back to school, las vegas, penn and teller, star trek, terry farrell, TV, Uncategorized

Valerie Desmond is Getting Married – The Time I Met Terry Farrell

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Terry Farrell – Back to School

In honor of Terry Farrell and Adam Nimoy (Spock’s son) getting engaged, here is a brief recounting of my encounter with Ms. Farrell.   I hope this will not bring on a restraining order, but I digress.

For one glorious year, actually more like nine months, I had the pleasure of working with Penn and Teller on their show Sin City Spectacular.  It was amazing.  If you haven’t seen it, try and find it.  During that time I produced many bits, but it was one that didn’t happen that stood out from the rest.

When I was assigned a celebrity, I tried to find some unique talent that they could bring to the table.  Sean Hayes played the piano and then went on a rant about the Gettysburg address, Judge Reinhold whistled by a campfire and then walked away with a fake armadillo while Gordon Clapp of NYPD Blue fame went bare assed while read a page from his diary which turned out to be a Penthouse forum encounter with his Emmy.

When someone didn’t have a secret talent or couldn’t think of something they wanted to showcase, it was left up to me to try and find something, anything, for them to perform. The fall back was having them do a trick with P&T.

One day I got assigned Terry Farrell.   Yes, Terry Farrell or as she would always be known to me, Valerie Desmond from “Back to School”.  Others might know her as Dax from a little show called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

So Terry and I spoke and laughed and in the long run, she decided to leave it up to me to come up with a funny bit, bad idea.   I mean I was the guy who once proposed pubic hair makeovers as a show topic.   A couple of days later I called Terry, I now had her home number, and proposed something along these lines:

“Even though you can’t really sing or dance, Why don’t we pretend you’re in a 50’s girl group singing the song “Lollipop”.   The backup singers will be singing while you go to work licking a lollipop.  Things begin to get out of hand and in a sexual frenzy you run into the audience and begin to give someone a lap dance.  As you’re about to reach orgasm, the song will end and Penn and Teller will come out and say goodbye.”

There was silence, but this was good.  It wasn’t dismissed out of hand, a minor miracle. In fact, she thought it was funny and was game. This was easier than I thought.  Talk Soup here I come.

Now, bits like this can sometimes take on a life of their own.  The more time someone has to think about the bit, like the one above, the more likely they might realize that its not the best idea.  Time was not my friend.

As someone who never slept, especially in the days before we would fly out to Vegas to tape the show, I was prone to checking my work voicemail incessantly.   With three days to go I thought I was safe, but then, at 5:00 AM,  I got a message from Terry saying she had rethought the idea and wasn’t game anymore and said we should talk later. Calculating that she had left the message only minutes, ok maybe a few hours before, I decided to write up a quick revision, fax it over and call her to review it.  I mean who doesn’t like getting a call at 5:30 AM from a frantic producer who’s trying to get you to perform oral sex on a lollipop.  It went to voicemail. Not one to give up, I called again. She didn’t pick up.  Needless to say, several hours later I got a call from her publicist who wasn’t too pleased.   After that. I didn’t speak to Terry until Vegas.

A few days later, we were to meet face to face.  I was nervous, even more so then normal.  What would she do, what would she say.  I was ready for anything.  In the long run, she was cool, laughed about the whole thing, but said if I ever contacted her again she would file a restraining order.  I’m not sure if she was kidding or not, but I didn’t intend to find out.  Unfortunately, she didn’t do the bit or even the 5:15 AM rewrite below,  but I did get her to leave a voice mail message, as Valerie Desmond, for my friend.  It’s still his most prized possession.

As a post script, the following year I met Terry again while I was working at Donny and Marie.  I tried again, but the lollipop bit didn’t work out there either…and fortunately it didn’t result in the threatened restraining order.

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Terry Farrell bit Part 2 – written and faxed at 5:15AM

 

 

amsterdam, photos, travel, Uncategorized

Amsterdam in Pictures – King’s Day

There are few cities as picturesque as Amsterdam, the canals, the buildings, the people. A few times during the year things get crazy.  One of those days is April 27, King’s Day,  the celebration of the king’s birthday, aka a time to close down the city and party.    A quick photo essay about my time during this magical day.

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Urinors

With thousands of people expected, the urinors come out in full force.  The highlight are of course the color schemes and lines into the sewer.

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Toilet Paper Tree

I opted for indoor plumbing.  This may be my favorite tree ever.

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Hare Krishna parade

The Hare Krishnas starting their march.  Admittedly all I know about them comes from the movie Airplane.

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A boat heading down the canal.

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An even bigger boat heading down the canal.

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Photobomb

Trying to get a picture of the craziness of the street, I got a great photobomb instead.

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The Fonz

I can’t be sure, but this may be the Dutch version of The Fonz.

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I have no idea

I’m stumped.  Feel free to send me a caption for this one.

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Wooden bikes…and an ass.

A couple of wooden bikes and an ass.

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Bottles everywhere.

And then there’s the aftermath.  After a hard day of partying some didn’t fare as well as others.

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Broken musicians

They came to Amsterdam as innocent musicians looking to ply their trade.  After a crazy day, the town had eaten them up and like many others, they wound up in a trash heap.

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Floating away til next year

April 28, yet another successful King’s Day, at least for some, is done.

Comedy, Headlines, Uncategorized

Ripped from the Headlines

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New York Post – Because the masthead wasn’t big enough
“You know it might be crazy enough to work, he pondered as he placed his ad on Craigslist; I could finally unlock one of the key mysteries of life, pure bliss.  After years of exhaustive research, a press conference was scheduled with all the world’s media in attendance.   His little spark of an idea led to this.  Stepping up to the mic, he looked out at the huge crowd and knew he was about to change the world. “A lot.  Thank you.””

 

Comedy, Headlines, Internet, Short Story, Uncategorized

Ripped from the Headlines

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New York Post

Seeing an ad in the back of the World News Review, she thought, why not.  The promise of earthquake inducing sexual pleasure and a simple outpatient procedure were enough to convince her to take the plunge.   Without letting him on her little secret, she decided to surprise him that night.  Two seconds later, disaster.  It was then she realized that she should have sprung for the extra few dollars to upgrade from the pressed wood option.

PS  Please note, this is in the living section.

 

donny and marie, Dutchess, royalty, Uncategorized

Donny and Marie 9/30/99

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Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew

Below is a screenshot of the rundown one of my first shows as a producer at Donny and Marie.

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Yes, I went from Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, where I had to learn the proper way to address her even though she was there to speak about Wedgwood china, to Mac King, who makes his head among other things disappear five days a week in his amazing Vegas show, to Robert Palmer, the super cool crooner who revolutionized music videos with his use of fashion models as musicians.   You know, even if I tried, I couldn’t put it any better, this show pretty much sums up the insanity of life.

Cindy Margolis, donny and marie, Internet, TV, Uncategorized

Cindy Margolis – The Perfect Answer

 

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Cindy Margolis – Queen of the Internet

 

During the infancy of the internet, there was a woman who took the web by storm, Cindy Margolis.  She was and still is known as the Queen of the Internet and/or the Most Downloaded Woman in the World and once again, through sheer luck, she was my guest on Donny and Marie.  Here’s her intro.

 

A bit of background.  At the time, late 90’s, and not shockingly, still today, I was, am and always will be a New York Jew who loves deli.  While living in LA,  I had two go to places, Canter’s which is on Fairfax and Jerry’s Famous which had locations throughout LA. Each had their own charms, charged New York prices and supplied a fix of kosher style deli.  The reason I bring this up is because Cindy, at the time, was married to the owner of Jerry’s. Jackpot.   Her photos were beautiful, but a pastrami sandwich at Jerry’s was heaven.

Prior to her appearance on the show, I did my standard pre-interview.  This would be somewhat different.  While I’m sure others asked lurid questions, I was focused on something else, coupons from Jerry’s.  Somehow I would have to bring up her husband and then casually bring up my fixation with deli, then finally coming in for the kill asking for some coupons.  It was a plan.  My stomach approved.  And then it happened.  With the business questions out of the way, I could turn the conversation towards marriage and inevitably on some coupons.  Little did I realize my fixation on smoked meat would elicit the following:

You just celebrated your anniversary?

We just had our year anniversary. We decided that after a year to go to counseling. We went separately to a husband and wife team. When I went, there was this man sitting there in the office. He looked at me and said that he had just seen me on TV and that he had a couple of my posters. I thought it was weird that this therapist would have this stuff, but I began to talk to him and tell him about my marriage.   Eventually the woman therapist came out and I told her that her husband was so nice. She told me that it was not her husband, but an electrician working at the office. I can’t believe I told him such intimate things. I can just imagine him sitting around talking to his buddies.

Perfection.  Home Run. Touchdown.  Short of bringing the electrician on to confirm things, this story had everything.   Sex, embarrassment and more sex.  This appearance led to several more on our show…and I always was the producer…and I always celebrated with free pastrami after the taping.