I’m busy working on my second of three episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place this month. We just won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming! OK, I wasn’t invited to the ceremony but it was a big deal! So now you can tell yer friends that yer Ole Great Uncle Bill is now on an Emmy-winning show.
But that’s not all the news I have to share. I did a big time showbiz table read for a pilot that Bob Odenkirk wrote starring David Cross, Jeff Garlin, Andy Richter and Beth Littleford and of course Bob Odenkirk himself. Then I found out that Lee Majors was going to be there too.
I’m already friends with most of the cast. I’ve worked with Bob and David and I know Jeff Garlin and Andy Richter through the whole Chicago improv scene. And yes, Conan O’Brien himself was there along with several NBC execs. One of whom, Grace Wu (I think she may have a married name now) has known me since my early years out here in LA. She always thinks of me when casting over there at NBC.
Despite the fact that the room was filled with big-wigs, I was most excited about meeting Lee Majors. When I was a kid, I remember that my happiest Christmas ever was getting a Six Million Dollar Man action figure. You could roll up your sleeves and see his bionic arm and he had a telescopic eye you could see through. I literally cried as a kid when I saw Col. Steve Austin in his space suit and rocket shell under my Christmas tree. Ya get where I’m coming from? I got so excited about the Six Million Dollar Man being there that I told Bob he should invite The Fonz and Evil Knevil, too.
In my mind, he’s this hulk of a man. But in reality, he was a bit shorter than me and his hair is now grey and pretty long. Some of you might have seen him as the father in the movie The Brothers Solomon, a film directed by Bob. He’s now a grizzled old fellah and a genuinely nice and friendly guy.
But he does have a crusty/cranky exterior. I told him how excited I was to meet him and what a big fan of his work I am. Lee said, “Thanks…I’m doing this as a favor. Bob was talking so fast on the phone that I didn’t know what I agreed to.” But I could tell he was having a good time. He was very kind and accommodating to all the other actors.
I talked with Beth Littleford a bit about some of our common friends. First of course was my friend Tom Johnson. Tom’s a friend of mine from way back. We did improv and sketch in St. Louis at Catch a Rising Star in Union Station. He was one of the original writers on the Daily Show, and they worked together. Then of course we both worked with Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert, so we had a lot to talk about. She’s really sweet, too. It was good to get to know her better.
She and I actually worked on the same show at one point, Method and Red, the Method Man and Red Man show on FOX. I played a German jeweler who loans celebrities their bling for award shows, etc. I told her that I saw her parking space on that lot and I laughed out loud when I read her name as listed on a plate marking her space. It read “Beff Littleford.” She told me that “Meff” was Method Man’s nickname, and it was a running joke based on that.
Jeff Garlin is always fun to talk to. He’s hardly ever serious, and seems to be able to make a joke out of anything. I asked him about his wife, “How’s Marla?” He put his head on his hand and murmured, “She’s beautiful.” He looks really good and seems like he’s lost more weight. Jeff’s always been supportive, and asked me to send in my info to him so they can call me up about Curb Your Enthusiasm if anything comes up that’s right for me.
We don’t know at this point if the pilot will be produced, but the reading went really well and I’d say the chances are good. This is a SUPER cast.
I’m planning on going back to St. Louis for a few weeks to work on a big project we’re doing with Improv Trick for a multinational corporation. I’m excited to bring that kind of work to St. Louis and to “The Trick.”
Still no word on the part of Curly, but if you’d like to help, click HERE and tell a friend. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s another good reason to check out that link.