May 21 – June 3



Because I’ve been so overwhelmed with random things; a writing project, meetings, etc. – I was remiss in doing Wally’s Week last week. So for your edification, here is Wally’s WeekS. Enjoy…

RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

There’s a debate going on among the Batfans who set up the Batman 1966 exhibit at the Hollywood Museum…what color were Adam’s eyes? I think this great photo settles the debate.
Hazel!

I ran across this photo on eBay of Andy Kaufman wearing his first Elvis suit, a costume I have in my possession. Dear lord do we miss Andy! I found a bumper sticker on eBay I may get. It says… “ANDY KAUFMAN 2020! Here he comes to save the day!” I’d vote for Andy, with Tony Clifton as VP!

As I was driving through Burbank on a gorgeous day with my top down, after having just gotten great news about my oral surgery, I heard this song on the radio and was jamming to it. It’s By Tyrone Davis and it’s called “Can I Change My Mind.” Crank it up!

Every time the third of June rolls around, I get this song stuck in my head. Why? Because it’s the first line in Neil Diamond’s “Desiree.”

Monday the 21st – MONDAY MEETING, MEALS, MAIL! – When I got up in the afternoon my pal Edi called and said she was in town from Palm Springs. So we arranged to meet for lunch. After lunch I mailed off some stuff and then headed back home to do some work around the house. I did some more work on my monster poems, I re-recorded one of them, I did some more work on my painting, checked e-mails, and then grabbed a nap. I got up later to do my nightly auditions, typed out Wally’s Week, fed and walked Roxy, and then made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box and watched a few more episodes of “F Troop” from the 2nd season DVD set.

Tuesday the 22nd – SHIRLEY, SONS & STAN! – Right around 1 I got up to do a podcast interview on the phone. I did some work around the house, and then called my “adopted grandma” Shirley to see if she wanted to go to that evening’s Sons of the Desert meeting (a Laurel and Hardy fan club to which we belong). It was a great meeting. I’m glad they did a moment of silence for my pal Chuck McCann, one of the founders of the club who passed away in April. Chuck’s former partner Jim MacGeorge (they played Ollie and Stan respectively in various projects) spoke on stage and did his comedy act. Then the club played a video with former members talking about meeting Stan Laurel and the late 50’s and early 60’s. There was even one guy who was on the SET of a L&H movie (he remembered it as being “Bonnie Scotland”) when he was a kid. He went to Stan’s dressing room and got a signed photo! Amazing story! I gave Shirley her official Sons of the Desert fez that I bought her at Monsterpalooza recently and she wore it with pride. I dropped Shirley at home after the meeting and then headed home to grab a short nap. When I got up later I worked around the house, prepped for a big meeting on Wednesday, and then spent the dawning hours sitting in my window seat of my bedroom watching a gorgeous, overcast, “blue” morning dawn. It was very peaceful listening to the birds singing, and I even saw a flock of geese fly over. Amazing morning!

Wednesday the 23rd – AN EM-BARRIS-MENT OF RICHES! – I met my pal Jared Barris at Paty’s in Toluca Lake for a quick lunch meeting. Jared’s grandfather was the great George Barris, car customizer who was responsible for some of the greatest TV and movie cars ever. Jared will be loaning a lot of George’s personal things to the 1966 Batman exhibit at the Hollywood Museum, so we got together to go through the items. When we finished I went home and put my cat Spook in his bag and took him to the vet to get his nails trimmed. While I was there I also picked up some more food for him. I headed back home, worked on my monster poems some more, walked down to Floyd’s Barbershop to get a touch up on my color, and then went home to nap. I got up later to do my auditions, got some food-to-go at my local Denny’s, and watched 2 more episodes of “F Troop” before bed.

Thursday the 24th – GREAT NEWS! GREAT DAY! – My laser printer has been giving me fits for a while now. In addition to putting little dots and artifacts on my prints, it keeps giving me an error message telling me it’s out of paper…even when it’s fully stocked. So I took it into the local repair shop to get an estimate. If it’s going to cost too much, I may just get a new printer, as this is the second time I’ve had it in the shop (albeit for a different repair.) I headed to my Oral Surgeon’s office to have my 2 week follow up exam. I had two back teeth extracted 2 weeks ago because one of them had fractured and had penetrated my sinus! The news was great! He said I’m healing very well, and a “sinus lift” wouldn’t be necessary in my case. He said my body did the work for them. He scheduled me for a bone graft on June 14th, which will take 4 months to heal to the point where they can implant the posts for the crowns. Then after the posts are implanted those will need to heal for 3 months. By January of 2019, I’ll have brand new teeth back there! I can hardly wait! I drove to McDonald’s to get some lunch, and my pal Edi called me to tell me about a snake she found in her garden in Palm Springs that she thought was threatening her daughter. She got some garden implements and killed it. She did the normal “mom thing” and got rid of it. But when her gardeners showed up they said the snake wasn’t poisonous or dangerous. This sent her into a fit of depressions. She killed a living thing unnecessarily. She was having a bad day. I drove over to JoAnn fabrics to get some cloth for some new bowling shirts I’m having made. Then my pal Scott in Sioux Falls called me to tell me even more horrible news. The 34 year old daughter of his boss was hit and killed by a drunk hit and run driver. Boy. What a crappy day. I go from being elated at the news from my Oral Surgeon, to bad news. That’s life, I guess. I got home and fed the pets, did an audition, had my assistant Sara over to do some work, then I napped. I got up later to do some work around the house, fed and walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood, then I hit the hay so I could be up for an early meeting at the museum.

Friday the 25th – MUSEUM MADHOUSE! – My alarm rang at 10, and by 11:30 I was in the center of Hollywood meeting Steve and Donelle from the Hollywood Museum about some new items that will be going into the exhibit very soon. The Batman 1966 exhibit has been (most likely) their most popular exhibit to date. So the intended end date of April 30 was extended to September 30 to give the summer tourists a chance to see it. After that meeting was done, my pal (and assistant producer of the Batman exhibit) Scott Sebring met me for lunch at Mel’s Diner; right next door to the museum. We were joined by my pal Pete Tassler (a producer on “Hawaii Five-O” and “MacGyver”) and Jordan Schwartz from Factory Entertainment. Jordan was kind enough to loan some items to the museum for the upgrade and expansion. After lunch Scott and I took them upstairs to see the exhibit. We chatted quite a bit and had a great time. After we met I headed over to my ENT’s office for a follow-up on the vocal issues I had been experiencing last month. She scoped my sinuses (she did the surgery last year) and said they’re perfect. Then she scoped my vocal cords (never fun!) and said everything looked perfect. Feeling high on life, I popped the top on my Mustang and headed home. It was a gorgeous day and the music on the radio matched my mood perfectly! I fed and walked Roxy, and then my pal Brittney Powell came over to do some work. Then we headed to Miceli’s for dinner. I went home and grabbed a nap, and then got up later to work on some sketches for the museum exhibit. Then I hit the hay.

Saturday the 26th – MORE MUSEUM MADHOUSE! – I was supposed to meet a friend at the museum (her husband is a HUGE Batman fan) but she texted me to tell me she had been up all night with her sick doggie. But I headed to the museum anyway because my pal Joe Garner and his daughter Jillian wanted to see the exhibit. They loved it, particularly the “Silence of the Lambs” set in the building’s basement! We had lunch at Mel’s and I headed off to get groceries. I got home, put them away fast, and then ran Roxy over to the groomer’s to get a much-needed bath! While she was being groomed I grabbed a quick nap. I went to pick her up and then got a text from Sara saying she was sick and couldn’t attend to movie night. So I started doing the cleaning and prep myself. We watched a movie from 1937 called “The Awful Truth” starring Cary Grant. I had seen it years ago at the Playboy Mansion with my pal Chuck McCann and I remember it being very funny. No doubt it was funny, because it was directed by veteran Laurel and Hardy director Leo McCarey! When the film became available on Blu Ray I snapped it up immediately. After movie night I grabbed a nap, and then got up later to do some more work on the museum extension. Then I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another episode of “SNL” from the second season. Chevy Chase had returned to the cast after being out because of injury. I found the episodes without him to be very funny. But when he returned, for some reason they just weren’t funny. I don’t know if there was an over-reliance on Chevy because he was the breakout star or what, but it just simply wasn’t very funny.

Sunday the 27th – INTO A 3 DAY WEEKEND! – After sleeping all day (my usual M.O. on a Sunday) I got up for evening church with Roxy. Then I came back home to do some more work on the museum stuff. I grabbed a short nap, and then got up later to do some more writing on my monster poems. I fed and walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood. I made some of my infamous Buffalo Mac (buffalo chicken in mac & cheese!) and watched a few more episodes of “F Troop.” Then I stayed up to watch the President lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington. It’s a tradition for me. I always like to watch that ceremony on Memorial Day.

Monday the 28th – MEANINGFUL MEMORIAL DAY! – There’s a movement going around to get rid of the expression “have a HAPPY Memorial Day.” Though Memorial Day deserves to be commemorated, perhaps ‘happy’ isn’t the best qualifier for what the day means. I like poignant, meaningful, reflective…but I’m open. I woke up at 3 in the afternoon and lazed around the house. I napped a little more on the couch, and got up later in the afternoon to give the pets their food. I waited until later in the evening to go get dinner with my assistant Sara, but lo and behold, even at 11pm, there was still a screaming kid at Little Toni’s. The late-night diners were none too happy about it either. Nor was I. The kid should have been home. When I got home I started working on my messy garage. I had lost track of my Keytar, and a friend of mine wanted to borrow it for a photo shoot. So I spent four hours in my garage organizing and storing a lot of loose items that were lying around. What a pain. I need to clear a path to have a overflow pipe run for my water heater. And in order to get access to the garage wall to attach the pipe, my contractor has to have access to the wall. I went to bed to be up early for an audition.

Tuesday the 29th – TUESDAY TECHNOLOGY! – When I got up at 11, I had time to walk Roxy, study my script for my audition, and then call into the casting person at Kalmenson and Kalmenson for direction. Once I recorded it and e-mailed it in, I grabbed a nap on the couch. I was due to call Kalmenson and Kalmenson again at 2:30 for another audition. I got my direction and recorded the audition. When I sent it in to the casting office I headed to Taco Bell to get lunch. Then I headed over to my mailbox to pick up my packages. The office repair place called and said it would cost $250 to repair my printer. And they never did find the cause of the erroneous “NO PAPER” error message. I checked my records and the printer is already 4 years old. Probably time to junk it anyway. But when I went to Staples to look around at replacements, I found my EXACT printer for $250. ..the exact cost to repair my old one. Obviously I did the right thing and just bought the new one. I already knew how it worked, and I already had the software in my computer. I also bought the four year warranty, so if it breaks again like that, they send me a check and I buy a new one. I went home and set up the printer and did some other work. I napped and got up later for my nightly auditions. I did a ton of writing, and then took Roxy out for our late-night stroll through the neighborhood. It was overcast and misting out. A VERY nice evening! I came back inside, made a Tombstone pizza and watched 2 more episodes of “F Troop.”

Wednesday the 30th – WED-ZEN-SDAY! There were some things that needed attended to at the Batman exhibit at the Hollywood Museum, so my pal Pat Evans (assistant producer of the exhibit) and I had planned on going up to make the corrections. But at the last minute Pat couldn’t go, so I went by myself. I took my camera, a pad of paper and a pen, and my list of text that was on the accompanying “tent” cards by the items. I read every piece of text in the exhibit and made copious notes. I denoted grammatical, spelling and factual errors that needed to be corrected. I worked so hard and was so into the “zen” of it I had lost track of time. It was very pleasant being there by myself, surrounded by things I love, doing my work. But before I knew it, it was 5pm and they were closing up. I still had the other half of the exhibit to do! I’ll have to come back at a later date and finish it up. I drove over to my effect guy Jim Ojala’s studio to see how the projects he was doing for the museum were coming along. They looked fantastic! Then I met with Pat to hand some stuff off to him, and then headed home to feed the pets. I got right on the computer and started laying out all of the information I had collected earlier in the day at the museum. When I started to get tired I took a short nap on the couch. I got up later, continued working, fed the pets, walked Roxy, and did more work. I made a pot pie and watched a few more episodes of “F Troop,” and then worked until noon on Thursday on one of my monster poems.

Thursday the 31st – CHURCH AND A CHAIR! – After about 4 hours of sleep, I got up and headed to my church for an administrative meeting. Then I went home to meet with my seamstress Mariah who brought over a bunch of great things I had her make. I gave her some more projects to do, and then she and her husband Clay took off. I started assembling the new leather office chair I bought at Staples. Though I had purchased it a few days earlier, it had just been delivered that afternoon. It went together fairly easily! I went downstairs to the garage and organized my fabric boxes. Then I made some food and watched “F Troop” before bed.

Friday the 1st – MUPPET MANIA! – At noon I was up for the maids to come into Planet Wallywood and clean up. After they left I hit my mailbox to get some t-shirts that came in. One of them was a Muppet Show t-shirt I had ordered and it just came into my box in the nick of time! (I’ll explain later). I had a quick lunch with Sara, and then I headed home to do some prep work with my Kermit the Frog 1:1 replica Muppet. My garage door had been having problems opening intermittently, so my garage door guy came over and gave it a through going-over. A group of us were heading to the Skirball Cultural Center for the opening day of the “Jim Henson: Imagination Unlimited” exhibit. For the opening, they decided to extend the museum’s hours and go until the late evening. They advertised lots of fun events, strolling puppeteers, etc. My pal Mark called and asked if we could bring our own puppets, and they said not only was it OK, but it was encouraged! So I decided to take Kermit out for his first public outing. I hadn’t strolled with Kermit and improvised in 36 years. I was hoping all the fun I had when I was a 20 year old kid would come back to me. It did. As soon as I put Kermit on, it came back to me like riding a bike. It was great fun, and the adults responded more favorably than the kids did! That was the only different thing from 36 years ago. My puppets used to be a draw mainly for kids, but kids of that age have grown up. And now it’s mainly adults who are into Muppets. The kids like them sure, but mostly due to the encouragement of their parents. The pictures and video we got turned out to be amazing! What a fun night. My pal Mark said he didn’t know who was having more fun…me or the people. Indeed. We all met for dinner later at Barone’s, and then I came home to relax. What a day!

Saturday the 2nd – SUPER SATURDAY! – The day started with a meeting at Jerry’s Famous Deli with my pal Joe Garner and his business partner Michael Ashley. We talked about all kinds of cool new projects we wanted to work on. Very exciting stuff! Michael had his wife and kid along with, and Joe had his daughter and her boyfriend along, so I told them to drop by Planet Wallywood for a tour. They enjoyed looking around, especially Michael’s 3 year old son. After they left my friend Brandy came by (yes, she WAS named after the song) to pick up my Keytar for her photo shoot. I dashed out to get some supplies at the grocery store for movie night, then I came back and got set up for movie night. It was a great time with a dopey movie from the 70’s called “Thank God It’s Friday.” It was fun to see Jeff Goldblum and Debra Winger before they were famous. After everyone left I took a short nap on the couch, then got up to feed the pets and walk Roxy. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another episode of “SNL” from season two. It was Steve Martin’s first outing as host. I did some more work on my monster poems, and then got a call from my hotel in Palm Springs. I had an upcoming trip planned, but there was some sort of snafu with the usual room I get. Though I had made the reservation long in advance, it appears that some convention has come in and booted me out. They want to put me on the 4th floor. I don’t want the 4th floor. So I e-mailed and voicemailed the manager to explain my position. I may or may not be going there soon, as it all depends on if I get my usual top-floor room or not. But I’d like to get there for another stay before it gets too blasted hot. My time is running out. Stay tuned.

Sunday the 3rd – MAGICAL MUSIC! – It felt good to sleep in until 4:30, and like clockwork, I woke up on my own and got ready for evening church with Roxy. The message was terrific. But the music was out of this world. When the right guy is mixing the band, it sounds stunning. It just all worked! After the service Shirley and I drove over to The Smokehouse for dinner. We had seen it in the background of the movie “Thank God It’s Friday” and it planted a subliminal idea in my head that I wanted a great steak and yummy garlic bread. Advertising works! After that we went over to Weinerschnitzel to get ice cream, and then I took her home. I grabbed a quick nap in the Puppet Room, and then got up later for a ton of auditions. I did some more writing on my monster poems, fed and walked Roxy, and then hit the hay so I could be up to meet my contractor Handy Don on Monday. We have a LOT of work to do!

And how was YOUR week?!?!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Here’s a fun video compilation shot by my friend Mark Fullerton and compiled by Scott Sebring. We had a TON of fun at the Muppet exhibit at the Skirball Center last Friday night!

If you’re anywhere near Los Angeles, make sure to see “Jim Henson: Imagination Unlimited” at the Skirball Center!

Mark poses with Cookie Monster, courtesy of Vickie Sebring.

Lots of people loved having shots taken with Cookie!

Kermit and I arrive!

Cookie and Kermit reunite before visiting the exhibit

After 36 years, it all came back to me. And chatting with kids (and adults) was a boatload of fun!

Being out and about with Kermie again made me feel like I was 20 years old again back in 1981! As in this pic…

This wall is amazing!

Cookie and Kermit chat with an enthusiastic fan.

Everyone was in high spirits!

“Beautiful Day” has always been one of my favorite Muppets. I loved him in the “Windy” sketch!

There’s a great “Sesame Street” section!

Good to know Grover was there in case trouble broke out. He could become Super Grover!

Bunsen and Beaker were also in attendance!

And of course the Muppet Babies put in an appearance!

I’ve been a “Dark Crystal” fan since it was released. LOVED seeing Jen and Kira!

Some Fraggles were there, but the fascinating thing was seeing the Muppeteer’s microphone headset, also on display!

Mark and Kermit on a mock-up of “The Muppet Show” set

The exhibit also had a section where you could make your own puppets out of sacks. Quite creative!

My old “Invader Zim” pal Rikki Simons and his wife Tavisha were there as well!

Smiles were in abundance at the Skirball Center that night!

Some young patrons didn’t quite know what to think

In the creativity area, there were amazing examples of our favorite Muppets!

There were no shortage of smiles!

Even Kermit’s old pal Tony Clifton was represented!