July 15 – July 21



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

When I was growing up in South Dakota the only TV hero who could come close to Batman in my young mind was Captain 11, the local kid’s show host.  As I grew older I realized that “Captain One-One” (as he was affectionately called by his peers) was a former radio DJ turned TV weatherman who got roped into doing a local kid’s show because he drew the short straw.  Lucky for us kids, he did.  Because Captain 11 became legendary all across the upper Midwest, and he ended up being one of the longest-running kid’s show hosts in TV history. My mom found this shot of Dave Dedrick (Captain 11’s secret identity) on the web and sent it over. It shows a young DJ innocently spinning records and reading weather and news reports, completely unaware of the legend status that awaited him.  R.I.P. Dave. We miss ya.

Captain 11

When I woke up Sunday morning in San Diego I opened up the double doors to my balcony and marveled at the beautiful seaside cloud cover.  This song came to mind and I was humming it all the way home.  Sun is great, but sometimes clouds can be just as beautiful and inspirational.  Judy Collins confirms that in “Both Sides Now.”

Monday the 15th – MONDAY FUNDAY! – The ol’ faithful hotline rang at 11. My agent told me to report in to “The Tonight Show” at 1:45 to record some comedy bits. My contractor Electric Bob and his minion Ernie showed up to knock holes in The Puppet Room to fix a leak in the wall. When I used my newly remodeled shower a few days back it leaked into my kitchen below. So something hadn’t gotten sealed or tightened or caulked correctly. So they went into the pipes through the common wall between the master bath and the Puppet Room bathroom. While they worked I did some work on the computer. I got ready to leave and my assistant Sara came to sit with the guys while they finished their work, and she locked up behind them when they left. I got to NBC and did three bits, then waited around until the taping at 4pm. I went out to find my buddies Rob and Mark who were coming to the show that day as my guests. I got them seated then went back into the audio booth to rehearse the opening. During the taping I worked on Wally’s Week from the previous week. When the show wrapped I brought Rob and Mark backstage and we ran into Jay in the hallway. We all chatted a bit, and then I gave the guys a ride back to their car in my Gran Torino. I got home and finished up Wally’s Week, then walked Roxy and took a short nap. My pal Alex Zsolt came to town from Nashville, so we went over to DuPar’s with Sara to get a late dinner. I got back home and recorded several auditions in my home studio, e-mailed them to my agents, then fed and walked Roxy and I hit the hay. Busy day!

Tuesday the 16th – SASSIE’S GARDEN! – At 11am I got up to meet with Deborah the gardener. A few months ago I met her while she was doing some work on my neighbor’s flower garden. I got her card for future reference, but it wasn’t until she called me last week to follow up that I decided to do something once and for all with the ugly 3 foot square of dirt by my front steps. I have an engraved wooden sign to commemorate the passing of my collie Sassie, but I wanted something attractive to surround it. I thought maybe a Sassafrass plant would be nice, since I used to call her that all the time. But Deborah said that those plants are poisonous and probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have around. So she planted a bed of colorful flowers and other plants. While she worked I rested on the couch. She showed me the final product and it looks great! Now I just need to remember to water it! Electric Bob was supposed to come by to do some work but he never made it. I walked Roxy and then got ready for work. On the way to NBC I stopped by Plastic Depot in Burbank to see my pal Kyle. I wanted him to construct a couple of plexiglass shelves that would go on my bathroom rack. The shelves are metal and only have rods as shelf supports. The plexiglass shelves will fit nicely over them and allow me to store all kinds of stuff, without worrying that some of the smaller items will slip down between the rods and fall out. I hit the Jack In The Box drive-thru from some quick lunch, and then it was off to NBC. Before we taped the show I did a quick VO bit. After we wrapped I sped over to Vitamin Land (now called Herb Land) to get some supplements. Dr. Chen said that she could sense I was having problems with my stomach chi and my kidney chi. Not sure what that meant, exactly…but I feel fine. Next it was over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up some new bath mats, then it was back home. I fed Spooky and walked Roxy, set up my new bath mats, and grabbed a three and a half hour nap. I guess I’m resting up for the forthcoming Comic Con weekend. I’m gonna need it! I got up around 11:30pm and did 8 auditions, and sent them over to my agents so they would get them first thing in the morning. Then I fed Roxy and we went on our late-night stroll around 3am. I made an awesome salad and watched an episode of “The Saint” from the first season DVD set.

Wednesday the 17th – WEDNESDAY WONDERFULNESS! – When I awoke I did a pick-up session for Global Fitness in my home studio. I e-mailed them the tracks and then recorded a few auditions. My pal Terry came over to hook up some lights in the storage space he built. I walked Roxy and when I came back inside a bit for “TTS” was waiting for me in my inbox. I recorded that and sent it in, then I had to hightail it into the studio. Today was an early tape day so we’d be starting an hour earlier than usual. I got to work and got thrown into the voice booth immediately. I started working on a comedy bit, then got interrupted to rehearse the opening of the show, then went back to the other bit to finish it, then another writer came in with another bit. Whew! What a whirlwind, but it was fabulous! And fun! We opened the show and I went to the world-famous NBC Commissary to get a sandwich. We wrapped up the taping for the day and I headed home to walk Roxy and feed Spooky. I rested up a bit, then walked over to church for the Wednesday evening meditation service. I was all relaxed and had a very nice walk home on an absolutely beautiful night. I ordered a Pizza Hut pizza, did some bookwork, then took a dip in the pool and jacuzzi. I didn’t have any auditions tonight so I could do with my evening what I saw fit. Totally free! I went through all my bank statements and reconciled it with my checkbooks, did some more bookkeeping, and retired to watch an episode of “Hawaii Five-O” from the 11th season DVD set. The episode was about dogs! I loved it!

Thursday the 18th – PICKIN’ PAINT! – I got to sleep until noon, and I woke up to welcome Electric Bob in to Planet Wallywood. He brought about 20 paint swatches so I could pick a color for my bathroom. I wanted to stay in the gray spectrum so it would compliment the sleek black marble Bob used for my shower. He left the swatches with me and I would mull them over during the evening and have a color selected by the next morning. I walked Roxy, then drove over to Paty’s to meet my pal Alex for lunch. Alex was attending the taping so after lunch he followed me over to NBC, got parked and went into Guest Relations to get his seating assignment. I had two other guests at the taping that day. One was the fiance of my pal Loren from church. Rob and David were easy to spot, because David (who’s a basketball player) is 7 feet tall! Loren told me to be on the lookout for the tallest guy in the group. I got them seated and then went backstage to rehearse the opening, and open the show. Sir Anthony Hopkins was a guest on the show, and he looked awesome! His hair was long and silver and he looked ultra classy! When we wrapped I went out to the audience to get David, Rob and Alex and usher them backstage. They ran into Jay in the hallway and they all got photos taken. Then they came into the audio booth and got some photos in there! David could barely fit! I drove the guys back to their cars, which wasn’t all that easy. I had the Mustang again, so I had to put the top down to get David to fit. Luckily the drive was short, as I sense that David’s legs were getting cramped. And I thought it was tough being 6′ 1″! We talked about the upcoming Comic Con and David confessed that he has a Chewbacca costume that he used to wear from time to time. I begged him to dig it out, put it on and get a photo taken! Considering Peter Mayhew was 7′ 2″ at the time Star Wars was filmed, David is VERY close! I drove home and walked Roxy, then started packing for Comic Con. I made some of my world infamous Summer Sausage Spaghetti and watched another episode of “The Saint” from the Season 1 DVD set.

Friday the 19th – HEADIN’ TO COMIC CON! – Electric Bob rang my doorbell at noon and woke me up so he could do some prep for this weekend’s painting project. He’s going to paint the bathroom while I’m away at Comic Con. Because I keep such odd hours it’s best to do this kind of work while I’m out of town. I selected the color Silverberry for my bathroom. It’s a light gray with just a hint of lilac. Kind of like the color of the tights Adam West wore as Batman in 1966. My agent sent me an audition to do, so I turned it back around quickly. I walked Roxy, finished up with Electric Bob, grabbed a shower and headed off to NBC. When we finished the show I raced back home and finished up some last-minute packing for San Diego. I walked Roxy, took a short nap, and went to pick up my pal Brittney Powell who was driving with me to Comic Con. We hit the road around 8:30 and made good time. Traffic was great, which is the reason we left later. Around 9:30 we approached Oso Parkway in Mission Viejo, the location of my favorite Dairy Queen. It’s been a long-held tradition for me to stop there on the way to Comic Con and get a chili dog and banana split. I was elated that they didn’t close until 10, so we had lots of time to honor tradition! After my fun traditional dinner, we hit the road and headed to San Diego. All went well, and traffic was great, but the last 20 miles was torture. All of the liquids I had drank that evening were making me squirm uncomfortably. Should I pull off and find a gas station, or just grin and bare it until I got to the hotel? I wasn’t exactly sure where the hotel was, but I knew it was about four miles north of San Diego. Might not be too bad. So I decided to hang in. But the freeway exit signs continued with no relief! Old Town Avenue was nowhere in sight! Then…FINALLY! Old Town Avenue 2 miles! Then 1 mile. Then 3/4 mile. Then 1/2 mile. Then the off-ramp! GREAT! Brittney was sleeping in the passenger seat so I didn’t want to disturb her. But the gods of the bladder realm smiled upon me! At the corner of the 5 freeway and Old Town Avenue, stands an Arco gas station! Whew! Sweet relief! Then I casually drove a few blocks to the hotel and checked into the room. It’s a nice little hotel called the Fairfield Inn Marriott. It’s four miles away from the Comic Con chaos, and is a nice respite from the craziness. Having a room too close to the convention is always interesting. Because it’s almost non-stop insanity. But this hotel was far removed from the epicenter of con-madness, and it was very pleasant!

Saturday the 20th – SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2013! – This would be my only day to enjoy the convention, so I had a lot of ground to cover. But this was the first convention in several years that I wasn’t committed to doing any appearances or panels. I was just simply going as a fanboy. And it was nice not having any particular place to be at any particular time. We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel at 9, and then grabbed a cab to the convention center. We made it there at 10:30 and got our badges. I had seen the promotional backpack bags the con was giving out that featured a vivid color picture of Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin. But the bag they gave me wasn’t that one. Apparently they ran out! I was obsessed with getting one any way I could by the end of the day. A pal told me that he traded his bag for an Adam and Burt bag with some con-goer who couldn’t have cared less what bag he had. Maybe that would work. But the first one I approached refused the trade. These Batman bags were VERY high in demand! 1966 Batman was all the rage at this con, because Warner had just signed a deal that allowed them to license the likeness of Adam West for toys and souvenirs! So while a lot of the toys hadn’t been released for sale yet, the prototypes were everywhere! They were amazing! It was awesome for me to see it come full circle. Having been a 1966 Batman fan since I was 5, then meeting Adam West when I was 19, and then seeing the Batman image completely turn way from the 1966 feel in 1989, and then seeing the ’66 Batman totally reviled and ridiculed, and then seeing Adam West (whom I’ve always considered to be an underrated comedic genius) be embraced by the TV viewing audience thanks to “Family Guy,” and now seeing the campy vibe of the ’66 Batman completely embraced again by a new generation…it’s been an amazing ride! I bought a Batarang for my lifesize Robin figure, a ’66 Batman logo t-shirt, a Mattel con-exclusive Batusi-ing Batman figure, a 20″ ’66 Batmobile which is made to accommodate the forthcoming 6″ Batman figures, and a Wild Tiger “Top Mag” action figure from “Tiger and Bunny.” I passed by the Fox booth during the “Family Guy” signing and saw my pal Danny Smith sitting there. I shouted “Dan the Man rocks!” He waved and we shouted greetings back and forth. Producers Rich Appel and Steve Callaghan were there, as were voice actors Patrick Warburton, Mike Henary and Alex Borstein. I went to the Sideshow booth and saw what I’ve always wanted! 12″ figures of Adam and Burt as Batman and Robin wearing cloth costumes. And the accompanying Batmobile had to be at least 3 feet long! Amazing! I’m ordering them as soon as they’re available. I saw two sets of Tiger and Bunny cosplayers and chatted with them for awhile. Their costumes were terrific! My phone rang and it was a buddy telling me that they were doing bag trades at the front. They had gotten in another box of Adam and Burt backpack bags, and you could trade in the bag you had for one of those. I dashed over there as fast as I could, and not a moment too soon! I got the VERY last one! Whew! It also warmed my heart that some of the younger fans had recognized the Captain Action logo on my cap and commented on it! I told them about the CA animation demo we were working on, and that I got to be the voice of Captain Action for it! What a dream come true! Based on that response amongst the youngsters, I believe it’s truly time for a Captain Action animated series at long last! I headed back to the hotel to grab a shower and freshen up, then it was back to the Marriott Marquis for the Writer’s Guild party. Brittney’s friend Brooks invited us over to the animation writer’s party at the Bayside Room, with drinks and snacks. My ol’ pal Mark Evanier was there, so it was fun to catch up with him. Julian, another “Garfield Show” writer, was also there. As was Tom Tataranowicz, with whom I had just worked last week on the Captain Action animation demo! What fun! When the party was over Brittney and I walked over to Seaport Village so I could honor another Wally Comic Con tradition…buy some popcorn and feed the ducks in the pond. But the popcorn stand where I used to buy my huge bag of popcorn to feed the ducks was no longer there. It had been replaced by a pretzel store. They said the nearest source of popcorn was a candy store on the opposite side of the village! As we walked by the pond to see the ducks…HORROR OF HORRORS! A sign that said Please Do Not Feed The Ducks! NOOOOOO!!! To make matters worse the young gals working at the candy store were very rude when I asked for popcorn. I said, “No popcorn tonight?” Without even making eye contact she brushed past me and said “No popcorn tonight!” Excuuuuse me! I thought San Diegans were nice and pleasant, but this chickadee looked like she had a real attitude problem. Brittney immediately got into character, making fun of her sassiness and impersonating her lack-of-eye-contact as she sauntered about the store saying “No popcorn tonight,” which cracked me up!  The other girl working in the store seemed to find it amusing as well.  We went to a place in the marina called Buster’s and had a wonderful dinner overlooking the docked boats.  It was a beautiful night out and the people watching was spectacular!  After dinner we walked back to the convention center to watch the masquerade.  Another tradition is to watch the masquerade as it’s broadcast into the Sails Pavilion, while dining on nachos, popcorn, cupcakes and Diet Coke.  Strangely enough, a veggie platter is never anywhere to be found at the convention.  Oh well. We got there in time for the final half hour of the masquerade, and just in time to watch the fireworks go off over the bay.  We went over to the area they normally had sectioned off for the press, which is just out the backstage doors. That way the masquerade contestants can leave the stage and go right out to be photographed for the international media. But there wasn’t anything there this year.  Furthermore, none of the Comic Con workers knew anything about it. Or if it even existed anymore.  After much prodding, we found out it had been moved to Room 22.  But by the time we got there nothing was happening.  Just a few photographers laying around on the floor like they were waiting for something.  We went back to the auditorium and watched a Star Wars club perform an epic lightsabre battle.  But by 11pm we were draggin’ butt.  So it was back to the hotel to pass out!  What a fun day!

Sunday the 21st – COMIC CON COMES TO A CLOSE! –  It was up at 11, and checked out by noon! There was no discussion about going back to Comic Con for one final day.  We were exhausted!  14 hours on your feet will do that to you. Brittney and I figured we must’ve walked about 10-15 miles throughout the course of the day.  Traffic was pretty good, which was one of the advantages of leaving early.  The Comic Con exodus traffic can be nasty if you wait too long!  We weren’t in any hurry and just sat back and enjoyed the drive up the 5.  We stopped in Carlsbad to eat lunch at a Denny’s. Then it was back on the road again.  There were pockets of slowing, but overall it was pretty smooth. We could tell which people in which cars had been to Comic Con, and some even still had their badge lanyards on!  You could also tell because there were bags and bags of “stuff” in their backseats!  We stopped back at the Dairy Queen for another banana split, then made our way back home.  I checked out the paintjob on the bathroom and it was amazing.  The color really pops.  In fact, I’m thinking of doing an additional redesign of my bathroom and calling it The Master Bat-Room…and decorate it up with ’66 Batman stuff.  Giant POWS and WHAMS and ZAPS would be neat!  Now to figure out how to get those made so they won’t get ruined in the humid environment of a bathroom.  I took Brittney home and came back home to walk Roxy and unpack my treasures from Comic Con.  I spent some time and affixed the Batarang to Robin’s right hand using a leather needle, monofilament and a lot of ingenuity!  I grabbed a much-needed shower, and an even MORE much-needed nap.  I got up later in the evening and did a couple of auditions, and unpacked my clothes from the weekend.  I think my days of going to all four days of Comic Con may be over. Everything I wanted to accomplish was achieved in a single day, and now I’m back home again in good time petting my beloved doggie and cat.  But a long day like that is tiring…and I was feeling it in my calves, thighs and hips.  I took Roxy out for our late-night stroll through the neighborhood and it was amazing.  It was misting out, and extremely quiet.  Sunday nights are exceptionally quiet because the Hollywood night-life isn’t quite what it is during the other days of the week.  We heard nary a sound, with the exception of crickets commemorating the warm, humid conditions with their rapid chirps.  As we walked down the street I heard two noisy coyotes in the Hollywood Hills.  Their howls were creepy and haunting.  Then I remembered a TV commercial that used to play on local South Dakota TV when I was a kid that featured a coyote howling at the end. I remember it scaring me as a child.  Flashback time!  I made some Buffalo Mac and watched another episode of “Hawaii Five-O” on DVD.  What a great week!

And how was YOUR week?!!

PIX FROM THE WEEKS

AMAZING! Hot Toys unveiled their 12″ ’66 Batman and Robin figures with accompanying Batmobile! SIGN ME UP!

The 20″ Batmobile I bought from Entertainment Earth, which will accommodate the forthcoming 6″ Batman and Robin figures!


This is the famous pistol held by Sean Connery in the famous James Bond photo shoot. No one had remembered to bring Bond’s iconic Walther PPK to the session, but luckily the photographer liked to target shoot with this Walther air pistol in his spare time. He handed it to Connery, snapped the photos, and the rest is history. The pistol is now being sold at the upcoming Profiles in History auction.

When I wrote a fan letter to Jessica Lange after seeing the 1976 “King Kong,” I never imagined I’d actually see the costume she wore in the film up close and personal!


Where was this a few Halloweens ago? As I was prepping my Dude costume for Halloween back in 2011, I would have loved to have gotten an up-close look at the original costume worn by Jeff Bridges in “The Big Lebowski.”


What have we here? Barnaby and Kotetsu (Tiger and Bunny) selling wigs? You never know who you’ll run into at Comic Con!


In the Viz Media booth, a large “Tiger and Bunny” poster popped out amongst the celebrants.


Two other Tiger and Bunny cosplayers hang out in the hallway.


I just HAD to get a picture with them! Well done!


Here’s a lucky guy with one of those amazing Adam West and Burt Ward backpack bags from Warner!


My pal Scott as the Lone Ranger, his wife Vickie as a cat-nun from Dr. Who, and my pal James!

Though Mark Evanier just had arthroscopic knee surgery, he doesn’t seem to mind bouncing my pal Brittney Powell on his good knee!


My buddy David has a hard time fitting in my announce booth at “The Tonight Show!”