December 13, 2018
I hope you’re all well as we say farewell to Fall and welcome in the Holidays.
I heard a great quote from a friend the other day and I wanted to share it with you guys.
Ready? Here it is.
“I honestly thought getting old would take longer.”
Oh boy. We can ALL relate!
Some momentous things have happened since we were last in touch.
The Four Preps performed our final public show on December 5th.
(I emphasize “public” since we will continue to perform for charity events, class reunions, private parties etc..)
It was a humdinger of an evening.
(O.K. how long since you heard anyone use the word “humdinger”?!)
A great many old friends showed up including a contingent from Catalina and my Hollywood High school sweetheart… Sally Stewart.
That sort of brought things full circle since Sally was at the Preps’ very first performance in the 1954 HHS student talent show.
Of course all that is in the book which is coming along nicely and will be ready to go early in the new year if I keep my computer to the grindstone.
In the meantime, amusing things keep happening and I love taking a break from the book to share them and maybe help you jangle loose a few memories and even a laugh or three.
Here’s something I dealt with just last week when it finally happened.
I knew it would sooner or later.
It’s inevitable and happens to every actor as he grows older.
What am I talking about? Arthritis? Senility? Male pattern baldness?
Nope. I’m referring to the “shrinking residual” syndrome and it’s finally hit yours truly.
Here’s what I’m referring to.
For those of you not familiar with how actors are paid each time a show in which they appear is re-run, the actor receives a residual royalty check covering that re-broadcast.
However, as time passes and the number of re-runs mount up, the subsequent payments gradually begin to diminish until…
well, first let me give you some background.
In the Fall of 1974, Producer Garry Marshall (“The Odd Couple,” “LaVerne & Shirley,” “Pretty Woman”) asked me to provide some of the voices for the “Oldies” you hear coming from the malt shop jukebox on “Happy Days.”
(“Sh Boom” was one of my better efforts.)
My initial fee at the time?
It was into four figures.
However, that show has been re-broadcast so many times that finally the other day a royalty check arrived… in the grand amount of $1.12!
(Good Lord. At this rate if I live to be 120, I’ll owe them money.)
That was going to be the punch line to this humbling little tale.
So I finished this piece and was about to send it to my editor for proofing, when another royalty payment arrived in today’s mail.
Some more background.
I was lucky enough to provide some of the animal voices in Disney’s original classic film “Jungle Book.”
(Lots of Disney stories in the book. For those who are curious, I’m one of the harrumphing elephants and a harmonizing buzzard.)
Obviously, “Jungle Book” has been re-shown a whole bunch of times which may make me a hero with my Granddaughter but… well I opened the envelope to discover a new benchmark.
I’m thinking of saving it for a trip to Vegas where I can double it and never have to work again.
Oh well, since I have no intention of retiring anyhow, I’d better get my ass in gear and finish the book ‘cause Uncle Walt has just about drained the “Jungle Book” piggy-bank dry.
Actually as I said, “ICONS, IDOLS and IDIOTS” is coming along just fine and I’m planning on a release in early 2019.
In the meantime, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to express how much I appreciate all of you out there who continue to read and enjoy my little missives and encourage me with your kind comments.
I am one lucky man and the good times just keep on coming.
So buckle up ‘cause the ride is far from over!
Warmest Holiday wishes to all of you dear devoted readers and friends.
Please take good care of yourselves and each other… and KEEP IN TOUCH!