Archive for May 13th, 2013

May 13 – May 19 (2013)



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

I was sent this by e-mail this week and it gave me a lump in my throat. Absolutely beautiful.

I’ve known about this song since I worked at 94.7 The Wave back in the 80’s, and every once in awhile it’ll pop up in my brain. It’s a terrific song from one of the many team-ups between Jon Anderson of Yes, and Vangelis.“I’ll Find My Way Home” will find its way into your ear!

 

Monday the 13th – SING FOR THE ROSES! – Just before going to bed the night before, I noticed that my computer had been hijacked by one of those ransomware viruses. RATS! Luckily my computer guy Sean had set me up with some awesome malware and anti-virus programs recently. So I shut off the modem, thus severing the connection between the bug in my computer and the offending website. I restarted my computer a few times until I was able to get back to my desktop and start full scans. When I woke up the two programs had found the bug and squashed it. I was back in business! I headed out the door for an audition at World Wide Wadio in Hollywood. I got to see my old pal Jeff Howell, whom I hadn’t seen in awhile, and we compared notes about the things we love about Palm Springs. Back in about 1999, the Museum of Radio and TV were doing an Andy Kaufman exhibit in advance of the release of “Man On The Moon.” Jeff remembered that I did all of Andy’s characters, and he called my agent and cast me on the spot for the commercial promoting the exhibit. In the radio commercial, I played a guy sitting at the table with his wife. As he’s reading the newspaper he comes upon an ad for the exhibit. He immediately goes into many of Andy’s characters…Foreign Man, Tony Clifton, the Wrestler, Uncle Andy, etc. It was a fun spot to do! After the audition for Jeff, I got a call to record a bit for “The Tonight Show” at NBC, so I sped to Burbank. But first I stopped at the Arby’s drive-thru for some quick lunch. On the way to the studio, I stopped at a little flower shop at Barham and Cahuenga to get some flowers for the gal at “TTS” who got me tickets to see Tom Jones the night before. The guy behind the counter asked if I was a singer. I said I was, in addition to voice-over work. He said, “Sing something.” Normally, people would be put on the spot by a request like that, but this is Hollywood. You’ve got to be ready for opportunity. So I ripped into some “Phantom of the Opera.” The lady in the back room came out front to listen, and she gave me a free dozen red roses, in addition to the flowers I bought for my friend at NBC. (I think they were leftover roses that didn’t sell for Mother’s Day, but who’s complaining?!) Then, since it was fresh in my head, I tore into some songs from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The guy behind the counter’s mouth was agape. “You’re overwhelming us,” he said. Then I told him what I really did for a living, and we talked a bit about “The Tonight Show.” The reaction I get from people is all the same, “Why is NBC getting rid of a guy who’s number 1?” I tell them I really can’t answer that question, since it’s above my pay grade. But I do remind them, “Remember, we’re talking about the network that canceled ‘Star Trek,’ so…” They usually laugh and nod. The guy behind the counter said, “Yep, their lack of vision is kind of legendary.” (Considering that the new “Star Trek” movie just enjoyed a $70 million opening weekend!) I headed over to NBC, recorded the comedy bit and then waited around for the show to start. Our on-set NBC photographer Paul posted a photo on the bulletin board asking if anybody could identify the guy sitting with David Letterman from the old “Late Show” days. This would have been about 1978 or 1979. I figured it was Roger Miller. The guy was wearing a top hat and playing a guitar. That would make sense. Others guessed it was Gallagher, and some guessed it was Jeff Hanna from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. But to me it still looked like Roger Miller. So I took a shot of the photo with my phone and e-mailed it to myself. I Googled the official Roger Miller website and got a contact e-mail. I soon got an answer back from Mary Miller, Roger’s widow. She said she would look the photo over and get back to me. Cool! God bless the internet! We finished up the show and I headed home. It was another hot one, around 100 degrees again, but it wasn’t all that uncomfortable actually. I stopped at my mailbox to pick up some mail, and then went home to walk Roxy and finish up Wally’s Week. I took a quick swim and a dip in the jacuzzi, then it was back inside for a nap. When I got up I put my desk back together again. I had taken it apart for cleaning last week, and to create more room in my house for movie night when Ted and Barry from “Jesus Christ Superstar” came over. When I finished I did my auditions, and then started on some paperwork. I turned on my favorite internet country station KTNN and listened to some classic country while I did paperwork. Then I hit the hay.

Tuesday the 14th – KWAN, THAT’S TOO MUCH CHEESE! – Roxy stayed in room with me overnight, and whenever that happens I never seem to get much sleep. Not only is she constantly moving around on the bed, but she’s also getting off the bed for awhile, then back on, then off. Then she woke me up early to go outside. My contractor Electric Bob sent over his electrician at noon to survey my place. I wanted to have a jacuzzi tub installed during my bathroom remodeling project. But the amount of damage he would have to inflict on my house to run the proper wiring isn’t worth it. I would have to move large quantities of my collection to make room for the crew to punch holes in walls to run wires. So I settled on a “soaking” tub instead. I headed out to Studiopolis to do another session for “Bleach,” with a quick stop at Subway for a footlong tuna on white. When we wrapped up “Bleach” I went over to It’s a Wrap and got a pair of shorts and some shoes. While there I got a call from “TTS” asking if I could come in early to record a comedy bit. Since I was only 5 minutes away it worked out perfectly. I finished the bit then waited around until the show started. It was a MUCH cooler day today, as the mini-heatwave had broken. When I got home I walked over to Rusty’s Discount Pets to pick up Roxy. Earlier in the day my assistant Sara had taken her over for a bath. It was a nice walk back home! My pal Jim Ojala came over to discuss some upgrades to Planet Wallywood. Not only is he going to repair the Shakespeare bust I have in my Batman display, but he’s going to frame the Tony Clifton prosthetic nose I recently got as a gift from Bob Zmuda. He’s also adding a voice chip to my forthcoming Beetlejuice lifesize figure. Lots going on! I went outside to take a dip in the jacuzzi under the stars, and then came back inside to grab a quick nap. I finished putting my desk completely back together (I needed Jim’s help to hold up the pen tray while I got under the desk and screwed it back into the table). Then I did an audition, fed and walked Roxy, and got ready for another episode of “The Bionic Woman” on DVD before bedtime. But as I was making some of my world-infamous “Buffalo Mac” (It’s Kraft Mac & Cheese with buffalo chicken strips and celery diced and added in) I got distracted. I was busy talking into my personal recorder and wasn’t paying attention to my culinary duties. I have a digital recorder upon which I record thoughts, feelings, stories, recollections, etc. for future generations of Wingerts. Just in case I’m no longer around to tell historical information in person to my descendants. I normally make HALF a package of Mac & Cheese, and save the other half for another day. I carefully measured out the macaroni (the box comes with exactly two cups of macaroni) and put one cup in a ziplock, and put the other cup in the boiling water. The macaroni was ready. I usually draw a line halfway down on the foil packet of cheese sauce. Then I squeeze out exactly half on the macaroni, then put the rest in the fridge for a later time. But I got talking on my digital recorded and lost track of what I was doing. I didn’t realize I put THE ENTIRE PACKET of cheese on the macaroni. I was wondering why it looked different than previous batches. And when I tasted it I knew. YIKES! It’s too cheesy! It was very rich, but it was too late in the evening to do anything else. So I managed to get through it. I remembered a funny line from a show I worked on called “Super Adventure Team” back in 1997. The wealthy creator of the team was in the midst of giving the team their assignment when he stopped abruptly and shouted off-camera to his valet, “Kwan, that’s too much cheese.” I always thought it was a funny, random line that I’ve carried with me all these years.

Wednesday the 15th – MEMORIES! FROM THE CORNERS OF MY MIND! – I wanted to bike to work, since it was a cooler day, but I got called in early to “TTS” with very short notice. While I was gone my A/V guy Mark came over to reinstall my receiver, which had just been repaired. My assistant Sara came over to sit with Mark while he did his work. Not only did he reinstall the receiver, but he also had to reprogram my Universal Remote. We had an early taping of “TTS” so I got out an hour earlier than usual. The extra time allowed me to get to the vitamin shop and pick up some supplements, and the craft store to buy some poster board. I was going to draw out the floorplan for my bathroom remodeling project, and I wanted it large enough to hang up for quick reference. I also went over to Voice Trax West to pick up a CD they made of an old DAT (digital audio tape) I had made back in the late 90’s. I was rummaging through some old cassettes back then and found a bunch of tapes from past live performances I had done. They included the Elvis act I did in my high school talent show, several Andy Kaufman routines I had done in high school, an introduction to the Elvis tribute I did on KABR-AM radio the day Elvis died, and a Laurel and Hardy retrospective I did on my home cassette recorder before my voice changed. WILD! I grabbed the CD and couldn’t wait to hear what was on it (I don’t have a DAT player, and my cassette player is dead, Jim). But first I hit the bank next door to make some deposits, then went home. My contractor Electric Bob came over to discuss the bathroom project, and we started talking about ‘recessed bathrooom shelves.’ These are bathroom shelves that actually fit INTO the walls, thus saving a lot of space. I knew they had to exist somewhere, though Bob had never heard of them. They’re a lot like medicine cabinets that sink right into the walls, but they don’t have a door on them. If you think about it, bathroom necessities aren’t very big. Hardly any of them are deeper than 3 inches or so. Shampoo, pill bottles, soap, etc. So they would fit inside these shallow shelves perfectly. You have to make sure to mount them in between the wall studs. There’s about 15″ of space between studs, and these shelves are about 14″ wide, so they’re perfect. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to see what they had, but they looked at me with a vacant look of puzzlement. So I knew I was in the wrong place. I went to Staples to look at new cabinet options for my office. The wood ones I’ve had for a long time are starting to stress. They’re just made of laminated particle board, and when I pulled out the drawer of one of them, the drawer face popped right off. Cheesy. So the new cabinets I’m looking at are black metal. They’ll last quite awhile. I just need to make sure they have four of them, because that’s how many I need to accommodate my supplies. Afterwards, I met my pal Edi and her daughter Ems for dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli. But I was preoccupied and lost in thought about my bathroom project. I got home and napped for a bit, then got up for several auditions. I spent the rest of the night looking on-line for recessed bathroom shelving, bathtub options, and drawing up my bathroom floorplan. I had a bowl of cereal and hit the hay.

Thursday the 16th – IT’S CHROOOOME! – I was awakened by my hotline beeping late morning. It was the folks at “TTS” telling me I had a comedy bit in my inbox. I finished the bit and e-mailed it in. Then I got a call from Jeff Bahr, the Entertainment Editor for the Aberdeen American News (in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota) whom I had e-mailed a few days earlier about finding a good hotel room in Aberdeen for my forthcoming visit. He wanted to do an interview for an article in the paper about my work on “TTS.” But his editor J.J. wanted him to ask me about “Arkham City,” as he’s a huge Batman fan. I got another call from “TTS” to come in early to ADR a bit. When I was done with the bit I had an hour to kill, so I went over to Gun World to see what was new. I found a BEAUTIFUL Walther PP in CHROME! I had my eye on a Walther PP at Oak Tree Gun Club awhile ago, but when I went back to get it, it had been sold. I’m glad I waited. Because this one in chrome was amazing looking! I bought it immediately. I also picked up 100 rounds of .357 ammo because my supply was short in that caliber. I asked the guy behind the counter how the ammo supply was lately (there have been serious ammo shortages all over the country the past six months) and he said it was definitely getting better. Good to hear! Though they were all sold out of .22 ammo, as that’s what most people use for target shooting since it’s inexpensive. I finished up my paperwork for my background check and waiting period, and headed over to Weinerschnitzel for lunch. I get to pick up the Walther on May 26th! I got my chili cheese dogs and headed back to NBC to tape the show. My pal Mark Hamill did a cameo on the Jaywalking bit, and it was awesome. Once he pulled the hood down on his Jedi cloak to reveal himself in the bit, it was cool hearing the audience gradually figure out who it was. It seemed like there was a bit of disbelief at first, as if they were thinking, “Is it really HIM?” I e-mailed him right away and told him he had to watch the show that night, because the reaction to his appearance was awesome! After the show I headed home to regroup, and then met Electric Bob at a warehouse to pick out tile, a granite countertop, wash basin and cabinet. But on the way home I was doing the math. The work was scheduled to occur while I was in Palm Springs on vacation over Memorial Day week, which was only a week and a half away. We hadn’t even found a bathtub yet that I liked. So I was thinking a postponement might be in order. I got into the jacuzzi to ponder that prospect for awhile. Then I went inside and did auditions. I grabbed a quick nap, and then woke up to walk and feed Roxy. I hit the internet again to look for bathroom design ideas again. Then I made some beef stew and watched another episode of “The Bionic Woman” before bed.

Friday the 17th – MITT ROMNEY!! – After careful consideration I decided to postpone the bathroom remodeling project until the 4th of July week. There are just too many variables that unsolved as of yet. I called Electric Bob and told him we had a bit more time before we started. Bob will be back from a project he’s doing in New York, and my pal Terry will be back in good health and ready to assist. I got a hotline call to be at NBC by 1 to record a comedy bit. When I got to the studio there were two bits for me to do, and when we finished them I had some time to kill. So I headed over to the world-famous NBC Commissary to get some lunch. When I stepped outside I saw a tall, thing, dapper looking man in a white shirt and tie, with his suit coat slung over his arm. He was followed by a pretty blonde lady in a nice outfit. OMG! It’s Mitt Romney! I just froze and stared. He looked awesome. He looked relaxed, happy and excited to be there. He was checking out Jay’s crazy car that was sitting in his parking space. He walked in with our security people and I could only say to myself, “Wow! Mitt Romney!” I went inside and opened the show and sat back in the audio booth and watched the taping. We finished up and I went home to grab a quick nap before a dinner party. Edi joined me for dinner at Casa Vega with our friend Brittney, and some friends of hers, one who was celebrating his birthday. After dinner I came home to relax and start the weekend. I spent some time editing the audio files I had just received from Voice Trax West of all my old performances. Boy, it sure brought back some fond memories! One of the performances was done in Pierre, South Dakota, and I had absolutely no recollection of doing that show at all! Wild! Glad I have the recording. I went to bed and caught another episode of “The Bionic Woman” before bed.

Saturday the 18th – WELCOME TO THE (ANIME) JUNGLE! – I got up around 2, walked Roxy and went back to bed. I had wanted to do a lot of things…walk Roxy to the park, get my car washed, get lunch…but I was just too lazy. That’s what Saturdays are for I guess. I ended up sleeping until 6pm! I got up and showered to get ready for an in-store appearance at Anime Jungle in downtown L.A. to promote the newly released DVD of “Tiger and Bunny.” The traffic to the downtown area was great, and I got there in 20 minutes. I found the store and went inside. I was wearing the special “Kotetsu” hat (a hat similar to the one my character wears in the show) so they knew who I was right away. I met the staff and some of the cosplayers they had hired to assist with the event. The job the staff did of immediately transforming the store into an event center was amazing to watch! They hustled about, moving cabinets on wheels to the back of the store, covering up walls of merchandise with tarps and draperies, assembling display grates to hang banners. They really had it down to a science! It all happened so fast! The event was fantastic and I met lots of great fans who love the English dub of “Tiger and Bunny.” Everyone was so nice and complimentary of the voice actors in the show. And the event was amazing. Instead of just being a signing event, they had contests, gave out prizes, and everyone had a wonderful time. My movie night pals James and his wife Cynthia, and Josh and his brother Joe came by to check the event out as well. When the event was over we met at DuPar’s for a latenight dinner. We even saw our old pal Chuck McCann there! I came home and was getting ready for my Saturday night Saint and Salad, when I noticed something sticky in my hair. I pulled out some stuff that was dark brown. And then it started. My head started bleeding and wouldn’t stop. I took cotton balls dipped in alcohol and dabbed at it, but it only seemed to make it worse. I took dry toilet paper and dabbed at it, but it just kept bleeding. What the heck happened? Then I remembered bumping my head on the top frame of the shower door in The Puppet Room. I’m not used to using that shower, but since I have a crack in the shower in my room I’ve had to make the switch. The shower door frame in my room is a lot higher (I had it redone when I moved in back in 2000) so I’m not in the habit of having to duck when I finish my shower. That must be it! I must’ve injured it a lot worse than I thought! To make matters worse, my salad fixins in my fridge had all spoiled. So instead of Saturday night Saint and salad, I had to settle for Saturday night Saint, Spaghetti-O’s and a Sandwich. Oh well, at least I stayed consistent with the alliteration. I put a handkerchief on my “owie” and put a knit cap over it while I watched “The Saint,” hoping the bleeding would stop. I guess because the skin on your head is so thin it injures easily and deeply. I put some Neosporin on it and went to sleep.

Sunday the 19th – CANDY IS DANGEROUS! – I slept very late in the day, and when I took the handkerchief off my head the bleeding had stopped, but the hanky was filled with blood. Yikes. I put some more Neosporin on it and tried not to pick at it, even though the blood had gotten into my hair and was gross. When I showered just before church I shampooed very carefully, and all seemed good. I put some more Neosporin on it and went to church. When Roxy and I came back from the evening service, I met up with Amanda, Sara, Edi and Ems and Chris for dinner at the Coral Cafe. I noticed a guy eating alone in the booth next to us. His shirt said Viet Nam Veteran, and his cap said Viet Nam Veteran Special Forces. I asked if he was in Nam in Special Forces and he said he was. I thanked him for his service and he said I was only the third person in four years who told him that. I told him that was disgusting. I spotted his server and told her I would be paying his check. I kept engaging him in conversation and told him that yesterday was Armed Forces Day. He wasn’t aware of that. He finished his meal and went to the restroom, but the wait staff thought he was done so they cleared his table and seated somebody else there. When he returned he saw the people sitting there and I said, “I hope you were finished.” He said he was, and we invited him to sit with us. He told us amazing stories about his service in the war. He talked about his comrades who all had codenames, “Radar,” “Cookie,” etc. He said you don’t ever want to get too close to your fellow servicemen because in battle they could be gone at anytime. He said the less you know about them the better. Because when you lose them in battle it’s a little less painful. He said his name was Candy. It wasn’t quite Armed Forces Day any more, but I spent it buying dinner for a real war hero! He talked about the horrible treatment they received when they returned from the war. He had been injured after a year’s worth of service, so he was sent home with a bronze and silver star. I told him even though I was only about 10 when it was all going on I knew, even as a child, that the way they were being treated was wrong. He now works as a bodyguard in Hollywood and said he only needs his hands to protect his clients. (I’m sure they’re lethal weapons!) As he left I stood up to get my photo with him, and to make sure I had his name right I said, “So, you’re name is Candy, right?” He said, “You got a problem with that?” and he locked my arms up in one swift move as if he was going to take me down. I said, “NO! I like Candy, I like Candy!” Clearly this guy had been highly trained. We all laughed and shook hands and he was on his way. Amanda was quite moved by the stories he told and had tears in her eyes. It was quite an experience. I’m sure I’ll run into him again. But when I do, I hope it’s on friendly terms! I came home and enjoyed a dip in the jacuzzi. Then I did some work. My head injury was looking much better. That Neosporin is amazing stuff! I really do think injuries heal faster with that stuff! I prepped for a new week and hit the hay. Even though I had to be up early for a session Monday morning, I squeezed in an episode of “The Bionic Woman” before bed.

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK


Wally is introduced to the crowd at Anime Jungle in the Little Tokyo section of downtown Los Angeles.


Surrounded by several cosplay cuties, Wally seems right at home answering questions from fans about “Tiger and Bunny.”


In a verbal game of Rock-Paper (no scissors), Wally leads the crowd in a pre-game elimination process.


Wally and the judges decide which team has the best potential for victory.


Many of the fans who came for the event stayed late for a group photo.


The evening ended with posing for photos and autographs.


There’s always time for one more photo with the cosplay cuties!


The staff of Anime Jungle pose with Wally at the end of the evening to celebrate a successful event!


Two cosplayers put the finishing touches on Kotetsu’s beard.


The gang at Anime Jungle hastily transform the store into an event center!


“Tiger and Bunny” figures are lined up and await the throng of customers.


How did I spend MY Armed Forces Day this past weekend? I met Special Forces Viet Nam Vet “Candy” at the Coral Cafe purely by accident and bought his dinner!


Here’s the beautiful .32 caliber Wather PP in chrome that I purchased at Gun World.