Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bonus Post

I wanted to tie up some loose ends.

But first, do check out my new podcast episode featuring director and (dare I say?) legend, Jim Burrows. He's directed over 1000 episodes, co-created CHEERS, and did the pilots for such shows as CHEERS, FRASIER, FRIENDS, WINGS, WILL & GRACE, DHARMA & GREG, THE BIG BANG THEORY, and over 40 more.  He's won 10 Emmys.  He IS a legend.   Knowing Jimmy for more years than either one of us wants to admit, I ask questions he’s not usually asked. We really get into the process of directing, his style and approach, dealing with Shelley Long on CHEERS, and other revealing topics. Just click on the big gold arrow above.

A number of you have pointed out that from Yesterday’s post (or yesterday’s post), high school and college kids are not in point of fact Millennials. They are Generation Z or Generation ZA or Generation Aught, or whatever. And Millennials have a wide breadth of knowledge and would know who the Beatles were. Maybe. I hope so. But my point was that it’s understandable if they don’t.

More surprising was the recent Teen Tournament on JEOPARDY where three extremely bright teenagers didn’t know that Tom Holland was the current Spider Man. (And for my money, he’s the BEST.)

The All-Star Game ratings were the lowest ever. And it was a good close game. Part of the problem I realized was that after the first four innings when the marquee players come out, the game is ultimately decided by All-Stars most people have never heard of. Not saying that those players don’t deserve to be there, they do, but many play for teams that get little national exposure so they shine in obscurity. And for the casual fan it means watching a meaningless game played by anonymous players.

Yesterday was the worst day of the year for sports fans. There was NOTHING. No baseball, none of the other major sports (pro and college) are in season. I wound up watching a replay of an old Dodger game from 1988. God, I miss Vin Scully. He made a 30 year old game way more interesting than Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

And finally, I have two short plays in the Brisk One Act Festival in Hollywood. I’m very proud of both. The first opens tonight and runs for four days. The second one is next week. I'll be pimping that one later.   If you’re in LA, swing by. I’ll be there every night so please say hi. Here’s where you go for info and tickets. Thanks.


Jahn Ghalt said...

Yesterday (last night) was actually pretty good for sports. Three names - you may have heard of them - all still vying for the Best Ever, though none are American.


William C Bonner said...

I'd probably have watched the all-star game if I knew about it and it was on a national network that broadcast over the air. I don't have cable, but get NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and PBS over the air in digital HD.

Where was the all-star game shown?

Sean said...

Hey Ken I'd like to point out that you didn't get everything perfect again in your post yesterday. You need to work out that whole "fallible human being" quirk you've got going on.

But don't worry I've enlisted an old matron with a hoop skirt,a cameo and an exhausting judgemental attitude to help me critique every line of your blog for errors in the future. Once we're done no one will care to read the banal offenseless drivel left over so you won't have to worry about criticism...or readership really.



blinky said...

I wish you could figure a way to get one of your plays up here in the Bay area.

DrBOP said...

I guess I'm alone on this, but I enjoy the last half of the All-Star game every year. It's where things loosen up a bit, errors get made and saves are blown. And by that time, the tv crews get a little goofy trying to fill time.
Because I'm on a limited Gig interweb service, instead of spending half of my monthly stipend on keeping up with all the baseball news: it's a great way to at least get a live look at some of the younger whipper-snappers while the tv commentators give a concise but very informative summation of exactly who the players are and why they are in the game.
My only wish this year was for MORE BOB UECKER!
(Was REALLY hoping they would have had Bob join Drew Carey in the booth and let them crack-wise about the Tribe for a half-inning ;>)

Note of Doom = Beginning to hear more scuttlebut about the use of steroids/growth hormones starting up again. I gotta admit that some of the physiques on display at the game would make Mickey Mantle look like a stick-figure. Have you been hearing the same rumors?

Mike Barer said...

Making it even worst for sports fans was the passing of Jim Bouton. At least for those old enought to remember him for his contributions to Baseball and his book that rattled the establishment.

Roy DeRousse said...

Thank you, Jahn Ghalt. I was going to mention the Wimbledon Championships too. Ken must not be much of a tennis fan!

Liggie said...

I think Major League Soccer should play a full slate of games the day after the baseball All-Star Game. The league plays a few Wednesdays a year to make up for when their usual weekend game days are pre-empted for international team events. So, having all 24 teams play on a day when it's just the ESPYs should prove an alternative for viewers.

Peter said...

In case anyone was wondering if Jon Voight has turned into a complete moron, just watch this.

He says Trump is doing god's work.

I'm guessing he's earned enough dough, because no one will hire him again after this.

Charles Bryan said...

Where can we find that old Vin Scully game?

Jahn Ghalt said...

Mr. Bonner - ESPN (cable, of course) televised the 2019 MLB All Star Game.

Mr. Barer - I just heard, two minutes ago, (on a Goodreads thread) that Jim Bouton died yesterday - bums me out.

Bouton, best known for Ball Four, his memoir of the 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros, which is also the all-time-best-seller in sports lit, would seem to be a good topic for a comedy-writer's blog.

Ball Four is often very funny - in the way that extended adolescence can foster.

On a personal note, I clearly remember a moment after a 1972 local Anchorage Glacier Pilots game.

(every summer college baseball players are invited to play in what is now called the Alaska Baseball League)

I was hanging out watching my "heroes" yuck it up before retiring to the locker room when the light came on - my 13-year-old self said:

"they're just a bunch of JOCKS".

They never seemed so heroic after that.

I'm not sure, but it's likely that Ball Four (the paperback) came out after this particular epiphany. Reading that forwarned me that "grown up" "heroes" were considerably more flawed than juvenile sports lit presented them. In other words, more like actual men.

In some ways the much-less well-known "sequel", I'm Glad You Didn't Take it Personally, is better than Ball Four - if only because Bowie Kuhn was protrayed as a self-important, not so self aware, stuffed shirt. But also Bouton offers a top-notch character sketch of Doug Rader - who may have genn a top-notch "flake"

Jim Bouton - RIP

Jahn Ghalt said...

One other thing, Bouton played for the independent, Class A, Portland Mavericks. See the Netflix documentary

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Bing Russell, who was a film and TV actor (and Ken Russell's father) founded and ran the Maverick's 1973-1977.

Russell was sort of a minor-league Bill Veeck who managed to fill the stadium so consistently that he undoubtedly made money - especially after he "sued" the PCL for forcing the team out of the stadium.

therealshell said...

Voight, despite being a wackjob, has a regular gig on that Showtime program called RAY DONOVAN.

Mike Barer said...

The Portland Mavericks are a neat story. Since I grew up in Walla Walla which had it's own Northwest League team, I got to see them play at least a couple different times.
I mentioned in my blog that although the Pilots were Major League and the Mavericks were the class A Northwest League, you can say that Bouton pitched for two very quirky Pacific Northwest baseball teams.

Kevin FitzMaurice said...

Fox's broadcast network, which also carries the World Series.

Matthew said...

"Yesterday was the worst day of the year for sports fans. There was NOTHING"

One of the best games of world cup cricket in history, as England stomped all over Australia in most entertaining fashion.

trail of bread said...

Serena Williams was playing.

(And here n the U.K. we have the British Grand Prix, cricket World Cup and Wimbledon finals all on at the same time on Sunday - when I shall be watching Liverpool FC play a preseason friendly game)

Mike Doran said...


Bing Russell's son is Kurt Russell, who played for Dad's club for a couple of seasons there.

And there was the year that Bing Russell was named Class A Minor League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News (I'd heard that he considered it a greater honor than any showbiz award).


Nobody seems to have noticed that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle Pilots's one and only Major League season (1969 to 2019, non-inclusive).
I was looking for some commemoration of that event, but I guess that Jim Bouton's ill health put paid to that …

For the record, the Pilot Project (sorry, couldn't resist) got another, much briefer write-up in The Lords Of Baseball, the memoir of Harold Parrott, who was traveling secretary for the club that year.
Parrott's account of his lengthy career - with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, and San Diego Padres, in addition to the Seattle Adventure - helped me to break the MLB habit years before it became fashionable (Remember the old joke: if you like to eat sausage, never learn how it's made).

Mike Barer said...

I remember listening to the Seattle Pilots with Jimmy Dudley and Bill Shonley (sp) on KUJ in Walla Walla on the Golden West Radio Network. By the way, Kurt Russell also played baseball for the Walla Walla Northwest League team before the Mavs became a franchise.

Roger Owen Green said...

Re: JEOPARDY! two of the contestants named the OTHER actors who played Spider-Man. I know from experience that in that brief time, the more familiar will come to mind first. You're going to think of Sean Connery before Daniel Craig.

RIP Jim Bouton