Wednesday, July 11, 2018

In LA, there was a brush fire in Griffith Park. But then the fire started dating a Kardashian and became a crack addict, bi-polar, an alcoholic, had a sex-change operation and then vanished.

There was an awkward moment when Donald Trump was informed England lost to Croatia at the World Cup. Trump said, "At least England made it to the semi-finals, Great Britain didn't even make the tournament."

There are two things I learned watching the World Cup today on “Fox Sports.” One, Croatia is playing France for the title, and two, Alexi Lalas is somehow becoming even more annoying.

In China, a teenage boy was sent to the hospital with a USB cord stuck in his penis."Did it hurt like crazy when they took yours out too?" Asked Eric Trump.

Donald Trump stood up for the US against NATO. In a related story, White House Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, passed out with shock.

Experts say Donald Trump's wealth is below one billion and "Forbes" estimates Kylie Jenner is at one billion. Three years ago, if you had said Kylie Jenner would be richer than Donald Trump, but Donald Trump would be president, they would have locked you up.

Donald Trump accused Germany of being owned by Russia. That isn't just the pot calling the kettle black, that is the kettle calling the kettle a kettle.

In China, a teenage boy was sent to the hospital with a USB cord stuck in his penis. And I thought I was bad at following instructions.

Kylie Jenner has been named on "Forbes" list of self-made women. She was the first woman in the "My career was made by my step-sister's sex tape" category.

Kylie Jenner has been named on "Forbes" list of self-made women. "Self-made? Are you kidding me?" Asked Kylie's plastic surgeon.

Since you asked:

Have a college buddy who has won a couple of Emmys on several hit shows for his work as a sound engineer. He gave some great dirt. He said 90% of actors are wonderful, but the 10% who are awful - almost always the stars - are so bad he retired early to get away from them.

He named names, and there were not many surprises. He did say the sex and drugs go way beyond what most people would imagine. He did say George Clooney was a genuinely great guy. Katherine Heigl? Not so much. Had a staffer fired for misspelling her name.  

One of the things he did say that was interesting was that 80% of actors on a TV show have been underemployed for quite a while. Initially, they are delighted just to have a job, let alone be on a hit show. 

The problems start to occur during the second year when the actors come to view the job as too much work. The other thing you can notice on hit shows is how some of the actors were almost literally starving artists and you can easily see them enjoying to spoils of their profession. 

Food and booze abound on the sets of Hollywood. Part of a working actor’s job is to inform his broke friends when there are buffets and parties they can crash. Cocaine is so abundant that even when it is kept under the radar, it still surfaces by accident under the noses of stars in paparazzi photos.

A classic example of this was Kelsey Grammer on "Cheers." He started the show a fit, lean machine with a slightly receding hairline. Two years later, he was bloated, bald, red-faced and his voice was reduced to a barking rasp from all-nighters.

My stockbroker buddy who made it big in TV on "Babylon 5," RIP, Jerry Doyle, got in trouble with the whole town of Hollywood when he went to a bar with a writer from "Entertainment Weekly" and laughed at how easy being a TV star is compared to real jobs. 

Nothing to do on Sunday through Tuesday while the writers write. Wednesday is a table read hungover in sweats. Thursday is a couple hours of rehearsal. Friday walk-through, Saturday filming. On Saturdays he did not have to drive, they sent a car for him to make sure he was on time.

And that was during the 20 weeks or so they filmed episodes. The rest of the 32 weeks they have off. 

The theme I keep seeing in both comedians and actors is the ten and twenty-year overnight success stories. In my opinion as a comedy writer, Amy Schumer is a classic example of a Roseanne Barr/Tom Arnold/Jim Belushi success story. Somebody who blew up far beyond their abilities as a comedian or actor.

Amy Schumer was an overnight success story that took 15 years. She went from scrounging quarters in her couch to go to happy hour to being flown to her appearances in private jets and helicopters. 

To Schumer’s credit, on her show, she did feature her more talented friends, like Nikki Glaser,  Maria Bamford, and Jackie Monahan. 

(The reason I am not a fan of Amy Schumer is the 25-minute video of her blatantly stealing jokes for her stand up act and her show. Used to be Tig Notaro fan until she, well, for legal reasons, I best not say) 

How unfair is the meritocracy of the entertainment world?

Because her half-sister, Kim Kardashian, made a sex tape, and her mom, Kris Jenner, is a shrewd marketer and leaked it, Kylie Jenner is worth almost one billion dollars for her cosmetic company.

"Forbes" just told us so. 

Because they owned most of the songwriting credits and they founded the band and stuck with it, and they had successful solo careers, the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey, (Glenn RIP) are worth about $200 to $100 million each. Incredibly wealthy, but way down from Kylie Jenner. 

The two bass players for the Eagles, Timothy B. Schmidt after “Hotel California,”  Randy Meisner up to “Hotel California,” are both worth around $10 million each. 

$10 million is a lot of money, it is just nowhere near the $200 to $100 million of their fellow bandmates. That seems unjust for a band that split everything evenly from the start. 

$200 to $100 million is gated estates in Malibu, Kauai and a penthouse on the Upper East Side of New York. Private jets. 4-star suites. A full-time limo driver. Private chefs.

$10 million is a nice ranch house with a guest cottage in the Hollywood Hills or Agora Hills and security for their immediate family. First class flights. Hyatts and Hiltons. A Tesla or two. Great restaurants. 

If Randy Meisner had not quit the Eagles, Timothy B. Schmidt, a wildly talented high singer, bass player and songwriter who wrote “I Can’t Tell You Why,” would probably still be playing with his old band, Poco, for about $75,000 a year.  (When he joined the Eagles, Timothy was making $200 a week with Poco according to Glenn Frey in "History of the Eagles")   

$75,000 a year is a dingy apartment in Santa Monica and a Prius. Southwest Airlines and Airbnb. Islands for dinner. 

Timothy B. Schmidt, while doing what he loves, has all the talent in the world. Beautiful voice, great bass player, and a talented songwriter. Good looking guy, too. 

Kylie Jenner has no identifiable talent at all. None. She doesn’t sing, dance, act or model. She is pretty, but not prettier than the average porn star. Much work done. 

And yet the difference between Kylie Jenner and Timothy B. Schmidt is about one billion dollars.   

The only people who say money does not matter are rich people.