The day after Christmas seems like a good day to hop on this blog to issue my annual apology for not updating it anymore. (I’ve fallen into that all too common trap of tapping out quick posts on Facebook instead. I know, I know – I’m part of the problem.)
Anyway, I’m not sure how much cross-over appeal there is between “Soap” peeps and those who love “My So-Called Life,” but I thought I should mention that THIS is the book that’s currently occupying my time these days: “So Beautiful it Hurts: The Making of ‘My So-Called Life.'”
I’ve only just started writing it – I’m only about 3 chapters in – and still have a few interviews to go yet. If you’re so inclined, please join us over here in our little corner of the world as we discuss Jordan Catalano, Angela, and all the gang from one of the best TV shows ever made. (Flannel optional.) If you’ve sworn off Facebook, you’ll find some good old fashioned blog posts here.
Wishing you a wonderful new year,
Hi gang. Saw this come up on Audible today and thought I’d share it.
My publisher, Ben Ohmart, wrote a biography of Diana Canova’s mom, Judy, a while back. This week he published the audiobook, read appropriately enough by Diana. What a blast to hear Corinne reading to you 🙂
Audible members can get it here.
(Click photo for TV segment link)
While it’s great to see Jay Johnson’s photos from today’s honoring of Robert Guillaume on Hallmark’s Home and Family show, Jay’s thoughts on it all are exactly what we’ve come to expect from his Internet soap (Soap?) box: an honest reflection on whatever subject he’s decided to turn his mind to.
I’ve frequently said here (and in the Soap book) that Jay Johnson gives the impression of being the smartest guy in the room, and his post here only underscores that. There’s a certain tension that exists when you have someone who is both self-aware and aware of the ridiculousness of his surroundings, and that person has a career in Hollywood.
Honestly, the only other person I can think of who had these qualities was Douglas Adams. His Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy might’ve told us “Don’t Panic”; I think Jay would probably say “You probably should panic, but really, what’s the point?”
It’s always lovely to see a website as cool and beloved as Boing Boing giving a little love to Soap, especially when you consider that their area of focus is pretty much everything in the world, from the various ways the Powers That Be mess us about to trips to islands overrun with bunnies. Thanks for reminding the world about Soap, Jason Weisberger 🙂
Thanks to Soap super fan Jeff K. for pointing out that the insightful Soap reunion sponsored by the Museum of Broadcasting took place March 22, 1990 – 25 years ago yesterday.
It’s been a quarter of a century today (March 22nd) since the gang came together and filming it became one of my treasures. I’ve just watched it for the anniversary. Diana Canova’s “6 year old son” is in his 30’s, older than I was when I filmed it. R. I. P. Caroline McWilliams, Arthur Peterson & Richard Mulligan (I guess a pretty good average for 25 years).
This is also probably a good time to remind people that Jeff went to considerable trouble to transcribe the Soap reunion that he attended (and taped) back in 1990. You can find the complete transcript right here.
It occurs to me today that all I did was write one book about this influential series – it’s Jeff and people like him who did the really valuable work of preserving these bits and pieces over the years. Thanks to one and all who have done us all that great service.
…well, a year ago yesterday was the day Soap: The [Unauthorized[ Inside Story of the Sitcom that Broke all the Rules had its official debut at Book Soup in Los Angeles.
Such a wonderful few days Pamela and I spent there meeting people I already felt I knew, both from Soap itself and from the fan community.
A year on I’m still very grateful to Book Soup’s Amelia Cone, super fan Jeff K. and everyone who came out to the launch, as well as Soap‘s Sal Viscuso, Marsha Posner Williams, Jay Johnson, Robert Mandan, Jay Sandrich and Katherine Helmond for their help, hospitality, and kind words and deeds. (More on the original event here.)
Head on over to Jay Johnson’s blog for his warm birthday tribute to the actor behind Chester Tate, and the man who’s been in “a gillion” films. As for Jay’s sign-off:
“Happy Birthday, Mr. Mandan. We shall celebrate with a bottle of “HOOP DE HAH”
Soap fans will recall that Hoop De Hah was the brand of booze Hobo Chester was drinking while suffering from amnesia following his suicide attempt. (Don’t you miss those great Soap storylines?)
If memory serves, Jay actually designed a label for the hootch and gave Bob Mandan a bottle that he still had the last time we spoke. They really were (and are) a wonderful family.
Hi all. With last week’s passing of beloved actor Edward Herrmann, I put together the complete interview I conducted with him for The Gilmore Girls Companion back in 2009. (He graciously wrote the foreword to that book.)
It occurred to me that many Soap lovers might also be fans of his work considering the wide range of programs and films he appeared in over the years.
When I went back through my notes I discovered that the interview ran to 40 typed pages in all, so it seemed best to make it available as a PDF rather than online.
I apologize for the design quality of the document itself; Pamela is up to her eyeballs in deadlines right now so I had a go at putting it together myself. She’s the designer, I’m the writer, and unfortunately I’m afraid that shows.
That said, I wanted to get this text out there sooner rather than later.
A word here on the process: I sent him a few sample questions before we actually spoke by phone for the first time. I recorded the conversation, transcribed it, and sent the transcript to him to make any corrections or clarifications he deemed fit. That corrected text is what you’ll find in this PDF.
More than anything else, I really wanted people who never had the opportunity to meet him to see how he spoke and his thought process.
He was a rare individual, and greatly missed.
PS – As a fellow old-time radio fan, I wanted to include a few quick links to the shows and personalities Mr. Herrmann references in the interview. For those interested in hearing the programs first hand, there are many free podcasts available – just search for “old time radio” or “otr” in your favorite podcatcher or in iTunes.
Bob & Ray
Sal Viscuso (Soap’s Father Tim) is finally getting some long overdue recognition for his dramatic work in the gripping two-hander A Steady Rain. Currently being staged at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre until Nov. 2, the production is technically touring, so could pop up in your town soon. If it does, don’t miss it. Here he is chatting with Minneapolis’ local CBS affiliate yesterday. A force of nature is our Sal.
Soap’s Father Tim, Sal Viscuso, is back on network TV Thursday, Sept. 25th, after his brilliant part in the two-man show A Steady Rain. Don’t miss it.
And to get the back story on Sal, I heartily recommend taking a moment to read Otto Bruno’s new piece on the man himself. There are some good folks in the acting world, and Sal is one of the best.