Archive for October, 2011

October 24 – October 31 (2011)

It was a beautiful rainy morning in L.A., and I was on my way to NBC to introduce the President of the United States on national television. It just doesn’t get any better! All the while I was humming one of my favorite Elvis songs written by Gordon Lightfoot!

Monday the 24th – PREPPING FOR A PREZ! – I got up early to do a bit for “The Tonight Show” in my home studio. I got my schedule for the following day’s tapings. We would be taping not one but TWO shows on Tuesday, and then we’ll have Wednesday off. The reason? Tuesday morning, bright and early, our guest will be the President of the United States, Barack Obama. After I recorded the bit I went back to bed for a bit, then got another hotline call to record another bit. After I recorded that I got ready and headed into NBC to tape the show. Chris Isaak was the musical guest on the show, and my friend Mark the Cop is a huge Chris fan. So I got him a ticket to the show. He got a great seat, with an unobstructed view of Chris and the band. Afterward, I gave him the backstage tour and then met up with our friend James for dinner at Bob’s Big Boy. But my cough was acting up again so I went home to suck some steam, do some auditions, and then get to bed early for the long Tuesday!

Tuesday the 25th- PRESENTING THE PRESIDENT! – Boy was it a busy day! I only got a few hours of sleep because my cat decided to wake me up at 4am to cuddle. Then I just tossed and turned. It was tough getting back to sleep so I figured what the heck…I’ll just get up and start the day. It was a rainy morning and a beautiful one at that! While humming “Early Morning Rain” by Elvis, I stopped at a store and got a bagel and cream cheese, blueberry muffin and a Diet Pepsi. This is the early morning meal I lived on the first few years of living in L.A. and working at the Westwood One Radio Network, working those early mornings. It was kind of neat…tasting that familiar taste, driving in the rain to go introduce the President of the United States! I’ve been very lucky in my career. I’ve gotten to introduce 2 Vice Presidents, 2 First Ladies, and now 2 U.S. Presidents! Pretty good for a South Dakota boy! I wanted to get in early to miss all of the surrounding streets that would be shut down in the area. At 8:50am I pulled my car onto the lot and showed my ID and special parking pass for the day. Then I went through a metal detector and went into the audio booth for lockdown. If you’re not pre-approved by the President’s security, the rule is you have to stay in your office when the President is on the move. But I didn’t have to worry about that for awhile, because the President’s motorcade didn’t arrive until 9:30am. I got into the booth and said to myself, “I’ll always remember this day. Announcing a sitting President on national TV!” I was a little nervous about the opening announce, but it all went well. I met an archivist for the President named John who has the job of touring the world and recording every word the President says. Nice guy! He gave me his card and offered to give my friends and I a special behind-the-scenes tour of the White House if I ever got to D.C.! I put it on my list to do soon! When the first show was finished, I went to It’s a Wrap to kill some time and see what Halloween things I could pick up cheap. Then I stopped by Taco Bell, got some lunch and headed to Voice Trax West for the normal Tuesday US Airways session. When I finished and was about to leave, Paul Michael Glaser walked in to start his session for his audio book. He looked very busy. Promoting his book has been keeping him hoppin’! But he said things are going well. I got home, recorded another bit for “TTS” and then headed back to NBC to tape the second show of the day! After we wrapped, everyone was wiped! Some of the crew had been up since 5am! I got home and passed out. When I finally got up later that night, I did some auditions in my home studio, e-mailed them to my agent, then did some chores around the house and did some more party planning for my upcoming Halloween party!

Wednesday the 26th – DELICIOUS DAY OFF! – I slept late, then got up to meet my pal and webmaster Scott Sebring for a trip to Fry’s Electronics to do some shopping. Since I changed to Windows 7 nothing in my system has been working. I got a new scanner, a new graphics program, a new digital camera, a portable DVD player, a memory card, spare battery, camera case, and “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: Volume 4” on DVD. Then Scott and I headed over to my pal Bodie’s to talk about putting some things on my Gran Torino. I also wanted to see if the Alpine GPS/CD/DVD/MP3 system he put on my Torino would fit in my Mustang. When we finished there Scott and I headed to Cinema Secrets to pick up some things for the Halloween weekend. When we got back Scott set up my scanner, then he picked up his wife Vickie at the train station. Then we all met for dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli. We were joined by my assistant Sara and may pal Alex. Then I got back home to set up my new digital camera, which is almost the exact same camera I bought a year ago before my trip to Memphis. I like it because I already know how to use it and it’s a time-saver. I did some auditions in my studio, e-mailed them to my agent, and then set up my portable DVD player. I actually hit bed early!

Thursday the 27th – EVERYBODY WHOSE ANYBODY GOES TO JERRY’S! – Boy it was a busy day! First, my power went out for about a minute or so at about 7 in the morning. Never found out why, but I had to go reset my clocks. I was up early for a videogame session at North Hollywood Studios. I worked for a few hours and then went to get some lunch at the Jack In the Box drive through. I did manage to get a quick nap, but then got a hotline call to be at NBC for another bit. My old pal Jim Wise, whom I’ve known since 1994 from the old days at Cutler Comedy Network, had written a bit commemorating Paul McCartney’s possible conversion to Judiasm after his most recent marriage. Jim remembered that I did Paul McCartney parodies at Cutler back in “the day” so he had me come in to sing a few lines as Paul. This was the first time I’ve been tapped to sing for a “TS” bit, if you don’t count the time I sang as the coroner munchkin after Bin Laden died. It was fun! I did another bit and then I rested a bit before the taping. They ran the McCartney bit for the audience and it went over very well. But at the last minute it was cut from the show for time, and was slated for Friday’s show instead. My pal Mike from Chicago came to town, so we arranged to meet for dinner at Jerry’s. I brought along Sara and Edi, and Alex met up with us as well. But then Chuck McCann and my old pal Fred Westbrook came by too. The table was getting fuller! At dinner we ran into actor Steve Railsback, one of the best actors of our generation. He played the scariest Charles Manson in the TV movie “Helter Skelter” and he was in one of my favorite films of all time “The Stunt Man.” We talked with him for awhile and his friend Steve who OWNS EVERY 45 SINGLE OF EVERY HOT 100 SONG EVER MADE! It’s an amazing collection and I can’t wait to see it. He’s been collecting 45s since they first started being manufactured. But that wasn’t all! My friend voice-over actress Vanessa Marshall walked in to meet up with our mutual agent Sumeet Iyengar! It was like old home night! I got home to get my list of food I’ll need for the party, and then my pal Edi and I headed off to Ralph’s grocery store to get some of the party food I’ll need for my Halloween shindig on Saturday. Good thing Edi helped, because we had THREE carts full of stuff! Whew! Later that night I watched another episode of the classic “Hawaii Five-O” on DVD.

Friday the 28th – PLAYBOY PARTY! – I got to sleep in, and there were no hotline calls! I got up and rollin’ and went over to Domino’s Pizza to order the pizzas for the party. I wanted 4 to arrive at 9pm, another 4 to arrive at 10pm and another 4 to arrive at 11pm. I switched cars and drove my Torino. I bought a leather “Hutch” jacket on eBay from a Canadian company for my pal James, who would be doing Starsky and Hutch with me on Saturday night for my church’s “Trunk Or Treat” festivities. But the jacket didn’t arrive! Though the Canadian company had PROMISED me it would arrive on time and charged me extra money to send it express, it didn’t arrive on time. And I thought the AMERICIAN post office was bad! VERY disappointing. Guess I won’t be ordering any other items from Canada that I need in a timely manner! So I drove to It’s a Wrap to look for a suitable replacement and no dice. I tried Junk For Joy and nothing. I went to another vintage store and still nothing! I’m outta luck! I was starving so I went to Little Cesar’s to get some crazy bread and pizza, but they were packed with people and I didn’t want to wait. So I left and went to Weinerschnitzel to get some chili cheese dogs. I drove onto the NBC lot, parked my Torino and rolled down the windows. The warm Southern California air blew into my vintage car as I ate chili dogs. I turned on my i-Pod and listened to some amazing 70’s tunes. I was having, what I like to call…a “moment.” One of those moments I’ll always remember for the rest of my life. Where life couldn’t be more perfect! We taped the show, and then I headed over to the Burbank Marriott to pick up my pal Mike. He brought out boxes and boxes of more toys for my party, and then we headed over to Bodie’s so Mike could check out Bodie’s work. Bodie installed the “battery helper” (a little device on my battery terminals that can be plugged directly into a wall outlet, so I can run my stereo for hours and it won’t deplete the battery!) for this Saturday night’s Trunk or Treat at my church. But it was getting late. I took Mike back to his room so he could prepare for the Playboy Halloween Party at the Playboy Mansion. I got home and started loading up the sizable trunk in my Gran Torino with stuff I’d need the following day for all the Halloween festivities. My pal Brittney came over and got ready for a Halloween party she was going to, while I worked on selecting the perfect 70’s tunes for my i-Pod to play during the Trunk or Treat. I loaded up my old i-Pod and it took me several hours. Luckily I took the i-Pod down to my car and plugged it in to try it out. NO GO! My stereo in my Torino didn’t like the ancient technology of my old i-Pod. So I went inside and got my newer i-Pod and did it all over again. Several hours later, I tested it in the car and it worked perfectly. Whew! Right about then Mike and Sara called and said they were on their way back from the party. We met at DuPar’s and had a late-night meal and I heard all their stories. It was the first time at the mansion for both of them. They had an absolute blast! We were joined by my pal Alex and her friend Allie who were both at the Playboy party that night.

Saturday the 29th – BOORAY FOR HOLLYWEIRD! – Last Halloween I didn’t do anything. Nothing appealed to me. This year I really wanted to commemorate the holiday. I knew I didn’t want to go to the Playboy party again, and I didn’t want to go to some bar with thumpety-thump music and a bunch of drunk posers. So I decided to throw my own bash with all of the stuff I like. 70’s and 80’s music, with some monster songs sprinkled in, my kind of food (pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs) and 150 of my closest friends! I rented the social hall at my church which holds about that many people, and started planning. Earlier that evening the church was having a Trunk or Treat, where kids come in costume and go up to a bunch of parked cars with their trunks decorated for Halloween, and they get candy and novelties. I would take the Gran Torino there, blaring 70’s tunes, and my buddy James and I would dress as Starsky and Hutch give out novelties courtesy of Mike and Windy City Novelties. Mike had donated about a thousand dollars worth of glow necklaces, glow sticks, rubber teeth, wax lips, fangs and blinking and flashing novelties. What a swell guy! I got up around 11 and met with Sara who was going to stay at my house with the maids while I ran off to the church to start decorating. Entertainment Contractor was already there at the social hall turning the stage into a realistic looking graveyard! COMPLETE WITH DIRT! Mike, Edi and Amanda all came by and helped load stuff into the social hall. By about 2pm I bought everyone lunch. Everybody was working so hard, including Karl Klein who was acting as facilities manager. We got the tables all set up and the area roped off for the novelties. When we had gotten it all set, I headed back home around 4pm to get ready. Scott and Vickie Sebring were there doing their make-up and costuming in the Chaney Room, along with Amanda. I printed up some needed signage and hit the shower. As I was getting my costumes ready and heading out the door, I got a very sad phone call from the family of a dear friend. My pal is 87 and has been battling cancer for about a year. But it was taking its toll and they called to say he probably wouldn’t make it much longer. They put him on the speaker phone and I got to tell him how much being his friend meant to me and how much I loved him. I could hear his barely audible voice saying something back to me, and his wife said that he enjoyed being my friend as well. I broke down and spoke to him as well as I could through the tears. I told him I would “see him on the other side.” I asked his wife to please keep me posted on developments and hung up. This year was really sucking in the death department. Too much death this year! I can’t take any more, and I can’t wait for this year to be over. I headed back to the church and met up with James and we got the Torino parked, plugged in, got the tunes started and went inside to change. When I came out we loaded the car with the novelties and got ready for the kids. We had a blast handing out all the stuff and the kids couldn’t believe their eyes when we showed them how the glow sticks worked! Scott, Vickie, Sara and Amanda joined us as well as soon as their make-up was ready. I met a guy named Martin who loaned me his professional badge. It helped make my Starsky costume complete. But I was floored when he told me his mom was one of the Sweet Inspirations who sang with Elvis from the late 60’s until his death in 1977. I knew EXACTLY who she was! I loved hearing his stories and told him I was going to buy him lunch to hear more about his mom. There was a little Ronald Reagan named Garrett, and even though he’s only 6 he knows all about the former President. I told him I was going to introduce him to my pal Michael Reagan, the son of President Reagan. I think Michael would be tickled to see this young man emulating his dad. The Trunk or Treat was winding down, so I went inside with Sara to change into my next costume. I hadn’t told anyone what I was going to be, so it was a secret right until the end. I decided a few months back after watching “The Big Lebowski” that I was going to be The Dude. I wouldn’t have to wear a wig and I wouldn’t have to shave my goatee. And the costume looked VERY comfortable! Sara used two cans of Streaks and Tips and lightened my hair. I threw on my “Dude” sweater, baggy pants, shoes and v-neck t-shirt, and I was ready to rock. But apparently “Lebowski” is more of a cult film than I thought. A lot of people asked when I was going to put my costume on! Eventually they figured it out. I saw lotsa great friends, many whom I hadn’t seen in years! I saw a lady who looked a lot like comedian Judy Tenuta, and it turned out to be her! I was awestruck, as I had listened to many of her comedy songs on The Dr. Demento Show! I asked her, “How did you hear about my party?” She said meekly,”From my friend Dave. I hope it’s alright.” I said, “Alright? I’m speechless! I didn’t know celebrities would be coming to my party!” I got a great picture with her. My pal Mike said he was going to come as Elvis but decided on a Musketeer instead. He said he bought about 18 jumpsuits from a friend who was retiring from doing Elvis impressions. I told him I would love to see the suit as I was in the market for one to make an robot Elvis mannequin. He said he would give it to me. I told him I was happy to buy it but he insisted it wasn’t for sale, but he WOULD give it to me. When he took the suit out of the bag I realized how funny life is. It was a replica of the exact jumpsuit I saw Elvis wear in June of 1977 at the concert in Sioux Falls, South Dakota! The Aztec Sundial costume! This was one of those “coincidences” which was too delicious! I accepted the costume graciously and it will look great on my Robo-Elvis! THANKS MIKE!
At the end of the party I gave out prizes for costumes and it looked like everyone had a really great time. Hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, veggie trays, chips, cookies, cupcakes, candy, soda, water, a rockin’ DJ…what more could anyone want? I stayed around and helped clean up, and my friends helped lug what few boxes of stuff we had left to my house. Most all the food had been eaten, the toys had been handed out, and I was glad! What food was left would be stored for the next day for folks at church. I was exhausted, but happy! Though my body was very tired, my mind was still spinning! What a day! What a night! Check out the pictures here!

Sunday the 30th – HALLOWORN OUT! – I slept until 3 and woke up with stiff back, and sore legs and arms. Obviously from all the lifting of boxes at the party. But what the heck. I walked over to evening church with Amanda, and then Sara, Amanda and I went to Ernie’s Taco House for dinner. But I was totally zoned out! My mind was Jello. After dinner I took a quick nap, then got up to do my auditions in my home studio to e-mail to my agent, then I started doing some organizing for the upcoming week.

Monday the 31st – HAPPY HALLOWEEN ALL YOU HALLOWEENERS! – It started with a hotline call from my agent telling me to get out of bed and be at NBC by 1:30 for a bit. After the bit I went to get lunch, and then headed back to NBC. We taped the show and when we wrapped I zoomed home to get ready for Paul and Misty Dini’s Halloween party at their house. Paul was one of the creators and producers of the “Batman Animated Series” in the early 90’s, and he’s one of the geniuses behind the Arkham City videogame franchise! So I put Sara in the 1966 Julie Newmar Catwoman costume, I put on my Dude costume and we headed over. We had a great time chatting with friends, old and new. Jason Marsden and his beautiful wife and beautiful baby were there. Andrew and Chris from Voice Trax West were there. It was fun chatting with all the guest and telling stories. But around 10 Sara and I started wearing out, so we called it a night and headed back to my house to decompress. Once I showered the blond Streaks & Tips out of my hair, I did some auditions and then went to bed to enjoy another classic episode of “Hawaii Five-O” while feeding my cat Spooky turkey. It was a VERY successful and fun Halloween season! I hope yours was the same!

And how was YOUR week??!!