Archive for October, 2013

October 28 – November 3



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

One of the most perfect pizzas I’ve ever seen. YUM!  Absolute perfection. Thanks Pizza Hut!

This recent song from Boxer Rebellion is very, VERY haunting. It’s called “Diamonds” and I just can’t get it out of my head.  The guitar solo toward the end of the song is so ethereal in its mood and sound, that I physically put the file in my editing program and extended it several more bars.   Enjoy the Wally-extended version of “Diamonds.”

Monday the 28th – BUSY START! – It was a brand new week, and there was tons to do. I got up at noon, did some work on the computer, checked e-mails, made some phone calls, did some credit card stuff and other banking stuff, then walked Roxy and gave her a treat. I got cleaned up and dashed off to Mr. Stitch in Sherman Oaks to pick up my embroidered Tony Clifton patch for my prototype Tony Clifton bowling shirt. It turned out beautifully! I went over to see my pal Joe at Studio Copy to pick up the newly printed Andy Kaufman poster. I have a great shot that a friend e-mailed me awhile back of Andy on the “Heartbeeps” set standing next to a life-size puppet version of his Valcom character. The puppet head on the figure in the photo is the one I own in my collection. But the first poster print was attached to the backing board with the wrong kind of glue, so over time it bubbled up. I had a second one printed, but while the adhesive worked much better, the print itself was too red. So I went back into the file and color corrected everything and had it re-printed. This one looked perfect! I stopped by McDonald’s to get some drive-thru lunch, then headed over to NBC for “The Tonight Show” taping. My pal Tony O. (who manages the legendary Don Rickles) called me a few weeks ago to arrange tickets for a college class for Italian-American studies. Their professor Vince Coppola brought about 38 students to the show to study one of the most successful Italian-Americans in show business…Jay Leno! I had on my new Spider-Man hoodie, which zips all the way up into a full mask! The entire class got their pic with Jay on the stage afterwards! I walked them to their cars and suggested they go to Little Toni’s for dinner. What a great group of kids! I got home and my pal Edi came over to catch up on stuff. Then my assistant Sara dropped over and we all went to Bob’s Big Boy for dinner. We met up with our pal Brittney Powell too and had a fun dinner. I got back home, did some work and recorded a ton of auditions. Later on I had a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and hit the hay.

Tuesday the 29th – AN AMAZING KAUFMANESQUE EVENING! – Luckily I got to sleep in until 1. It felt great too! I walked Roxy then headed out to do some errands. My first stop was my seamstresses studio to get the Tony Clifton embroidered logo stitched on to the back of my bowling shirt. Karyn has a great doggie named Jack who is a bundle of energy. The studio is heavily populated with well-chewed tennis balls, and the first thing Jack wants you to do is throw the ball. But all the tennis balls are fairly soaked with doggie drool, so I created a new game…doggie soccer! I would place a ball on the floor in front of me, and Jack would crouch down and get ready for the kick. Sometimes I would wind up for a kick and fake Jack out. He LOVED it! In anticipation of the kick, his little doggie hindquarters would bounce up and down, until he figured out that I was faking. It was cracking Karyn and I up like crazy! I finished up with Karyn and headed over to NBC to record a bit. Then we taped the show. Over the next few weeks, every staff member is getting their photo taken with Jay on the “Tonight Show” set. Today was my turn. So I put on my best denim shirt and my best jeans just for the occasion. Then I went to Fast Frame to get my new Andy Kaufman “Heartbeeps” poster mounted on foam core backing board. I picked up my mail at my box, then went home to feed Spook and walk Roxy. I got an hour and a half nap on the couch before I drove down to the LAX area to meet with Andy Kaufman’s writing partner Bob Zmuda. He was on his way out of town to finish a project in Thailand. He had a few hours to meet and check out my Tony Clifton prototype bowling shirt. He loved it, and he said Tony would love it too! I also showed him the Tony Clifton pumpkin my agent Pat Brady carved for me. I gave him four yards of the printed Clifton-print fabric on heavy cotton twill so he could have a tailor in Thailand whip up a Clifton jacket. The ones Tony use now were Jim Carrey’s from “Man on the Moon” and they have faded quite badly. We had drinks in the hotel bar and talked about great Kaufman moments, and what Tony Clifton has in store for the future. What a fun night! I drove home and started recording my auditions for the night. I fed and walked Roxy just after midnight. Since Roxy and I normally do our neighborhood walks after midnight, the song “Midnight Rocks” by Al Stewart always comes to mind. But in this case it would be Midnight Rox! When I got inside I made some spaghetti and watched an episode of “Kojak” from the Season Four DVD set and hit the hay.

Wednesday the 30th – FOUR HEADS IN A PLASTIC BAG! – For the third day in a row there were no hotline calls to wake me up. It’s cyclical like that. Sometimes the writers will have a ton of stuff for me to do, and some weeks I’ll have early calls every day. But sometimes it’s very quiet, like today. I noticed that Roxy had peed on the bathroom floor again, so I thought that maybe her infection had returned. We were taping early, so I wasn’t able to get her to the vet myself. I called my assistant Sara and had her come get Roxy to take her to the vet. I wanted to get this infection over and done with. Once I got to the studio I got a salad at the world-famous NBC Commissary and we taped the show. Once we wrapped I sped over to the vet’s office to meet up with Sara and Roxy. After consulting with the doctor we had no idea why she would be peeing on the floor. Everything looked really great. Weird. Luckily, she has no stones. I got home and met up with Edi and her daughter Ems so we could pick out a Halloween costume for Edi. I figured she’d fit nicely in the 1966 Catwoman costume. And she did! Then we went over to Jerry’s Famous Deli to get some dinner and meet up with my pal Evil Wilhelm. He’s the guy who sold me the Sean Connery and Laurel and Hardy heads from the Movieland Wax Museum molds. This time he sold me the “Wizard of Oz” set of heads…Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. While I’m not going to make full figures (no available space for full figures) I AM going to do a set of lifelike busts! Effects wizard Jim Ojala is on standby to do the effects work, and my seamstress Karyn will do all of the costuming. They should be awesome! We had fun sitting around the table, munching on food and having some pre-Halloween chatter. When we finished up I took Evil over to Planet Wallywood so he could see how the figures turned out in person. I inspected the foam-filled latex “Wizard of Oz” heads Evil delivered to me in a black plastic bag. They’ll work out VERY nicely!  Then I did my auditions and settled into bed for the night.

Thursday the 31st – HAPPY HALLOWEEN! – My contractor Electric Bob came by at 11 to replace the toilet in The Puppet Room. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, it’s just not one of the newer water conservation models. He also installed an Intelliseat…an amazing toilet seat with a heating element in it, water jets and a dryer. Pretty fancy! Speaking of which, no Roxy accidents overnight, so the antibiotics must be working. She’s on a much longer regimen this time to make sure it’s gone for good. I did a quick session in my home studio for a commercial, and continued working on the computer while Electric Bob finished up. I also recorded a quick bit for “TTS,” and then got showered up. I had my assistant Sara come over to stay with Bob so I could head off to work. I had an early call at 1:30 so I headed out. When I finished the bit I drove over to Leet TV to drop off my two Mini DV camera for service (again!). One needed a cleaning, because as I was dubbing tapes to DVD I noticed a lot of video noise. The second one (the oldest DV cam I have) isn’t loading tapes correctly. I just need them to live awhile longer so I can finish dubbing all of my tapes to DVD. I hit Taco Bell for some lunch, then headed back to NBC. I was wearing my Tony Clifton bowling shirt for Halloween, and since it’s black and orange, it worked out very well! Some people in the audience were wearing Halloween costumes! It was great. I love Halloween, though when it falls on a weekday it’s a little weird. I don’t fully get in the mood. But next year it’s on a Friday so I want to do something big! We taped the show and the act 2 comedy bit was one of the best I had ever seen! Really hilarious! My VO pal Robin Atkin Downes played a character in the bit, so we chatted a bit backstage afterwards. The great Mindy Sterling also did a character on the show, and it was fun talking to her after the show. My friend Sara Jo and her mom were at the taping, so I found them and brought them backstage after the show for a tour. I was feeling mellow, so I drove home slowly keeping an eye out for any early trick-or-treaters who may be out in costume. I usually never get kids on Halloween at my door, but I always keep candy on hand just in case. I called Domino’s and ordered a pizza, then rested on the couch for a bit. Unfortunately the only time my doorbell rang the entire night was when the pizza guy showed up. No trick-or-treaters. Halloween just isn’t what it used to be. When I was a kid it was awesome, but don’t get me started on that! Perhaps someday I’ll do a podcast about how Halloween has changed over the years. After I ate the less-than-inspiring pizza (it was dry and gross…Dominos…what happened?) I went back to sleep on the couch. I got up later and did some work around the house, fed and walked Roxy, then made a salad and watched another episode of “Kojak.”

Friday the 1st – I LIKE BIKE! – Another early taping day, and I was off and running just after noon. It was an absolutely beautiful day, so I hopped on the bike and pedaled to NBC, after doing a quick bit for “TTS.”  It felt great to be on the bike again!  My assistant Sara was at the taping to see the band “Empire of the Sun.” She’s a big fan.  We finished the taping and I went out into the audience to find Sara and bring her backstage.  We walked down the hallway and the “EOTS” guys were in the music mixing room listening to the playback of their performance.  They performed very well!  Then Sara met me at Paty’s so we could grab a late lunch on the patio.  But as I was pulling up to Paty’s I realized that my left pedal was broken.  So after dinner I had Sara meet me at Metropolis, the local bike store, so I could catch a ride home.  I dropped off the bike for my annual tune-up (which was overdue anyway) and to have the pedal replaced.  I walked Roxy, fed Spook, and then hit the Jacuzzi for a nice relaxing dip.  I grabbed a fast nap on the couch, then spent the rest of the evening getting items in my collection ready for Comikaze the following day.  I also cleaned up around the house, did laundry, dishes and then made a Tombstone pizza and retired for the evening after watching an episode of “The Saint.”

Saturday the 2nd – COMIKAZE! – It was up bright and early for the gang, as my pals Mark, James, Sara, Edi and I all headed to downtown L.A. for Stan Lee’s Comikaze.  We had gone last year and had a ton of fun!  I had stuff for Bruce Campbell and “Weird Al” Yankovic to sign.  I was surprised to see John Paragon (Jambi the Genie from “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”) sitting next to Lynne Marie Stewart (Miss Yvonne on “PWP”).  He hadn’t been advertised as being a guest, so I was shocked to see him there.  I wish I had known, because I have a ton of Pee Wee stuff I could have had him sign.  The line for Bruce Campbell ran down along the side of the convention center wall, so I figured I would pass.  I’ve been trying to get him to sign my Ashley figure from “Evil Dead” for about 12 years, but his lines are always so long.  Al’s line was long too, but I figured if I had to spend valuable time waiting in a line, it would be his.  I bought a cool Ant Man t-shirt, and an all gold Giant Man figure, which was a San Diego Comic Con exclusive.  We were all starving so we walked to Hooters about a block away. But the wait there was about a half hour, so we kept walking a few more blocks to the Yard House.  It was another stunningly beautiful day.  The Tony Clifton shirt was getting some great comments. The people who “got it,”  REALLY got it.    After lunch we got back to the show and I got in Al’s line.  I hadn’t seen Al in several years, and we’ve known each other since 1984 or so.  I don’t know how exactly we got to know each other, but I’m sure it was through his drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz.  Our first meeting was after an Al concert at Valley Fair in Shakopee, Minnesota back in 1984 or 85.  It was fun catching up.  He had recently appeared at the Chiller convention in New York, and I asked him how he liked it.  He said he got to meet Larry Storch!  I told him all about the time Storch stayed at my house, and how I had taken a picture of his socks in my sink.  We had a couple of laughs and Edi and I moved on to the next event.  Bruce Campbell’s line was STILL too long, so we called it a day and headed back home.  I rested up for movie night, while Sara went to the store to get some items.  We had a full house for movie night, as it was our last Halloween-themed evening for this year.  We watched a Milton the Monster cartoon, and then watched the Claude Rains “Phantom of the Opera” on Blu Ray.  Not my favorite Phantom film, and certainly not my favorite Phantom, but it was ok.  Too much opera for my tastes, though.  It seemed like they were very short on story, so they padded out the film with opera scenes.  When my guests left I cleaned up the house, reconciled my receipts in my bank accounts, cleaned up my i-Pod (which keeps screwing up) set my clocks back an hour to get rid of that annoying Daylight Savings Time, fed and walked Roxy, and then made a Wally Super Salad and settled in for another episode of “The Saint.”

Sunday the 3rd – STAY DEEEEEMENTED! – Since I didn’t get to bed until about 9 am, I slept until 2.  I got up and let Roxy out for some bathroom issues, then went back to bed until it was time to get up for evening church.  Unlike last week, Roxy was VERY good at church and minded her manners.  On the walk home from church I was very mellow and relaxed.  It’s dark earlier now, and it’s getting pleasantly cool.  I started a fire in the fireplace, and ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut.  (I was still reeling from the gross pizza I got from Domino’s a few nights ago!) The pizza arrived and it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen!  Perfection!  I remembered that a local radio station was having a KMET tribute weekend.  In the 70’s and early 80’s, KMET was the preeminent album rock station on the FM dial in Los Angeles.  On February 14, 1987 it changed to The Wave format, playing soft rock and smooth jazz.  But during its day, KMET ruled the airwaves.  100.3 The Sound got a lot of the former KMET DJs back to do shows, including the legendary Dr. Demento!  His show started at 6, so I missed the first half because I was at church, but as I sat there eating delicious Pizza Hut pizza and listening to the old familiar comedy records I loved since I was a kid, it turned out to be a very fun evening.  I even e-mailed Al and told him I was getting a bit sentimental listening to Dr. D on the air again.  He wrote back that he felt like he was 14 again!  Indeed!  I only hope that 100.3 The Sound makes the Dr. Demento Show a regular Sunday night programming staple!  It was PURE magic!  I took a short nap on the most comfortable couch in the universe, then got up to work around the house, do my auditions, organize stuff, and prepare for a new week.  I made soup and a salad and watched an amazing 2-part “Kojak” episode called “Kojak’s Days.”  It was absolutely unbelievable!  GREAT stuff!

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Comikaze 2013 photos courtesy of Mark Fullerton!


Darth Vader and his Stormtrooper prepare to load Captain Solo to Boba Fett’s transport.


Officer Mark and Iron Man have their moment interrupted by 80’s exercise guru Richard Simmons. WTH?


It’s nice to see that Poison Ivy has been apprehended by the Black Widow!


There were tons of Riddlers there, but only a few of the female persuasion.


Riddle me this, Batman! Why would a girl this beautiful ruin her appearance with all those unsightly markings?


Riddle me this…how many Riddlers does it take to…???


My assistant Sara poses with Barf from “Spaceballs!”


A “Tiger and Bunny” fan rocks the original Tiger “Top Mag” costume!


Tiger AND Bunny join me on the convention floor! I feel MUCH safer!


“Hooters is too busy? Then it’s off to the Yard House!”


On our way to lunch, we run into sci-fi writer Pat Jankiewicz.


My favorite costume of the day…the ORIGINAL Daredevil! (By the way, that guy in the Superman suit is going to be really mad when he finds out that somebody took a magic marker and drew all over his costume!)


A pause on my paws. How can Spook look so cute even when he’s chilling?


The wonderful carving job on my Tony Clifton pumpkin, courtesy of Pat Brady.


The day before Halloween, I check into the gates of “The Tonight Show” in my secret identity!