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April 26, 2006


steve c

I was readng that list feeling pretty smug that I didn't fit in with any of the types listed (and especially that being a manic depressive is a positive here!) until I read Dr No. Uh-oh. My last job (not scripts, but marketing bullshit) I just spent my time scowling and shaking my head in meetings. Maybe I'm not a "room" kind of guy...

Will Teullive

Then there's 'The Gentile' showing up in the writer's room with that cross around his neck. This is Hollywood!! How the hell did he get in here?

Beth Ciotta

Too funny! This also crosses over to novels. Aside from my solo writing I've co-authored three books with another writer. One very specific writer. Whether the team consists of two people or six, you're right. It's all in the chemistry.

Tom Quigley

I know exactly how you feel, having tried to write with others a few times myself, and in some cases knew the chemistry was wrong as soon as I heard the words "How do you like your double espresso?"MAD ABOUT YOU had 21 writers on its staff the final season, as Paul Reiser and Victor Levin decided to give everyone in the world who'd just received their WGAW membership card a shot at being on staff... I don't know about the chemistry, because I don't know if anyone even knew everyone else's name by the end of the season. Maybe it was better that way...By the the way, Ken, can we go back to the blog you posted on March 24th? I was just thinking...

Mary Stella

That list exists in other rooms. I see the roles filled in business meetings all the time. Unfortunately, the business meetings don't have the comic relief.

Emily Blake

I'm definitely the talker. I'm misleading though. The first few days in a new environment I don't say anything, but as soon as I get comfortable, I can't be silenced. Everything reminds me of the time I did something.


Ken,What if the writer is pleasant to be around, but generally quiet in the room (but a good story generator who writes well and gets outlines/scripts in on time)? Would you keep that person around to balance out a room? Does a writer's expected contribution in the room depend upon rank?I swear these questions have nothing to do with me.


Happily I fit none of those profiles. Whew!Oh, and -- it's "Crohn's disease", not "Krone’s disease," and "President" isn't necessarily capitalized.

Chesher Cat

How come "the person who never shuts the fuck up" is female?And all the others are male?Except, of course, the Bi-polar who is neither.Just asking...


"How come "the person who never shuts the fuck up" is female?And all the others are male?"Well, let's be honest. None of these profiles are complimentary. One of them had to be female, or else some unpleasable crusader would come along and accuse Ken of being sexist.


I have a have a lot of carefully channeled rage and untapped hostility. Plus, I'm funny as hell.Ken, thank you for continuing to give me hope that I can make it in showbiz.


BLESS YOU! For having pity on us poor PA's. I have cursed many people while up at 6:30 trying to find stupid things like a starbucks double espresso with a hint of hot water... You're right. Nobody wants to get you snack,, but we'll smile and play along if you treat us nice.


Ken -I can't believe you forgot all about the dreaded "REPEATER." You remember -- the person who enthusiastically pitches what was pitched five minutes ago but "in their own words." Then when it's rejected a second time they can't believe it.Great piece. Right...on...the...money.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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