Closing out July with FQ's.
Kendall Rivers starts us off:

One of my favorite Becker episodes is The Usual Suspects. Can you share any interesting tidbits about that episode and the making of it? Also why the hell Sargent Borkow wasn't added to the series as a regular? He would've been a great replacement for Bob.

That's my favorite episode too, although I might be biased for some reason.

The thing I remember is saying to the cast on the first day that if they had any questions or issues with the script don't be shy. Feel free to share them, even though I was the writer.

As it happened it was an easy week. The script really worked - in large part due to the actors. Ted Danson, Shawnee Smith, and Troy Evans (as Borkow) were particular standouts.

There is a matching goof for those who pay way too much attention. Borkow is in the diner, orders hamburgers, and later they just appear. For whatever reason, the shot of Reggie setting down the plate was lifted. So it looks like the burgers just appear. How glaring a mistake was that? I've seen the show countless times and didn't pick up on that until I read it on imdb.

The Borkow character was very funny when used in spots. Just like Colonel Flagg on MASH or Bibi on FRASIER - when used judiciously they really scored.

But they were very broad. If they were regulars their characters might lose their luster.

You could say "Bob- was broad too and quite honestly, I didn't miss him when he left.
From Sogn:

In MASH very often we see Radar, and later Klinger, using the PA system, but all other announcements come from someone who's never seen in the entire course of the series. There's also no credit for the voice. Was this intended from the beginning as a running joke akin to Maris and Vera never being seen on FRASIER and CHEERS? Of course the analogy breaks down because the voice was never referenced by the characters, but the absence is very striking.

This was a holdover from the movie MASH. I'll be honest, we never once gave a thought to "is there a communications tent?- Or "whose job is that?- Nor did I ever ask anyone I interviewed who had served in MASH units in Korea whether those announcements were realistic or even if they actually existed.

Some trivia for you MASH fans: for much of the series run that voice belonged to actor Sal Viscuso. Amaze your friends at parties.

sanford wonders:

Do you know of any movies that were turned down in which some other studio picked it up and became a hit. The question came from a Quora question. There were two answers. One was Home Alone The studio wanted Hughes to cut the budget. It was relatively small for the time. He eventually went to Fox where the movie made a ton. The other movie mentioned was Back to the Future It was turned down 40 times. Eventually Spielberg picked it and as they say the rest is history.

Oh, there are many. Huge hits.

Let's start with Star Wars. Universal passed on that one.

And then you got ET, Pulp Fiction, Back to the Future, Twilight, the Exorcist, Dumb & Dumber, Boogie Nights... need I go on?

William Goldman was right. "No one knows anything.-

And finally, from Ron Havens:

Over the years I have noticed that many of the classic sit-com scripts are really long and effective set ups for the final line of the show. I've seen it on "I Love Lucy-, "The Odd Couple- and others.
Have you ever written a script that started with the ending line or joke and write the entire show leading up to that line?

One time only. On CHEERS.

The episode was "Breaking In Is Hard to Do.- Frasier and Lilith are worried that their baby hasn't spoken yet. Frasier takes him to the bar for a few days and Lilith finds out and is horrified. But then the baby says his first word: "Norm.-

It got a thunderous laugh. But it's very risky basing a whole episode on one payoff joke because if the joke doesn't work your entire episode is in the toilet.

David Isaacs and I did it once, got away with it, thanked the Gods of comedy, and have not tried it since.

What's your Friday Question?

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