Archive for July, 2013

July 29 – August 4 (2013)


Photographer Vince Gonzales captured some interesting views of Planet Wallywood that even I hadn’t seen before!  Here’s an advance shot he sent me from the photo shoot he did last Thursday night…Roxy and The King of Rock!

When my computer completely screwed up the order of my photo album I had worked so hard to complete, this song came to mind.   “Everything Falls Apart” by Dog’s Eye View.  “Everything falls apart, then I get to try to put it back together again.”  Yeah, really!

Monday the 29th – MELLOW MONDAY! – I got to sleep in since there weren’t any hotline calls to wake up and record comedy bits.  I got down to NBC to meet up with my pal Christina and her family who were attending the taping that day. I got them seated, then after the show I took them backstage to show them my little base of operations.  We met at Paty’s in Toluca Lake for some dinner, then I went back home to meet up with Julio who was coming over to look at some computer issues.  I was having problems with the automatic back-up program, which is supposed to do one full back-up of my computer every 7 days, and every day it just backs up the updates.  But it kept doing full back-ups of my entire computer, so obviously my external back-up drive got filled up very quickly!  He’s going to research some other programs to see if we can achieve the desired result.  I finished up Wally’s Week for the previous week and sent it off to Scott Sebring my webmaster.  I got to take a quick dip in the pool, then came in and did some auditions.  After I e-mailed them off to my agents, I went over some scripts for a cartoon session I’d be doing the next morning.  I fed Roxy, walked her, then hit the hay to get some rest for my early session.

Tuesday the 30th – TUMULTUOUS TUESDAY! – The alarm went off at 9am sharp so I could be up and off to my cartoon session. Luckily the studio was just down the street, so my plan was to walk Roxy over to the groomer’s (which is right across the street from the studio), drop her off for a bath, and by the time I got done with my session she’d be ready.  The cartoon went very well, but because it was the first day it was a little clunky, as is normally the case with new projects.  I’m sworn to secrecy so I can’t release the project’s name yet, but it’s a character I had done for several videogames in the past, and they’re turning it into a TV series.  Doing the series is going to be a ton of fun!  A bit for “The Tonight Show” popped into my inbox, so Studiopolis let me recorded it there and e-mail it in.  Before I picked up Roxy at the groomer I went across the street and got a footlong tuna on white at Subway.  Roxy was nice and clean (and fluffy!) and we walked home to get a treat.  After I devoured my lunch I got a quick nap in before I had to be at NBC.  I got to Stage 11 and checked in, recorded a quick bit, then we taped the show.  I walked Roxy and fed Spook, and worked on the computer for a while.  My effects Jim Ojala came over to get the switch plate for my Shakespeare bust.  The Shakespeare bust (a replica of the one used in the “Batman” TV show”) normally controls the lights in my main showcase.  But the switch broke a few months back and it was difficult to replace because the switch is no longer being made, so finding a suitable replacement has proven nearly impossible.  Luckily my pal Jason at “TTS” found a decent substitute.  So Jim is redoing the switch plate to accommodate the footprint of the new switch.  Later in the evening Jason stopped by to temporarily hook the bust back up to the lights, so I could have lighting for an upcoming photo shoot at my house this Thursday.  Jason is still looking for an even more ideal switch that has the same vintage look of the original.  When Jason was finished I went into the pool for a dip.  Then I dried myself off and did some auditions in my home studio. Edi stopped over for a quick visit, then I got back on my computer and did some more work.  Just before bed I watched an episode of “Man From Atlantis” and made some spaghetti.

Wednesday the 31st – BOO TACO BELL! – My hotline rang at 1pm to inform me that a “TS” bit was waiting for me in my inbox.  I recorded the bit, but my phone lit up with all sorts of activity. My assistant Sara’s friends were coming to the show that day, but Sara got called into work so she wouldn’t be coming with them. But the tickets were under Sara’s name, so I had to make some fast calls and have the designation changed.  I also got a call from Ron Chaney who was going to come to town for a meeting with Jim Ojala and myself.  But he was driving in all the way from Palm Springs just for our meeting, so I told him we should postpone for a few weeks until he has some other things to do in L.A. so he didn’t need to make a special trip.  Whew!  Finally the bit was finished and sent, (even though the guys with the leaf blowers outside were making it “interesting”) all the phone calls were finished, and it was time to get cleaned up and head to work.  It was an absolutely beautiful day!  Sunny, cool and breezy!  I wanted to grab the bike and bicycle into work, but time was running out.  So I did the next best thing.  I hopped in the Gran Torino and sped off to Taco Bell to get lunch.  Much to my dismay and utter disappointment, Taco Bell has removed Enchiritos from their menu!  BOO TACO BELL!  They said their new Smothered Burrito was just as good, so I ordered one.  But it’s just too much food.  But the worst thing was…when I opened the bag..NO NAPKINS!  BOO AGAIN, TACO BELL!  Heading up to a stop light I hit the brakes just a little to hard, and the sack of food slid down a cardboard envelope I had on the floor of the passenger side, and it hit the floor! Just like it was sliding down a slide.  Luckily the lid came off, but the burrito stayed inside the dish!  Whew!  Thank God the cardboard envelope was there, otherwise it would have splattered all over my carpet!  I pulled over to gather up my lunch and head into work.  But when I pulled back out on to the street, I forgot that my drink was sitting on the center console.  It fell between my buckets seats!  Luckily, the lid stayed on and only a few drops escaped.  As my friend Officer Mark says, “Check your head!”  So I checked my head, gathered my faculties, and went on into work.  But when I got to work the most amazing thing happened…things I like to call “A Moment.”  I was eating my food, listening to Elvis Radio on my Sirius XM satellite radio.  I heard Elvis sing “Guitar Man.”  The display read “NBC TV Trouble/Guitar Man!”  It struck me…the soundstage where that legendary show was taped was about 100 yards from where I was sitting!  Isn’t life rich?!  It was an exceptional day, as the breeze blew through my car I continued eating.  I went inside and recorded a bit, and then opened “The Tonight Show.”  I came home after we wrapped and walked Roxy.  I worked on my computer all evening organizing my photo albums.  I did some auditions, then fed and walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood.  I made an awesome salad and watched another episode of “Man From Atlantis.”

Thursday the 1st – PHOTO SHOOT! – Shortly after 11 I was awakened by my hotline with orders to be into “TTS” at 1:30 to record some comedy.  I got up, walked Roxy, got showered and headed in to do the bits.  Four of them, to be exact.  I had a few hours before I was due back to open the show, so I drove the Torino over to Wendy’s to get some lunch.  On the way back to NBC I stopped at It’s a Wrap, but there wasn’t anything there that caught my eye, so I went back to the studio.  I timed it just right, because as I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw my friends Donna and Vince walking into the stage to get their seats.  I grabbed the PA mic in my car and called to them.  Donna Grillo is the animation Casting Director who cast me in my very first TV animation job.  It was a show called “Frank ‘n’ Olly” for Nickelodeon.  Her husband Vince is an accomplished photographer who wanted to shoot some pics in Planet Wallywood for his photography blog.  I brought them backstage and showed them around, Vince got a couple of pics of me in the voice booth, and went headed over to my house to get things set up. Donna and Vince played with Roxy and Spook for awhile, he got the lighting all set up, and then we went to The Counter to grab some burgers for dinner.   When we got back we had a great time taking wacky shots.  They took off, then I did some auditions to send to my agents.  I did some work around the house, scanned some checks for deposit, and tried to find my lost pool key!  But as I was listening to the clothes in my dryer I noticed a metallic thumping sound. Sure enough…my lost pool key…rattling around in the dryer!  I had a bowl of cereal and hit the hay.

Friday the 2nd – IMPARTED ART! – The  hotline I had installed in my bedroom is worth every penny!  It rang at 11, and my agent let me know there were two “TS” bits in my inbox to be recorded.  I recorded them, sent them in, and then headed to Voice Trax West to record some more stuff for US Airways. I hadn’t recorded anything for their interactive phone system in quite awhile, and this information was all about the merger between American and US.  I got some spaghetti at Cafe Aldente downstairs, stopped next door at the bank to deposit some checks, then headed home to meet up with Sara.  She was there waiting for the maids to come clean Planet Wallywood.  I sped off to work to tape the show.  Remember last week when I told you about the painting I rescued from a prop and set dressing sale in Burbank?  It was a painting done of David Selby (Quentin Collins from “Dark Shadows”) and was for a show called “Raising the Bar” back in 2007.  I bought the painting with the intent of giving it to David as a gift. If he didn’t care to have it, I figured I’d give it to my pal Jim Pierson who runs the “Dark Shadows” annual festival.  He could put it in the charity auction and probably make some great cash from it from some David Selby fan.  I had it worked out with Jim to bring David by the “TS” set so I could give it to him.  Just as we wrapped the show, I went out into the hallway and met up with David and Jim.  David seemed unaware of why he was there, but I told him I had a big surprise.  I showed him the painting and he laughed a hearty laugh!  Then he told me the story of the mystery painting.  When the producers of “Raising the Bar” were trying to convince David to take the role in the show, they said that his portrait would be painted as part of the show, and it would be lovely.  David said he did the show but never did see the painting. He never even knew it existed.  Funny!  Not only did they not give him the painting after the show wrapped, but they never even showed it to him!  He expressed deep thanks for it and said he’d love to have it.  In fact, he devised a funny story to tell his wife when he got home. He was going to tell her that he paid $20,000 to have his portrait painted and watch his wife’s shocked reaction. Beautiful! It was fun having them to the set, and even better watching David’s reaction to the painting.  Jim left me with some valuable “Dark Shadows” books and a 2013 calendar.  I also had David sign my Blu Ray of “Night of Dark Shadows” before he left.  When David left, my pal Patrick Smith (the audio mixer for “TTS”) said…”That guy looked really familiar.”  I told him David had been in a million things. But when I said “Falcon Crest” Patrick said, “YES!”  What fun!  I drove over to Bob’s Big Boy to do a drive-through in the Gran Torino.  Fridays are Hot Rod days at Bob’s, so it’s fun to drive through and take a look at all the beautiful cars.  Then I went to my box to get some packages, went to Radio Shack to pick up another digital voice recorder, for my family stories I’m recording for posterity, and then went to KFC to get some chicken littles.  The gal at the drive-thru window told me the lady in the car behind me wanted my car.  I told her she’d have to get in line…EVERYBODY wants my car!  I drove home slowly enjoying the day. To say it was a beautiful day would have been an understatement. To say it was a stunning day would still be an understatement!  I got home and fed Spook, did work on the computer for awhile, walked Roxy, then took a short nap.  I got up late in the evening to do more work around the house and prep for Saturday night’s movie night.  I had been working on my computer organizing photos in a certain way to burn a really great slideshow on to DVD.  I have about 2100 photos in this file. I got them in the perfect order, and got ready to rename them so they were all consistently named in the slideshow.  But then something weird happened.  The computer changed the order of most of the photos. It sometimes had two files named the exact same thing. For example, I had to Wingert (25).jpg files….and they were different images! I didn’t even think that was possible! RATS!  Stupid computer!  It also took previous versions of the photos, before I had cropped and color corrected them, and renamed them too.  But I had deleted those a long time ago!  What gives? Now I have to sort through all of the photos and try to get them back in the same order, throwing out the older versions and renaming them all over again. When I got them in the order I wanted them I should have copied them over to a flash drive for back-up, but I didn’t. I wish I would have, as it would have been much easier to wipe the newly renamed mess, and try it again with the backed-up set.  Oh well. Lesson learned. Boy you just can’t trust those stupid computers!  Feeling discouraged, I shut off the computer and made some chili dogs on the grill outside. (Who makes chili dogs on the grill at 5am?!)  Then I went upstairs to eat and watch another episode of “The Saint” from the season 1 DVD set.  STUPID COMPUTERS!  Why would it do such a thing?!

Saturday the 3rd – THANKS LARRY! – By the time 2pm rolled around, I rolled out of bed to walk Roxy. I made some calls to see if anyone wanted to meet for lunch, but I got no answers.  So I laid down on the couch and slept some more.  Jim Ojala came over to hook up the big rock speaker to my Beetlejuice figure.  No, it’s not a speaker that specializes in rock music, it’s literally shaped like a rock.  Jim and I took the voice chip out of a talking Beetlejuice figure, and put it in the lifesize figure.  A hidden switch in his left coat sleeve triggers the chip.  Before, you could just barely hear it because it was a very small speaker hidden underneath two layers of clothes. So I bought a speaker that looks like a granite rock, had Jim run a wire from the switch in the sleeve to the voice chip in his chest, then down the inside of Beetlejuice’s costume, down the back of his boot, into the artificial turf on the base, and back up through the turf to connect to the speaker. NOW IT’S VERY LOUD AND CAN BE HEARD VERY EASILY!  Brilliant!  Jim also brought over the new switch plate for the Shakespeare bust, ground out the hole to fit the switch, and installed it.  Perfect!  My pal Larry brought his daughter Kathy and a friend of her’s over so they could get a swim in before the movies started.  As Larry and I talked, he said he wanted to get a boy mannequin to display one of his old vintage Halloween costumes he had as a kid. I thought that was a cool idea, so I started looking on eBay and found some great stuff!  First off, I found a vintage 1964 Mickey Mouse costume, exactly like one I had when I was about 6. I also found a really cool, vintage-looking boy mannequin that had the perfect physicality for the display.  I dug out an old photo of me as Mickey one Halloween so I could try to replicate it in person. And I had the perfect space for it in the Chaney Room…right smack dab between The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, and the Phantom Of The Opera!  We watched a vintage Popeye cartoon, then an episode of “The Muppet Show” and just before we watched the newly released “The Jerk” on Blu Ray, Larry and the young ladies departed.  “The Jerk” is still just as funny as it always was!  When my guests left, I hit eBay and bought all the elements I would need for a cool Halloween display, including a pair of little white gloves!  I retired to watch another episode of “The Saint” and made soup and a sandwich. YUM!

Sunday the 4th – TO STEAL A DINOSAUR! – As is typical with Sunday afternoons, I didn’t wake up until 4pm. I had plenty of time to walk Roxy, feed Spook, goof around with the photo folder my computer screwed up so royally, and snack.  Roxy and I walked over to evening church, where we were eventually joined by Edi and her daughter Ems (and their dog Bunny), and my pal Emily.  After the service was over and the chairs were put away, the doggies had fun running around the social hall and getting leftover scraps of bread.  We got back to my house, stashed the tired doggies, and we took the Torino over to Denny’s for dinner.  Then I went home and grabbed a short nap on the couch.  When I woke up around midnight I was wondering where my cell phone was. I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Perhaps it had fallen on to the floor of the Torino when I was switching cars.  I searched the Mustang…nothing. I walked over to my auxiliary garage and searched the Torino…nothing!  I searched all over the house…NOTHING!  I called my cell phone from my landline in hopes that I would hear it ringing somewhere. NOTHING!  In fact, there wasn’t even any ringing.  It went straight to voicemail, which means the phone is off.  How did it get turned off? I didn’t turn it off. The last time I remember using it was to answer a text while sitting at the table at Denny’s!  Maybe it was still there! I called my pal Joemel the server (they know me well at the local Denny’s) and asked if anyone had turned in a cell phone.  He didn’t find anything there. Remembering the best advice I ever got from my father, I decided to drive over to Denny’s and double check.  He always used to tell me, “You’ve gotta double check everybody. Then double check them again!”  But my trip to Denny’s was fruitless.  They pulled up the seat in the booth where I was sitting, checked their office…NOTHING! I told him if it had just simply been lost, it would have rang four times and then kicked into voicemail. But somebody had obviously found it, and kept it for themselves…after they powered it down, of course. But my phone was an old Casio flip-phone. Who would want that? For what purpose?  I sent a mass e-mail to my friends and agents telling them I’d be without a cell phone for the first part of Monday. RAT!  Of all the rotten luck!  Couldn’t the finder of the phone just have turned it in like a considerate human being? I guess that’s too much to hope for in this day and age.   I called Verizon to have the service shut off (so I wouldn’t be billed for calls to Russia, or Indonesia, or India or the Antarctic!), but their service line said they don’t take calls until 6am!  It was only 4am!  That left 2 whole hours for somebody to make international calls on my dime.  So I got on-line, signed up for on-line account management, and shut off the service myself.  Until I get another phone, it’s best left dead.  Obviously I didn’t sleep very well, knowing that I’d have to be up early on Monday to go get a new phone. Aye carumba!

And how was YOUR week??!!


Here’s the vintage Mickey Mouse Halloween costume I bought on eBay.

I also picked up a vintage-looking Trick or Treat bag

I hope the little kid mannequin doesn’t look quite this creepy when it shows up at my house. But then again, it might be kind of cool if it did!

This is me dressed as Mickey Mouse around 1967. The addition of the white gloves was my idea. After all, Mickey had them, why not me?

What a moment! Seeing this readout on the display of my Sirius XM satellite radio as I sat in the NBC parking lot munching my lunch, knowing that I was literally mere yards away from where it was recorded!

This is the rescued painting of David Selby I gave to David himself! Nice collectible piece!