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Old 02-21-2020, 06:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 233
Default Friday Questions

Time to warm the winter blues with some hot Friday Questions. What's yours?
ScottyB is up first.

Have there been any sitcoms that lasted a single season that nobody watched that, in your estimation, showcased a certain or unusual *style* of humor that gave it a little something atmosphere-wise that made them little lost gems?

Well, besides a couple of mineÖ

THE MARSHALL CHRONICLES and FLYING BLIND, both from writer/creator Richard Rosenstock were exceptional shows that deserved more support from ABC and FOX respectively. Think Woody Allen but fresher and funnier. FLYING BLIND also introduced the world to Tea Leoni.

Steve Gordon, who wrote and directed ARTHUR, had a great one-season sitcom called GOODTIME HARRY starring Ted Bessell that NBC killed. NBC also killed a novel exploration of marriage called UNITED STATES from Larry Gelbart.

In the Ď60s there was a series called MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT about a Thurberesque character played by William Windom. It featured animation in the Thurber style and was created by Danny Arnold who went on to create BARNEY MILLER.

And while weíre in the swinging Ď60s, thereís OCCASIONAL WIFE, a fun romantic comedy (narrated by Vin Scully).

THE ASSOCIATES created by the TAXI team and starring a young Martin Short was a standout in the late Ď70s as was ALL IS FORGIVEN by the CHEERS gang in the Ď80s.

Also in the '80s, SHAPING UP by Sam Simon & Ken Estin and introducing Jennifer Tilly.

I donít know whether HE & SHE lasted one season or two, but if itís one then include that too.

Iím sure there are others and Iíll think of them a week after this posted.

Bob Paris asks:

Ken: I have a question about a potential occupational hazard. When you are at a social event where people know you are a comedy writer, do you feel the need to be "on" and funny?

No. Iím happy to say something funny if it comes to me, but there is nothing more insufferable than a comedy writer who is ďonĒ and trying to be Mel Brooks.

If you met me at a party you would not necessarily know Iím a comedy writer. You might even invite me despite the fact that Iím a comedy writer.

From Charles Bryan:

When writing characters unlike yourself, do you find a bit of that character in yourself? We've all got habits (or addictions) we struggle with. And Becker's a bit of wish-fulfillment for those times we want to say something tough but can't. I imagine that Larry David gets to live out a lot of conversational fantasies on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

There are some characters I write that are more like me than others. The goal is to get into the head of the character and adopt their worldview and voice. So often I will have characters saying and doing things I never would say or do.

Itís also important that the characters donít all sound the same (at least for me). So Iíll go out of my way to give them different attitudes from each other, different speech patterns, slightly different vocabulary.

That said, sure, from time to time my take on the world might seep through.

Larry David is playing a very exaggerated version of himself ó heightened for comic purposes. Heís not ďthat guyĒ in real life. Thank God.

And finally, from Mark:

A question no one asked but many would love to know.

Who is the model on your book "Must Kill TV" ?

She is the one who "peeks" at us when we open Ken Levine Blog in one of the tabs and open other tabs too, constantly reminding us to go back to Ken Levine tab and look for new comments.

I wish I knew.

In this global digital age, the artist who created that cover for me was in Wellington, New Zealand.

Where he found her I donít know, but I wanted the cover to have one of those old classic noir/pot boiler feels and those usually featured an attractive womanÖ even if the woman was nowhere to be found in the book.

I was very pleased with the final cover. Glad you liked it too. Now please buy the book.

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