Hi from Hollywood!

Mr. Hollywood

Again, pardon my lack of promptness for posting sooner, but my little ‘ol Hollywood roll continues to rebound after a scathingly dead September.

Speaking of dead, last Tuesday I played the fretful part of a funeral attendee on the new CBS hit sitcom starring Robin Williams entitled The Crazy Ones. Did I just use Robin Williams in the same sentence as the word “crazy?” How could that be! He remains brilliantly funny as he continues to morph Mork into so many comedic characters on screens both big and small. Leave it to Robin’s character to have us all rolling in the aisle of the funeral procession as the coffer was carried out of the church. It was a long 10-hour day of shooting a one-minute scene. By the end of the day, the corpse wasn’t the only thing that was dead.


The next morning was an early 6:30 am call time to be on location at the San Pedro Marina, down near Long Beach, to play the part of a wannabe, wealthy yachtsman on The Mentalist, a drama series on CBS. I appeared in several scenes throughout the 14-hour day: arriving at the yacht club with my wife for lunch, walking past the murder scene in a condo which was actually a terribly tacky Travelodge, and finally after nightfall playing the part of a rubber-necking onlooker at the scene of another murder down by the harbor. OK, I’m beginning to see a pattern . . . does Hollywood think I’m a dead-ringer only for scenes with stiffs?

Well, perhaps not. Tomorrow I head over to LA’s tasty and trendy La Dolce Vita restaurant to play the part of an “upscale diner” on the premiere episode of the final season of Mad Men. Let’s just pray the producer doesn’t ask me to choke on my Chicken Cacciatori with Chive. Let you know how it all goes down soon.

Some of you have been asking for a roster of my upcoming stellar appearances . . . they should help if you can’t sleep some night. These are the best dates I can give you now – subject to change:
Raising Hope (Fair Attendee) – DATE TBD – on FOX at 9E/8C/9P
Criminal Minds (Coroner) – Nov. 27 on CBS at 9E/8C/9P
Parenthood (Professor) – DATE TBD on NBC at 10E/9C/10E
Masters of Sex (Hospital Admin. sitting next to Beau Bridges in civil defense speech) – Dec. 1 on Showtime at 10E/9C/10P
The Crazy Ones (Funeral Attendee) – Dec. 5 on CBS at 9E/8C/9P
The Mentalist (Yacht Club Member) – Dec. 15 on CBS at 10E/0C/10P
Masters of Sex (Hospital Admin. sitting at presentation of study findings) – DATE TBD on Showtime at 10E/9C/10E
Mad Men (Diner) – DATE TBD – on AMC at TIME TBD
Transcendence feature film (Audience member at speech given by Johnny Depp) – April 18, 2014 release date
DISCLAIMER: Masters of Sex has quite a bit of skin in it usually – not mine – but I’m blatantly blushing anyway.


Hi from Hollywood!

Mr. Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood never rang truer. For some redeeming reason, my telly hasn’t seemed to stop ringing ridiculously for the last week or so. I don’t know, I suppose word is on the street that Mr. Hollywood is back in town again after hiatus.

About ten days ago, I did another scathing little scene on Criminal Minds. I’m not really one for blood or bodies, so I was hoping for a milder role, but no. Who do they pick to play the creepy coroner but moi! Fortunately, I didn’t have to perform any frightening forensics. Rather, I just appeared to be filling out a dreadful death certificate out in what appears to be a swampy area in the Hollywood Hinterlands. Actually, we were on location at Disney Ranch, a production facility just off I-5, where thousands of shoot ’em up westerns and the like have been shot over the years. Oh, if only Walt were still around to see my wonderful work.

Last Monday and Tuesday I worked on the silly sitcom Raising Hope on Stage A at Twentieth Century Fox. Not being acquainted with the show, I had no idea who one of the principal actors is and what kind of day I was in for. We began the first day by getting our background blocking for one of the scenes. The director mentioned that a crazy grandmother character would be running through us, so be aware and ready. Well, there’s no way of being ready for this particular acting legend. Let’s leave it to say she’s a dash of Psycho. A pinch of Wack Job. But certainly a hearty serving of Fun and Love. I’m referring to Cloris “Cuckoo” Leachman. In the 70’s, she played the self-centered Phyllis in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and of course numerous other roles on stage and screen. Today, at 87, she is every bit as effervescently eccentric as her many full-on crazed characters. I was fortunate to be in several scenes with her throughout the her day of shooting.
Cloris Leachman

The next day, two other TV legends were on-set. From The Partridge Family, Shirley Jones and TheSix Million Dollar Man himself, Lee Majors. Shirley, in her conventional “Come On Get Happy” way, kept Day Two of shooting much more customary.

Last Wednesday, I worked on a very brief scene in the NBC hit show Parenthood. The scene appeared to be on the Berkley campus, but actually we were practically around the corner from my home in Pasadena at Occidental College. As much as I hoped to recite Sophocles or Euripides, my bit was a tad less trying. However, I managed to muster up all of my mental capacity to perform a very smart strut down the sidewalk, behind three of the stars of the show.

Well, my luck still hadn’t run out. On Friday evening I received a call from Urock Productions, the creators of Mad Men. So I bopped over to Burbank today to the legendary Western Costume Company, which has been providing wardrobe for the majority of television and screen productions since 1912. One of the dressers dolled me up as a dashing diner for a scene we’re going go shoot next week for the premiere final-season episode.

Many of you have asked for the airdates of the shows I will be appearing in. I promise to work on a log that I’ll post soon in this blog. Believe it or not, it’s even hard for a background super-duper star to get that information sometimes. Don’t they know who they’re dealing with? I’ll stop. Thanks for your interest in my antics and I’ll be backatchya soon!