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.
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!