Friday, April 01, 2022

Friday Questions

Friday Questions… as we begin this new month.

Tina Delgado is up first.

How do you and David Isaacs write together?  What is your process?

We had a hot tub installed in our office.  We would get into the hot tub and dictate the script to a writing assistant who was also in the tub.  Sometimes we would get stuck on a line and to jump start our brains we would turn the heat up to 115 degrees.  We both found that when we were on the border of hallucination that’s when we did our best work.  

From Don Rivert:

Has an actor ever made a suggestion on one of your scripts that you realized was good and better than what you had?  

Well, you’re talking a 40 year career.  That’s a lot of scripts and a lot of actors.  But no.  Never.  What we wrote was gold.  Always. Why the TV Academy doesn’t have a night honoring AfterMASH I will never know.  

Sitar the Pirate queries:

What shows do you wish you had written on?

SHE’S THE SHERIFF, MEN BEHAVING BADLY, HELLO LARRY, COP ROCK, MANIMAL, SANFORD ARMS, MAN WITH A PLAN, GIRLS, 2 BROKE GIRLS, SMASH, MY SUPER SWEET 16, CAVEMEN, REAL ROB, THE COOL KIDS, HAPPY TOGETHER, and of course DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER.  

And finally, from 5515Melrose:


When you announce baseball, do you prefer TV or radio?

I greatly prefer radio because I don’t have to be accurate.  I can say pretty much anything.  And this is good because I can’t see past the pitcher’s mound.  So I call what I think might be happening, or, in some cases, what I hope might be happening.  On television they can see that the second baseman caught the ball that I just called a home run.  Radio all the way!  

What’s your Friday Question?   Note:  As you know, when I can't think of an appropriate photo I feature one of Natalie Wood. 

58 comments :

thirteen said...

Nicely done, sir. Enjoy the day.

estiv said...

Happy April Fools' Day, Ken.

Lorin in Golden Valley, MN said...

I read your blog almost every day. Today, I cannot stop laughing. Thanks.

Lemuel said...

Are the Beatles breaking up for good?

Anonymous said...

Well done, sir.

Barry

N. Zakharenko said...

You didn't include The Apprentice on your TV shows list -
that's so beautiful.

Andrew said...

I honestly forgot what day it was until now.

My favorite April Fools prank was when I told my kids that Pokemon Go had been cancelled. Copyright issues. But I didn't let them grieve too long.

Unkystan said...

And…a Happy April’s Fools Day to you, Ken

Eric Gustafson said...

Happy April Fool's day to you too Ken!

Unknown said...

Hey, calling a pop-out to an infielder a home run worked for Harry Caray!

Anonymous said...

Watching Frazier as an outsider, it looks like you got one aspect of two major characters mixed up - their Jewishness.

Lilith is supposed to be Jewish (I understand why for certain episodes) - but no one was less Jewish than the character she played.

Donnie was as Jewish as you could get - his last name is Douglas?? (Unless, like Kirk, he changed it I guess)

Care to comment?

Jeff Alexander said...

Thank you very much for NOT posting pictures of you and David Isaacs reclining together in a hot tub!! Have a great April Fool's Day!!

Mibbitmaker said...

They just announced brand new words to be added to the dictionary. They are:

covfefe - a) Boneheaded mistake. b) Great fun thing coming from a horrible source.

hikeeba! (with exclamation point) - Exclamation afforded badly made films, esp. those coming from ridicule. (see also: MST3Kian phrases)

semprini (British) - Forbidden words or phrases spoken in a pharmacy.

filagadusha (originally "fila-ga-dusha") - Great fun thing coming from a corny source. ("The patriotic singer from olden times wrote a filagadusha sometimes quoted by irreverent animated cartoons from those times.")

mibbit (often capitalized - a)Writing of a (pseudo-) clever manner well below that of professional comedy writers, esp. those in attendance. ("Who's this mibbit thinks he can approximate Larry Gelbart's writing style?") b) Self-deprication in a comments section.

You being a pro comedy writer, I thought you should know...

Dave said...

Always like to start my morning with your blog before I head out for my manscaping appointment.

I need to look my best for the Trump Rally / Small Oval Motocross later today. Really looking forward to it, they will be releasing a herd of javelina just before the event starts. (The Rally, not the Motocross. Releasing javelina on a small oval dirt track, that would be irresponsible.)

Two can play at this game, Ken.

. said...

Now that Real Ken has shed and fled from his charming cocoon, I can finally ask my burning Friday Questions:

Have you always had an open marriage?

While playing Tarzan in that nationwide stage tour, were you able to keep Kosher?

When and where did you and David Isaacs get those twin “Joined At The Quip” tattoos?

What year did you stop voting Republican? Or…have you?

Did Hans Conreid ever stop channeling his noxious comedic script ideas through you?

When comparing bats in a big league clubhouse, were you ever the victor?

What is your favorite unsold script, not counting ‘The Phlegm Juggler’?

Why did you and Nancy Travis throw hands on the set of ‘Almost Perfect’? Did she win?

F Marry Kill - Cheers, Frasier and MASH?

What was the impetus that forged your early career as a stay-at-home loser son?

Have you finished reading my script yet?



Curt Alliaume said...

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Wise guy!

Charles H. Bryan said...

haha! Happy April First, Ken, even though I'm sure that the hot tub story wasn't a joke.

Glenn said...

If you had written for Manimal, it would still be on the air.

Mitch said...

So it's Funny Friday! Kewl

For the last week, you seem to have removed many posts. Might I suggest you have another blog, Ken Levine + where those are included. Of course, it would be subscription.

.

Stuart said...

I've got this idea for a Frasier<>2 Broke Girls mashup. Really funny, witty, sure to be a hit.

I need a showrunner. Interested?

Mmryan314 said...

For a moment I actually visualized the hot tub scene. You are a good writer.

Mike Barer said...

Chris Rock and Will Smith were seen golfing together at the Glendale Country Club. ;-)

Buttermilk Sky said...

Nice picture of Natalie Wood. When are they going to release her final film, "The Tom Cruise Story"?

Brian Phillips said...

FRIDAY QUESTION: Can you define the universe in 25 words or less and give three examples?

Cheryl Marks said...

I started reading and almost choked on my morning coffee. Then I realized - a.m. caffeine finally kicked in - what day it is; although the thought of you and David Isaacs in a hot tub .....

Cowboy Surfer said...

Did you frame video for killing the radio star???

iamr4man said...

Kelsey Grammer was ok as Frasier in the TV show. But was Joe Frazier ever considered? I think the show would have been a scream with him as a radio psychologist in Seattle. You could have kept the rest of the cast the same.

Jonathan Weiss said...

"For my ally is sarcasm, and a powerful ally it is."

VincentP said...

I'm crestfallen you didn't say you wish you had written for "It's About Time." Does that mean you did?

Darwin's Ghost said...

All joking aside, I watched one episode of The Cool Kids and it was painfully unfunny. I could scarcely believe that such a badly written piece of shit had been made by adults. The humor was of the most dumbed down kind, but even 4 year olds would feel insulted by its stupidity.

In the episode I saw, the scenes between Vicki Lawrence and guest star Stephen Tobolowsky were excruciating. I like Stephen Tobolowsky, and I know a job's a job, but I wish he hadn't demeaned himself by doing it.

Mark said...

This just in: Tina Delgado is alive!

ScarletNumber said...

The calendar hasn't looked like this since 2011, so everyone is getting it out of their system 🙂

Here is what was posted 11 years ago:
http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-year-living-with-candice-bergan.html

My Friday question is: During your announcing career, did you ever get to see Sidd Finch pitch?

Darwin's Ghost said...

Steven Seagal is personal friends with Putin. With what's going on, could we send Seagal to Russia?

I don't mean as a peace envoy. Just send him to Russia.

Mike Chimeri said...

Speaking of fleeing a charming cocoon, I seem to be living in one because I enjoyed The Cool Kids and really liked Man with a Plan. This is the first time I've encountered anyone who didn't like them. That's okay; we all have different tastes.

Don Kemp said...

Oye.

Brian said...

This made my day. Ken, you forgot to mention Fox and Friends. Do they have writers? No, wait - its the news.

Doug Thompson said...

Great column today Ken. Lots of RDS & KHJ references. Love it.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

THE COOL KIDS was a terrible waste of good talent. But if I were Stephen Tobolowsky I might have said yes to guesting just to work with Vicki Lawrence.

Ken, that's quite the picture you found of Natalie Wood.

wg

Tom Asher said...

A happy TRDS Day to you all...

Rob Greenberg said...

Speaking of 'Man with a Plan,' a new sitcom from one of their writers called 'How We Roll' premiered last night. I dare anyone to get past 5 minutes.

Today's multicam writers are not even working in the same medium anymore!

Steve Lanzi f/k/a qdpsteve said...

Don't quit your day job, Ken. Oh wait... ;-)

Breadbaker said...

I can't believe you left Turn-On off your list! Makes me wonder if it's fake or some kind of joke.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, he he he! But I digress. When was the last time a celebrity slapped YOU? Or kicked you in the nuts? Or otherwise resorted to violence because of one of your "jokes?"

Eujenio Schwartzburg

Pete Grossman said...

I'd like an extra cup of snark with my snark today, thank you.

JessyS said...

@ Brian

Believe it or not, there is a newswriters division of the Writers Guild. Their job is to make Donald Trump look good. (note the day)

Ken I am just wondering, is there any memorable script you and David churned out while in that hot tub? I'll bet you devised the bar wars concept in that tub.

OrangeTom said...

Friday question/request: Stories about your buddy, Jim Ladd. Seems to rival you for diverse career beyond dj. Right now I'm listening to a random Roger Waters solo disc where Jim's role is prominent. He also is a notable voice in Robert Towne's often overlooked Tequila Sunrise. Is he as cool as his resume?

Mike Chimeri said...

Rob, I won. I made it through the whole How We Roll pilot, even with my COVID-era multicam sitcom cynicism. By that, I mean I know that there's only a laugh track because audiences (still) aren't allowed. Laughs always feel out of place, undeserved, and bland. No whoops, no catcalls, no awws, no premature laughs before a line is finished, no nothing. It's basically single-camera, but with extra cameras and long pauses between lines that are reserved for the bland laugh track. And yet, I keep watching Call Me Kat week after week, and will try the second episode of How We Roll next week. (I watch on DVR.)

Kevin FitzMaurice said...

No joke: Will Smith has resigned from the motion picture academy--a resignation that's been accepted, the AP reported Friday.

YEKIMI said...

OK, when you and David are in the hottub do you ever compare "joysticks" to see who's more well endowed or do you keep your underwear on?

Storm said...

My "real first name" was April, so I got called April Fool all day long by my terribly droll classmates, and I HATE being startled or feeling stupid; I LOATHE April Fool's Day. (And yes, "loathe" is APT!)

@OrangeTom: I saw Roger Waters on his Radio K.A.O.S. Tour, and we were lucky enough to be in one of the cities (San Diego) where Jim Ladd was actually part of the show! That show was so unexpectedly good that I feel almost no regret about never seeing Pink Floyd live.

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

Bob Berry said...

Hilarious. Happy Birthday, RDS, The GOAT,

tavm said...

Another great photo of "Natalie Wood", Ken!

Rob Greenberg said...

David, I give you credit, and I you about Covid-era multicam rules. But as far ‘How We Roll’ goes, I unfortunately still heard the material. The final straw for me was this exchange (I’m paraphrasing):

CHARACTER
(to Pete Holmes, who hopes to be a professional bowler)
Your uniform is going to need a pocket for all the money your NOT going to make.

PETE
Why would I need a pocket for money I’m not going to make?

CHARACTER
Uh, because, uh…
(confused, walks away)
I… don’t know

I couldn’t imagine even the ‘Married with Children’ audience reacting to that one.

Scott said...

To be honest, Ken, you sound much more Hollywood today.

msdemos said...

.


You're FUNNY Kenny !!


Ever thought of getting into comedy ?? ;-)


.

Fred C said...

Was thinking about characters leaving MASH. Did the Burnes character get tougher to write for after awhile?? I think that with Burnes having no friends, that would make it extra tough. Even Margret found a new flame. Apparently everyone was a good sport when Larry did leave. Enjoyed the episode(s) where the writers had Burns go AWOL and get arrested in Seoul for crazy stuff. Did you enjoy writing for the Frank Burnes character??

msdemos said...

.

Friday Question
------------------------


Do you think television (broadcast and/or cable) will eventually reach (and pass) the "tipping point" of having more minutes of commercials for every half-hour/hour vs. the total number of minutes of entertainment (in other words, more than 15 minutes of commercials for every half-hour of television, or more than 30 minutes of commercials for every hour of television)?

.

Jake said...

Hahahah, I love the name drop of Dog The Bounty Hunter. I worked on that show and the two others he did, man oh man, he is a real piece of work