Saturday, January 07, 2017

Podcast Episode 1: Hollywood & Levine's Maiden Voyage

Okay, here it is! Episode 1 of my weekly podcast.   Please subscribe on iTunes or wherever you subscribe to podcasts.  It's a work in progress, but so is this blog... and my life.  Thanks for your support.  And a special thanks to Howard Hoffman for that super cool logo.

Enjoy the show while on the treadmill. 


Terrence Moss said...

Congrats, Ken!!

Unknown said...

EXCELLENT! For a maiden voyage it was the anti-Titanic, clear sailing right to the end.
And dropping the "fuck" bomb made it even more, I don't know, natural I guess, like you were just shooting the shit with us, keep the profanity in. Speaking of awards, good luck with your Seabee nom. So are you doing this at home?

Steve Mc said...

Love it Ken, congratulations on a great first outing! The 1:1 radio style works well (and the production homage to radio is fun). Mr Special Effects segment is hilarious. Dividing the show into segments is nice. I subscribed to it in iTunes, gave it 5 stars and tried to review it, hopefully it will post. Wrote the glowing review and, when I went to Send, it said the username was taken & to try another. I hit OK and it wiped it all out and back to a blank review screen. TWICE. It finally seemed to take. Looking forward to more shows. Steve McLean

Bobby Goldberg said...

Lots of fun, Ken - thanks for doing that. Your story telling is fun and engaging, as always. I can't get enough of your behind-the-scenes Hollywood anecdotes. I loved your DJ tape - another favorite part, along with the "93-KHJ" opening jingle. The bit with the SFX guy was okay but kind of slowed things down a bit. Based on this one, I am subscribing and look forward to hearing more.

Great first podcast!

Mike Barer said...

Congrats, I'll give it a spin.

B A said...

I loved it! But what was the reason for the breaks, if you don't read a reverse-mortgage ad there?

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

What I like about it:

- The ad hoc format. That'll keep the audience curious rather than conditioned to expect the same elements with every podcast. "Anything Can Happen" Day, etc.

- You're solo. I agree that the conversation-based podcasts give the listeners the feeling that they're eavesdropping. Best: One-on-one. THAT'S the magic of radio, now podcasting. Think Arthur Godfrey, Paul Harvey, etc. The principles are the same

- You speak well. Clearly and deliberately. This is a pet peeve of mine and I can't tell you how close to homicide I've been listening to podcast/radio folks who use the conversational crutch, "And uh..," when gathering their thoughts to present the next topic.

- Love the Drake beds, of course.

Stuff I don't like: Oh, I don't know. Maybe the color of your shoes...??

julian said...

done and done.

lovin the pod

VincentS said...

Great job, Ken. Really enjoyed it. And since you asked for suggestions, I would like to see some people you've worked with be on the podcast the same as you have them as guest posters on the blog.

Loosehead said...

Nice one Ken. A great start and I'm looking forward to listening in the future.
Uhhh, one question that has been bubbling around. Your radio non de plume was Beaver Cleaver, a moderately suggestive name that has a kinda high school techie vibe but is otherwise good clean fun. I was wondering if you ever called yourself *The* Beaver Cleaver, which might be a little too close to the knuckle for genteel sensibilities.
Also, did it ever do you any good, if you know what I mean (say no more, nudge nudge wink wink)?

blinky said...

Good work!

Bettina said...

Wohoo! Congrats :)

Anne said...

I decided to take up treadmilling and listen just because of that beautiful logo! Halfway through I realized you can't actually hear a logo. But I'm going to subscribe in case you figure out how to do it. The audio portion of the show was fantastic, too!

Anonymous said...

see you used the old WCFL bumper to start it off

LouOCNY said...

Perfect! The best compliment I can give is that it is a great audio version of all we have been reading here for years! :)

Vickster said...

Thanks Ken - that was fun!
I also like the one on one conversation idea.
AND - I like to be told a story...:)

YEKIMI said...

Very good! With most podcasts, I'm usually out after the first 10 minutes, I stayed all the way to the end of yours. With all the profanity now I know you were a REAL radio guy. [I never really cussed until I went into radio. When I did, I heard new curse words invented and stuff that would make a sailor blush. Don't know why we're such potty mouths when just dropping one of those on-air could/would have cost you your job.] Sort of a Friday/podcast question: Were their any stations/cities that you wanted to work at/in that you were unable to land?

Brian said...

Superb Ken. Stripping Hollywood and its award shows naked!

Friday Questions:

Is it okay to pet on first date?
Aren’t all Tom Hanks movies crap?
Golden globes – Those waiters/members get tipped at the end of the night, right?
Will you post pics of the Murrays in the next post? Never seen 115 year olds :)

Great beginning to the podcast. Bring in some guests who may get nominated. They will surely want this publicity. Natalie to begin with ;)

Kirk said...

Great radio voice. You sound like you belong on NPR, except of course your point-of-view is much more irreverent.

As for David Isaacs, well, I have a Friday question--is he a fan of Jonathan Winters? Sounds like he might be.

Anonymous said...

There were also Arthur Murray Dance studios all over the country.

Robert Brauer said...

Nice to learn that you're not into necrophilia.

Terrific start, awaiting the next eagerly.

KMB said...

Haven't listened to it yet, it's downloading in the background, but already have a small technical issue: The embedded content is too width for the blog. It's embedded at around 640 pixel but the blog only has about 480 pixel space so a lot gets cut off on the right side because the blog-navigation is in the way. This includes (at least for me on Firefox and Chrome) the link to the RSS feed. I did some browser-magic and found it:

If anybody else has problems (I was surprised to not find anything in the comments), you might want to see if Libsyn has an embeddable widget with a width of about 480 pixel or smaller so that it fits in your blog.

Now where did I put that treadmill...

Phil In Phoenix said...

It needs a theme song.

(sung to the tune of "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", aka theme from "Cheers")

Bein' the rage
In the digital age
Takes much more than a blog.

Radio's dead
A podcast has cred
What's the difference? I'm in a fog.

Both are heard
But never seeeen

So let's not watch but listen to
Hol-ly-wood and Le-veeeeen

Except he pronounces it Le-viiiine

He's worked in baseball and radio
But mainly in the TV trench
He's a witty guy
But most of all
Kennnn's a mensch

He'll talk about Cheers
He'll talk about MASH
And whatever is on his miiiiind
So let's all listen to
Hollywood aaaannndd Le-viiiine

Max Clarke said...

Good debut, Ken. The time went by quickly.

Given your experience, maybe the less structure the better. In one show, you might spend it all on an interview. The next show might be nothing but screenplay advice, and another your review of the awards shows. A weekly feature would be the Friday questions, naturally, but I could see that being skipped for long interview with Ted Danson or Bebe Neuwirth.

Will subscribe and catch the next one.

thevidiot said...

My Emmy story is probably from the same year as yours: I was at the Creative Arts Awards (the night before in those days) and had barely decided to go as I was up for a compliation show against a lot of great concert shows. I got it together and went and waited for my category. Rosemarie & Morey Amsterdam were the presenters. The first award before mine went well. Morey stepped up to announce the nominees for the category. Instead he said "The Emmy goes to..." and says my name! The laughter was immediate and loud as they played a prepared nomination tape. Thankfully it gave me 30 to 45 seconds to gather my thoughts and figure out who I needed to thank! Rosemarie said "well, wherever you are... come one up" and I did to incredible laughter and applause. I waited for the noise to stop... milked it a couple of seconds and said "What a big surprise!" The resultant laugh from the crowd gave me the rush that I know comedians get and gave me more time to figure out what to say. Since we were the "Creative Arts" crowd (mostly tech people and supporting actors), we skipped the interviews and were escorted to the same alley door. I snuck back into my seat a few minutes later. Ten years later, I worked with Rosemarie and she remembered me from that night! What a great lady and she said "I felt so badly for you." I don't know... it gave me this story! Great podcast, Ken. Looking forward to more.

Unknown said...

Wonderful!! Congrats!!
Of all of the shows you have written for.....I have a certain fondness for WINGS.
In your experience......anything about that show that separates it from the others?
BTW: Your feelings on PNC Park? Best ballpark ever.....RIGHT?

Earl B said...

As an old fogie who DOES remember Pia Zadora, the Murrays, and Beaver Cleaver (hell, I even remember JOE AND SONS), I enjoyed your first cast, and am waiting impatiently for more. And plrase include more airchecks (I'm too embarrassed to even listen to mine).

Rashad Khan said...

Pretty good Bob Dylan impression. (Or was that Tom Petty as Bob Dylan?)

DwWashburn said...

Really enjoyed it. Have subscribed on itunes.

Lyle said...

Listened to the whole podcast; enjoyed it.

What I liked? Smooth, consistent,uninterrupted delivery - very pleasant voice (which I had expected, given your radio background), great "inside" information.

What I'd like to see/hear more of? More inside information on show biz; several times you and/or Mark Evanier have made off hand references to actors, directors, producers, who were difficult to work with. I'd like to know names. Those who have passed on to the Great Perhaps . . .probably no problem. Those who are still active in the business - maybe tough to do, given that you may have to work with them again one day. Still, a bit more information about the 'difficult" people in show biz would be interesting. Some divas are fairly well known and well documented; I'd still like to get your take on them . . . as well as those who may not be as well known.

What did I NOT like about the podcast?

Nothing. Enjoyed the whole thing. Might have run a little long ... but that's only because I seldom have time to listen to a 30+ minute program. My problem, not yours.

Ya gone and went and one good! Again.

Looking forward to the next episode. (Is that gonna be a daily? Weekly?)

All my best,


Unknown said...

Great job! Sponsors take your spot now!

Charles H. Bryan said...

Mr. Special Effects reminded me of Bob and Ray. Nicely done!

Chris Juricich said...

I like your blog, Ken, but I'm too impatient to sit through one person talking away. I'm sure you're entertaining in person, but I found myself just getting a bit...antsy while listening. I don't think it's your podcast, per se...just the medium I'm not used to. Should I be on a treadmill listening to this with nothing else to do?

In any case, I sincerely wish you the best in this endeavor...I will continue with your blog re following it... just being honest.

Johnny Walker said...

Listened. Loved it. Great job! David was great as Mr SFX. That Beaver Cleaver clip was hilarious, too - you were funny!

You asked for some feedback, and so I'm going to try and offer some. I really enjoyed it. The only thing that leaps to mind is that I think I'd love to hear a segment where you talked honestly to other writers about what it's like writing in Hollywood. (As much as I enjoyed the 1 to 1 segments, I guess I like a bit of "eavesdropping", too.) It would be fun to hear reminisces, stories, or just chatter about current thoughts on Hollywood.

That's just one listener's thoughts. Short version: Keep it coming! I'm looking forward to future instalments and seeing how it grows and evolves. Subscribed!

BobinVT said...

I was one of the few that said I probably wouldn't listen to your podcast, but I did give your first one a listen. It was very funny, and I can see why you had a long career as a DJ and MLB broadcaster. You have a wonderful speaking voice, and your delivery is very smooth. No hesitations or vocalized pauses. So well prepared as to give the impression it was scripted, but delivered in a way that sounded conversational.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

As one would expect, the podcast sounds very professional, very "radio"; I can only assume that the breaks signal your hope that you will get sponsors and advertisers (and why not?). Those of us who read the blog regularly will recognize some of the stories (notably the Emmy story, which you retold just a few days ago), but I assume (again) that you're trying to reach a new and different audience as well as your existing one.

One thing I do wonder if you've considered: you have a lot of interesting people who post comments to the blog. Why not do phone interviews with a few of them? Kind of celebrate the community you've built here?


DrBOP said...



AAllen said...

At first I was going to ask if the podcast format would allow blog readers to finally hear samples of your baseball play-by-play, but old radio play-by-play for a team or a game you're not interested in can get boring, assuming you can even get permission from the overly protective lawyers of Major League Baseball. Then I realized, this podcast reminded me of why I liked your baseball play-by-play: it's the stories you tell during the long, boring parts of the game. (It didn't hurt that the teams you broadcast for in the 90s were awful.) Those stories were more baseball related than showbiz related, but it's all good.

When I go back in the archives of podcasts I like, the first ones are very primate, and often they've deleted the first one out of embarrassment. This one has started very good, and can still get better.

Ted Kilvington said...

First time caller, long time listener. Based on all your podcasting experience, what tips do you have for a podcast n00bie? said...


Please have transcripts of your podcast for the hearing Impared, avaiable so we can share in the experience.

Thanks LES_U ( a very long time follower)

Andy Rose said...

Great start! I appreciate the format of speaking "directly to you." It's amazing how even many radio and TV professionals aren't very good at that. When hosts refer to the audience as "everybody," it still gets under my skin.

The tough thing about having just one person talking is to go beyond merely relating prepared thoughts. If my first thought is "why can't I just read a transcript of this?" it's a good blog, but not a good podcast. But you have an engaging voice and your radio experience really shows here. Good luck!

Jahn Ghalt said...

Given that you had a pro VCR by the mid-70s (and I suppose 1/2-inch machines later) did you tape the Emmy's the year you (and the Charles', Isaacs, and that other guy) won? Did you ever get into the "reaction shots" for that year and the others (smiling instead of "glaring")? It's kind of funny to use forgotten TV "stars" to present - sort of fits the recent ones I'll never know because network TV doesn't "get" me. FWIW here's a snippet of the Wikipedia entry for Arthur Murray :

Arthur Murray (1895 – 1991) went on television with a dance program hosted by his wife, Kathryn Murray (born ca. 1907, died 1999), The Arthur Murray Party, which ran from 1950 to 1960, on CBS, NBC, DuMont, ABC, and then on CBS.

1977 on the radio? Didn't MASH keep you and Isaacs busy enough? Wikipedia first lists you two for an early episode in the 76/77 season (air date = October 5, 1976).

estiv said...

I can't tell you how glad I am to see that your podcast is passed by the National Board of Internet Standards. I wouldn't have listened otherwise.

rwagoner said...

Nice Dylan impression!

Daddy Background said...

It was cool finally hearing your voice ... and by cool, I mean I was shovelling the snow out of my driveway. Never having heard your voice before, a cross between Ron Howard and Casey Kasem, that sun-drenched California tone was a warm distraction from the winter task at hand.

Jeff Maxwell said...

Very nice! Look forward to more. But I had to stay on the treadmill over thirty minutes!

Rusty Tripod said...

Thanks for the RSS feed URL, KMB!

Ken, I enjoyed the stories. Keep them coming. I think I find the radio history my favorite?

Rob Spahr said...

Ken, Enjoyed the first podcast very much. I've been reading your blog for years and now will look forward to hearing your podcast regularly. However my one caveat is that I cringe at the profanity. I think the profanity is unnecessary and distracting. I was excited when I added the podcast to my subscription because on the iTunes store it said "clean lyric" (or whatever it's classified as), but was disappointed by the swearing. That's just my feedback, and I will nevertheless keep listening.

Unknown said...

Great podcast, Ken. Congrats on your launch!

ken kahn said...

I just listened to your 1st podcast and am very impressed. I look forward to future ones, especially with guests.

The only question I have is at various places in the broadcast you said "we'll be right back after ..." (or words to that effect). However, there was no commercial or any other fill, the broadcast just continued immediately. Should there have been a commercial in these spots? Were there and you just removed them? Or maybe you just left space to insert some in the future.

Just curious.

Neal said...

You are off to great start Ken. Looking forward to future podcasts. It would be interesting to hear Stu Shostak as a guest since I have always enjoyed your visits to his show.

Anonymous said...

Love it Ken! Brings me back to the days of listening to your stories on the Mariner's broadcasts. Please keep them coming.

Juli said...

I had the same problem as KMB, and appreciated his/her fix.

Random question: have you ever worked with Elizabeth Craft? She and her sister do a fun podcast, and she talks a bit about her work.

It was fun, and I'all subscribe and rate it.

Mark said...

Enjoyed the podcast. I get what you were going for with the Mr. Special Effects bit, but it didn't land for me and (perhaps as a result) went on longer than I would've wished...