Friday Questions

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  • Friday Questions

    As we enter the dog days of summer and the pandemic, here are this week's Friday Questions.
    blinky gets us started.

    Some great shows have exceptional seasons. While re-watching 30Rock from the beginning, we were struck by season six. It seems like they hit their stride to an exceptional degree. The writing, the character development the acting, all were firing on 12 cylinders. In fact I would say season 6 episode 3 was the peak.

    Did any of your shows have a exceptional season and a best episode? I bet you would say Cheers season one, but what about Frasier or MASH?

    Yes, I would put the first year of CHEERS up against the best year of any sitcom.

    I would also say the first year of FRASIER was its best.

    For MASH, season four (a Larry Gelbart/Gene Reynolds year that we had nothing to do with).
    Don R asks:

    I'm watching M*A*S*H on ME-TV and they seem to be playing them in order. Last week you and David were listed as story editors, but this week you're listed as executive story consultants. Had you moved on from the show by that time, or were you still part of the staff?

    They're all just "titles.- In the middle of season 6, while we were listed as "story editors- we became head writers when the gentleman who had been doing that job left.

    Season 7 we got a loftier title but remained in that role.

    If I'm not mistaken, Larry Gelbart had the same credit season one.
    From Kevin B:

    What 1980's sitcom did you like that would surprise your friends/colleagues? Like "I Married Dora" or something.

    BEST OF THE WEST, BUFFALO BILL, ALF, NEWHART, NIGHT COURT, ALL IS FORGIVEN, IT'S GARRY SHANDLING'S SHOW, ANYTHING BUT LOVE, THE DUCK FACTORY, DOCTOR DOCTOR, FAMILY MAN, OPEN ALL NIGHT, THE POPCORN KID, SLAP MAXWELL, WKRP IN CINCINNATI, ANGIE.

    Probably one or two that I'm forgetting.
    And finally, from Houston Mitchell:

    I happened across a "Happy Days" rerun the other day, and I had forgotten how annoying the live audience, particularly in the later seasons, was. Every cast member got a huge ovation on entrance and the crowd seemed to think they were part of the show. Did you ever have this trouble on any of the "live in front of a studio audience" shows you wrote or directed? Did the audience ever try to say "Norm!" when George Wendt walked in for example? And if so, how did you combat that?

    One time on CHEERS we had audience members shout back at the cast and it threw them. The warm-up guy (me) had to politely ask them not to refrain.

    On my shows, as I've mentioned, I've always discouraged applause at entrances. The cast and guest stars were introduced before shooting and the warm-up guy (not me) would ask the audience not to applaud when people entered.

    If they applauded spontaneously during the course of the show over a line or story turn or performance that warranted it, those we kept in. But never applause that we didn't feel was earned.

    What's your Friday Question?

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