his page daily).
Since I am a big fan of Cheers (best sitcom ever), Frasier and sitcoms in general, this blog is perfect for me.
I love your behind-the-scenes stories about the castings or the little inside jokes.

I am not so much into baseball (germans do not understand anything at all) but I don't care about that. Your blog, your rules. If I am not interested in a post, I scroll through it and come back the next day.
I try to visit daily. I like that you have posts by friends or colleagues about interesting topics.
I like it a lot when you write about lesser known shows (at least here in germany) like Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (underrated), Becker (hard to find in germany) or actors that don't have the ranking of Ted Danson or Kelsey Grammer.
Also, keep writing about your plays. I will probably never have the chance to see one of them but it's always nice to read about the process and the ideas.
In the end, write about whatever you want. It is your personal blog.

If you ask me (I think you did), go on with what you are doing here. It's a (mostly) fine little community and (mostly) more than fine postings.

Happy blogversary,

Barry Traylor said...

I a bit late to the discussion as I was without internet for a couple of days. I am glad you are not shutting down your blog as it is as much a part of my mornings as my first cup of coffee.

Loosehead said...

OK, I'll join in. Dave, recently retired software developer, live in Basingstoke in southern England (aka Boringstoke, aka Blazingsmoke). Came to this blog just after it started, from Mark Evanier's blog - boy do you owe him some readers - after googling Rod Hull and Emu (I have no idea why now). Been reading your posts literally every day, and mostly enjoying them, ever since. Frazier is my favourite sitcom, brilliantly written and performed, and your insider posts about the industry are very absorbing. Curiously, I took Marke Evanier's blog OFF my favourites list just before the election, as he was becoming obsessed with "do you know what Trump has done now" posts. Now the deed is done, he doesn't seem as upset as you, Ken, and seems to be moving on.
Occasional poster, if the whimsy takes me, and I think I enjoy reading the comments as much as the blog.
I was one of the "suck it up" posters you mentioned, and I'm finding it hard to understand the level of angst experienced by the people who didn't vote for Trump. Its something akin to the people of Britain who voted to remain in the EU, who are now known as Bremoaners, and woke up to find they were surprisingly on the losing side. Protests, check. Attempts to get the vote reversed, check. Tearing of breast and rending of clothing, check. Use of words like "disaster for the country", check. Ignorance or denial of the meaning of "the will of the majority", check. Contempt for the people who voted for the winning side, check. Ignorance about the sheer number of people who don't think the status quo is just fine, check. The decision will not be reversed by any number of protests or legal actions and I don't think its unreasonable to suggest that the best possible outcome is to get on with your lives. There, my 2pence worth.

Matt said...

I am Matt (31) living in Germany (formerly Los Angeles), I have been checking in on your blog for I think 5-6 years now. I added it to my RSS feed based off of a large overlap in interests that I have with your content (baseball, entertainment industry, comedy, etc...) I think I found it via one of the end of year best blog lists. I never commented until now and I would be disappointed if I could not check in and hear you have to say on whatever topic that you happen to write about. It really doesn't matter what the topic is- I have respect for your opinions and I value your insight b/c you have continuously proven to be thoughtful, caring, and honest with everything you write. Oh And sometimes funny too :).

trail of bread said...

Ken, I'm Paul from Yorkshire, 54 and checking in most days for probably more than 5 years. Probably originally found you through Mark Evanier. Oh, and I'm a self employed trainer/consultant type thing.

I'm happy with the mix of stuff. Obviously I am not big on Baseball, but I think the insights into professionalism are interesting not matter what the topic. So just keep on keeping on. (sorry I've been listening to the Grateful Dead this week...)

Allan V said...

Hi Ken ---

Hate to hear what you had to endure from some people. I hope they keep it classier from this point, but I know from experience that political winners can be about as classy as certain Little League parents.

I saw mention of your post several years ago in an article about underrated blogs. I think it was in PC World magazine, but I'm not sure.

I'm in my early 50's, and absolutely love baseball, though I wasn't particularly good at it myself --- feel free to do as many baseball posts as you like. I've lived in different places, all in the Midwest. I absolutely adored Cheers and wish I could have somehow, someway attended a taping while it was still running.

You've been kind enough to answer several of my questions, even though I'm often not well-versed on the subject matter and it frequently shows in my question. Fortunately, there are many other readers who ask questions that I wouldn't have thought of anytime soon.

Happy 11th,
Allan V

MikeK.Pa. said...

I found you two years ago after reading Garry Marshall's book, which led me to a Jerry Belson tribute you had written. I started out as a sportswriter, migrated to sports media relations (USFL and a major DI basketball team that was ranked No. for eight weeks when I was there), but I wound up in corporate communications for a Fortune 15 company doing a little of everything, but primarily speechwriting and presentations. I've written two screenplays, neither which is ready for public consumption and have toyed with trying to do a spec sitcom script, but haven't made the time to creating it. Obviously from Pennsylvania, as my handle indicates, and met you briefly (via Q&A) when you brought "A or B" to Hatboro last year. Never miss a day of your blog and enjoy the subtle throwaway lines you drop in that crack me up. Worst part of the blog is checking those damn squares where the street signs or store fronts are. It's been quite a while since you posted a Natalie Wood photo.:(

lauramcc said...

Reading for years but not a comment person. So sorry people we asses to you. I'm not feeling chipper myself, but I have a 17 year old daughter who wants to be a writer and going to college next fall, so trying to focus on what we can do, not how bad it's going to get. I absolutely love your very generous blog. Hang in there. with your gifts we need you. It's going to get interesting in the next few years. We need to take care of each other.


Singapore_Sling said...

Hi Ken:

Paul, age 47, originally from Canada, now living in Singapore, proud follower of your blog for at least 8 years. I think I found your blog through a reference from Alan Sepinwal. I have always been a fan of behind the scenes stories in TV and movies. Cheers was a fixture in my life during my post-secondary days and my wife and I have watched through our M*A*S*H box-set several times (love being able to turn off the laugh track). I am partial to your stories about those shows and keep wishing you and David would develop a new sitcom in that vein.

Keep making jokes and telling stories!

Snoskred said...

I'm saving this comment thread to return and read later, but just flicking through it now made me think one thing I would really love to see on your blog is posts about the readers of your blog. Not too often, perhaps once a month or so, maybe you could interview a reader of your blog - and perhaps they could ask you a few questions in return. I know you have the Friday questions and I always enjoy those, but this could open up a whole new world of questions that do not tend to get asked. :)

Just a thought, which I thought I would throw out there. :)

Ray said...

from Dublin, Ireland
reading 4 or 5 years? reading on Feedly mostly, rather than visiting the blog itself. Sometimes read each post on the day, sometimes a backlog of up to a week will build up
can't remember what link I followed way back when
another one not interested in baseball, but hey, your blog, I like enough of the rest of material you post to keep reading

Marcel said...

Guy from Germany here. 37 or so years old (who keeps count?) and I was referred here via Raymond Chen's blog "Old New Thing" in... 2007(!!!?). Looks like I've been reading your posts for 9 years now :-o I skip the Baseball stuff and stay for the inside stories ;-) And occasional for the tips, for example I found "The good wife" only thanks to you, because quite frankly that title alone didn't sound like it was worth watching. Same with "Parks and recreations".

I've recently watched all of MASH and Cheers again, so that was interesting knowing more about how it was made (good thing I can watch TV and program computers at the same time, otherwise this endeavor would be impossible time-wise).

Cheers, Marcel

Hobbes said...

Ken - every morning I go to work, turn on my computer and read your blog. It almost always starts my day with a smile - heck, sometimes even a belly laugh. I've been reading for 6 years or so, since I stumbled on it (list of top blogs!!). I went so far as to get all 11 seasons of Cheers on dvd (I'd never watched Cheers - I'm one of those people) just because I enjoyed your writing.

I share your disappointment. Like most Canucks, I don't get Trump. I didn't get Hillary either, but I kind of agreed with your 'worst thing that could happen' call to vote post. ANd after 11 years I don't presume to give you any advice on whether to continue.

But I can say this - you brighten my day and, I suspect, a lot of other people's days too. How many people can do that? I appreciate your blog, your commitment and I just hope you can keep on going.

Saskatoon Canada

Branson said...

Hi Ken, I found your blog while looking for one by the video game maker with your name about 3 years ago. I never really watched Cheers, Mash, or baseball, but I am grateful for the different perspective that you provide. I live in rural Montana and exposure to the wider world can be hard to come by, especially since I don't have access to cable or broadcast TV just the internet. Your blog has helped fill a niche within that goal. Thank you.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 260   Newer› Newest»