Writers’ Room Stories & Hangin’ with Dr. Z. Featuring Dana Gould
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes hosted a seventies style afternoon talk show? Dana Gould has gone beyond wondering and created this exact slice of YouTube heaven. Hangin’ With Dr. Z. Season One is an actual thing that exists on the internet and Dana Gould is here to explain himself. Plus Fritz and Weezy are recommending Mare of Easttown on HBO, The Bleeding Edge on Netflix, Time on Prime and The Circle on Netflix.
Fritz Coleman (00:00:02):
Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman.
Louise Palanker (00:00:04):
And I am Louise Palanker.
Fritz Coleman (00:00:06):
Here are a media path. We, we throw down suggestions on content you might find interesting, like movies and TV shows, and streaming in cable and video on demand, discarded VHS tapes, pirated basement recordings, <laugh>, things that have peaked our interest, and we hope they do the same for you. Wheezy, what do you have for us this week?
Louise Palanker (00:00:26):
So, have you been watching Mayor of East Town?
Fritz Coleman (00:00:29):
Louise Palanker (00:00:30):
H B O Kate Winslet once again. Our greatest emer actors are British <laugh>, and she's British, and you would never know that she's, uh, from the uk. She seems extremely American. She's absolutely Pennsylvanian. As her personal life crumbles around her, a small town Pennsylvania, detective Mayor Shean pour herself into investigating a local murder. The series explores the darker corners of life in a tight community, and it examines the wrenching ways in which family and tragedy can hold us together while tearing us apart. Brilliantly acted. She's so good in this. It's just riveting.
Fritz Coleman (00:01:08):
Good and everything. Good suggestion.
Louise Palanker (00:01:10):
Yeah. And they're rolling out one, one a week cuz it's HBO O and they're, they're selfish like that.
Fritz Coleman (00:01:15):
<laugh>. Well, perfect. I have two streaming docs this week. Okay. The first one is on Netflix called The Bleeding Edge. And what caught my eye about this, it's done by the fine folks that brought you the Woody Allen Dillon Farrow series on H B O, Amy Zing and Kirby Dick. The premise of this one is, you know, we all think big pharma. The pharmaceutical industry is this giant, powerful menace that controls our lives. But as it turns out, the medical device business is even bigger and more insidious. It's a 400 billion a year industry. There are a couple of things that make this business really disturbing. One is the FDA Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for testing and approving these new medical devices. The FDA's made up of commissioners, most of whom are or have been connected to the medical device industry. The FDA is a classic revolving door where commissioners get appointed because of their industry connections.
Or when they're finished their tenure as a commissioner, they got a high price gig. When they leave, there's dark money that ends up through lobbyists. And just like with drugs, doctors can be compensated for using or recommending different devices. Totally. Legal kickbacks are legal. And that setup seems questionable enough. But then you have to add the element of what's called pre-market approval. It turns out that new medical devices, these smaller studies, shorter studies than they used to test drugs. That is to say, new medical devices before they're cleared to be put on the market are not adequately tested. And 70 of the testing is done by manufacturers themselves, which is obviously a conflict of interest. And if a product is proven to be unsafe, it's harder to get it taken off the market than it is to prove it, uh, to approve it, to get it on the market. It's, it's frightening. They do a, an i u D called eure. They do cobalt hip replacements. They do this cervical mesh stuff, and I, I mean, giving folks constant, um, medical problems for the rest of their lives. So, any, anyway, here's how they end it. They give you tips. Here's what you have to remember. If you need something like a hip replacement or any device implanted, research the device online. Always get a second opinion and ask your doctor if he's being paid by the manufacturer of the device.
Louise Palanker (00:03:50):
Also, no yard sales.
Fritz Coleman (00:03:52):
Say that again.
Louise Palanker (00:03:53):
No yard sales. No,
Fritz Coleman (00:03:54):
No yard sales.
Louise Palanker (00:03:55):
Purchase it. Uh, through a, through a trusted authority.
Fritz Coleman (00:03:59):
My ex-wife had two hip replacements. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And as soon as I saw this thing, I called her and said, did you get the cobalt hip replacement? She said, no, mine's titanium. But the cobalt one, cobalt as a chemical leeches into your body, compromises your immune system and gives you Parkinson's-like symptoms. And it's just, uh, the, the, the horror stories are terrible. So that's, you have to do your due diligence. Yeah, go ahead.
Louise Palanker (00:04:23):
What was, because people were already experiencing problems, which is why they needed to replace a part of their body <laugh>. And now, ugh. It's difficult when you get that, you know, factory recall letter. Yeah. And they want your hip back,
Fritz Coleman (00:04:37):
<laugh>. That's right.
Louise Palanker (00:04:38):
Heartbreaking. All right. So I, I have a little bit of shame in this game. I've been watching a, a reality game show called The Circle on Netflix. Are you familiar friends? Nope. Okay. So bear with me. This is gonna be to you a little alarming that this is, uh, what I'm spending my time doing. Uh, this is a game show where players move into separate apartments in the same building and they communicate only virtually through a specially designed app called The Circle. And just like in the real life fake internet, they can portray themselves in any way they choose. They can play as themselves or catfish style. So for example, one contestant is playing as her husband and making him a single dad. You know, that's pretty adorable. One contestant is a tall techie male playing as a hot young female. And Lance Bass's assistant is playing as Lance Bass. The show is hosted by Michelle Bto and her voiceover is extremely funny. I know this is a lot of data for you to download. Fritz, do you have any questions?
Fritz Coleman (00:05:40):
I just love the whole idea of gender fluidity at a game show. That's gonna be fun.
Louise Palanker (00:05:45):
Yeah. But they're all trapped in their own apartments, so they never actually encounter each other. So when an alert comes up on their tv, they freak out cuz they're just so lonely that any information is just like manna from heaven. They're like, oh my God, we're playing a game. That's, it's, it's fun to watch.
Fritz Coleman (00:05:59):
Louise Palanker (00:06:00):
Do you wanna introduce our guest? No. Even more fun. I gotta
Fritz Coleman (00:06:03):
Do another thing
Louise Palanker (00:06:03):
Here. Hang on. Oh, one more thing. Oh, okay. Yeah.
Fritz Coleman (00:06:05):
This is really important. Yeah. My second selection's another documentary. You can find streaming on Prime. It's called Time As In Doing Time, surviving the Passage of Time. The Inevitability of Time is directed by Garrett Bradley. It's the story of Civil Fox. She's a woman whose husband is in jail on a 60 year sentence for bank robbery. And this is her fight to not only get her husband outta jail, it also is her fight against the system that tends to over incarcerate black men. She'll describe the prison system as racist and nothing more than a system of slavery. She's a very compelling public speaker. You'll see her in front of small and large groups making her point. But to me, the most compelling thing about this film is that for 20 years with the use of old school home video cameras, Sy has been taking videos of herself raising six boys without her jailed husband.
It's 20 years worth of sometimes grainy home video of this woman's daily fight to keep her kids on track. We get to observe her physical and emotional changes over 20 years. We watch her blossom into a confident adult woman becoming a strong advocate for not only her husband, but other men trapped in the system. It all builds up to the day her husband is released. It's a very touching story about a fiercely devoted mother and wife and whether or not you're drawn into the big argument about prison in general that we're all having right now, you'll admire this woman for her dogged determination, staying loyal to her kids and to her husband. Her husband finally gets released after doing 20 of his 60 year sentence. Pretty good. Pretty good story. Pretty touching. Wow. I can't wait to bring on our guest for my money. One of the best writers in comedy.
I've known him from the standup world, but you could tell when he was doing standup that he had an interesting take, interesting observations and very smart language. And you knew this dude was destined to make his way to other formats, which he did. He's a comic and an actor and a writer, and a voiceover artist. He wrote and performed on the Ben Stiller show, wrote and produced on the Simpsons, made appearances on Seinfeld and King of Queens. You've seen him on H B o, Showtime Comedy Central. He's got a great new podcast that Dana Gould Hour. It may be the only podcast wheezy that has its own singing jingle. It's very impressive. He's the host of an hysterical talk show parody called Hanging with Dr. Z, where he dresses up like Dr. Zees from the Planet of the Apes and does a better Carson than Carson. We're happy to visit with Dana Goul today. Welcome Dana
Dana Gould (00:08:36):
<laugh>. Hi. How are you? Good. My resume is horrifying.
Fritz Coleman (00:08:40):
<laugh>. No, it's
Dana Gould (00:08:41):
Fritz Coleman (00:08:42):
No, it's uh, it's electrified diversification personified. Yeah.
Louise Palanker (00:08:46):
It's excellent. It's a, it's like that kid who was in every club at, in, in high school that was either right.
Dana Gould (00:08:51):
And, and, and, and, and a decades long avoidance profit <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:08:59):
That's commitment. That is
Dana Gould (00:09:01):
Really, yeah. I didn't know. I just found out that I was, I've been classified as a nonprofit by my accountant,
Louise Palanker (00:09:07):
<laugh>. But let's talk about pandemic inspired innovation, which I think Dr. Z hanging with Dr. Z because it is, we were first told about this by Denny Tedesco, who's one your producer. And we, and, and, and we both said, your friend, what, what, what? And then of course, you watch it. And the elevator pitch would be if Merv Griffin were an ape.
Dana Gould (00:09:29):
Yes. Per perfect, perfect <laugh>. Um, I I, yeah. To, to give you the, the backdrop to how it all started. We go back to, uh, I was a writer. Uh, if I'm assuming that, assuming we want to, or we can just move on, <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:09:46):
Oh, no, I wanna give everything,
Dana Gould (00:09:49):
Um, my ex-wife also has two, uh, titanium hips. Is this a strange coincidence? Uh,
Fritz Coleman (00:09:54):
Oh, there's a pattern
Dana Gould (00:09:55):
Here. Yeah. Is her name, uh, no.
Louise Palanker (00:09:59):
Dana Gould (00:10:01):
Uh, long story longer. I was a writer in the early nineties on the Ben Stiller Show. Okay. And I shared an office, very funny. I met at that time and became very good friends with named Rob Cohen. Um, and I had an idea for a sketch, uh, for the Ben Still Show. And it was, you know, when a, when a musical comes to town and they do a commercial for us, like, you know, I remember I'm from Boston, like at the Wilbur Theater, it's the music man <laugh>. And then they would have the, you know, the clips from the music man as filmed on stage. And I thought it would be funny to do, uh, coming soon, uh, planet of the Apes, the musical <laugh>. And it was a constructive musical of Planet of the Apes. Uh, this was before The Simpsons did it. And I, uh, they did it later and I had nothing to do with it, with their version, which was much funnier than my version <laugh>. They, they, I didn't get to do it on the bed still show, because we got canceled. Oh. But, um,
Fritz Coleman (00:11:00):
But that was the show that launch him as a di that that
Dana Gould (00:11:03):
Was the as everything, yeah. That, uh, uh, Janine Garo came from that show, Bob Odenkirk. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> came from that show. Uh, uh, yeah, no, that is, uh, everybody's, uh, that had, uh, uh, uh, a good, uh, good quality group. So the, the, the idea was the first commercial parody would be for Planet of the Apes and Musical and the second commercial parody. And the other half of the show would be from the producers of Planet of the Apes and Musical Dr. Zs in Mark Twain tonight. <laugh>. And it would be Dr. Zs dressed up as Mark Twain doing Mark Twain tonight. And I thought it was really funny. And the show got canceled. I being a Planet of the Apes Nut, uh, just wanted to do the makeup. That's the only reason you write the show so you can do it. You know, that's the whole point.
Um, so we, we never got to do it years later, uh, 2010, so 18 years later, I'm talking to John Hodgman, who you, I'm sure you all know from the Daily Show. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and he had found a picture of, uh, Maurice Evans as Dr. Zees reading Mark Twain's biography, and made an internet challenge to somebody send in Dr. Zees doing Mark Twain tonight. We were talking on the phone about something completely irrelevant. And I said, you know what's so funny? I wrote that as a sketch 20 years ago Wow. For the Ben Stiller Show. And he said, I'm doing a show in San Francisco at Sketch Fest. Do you want to do it? And my first response was, no, I, it sounds like a giant pain <laugh>. But then I thought, well, no, I, I have resources. Um, I'm very good friends with a lot of special effects makeup people.
Uh, and, and I literally was like, let me call you back, <laugh>. So I call up Greg Nicotero, who is now the exec producer of The Walking Dead and directs most of the sea. And, and he has a big special effects company called K N B Effects. And they're huge. And he, you know, all the Tarantino movies, they, they do it. So, and he's just my friend. So this is the conversation. I call him up and I go, <laugh>, Hey Greg. Uh, do you know of anybody that I can pay to go to San Francisco with me and do a, like a Dr. Zs makeup on me? Like a, you know, like a movie quality Zs makeup? Hang on a minute. You wanna go to San Francisco <laugh>? Yeah, no problem. Uh, that was it. That was a conversation.
Let check Mike. Uh, I called, uh, no, he just yelled across the room. He was at work <laugh>, anybody? Yeah, sure. <laugh>. So I called him Ja. I said, yeah, I'm in. And you can see that on YouTube. It's, uh, if you go Dana Gould, uh, mark Twain or Dr. Zs, mark Twain. Wow. It'll, it will come up. And, and the reason it's so funny, the o in fact, uh, the only reason it's funny is because the makeup is exactly what they had in the movie. Absolutely. Took three hours to put on, takes an hour and a half to take off. I had to have my head molded. I mean, cuz the only, the joke only works if it's him. Right. It doesn't work, is a crappy mask. And then
Fritz Coleman (00:14:35):
Dana Gould (00:14:35):
Fritz Coleman (00:14:37):
Then everything else becomes irony because on your show you do topical monologue and you hear <laugh>. Yeah. You hear you, you hear this ape making these metaphysical points, which are hysterical.
Dana Gould (00:14:49):
Well, that, that was, and the costume makes it funnier. Right, exactly. And that, and that was the beauty. So, so I did him on that. And then people, Hey, do you wanna, and I ended up doing him like I would host benefits as him. I introduced Planet of the Apes when it aired on tcm, uh, as him, you know, it just became this weird cottage career of mine, of doing weird, weird appearances as Dr. Zees. And, and over the, uh, years of doing him, he developed his own personality where I started to turn him into this weird show Biz Guy. Like you said, Merv Griffin is exactly it. I remember being a kid watching, like, whenever Orson Wells or anybody would come on Merv Griffin, they would talk about famous people, but like, they were their friends. So it's like, you know, I'm over at Susie Chet's house <laugh>, we go antiquing, you know, she's in a bad mood cuz she's an escrow with Alan Alda <laugh>. They're not speaking. You know, so it's, and I love that world that show business world. And so that's what Dr. Zees became.
Louise Palanker (00:15:51):
So, explain Dr. Zeus's personality in the movie, because I I in
Dana Gould (00:15:56):
The movie, he's Mitch McConnell, he's Mitch McConnell of the Apes <laugh> in the movie, he's the villain. He, uh, he's the villain in the movie. And, uh, and the way, you know, he's the, uh, evil ape that wants Childhood Heston dead because, uh, he knows that mankind used to be, uh, used to run the planet. And that's the big secret in the ape culture. And Charles Heston is proof that they're living a lie. So he wants him dead. I played him like that was a role. But he did lots of other stuff. Uhhuh <affirmative>, you know. And, uh, I did lots of other things. I did, uh, I was doing with six, you get Egg Roll with a very young Lindsay Wagner at the Pasadena Playhouse <laugh>. You know, it's just that kinda, you know, I was doing Jamie Farr and I were doing sh Homes and wa and Ice Egg.
Louise Palanker (00:16:45):
Oh yeah. It's like way inside seventies Show band. Yes.
Dana Gould (00:16:48):
And yeah. And the crap that these people had to do to make a living, you know, <laugh>, you know, you know, uh, Adam West and I were doing a two man version of Apocalypse Now. We performed it at car shows all across the country, <laugh>, you know, whatever these poor guys had to do to make a living. And then, but now, so now we're in the pandemic. My Ben Stiller off made. Rob Cohen says, why don't we do Dr. Zeus's talk show from the seventies? And because it's the pandemic, we can do them, we can do it all covid friendly because they'll, we'll have them in another room. We'll film them on a monitor. Right. You'll talk to them like Space Ghost, coast to Coast on Adult Swim. Yeah. And just think about it like, no, I'm not gonna think about it. That's it. That's brilliant. That's what we're gonna do.
Uh, and then I called your, um, uh, Denny Teco, your friend of mine, and said like, Hey, we wanna do this thing. And, and that's how it ga And then it just became calling our friends and saying like, we have this ridiculous idea. Uh, do you want to, do you want to do it? And it was like, uh, it was literally a labor of, of love for, for me and for other people. It's, you know, it's an, it's takes an hour out of your day <laugh>. And it's ridiculous. And it's hyster It was at the height of the pandemic. So no one was doing anything
Fritz Coleman (00:18:09):
Great. You have all the talk show constructs. You have the music guy, rusty Steel, with the Rust Steel Wheels show <laugh>, who always has this nonplused look on his face and responses to you with like half-hearted enthusiasm when you ask him a question. But you were talking about constructing fake commercials on the Ben Steeler show. One of my favorite things about hanging with Dr. Z is the commercials. Yes. My fav they're, they're fake commercials. My favorite one is Mickey Rooney's Potato Fantasy.
Louise Palanker (00:18:36):
<laugh> Potato Fantasy
Dana Gould (00:18:37):
Fritz Coleman (00:18:38):
In Sherman Oaks.
Dana Gould (00:18:40):
Yeah. You have now, and again, like, I, I really want to give everybody, cuz it's not, I mean, those are, uh, those products are created by a really brilliant guy named Chris Shean. And, and he, he makes those things and puts them online. Uh, and just like on his Facebook page, and I'm just a fan and I contacted him. We have mutual friends, and I said like, Hey, we're doing this thing. You wanna be involved? Like, yeah, I'd love to be involved. And then Mike Upchurch. And so the commercials, office's, products, and again, these are all people that have other jobs. They're all doing other stuff. But they did this cuz it was the pandemic and it was, it was fun. My favorite was Tor Johnson's liver and onions, <laugh> Come the Liver and Stay for the Onions. And
Fritz Coleman (00:19:24):
There's another one, there's another one on your merch page, uh, sponsored by the Belak Heating and Air Conditioner.
Dana Gould (00:19:32):
<laugh>. That was the Yeah, that's the mythical sponsor of my podcast.
Fritz Coleman (00:19:36):
I don't even know what that means. It's just saying it is fun.
Dana Gould (00:19:39):
Yeah. Well that's when you brought
Fritz Coleman (00:19:40):
Dana Gould (00:19:41):
Oh God. That's the kinda sign you see everywhere. Yeah. Oh, that's
Louise Palanker (00:19:44):
Now Dana, what, what would we find if we were to freeze the closing credits?
Dana Gould (00:19:50):
Oh, uh, yeah. The, we, you know, it's, the show's 10 minutes long, so we make it as, as as. And we have all of the, the regular credits, and then we have stuff interspersed within the credits to keep, to keep people, uh, paying attention. And it's, it's, you know, Joel Hodgeson who created Mystery Science Theater, uh, said something that really stuck with me once about a joke. W uh, we're all buddies. And, uh, he said, you know, not everybody will get it, but the right people will get it. <laugh>. That's right. And so, yeah, we'll have a, you know, we'll have like, uh, a telephone consultation, Martha Mitchell. Uh, we'll, you know, we'll, we're not, we're not afraid to, we're not afraid we'll do a David Begelman reference. We're not, we're not afraid. We're not afraid to go deep. Uh, you know, a union representative who's asking, uh, <laugh>, uh, yeah. We, like we, we, we pack, we we pack it pretty solid. Yes. And the beauty of it is, it is a show unto unto itself, we're not doing this because we want someone to see it. And then we'll get a thing and then we'll do it here. And it'll become ano. It is what it is. No,
Fritz Coleman (00:21:04):
It is recommend for the season. We'll
Dana Gould (00:21:06):
Win another season of it.
Fritz Coleman (00:21:07):
Uh, for the unschooled and hanging with Dr. Z, you have to watch, and I guess they can look, download these on your website. They're only 10 minutes long. You've got, see hang
Dana Gould (00:21:16):
With Dr. Z, Dr.
Fritz Coleman (00:21:17):
Oswald episode is killer.
Dana Gould (00:21:20):
Yeah. So funny. Patton and, uh, Patton and, and, uh, Dr. Z are, uh, are are, are pretty reference savvy <laugh>. We, we, we, they we went toe to toe. Yeah. They're, they're the episodes. We, yeah. We have, uh, um, we had Stephen Webber, Tim, uh, I'm just reading the guest. Stephen Webber. Tim Meadows. Bobcat, uh, Jan Varney. I was a guest. Uh,
Louise Palanker (00:21:47):
Yes. And you, Dr. Z interviews you as if he's your friend's uncle at a barbecue
Dana Gould (00:21:54):
<laugh>. It's very, very, yeah, it's very, it's very Midwest. Why aren't you more famous? Don't you wanna be more famous? I don't understand. No, it's, it's just how it is. It's just
Louise Palanker (00:22:03):
Fritz Coleman (00:22:04):
With I would love packed with the roots. And, and, and we're gonna talk about your comedy roots. Cuz I always find that fascinating. <laugh>, you, you were, I mean, just starts because you, you started with a lot of famous people in San Francisco, but
Dana Gould (00:22:18):
Yeah, well, I started in, in, uh, in Boston originally.
Fritz Coleman (00:22:20):
Oh, that's what I wanted to know because you, you, you went to Framingham for a year. You
Dana Gould (00:22:25):
Started, how do you know that?
Fritz Coleman (00:22:26):
I, I bet you totally vetted
Dana Gould (00:22:29):
Fritz Coleman (00:22:30):
Uh, but, but that's what I wanted to know because it says that you, you started at 17 but then moved to San Francisco. But I wondered how you avoided the very, uh, rich Boston standup market that,
Dana Gould (00:22:43):
That Oh, I, I didn't, I was a big part of it. I, I started doing standup, uh, uh, less than two weeks outta high school. I did my first open mic at this place in Boston called The Ding Ho, which is sort of, sort of legendary comedy club in Boston. Stephen Wright was discovered there. And then I went and went to college for, uh, a couple years, but I was always coming back and doing open mics and standup. And then, uh, and then I lived in Boston and, and worked as a comedian, uh, in from, uh, in 84 and 85. And then I moved, uh, to San Francisco in, uh, in late 80. Yeah. I stayed in Boston 85 86, moved to San Francisco in 87. Um,
Fritz Coleman (00:23:28):
Two of the hot bends of the growth of
Dana Gould (00:23:30):
Yeah, no, they were, they were, it was, you know, uh, people don't understand, and this is in the mid eighties at the comedy boom. And, and I worked a ton. And the, and the, here's why I worked a lot in Boston at the, the time as a comedian in the mid eighties. I had a car and I didn't do drugs. <laugh>.
Wow. So what You were bomb, but meant, well, here's why that was important, because there were gigs in Boston and there were gigs. There were one nighters all over Massachusetts. You know, there was a one nighter in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts on Saturday and Amherst, New Hampshire on Friday, and Quincy Mass on Thursday. And they, and they would, and comedians were just working every night. I mean, I was 20 years old making $800 in cash a weekend doing standup comedy. I mean, it was, it was ridiculous. And because I had a car, I could drive comedians to these other shows. Right. And, and they always liked it when I did it because they didn't have to share their drugs with me <laugh>, because I wasn't interested. Yeah. So there was a get him
Fritz Coleman (00:24:48):
<laugh>. So you were there, you, you were in the Boston. It was, it was Stephen Wright, one of the boy. Billy
Dana Gould (00:24:53):
Billy. He had moved on and become funny. But
Fritz Coleman (00:24:55):
He, but I mean, I mean, where, where they grew because that town support
Dana Gould (00:24:58):
Yeah. Stephen, like Bobcat, Lenny Clarke and
Fritz Coleman (00:25:00):
Lenny Clark, Bobcat Gold.
Dana Gould (00:25:02):
Right. Dennis Leary was, uh, was out of there. And then, and then people that aren't necessarily famous, but people like Steve Sweeney, Don Gavin, uh, you know, these, these local, uh, legends, Ken Rogerson and all of these people, it was an incredibly fertile ground, uh, to become a comedian. You would work every night with great comedians and in front of very tough audiences because it's Boston
Fritz Coleman (00:25:27):
Like the New York type thing. Yeah. And then he moved, and then San
Dana Gould (00:25:30):
Francisco went to San Francisco, which is like slipping into a hot tub, you
Fritz Coleman (00:25:34):
Know, but it, this was early to mid eighties and Yeah. Mid eighties. My, my only reference for that is Bobby Slaton told me one time, <laugh>, uh, that, um, it costs him money to come down and do showcases in la cuz you could make a living in San Francisco with hundred hundred percent all the paying clubs. And so you came out of this Petri dish where Robin was working, Dana Carvey, Paula Poundstone, Bobby Slayton, all in the Bay Area. I did my, my only reference to this was I never worked there. I worked there once at Cobbs Pub for one night. Right. <laugh>. But I, I just, it was, it was a showcase. I didn't even get paid, but
Dana Gould (00:26:13):
That's right. I cut my teeth.
Fritz Coleman (00:26:14):
Really. But I, but I remember, I remember they used to have these comedy competitions down here, and they'd do a night at the Ice House, and then they'd do one at the comedy at Magic Club. And these guys would all come down from San Francisco and beat the shit out of the La Comic <laugh> and take their little money and go back up to the Bay Area and make a living at it.
Dana Gould (00:26:35):
Yeah. You and I just start, you absolutely make a, how,
Fritz Coleman (00:26:37):
How are we ever gonna compete with these people,
Dana Gould (00:26:39):
You know, Gulf Weight, who I knew from Boston, and, you know, and, uh, you know, as to this day, I, one of my best friends, um, you know, he, he was not only making a living in San Francisco as a comedian, he was making a great living in San Francisco as a comedian. Um, you know, and yeah, he went down to LA and, um, you probably lost money right away. And then hit with Police Academy and started making movies.
Fritz Coleman (00:27:07):
I was working at the Comedy Store one night, and it was the night that they were having Whoopy Goldberg do a showcase for Spielberg and Mike Nichols and all these people involved with the Color Purple. And Bobcat opened for her. And I'd never seen him before. And it was a haunting experience. <laugh>. I mean, it was brilliant, but it was so different and weird. I thought, that's the bravest man I've ever seen on
Dana Gould (00:27:32):
Stage. Well, it's, it's, it's interesting Cause what what what I knew, because I I, I knew him <laugh>, you know, like, you know, we all were the same age. And, and, um, we all liked the same stuff. We liked punk music and, you know, bad science fiction movies and, you know, comic books. We weren't jocks. We weren't, and, you know, um, and, and what people who didn't, Bob's act is, it was a, was very punk. He was making fun of standup comedy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and people didn't understand that, you know, which is, to me, which makes it even funnier, but like, you know, Bob is, Bob is, he's directed like six movies. I mean, he's a and written, you know, in written and directed films. He's a brutally intelligent man. He's brilliant. Yeah. Yeah. And he's, he was, it's performance art. It's a very doist kind of thing, what he was doing making, you know, making fun of standup comedian. What if the, what if the guy was so nervous that he literally couldn't function? That was the origin of that character. And, and, and always doubted him that people didn't understand that <laugh>.
Fritz Coleman (00:28:46):
And, and he did, he did the world's greatest Bono impression that was ever Yes, he
Dana Gould (00:28:51):
Did. Well, they look alike anyway. Yeah. They look, they look alike. Anyway. But yeah, he, it always, it always, uh, beguiles him. And, you know, we have a, we have a concert film that we shot just before the pandemic called Joy Ride. He and I went on the road together, did shows together. And, you know, we were filmed driving to the, it's literally February of 2020 we filmed it, and we're just now, uh, shopping it. And, um, you know, so we're tight. And, and to this day, he doesn't understand that people that don't understand what he's doing just scratches his head.
Louise Palanker (00:29:28):
Well, um, being, uh, a sort of showbiz lore fanboy. Yes. Very much. Did you have any early experiences when you entered show business of, uh, like encountering some people that you had watched and enjoyed growing
Dana Gould (00:29:40):
Up? Oh my God, I met everybody. I mean, in fact, I ever write a book. I just wanna write a book called I Met Everybody. Um, but to me, and, uh, you know, I grew up in a very working class, um, uh, uh, environment in, in Massachusetts, and I have a very big family. It's a just big Irish Catholic family. Six kids in a three bedroom house. Um, and, you know, there were like, you know, four things that everybody would agree to watch on television, and then everybody would shut up when it was on. And other than that, it was chaos. But, you know, like if, like, if a Clintwood movie was on, or a James Bond movie was on, or, uh, the Andy Griffith show was on, or if George Carlin was on, everybody would shut up and watch it. And it was, you know, it was no discussion.
So Carlin was always my hero. Uh, and I, I wrote him a letter, uh, right when I started out, because I, I got very lucky and was on an H B O special after doing comedy less than a year. Wow. Um, it was a, it was comedians that were still in college. It was this weird thing, uh, called Campus comedy. And the actor John Michael Higgins was on it. And, uh, ed Solomon, who wrote Men in Black mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and, uh, the Bill and Ted movies was on it. And, uh, I was on it. We were all at our teens. And, uh, the producer produced Georgia Specials. And I just wrote him a letter and he wrote me back. Oh, wow. Wow. And, and then I got to meet him, and then I ended up interviewing him for H B O, like a couple years later. And then we were both in this movie called The Aristocrats.
Oh, really? And, uh, you know, and, and that is somebody that, like, we weren't friends, but we were friendly, uh, friendly acquaintances. And, uh, and to have that with somebody that you looked up to, uh, who was like, you know, to me he was everyone on Mount Rushmore, you know, it was just, uh, the feelings. Exactly. Yeah. And as Fritz, as I'm sure you, and as Fritz knows, the, the, the brilliant thing about him was, uh, uh, he was, he was as nice a man as he was brilliant. I mean, he, he, he couldn't have been more solicitous and understanding and, and patient with people. And, uh, I learned a lot about the, the responsibility of having fans from him. Like I, I, I have been talking to him when people just walked up and interrupted mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we'll talk like, Hey, I saw you in Indianapolis in 1972. And he was always kind and never like, Hey, I'm talking to this guy. Like he was always, and, and, and he, and then he would turn to me and say like, this, this moment is about them. This is, this moment is not about us. Well, and, uh, you know, he just knew, uh, uh, he knew how to do it.
Fritz Coleman (00:32:53):
He was my hero. He, he was my hero. Yeah. He made, uh, I'll, I'll tell you, I I, I met him a couple of times when he was, because my office was right over the Tonight Show, and I would tell Oh, sure. Yeah. Yeah. That's right. I, I would lurk in the hall when I, I knew he was gonna be on, hoping he would come up and say, oh my God, you're
Dana Gould (00:33:08):
The greatest weather man on the planet.
Fritz Coleman (00:33:10):
<laugh>. He never, he never did that. But my, my experience with him was, uh, the first time I ever saw a standup was George. And they used to have these things over. Oh, really? East coast. And, and they might have had 'em in Massachusetts called these summer music fairs, where when the weather got nice, they would erect these Cirque dule type sweeping tents that were very sophisticated. They, and they housed like 3000 people. And I did this one at Valley Forge Music Fair, it was called, with a rotating stage. And you know, it, when an hour was up, you'd be around at the same place you started. Wow. So the first, I'd never seen standup before. I mean, I'd seen it on the, on the, um, ed Sullivan show, but I didn't know the mechanics of it. I didn't know that you, you start and you build this block of material and you memorize it over time. Sure. And I saw this guy do 90 minutes of just brilliant observations mm-hmm. <affirmative> without consulting notes mm-hmm. <affirmative> without making one error in speech. Yeah. And I'm telling you, I felt like it was, I'm sure people had that experience the first time they saw Billy Graham or something. But it <laugh> it was, it was truly, I I, I'm not exaggerating. That's
Dana Gould (00:34:27):
Eye-opening. It's, it's
Fritz Coleman (00:34:28):
A religious experience. It is. I never thought I could do it myself, but, but he was the guy that made me just appreciate this art form. And no one has ever mastered language better than him. That's all I have. Yeah.
Dana Gould (00:34:41):
And he made, he, he made it. And I mean, you know, it, my my opinion of standup comedy is that it, it can be an art form mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and, and he is one of the people that that made it Absolutely. Uh, that made it so, uh, and uh, yeah. And, and I've had weird, like, you know, I was on the second to last, Bob Hope special. Um, you know, I I I had a very bizarre, I've had a very bizarre career.
Fritz Coleman (00:35:07):
It turns great experiences. You're diversified. Here's how diversified you were. You and your friend Rob Cohen used to write jokes for video games. Yes. I didn't even know they had jokes in video games.
Dana Gould (00:35:18):
Yeah. We, yeah, Rob, Rob who, uh, came up with the idea for hanging with Dr. Z, um, uh, we got, you know, we, we've done a bunch of stuff together, uh, all of our life. Uh, and, uh, yeah, we wrote this video game called Gex at the height of video games in the, in the mid to late nineties. And it's the only thing I've done in my career that my kids think is even a little cool <laugh> <laugh>. I have, I have three, three daughters and, uh, the, the two older ones are teenagers now. And, and they l and they didn't even know that I did it because it's not something that I, you know, I don't talk about myself. And that, you know, their nanny said like, well, your, your dad was in a video game. And, and they're like, what? You were in a video game. Like, that's the thing. <laugh>. That's awesome. Yeah. That was, that was what, that was what they, uh, that was the thing. The only thing they liked.
Louise Palanker (00:36:18):
So how are the jokes revealed within the playing of the game?
Dana Gould (00:36:22):
Well, the character, it's funny, there is a lot of Dr. Z and it really, now that I think about it, there was a character called Geck, and he was a gecko lizard, and he looked exactly like the Geico lizard. Um, but, uh, and he would go through these levels and he was just Johnny Car. We just do wisecracks <laugh> along the way. Yeah. Like, uh, like, uh, you know, like Johnny Carson and I'm trying to think of the, I'm trying to, we really went heavy on the Carson stuff. Um, and, uh, and there was, uh, uh, there was one, there's one thing where he's on a, yeah, that's him where he's on a raft and there's these animals coming out of the water trying to attack him in the line with something like, uh, uh, I haven't been this nervous in the water since Elk Summer's hot tub party,
Louise Palanker (00:37:10):
Dana Gould (00:37:10):
<laugh>. You know, it's just like we really had a, we, but man, and when I go on the road, cuz I still perform for the, you know, for the love of it, uh, you know, uh, it's like a, I do standup comedy the way people golf. You know, it's like, I, I I gotta do it or I go nuts. Right. <laugh>. Um, and, uh, I inevitably I will get some of the game to sign. Oh,
Louise Palanker (00:37:34):
Wow. That's so cool. Well, I know a lot of people are getting into, uh, Dr. Z because when Denny first told us about it, I saw the views, the number of views, and then researching for this show, it's like, it's just kind of like, it's caught fire. Look.
Dana Gould (00:37:50):
Well, yeah, YouTube has this weird algorithm, but doesn't, uh, but at, at a certain point, uh, it, it metastasizes, right? It's like, it goes by magnitude. Like, once you get up to 10,000, then it goes like 20,000, 40,080 thou, you know? Yeah.
Louise Palanker (00:38:08):
Because it starts showing, it starts showing your video to people that liked similar things. It's now, it's now become
Dana Gould (00:38:16):
Right. And I don't expect anybody, and, and I, I don't expect anybody to get it <laugh>, you know, and I dunno if, you know, there's a really Fritz, I'm sure you know Andy Kindler of course, um, fairly, Andy has a thing that I, that I always say, uh, uh, uh, my target audience is men my age, who are me, <laugh>
Louise Palanker (00:38:41):
Dana Gould (00:38:42):
You know, I don't, I don't really, uh, but, um, uh, but I think because of that, you, you, you can come up with something incredibly specific like hanging with Dr. Z. Like, nobody's gonna say, what, how do we really break through? Well, there was a character in a science fiction movie 50 years ago. <laugh>. <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:39:05):
But the thing is though, like, what, what Andy meant was if it's amusing to you, it will be amusing to other humans who have similar tastes as yours. Yeah. And there are people that
Dana Gould (00:39:14):
Get that do like it. Yeah.
Louise Palanker (00:39:15):
And so for people that get into Dr. Z, there's a lot of added value on the website. I highly recommend that you go to the website and you are gonna find things like, for example, mushroom Craft. Please explain <laugh>.
Dana Gould (00:39:31):
Oh, oh mu Oh, uh, yeah. Dr. Z's Mushroom Freak Out. Uh, Dr. Z's mushroom freak out. Well, you know, uh, was, uh, the video game that he did, he he has, yeah, he has stories. He has a lot of stories. And, uh, he was, uh, yeah, there it is. Uh, mushroom Madness Papercraft, uh, he got drunk on a, uh, the story was, it was in the, uh, it was in the mid seventies and every year he would go to a, uh, a, a 24 hour Majong Fest at Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson's, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson's house <laugh>. And, and, uh, he, uh, he had to get to the airport and fly back to the coast because he was doing a McMillan and Wife two-parter <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:40:12):
Dana Gould (00:40:14):
He had, he had hoped to fall asleep on the plane, but he got stuck sitting next to the president of Atari. So, uh, he agreed to do this video game just to, uh, just to get some sleep on the flight. And we have a really brilliant, uh, uh, guy who developed this. So this is our version of merch. You know, we're, we're we, we we're pretty, uh, uh, egalitarian. We're pretty hipp. This is free. This is all I have to do is download it and print it. It's
Louise Palanker (00:40:43):
Like paper dogs. It's like a paper dog.
Dana Gould (00:40:45):
You can make a, you can make a little miniature video game with a little miniature Dr. Z that'll stand in front of it, give you the thumbs up. And, uh, and you know, people have done it and people love it. That's one of my other favorite products. The national, uh, John Cave's, pudding Academy, <laugh>, um,
Louise Palanker (00:41:02):
Dana Gould (00:41:03):
Works kind of man loves Pudding. John Cassavetes, that's who, that's
Louise Palanker (00:41:06):
Who. And Nemoy World is one of my favorites. Nemo's
Fritz Coleman (00:41:09):
Mickey Rudy Potato Fantasy. Oh
Louise Palanker (00:41:11):
My God. And then also you have a playlist that Dr. Z playlist, which features everything from Claudine Lingerie to, uh,
Dana Gould (00:41:20):
Yeah, Dr. Z
Louise Palanker (00:41:22):
Walter Brennan, you know
Dana Gould (00:41:24):
This well. This is, this is also, uh, you know, uh, it takes a village. Uh, this is a lot of Denny ESCO's work, uh, doc, Dr. Z, you know, Dr. Z is from the era of the Groovy Cocktail sixties. You know, Shirley Bassy, uh, yeah. And, and, um, you know, the Herb Albert, the Tijuana Brass version of the sixties. So the, it's, it's his swing. That's his swing in playlist. And, uh, like this is what him and Dominic Dun would listen to when they're just kicking back by the pool. <laugh> waiting for a, yeah.
Fritz Coleman (00:42:01):
Speaking of nostalgia, let me plug this on May 7th on tcm.
Dana Gould (00:42:07):
Fritz Coleman (00:42:07):
Yeah. Dan is gonna be part of a reading of Plan nine from Outer Space.
Dana Gould (00:42:13):
I only do things that start with P L A N, <laugh> <laugh>.
Fritz Coleman (00:42:17):
And so, but it's, it's a, it's a rich cast. Who else is gonna be part of this?
Dana Gould (00:42:22):
So we do this, we do this show every year. I do this show every year, and we filmed it. And, uh, it is David, uh, David Ketner, Bobcat Goldway, Janet Varney, Lorraine Newman, uh, Deborah Baker Jr. Bob Odenkirk, Jonah Ray, pat Oswald, Paul f Tom, all my fr all my friends. And, uh, if you've ever seen the movie Plan Nine from Outer Space, it is famously, you know, the famously the worst movie of all time, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination of the worst movie of all time. Because what makes a movie bad is if it's boring. Plan nine promoter space is never boring. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's never boring for a second. Good point. Uh, and, and it's not just like a bad movie. That's a bad movie. It finds new ways to be bad all the way to the end. And, and at the end when you think they've done it, they've come up with something else that's completely horrible.
Fritz Coleman (00:43:16):
So this is free. People can, I mean, if you get TCM in your cable system, you get this right?
Dana Gould (00:43:21):
Yes. It's, uh, yeah. It's, uh, we, we, uh, we, we did it again. We did it, uh, with, uh, because it was cause of Covid. Uh, we did it remotely, but we did it black and white. We have miniature effects. And we, we were just doing our version of, of the script. And, uh, that was, uh, that's another great example of like a, of a, of a thing that I really am passionate about, that I really love. And that we just started doing this, uh, years ago. Uh, there's a guy named, uh, uh, Chris Nichols who writes for Los Angeles Magazine, and we were doing, um, a benefit for the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there's, there's a local LA reference mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and, and, you know, Chris and I knew each other and we're buddies. And, and he said, you know, what you should do is you should do a live reading of Plan Nine.
Because we used to do, back in the days at Largo, we did a live reading of the Day The Clown Cried, which is the Jerry Lewis Holocaust Prison Camp comedy that was never released. <laugh>. It's a genre. Yeah, it's a genre. Uh, but, uh, yeah, I look it up. It's a, he did make a movie about a clown at Auschwitz. And, uh, mercifully it was never released, but he did make it, it is on film. Wow. And we did that. And then he said, you should do Plan Nine and AG again. It was like, well, no, I'm not gonna do it. Well wait a second. No, I can actually do. Um, and, and so we did it, and then that turned into a yearly, uh, hall. You know, every Halloween at Largo, we would do Plan nine live. And, you know, it's easy. You just have to read a script.
So, uh, you always get a great cast. And then, uh, because of Covid, we, we, we filmed it. Uh, and of, you know, you, you talk about, you know, the people that you've met, uh, if you remember the, uh, the, the, the movie Edwood, the Tim movie Edwood mm-hmm. In the, in the, in the nineties. Um, I, so like, again, like there's a movie that that is a great example of did they make this for anybody? <laugh> other than me, <laugh>. Like, I, I know that I'm, but how, how do they really think anyone else is gonna go to see this movie? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and you know, and, and, and, and since then, I've become super close friends with the, the writers and, and, uh, um, well, they're the people that I know, crochet Panther. But, so at that time, I was doing, uh, a documentary, uh, that I made on, on horror movie hosts, because that's a, it's the only job.
I think I'm actually qualified <laugh>. Um, and, uh, I wanted to interview Vampy, who started in Los Angeles, who was the very first person to ever do it in, in 1954. Uh, started it here in here in LA and, uh, knew someone who worked at the Hollywood book and poster store, uh, who knew her. And I wrote her a letter and gave it to my friend. And she came, uh, she didn't have a phone. She was very reclusive. Um, uh, and I interviewed her. And then, uh, I wrote her a letter thanking her for, for doing the interview. And, and she wrote me back. And then we, uh, I wrote her back. I took her to lunch. Uh, and we became incredibly close, uh, for the last 15 years of her life. Uh, we were, uh, we were, we were, you know, she was in her seventies and eighties.
Um, but, uh, you know, sort of like the, if, if you remember the movie Ed Wood, the relationship that Ed Wood had with Belo Lagosi, I ended up having with Myla. Her name was Mila nie. And, uh, and, uh, it was so funny, I became such a fan of that movie. I ended up living my own version, <laugh>. Um, but, uh, she's in, she's depicted in, uh, in the Plan nine, uh, Reid, we have a very, uh, actress named Kat Aga and, uh, plays and, uh, um, but yeah, no, we, of all the people that like I met and knew, like, I don't, like, I think it's cool that I did a Bob Hope special, like, you know, that's all right. But like, no, I was friends with them pirate.
Louise Palanker (00:47:43):
Yeah, no, because that means, that means more, that means more to you
Dana Gould (00:47:47):
Louise Palanker (00:47:47):
Yeah. It's talking to the 12 year old kid that you Yeah,
Dana Gould (00:47:50):
Yeah, yeah. It's, it's very, it's very true. Like the, you know, like the, um, like Rob and I, Rob and I, Rob Cohen and I did a, a show on M T V and then mid nineties called Super Adventure Team, which was, um, a parody of the Thunderbirds. It was the movie Team America. But before Team America, I like to stress <laugh>. Um, and there, and for, and so for the lead actor, for the Voice, we asked Adam West. We didn't know Adam West. Ah, but we wanted to meet Adam West. Yeah. So we ended up becoming friends with Adam West. Like, it's like, that's so cool. I'm much mu you know, it's like, look, when I worked on The Simpsons, we had the Rolling Stones on, I was much more excited to meet Adam West <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:48:43):
Fritz Coleman (00:48:43):
You. Hey, I, I wanna Go ahead. Go ahead,
Louise Palanker (00:48:45):
Wei. No, I hear you. That's just, it's like, like the stuff that matters to you when you're forming self is the stuff that will continue to matter to you. Can
Fritz Coleman (00:48:54):
I, can I ask you a question about The Simpsons before we get too far down the road
Dana Gould (00:48:57):
Here? Sure. But then I have to tell my quick Adam West. Oh, no.
Fritz Coleman (00:48:59):
Tell You're Adam West, right? I didn't know you
Dana Gould (00:49:01):
Had one. Yeah. It takes 20 seconds. No problem. Takes 20 seconds. So Rob and I, we do the boat, we work with Adam West, we do the show, it's on a year. It goes by two years later. The, you know, they have these celebrity autograph shows at the Beverly Garland. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Holiday in on Vineland <laugh>. Yep. Yeah. And Adam is gonna be there. So, so Rob and I are like, all right, we've gotta go, we gotta go see Adam. And we're rehearsing, like, he's not gonna remember us. We'll say like, Hey, you don't remember us, we did that thing. Thank you so much for doing it. And it'll, it'll be, and hopefully he'll be nice and and he'll be cool. Aw, <laugh>. And so, you know, and we're in our early thirties now. We're, we're adults, you know, and, uh, we start wa we walk towards his table and he looks up and he goes, here comes trouble
Louise Palanker (00:49:50):
Dana Gould (00:49:52):
How are, how are you geniuses
Louise Palanker (00:49:55):
Dana Gould (00:49:55):
And we were, we were giddy. Like, we were like, oh, we were sneaking like those girls at the Shea Stadium watching the Beatles play. Like we were just beside ourselves that Adam West knew who we were. That's a
Louise Palanker (00:50:08):
Dana Gould (00:50:09):
Couldn't get over it. And again,
Fritz Coleman (00:50:11):
Good voice. He had that
Dana Gould (00:50:12):
Really distinction, that voice. And again, and I, I've rarely encountered the opposite of this, you know, painfully nice. Wow. Adam, you know, like these, I've been so lucky that everybody I've met that I've looked up to and that were my heroes, they've been great. And, and it would be heartbreaking if they weren't, you know.
Louise Palanker (00:50:35):
Yeah, yeah. No, but it, like, I met Jerry Lewis, so it happens.
Dana Gould (00:50:40):
It does happen. I, yeah, I, uh, uh, I knew a couple of other ver very famous prickly pairs that I steer clear of.
Louise Palanker (00:50:47):
Yeah. And, you know, sometimes like, you just catch 'em on a bad day, because in my radio career, I, I interviewed a lot of celebrities and you'd get Dion Warwick in the morning <laugh>.
Dana Gould (00:50:59):
Yeah. Boy, really running the gamut. Yeah.
Louise Palanker (00:51:01):
Yeah. And then, you know, went over to her house a couple years later, couldn't have been lovelier made cookies, you know, so it's this really same thing happened with Roddy McDowell. Caught him in a bad moment. Oh. A year later. He was a doll.
Dana Gould (00:51:13):
I've, uh, I've heard that about, I've heard that about Roddy. Um, uh, I, it's so funny. Um, when, uh, obviously, uh, I love Planet of the Apes. There was a time when I owned the most expensive piece of Planet of the Apes memorabilia in existence. Roddy's house. No, <laugh>. Wow. When my wife and I, my ex-wife and I were, uh, we were married and we had a house, and, but we needed a bigger house cuz we were gonna start our family. And we were looking at this one house and, uh, it was a little bit big and it was a little out of our price range, but it was doable, you know? And, uh, and then the, the realtor goes, yeah, there was an actor that used to live here, Roddy McDowell. He was inspiring. And I could feel my wife's eyeballs
Louise Palanker (00:52:10):
Dana Gould (00:52:11):
The hole in the back of my head, <laugh>. And then we just, we walked out. It was like, well, I guess we found our house <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:52:21):
I better love it.
Dana Gould (00:52:22):
Yeah. Then we, and we lived there. But yeah, he was, uh, I, I'd heard actually, I, I had my, he was, he was very rude to my dentist. Oh, no. No. Years ago. Yeah. There's other people that are famously hard to take. I don't wanna mention any names. Maybe one rhymes with Bli Blattner, I don't know.
Louise Palanker (00:52:44):
Uh, it's been rumored, it's been said. Yes.
Fritz Coleman (00:52:48):
Yeah. I just wanted to ask you about The Simpsons, cuz it's historic and it's the one of the longest rank shows in television. I, I, I, I mean, just knock down, drag out funny every week. How, how do the, how does the writing work on that show? How do you break out stories? Who do you, do you work alone when you write? Do you work with a partner? How, how does it work
Dana Gould (00:53:07):
On that show? Well, I'm, I'm very, I am really indebted to the show because it taught me, uh, how to be a writer, you know, uh, how to be a good writer. Um, and I learned a lot, uh, uh, there, especially from, uh, the specific people, uh, that, uh, uh, Mike Scully, uh, George Meyer, these like names that you see on the show, uh, John Schwartz welder. Um, you just see their names. But like, just wa being, watching them work, uh, really raised my game. And, um, you know, uh, the way stories ha you know, happen is you're in the room and you're pitching to, you know, 12, you know, it's a murderer's row. <laugh> <laugh>. I was like, you know, every, you know, and, and in fact, it's funny, I was describing it like, there's, if you, there's no polite laughter in that room that, you know, if your joke isn't good, you'll sit in that silence <laugh> and like it <laugh>.
Um, because the theory is like, no, we think you're good. You're here. No, we're not gonna waste time coddling you. Yeah. Um, we've all blown some clams as they say. And, uh, no. Well, for my first episode, I, you know, I had an idea. Um, my dad, I, my dad was a bartender. Uh, and I, I would love Moe and I wanna do a show where, uh, Mo uh, where Homer had to take over Moe's, something happened to Moe and Homer had to take over Moe's. Uh, and, uh, cuz I had some experience of like having your dad work at a bar mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and there was a lot of things I knew there was places you could go to specific. Yeah. And then, so somebody goes, yeah, maybe, maybe Moe, maybe Moe goes back to like a refresher course in bartending school. Like surgeons have to do, like every two years you're gonna go back to school.
And then that spas an idea and, and then it's very collaborative. And then you'll, and then you go out and you write up, you know, a very detailed outline, like a 21 page outline. And then you, then they'll tear that apart. Then you write this script and then tear that apart. And then, then you bring in the script and they rip it to shreds. Uh, you know, you're lucky if three or four things survive. Um, but it's always being made better. And you know, it, it's, I I don't say that with any, I'm not grumbling. It's a, it's how it works and it gets better. And, you know, writing on a television staff is nowhere to be, if you think that your words are precious, uh, you know, if it, it's just you're you're, you're there, you're a part of a team, you're a part of a process.
Um, and you know, I, because of that, I have a, I very lucky that I have very healthy attitudes towards, towards collaboration. And, you know, I'm writing a movie now for somebody and I'm getting paid a lot of money to write it. And, uh, you know, notes are helpful. And even if they're not helpful, if it's somebody else's money, you, you better listen. You know, you might not agree, but you have to listen. And, uh, but rarely, even if it's not a good idea, if it challenges your idea, it will let you see if your idea is strong enough to withstand a challenge. Hmm. Uh, and all that stuff is good. All that stuff is, is, is healthy and, and good. And that's the reason the show has lasted as long as it has. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Jim Brooks, Jim Brooks instilled in that show a, a brutal commitment to quality. Uh, wow. That is un, that is unforgiving. And the show benefits from it.
Louise Palanker (00:57:01):
Yeah. And that's why every episode is timeless. So you just, they're just gonna live forever.
Dana Gould (00:57:06):
And, and I, and I put that brutal commitment to quality, not only in my M T v puppet show, but in my YouTube monkey talk show. <laugh>.
Fritz Coleman (00:57:15):
Well, as if you're not busy enough, then you have the Dana Gould hour podcast, which is really good. And I love the one you did with Cliff Nesteroff.
Dana Gould (00:57:24):
Fritz Coleman (00:57:25):
Because he wrote this book about Native Americans in comedy.
Dana Gould (00:57:32):
Yeah. We had a little
Fritz Coleman (00:57:33):
Real estate, just the title alone. <laugh> Yeah. Will kick you to buy it and says, we had a little real estate problem, which is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. Wow. But anyway, you're, you're really good at all the things you do. You're very talented person. I'm so glad you were with us.
Dana Gould (00:57:46):
I'm, I'm really good at the things that let you see me do <laugh> the stuff I'm bad at no one sees. That's
Fritz Coleman (00:57:52):
Ok. You have a thick and resilient facade like we all do. That's good.
Louise Palanker (00:57:56):
<laugh>. What would, what would happen, what would happen if, if Jim Glick sat down with Dr. Z?
Dana Gould (00:58:02):
Oh, they would implode. Oh man. Great. Yeah. They, I, Jimy Glick and Dr. Z have to go on inside the actor studio
Fritz Coleman (00:58:08):
Dana Gould (00:58:09):
I, uh, if I, if I, one, uh, someone said one thing about my podcast, I know we all have to go, but I think this goes back to Denny Tedesco, um, uh, Denny, you know, I'm, I'm a fan of, of that era and of Denny's dad's music and, and of, of all that stuff. And I'm a particular fan of, I Love The Beach Boys and I love the story of the Beach Boys' father. Um, he was their manager for a long time, Murray Wilson. And he was a brutal man. <laugh>. He was abusive and cruel and a terrible human being by all accounts. And of course, only the children of that guy could write fun, fun, fun, <laugh>. Cause it's all As, cause it's aspirational. They don't know what fun is. They're imagining what fun would be like, <laugh>. Um, of course it is. And Denny gave me a, a, uh, a a an la call in radio show from 1966, forget the name of it. And Murray Wilson is one of the guests. Oh my gosh. And I patterned the sound of my podcast on that show. I have jingles, I have a se a song introduction. Um, it's the Dana Gau. It's really good xylophones. And yeah, it, it sounds like a, uh, a ta a Colin radio show from 1966. Yeah. That's so cool. That was the goal of it.
Louise Palanker (00:59:41):
That's a really cool aesthetic.
Fritz Coleman (00:59:43):
Yeah. So find all this stuff on his website hanging with Dr. Z and the podcast and all that stuff. Yeah.
Louise Palanker (00:59:48):
Dana.com now. Yeah, there's lots of, uh, socials to share because you've got Dr. Z socials and you've got Dana Gold socials, so people need to follow you wherever they can find you. And Dr.
Dana Gould (00:59:58):
Z I say about Dr. Z and my podcast, free and worth it.
Louise Palanker (01:00:04):
<laugh>. That is beautiful
<laugh>. All right. We're gonna post all of this stuff in our show notes, uh, Dana, so that everybody can find you very easily. And here come our closing credits. We would love for you to join us online on Instagram and Twitter, where we are at Media Path Pod, and on Facebook where we are. Media Path Podcast. You can find full episodes with all kinds of bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. We would love to know what media you've been enjoying. You can contact us at our social media or email us at Media Path email@example.com. We wanna thank our wonderful guest, Dana Gould. Our team includes Dina Friedman, Francesco Demond, John Maddox, Sharon Beo, bill Fiac, Thomas Hubble, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Maddox. I am Luis p Planker here with Fritz Coleman, who has something more to say.
Fritz Coleman (01:00:51):
If you enjoyed this episode of Media Path, it would help us tremendously. It would make us more discoverable by potential new listeners. If you leave us a quick review on Apple Podcast, and if you're new here and this is your first time with us, please check out our back catalog. You may even find us binge-worthy recent episodes. Include a look back at Pop Music Memories with Gary Puckett and the kils. Going back to the very beginning, you'll hear exciting and exclusive interviews with Henry Winkler and Keith Morrison. Thank you for spending this great hour with us today, and we would be overjoyed if you took a moment to share your thoughts with us or recommend us to a friend. Bless you.
Louise Palanker (01:01:37):
And here comes our catchphrase, Fred. We could even say it together. We will see you along the media path.