Why wasn't there ever an episode of Cheers where everybody couldn't remember anybody's name? That would've been hilarious!
June 16, 2009 1:06 AM   Subscribe

Is there a question you've always wanted to ask about writing TV sitcoms? (Besides "Why bother?") Ask Ken Levine, the only living blogger and twitterer who has written for M*A*S*H, Cheers and The Simpsons (back when it was good), done baseball play-by-play for 3 Major League teams (and currently does the official DodgerTalk radio show), met Rush Limbaugh (when he was goodless awful), was once a disc jockey using the on-air alias "Beaver Cleaver" and had nothing whatsoever to do with the video game Bioshock.
posted by wendell (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I seem to have forgotten to mention that he's collecting the questions for a "free teleseminar", which is nice because he usually charges up the wazoo for seminars and based on everything I've seen, he's worth it. Also, if you HATE Twitter with every bone in your body, click the link at "twitterer" anyway and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
posted by wendell at 1:55 AM on June 16, 2009


The Simpsons is good these days. Just because a bunch of whining internet lifers can't help themselves from repeating something ad nauseum, it doesn't make it cast iron fact. (In fact it probably makes it less true. Hmmm...a new internet theorem is born.)

[starts second cup of coffee]

Is it me* but does his Ask page look like some pyramid scheme sign up? That said, his blog has some nice one liners (if you open your browser window to its full width on a 21" monitor) and he's dead right about Pelham 1-2-3. Some good articles on his Twitter feeds too.

Oh and anyone who has the time to hate Twitter with every bone in their body deserves to be reincarnated as a sea cucumber.

*It probably is
posted by i_cola at 2:17 AM on June 16, 2009


"Oh and anyone who has the time to hate Twitter with every bone in their body deserves to be reincarnated as a sea cucumber.

Little known fact about sea cucumbers: contrary to popular belief, sea cucumbers don't digest their own brain when they settle down to a more-or-less sessile adult lifestyle (a so-called "fact" I've heard in more than one management seminar, & relating to the alleged necessity to stir up the workers when they look like becoming complacent).

Nope, once they no longer need their brain to forage for food in the pelagic juvenile stage, they repurpose it to drive their reproductive system.

That's right - sea cucumbers are always thinking of their dick.
posted by Pinback at 2:39 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


ad nauseum

This has become my little pet-peeve. If you're going to use this, and especially if you're going to put it in italics, please know that it's spelled "ad nauseam."

To keep this relatively on-topic: The Simpsons is good, you're right. The issue is that The Simpsons used to be great. It's just lost so much of its heart these days, and it seems like they're constantly dropping clunkers on us like the "Homer was in a grunge band" episode. It's a slap in the face to fans who know that if Homer was ever in a musical group, it was a Barbershop Quartet.

hehe, the Be Sharps.
posted by explosion at 4:25 AM on June 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is funny. Also, it explains stuff from my sitcom-watching childhood:

"One time on CHEERS we had a run where Cliff explained the derivation of Yorkshire pudding. The research person called me (since I co-wrote the episode) asking where I got that information. She had been researching it for two days and couldn’t confirm our claim. I said a waitress at Lawry’s Prime Rib restaurant told me. The researcher was apoplectic. “You can’t go with historical information based on hearsay from a waitress!” I reminded her it was Cliff telling the story. Who gives a shit if he’s right? She hung up satisfied."
posted by Ella Fynoe at 4:36 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Levine is a good read. My personal question is, is he the same Levine that had a motion control system in his basement in seattle in the early 80's?
posted by sammyo at 4:48 AM on June 16, 2009


in the interest of creating and maintaining a more upbeat, civil tone here at Metafilter, I'm not going to say anything at all about his "Worst Songs Ever" list.
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 AM on June 16, 2009


There was a time when, facing a collection of links like this, the only remark I would have found appropriate would have been "...something something sitcom about a sassy robot." Thank god those days are past!
posted by sleevener at 6:36 AM on June 16, 2009


That's right - sea cucumbers are always thinking of their dick.

Then thank god they don't use Twitter.
posted by rokusan at 6:50 AM on June 16, 2009


"Why bother?"

How I Met ... wait for it ... Your Mother
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:08 AM on June 16, 2009


Wow - I'll be chewing on his blog for a long, long while. Thanks wendell!
posted by cavalier at 8:49 AM on June 16, 2009


Can anyone explain to me the non-relationship between Levine and Bioshock?
posted by Mister_A at 8:55 AM on June 16, 2009


"Audaciousness" .... shouldn't that read "audacity"?

/completely impertinent
posted by autodidact at 8:58 AM on June 16, 2009


...anyone who has the time to hate Twitter [blahblah]...

How much time does it take to read "I'm eating a sandwich now", genius?
posted by Zambrano at 8:59 AM on June 16, 2009


Can anyone explain to me the non-relationship between Levine and Bioshock?

Bioshock was written by a different Ken Levine.
posted by zsazsa at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2009


Bioshock was written by a different Ken Levine.

The story might have struck me more if this Ken Levine had some say in it. I mean the game was fun but the "twist" was kind of commen sense to me.
posted by djduckie at 11:00 AM on June 16, 2009


hehe, the Be Sharps.

That was witty at first, but it seems less funny each time I hear it.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:11 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


A great little anecdote about Ken Levine getting his secretary access to safe parking—as told on Rob Longs Martini Shot ("Writing for Free", March 7th, 2007), and at Ken's blog.
posted by blueberry at 4:02 PM on June 16, 2009


How much time does it take to read "I'm eating a sandwich plate of beans now", genius?

FTFY.

Always wanted to do that...
posted by Samizdata at 9:28 PM on June 16, 2009


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