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This Is Not A Bit
66 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Martha Wash (legendary singer on hit songs including "It's Raining Men" and "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
Martha Wash is a singer of unparalleled power, soul, and courage, and has one of the most recognizable voices in music. Martha was raised in San Francisco, and started singing at age 3 after having heard her mother’s gospel records. Martha sang for her church choir, and had the benefit of an older brother who played guitar with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Taj Mahal. Her early influences included gospel artists like Mahalia Jackson, as well as Motown records from The Supremes and The Temptations. Martha’s high school choir recorded four albums in a professional studio and toured Europe, a rare opportunity for an urban high school student in the 1970s. She got her professional start in a trio put together by her music teacher that opened for jazz great Ernestine Anderson in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. She later became a background singer with her friend, Izora Armstead, for disco phenomenon Sylvester. Martha and Izora later recorded with former Motown executive Harvey Fuqua as Two Tons O’Fun, and later as The Weather Girls, and had a huge hit with “It’s Raining Men” (co-written by Paul Schaffer). One of her demos was later used on C+C Music Factory’s mega-hit “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”, but was attributed to a different singer, omitting credit for Martha. Martha sued the producers to simply be recognized for her contribution to the song, and was eventually credited for her vital contribution to one of the most popular tracks in music history. Martha later started her own record label, Purple Rose, through which she released her last two albums. She has expanded beyond dance music to embrace many different genres of music, as shown on her most recent album, “Love And Conflict,” available on the major streaming services. She has collaborated with artists such as Luther Vandross and RuPaul, showing the incredible range of emotion she is capable of expressing.
60 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
Jerry Schatzberg (eminent photgrapher and director of such films as "Panic In Needle Park" with Al Pacino, "Scarecrow" with Pacino and Gene Hackman, and many others)
Jerry Schatzberg is a paragon of perseverance, who paid his dues to become one of the most influential photographers and filmmakers of the late 20th century. After getting his start with baby and catalogue pictures, he worked his way up to photographer at Vogue and Glamour magazines, where he initially met music industry executives like Atlantic Records President Ahmet Ertegun. After befriending Bob Dylan, Jerry’s pictures were used on the covers of Dylan’s first book, “Tarantula,” and the “Blonde On Blonde” album. Jerry went on to photograph some of the most famous people in the world, including The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Warhol, Frank Zappa, and countless other cultural titans.After conquering the photography world, Jerry became a film director, helming a string of classics like “Puzzle of a Downfall Child” (with Faye Dunaway), “Panic In Needle Park” (Al Pacino’s film debut as a lead character), “Scarecrow” (with Pacino and Gene Hackman), “The Seduction of Joe Tynan” (with Alan Alda and Meryl Streep), “Street Smart” (with Christopher Reeve and Morgan Freeman), and many others.In this interview, Jerry discusses his friendship with Bob and Sara Dylan, Nico, Faye Dunaway, and Jimi Hendrix, whom Jerry hired to play in his discotheque when Hendrix still went under the professional name “Jimmy James.” Jerry’s friend Josh Safdie (co-director and writer of “Uncut Gems”), was kind enough to provide this insight into Jerry’s unique role in our cultural history: “Jerry is an ‘iconic’ artist and by that, I don’t mean he himself is iconic (though of course he is), but that he works in the language of iconography without ever flirting with cliche. His characters are icons of parables, of personalities, of types. His work has taught us how to immerse yourself in the iconography of the story and having FAITH in the POWER of character. His work as a photographer, photographing some of the most iconic men and women of the 20th century, led him to develop an incredible taste for talent and knack for showing a person’s power.” To see some examples of what Safdie means, go to www.JerrySchatzberg.com.
46 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
Harvey Brooks (legendary producer and bassist who appeared on Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited," Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew," and many other albums)
Harvey Brooks is one of the most respected and emulated bassists and producers in the history of rock and jazz music. After being the lucky recipient of a B.B. King record at a synagogue dance contest as a kid, he was inspired to pursue playing the blues and R&B. After playing live gigs tirelessly for years, his old friend, keyboardist and guitarist Al Kooper, invited Harvey to a Bob Dylan recording session to play bass, the tracks of which became the seminal “Highway 61 Revisited” album. Harvey went on to appear on a mind-blowing string of classic albums, as a founding member of The Electric Flag and on such stand-outs as The Doors’ “Soft Parade,” Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew,” and Al Kooper’s “Super Session.” He also produced such masterpieces as Quicksilver Messenger Service’s debut album and Karen Dalton’s “My Own Time.”In this interview, Harvey talks about keeping himself alive and sane amidst the drug culture of the late ‘60s. He discusses how me met the challenge of Dylan’s mid-‘60s audience turning on him for changing to electric music, including a live concert at Forest Hills, New Jersey where the audience rushed the stage and were tackled by security, while Harvey played alongside Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm of The Band. Harvey also talks about 3 a.m. jam sessions with Paul Butterfield, and serving as Mama Cass Elliot’s musical director at Caesar’s Palace.Earlier this year, Harvey released an autobiography entitled, “View from the Bottom: 50 Years of Bass Playing with Bob Dylan, The Doors, Miles Davis and Everybody Else.” The book is published by tangiblepress.net and can also be acquired on many online bookstores. Autographed copies and bookplates can only be procured at tangiblepress.net. The book was co-authored by Frank Beacham, a notable music historian and Bonnie Brooks, author of the children's book "Gramps Has A Ponytail,” also published by tangiblepress.net.
72 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Malcolm Cecil (co-producer and engineer of classic albums by Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers, Billy Preston, Gil Scott-Heron)
Malcolm Cecil helped shape the sound of 1970s soul, funk and R&B as co-producer and engineer of the some of the most iconic albums and singles of all time. Malcolm collaborated with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, The Isley Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, and Gil Scott-Heron. He designed and constructed one of the earliest and largest analog synthesizers in the world (nicknamed TONTO), and recorded one of the first albums comprised entirely of synthesized audio. In this interview, Cecil discusses his early musical experiences in England, leading to his role as principal bassist for the BBC orchestra, opening for The Miles Davis Quintet, and recording with saxophonist Sonny Stitt. He describes meeting and working closely with Wonder, including his demand to Motown founder Berry Gordy that he let Cecil preserve the integrity of the classic album “Innervisions” during its mastering. Cecil also talks about helping boxing legend Muhammad Ali with his own recording, and discovering and restoring an unreleased live recording of the original Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane.
35 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
A Tribute To Comedy Writing Pioneer Lucille Kallen (co-head writer on Sid Caesar's "Your Show Of Shows") - An interview with Lucille's son, Paul Engel
In this episode, we pay tribute to the late, great Lucille Kallen, a true pioneer in television comedy writing. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Toronto, Lucille’s first love was piano, but she soon showed her comedy chops writing live sketches at a “borscht belt” resort in New York’s Pocono Mountains. Based on the strength of her live sketches, she was recruited in 1949 to serve as co-head writer for Sid Caesar’s “Admiral Broadway Review” (later “Your Show Of Shows”), the very first nationally televised comedy sketch program. Her fellow head writer was Mel Tolkin, and the writing staff soon included Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, and Woody Allen. After leaving television, Lucille wrote the novel “Outside There, Somewhere!”, which is widely considered the first comic feminist novel. In this episode, Lucille’s son Paul discusses how she viewed the changing nature of television comedy throughout her life. Paul recalls meeting original "Tonight Show" host Steve Allen, who bemoaned having been “number 2” behind the Sid Caesar show. Lucille would tell Paul about needing to have a strong voice in Sid Caesar’s writers room, where she was the only woman. Paul recalls the time her mother appeared on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson," her close friendship with Caesar co-star Imogene Coca, her portrayal in Neil Simon’s play “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” as well as her role as the inspiration for the Sally character on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” created by Carl Reiner.
64 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
Jon Wilkman (Award-winning documentarian and author of “Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America.”)
Jon Wilkman is an author and award-winning filmmaker whose work has appeared on the major networks, PBS, HBO and A&E. His seven-part Turner Classic Movies series, “Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood,” was nominated for three Emmys. A founding member and three-term president of the International Documentary Association, Jon’s most recent book is “Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America.” His previous book, “Floodpath,” was an Amazon Nonfiction Book of the Year.In this interview, Jon talks about the fragility of the public’s perception of “truth” and how documentary filmmakers have contributed to that perception over the entire history of film. He discusses the relationship of trust between journalists and their audiences, which he saw up close in one of his first jobs working as a researcher for Walter Cronkite. Jon notes the change in audience’s acceptance of manipulation by programs claiming to be “reality television,” culminating in “The Apprentice” which hid the fact that Donald Trump was actually a failed businessman who was deeply in debt. With cellphone cameras allowing people to see more of the everyday world than ever before, and technology like deep fake with the capacity to fool viewers, Jon talks about the need to encourage viewers to be critical of what they see, and to encourage documentary filmmakers to only use technology to enhance the truth and not distort it, in order to lead a reexamination of who we are as a country and who we want to be as a culture.
45 minutes | Aug 1, 2020
Jonathan Taplin (producer of Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" and "The Last Waltz," former road manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, Professor Emeritus at USC's Annenberg School of Communication)
Jonathan Taplin has found a unique and historic niche in the arts, in academia and in the public sphere. As a folk and blues fan in the early ‘60s, he watched performances by singers like Doc Watson, Muddy Waters, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, and Son House.Shortly after graduating from Princeton, Taplin became the road manager for Bob Dylan and the Band, touring the world with a perspective few others have had. Taplin had the rare opportunity to witness Dylan and The Band jam after hours with The Beatles, Neil Young, and many others.He later began his film production career with Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets,” and has since produced such documentaries as Scorsese and The Band’s “The Last Waltz.”Taplin later became a professor at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication, and is the Annenberg Innovation Lab Director Emeritus. He has also been a vice president of media mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch, and founded the pioneering video-on-demand company Intertainer.In this interview, Taplin talks about his friendship with The Band’s Levon Helm as a jumping-off point for discussing the challenges that musicians face in making money in the age of YouTube. He also discusses his recent book “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy,” in which he argues that mega-companies are crushing the music business and narrowing the number of news sources available to people. He also talks about how average citizens are having more effect on how online corporations self-regulate through demanding advertisement boycotts - the “power of consumer communications”. His memoir, “The Magic Years: Scenes From a Rock-and-Roll Life,” will be released in March of 2021.
46 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Michael Beinhorn (producer for Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Herbie Hancock, and many more; author of “Unlocking Creativity: A Producer's Guide to Making Music & Art.”)
Michael Beinhorn takes being a producer very seriously. This singularity of purpose shows in the ground-breaking albums he’s produced, including Soundgarden’s “Superunknown,” The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Mothers Milk” and “Uplift Mofo Party Plan,” Herbie Hancock’s “Future Shock,” and many more. Michael has worked with such artists as Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Marilyn Manson, Hole, Violent Femmes, and Soul Asylum. Michael was also a member of the legendary genre-defying New York band Material in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.In this interview, Michael discusses his “alternate reality” approach to producing Herbie Hancock, why “Superunknown” shouldn’t be thought of as a “grunge” record, and what drew him to work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the time of their commercial and creative breakout period. He also discusses his latest project, Beinhorn Creative - the world’s first production-based online music company (at BeinhornCreative.com), which allows him to produce artists across the globe remotely and in real time. Michael also talks about the inspiration for his fascinating book “Unlocking Creativity: A Producer's Guide to Making Music & Art.”
36 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
Shel Talmy (producer for The Kinks, The Who, David Bowie, The Damned, and many others)
Shel Talmy produced records that set the templates for hard rock and punk rock. After growing up in Chicago and learning the art of sound engineering in Los Angeles, he began his career as a producer in London in the early ‘60s. The list of the records he produced is staggering - singles by The Kinks (“You Really Got Me”, “All Day And All Of The Night,” “Sunny Afternoon”), by The Who (“My Generation”, “The Kids Are Alright”, “I Can’t Explain”), and even David Bowie’s debut single. He also produced the great “Friday On My Mind” by the Easybeats, and he worked with Manfred Mann, Pentangle, The Creation, and The Damned. In this interview, Talmy discusses his unique approach to music production, how he helped the Kinks get the guitar distortion on “You Really Got Me,” and the advice he gave The Who’s Keith Moon about playing drums in the studio. (Note: Many apologies for the poor sound quality - the interview took place by phone, and unfortunately the recording software left much to be desired. However, close listening will be rewarded, as Shel knows the history of rock music as few others have.)
36 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
Megan Williams and Eleanor Bingham Miller (producers of the documentary "Boston" about the Boston Marathon, members of groundbreaking video journalism group "TVTV")
Megan Williams and Eleanor Bingham Miller are producers of the fascinating and heart-wrenching documentary “Boston” about the history of the Boston Marathon, the tragic 2013 terrorist bombing at the finish line, and how the Marathon came back the following year. Narrated by Boston native Matt Damon, the documentary (which is available on Amazon Prime and iTunes) highlights the Marathon’s symbol of strength in the face of adversity, as well as the struggles faced by women, disabled contestants, and others to be included in the race. The theme of a community rebuilding itself after unspeakable tragedy is as resonant today as ever.Before producing “Boston,” both Williams and Miller helped redefine the role of independent documentary cinema as part of the ground-breaking video journalism collective “TVTV” (“Top Value TV”), which is the subject of the documentary “TVTV: Video Revolutionaries.” Miller and Williams have produced documentaries such as TVTV’s “Lord Of The Universe” (about the insidious effects of the cult of personality) and Miller’s “The New Klan: Heritage of Hate” that have unsettling parallels with the re-emergence of hate groups in the wake of the 2016 election.
52 minutes | Mar 26, 2020
Michael Alago and Laura Davis-Chanin (co-authors of "I Am Michael Alago: Breathing Music. Signing Metallica. Beating Death.")
Michael Alago and Laura Davis-Chanin have both lived rock ’n' roll from a unique insider’s perspective. As an A&R executive for Elektra Records starting in the early ‘80s, Michael signed such bands as Metallica and White Zombie to their first major label contracts, as well as signing veteran artists like John Lydon/Public Image Ltd., Cyndi Lauper, Nina Simone and many others. Laura was the drummer in the seminal New York City punk band The Student Teachers, opening for artists like Iggy Pop and MC5, and she co-wrote multiple songs for Blondie. Michael and Laura met during the prime NYC punk days at clubs like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City. Both of their musical journeys were interrupted by serious health conditions, but both have survived and thrived in the interim. Although out of touch for many years, they reacquainted a few years back to co-write Michael’s autobiography, “I Am Michael Alago: Breathing Music. Signing Metallica. Beating Death.” Laura also wrote her own memoir, “The Girl In The Back: A Female Drummer's Life with Bowie, Blondie, and the '70s Rock Scene,” winner of the ASCAP Award For Excellence In Writing. Both books are available on Amazon and other online booksellers. Michael is also the subject of the documentary “Who The F**k Is That Guy? The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago,” currently on Netflix. In this interview, Michael and Laura discuss the need for hope in times of great adversity, and the need to live your life fearlessly no matter what. (Note: This interview took place in January 2020 in New York City).
54 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Judy Rothman Rofé (co-creator of "Julie's Greenroom" with Julie Andrews, "Madeline" animated series, and many other children's television programs)
Judy Rothman Rofé is an Emmy-winning writer, producer, and lyricist behind some of the most popular children’s television programs in recent memory. Growing up a fan of musical theater, as well as rock and folk music, Judy’s songs have appeared on such programs as “Sesame Street” (sung by the late “Big Bird” puppeteer Caroll Spinney). Judy wrote and developed such series as “Madeline,” “Angelina Ballerina,” “Camp Candy” (with the late John Candy), and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures.” Judy co-created the Netflix series “Julie’s Greenroom” with Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma. Judy’s current series is “Norman Picklestripes” on Universal Kids. In this interview, Judy discusses the creative process of collaborative songwriting, the joys of having Julie Andrews sing her lyrics, and the time she informally interpreted for Fidel Castro and Gabriel García Márquez at a Sundance Film workshop in Cuba. She also discusses writing the “Neurotic Parent” blog and the offshoot book, “The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions.”
63 minutes | Feb 11, 2020
Bill Grundfest (founder of the Comedy Cellar, writer/producer on "Mad About You," excecutive producer of "Pryor Offenses" with Richard Pryor)
Bill Grundfest has helped shape American comedy for almost 40 years. The son of Jewish European refugees, Bill started as a stand-comic while attending Penn. He founded the legendary Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village (now with a satellite location in Las Vegas), and coached comics like Jon Stewart and Ray Romano. He later moved to Hollywood and became a television writer and producer, for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy three times. He wrote and produced for “Mad About You,” and executive produced “Pryor Offenses” on Showtime with the legendary Richard Pryor. In this interview Bill discusses his origins in comedy, and what he thinks makes for a successful stand-up career. He also discusses his return to stand-up comedy after many years, and working with such comics as Paul Provenza and Dave Attell. He can be contacted at BGrundfest@gmail.com.
30 minutes | Jan 31, 2020
James Ward Byrkit (director/co-writer of "Coherence," co-writer of "Rango," story-board artist and conceptual consultant on “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy)
James Ward Byrkit is an innovative filmmaker whose projects range from blockbuster, big-budget tentpoles to low-budget, personal films. Raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, Jim was first inspired by Star Wars, the Twilight Zone television series, and musicals like West Side Story. These classics influenced his work as a story-board artist and conceptual consultant on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy, including his suggestion to director Gore Verbinski that the first film have a musical number. Jim also co-wrote the Oscar-winning hit film “Rango.” Between big-budget projects, he directed and co-wrote the mind-blowing 2014 sci-fi film “Coherence,” currently streaming on Amazon, Hulu and iTunes. In this interview, Jim discusses these projects, as well as a would-be flash mob version of “Lord Of The Rings” in a mall, and the importance for upcoming filmmakers to form a creative community. He also discusses the importance of structure in screenwriting, getting a call from “Dark Knight Trilogy” co-writer David Goyer to collaborate, and the upcoming screening of “Coherence” with original cast members at the Secret Movie Club of Los Angeles on Feb. 8.
46 minutes | Jan 28, 2020
K Callan (actress in "Knives Out," "All In The Family," “How I Met Your Mother,” “Nip/Tuck,” “One Day At A Time,” “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Veep”)
Acting in a critical and commercial hit like Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” is nothing new for actress K Callan. Throughout her storied career, she has appeared in numerous hit projects, including “All In The Family,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Nip/Tuck,” “One Day At A Time,” “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” and “Veep.” K even appeared in commercials with former podcast guest Paul Dooley. She is once again delighting audiences with her portrayal of the mysterious and hilarious Greatnana Wanetta, the matriarch of the dysfunctional Drysdale family in the Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated “Knives Out”. In this interview, K recalls staking out an acting career in New York City as a single mother, and discusses what it takes to become a successful actor. She also talks about having a ground-breaking role on an Emmy-winning episode of “All In The Family,” getting the call that Rian Johnson wanted her in his all-star follow-up to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and her book “How To Sell Yourself As An Actor,” which is available on Amazon.
50 minutes | Jan 10, 2020
Barnet Kellman (director of the pilot episodes of "Murphy Brown" and "Mad About You," serves as the Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts)
Barnet Kellman is a master in both the practice and teaching of comedy. After getting his start directing and acting in live theater, he became a director in both film and television. His films include “Straight Talk” with Dolly Parton and “Key Exchange” with Brooke Adams. He has directed countless television programs, including the pilots for “Murphy Brown” and “Mad About You,” as well as episodes of “Designing Women,” “Ally McBeal,” “Alias,” “The George Lopez Show,” and “ER.” He currently serves as the Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. In this interview, Barnet discusses his collaboration with Gene Wilder on the sit com “Something Wilder,” creating a curriculum for the teaching of comedy directing, and (befitting a teacher of comedy) the history of “shpritzing.”
37 minutes | Jan 3, 2020
Danny Jolles (actor in "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", stand-up comedy on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert")
Danny Jolles is an actor-writer-filmmaker-comedian-singer-dancer-podcaster - a true multihyphenate. He is best known for his role as George on the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” created by and starring his friend, Rachel Bloom. Danny and Rachel met when they were in the NYU sketch group Hammerkatz, later appearing in each other’s sketch videos. Danny began his stand-up comedy career in New York City before moving to Los Angeles, and he has performed stand-up on such programs as “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”. Danny’s rom-com “Blowing Up Right Now,” about a recently-separated couple coping with the imminent apocalypse, has shown at numerous film festivals and will shortly be receiving a wider release. Danny also has his own podcast entitled “Everything But The Scores With Danny Jolles,” which takes a deep dive into all manner of sports. In this interview, Danny explains why “if you want to do a thing you love, you have to do it yourself.”
40 minutes | Dec 20, 2019
Mimi Pond and Wayne White
Mimi Pond and Wayne White are a creative couple extraordinaire. They first met at one of Wayne’s puppet shows in New York City in the early ‘80s. Both Mimi and Wayne went on to make their mark on American culture, starting on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, where Mimi served as a writer and Wayne as a puppeteer and art director. Mimi went on to write the first full episode of “The Simpsons,” as well as writing on “Designing Women.” Wayne went on to work on the CBS series “Beakman’s World” and art directing the videos for Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” and The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight Tonight,” for which he won an MTV Video Award. In this interview, Mimi discusses her work as a cartoonist for The Village Voice and National Lampoon, as well as her graphic novels about her time as a waitress in Oakland, and Wayne discusses his painting and print-work based on his interest in history and wordplay. They impart many lessons of living a creative life, urging creative people to follow what they really love to do, be prepared to work anywhere, and find the right boss.
46 minutes | Dec 11, 2019
Andy Cowan (writer on "Seinfeld," "Cheers," and "Third Rock From The Sun")
Andy Cowan has a comedy resume anybody would be envious of. After a stint as a stand-up in the late ‘70s at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles (alongside such comics as David Letterman), Cowan became a talent coordinator at the legendary Merv Griffin Show, where he met such luminaries as Sir Laurence Olivier, Andy Kaufman, Ethel Merman, Tony Curtis, and Orson Welles (the day before he died). Cowan then went on to write for some of the top sit coms in television history, including “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock From The Sun.” In this interview, Cowan explains the origins of the “Opposite” episode of Seinfeld and its ongoing cultural impact. Cowan also discusses working with Sid Caesar’s head-writer, Mel Tolkin, befriending Jerry Lewis, and voicing the mysterious Admiral Ackbar for a Star Wars audiobook. You can read about these parts of Andy's career and more in his funny and fascinating memoir entitled Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writer's Guide to Seeing Stars from Black Rose Writing, with a foreword by Jay Leno, acquired in 2019 by the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, N.Y., which can be ordered at http://bit.ly/amazonbanging.
52 minutes | Nov 25, 2019
Mark Schiff (comedian/actor/writer currently on tour with Jerry Seinfeld)
Mark Schiff has been slaying audiences with his stand-up comedy since the late ‘70s, getting his start at such legendary New York City clubs as Catch a Rising Star, The Improv, and The Comic Strip. He paid his dues just to get a few minutes of recurring stage time, and in the process met such up-and-coming comics as Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Gilbert Gottfried, George Wallace, Larry Miller and Joe Piscopo. Mark now tours the U.S.A. with Seinfeld, in addition to being a columnist for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. In this interview, Mark recalls being inspired as a teenager by seeing Rodney Dangerfield perform stand-up in person, selling candy in Broadway theaters with Gilbert Gottfried, getting acquainted with Katherine Hepburn, overcoming stage fright, and thriving in an often unforgiving profession.
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