Archive for November, 2011

November 28 – December 4 (2011)



The Christmas season is upon us! When I was eating with friends last Friday evening in Toluca Lake, a Barbershop Quartet came into the restaurant and sang several Christmas tunes. The first one they sang was one of my favorites… “The Man With the Bag.” Though I don’t have the quartet version of it, I do love Vonda Shepherd’s version!

Monday the 28th – SLEPT OUT! – I woke up at 10am and couldn’t get back to sleep. After sleeping all weekend with what I now believe was a case of the 24 hour stomach flu, I was slept out! I was ready to get out and do something fun! I hopped into my Gran Torino and sped off to my pal Bodie’s shop to get my satellite radio installed. I left my car there and Russ, one of the PAs at “The Tonight Show,” came over to give me a ride to the taping. I had to be in early to record some voice-over bits, then I hung out around the studio until it was time for the show. After the show Russ gave me a ride back to Bodie’s and I picked up my car. I got a few free sat channels to start, and I was quickly addicted to the ALL ELVIS channel! WOW! I’ve always said that if I ever got tired of Hollywood and the rat race, I would buy 6 really good Elvis suits and tour the country as an Elvis impersonator. But now I have an even better idea! If I ever get sick of all the Hollywood hoo-ha, I’ll move to Memphis, and get a job with Sirius XM as a DJ on the all Elvis channel! I drove home listening to great stories about Elvis. Then I fed my cat Spooky and took a short nap. When I got up I did my auditions in my home studio and e-mailed them to my agents, and did some work around the house. It seems like there’s always something to clean or dust or move around. My assistant Sara came by, she got some food at DuPar’s to go, and we watched a Wonder Woman 2-parter from the first season DVD set. Debra Winger’s first acting job was as Wonder Woman’s sister Dru. It was interesting to see an Academy Award winner in the early stages of her career.

Tuesday the 29th – MORE SLEEP ISSUES! – When I got to bed early Tuesday morning I only slept one hour, then I woke up. I couldn’t get back to sleep at it was 5am! I had to be up for a gig at 10! I was restless, I had a headache and I tossed and turned. I played with Spook, who was up on the bed wanting to cuddle. I pondered life for awhile, and kept watching the clock. Soon it was 6am. Then 7am. Then 8am. Then 9am. I managed to get about 10 minutes more of sleep and then got up for my gig at 10. I hopped in the Torino and drove to Hollywood to Patches recording studios. I did a gig for Hallmark. I realized I had left my cell phone at home, so I headed back home to get it and check e-mail. I got back into the Torino and shot over to the Coral Cafe in Burbank to meet my friend Esme Bianco for lunch. While there I ran into my friends Brad and Marci, who manage celebrity talent for autograph shows. They saw the Torino in the parking lot and wondered if it was mine. While we were chatting, the overhead music system in the restaurant played Andy Williams’ “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year!” It’s a personal tradition that my Christmas season isn’t really official until I hear that song. Well, it got started early this year! I took Esme over to Studiopolis to meet with Jamie Simone and the staff just before I started doing my “Bleach” session. I headed in early to NBC for some “TTS” bits, but I was still feeling a bit “wobbly” from my weekend of illness. I e-mailed my doctor, Dr. Stephen Patt: the Rock and Roll Doc! (He’s also a great guitarist in addition to being a swell doc!) He said that I was probably still a bit dehydrated so I should drink a bunch of Gatorade. I also started finding out that the stomach flu bug was making its way around “TTS” staff! Several members said they also had stomach flu over the weekend! So to get my electrolytes back up, I went to the NBC commissary and got a couple of Gatorades. I’ll get some more on the way home. I got my mail at my mailbox on the way home, and my packages included my new Jack Lord mannequin. Because of the lifts put in Jack’s custom made boots, it made the mannequin about 4 inches taller than the rest of my mannequin displays. So I had to buy another one that was headless so it wouldn’t look out of place. I stopped to buy some apples and got some Gatorade, then I went to CVS to pick up a prescription my doctor had called in for me to help with any residual nausea. I got home, took a pill and drank some Gatorade. Then I laid down for a nap. One of the side effects of the nausea pills was that it could make me tired. I woke up, did my auditions and then put my Jack Lord mannequin together. The costume fit it perfectly! I watched another episode of “Wonder Woman” and had some dinner in bed with Spook, who likes to eat turkey during our “TV time.”

Wednesday the 30th – L.A. – THE NEW WINDY CITY! – It felt good to sleep late. I got up for “TTS” and headed on in. When I got back my pal and contractor Terry was on his way over. So until he got there I figured I’d take a little snooze on the couch. It took him 2 hours to get to my house. The wind was kicking up and it was getting fairly treacherous on the freeways. He and I had a great late dinner at the Counter in Studio City, then we went home to start doing some measuring for new projects. I needed him to make a custom platform for the Jack Lord mannequin since the lifts in the boots were making the mannequin lean forward. So Terry needed to install some leveling devices to keep the mannequin straight. He’s also going to build a new platform for my Robo-Elvis. Just as Terry was leaving, the power went out at 11:30pm. We figured it was because of all the wind. Terry took off for home and I dug out the flashlights. I figured it would only be out for a little while, but it went on and on. An hour, two hours…etc. The power didn’t come back on until 2:50am! Later I found out I was lucky! Some Southern California residents are still without power as I write this!

Thursday the 1st – PRESIDENT REAGAN’S SON IS LOOKING FOR YOU! – I got up early and headed off to Warner Brothers to do a quick videogame session. I loved pulling on to the famous lot in the Gran Tornio. Everybody seemed to love it! I don’t think I can tell you what videogame I was doing voices for, but if you think real hard you’ll figure it out, so it really won’t be much of a Riddle. When the session was over my assistant Sara texted me that she was back with my Hawaii Five-O badge from the company who was going to polish and restore it. My pal James at Warner met up with Sara and I for lunch and we checked out the badge. It looked fabulous! Like new! Hard to believe it was over 35 years old! We had a great lunch at the Warner commissary. “TTS” texted me to see if I could come in early for a few bits, so I left Warner after lunch and headed to NBC. I finished the bits and hung out for awhile before the taping started. One of the security guards told me that Michael Reagan was asking about me. Then my old pal Jim Wise came in to tell me Michael was looking for me. Jim and I used to work in the same building and for the same network where Michael had his radio show. Governor Rick Perry was a guest on the show, and Michael was in his entourage. So after Jay’s monologue was over I went into the hall and found Michael. I hadn’t seen him since my birthday party last May. We got to chat for awhile and catch up. It was great seeing him again, and he’s a swell guy. After the show I came home to grab a quick nap. Then I met with a gal who is renting me her spare parking spot where I’m going to park the Torino when it’s not used. The spot I had been using was going to be used again by some new tenants. Monica’s delightful and we chatted for awhile. Then I worked around the house and recorded my auditions in my home studio.

Friday the 2nd – FESTIVE FRIDAY! – I got a hotline call on my bedroom hotline from my agent telling me that a “TTS” bit was waiting in my inbox for me to record. I got up, recorded it and then went back to bed. I got another hotline call from my agent telling me that the bit had been rewritten and I needed to re-do it. After I did I started in on some work around the house, preparing some art to take to the framer, scanning some checks for a bank deposit, etc. I drove over to Fast Frame and started planning the layout for my Hawaii Five-O badge and ID card set. I got a call to be in to NBC early for a “TTS” bit. We taped the show and I headed off to the bank to make a deposit. Then I hit It’s a Wrap and bought a few cool shirts. I got home and showered for a big dinner party at Mo’s in Toluca Lake. My pal Mike from Chicago was in town for an auction, so we met up with a bunch of great people for dinner. On my way over there Riverside Drive was packed with people and festive decorations. It seemed like the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce was having it’s Christmas celebration, so parking was going to be tough! But we made it alright. Mike was there, and so was my pal Alex, her mom Penny, my pals Brittney Powell, Edi, my assistant Sara, and Chuck and Betty McCann. What a great time we had! A barbershop quartet came into the restaurant and sang a few Christmas carols and we all loved it! Then a magician named Lou came to our table to do some close-up magic and we were all blown away! After dinner I went home to relax and start the weekend.

Saturday the 3rd – SLEEPING SATURDAY AWAY! – I got up to give Spook to Sara so she could go get his claws trimmed. He was starting to get hung up on stuff because his claws were getting to long. Normally when Sara comes over Spook comes out to greet her. But I don’t know how he knew, but when she showed up he took off and hid under the bed! It took us awhile to get him out! HOW DID HE KNOW??!! Strange! I had a computer tech come by later in the afternoon to look into some of the computer issues I’ve been having, and then I started getting ready for movie night. We were starting with the Christmas specials. We watched the Johnny Cash Christmas Special from 1976, which was terrific and kitschy. Then we watched the John Denver and The Muppets Christmas special from 1979. But the one that really took the cake was the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Ok, if you haven’t ever seen it, count yourself lucky. If you have seen it all the way through, consider yourself a brave soul. George Lucas once was quoted as saying that he wishes he could personally find every bootleg copy of that show and destroy them with a sledgehammer. If Mr. Lucas would like to come to my house, I would be happy to help him with that. It’s just amazing to me that something as important as the modern-day mythology known as “Star Wars” would have such a big hiccup as this holiday special. It would be like seeing Pamela Anderson go to the bathroom. Seeing an ugly side to an otherwise beautiful legend. It seemed like it was a really great 22 minute script that some network nitwit stretched into a two hour special. Not only was it based on the least verbal Star Wars character (Chewbacca) but it was unnecessarily long. But my brave friends soldiered through the process and we had lots of great stories to tell. I actually feel sorry for everyone who was involved in this production, but afterwards I definitely could smell network executive interference. So I don’t think the Star Wars group was entirely to blame. But it was a fun night filled with fun and laughs, and that’s the point. Later that night I grilled some hot dogs and Sara and I watched another episode of Wonder Woman.

Sunday the 4th – COOL BUT SUNNY SUNDAY! – I got up midday and had Sara go get some milk. I was craving cereal. Once I had a couple bowls of corn pops I went back to bed to get some more sleep. I got up in time for evening church. Then my pals Amanda, Sara and I went to Panera to get dinner. Then I grabbed a nap (Sundays are my lazy days) and when I got up I recorded a bunch of auditions, and continued to get some things done around the house. A nice, relaxing Southern California winter day!

And how was YOUR week??!!!