The Summer of ’17 was utterly unforgettable. I went on a cross-country journey with four stand-up comedians – a black & white Jewish mom, an Aussie billionaire with a hangup about hookups, a maximum-security prisoner just released after aiding & abetting a robbery and attempted murder, and a psychotic psychologist with a hernia issue and a slew of other pre-existing conditions. I was shooting their adventures for a reality show – Sunda’s Straightjacket Comedy Tour – about how the owner of the LA School Of Comedy take a select group of students on a cross-country comedy tour. Only now am I finally able to show you what went down in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Reno, Vegas and god-knows-where-else. When you’re on tour, your cast & crew become your family. I love these guys. Continue reading JOKE JOCKEYS ON TOUR
In the mid ’80’s, I was a mere intern at the NBC affiliate, WLWT in Cincinnati, working with Norma Rashid and Richard Hull. Nick Clooney was the WKRC news anchor who owned the market after stealing it from Al Schottelkotte at WCPO. Every time I was sent out to cover spot news stories – shootings, stabbings, fires, car accidents – whatever – I was there for Channel 5 – Nick was there for Channel 12. Obviously he got the best interviews because everyone wanted to talk with THE Nick Clooney. I came across this WKRC promo and I can verify it’s true. Nick was all over the streets of Cincinnati, right next to little intern Ray. I love the shot where Nick is interviewing Mayor Jerry Springer – the man who will ultimately unseat him as the market’s #1 news anchor. These were great days. Continue reading IN THE NICK OF TIME
Playtime with some of my favorite people when we visited Virginia City, NV. Sunda Croonquist, James Harris, Pete Drysdale and Stacie Taylor. This scene was included in the original pilot for the cross-country trek of the Straightjacket Comedy Tour. Check it out – and see how many inside jokes you can decipher! Continue reading Mighty Fine Calico Queen
-TV TEEMS W/GENERIC REPORTERS-
I’m astounded on a daily basis how the majority of TV field reporters are content being anonymous, generic purveyors of facts and information – as generic and anonymous as the fake reporter in this stock photo! Watch reporters on any station in your market – they’ll do a “live” hit – then throw to a package that isn’t the least bit memorable or in any way stylized. Their live shots, their standups, their writing and their producing does absolutely nothing to make them stand out from the parade of generic reporters airing on TV every minute of every day. Continue reading ANONYMOUS PURVEYORS OF FACTS
Social media called out a Japanese news reporter and his crew who were reporting from the city of Sukayu, a hot spring town in northern Japan. The NHK reporter started his opening standup with: Continue reading FLAKE NEWS
Mrs. Helen Ferguson is devastated when kidnappers snatch her husband and hold him ransom for everything she’s got. Local news reporter Leo MacKenzie scores an exclusive, breaking news interview with Mrs. Ferguson. But once that interview is done, the crew discovers no audio was recorded. What happens next is classic Carol Burnett.
A year or so ago, I released a book about a TV producing experience that dramatically altered the direction of my life. It involves a woman who has become a very good friend of mine, British medium/clairvoyant Lisa Williams. I discovered Lisa quite by accident when I was searching for characters for reality shows I was producing. It is an understatement to say that Lisa “blew my mind”. Along with her jaw-dropping psychic abilities, she was a made-for-TV talent. Breathtaking on screen. When I shot her pilot in Manhattan, she’d never done any on-camera work before, but her warmth and genuine authenticity grabbed viewers through the camera and didn’t let them go. Continue reading MY LIFE-ALTERING SHOOT