Hollywood & Levine

Hollywood & Levine

By Wave Podcast Network

Hollywood & Levine looks at the world of entertainment, pop culture, screenwriting, and life, and takes none of it seriously. The point is to make you laugh, although useful information might accidentally slip through. Hosted by Emmy-winning writer/baseball announcer/talk show host, Ken Levine, Hollywood & Levine will feature commentary, war stories on Ken’s career (MASH, Cheers, Frasier, Simpsons), interviews, writing advice, movie reviews, snarky award show recaps, tall tales from his baseball and radio career, segments from old broadcasts, improv sketches, answering listener questions, and more. It’s a fun, fast-paced hour of humor, nonsense, and God knows what.

Episodes

EP197: Writer Rob Long Part Two

Two CHEERS writers discuss the actual process and share insights and stories… including firing a Tony-winning actor.  It’s a great insiders’ look at how sitcoms really get written.   Other podcasts on WAVE!
22/10/2036m 24s

EP196: Meet writer Rob Long Part One

Rob Long broke into TV writing by getting on staff of CHEERS when he was 24.  He and Ken have a freewheeling discussion of television comedy, advice on breaking in, theories, the business, the craziness, the fun.  Listen to other podcasts similar to this on iTunes!
15/10/2039m 44s

EP195: The Voice of God and Eyewitness News

Charlie Van Dyke has one of the most recognizable voices in America although you might not know the name.  From big-time DJ at KHJ, WLS, KFRC, CKLW, WRKO, KRTH, KLIF, and more he transitioned into voice over, and I guarantee he’s the voice of one of your local TV stations and radio stations.  It’s a fascinating journey.  Meet “Oh, THAT guy,” Charlie Van Dyke.  Listen to other podcasts similar to this on iTunes!
08/10/2026m 39s

EP194: The First Night of CHEERS

September 30th marked the 38th anniversary of the debut of CHEERS.  Join Ken for the first night party and more inside scuttlebutt on the show that is now iconic but finished last in the ratings the night it premiered.  Other podcasts on WAVE!
01/10/2023m 41s

EP193: The Man who Saved Batman Part Two

Ken talks with Michael Uslan, the originator and executive producer of the Batman movie franchise.  This week we discuss the various Batman reboots, Christopher Nolan’s vision, the upcoming reboot, and why I hate what Zach Snyder has done to Superman.  Listen to other podcasts similar to this on iTunes!
24/09/2027m 48s

EP192: The Man who Saved Batman Part One

Ken talks with Michael Uslan, the originator and executive producer of the Batman movie franchise. We’ll talk the origin of Batman, his revered place in popular culture, the co-creator who didn’t get credit for 70 years, the TV show, and first Tim Burton Batman movie.   It’s comic-con for the ears!   Listen to other podcasts similar to this on iTunes!
17/09/2038m 31s

EP191: CHEERS trivia you might not know

On this week's Hollywood & Levine, Ken takes you behind-the-scenes with insider stories about the hit sitcom Cheers. If you thought you knew a lot about Cheers, think again! This is a must listen for sitcom fans.  Listen to other podcasts similar to this on iTunes!
10/09/2029m 37s

EP190: The Inside Secrets of TV Research

Research plays a major role in what shows get on the air. But how does it work and what are they looking for?  Steve Leblang is a media research expert.  From dial testing to focus groups to measuring brain waves, Steve walks us through the various ways data is collected.  And he talks about how accurate those political polls are. WAVE On iTunes
03/09/2032m 46s

EP189: Writer Bill Persky Part Two

Bill Persky and partner Sam Denoff wrote 29 episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and eventually became its showrunners.  More fascinating stories including a great one involving Orson Welles. Try Listening to some of our other podcasts!
27/08/2023m 1s

EP188: Writer Bill Persky of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”

Bill Persky and partner Sam Denoff wrote 29 episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and eventually became its showrunners.  Here’s the inside story of how they made one of the greatest shows ever on television.
20/08/2030m 23s

EP187: The best DJ no one ever listens to!

Deke Duncan has been spinning the hits for 45 years.  No one listens. No one ever has.  No one can.  Meet this fascinating personality. It’s a crazy episode about following your bliss.   
13/08/2032m 35s

EP186: Another Free Association Podcast

Ken riffs from topic to topic; everything from the Emmys to the Catskills, Cub Scouts, National Anthem, comedy exercises, American Bandstand, bowling, British sitcoms, summer camp, snark, and Sinatra.   Fun personal stories and harebrained opinions. 
06/08/2035m 53s

EP185: Singer/songwriter Debbie Gibson Part 2

From pop star to Broadway star to reality show star (with a few Shark movies thrown in), Debbie Gibson continues her unique and remarkable career.   The ups and downs of show business and what she’s learned along the way.  It’s a fun and insightful ride.
30/07/2039m 7s

EP184: Meet singer/songwriter Debbie Gibson Part 1

Debbie Gibson was a huge pop star in the late ‘80s – writing, performing, and producing a string of gold records while still in high school.   It’s a unique and fascinating journey.  So you want to be a rock n’ roll star?  Here’s all the hard work it takes to get there.  Plus, her songwriting process. 
23/07/2026m 7s

EP183: TV Critic Alan Sepinwall Part 2

Alan Sepinwall is the Chief TV critic for Rolling Stones magazine and author of numerous books on television.  This week we discuss the future of television, and pissing off showrunners. 
16/07/2027m 30s

EP182: Meet TV Critic Alan Sepinwall

Alan Sepinwall is the Chief TV critic for Rolling Stones magazine and author of numerous books on television. With the industry changing so fast, it’s difficult to cover it all. But Alan does and explains how. 
09/07/2023m 54s

EP181: Part 2 with JEOPARDY champion, Jennifer Quail

More with Jennifer Quail who won $228,000 in eight days on JEOPARDY and will likely be in this year’s Tournament of Champions.  We get into the pressure, strategy, Alex Trebek’s condition, advice, and more juicy behind-the-scenes stories.
02/07/2032m 54s

EP180: Meet 8-time JEOPARDY champion, Jennifer Quail

Jennifer Quail won $228,000 in eight days on JEOPARDY and will likely be in this year’s Tournament of Champions.  Ever wanted to go on JEOPARDY?  Or know what it was like?  Jennifer graciously shares her experience this week and next.  “What are two great episodes of Hollywood & Levine?”
25/06/2034m 32s

EP179: How to give notes and how NOT to give notes

In this week's Hollywood and Levine podcast, Ken discusses the do’s and don’ts of giving notes, and how to also treat writers and actors with respect. Network and studio executives in particular, take note.
18/06/2028m 18s

EP178: Meet Billy Van Zandt: Part Two

More hilarious and insane sitcom career adventures with writer Billy Van Zandt. Example: Creating, writing, casting, and filming a network pilot in two weeks. Good fun and angst this week.
11/06/2025m 39s

EP177: Meet comedy writer Billy Van Zandt

Billy Van Zandt has written on sitcoms for such stars as Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Martin Lawrence, Richard Lewis, Andrew Dice Clay and many more.  It’s a wild journey I know you’re going to enjoy. 
04/06/2024m 10s

EP176: A Master Class in Directing Part 2

More expert advice in directing from Andy Barnicle.  Dealing with actors, the difference between TV and theatre, blocking, rewriting, lighting, interpretation, the technical part of the job.
28/05/2034m 23s

EP175: A Master Class in Directing Part 1

Everyone says: “what I really want to do is direct.”  Then this is the episode for you.  Meet Andy Barnicle, who has directed over 300 full-length plays.  In part 1 of this 2 part series, Andy concentrates on directing actors.  It’s a fascinating and eye-opening look into the creative process.    
21/05/2032m 55s

EP174: The Broadcaster’s Nightmare

We’ve all had the “nightmare” – it’s the day of your college final, you never went to class, your life depends on this grade, etc.  Every profession has its own custom version of that dream.  As a broadcaster Ken experienced several of these nightmares that actually came true.   Terrifying then, hilarious now.   Enjoy his pain.
14/05/2038m 9s

EP173: The Early Days of My TV Career

If you're trying to make it in the television industry, this is the podcast for you. Emmy winning writer Ken Levine walks you through his early days as a freelance writer in the business working with David Isaacs. Ken shares all his experiences, including all the ups and many downs. Pitching stories, pilot episodes, backup scripts and dealing with rejections!  
07/05/2033m 35s

EP172: Bringing Live Theatre to YOU

Ken shares a one act play he wrote called SIGNING OFF. It’s about a late night talk host who’s put out to pasture meeting his young replacement. It’s a comedy/drama, performed last year at the Atwater Theatre in Los Angeles starring Nick Ullett & Clayton Ferris, directed by Tony Pasqualini.  With all stages dark these days, here’s a way to enjoy live theatre presented in the safety of your speaker or ear buds.
30/04/2028m 6s

EP171: Ken's Top 5 List, For 25 Different Categories

On this week's Hollywood & Levine podcast, Ken shares 25 different top 5 lists in categories that range from movies, TV, radio, actors, comedians, singers, announcers, and steak houses. Listen to this hilarious podcast, as Ken shares his years of experience and expertise in the world of entertainment. 
23/04/2048m 0s

EP170: The Golden Era of Radio

By popular demand, Ken shares an audio documentary he made for a UCLA class with fellow classmate, Bill Pearl. It traces Southern California Top 40 radio from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. We got an A.
16/04/2030m 57s

EP169: For those who miss sports

On this week's Hollywood & Levine, sportscaster Josh Lewin joins Ken to discuss his new podcast, “The Throwback League” – recreating games between the best teams in baseball. It’s a great way to spend a day on lockdown. 
09/04/2035m 8s

EP168: Free Association Podcasting

As an experiment, Ken just free associates from one random topic to another. It’s a little of everything including throwing Neil Young out of a record store. 
02/04/2032m 42s

EP167: Comedy Suggestions While Quarantined

On this week's Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken Levine puts together a list of over 60 of his favorite comedy movies worth seeing whilst you're locked on in quarantine. There’s nothing you can do and nowhere you can go, so you might as well spend the time laughing at some of the best comedies of all time.  The list includes: Beverly Hills Cop, All About Eve, Blazing Saddles, Groundhog Day, Road To Morocco, Something About Mary and many more. Enjoy!    
26/03/2036m 39s

EP166: More with Comedy Writer Jay Kogen

This week, comedy writer Jay Kogen discusses his time working on FRASIER, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, and shares stories about his work on the huge hit TV show THE SIMPSONS.
19/03/2025m 29s

EP165: The Birth Of The Simpsons

Ken interviews Jay Kogen, one of the original writers of THE SIMPSONS. He’s worked on many great shows and won an Emmy for a script of FRASIER. In part-one of this two-parter, Jay talks about breaking in, learning from Garry Shandling, and the early days of THE SIMPSONS. 
12/03/2025m 30s

EP164: And now for the play-by-play

With the help of celebrity interviewer, Arlen Peters, Ken discusses his “other” career – that of a major league baseball play-by-play announcer.   How he broke in, why he broke in, the stories and lessons along the way doing both minor and major league broadcasting (while maintaining a writing career).   It’s not so much a “baseball” episode as “Walter Mitty” episode.
05/03/2052m 28s

EP163: All things FRASIER

In the second part of his discussion with David Lee, the co-creator of FRASIER, they get into the creation, casting, tone, and speculation over whether there will ever be a reboot of this iconic series.   If you’re a fan of FRASIER, this episode is not to be missed. 
27/02/2024m 1s

EP162: Meet FRASIER co-creator David Lee

David Lee was a showrunner on THE JEFFERSONS and CHEERS and co-creator of WINGS and FRASIER. He’s an Emmy winning writer/director/producer.  In part one of this two part discussion, he discusses breaking into the business, THE JEFFERSONS, CHEERS, and the rigors of creating their first series, WINGS.  Next week is all FRASIER. 
20/02/2028m 1s

EP161: 50 Actors we Rejected

Even the best actors get rejected countless times. Ken lists all the actors he and writing partner, David Isaacs have rejected for projects – often for good reasons, some for frustrating reasons (the network wouldn’t approve them), and some we just plain screwed up. But hopefully it will give heart to actors that rejections can’t deter talent or a great career.
13/02/2042m 14s

EP160: Meet John Pike Part 2

The former president of Paramount TV and VP of CBS Late Night, John Pike discusses his role, the birth of Fox, the return of STAR TREK, working with David Letterman, the future of the business, and he offers great advice for anyone interested in getting into the entertainment industry. 
06/02/2023m 37s

EP159: Things even I didn’t know about FRASIER & CHEERS

Ken’s guest is John Pike, the longtime president of Paramount Television in the ‘80’s & ‘90s. Most people don’t know this but John played an instrumental role in the creation of FRASIER. That and CHEERS take up most of part-one of this fascinating two-part interview.
30/01/2026m 42s

EP158: Concerts I’ve Attended: Seeing the great and not so great

Ken recalls some of the music concerts he’s attended down through the years.  From Sinatra to the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band he’s seen ‘em all, or at least some of ‘em.
23/01/2049m 59s

EP157: Analyzing Comedy with David Isaacs , Part 2

Ken and longtime writing partner David Isaacs discus genres of film and TV comedy. Why FRIENDS and other successful sitcoms work. 
16/01/2023m 33s

EP156: Analyzing Comedy with David Isaacs, Part 1

On this week's Hollywood and Levine podcast, Ken’s writing partner David Isaacs returns for a lively discussion on comedy – theories, genres and romcoms. It’s a fascinating study of what it takes to evoke laughter. 
09/01/2028m 55s

EP155: Making MANNEQUIN (& MANNEQUIN 2) Come to Life

The wild stories of the making of these two Hollywood films (one a huge hit, the other a colossal bomb). It’s a saga filled with colorful characters, scoundrels, wacky decisions, and overall craziness. In other words: a typical Hollywood story. And Ken was right in the middle of it all. 
02/01/2034m 19s

EP154: Holiday & Levine

This week on Hollywood and Levine, Ken tells tales of his Christmas childhood growing up in ole’ LA.
19/12/1932m 17s

EP153: What it takes to be a good Comic Actor

Ken puts on his director hat and shares his thoughts on how to become a good comic actor. And he offers some great examples.
12/12/1936m 37s

EP152: Crazy Casting Stories

This week on Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken shares some stories of horrible casting suggestions, and inspired casting choices that were rejected. It’s why all actors are on Lexapro.
05/12/1927m 33s

EP151: Thanksgiving Turkeys

Once again Ken plays some Thanksgiving Turkeys, songs that don’t try to be funny but just are.  Get ready to laugh and cringe, but mostly laugh. 
28/11/1931m 43s

EP150: The Reality of being a Reality Star: Meet Susie Meister

Former MTV Reality Star Susie Meister shares her experiences, what it’s really like being on a reality show, and what life is like after your fifteen minutes of fame are up. It’s a compelling and sometimes heartbreaking re-entry in real reality. 
21/11/1937m 20s

EP149: Keeping it Real: a lesson in comedy

Ken discusses the importance of reality in comedy and shares a one act play to serve as an example. 
14/11/1925m 40s

EP148: Meet comedy writer extraordinaire Bob Ellison

Most of the great jokes on television you laughed at for 40 years were written by Emmy winner, Bob Ellison. Now meet the man behind the mirth. And the process of comedy rewriting. 
07/11/1929m 44s

EP147: Hollywood Horror Stories for Halloween

Your worst nightmare. The chilling and terrifying tale of what it’s like to be on a TV show that’s an abject failure. Listen with the lights on. 
31/10/1921m 57s

EP146: This week’s guest: ME Part 2

Entertainment reporter Arlen Peters continues his interview with Ken – interacting with actors, learning to direct, breaking into the feature world, playwriting, anecdotes, and much more.
24/10/1940m 35s

EP145: This week’s guest: ME Part 1

On this week's Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken switches things up and invites entertainment reporter Arlen Peters to take the reins and interview him. We hear all about Ken's lengthy career in the world of comedy and entertainment as a Writer, Director and Producer. Spoiler Alert: He does not make Ken cry.
17/10/1937m 51s

EP144: Writing Advice and a Rant

Ken deals with two difficult aspects of writing – structure and exposition along with helpful tips for each. And he has one of those rants of his.
10/10/1929m 2s

EP43: Once Upon a Time in Woodland Hills

Ken gets nostalgic and shares all of his futile attempts to be popular in High School. It’s his version of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘60s. 
03/10/1931m 15s

EP142: Meet radio star Shotgun Tom Kelly

How many disc jockeys have a star on the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame?  Okay, several, but Shotgun Tom is one of them. Currently on Sirius/XM’s 60’s on 6 channel he’s had a colorful career in an industry that used to be really fun and now sucks.  But together we relive the good stuff.
26/09/1935m 27s

EP141: Taking Meetings in Hollywood

Ken discusses the various and wacky movie meetings he and his partner, David Isaacs have “taken” over the years. 
19/09/1932m 5s

EP140: Inside the Writer’s Mind

Listen to a ten-minute play that Ken wrote and hear him walk you through his thought process. Lots of creative decisions need to be made. It’s a great lesson in how you craft a comedy scene. 
12/09/1934m 33s

EP139: From Russia With Like

Ken takes you on a wacky tour of Scandinavia and Russia – filled with absurdities and atrocities.  What more could anyone ask of a summer vacation?
05/09/1934m 17s

EP138: Meet Corporal Klinger – Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr talks about his long career, his experiences on MASH, and a harrowing story that took place in Korea. Other than a near-death experience, lots of fun tales.  
29/08/1936m 22s

EP137: Jobs I Didn’t Get

For all the jobs that writers, even successful writers, get – there is always a long list of jobs they didn’t get.  This week Ken shares his.  Hopefully this will inspire you to keep pushing. 
22/08/1924m 24s

EP136: Howard Michael Gould Part 2

Ken and Howard discuss their writing process and how it applies to teleplays, features, stage plays, and novels.  And probably whatever task you’re undertaking.
15/08/1932m 29s

EP135: Meet Writer/Director/Playwright/Novelist Howard Michael Gould

Not what you’d call an under-achiever -- Howard Michael Gould has been a TV writer, a screenwriter, showrunner, TV and film director, copywriter, playwright, and novelist. A varied background with great stories about running Cybil Shepherd’s sitcom of horror and an amazing association with Mike Nichols. 
08/08/1930m 32s

EP134: Meet comedian/writer Jeff Cesario

Jeff Cesario has been a stand-up who’s appeared often on LETTERMAN, THE TONIGHT SHOW, CONAN, KIMMEL, and has had his own SHOWTIME special.  He was also a writer/producer on THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW.   He and Ken discuss comedy, Garry Shandling, what happened to Dennis Miller, and his alter ego, sportscaster Chet Waterhouse.  Lots of laughs and insight this week.
01/08/1938m 18s

EP133: Pilots I Have Worked On

Ken shares stories of various sitcom pilots he’s worked on and a couple of these tales you won’t believe.   Go behind-the-scenes of how TV pilots are made.
25/07/1928m 54s

EP132: Legendary Director Jim Burrows, Part 2

This week in part two of the interview, Ken and Jim Burrows discuss the technical aspects of directing, the challenges of filming a live show, and the unique requirements of sitcom pilots. They also discuss some very interesting stories about the huge hit sitcom Friends. Some of Jim's credits include; Cheers, Friends, Wings, Will & Grace and many more.  
18/07/1926m 23s

EP131: Meet Director Jim Burrows Part 1

On this week's Hollywood & Levine, Ken interviews 10-time Emmy winner, Jim Burrows, who has directed over 1000 episodes of sitcoms including the pilots of CHEERS, FRIENDS, FRASIER, and WILL & GRACE. They discuss his career, and focus primarily on his process.  It’s a master class on TV directing. 
11/07/1931m 28s

EP130: Writing Musicals for Broadway… and the U.S Army

Ken discusses what he learned writing the book for a musical  and also shares an insane story of writing a musical for the United States Army. Hint:It was less successful than “Hamilton.”
04/07/1925m 40s

EP129: Our Pilot That Failed at ABC and HBO

Okay, two versions of this pilot failed at two different networks, but Levine & Isaacs got to hang out with the president of the United States, back when that meant something.   
27/06/1925m 39s

EP128: Ken’s Commencement Speech and Welcoming in Summer

If Ken were to ever speak at a college graduation, this would be his speech.  And then he reflects on summers past.
20/06/1933m 26s

EP127: Meet Kara Mayer Robinson: celebrity journalist

Kara Mayer Robinson has written for the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and has her own podcast, “Really Famous.” She and Ken discuss the world of celebrity interviews with a little gossip and goofy banter along the way.
13/06/1929m 14s

EP126: “Movin’ on Up” – selling our first script

What’s it like to break in and sell your first script?  Ken tells his experience when “the Jeffersons” hired him and partner David Isaacs. It was quite a learning experience as you will hear. 
06/06/1944m 22s

EP125: Filling in for Wolfman Jack and other radio adventures

Ken tells crazy stories of his disc jockey days -- filling in for the Wolfman, befriending the Hells Angels, and almost getting deported from Canada.   Oh, those fun days of radio.
30/05/1929m 13s

EP124: In defense of Multi-Camera Shows

Multi-camera shows shot in front of a studio audience are much maligned, unfairly so.  99% of our classic sitcoms are multi-camera.  Ken explains what it takes to do a good one and why many fall short.  If you’re a fan of TV comedy this is the episode for you.
23/05/1924m 32s

EP123: Open Letter to Ungrateful TV Actors

In light of Constance Wu’s public disdain of FRESH OFF THE BOAT’S pick-up, Ken puts into perspective what a gift it is to be on a hit series and the reality of network television casting. It’s an eye-opener. 
16/05/1922m 0s

EP122: Take a Guided Tour of the 20th Century Fox Lot.

Ken is your guide for a VIP tour of the 20th Century Fox  lot where thousands of classic movies and TV shows have been filmed including MASH.   Enjoy some history, anecdotes, and Hollywood lore, and you won’t need comfortable shoes. 
09/05/1929m 5s

EP121: Another CHEERS commentary track w/ Writer Ken Levine

Ken provides a commentary track for the CHEERS episode “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” from season 6, episode 17. Frasier and Lilith's wedding is nearing, and their best man and maid of honor, Sam and a very surprised Rebecca, are throwing them each a bachelor and  bachelorette party! You can watch along or just listen as Ken shares background info and nuggets on one of his favorite episodes.
02/05/1928m 35s

EP120: NBC’s Al Michaels, Part 2

In the second of two parts, NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, who has called 10 Super Bowls, numerous World Series, and will be forever known for his “Miracle on Ice” call, joins Ken for an in depth discussion on NFL football, working with partners, his process, preparation, and how much sleep he gets the night before he calls a Super Bowl. 
25/04/1927m 35s

EP119: NBC’s Al Michaels Part 1

In the first of two parts, NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, who has called 10 Super Bowls, numerous World Series, and will be forever known for his “Miracle on Ice” call, joins Ken for an in depth discussion.  In Part 1 Al talks about his baseball career, covering an earthquake, working for the Dating Game, MNF, and moving from ABC to NBC.  You don’t have to love sports to love Al Michaels. 
18/04/1933m 15s

EP118: More Celebrity Dish w/ Arlen Peters

Entertainment reporter Arlen Peters is back with more tasty inside stories and profiles of celebrities, famous writers, and iconic movies.  You know you love this stuff!
11/04/1938m 29s

EP117: My Mount Rushmore of Radio: Four greats radio stars

Ken introduces you to four of his all-time favorite radio performers.  These are the voices that inspired him and made him laugh.   Vin Scully, Dan Ingram, The Real Don Steele, and Gary Burbank.
04/04/1931m 2s

EP116: “How did I get talked into this?” Embarrassing stories during the course of my career.

We all get talked into doing stupid things. These are two of Ken’s.
28/03/1926m 3s

EP115: Meet Dennis Palumbo, writer/therapist

Dennis Palumbo is a licensed therapist and also co-wrote the comedy classic, MY FAVORITE YEAR.  He talks about common problems writers face and offers invaluable advice.  Also he discusses his fascinating career.  From TV (WELCOME BACK KOTTER), to screenplays, to mystery novels – Dennis Palumbo has done it all.  And still has time to see patients.
21/03/1938m 46s

EP114: My Writing Process

Ken talks about his writing steps, from germ of an idea to finished script or stage play. It’s an in-depth look into the creative process from an Emmy winning writer.
14/03/1926m 21s

EP113: Meet Bruce Miller and learn the story behind “Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs.”

Bruce Miller has composed and conducted the music for many TV series including FRASIER. He tells the inside story of what “Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs” really means along with other fascinating tales. Plus, a huge treat for FRASIER fans – something you’ve never heard before. 
07/03/1932m 11s

EP112: Ken’s Annual Bitchy Snarky Oscar Review

Once again, comedy writer Ken Levine watches the 2019 Academy Awards so you don’t have to, and files his opinionated, hopefully insightful, hopefully funny review. See if you agree with anything he says.
25/02/1919m 8s

EP111: “And the Loser is…” Academy Award Trivia

Getting you ready for the Oscars, Ken has compiled lots of fun facts about the Academy Awards including people who never won. This interesting and fact packed episode contains many surprises! A must listen for all movie lovers!
21/02/1917m 45s

EP110: TV in the age of Ageism

Ken discusses the realities of the television industry and how he has faced and learned to cope with ageism. It’s a candid personal look into longevity in Hollywood. 
14/02/1930m 11s

EP109: The Art of Magic, w/ Bruce Kalver

Ken talks to master magician Bruce Kalver. Learn about the world of magic and how to get out of handcuffs. It’s a fascinating and fun look at the artists who amaze and delight us. No rabbits or doves were harmed during this interview.
07/02/1938m 2s

EP108: What’s it like to be an Extra in Hollywood?

A great entry-level job in the industry is becoming an extra – the background people you see in movies and TV shows.  Ken explores that world, the requirements, pay, future, how to get one of those jobs along with some stories including who was “that girl” on the MASH opening credits?
31/01/1937m 29s

EP107: More with writing partner, David Isaacs

Ken and David share lessons they learned in comedy writing, both good and bad – along with discussions on casting, directing, the series they developed for Mary Tyler Moore, and David’s year working on MAD MEN
24/01/1933m 54s

EP106: Ken’s writing partner, David Isaacs defends himself

Ken welcomes his long-time writing partner, David Isaacs to the podcast. We discuss how we broke in, how we work, writing together vs. separately, script problem solving, and David tells his side of the prank I pulled on him.
17/01/1930m 18s

EP105: 129 Ways to Get a Husband and 1 Way to Get a Wife

Ken shares a hilarious and jaw dropping article from 1958 on how to get a husband. You won’t believe some of these tips. And finally, a prank Ken pulled on his writing partner to get him a wife. You won’t be alone after listening to this podcast.
10/01/1923m 57s

EP104: Meet Tracy Newman – Emmy-winning writer, musician, show runner, improviser, and wizard with playing cards.

Hope for older writers:  Tracy Newman broke in when she was 46.  She also had other careers.  She’s a fascinating Renaissance Woman who once lived with the great Ricky Jay, guested on THE TONIGHT SHOW, and wrote the famous Ellen-coming-out episode of ELLEN.   Almost an hour of fun and inspiring stories.
03/01/1953m 9s

EP103: Merry Christmas Charlie Brown… and Everyone

In this holiday-themed episode, Ken explains how one of the most successful TV specials in history almost didn’t get on the air, the fascinating backstory of a Christmas classic, and you’ll hear a one act Christmas play that Ken wrote. Ho ho ho. 
20/12/1824m 33s

EP102: Short Attention Span Podcast

Ken tackles a variety of unrelated, but hopefully humorous, topics. You’ll learn the amazing thing Mary Tyler Moore said in his living room, a discussion of actors not saying their lines, and Ken’s handy tips for how to create a hit procedural. Laughs and riches can be yours!
13/12/1823m 50s

EP101: Product Placement or how Coca Cola almost destroyed our movie career.

Ken explores the various forms of product placement in films and TV. And how a scene he and his partner wrote involving Coca Cola caused a huge stink.
06/12/1830m 36s

EP100: We Made It! EPISODE 100!

Ken looks back at the insanity of over 60 hours of podcast material and reprieves his favorite three stories one from TV, one from radio, and one from baseball. Thanks to everyone for listening and subscribing. On to the next 100!
29/11/1835m 26s

EP99: Holiday Turkeys: What Were They Thinking?

In honor of Turkey Day, Ken spins one audio trainwreck after another. You’ll laugh till you cringe. 
22/11/1834m 31s

EP98: My 15 Seconds of Fame: Me on Camera

Ken talks about the various times he’s appeared on camera either as an actor, sportscaster, host, or dancer (if you can believe it). You’ll hear some amusing tales and learn why he’s not on camera more often.
15/11/1844m 8s

EP97: Behind the Scenes: Another CHEERS commentary!

Ken provides a commentary track to an episode of CHEERS he co-wrote. “Any Friend of Diane’s,” Season 1, EP6. Lots of great inside stuff. You can either just listen or follow along as you watch the episode!
08/11/1828m 51s

EP96: Tell the truth, make it matter, never be boring: Learn the keys to successful communication.

Ken’s guest is media consultant, Valerie Geller. Her keys to success are invaluable for anyone wanting to start a podcast, host a radio show, YouTube channel, or just deliver a speech, sales pitch, or powerpoint presentation. Some terrific insights into the art of communication and storytelling.
01/11/1836m 36s

EP95: The Anatomy of a Movie: The story of VOLUNTEERS, starring Tom Hanks & John Candy.

It’s typical for a movie to take years to get made.  Ken takes you through the saga of VOLUNTEERS, from the initial idea to all the studios, ups and downs, production, release, and how it not only closed a theater but it closed a bowling alley as well.  Not many movies can say that!
25/10/1839m 46s

EP94: Becoming a Voice Over Artist w/guest Neil Ross

In part 2 of Ken’s chat with legendary Voice Over Artist and Voice Actor, Neil Ross he discusses how to break into the world of Voice Overs, what it takes to learn your craft, the odds of success, cartoon voices, and what it’s like to be the announcer for the Academy Awards. 
18/10/1829m 23s

EP93: The Man who Killed Jim Morrison

Well, he didn’t really, but Ken talks to Neil Ross, a voice over artist who has announced the Academy Awards, and in his prior life was a disc jockey filled with crazy and colorful stories… including one with Jim Morrison of the Doors.
11/10/1826m 16s

EP92: The History of Sitcoms

Ken discusses how sitcoms are made and how the process has changed over the last eighty years. The history and evolution of sitcoms all in one podcast.
04/10/1831m 14s

EP91: Meet writer Nell Scovell

Nell Scovell who wrote “Just the Funny Parts” about what life is really like for a woman comedy writer and co-wrote “Lean In” discusses her illustrious TV career, working with David Letterman and Garry Shandling, and much more.  Even stuff not in the book!
27/09/1838m 40s

EP90: To Rome with Like and Barcelona with Love

Ken provides a comedic guided tour of his recent European misadventures.  It’s “Lifestyles of the ‘not-rich-enough’ and ‘known by a few’.” 
20/09/1826m 40s

EP89: Surviving the red carpet: Award war stories

Throughout his career in Hollywood, Ken has received multiple nominations and won many awards, but also missed out on some too! On today's episode, Ken shares his personal stories of winning and losing various awards like Emmys. 
13/09/1833m 29s

EP88: Less is More in Comedy

Ken shares a one-act play he wrote and directed and shows you how much it improved after trimming it down. It’s a lesson in rewriting. 
06/09/1829m 2s

EP87: Meet Comedy Writing Legend Earl Pomerantz

Ken discusses comedy writing with Earl Pomerantz whose Emmy winning career spans from THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW to TAXI, CHEERS, shows he’s created like MAJOR DAD, two Garry Shandling series, and variety specials with Lorne Michaels. Earl has had a fascinating career and offers great insight and humor. 
30/08/1839m 29s

EP86: Peri Gilpin Interview Part 2

Ken and Peri have a free-form discussion on FRASIER, the process, acting, directing, writing, careers, publicity, matching, Broad City, etc. and Peri interviews Ken. 
23/08/1831m 2s

EP85: Meet Peri Gilpin of FRASIER

Peri Gilpin, who played Roz on FRASIER talks about the possible FRASIER reboot, working with that cast, her career, and her dad who was a celebrity himself.
16/08/1833m 45s

EP84: Meet Porky Pig and the world of animation voice over

Ken’s guest is Bob Bergen, one of the most successful cartoon voice over artists in Hollywood.  It’s like having Porky Pig and Luke Skywalker give you a tour through the exciting behind-the-scenes world of animation.   
09/08/1835m 59s

EP83: The Making of CHEERS

Ken walks you through the process of producing an episode of CHEERS from start to the finish. From the writers room to the stage to the editing bay you’ll be there step by step. 
02/08/1834m 26s

EP82: Casting Director Sheila Guthrie: Part Two

Casting Director Sheila Guthrie talks to Ken about casting FRASIER, how to audition, mistakes to avoid, and some crazy casting stories you won’t believe. Lots of useful information, tips and laughs.
26/07/1835m 56s

EP81: Casting Director Sheila Guthrie: Part One

Casting Director Sheila Guthrie talks to Ken about what it takes to get hired on a TV show. The do’s and don’ts. Every actor and waiter needs to hear this episode and take notes.
19/07/1832m 31s

EP80: A tour of the Paramount Lot

On this week's Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken gives you a VIP tour of the Paramount lot where many classic movies and TV shows were filmed. Ken called Paramount home for twenty years and has tons of stories and history on this iconic lot. Only thing missing is a tram. 
12/07/1827m 42s

EP79: Inside the Writers Room

Ken takes you inside the Writers Room and explains what it takes to succeed. A must episode for all perspective sitcom writers. 
05/07/1829m 37s

EP78: From Russia with Laughs – International sitcoms and American reboots

Ken talks to Bill Diamond, a veteran writer/producer (WINGS, MURPHY BROWN) who has produced sitcoms in Russia.   It’s a crazy story. Ken & Bill also discuss reboots – specifically the new MURPHY BROWN and whether Ken thinks there will ever be a CHEERS reboot.
28/06/1841m 19s

EP77: How do you know if something is funny?

Ken discusses how top comedy writers determine whether things are funny or not, and offers some helpful tips on how to make your writing and content much funnier. It’s another behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood… and Broadway. 
21/06/1825m 28s

EP76: The Worst of Levine & Isaacs

Ken Levine discusses AfterMASH and MANNEQUIN 2, two of his least successful projects. You’ll learn what went wrong, how he dealt with it, and ways to find the good in bad situations. There’s also a great karma story you will love.
14/06/1820m 20s

EP75: Mark Evanier: The art of cartoon voice work and the variety show from Mars

In part two of Ken’s conversation with the multi-talented Mark Evanier they discuss voice over work for animation, how to break in, what they’re looking for and not looking for, and other various tips. He also talks about producing a truly bizarre TV variety show called PINK LADY AND JEFF. You won’t believe this Hollywood/Tokyo story.
07/06/1840m 43s

EP74: Mark Evanier - Marvel and DC Comic Book Universe

On this week's show, Ken interviews the fascinating Mark Evanier in a 2 part series. In part one, Mark discusses the world of comic books and Jack Kirby who created many of your favorite Marvel & DC superheroes. It’s a Comic-Con convention for your ears. Also, we delve into Mark’s TV writing career, both live-action and animation. 
31/05/1839m 50s

EP73: TV sitcom Frasier - Exclusive directors commentary - Behind the scenes

Ken records an exclusive directors commentary for an episode of TV sitcom Frasier. Filled with inside stories and useful industry information, Ken takes you behind the scenes, walking you through the process of directing a hit comedy sitcom. Simply listen to the episode, or watch the episode live along with the podcast, to take full advantage of his witty expertise. “Roz and the Schnoz”,  season 5, episode 21.
24/05/1826m 30s

EP72: Meet Matt Mira - host of After Trek, and co-host of every podcast on the internet

Ken talks to podcast host, writer, and comedian, Matt Mira about a variety of subjects including his busy schedule writing for The Goldbergs in Los Angeles, then hosting After Trek for CBS All Access every weekend in New York. He's been on more podcasts than you could count. Matt hosts his own podcast, Sidekick, and co-hosts The Nerdist Podcast. He’s the ultimate nerd overachiever, podcasting genius, and great guest!
17/05/1843m 47s

EP71: Aloha OY

Ken shares his recent Hawaiian adventure, filled with all the usual Levine comic mishaps, celebrity sightings, and restaurant recommendations. It’s like being there without the sunburn or shark attack.
10/05/1827m 47s

EP70: How To Write Material That SELLS

Ken’s guest is Blair Richwood, a longtime feature development person and book editor.   They discuss what it takes for you to write a screenplay, pilot, or book that sells.   Also tips on pitching, what studios and Netflix are looking for, mistakes to avoid, and navigating the literary and Hollywood world. 
03/05/1833m 0s

EP69: Celebrity Fist Fights

Ken tells stories about various altercations he has had in his career – none were his fault. Okay, maybe one. He also plays some fascinating radio clips and shares with you some celebrity fistfights that you won’t believe. 
26/04/1831m 32s

EP68: Meet Nancy Travis

Ken talks with actress Nancy Travis about her career, her process, her ups and downs, and lots of fun stories along the way. Nancy is very candid and you’re going to love her. 
19/04/1842m 46s

EP67: Sports Radio Daze

Ken tells crazy stories of hosting sports talk call-in shows and shares a sample of his baseball play-by-play. A fun show even if you’re not a sports fan.
12/04/1835m 56s

EP66: Meet Writer Phoef Sutton Part 2

Ken interviews the versatile Phoef Sutton who has written sitcoms, dramas, screenplays, and novels.  Among his credits:  Cheers, Newhart, Boston Legal, Terriers, a Robert DeNiro movie, and novels, including one with Janet Evanovich.    Part 2 deals with drama, novel writing, a serious health scare, and great practical advice for writers.  
05/04/1832m 56s

EP65: Meet Writer Phoef Sutton Part 1

Ken interviews the versatile Phoef Sutton who has written sitcoms, dramas, screenplays, and novels.  Among his credits: Cheers, Newhart, Boston Legal, Terriers, a Robert DeNiro movie, and novels, including one with Janet Evanovich. Part 1 deals with comedy, features, and how he got that rather unusual name.
29/03/1834m 5s

EP64: Surviving Hollywood Rejections

Everyone in show business gets rejected. Ken shares some of his most memorable rejections and offers tips to help you rise above them. 
22/03/1833m 40s

EP63: Ben Mankiewicz, The Voice of TCM

Ken interviews TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. They discuss TCM, how the network works, how he works, classic movies, his career, and even a little baseball.  It’s movie buff heaven.
15/03/1838m 1s

EP62: My snarky 2018 Oscar Review

Ken’s annual snarky bitchy Oscar review. Sometimes he’s even fair. He sits through the Oscars so you don't have to. 
05/03/1818m 9s

EP61: Getting You Ready for the Oscars

Ken shares stories and his unique observations about the Academy Awards and all the insanity that go along with them. 
01/03/1816m 30s

EP60: The Art of Improv Comedy

Ken talks to Andy Goldberg who performs and teaches improvisation comedy.  It’s an invaluable skill for actors, writers, business people, anybody. And loads of fun. Ken and Andy also share stories of other improvisers they’ve worked with--like Robin Williams--and people even zanier.
22/02/1834m 2s

EP59: Talking Dogs, Invisible Alien Babies, & Other TV Pilots

With pilot season in full-swing, Ken shares a story of one of his pilots that didn’t get on the air (get ready for a lot of fights with the studio) and introduces you to some of the most bizarre jaw-dropping pilots that never got on the air. 
15/02/1833m 54s

EP58: How I Write Comedy

Over the years Ken has written countless sitcoms including, Cheers, Frasier, Mash and The Simpsons. On today's show, Ken discusses his process for writing comedy and shares a lot of great tips and stories along the way. 
08/02/1834m 29s

EP57: Everything you wanted to know about TV programming in 30 minutes.

Part two of Ken’s interview with network scheduling chief Preston Beckman.  This week they discuss ratings, research, programming strategies, casting, reboots, and tips for making successful pilots. 
01/02/1838m 51s

EP56: How SEINFELD Got On the Air

 … and other tales of TV programming.  Ken interviews Preston Beckman (aka the “Masked Scheduler”) who scheduled programs for NBC and FOX for 35 years. From “Must See TV” to binge watching, it’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at just how your favorite shows get on the air. Part 1 of 2
25/01/1829m 6s

EP55: Let’s Do Lunch!

Power lunches are a Hollywood tradition and this week Ken examines the rituals and which restaurants mean you have a viable career.    Ken also shares some personal lunch tales -- some good, some not so good but all entertaining.   
18/01/1833m 23s

EP54: Are you ready for some football?

With the NFL playoffs in full-swing, Ken interviews Dan Hoard, the radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals.  It’s a fun-filled episode of play-by-play touchdowns and fumbles.  For sports and non-sports fans alike.        
11/01/1832m 6s

EP53: Revealing the Secret: Who is Richard Castle?

The TV show CASTLE spawned 7 novels supposedly written by the star, Richard Castle.  They became New York Times Best Sellers.  But who really wrote those books?   He also produced NURSE JACKIE, COSBY, NIGHT COURT, GRACE UNDER FIRE wrote for Craig Ferguson’s Late Night Show, was a radio DJ, program director, and weekend TV weatherman.   This week we’ll meet him and for the first time I will reveal his true identity.  You’ll learn a lot about the process of writing and what Edie Falco is really like.
04/01/1836m 37s

EP52: Drop the Damn New Year’s Ball Already!

Ken goes stream-of-consciousness this week, riffing on the end of the year, the industry, parades, bowl games, Disneyland, prime rib, Oscar season, and one of the great Elizabeth Montgomery stories EVER.   Start or end your year off right with this episode.
28/12/1729m 39s

EP51: Holidays in Hollywood

Ken fills your podcast stocking with tales of getting fired on Christmas, show gifts for Christmas, classic Christmas movies and TV specials, a Christmas felon, and Christmas in Las Vegas.  Ho ho ho.
21/12/1728m 32s

EP50: Behind The Scenes Cheers Episode Commentary

On this week's Hollywood & Levine podcast, Ken Levine provides us with a commentary track for an episode of the popular hit TV show Cheers that he co-wrote. “Truce or Consequences,” Season 1, EP8. This look behind the scenes explains tons of great inside information that you won't have heard anywhere else. A must listen for any Cheers fans. To increase your viewing pleasure, you can watch the episode of Cheers online on Netflix along with Ken, or simply listen to the Podcast as usual. 
14/12/1730m 10s

EP49: Celebrity Dish Part 2

More with entertainment reporter Arlen Peter who has interviewed hundreds of major Hollywood stars.This week they discuss Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Richard Pryor, Miss Piggy (who has her own hair and make-up person), Quentin Tarantino, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin who walked on the moon. Lots of good, bad, and strange behavior. But in Hollywood would you expect anything less? 
07/12/1738m 15s

EP48: Dishing The Dirt On Celebrities - Part 1

Ken grills entertainment reporter Arlen Peter who has interviewed hundreds of major Hollywood stars.  In Part 1 they discuss Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Lucy, John Belushi, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Kelly and more. Lots of craziness behind-the-scenes and many stories I promise you’ve never heard.   If you like gossip and dish this one’s for you.  And we’re just getting started.
30/11/1732m 38s

EP47: Leftover Turkeys and Tales from the Hollywood Front

Ken tells more crazy anecdotes of pitching projects, wants to know more about you, and serves some turkeys that are both hilarious and hard to digest. 
23/11/1729m 1s

EP46: Thanksgiving for the Memories

Ken gets you into the holiday spirit with tales of Thanksgiving – how to survive the travel, the hell that is writing Thanksgiving episodes, the Macy’s Parade, an even tackier one, and what Ken is thankful for.  Hint:  You’re included.
16/11/1728m 42s

EP45: Why I left MASH and Other Vital TV Questions

Ken answers listeners’ questions about television including why he left MASH.  Also, Ken’s thoughts on the World Series and how being a sports fan should not ruin your life. 
09/11/1729m 4s

EP44: The Magic of Disney: A Salute to Classic Disney Animated Features

Ken talks to Greg Ehrbar, a Disney historian who shares the stories and secrets behind Disney’s most beloved animated features.  A must for Disney buffs, film buffs, cartoon buffs, any buffs. 
02/11/1728m 18s

EP43: My First Girlfriend…and Writing Assignment

Ken introduces you to his first girlfriend, who of course was crazy, and his first writing assignment, which was crazier still – a musical for the United States Army. Coming-of-age insanity. 
26/10/1727m 5s

EP42: Charlize Theron and Other Dreams

Ken talks to writer Avin Das about the Charlize Theron sex tape that he wrote and co-starred in for Funny Or Die.  He also reveals what it’s really like to be a production assistant on a hit situation comedy.  Plus, Ken shares some of his more wacky insane dreams. 
19/10/1727m 29s

EP41: “The Lunch Bit Sucks!” and Other Colorful Stories

Ken tells crazy stories that touch on aspects of his career.  Getting bad script notes, being shunned at a radio convention, a Hollywood ending to be cherished, and classic baseball bloopers. Lots of fun, embarrassment, and pain.
12/10/1729m 16s

EP40: The State of the (WGA) Union.

Ken talks with the President of the WGA West, David Goodman about the state of the industry – strikes and near strikes, issues the Guild hopes to address, diversity, opportunities, the health plan, and navigating this new world of entertainment options. 
05/10/1722m 3s

EP39: The Making of FAMILY GUY

Ken talks to the new WGA President, David Goodman who was also the showrunner of FAMILY GUY.  David shares the process of making that show along with touching on his other credits which includes STAR TREK ENTERPRISE, FUTURAMA, THE ORVILLE, and GOLDEN GIRLS.   Part 1 of a 2 part interview.
28/09/1736m 22s

EP38: Ken’s Bitchy Review of the 2017 Emmys

Ken reviews the 2017 Emmy Awards ceremony in his delightfully unique snarky (but accurate) way.   Written and posted only hours after the annual self-love fest, Ken weighs in with his humorous take.  Totally objective even though he’s bitter he didn’t win an Emmy this year.   Also, the announcement of the Cheers script contest winner! 
17/09/1721m 48s

EP37: The HBO Pilot That Almost Got Me Fired--“You’re fired! Want some shrimp?”

Ken and his partner wrote a pilot for HBO that they loved but the studio hated so much they tried to fire them. It’s another crazy Hollywood story but with an ending that is sweet revenge. Also, Ken’s spoof on angry radio talk-show hosts, and more info on the big contest!
14/09/1719m 13s

EP36: Topics Galore & Win an Autographed CHEERS Script!

Ken is unleashed.  Instead of one or two topics, he has twenty.  From TV, movies, sports, Broadway, hurricanes, Emmys, theme songs, songwriters, Hollywood myopia, his dad, a review, listening habits, and details on how you can win a signed CHEERS script (maybe the greatest contest prize EVER), Ken shares his take on it all.    
07/09/1726m 55s

EP35: The Fascinating Lives of Natalie Wood & Ann Jillian

Two former child stars who made it to adult stardom.  Ken discusses the life and mysterious death of Natalie Wood and then interviews his childhood friend Ann Jillian who went on to star on sitcoms, Broadway, movies, and Bob Hope USO tours.   Her life is so fascinating they even made a movie-of-the-week about it. THE ANN JILLIAN STORY was the top rated MOW of 1988, and coincidentally, she starred in it. Ann has hilarious and courageous stories.   
31/08/1734m 3s

EP34: The TV Pilot from Hell

Ken shares the saga of a pilot he and his partner once did for NBC where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  Spectacularly.    If comedy is “tragedy plus time” I think even Levine & Isaacs can now laugh at this folly. You will too. 
24/08/1734m 41s

EP33: Meeting, Writing, and Evolving w/ My Writing Partner, David Isaacs

Ken and David Isaacs discuss their longtime partnership, how it formed, their process and how it’s evolved over the years, hard lessons they had to learn, disagreements, triumphs, and many great writing tips. Ken & David wrote for some of the most iconic sitcoms of the last forty years.   Relive their journey.
17/08/1738m 59s

EP32: Why I REALLY became a writer

As we approach the Emmys, Ken salutes the iconic DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and how it inspired him to become a writer.   Hint: Being in puberty at the time helped.  You’ll get the inside story on the making of the show (and learn things you didn’t know), Ken’s personal recollections, how he wrote an episode and turned it in 50 years too late, interviews, and Laura Petrie herself discusses her sex life with Rob. 
10/08/1725m 4s

EP31: Hanging out w/ Prince Charles & Writing Cheers "Bar Wars" Episodes

Ken touches on many aspects of his career – radio, writing, and baseball.   You’ll learn how he met Prince Charles and almost caused an international incident, the secrets of the CHEERS “Bar Wars” episodes, useless skills, and you’ll meet the “real” Brockmire.  Plus, another aircheck of Beaver Cleaver on TenQ.   Come for the stories, stay for the laughs. 
03/08/1730m 23s

EP30: A TV Pilot for Your Listening Enjoyment

Listen to a failed TV pilot that Ken Levine & David Isaacs wrote and produced for Fox in 2003.  Now with a new (and better) cast, you’ll hear a reading of the pilot produced exclusively for this podcast.   Hear how the authors envisioned it and why they still think this is a damn funny show that would do well on TV today.   
27/07/1734m 56s

Episode 29: My Stand-Up Comedy Debut

Ken throws caution to the wind and does his very first stand-up routine at an open mic night. You’ll hear the whole set. How did he do? You decide. He’ll also take you behind-the-scenes, before and after. It’s an exercise in either courage or stupidity depending upon how you look at it.
20/07/1728m 45s

Episode 28: The Making of WICKED

WICKED is the most successful musical in the last fifteen years.  It’s had thousands of productions worldwide and is still playing on Broadway.  But the road to success was a long and arduous one.  This week Ken interviews Winnie Holzman who wrote the libretto for WICKED.   You’ll learn the inspiration, process, problems, solutions, and thinking behind this smash hit musical. 
13/07/1738m 54s

Episode 27: Comedy 101

Ken plays a very funny one-act play he wrote then breaks it down and lets you see his thought process in constructing it. If you ever wondered what goes into crafting a comedy scene this is the episode for you.
06/07/1740m 8s

Episode 26: From Stand-Up to Sit-Com--Transitioning from Stage to Screen

Ken discusses the transition between comedians to comedy writers, and interviews EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND writer, Tom Caltabiano.   Tom and Ray started in stand-up together and wound up sharing an apartment together along with Kevin James.  This episode has lots of great stories including an embarrassing one from Ken.  Then he reviews the new television show about stand-up comedy, I’M DYING UP HERE.  Also, your chance to see a live reading of one of Ken’s pilots, and hear how, for the sake of this podcast, he is probably going to humiliate himself.  You can’t miss that!  
29/06/1732m 34s

Episode 25: Adventures in Television Directing

Ken shares stories of directing sitcoms. He describes what it's like to be challenged by actors, how to win them over, and almost killing an actor. Then he discusses the many times he got fired in radio and how he went out in a blaze of glory on several of those occasions.
22/06/1735m 40s

Episode 24: Interview w/ Filmmaker Kevin Smith Part 2

Kevin discusses his directing process, the incredible story of getting CHASING AMY made, the even more incredible story of trying to write a SUPERMAN screenplay, plus terrific advice for filmmakers young and old alike. And as a bonus, Kevin interviews Ken’s daughter Annie and her writing partner/husband Jon on how they broke into the business and what networks are looking for in writing samples.
15/06/1745m 5s

Episode 23: Interview w/ Filmmaker Kevin Smith

Ken interviews filmmaker Kevin Smith, who has produced dozens of movies including Dogma, Clerks, and Mallrats. They discuss Kevin’s writing and directing process, how he broke into the industry, and who were his inspirations. Plus, he offers fantastic advice to young filmmakers and shares what is the best recipe for talent and luck.
08/06/1730m 23s

Episode 22: Hanks for the Memories

Ken tackles a variety of subjects including getting Tom Hanks to star in his movie, dealing with agents, and the wacky fights he had with network standards & practices people. Lots of Hollywood stories and laughs. Plus, find out what the deal is with character actors.
01/06/1730m 35s

Episode 21: Crazy People I've Hired & Other Tomfoolery

Not everyone in Hollywood is crazy. Just the people who worked for Ken. Laughs are the theme this week as he introduces you to some of the nuttiest writers’ assistants in Tinsel Town. Then he’ll relive some classic radio pranks and you'll meet one of America’s funniest disc jockeys.
25/05/1730m 3s

Episode 20: Romy & Michele’s Podcast Reunion

“Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion” has become a comedy classic. Ken interviews Robin Schiff, creator of those characters and screenwriter of the movie. Robin is one of the most successful comedy writers in Hollywood. She discusses her career, the challenges of being a woman in the world of comedy, an exciting new chapter for Romy & Michele, and she has great advice for young screenwriters.
18/05/1738m 7s

Episode 19: “Final Call”–-The Last CHEERS episode

The last CHEERS episode drew over 42 million viewers. Ken discusses the making of that classic show, bringing back Diane, the filming, airing, and disastrous TONIGHT SHOW that followed.  For fans of the show this week’s episode is a must-listen. Also, have you heard the CHEERS theme in its entirety?  You will this week.
11/05/1728m 25s

Episode 18: How Many of You Are from Out of Town: Sitcom Warm-Up Comedians

A key element of any TV show done before an audience is the warm-up man. There is an art to this very unique role. Ken was the warm-up man for CHEERS and shares stories of that show and many others. Plus, an interview with Stu Shostak, one of the top warm-up men in the business.
04/05/1730m 46s

Episode 17: How the Airlines Screw You and Why

“Travel” is the theme for this week’s episode. Ken tells how he survived a cyclone on a cruise ship and how bad the ship’s lounge show was that night. Also you’ll learn that airlines make your flying experience miserable on purpose. Ken tells you how and why they do this and whether there’s anything you can do to prevent it.
27/04/1726m 38s

Episode 16: Misc-Takes: Avoiding the Casting Couch & Hollywood Parties

Ken shares five different stories this week – how to avoid the “casting couch,” how to rewrite Neil Simon (if you dare), Hollywood screenings, what not to do at Hollywood parties (a painful but hilarious lesson), and Ken’s most memorable home run call (that he’s still hearing about 25 years later).
20/04/1731m 9s

Episode 15: Behind the Scenes at the Academy Awards

Ken’s guest is Randy Thomas, one of the premier live event voice over artists in the country. She has been the voice of the Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys. She tells what really happened during that colossal snafu at this year’s Academy Awards. She also discusses her career, what it takes to be a VO artist, how to break in, do’s and don’ts, and of course “Hooked On Phonics.” For anyone wanting to make a living with their voice, this episode is for YOU.
13/04/1728m 28s

Episode 14: From Hollywood to the Big Leagues

How does a successful sitcom writer become a major league baseball announcer?   In this episode Ken shares his “Walter Mitty” story of how a midlife crisis turned into a second career. Also, you’ll hear a sample of Ken’s play-by-play.  
06/04/1732m 2s

Episode 13: The Art of Pitching a Show

Everyone has “ideas” in Hollywood. But how do you sell them? Ken discusses the art of pitching and how to turn those ideas into actual TV shows and movies.   With techniques that apply to selling any product, Ken tells you the do’s and don’ts of pitching.   He also shares his worst pitching story, and gets you ready for baseball season with “Who’s On First?”
30/03/1728m 5s

Episode 12: Pissing off NBC and other TV tales

To avoid NBC giving away a big surprise in an episode of FRASIER that Ken co-write, they slipped it in at the last minute and NBC aired it sight unseen. The peacock was not pleased. Also, hear about the time Ken got thrown off THE DATING GAME, the CHEERS episode he co-wrote wound up in a Playboy Magazine expose, and you’ll meet the most bizarre radio personality you will ever hear.
23/03/1733m 21s

Episode 11: Breaking In Is Hard to Do

In this week’s episode Ken tells the story of how he and David Isaacs met, became writing partners, and finally broke into the business – learning lessons, making rookie mistakes (that you can avoid), and discovering the little edges that will place you out in front in a very competitive field.
16/03/1739m 22s

Episode 10: The Making of FRIENDS

FRIENDS has become a phenomenon. But what about the early days? The making of the pilot was anything but smooth. Ken shares things about FRIENDS you probably didn't know like Jennifer Aniston was almost written out of half the first season, or a number of known actors turned down the roles. Also, Ken talks about what makes a good pilot, and his horrible luck selling pilots to ABC
09/03/1725m 36s

Episode 9: My Annual Snarky Oscar Review

Ken reveals the most jaw-dropping Oscar ceremony in history. The winners, the losers, the blunders, the fashions, the politics, the red carpet, the facelifts, the glamour, the whole self-important ego-palooza. Join Ken for Hollywood's finest hour and most embarrassing moment.
27/02/1721m 9s

Episode 8: The Romantic Comedies You Need to See

Ken reveals his favorite rom coms and why you need to see them. Some you know, but others you might not. Find out what you’re missing. For anyone who likes to laugh or swoon. Also, he’ll be introducing you to a very young Albert Brooks. And finally, Ken comes clean on his recent appearances on CNN.
23/02/1732m 47s

Episode 7: Tips on how to go to Disneyland and Disney World

The Magic Kingdom is this week’s theme and Ken has an expert who will give you helpful tips and secrets on how to make your stay at Disneyland or Disney World the best vacation ever. When is the best time to go? How is the best way to get on your favorite rides? Did any famous celebrities work there? And what don’t you see when you go to one of the Disney parks? Also, Ken shares some of his memories of Disneyland and how he heard his dear sweet grandmother drop the F-bomb for the first time. .
16/02/1742m 41s

Episode 6: Valentine’s Day with Beyonce

In this episode Ken tells about the Valentine’s Day he spent with Beyonce that resulted in them both getting a hepatitis shot.  Also, for writers everywhere, Ken gives tips on how to write better more effective dialogue.  And finally, a salute to all your favorite songs that last five seconds.
09/02/1729m 41s

Episode 5: My One Night Stand

Ken reveals what the Netflix algorithm thinks he wants to watch--we can't explain it, but the really think he wants to see Escorts, Love Actually, and Zootopia. Ok, maybe he does actually want to watch Escorts. And just think about what those "smart" algorithms think people who've been searching "golden showers" lately want to watch. Ken also talks about a fateful day in radio that made the staff consider murdering him. He takes the opportunity to publicly apologize for a stunt he played on a big-time DJ many moons ago. Plus, he tells the craziest audience testing story ever. Finally, Ken interviews the amazing voice of the Mets, Rangers, and UCLA (we are tired just typing that), Josh Lewin. Enjoy!
02/02/1728m 42s

Episode 4: Scaring Tourists and Other Delights

As if Ken Levine didn't offer you enough with his blog and podcast, now he's offering you tips on getting more laughs. Ken teaches comedy writing, and this episode is begins with some thoughts on whether you can teach people how to be funny (spoiler alert: not really). Even though you probably have to be born humorous, you can learn how to refine your existing comedic sensibility. He also shares the crazy casting story ever! David Isaacs and Ken Levine were casting a pilot, and things got a little wild (let's just say there was nudity involved).Plus, hear a clip that is essentially a master class in comedic timing.
26/01/1728m 23s

Episode 3: Take Me To Your Pilot

Ken Levine has been through his fair share of pilot seasons, and if you're not in Hollywood you might not know about the madness that it is. So today, buckle up for some tales of wacky TV pilot experiences. Plus, hear from writer David Pollock about his experiences writing for television, and find out about a time he collaborated with legendary screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky on a sitcom pilot.    
19/01/1731m 0s

Episode 2: The Warm-Hearted Writers of MASH

Get a behind-the-scenes look at one of television's greatest hits as Ken Levine discusses how the writers of MASH handled the actors' notes. Plus, we learn about Ken's ersatz radio career, and he uses a popular segment from his award-winning blog by taking listener questions! This episode is filled with insider information on what goes on making a hit show including stories of what the audience usually doesn't see!
12/01/1733m 57s

Episode1: Hollywood & Levine's Maiden Voyage

For Ken Levine's first episode, he dives into the world of television, film, and comedy. He kicks off award season with some commentary on the Golden Globes (and why they should not be taken seriously) and explains how award winners are chosen. Ken also has a discussion about special effects, and how a snowball fight on Wings was accomplished. There's a very special cameo by a fella named Mr. Special Effects (played by Ken's partner David Isaacs) who provides insider info on how sitcoms get all the wacky scenes are rigged up. Plus, Ken does his first podcast version of "Friday Questions," a popular feature on his blog.
31/12/1638m 7s
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Heart UK