Archive for January, 2012
January 30 – February 5 (2012)
After having “a moment” in Quizno’s this past week, there could be no other song featured here than this one…“I’ll Be Good To You” by The Brothers Johnson! Read more of Wally’s Week and you’ll get the whole story about why this song means so much.
Monday the 30th – HAPPY 77th BIRTHDAY DAD! – I got up at noon to start the day with my folks. It was my dad’s 77th birthday and we had plans to take them to “The Tonight Show.” I got a hotline call to record a bit for the show in my home studio. And shortly after I sent it in I got another call with a revised script. We were running out of time to get lunch, so on my way into NBC I called ahead to have passes for my folks waiting so they could roam on the lot with me. That way we could eat at the famous NBC Commissary! The last time I was on the NBC lot with my folks was back in 1976 when we were on a family vacation! We had salads, and then walked over to “TTS” set and got them seated for the show. Everyone was excited to meet my folks and they all had very nice things to say about working with me. Which was very nice. That’s the sort of people I work with though. After I did the show open, some writers grabbed me and pulled me into one of the editing bays and I did some more voice work for upcoming bits. After the show Jay’s Assistant Derek told me to bring my folks to the stage so they could get a picture with Jay! They were elated! What a great birthday present for my dad! I was just about to take the picture, Jay said,” Wally, why don’t you get in the picture too and have somebody else take it!” Barbara the Security Chief said she’d do it, so I jumped in the photo. We were all jazzed to be getting a shot with Jay! Jay told my folks I did a good job on the show, and I told Jay the only person with a cooler job than me was HIM! I introduced the folks to Liz Plonka the director, and she said that they’d be lost without me. I thought that was very nice of her! After the show we drove to Bodie’s so I could get my Gran Torino, which Bodie had just brought back from the Roadster Show in Pomona. Dad drove my Mustang to my house, while I drove the Torino. I changed clothes and we all went to Barone’s for dad’s birthday dinner. Dad, Mom and I were joined by my assistant Sara, Edi and her daughter Emily Grace, Alex the model and her dog lady. What fun! Then I got home and did auditions, and some more work around the house. Later Sara came over to watch 2 more episodes of “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”
Tuesday the 31st – THE FOLKS AND THE FIRST LADY! – I got another hotline call from “TTS” to do a bit in my home studio. Then they called again and asked me to come in early for a comedy bit. But First Lady Michelle Obama was on the show today, so getting through all the security would take a little longer than usual. So I dropped the folks at Paty’s restaurant on Riverside and headed on in. I told them to have lunch and I would catch up with them later. I did the bit and then headed back to Paty’s so I could get lunch too. I got a call from Edi who said she just got her doggie Bunny back from the groomer’s, so she brought her over to show my folks. We also ran into my pal Chuck McCann who just happened to be there! What are the chances?! I finished my salad and took the folks over to Guest Relations so they could get ready for the show. Since the Secret Service was on the set, I couldn’t take the folks in myself due to the heightened security. They got great seats for the show, and this is the SECOND First Lady they’ve seen in person. The first was Rosalyn Carter, whom they met with former President Jimmy Carter back in 1988 during one of their trips to L.A. We got home and I grabbed a quick nap. Then we went to Ernie’s Taco House for Mexican food for their last night in L.A. I got home and did some auditions in my home studio. Then I did some work in the garage, and then Sara came over for 2 more “Avengers” episodes.
Wednesday the 1st – MOM AND DAD’S FINAL L.A. DAY! – I got up early to take the folks to the airport in Burbank. I think they had a great trip, and we certainly covered a lot of ground! On the way home I noticed a warehouse sale that was selling outfits for women, so I went into buy a couple of red dresses for the upcoming Hollywood Collector Show in Burbank. I want to dress Edi and Sara in red dresses with a big white strip on them, so they’ll match the Gran Torino. They’ll be the Starskettes! Or the Torino-ettes. We haven’t decided yet. On the way home I got a call from Kalmenson and Kalmenson casting who coached me on an audition I would be doing from my house. I got home, did the audition and e-mailed it in, and then got to work dubbing some more DVDs of my old home movie VHS tapes. When it got to be about time to head to NBC, I hit the shower and drove in. I had to be there early to record another bit. When I was finished I drove over to Gun Kings in Glendale to have the rear sights on my new Walther PPK-S fixed. That’s the one that had been shooting left quite badly. I dropped off the gun and then headed back to NBC. After the taping I came home and saw my duck friends, who visit our complex for a period of time about this time every year. It’s always good to see them, as they’ve been visiting for the past 5 or 6 years. The same couple! I can tell because when I make a Donald Duck-ish “quack quack” sound, they come over to me. Edi and Sara came over to try on the dresses but they were too short. So, back to the drawing board (as they say). I grabbed a quick nap, then had dinner with my pal Brittney Powell at Jerry’s Famous Deli. When we finished eating I came home to do some auditions in my home studio to e-mail to my agent.
Thursday the 2nd – A ‘MOMENT!’ –In the early afternoon I went over to Carroll Casting to do an audition. It’s always fun to see Caroll Day Kimball and we had a fun chat about 70’s TV shows. On the way home I stopped at Quizno’s for a sandwich. I had, what I like to call, “a moment” while I was there. “A moment”, is when the planets align and something very special happens that makes me introspective, thankful and emotional. I was behind a guy who was ordering about 7 sandwiches. I was getting impatient, but had the process gone quicker, I never would have had my “moment.” On the overhead music they were playing a station that featured music from the 70’s and the 80’s. As I waited, I got chills when “I’ll Be Good To You” by the Brothers Johnson came on the sound system. I couldn’t help but move around to the beat while I stood in line. The song came out in 1976, and was playing on the radio as we were packing up the car in Aberdeen, South Dakota for our family trip to L.A. (the same one where my folks and sisters and I walked through the hallowed halls of NBC in Burbank.) The cover band who played for an Elvis impersonator named Johnny Spence back in 1977, also played the song as my dad and I (only 16 at the time and too young for the bar we were in!) sat waiting for the show to begin. So it’s a very special song for me. When the song was released, I was hanging out with my pal Steve Hatt in Aberdeen, dressing up like Starsky and Hutch whenever we could, dreaming of having a Gran Torino of our own, and maybe even living in Los Angeles to enjoy Hollywood and the escape from the cold South Dakota winter the warm L.A. weather would provide. Like I said, I got a bit introspective, a little emotional, and VERY thankful for how life works. My pal Steve would be here in L.A. next week to enjoy meeting Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul at the Hollywood Show in Burbank, we would drive over in my very own Gran Torino, and it was a BEAUTIFUL February day! It put me in a wonderful mood, and was a very special ‘moment!’ I got home and met up with Edi and her son Josh for an audition that he wanted to record in my home studio. Then I went to a local costume shop to see about getting some work done on the girls’ “Starskette” dresses, and then off to Studiopolis Burbank for an audition for a new animated show. After the audition I got a call from NBC to have me come in early for a bit. Since I was in the area, it only took me a few minutes to get over there. We taped the show, and then I came home to look at the red dresses that Edi and Sara had bought earlier in the day at American Apparel. But the dresses were VERY sheer! So they would either need to be lined or a slip would need to be worn underneath. But because the dresses fit so snugly, the slip idea would be difficult. We went to grab dinner at The Counter and had some delicious burgers! Then I came home to do my auditions. Sara came over for 2 more “Avengers” episodes. We only had 2 more to view after that, then we’d be done with the first season. Wow! What a great show! Hats off to Josh Fine and the rest of the crew for a job well done!
Friday the 3rd – THE OSCAR NOM AND STARSKY & HUTCH! – I got up late morning to meet with some termite guys that our association sent over to do some work in the crawl space under my house. I dubbed some DVDs of old home movies for my son Zak, and gave them to Sara to take to the post office to mail off. I did some more work around the house, straightening up certain areas and organizing stuff. I headed to NBC for the taping of “TTS” by way of Weinerschnitzel. For Christmas, one of the writers gave me a bunch of Weiner Bucks to use. I got a couple of chili cheese dogs with sauerkraut and headed to the studio. Oscar Nominated actor Jean Dujardin from “The Artist” was on the show today. I wasn’t familiar with his work, but after his segment I became his biggest fan! He’s so funny and endearing! And I really hope he wins the Oscar! He said he was inspired by many American shows when he was growing up in France. One of them he mentioned was “Starsky & Hutch!” I texted Paul Glaser to tell him that his work not only inspired myself and my friends, but also an OSCAR NOMINEE! After the show I went to It’s a Wrap to see about buying the girls some slips for their Starskette dresses. I found a couple of great candidates and bought them. I got home and met up with Sean, Hanna and Jeremy. Sean was going to do some work on my computer tonight. He’s a pal of my Torino wrangler Alex, and I met them both just before Christmas. Alex joined up later, as did my friend Edi, and we had a great dinner at DuPar’s. Chuck McCann even dropped by to entertain the gang. When I got back home I met up with my friend Bob Mitsch, and we recorded some voice tracks for his upcoming sketches at the Dr. Who convention in L.A. Then I hit the hay. I was BUSHED!
Saturday the 4th – CYCLONE SATURDAY! –WOW! What a whirlwind day! I got up to let the maids in to clean Planet Wallywood. Just after they left my seamstress Asha came mover to look at the dresses on Edi and Sara and take some notes. Edi had to go to a meeting, but Asha, Sara and I went over to see my Gran Torino, so Asha could get a clear idea of how the stripe would translate to the dress. Then we went to JoAnn’s Fabrics to get some fabric for the Starskette dresses. We needed white spandex for the stripe, and black spandex for the outline of the strip. We also got some rhinestone lettering for the names on the back of the dresses. These are going to be GREAT! I bought the girls lunch at El Pollo Loco and then we headed back to my house to meet up with Edi again. I wanted Asha to see how the stripe pattern would look on the dresses while the girls were wearing them. She took stick pins and made a rough outline on the dress where the stripe would go. Then she went on her way to begin her work. As we were having lunch, my friend Cher texted me that she needed me to shoot a short video of her naked for a Playboy audition. I read the text, shook my head and laughed and said, “I love my life!” Well, Cher came over after Sara and Asha left, but my friend Brittney called and said her parents were in town and they were in the area. She wanted to know if it was alright if they came in and said hi. I said sure, giggling inside about the timing of it all. Even though Brittney has done some work for Playboy in the past, her nice parents would obviously not take kindly to my friend Cher trouncing around in her birthday suit. I couldn’t wait to see the look on Cher’s face when she walked in and saw all those people. Ha! Luckily, by the time Cher made it, Brittney and her folks were about ready to take off for dinner. Once we were by ourselves, we set about making the video. She was in my living room where I have a lot of display items, including a 7 foot tall Sulley from Monsters, Inc. But when we saw the video playback we were laughing ourselves to tears. At one point when she walks toward the camera in her birthday suit, we froze the shot. It looked like Sulley was looking right at her with a leering face! I told her that even though Playboy may not hire her, they definitely would NOT forget her! After Cher left I got ready for movie night. Our special guest would be Stephanie Beacham, and we’d be watching her film “Dracula A.D. 1972” that she shot with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It was fun listening to her live commentary as we watched the film. Having special guests in to enlighten my friends about the filming process is something I want to do more of. It’s a great time and very educational. We also watched some of her work in an episode of “The Saint” with Roger Moore. Then we watched “Stir Crazy” on Blu Ray. My assistant Sara’s dad is a professional horseman and bull wrangler, and he did all of Gene Wilder’s bullriding stunts in the film. Now in Blu Ray, we’d be able to freeze on the high resolution image and see him in action! It was great! Then Edi, Sara and I started in on “Hawaii Five-O: Season 9” on DVD. Sara and I had just finished “Avengers” so we moved on to the next TV show. But like season 8, season 9 started out with a 2 hours season premiere! We got tired after the first hour, so we paused it and said our goodnights.
Sunday the 5th – SUPER SUNDAY SPEAKER! – I slept late, got up mid-afternoon for some Crunch Berries, then went back to bed. I got up in time for evening church, and because of the Stupid Bowl (can you tell I’m not a sports guy?) the attendance at church was less than usual. Too bad too, because we had a tremendous guest speaker. Marilyn Fiddmont gave a wonderful message that all who were in attendance will not likely soon forget. After the service I met her and her husband. Come to find out, her husband is the uncle to one of the members of The Tonight Show band! So I’m going to get them tickets to the taping on Tuesday! I biked home after the service and met up with my computer pal Sean to see why my Windows Media Player wasn’t playing audio after we had implemented some updates. While he was investigating, Bob Mitsch came over to record some pick-up lines for his Dr. Who sketches. I recorded the needed lines, then Sara came over to record her lines. Then Brittney, her folks and her son Tyson came by so we could all go to dinner. Sean got the player working again, and then we all went to dinner at Miceli’s. Because of the Stupid Bowl, it was real quiet in the restaurant. But it was kind of nice. After dinner I came home to grab a quick nap, then got up to do my auditions to e-mail to my agents. I paid some bills, and then Sara came over for part 2 of the season 9 premiere episode of “Hawaii Five-O.” It was a great one!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PICS FROM THE WEEK
Stephanie Beacham signs Wally’s Wall Of Fame in the Planet Wallywood Chaney Room after watching her work in “Dracula A.D. 1972.”
Here’s the rough design for the Starskette dresses, though the final product may differ slightly.
Here are the folks and I with Jay after the taping of “The Tonight Show” on my dad’s 77th birthday.
Here’s dad with his birthday spumoni at Barone’s!