Archive for June, 2015

June 28 – July 5



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

I saw this behind-the-scenes pic from the original “Jaws” and couldn’t resist posting it.  I thought it looked like they were hanging out together looking at cloud formations.  But I’ll include a downloadable copy for you too, so you can create your own caption.

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After completing the second season of the “Batman” TV series, and missing the presence of Frank Gorshin, I dug out an old song he recorded called “The Riddler.”  I’ve posted two versions here…one is the original 45 that was sold.  And the other version is Frank performing the show live on “The Dean Martin” show.  Frank was truly a genius!  This video makes me smile.

Monday the 29th – SUMMER IN THE CITY! – It was very VERY hot!  But I got up shortly after noon and started the day with some work on-line.  Then I recorded a few last-minute auditions and sent them to my agent.  Summer’s always a weird time in the “industry.”  Some days nothing is happening at all, and other days it’s all rush, rush, rush; last minute stuff.  I stopped by my mailbox to pick up a ton of packages. One thing that arrived from England was my replica Blue Psycho Ranger helmet.  I was the voice of the Blue Psycho Ranger on “Power Rangers” back in the late 90’s.  When I got the opportunity to buy a replica helmet of the character, I jumped at it!  It’s fabulous, and when the display is finished I’ll post a photo here.  I’ve decided to dedicate one small shelf in my house to some of the things I’ve done in my career.  I don’t want it to be overwhelming, but there will be a few things up and around.  Already on the shelf is a bust of the classic Ant Man with a gorgeous chrome helmet.  The Blue Psycho Ranger will be right next to him, once I get my custom-made plexiglass mounting made. I headed to Plastic Depot to see my pal Kyle who does all my custom plexiglass work.  I submitted the order for the helmet mount, as well as a few other little things I wanted to have made up.  A mount for my signed Robin mask, and a mount for my replica Batmobile Batphone.  Kyle will have a very busy week!  Then I headed to Staples to pick up a few items, and then it was over to Target to get some more storage bins for my underground storage unit.  While I was there I bought a great new Slave Leia action figure, a Captain America Frisbee (that looks like his shield), and a “new retro” Fisher-Price music box that was EXACTLY like the one I used to have as a kid.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I saw it on the shelf and couldn’t believe my eyes!  I wonder if my folks will remember it.  It was obviously newly made, but made to look retro.  It plays the song “The Farmer In the Dell.” I headed to Prints Charm’n to pick up some new prints for my promotional tumblers I pass out, and then I stopped by Enterprise to reserve my SUV for Comic Con week.  I got home and started working on stuff in cool, air-conditioned comfort.  I made a new display for my signed replica Batgirl cowl, and I started clearing out the top shelf in my main showcase to make room for new ’66 Batman toys to come!  It was all looking very good, but it was a lot of work!  I grabbed a quick nap and then got up for my auditions.  I walked Roxy around the neighborhood and then watched some more “Batman” on Blu Ray before bed.

Tuesday the 30th – LIKE A KID IN A TOY FACTORY! – Around 12:30 I was on the road to El Segundo and the studios of Mattel.  I had a voice-over session at 1:30 for a few TV commercials.  But I brought along my newly restored talking Popeye puppet and Herman Munster doll…made by Mattel back in about 1963.  The employees LOVED seeing them and couldn’t believe the gorgeous restoration job that had been performed on them.  It was fun talking to their archivists about all of the voice tracks that had been recorded back in the day for these dolls.  Apparently they’re still around and they’re digitizing them! I’ve just GOT to hear them!  I love this history stuff!  When the session was finished I headed over to CVS to get a prescription, and then over to Chipotle to get some lunch.  I did home to do auditions that had come in last-minute, and then did some voice tracks for the two radio stations in the Midwest that I’m the image voice for.  One was Go 96.3 in Minneapolis, and the other is KABD in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  That’s right!  I’m back on the air in Aberdeen!  Strange how things work.  I sent out my movie party invites for the 4th of July, and then I hopped into the pool and Jacuzzi to relax.  I grabbed a quick nap and then got up for some more auditions.  I watched another “Batman” episode on Blu Ray before bed. I’m almost done with the second season, and though it had a dubious start, I’m really enjoying the episodes!  Now, in addition to the heat, it’s very humid out as well.  Not like typical L.A. weather at all!

Wednesday the 1st – GIVE ME A BREAK! – I had every good intention to bicycle to my Marvel session, but the air was too thick, humid and stifling.  So I opted to hop in the Gran Torino.  I rolled all the windows down and cruised to Studiopolis.  It was a very short session so I was back on the road in no time!  I stopped at Dino’s to get a sandwich, and then went next door to Pep Boys to have my Torino’s tires looked at.  They were a little low on air, but we got ‘em all pumped back up in style!  The kid who helped me out was marveling at the car, and said his dad had one when he was a kid!  I stopped by my mailbox and my new Riddler t-shirt came in.  This is a promotional t-shirt that was given out by the videogame company at the big convention called E3.  I’m glad to have one. It’s very subtle and classy.  I came home and met up with my pal Brittney Powell who brought her doggie Massa over. Massa’s only a few months old and loves to play.  Since it had cooled down considerably, we decided to walk the doggies (Massa and Roxy) down to Studio Café for dinner.  Almost like magic…the hot humid weather just broke.  It was now cool and breezy and quite pleasant.  It was literally like it broke in an instant. Kinda weird, actually.   We had a nice dinner on the patio with the dogs.  I came back home and grabbed a nap, and then got up for auditions.  Then it was the final episode of “Batman” from the second season.  I probably won’t get to the third season for a few months yet.  In my opinion, the mid to end of the second season was some of Adam West’s best acting work.  Fantastic!

Thursday the 2nd – BURT THE ZOMBIE! – Boy did it feel good to sleep in!  I didn’t get out of bed until around 3 in the afternoon.  I got up to work on the computer, did some more voice tracks for KABD in Aberdeen, sent some e-mails, and met up with Steven from the Kenny Myers effects studio.  When I first moved to L.A. in January of 1987, I was visiting my pal Dr. Demento at KMET-FM in Hollywood.  While I was there, I noticed an ad hanging on their bulletin board about a casting call for zombies.  The movie was “Return of the Living Dead: Part 2,” the sequel to the 1985 horror/comedy.  I took note of the casting info and submitted my information.  In February of 1987 I got to work on the film as a zombie extra for four VERY cold nights in Valencia, California.  It was a great experience!  The make-up effects genius who was responsible for providing the zombies was the legendary Kenny Myers.  Entranced with the make-up work (I had never seen it up close and personal before!) I watched him in the make-up trailer making up the main actors.  I even got a few pics of him working (which was allowed back then).  The extras weren’t made up with prosthetics, they were all given these headpieces; similar to full over-the-head latex masks.  They would put black around our eyes and we’d pull the masks over our heads.  We could either have our hands made-up, or we could wear latex hands.  The first night I had my hands made up but they got VERY cold.  So the next night I opted for the latex hands.  The mask I was given had a definite resemblance to Burt Reynolds, so everyone started referring to me as Burt the Zombie.  Almost 30 years later I ran into Kenny at
“The Tonight Show” (he was there doing make-up on Harrison Ford) and I told him about the time I first saw him at work. I told him I would pay any price to have the Burt the Zombie mask. We exchanged information but I didn’t hear from him for a long time. He’s one of the busiest effects guys in the biz, so it wasn’t until I saw him at Monsterpalooza that we got a chance to talk again. He said he didn’t think the original mask was still around, but was sure the mold it came from was.  Well, he texted me a few weeks ago telling me that my replica Burt the Zombie mask was done!  He sent me a picture and it looked fabulous!  I told him to send me the invoice, but he said it was a gift; NO CHARGE!  What a cool guy!  His associate Steven brought the mask to my house and was amazed at the Planet Wallywood collection.  He said he has a good friend who’s a major Andy Kaufman fan and asked if he could bring him over some time. I told him my doors were always open to other Kaufmanites!  After Steven left I walked Roxy, talked to some of my neighbors, and then went inside to do some work on-line.  My pal Emily came over and we headed to Jersey Mike’s for dinner in the Gran Torino.  It was a gorgeous night!  I got home and jumped in the Jacuzzi for a bit, and then took a nap on the couch.  When I got up I went shopping for my 4th of July party supplies.  I didn’t have any auditions to do because the industry was shut down on the 3rd, because the 4th fell on a Saturday.  So I spent the night getting the living room dressed up for all my guests who would be coming for the 4th of July celebration and hot dog cook-out.  I put Burt the Zombie up on the new “Wally” shelf. I put the Psycho Blue helmet next to it on a temporary stand, and moved the Ant Man bust to the far left.  I switched out the Mannix coat on the Mannix-quin.  Since I have 6 jackets, I want to rotate them from time to time.  The one I put up was the one used in the final “Mannix” episode.  I put my vintage Iron Man helmet next to the new Stan Winston Iron Man bust on my video cabinet  They look good together!  I put the Michael Myers bust in the Chaney Room.  I won’t have time to reconfigure the Chaney Room tonight, so I’ll do it later.  But the living room was looking pretty darn good!  I started in on “Hawaii Five-O” season 12 (the final season) and it started with a 2 hour season premiere.  I’ve gotta be honest…the show looks pretty tired at this point.  Danno had quit the show, and it was just Jack Lord with a bunch of new actors.  I have a feeling getting through this season isn’t going to be very easy.

Friday the 3rd – PUTTERING AROUND PLANET WALLYWOOD! – Roxy was kind of dirty, so around 2 I took her to Rusty’s for a bath.  I went to my vitamin store and picked up a bunch of supplements, and then I met Sara for lunch at Paty’s.  When we finished up I stopped by Michael’s Crafts to pick up some picture frames for the reconfiguration of Planet Wallywood.  I needed to frame the photos of David Soul from the 2004 “Starsky & Hutch” movie next to the jacket I own from the film, and I also needed to frame a photo of the “exploding head Vanessa fembot” from the second Austin Powers movie, which I also own.  I climbed the ladder, hammered in the nails (no easy task when standing on the top rung of a ladder!)  I walked over to get Roxy at the groomer’s and then came home to start work on reconfiguring the Chaney Room.  I moved all the mannequins around so I could get at some of the shelving units that were cluttered with wigs, Styrofoam heads, hats, caps, masks and other stuff.  Plus they needed to be dusted BADLY!  My friend Andrea is in college taking acting and costuming, so I gave about 20 wigs to her for her collection.  She helped me go through all the stuff and little by little I got it all displayed the way I wanted it.  And now I had all this extra room to put other things. Fantastic!  We finished up and we stopped to get food at Little Toni’s and take it over to the house my friend Emily was housesitting at.  When we finished dinner I headed back to the Chaney Room to put on the final touches.  But I was exhausted!  I’m looking forward to sleeping late again tomorrow.  But I’m VERY happy with how things are looking around Planet Wallywood, and I’m ready to receive my guests for the big 4th of July celebration!  It was more “Hawaii Five-O” before bed with a small bite to eat!

Saturday the 4th – HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA (AND SPOOK!) – My cat Spooky turned 10 years old today!  At least I think he did.  When I got him on the 4th of September back in 2004 the lady at the adoption place said he was 8 weeks old.   Even though she didn’t know his exact birthdate, I counted back 8 weeks from September 4th and it was July 4th!  So I’m saying that he’s a true American pussycat…born on the 4th of July!  To commemorate his birthday I let myself sleep in until 5pm.  Then I got up and did some work around the house to prep for the big shindig.  The CBS Studios have a huge fireworks display every year and since I live so close, my friends like to come over, stand outside my garage, and watch the fireworks up close and personal.  It’s beautiful!  Since I haven’t been here in L.A. over the past three 4th of July holidays, it was fun to be back at home with friends watching the fireworks and grilling hot dogs.  Guests started to arrive at 7:30 to swim in the pool, while I got the food ready to grill.  Everyone ate their fill of hot dogs, potato chips, potato salad, water & soda, and cute little patriotic mini-cupcakes.  Being the last one to eat, I took my plate of 2 hot dogs and potato salad (along with a cool aluminum bottle of Coca Cola) out back by my garage and ate while watching amazing fireworks. What fun!  It was a perfect night for it too! After the fireworks I came back inside to give a tour of Planet Wallywood to some guests who had never been here before.  My buddy Bruce Kulick and his wife Lisa stopped in for a bit, and I got to show them my “Wizard of Oz” busts.  Lisa’s a huge “Oz” fan so she in particular really enjoyed them. Then we settled in to watch the evening’s movie…”The Flying Deuces” starring Laurel and Hardy.  Scarely anyone has ever made me laugh as long and as hard as good ol’ L&H.  It’s been that way since I was 13 and they started showing the movies on late-night TV.  Rodney Dangerfield makes me laugh like that too.  On the “Deuces” Blu Ray, the company also included a silent film from 1917 called “Lucky Dog,” which is the first film in which Stan Laurel was teamed with Oliver Hardy.  It was amazing to watch.  We also watched the TV show “This Is Your Life” from the 50’s featuring Laurel and Hardy.  After everyone left it was time to clean up.  I made my huge, traditional Saturday night salad and watched another episode of the BBC show “The Persuaders” with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis before bed.  What a fun night!

Sunday the 5th – EXXXXXXHAUSTED! – Maybe it was because I had been frantically working around the house for three straight nights to prepare for the Fourth of July shindig, but I was absolutely exhausted.  My alarm went off at 4:45pm telling me it was time to get up for evening church.  It was a nice, cool evening so the walk over with Roxy was pleasant.  But I came home right after the service and fell asleep on the couch for several hours!  I got up around 10 and did auditions, and worked on the computer creating a graphic for some handout postcards to promote the new web series “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys” at the week’s San Diego Comic Con.  Luckily my printer was able to turn them around fairly quickly!  I uploaded the files and waited to hear back on Monday morning.  I watched another “Hawaii Five-O” episode and then hit the hay for the night.

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

My buddy Larry after a refreshing swim!

My buddy Larry after a refreshing swim!

James is America'd up and ready for the fireworks!

James is America’d up and ready for the fireworks!

My pal Lisa enjoys the new "Oz" busts!

My pal Lisa enjoys the new “Oz” busts!

Three great shots of the fireworks out my backdoor, photographed by Mark Fullerton!

Three great shots of the fireworks out my backdoor, photographed by Mark Fullerton!

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