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Episode 58

Ed Begley Jr. & Sustainable TV History

Episode  58
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Ed Begley Jr. is 329 IMDB credits into his career while simultaneously moving heaven and earth to save heaven and Earth. That heroes journey should come with a cape. Ed joins us for a deep dive into his TV history, true tales of his movie star dad, his mysterious origins story, electric car road trip tips and can Ed remember the plot to his guest star appearances on My Three Sons, Adam 12 and Room 222? Plus Fritz and Weezy are recommending I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Phillip Rucker, Landslide by Michael Wolff, Big Brother on CBS and Youtube TV.

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Fritz Coleman (00:00:00):

Hi everybody. Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman.

Louise Palanker (00:00:09):

I'm Louise Palanker.

Fritz Coleman (00:00:10):

You know, here in the Media Path Podcast, our job is to sort through all of the recent releases in all media, hopefully finding things that are worthy of your attention, books, movie streaming, cable broadcast, whatever. Think of us as your personal shoppers in the media, big box store. <laugh>. We've got some great suggestions for you today, and we are so happy to have a guy who is truly one of the most loved and appreciated people in the entertainment business. He's an actor who's been in some of the funniest movies ever made. He's been an environmentalist since before the climate began to change. He did a movie about the electric car when Elon Musk was still in high school. <laugh>, he's an environmental entrepreneur with some great echo conscious products to tell us all about Ed Begley. Jr's gonna be here in just a minute. We're looking forward to talking to my friend Ed. But wheezy, what do you have for

Louise Palanker (00:01:06):

Us? All right, so Fritz, in order to travel down a media path, you need a pathway. For many boomers, that pathway involves a major thoroughfare called either cable or satellite. We like our channels. We grew up on channels. We want channels. Sure, we've got Netflix, prime, Hulu, off-ramps, but we steer our DVR remote right back onto the Cable Highway and the familiar twists and turns of our channels. I was not at all ready to cut any chords. Fritz and Ed. I was going to my grave clutching my TiVo remote. But the evil Empire of Spectrum Cable was playing not at all well with TiVo, which they began calling a third party DVR once they had successfully stolen the secrets and begun cramming their own inferior DVRs into their spot, spotty and bloated packages. The night before I went in for back surgery, I was down to zero channels.


Nerve pain is debilitating, but no msn, b c, I'm on the verge of tears telling the story. Spectrum's game is one, we'll call hold and transfer. They keep you on hold for hours and then they transfer you. This goes on for days. It's like the car salesman who goes to speak to his manager. He's playing Tetris in his cubicle until you start to twitch <laugh> or the detective who disappears while you panic. This has only happened to Fritz once and his alibi was solid <laugh>. Okay, so one day out of surgery, spectrum Representative 17 tells me my TiVo will eventually be completely unsupported. So by eventually, you mean yesterday when I stopped getting any channels, she has me order an Apple tv, which will come with a Spectrum app on which I will receive my channels, allegedly. Okay, it's time to learn and change. I will get the hang of it.


I never got the hang of it. You can not pause, you can't fast forward, you can't record shows with this app. That, plus during another day of hold and transfer, my monthly bill had reached over $300. While M S N B C and C n N were deleted from my lineup and replaced with Spanish language channels, I was ready to jump myself out of the Spectrum Cult. And I was able to do this with the aid of the Life draft. That is grab a pencil, pull over, write this down, YouTube tv. My monthly bill is $96. You get a bunch of great channels, including your major networks and news networks. You can add packages to suit. I selected H B O Max and Showtime and Stars. You can select live sports or additional streaming services. Whatever you are into, you can pause, rewind, record, whatever you, you are used to doing with cable. It works on Apple tv, Roku, Firestick, et cetera. However, you are receiving your, your streaming services. So if you are thinking about cutting the cord, take a look at YouTube tv and you are welcome.

Fritz Coleman (00:03:42):

I just got the Apple tv. Okay. And it's the thing where you have the, they put the box in the back of the tv and then when you turn the TV on their 50 or 60 different boxes and you have to click on Spectrum and it takes 30 seconds for the spectrum thing to load in there. And that's my complaint. There's no way to record anything. How do you record stuff?

Louise Palanker (00:04:02):

You quit spectrum and you're gonna need someone to help you jump out because when you try to quit them, they put you on hold. It would be like if you walk, if you walked up to the checkout line with your items and you said, I actually don't need bananas. And they were like, you are not allowed to reenter the store. You will buy these bananas. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or, or die trying not to. Wow.

Fritz Coleman (00:04:22):

Yeah. It's good for you. A lot of people are doing that. Yeah. Young people don't have cable. You know, you know, people under 50 <laugh> that

Louise Palanker (00:04:30):

Don't have, that's why we're having this conversation cuz people our age are stuck. We're, we're familiar with our channels and we don't know what else to do, but it's become kind of unwieldy to figure out, you know, what do you do, ed?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:04:41):

I, uh, I have a millennial, you know, I've got, uh, a 21 year old, I guess that's a millennial. And so she handles all that if I can't figure it. But I still have my old, uh, 2008 tv that's, uh, you know, it's a, uh, very just, you know, kind of a normal settings. It's at and t. So I record everything. I've got my Roku, so that's how I'm doing it. I'm have that thing that you probably don't need with an Apple. No, you can

Fritz Coleman (00:05:04):

Get a stick. No, it's the same. I did that. It's like a fire stick, right? Right. Yeah. But you can now is that record stuff? The Roku

Ed Begley Jr. (00:05:09):

Record stuff? I can record, I can do everything. I've done all of that. But I have at and t What is that? That's also called something else at and t and it's not Spectrum. What is it? Fiber? I I think it might be. Wow.

Louise Palanker (00:05:20):

See, the thing is what with boomers, like, we kind of know what we're doing. We don't know why we're doing it or how to not do it.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:05:28):

<laugh>, oh, it's Direct tv. That's what it is. A direct TV at t combo. We, we,

Louise Palanker (00:05:31):

We learned a thing and like what? Like if I press this, something will print, but we wouldn't know how to,

Fritz Coleman (00:05:39):

If I have a problem, I call my daughter who's away at college

Ed Begley Jr. (00:05:42):

To help and she'll help you.

Fritz Coleman (00:05:42):

She'll help, she'll help me and she'll solve the problem with a phone or something. And she, she does it

Ed Begley Jr. (00:05:46):

Amazing. I'm pretty good with most stuff. I started computing in 1984, bought my first computer and didn't do it just for games. I played a few games, but I did it for, you know, financial stuff and I did it for word processing and I was pretty serious about it. So I'm, I'm pretty good with most stuff, but some stuff I just can't figure. And I get my daughter on it. No,

Fritz Coleman (00:06:03):

That's exactly

Louise Palanker (00:06:03):

What, that's why we've had trouble. That's

Ed Begley Jr. (00:06:05):

Why we had. Exactly.

Louise Palanker (00:06:06):


Fritz Coleman (00:06:06):

What have you got? I got a, a good pick here. I alone can fix it. Donald j Trump's catastrophic final year. This is a fantastic book written by Phil Rucker and Carol Lenny, who are both with the Washington Post. If you were fascinated and disturbed by their last book called The Very Stable Genius, this is gonna grab you by the esophagus the same way. What's fascinating about it is Rucker and Lennick were scorched earth about the former president in their last book. Yet Trump sat down with him to do two hour plus interviews for the book. Seems like a masochistic exercise. He didn't care what they, I

Louise Palanker (00:06:47):

Swear to God, Frits, if we showed up there and said, would you talk to us? He, he would

Fritz Coleman (00:06:50):

Seriously, I alone can fix it. Walks you through the last year of the Trump administration, the missteps with a pandemic, the revolving door of sick offense and lawyers, the unending chaos, which Rucker and Lennox seem to think is what President Trump really secretly thrives on the chaos. He loves chaos. Regardless of how destructive it is. The best in the book comes first. I think it's a detailed description of how Covid was born in Wuhan, China. They identify patient one and patient two in the United States. It's really fascinating. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Patient one's in Chicago, patient two is in Washington state. And the book is, uh, really just a, a a detailed recap of a time in our lives that might not need recapping because we just lived through the horror of it. But with the excellent journalism of Phil Rucker and Carol Lenning, you'll find yourself saying to yourself, I'm not nuts. This really happened. Here's why and how a really good book

Ed Begley Jr. (00:07:53):

I'm buying it. I wrote it down so I didn't forget and I'm gonna get it. So thank you. It's really good. I've seen it promoted on MSNBC a bit. I'm gonna get it. And

Fritz Coleman (00:08:00):

What you will think of in, in when you complete this book is how is it possible that not only Trump himself and his immediate family, but his immediate circle of friends committed so much malfeasance, particularly in that last year, covering him up, that nobody's been prosecuted. The only people that were prosecuted were people that happened at the beginning. You know, what's his name that, that got, uh, pardoned and Right. That, but all of the broken laws and nobody has honestly paid a price for it yet. It's, it's astounding and depressing. But

Louise Palanker (00:08:34):

He, he vetted, you know how most people are vetted to work in administration? He vetted for corruption, <laugh>. That's right. He, you want only corrupt people who had secrets so that they wouldn't rat anybody.

Fritz Coleman (00:08:42):

Right. Well, good book. I recommend it.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:08:44):

Yeah. That's the way Mafia Don's work on.

Louise Palanker (00:08:45):

That's exactly right.

Fritz Coleman (00:08:46):

Yes, exactly right. Yeah, exactly right.

Louise Palanker (00:08:48):

All right, so my next pick is a guilty pleasure. And, uh, but I, I actually feel no guilt. I just feel the pleasure. Uh, this is Big Brother. I watch it every Summer. Big Brother is a reality show in which 16 contestants move into a house slash soundstage, probably parking lot isolated from the world and tracked by 94 cameras and 194 microphones. They spend their summer engaged in a psychological battle where your only companions are your competitors. I find it absolutely fascinating. It's a game of skill, strategy and social manipulation. The winner goes home with $750,000 and probably a lot more social media followers now, until this summer, they had been casting what I will call Caucasian hotties and Alpha Dudes and Bikini Girls <laugh>. Uh, there would be your diversity tokens, but alliances would form early and implicit biases would kick in. In 2019. The first four contestants voted out were people of color.


This season, the cast is diverse. And almost immediately, and this is what's so fascinating to me, the black contestants formed a secret alliance, which they are calling the cookout to clug their strategy. The cookout members are each working closely with the fellow house guests outside of their alliance. Now you may say, oh my gosh, they have formed an alliance based on race that's racist. And I would say, well, here's the thing. When a black person walks into a historically white environment and sees another black person, they see a friend. When a white person walks into a historically white environment and sees another white person, we see a stranger. The greater good here is that the cookout wants to see a black person win. Big Brother, although the white Alpha males were voted off early, which is kind of unprecedented in all of Big Brother history, no person of color has ever even been on the block yet for eviction until this week. And that contestant is clearly upon. He will not go home. Ratings are up. The gameplay is smart and strategic. The house guests are interesting and engaging. I am all about it. Big Brother airs three times a week on cbs or the streaming Paramount Plus app, where you can also watch live feeds from the house. You can literally watch Big Brother 24 hours a day, but I can't really recommend it. I think you should hydrate.

Fritz Coleman (00:10:48):

Um, do you think that the, uh, geniuses behind the, uh, reality TV set that racial dynamic up because

Ed Begley Jr. (00:10:56):

Of I'm sure they do. It'd

Louise Palanker (00:10:57):

Be shocked if you Yeah, I think there was a statement from the head of CBS about diversity in casting on all of their reality shows, because they were, they were receiving a lot of complaints.

Fritz Coleman (00:11:06):


Ed Begley Jr. (00:11:07):

And in fictional work, there's some great stuff being out there about race and privilege and lots of other deep, deep things. It's fiction of course, but it's wonderful that I'm talking about White Lotus. Have you seen that show?

Fritz Coleman (00:11:17):

I, I haven't seen it, but everybody's talking about Good and I love Mike White.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:11:20):

He's a great writer. And Jennifer Coolidge is knocks it out of the park home Run great. Everybody's great in it, but it's about deep and meaningful stuff. It's a comedy, it's a very, very, very, very dark comedy. But it's wonderful. Mike White who did, uh, he's fantastic. That show with Laura Dern enlightenment has done it again. It's just, he's amazing. It's such great writing, great direction, visually great. And the cast is amazing. And, but it's about something. I really love the show.

Fritz Coleman (00:11:44):

My friends have all asked me about it, and now I gotta get on the

Ed Begley Jr. (00:11:46):

I'm You're gonna like it.

Louise Palanker (00:11:47):

I'm about to dive in. I was, I just needed to, you know, my channels know I'm ready to

Ed Begley Jr. (00:11:53):

Go. You gotta have your channels to watch it. I understand.

Fritz Coleman (00:11:56):

Alright, here's another in the tsunami of Post-Trump books. It's another good one. It's Michael Wolf's landslide. This is the follow up to his other blockbuster called Fire in Fury. The title Landslide is what Trump tried to convince us. He had actually won the 2020 election by and like the Phil Rucker Carro Lennick book. This is the chaotic wake of the Trump administration's last year. It gives you more concrete evidence of what you already knew, that our country was being run by unqualified sick offenses. It walks you through Trump's Ill-fated election challenges, the surreal second impeachment trial, the immoral mishandling of the Covid crisis. Some scary revelations about how Trump balked at calling off the violent mobs in the Capitol on January 6th, along with his discussions about actually proclaiming Marshall Law. What you have in landslide is a laundry list of the waves over the last year that the hubcaps nearly came off of democracy. Another good read.

Louise Palanker (00:12:55):

Wow. And I would like to recommend Landslide by Stevie Nicks. It's a very good song.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:13:00):

Yes. Okay. Another good landslide <laugh> in a slightly different format. <laugh>, I, I agree.

Fritz Coleman (00:13:06):

All right. Now or to our amazing guest, I'm so happy to get a chance to talk to Ed. This man is an actor and environmental activist. He's appeared in literally hundreds of films, TV shows and stage shows. You need the Dewey Decimal system to get through his IMDB page. <laugh>, here are just a few of my faves best in Show. A Mighty win for your consideration. Any of the Christopher Guest masterpieces, he's been on groundbreaking television, Saint elsewhere. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, mod Curb Your En Enthusi, uh, curb, your Enthusiasm, better Call Saul. Arrested Development, the Simpsons. Even my three sons. And we had, uh, some guests from that show on just a week or so ago. Livingston Bros. The Livingston Bros were here. One of his great accomplishments that he put up at one of my favorite venues, the El Port Hotel Theater in North Hollywood, is that he wrote and directed Caesar and Ruben a musical about Caesar Chavez.


One of his most important works, I think, was who Killed the Electric Car. Mm-hmm. This was back in 2006, which talked about all the things that kept the electric car from getting traction. These days, he's become an echo entrepreneur. He spearheaded a line of environmentally sound products called Ed Begley's Earth Responsible Products. We're gonna talk about 'em. You can find them on his, uh, that has his environmental musings and products and activities and the, uh, uh, exploits of his gorgeous family, including his wife, Rachel, and their three children. Happy to see you, my friend. So

Ed Begley Jr. (00:14:33):

Good to see you. Thanks

Fritz Coleman (00:14:34):

For coming

Ed Begley Jr. (00:14:34):

Over. You're so present all the time for these wonderful causes we both care about. For the Orangutan Republic and other great organizations, helping out animals, helping out the environment, many other worthy causes. Hats off to you, pal. Thank you for always being there.

Fritz Coleman (00:14:48):

I, I feel the same way about you. As a matter of fact, the first I met you was about 40 years ago at an American Cancer Society benefit at the Equestrian Center. And you and I were the first two people there, and there was nothing going on. We were just waiting for, you know, them to set up the jumps and

Ed Begley Jr. (00:15:04):

That's right. That's right. I remember that now. My god, that is many years ago. A long time ago. Well done, sir.

Fritz Coleman (00:15:10):

Uh, let's go back to history. Yeah. Uh, your, your talent might be hereditary because you had a very talented actor. Father Ed. I did Begley Senior. Talk about your dad a little bit.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:15:20):

You know, he was a great actor and really a great dad too. He was gone a lot at the time. I thought, my dad's never here. He was actually there a lot when he was not working off in some distant land or distant city. And when we were together, we were really together and had great times together. Driving cross country, taking the train. Cross country. Could I, I was a young man back in the fifties, you know, growing up in the fifties and early sixties. I I was born in 1949. So back then you did not fly across country unless you are the daughter and son of, you know, Clark Gable as somebody would go. But people like my dad, you know, kind of a working stiff actor, we would take the train or drive. That's where he went, cross country. And it was spectacular. So I have it in my blood still. I like to take those trips, cross country. I've been working on some shows, you know, driving to Albuquerque recently for a show. And I just love it. I love the Open road. I love my dad. He was a great actor. He was in 12 Angry Men and Sweet Bird of Youth with one, an Oscar for that man, man. So I became an actor because of him. If he had been a plumber, I'd be fitting pipe. Now,

Louise Palanker (00:16:18):

Your dad, according to Wikipedia, which is where I learned things, dropped out of school in fifth grade.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:16:25):

He did.

Louise Palanker (00:16:25):

What kind of a kid did? I mean, it's like eight o'clock. Has any, has anyone seen Ed? Uh, eight o'clock of next week? Has anyone seen, like, how do you disappear at age? What is that 10?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:16:38):

Yeah, I don't know what he did. What caused him to leave like that Part of it was the lure of being in a carnival or a circus or, you know, he won a Charlie Chaplin contest when he was quite young. You know, that was part of the lure. But what drove him away? There must have been something very dangerous going on in his home or around his home for him to leave home at that age. I don't know what that's about. I haven't gotten the bottom of it, but he did very well. Very erudite man. He would've thought he had an, uh, degree of some sort. He had not, he didn't, as he noted, he dropped out of fifth grade. So, but he read voraciously and he always had a dictionary next to his chair. And if he didn't know a word, he looked it up. And very well spoken. Very bright guy that you wouldn't know was well-schooled.

Fritz Coleman (00:17:21):

Did he support you wanting to go into show business and you went in when you were a child?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:17:25):

It was tricky for him cuz he didn't want to hand it to me. I have a had a much older brother, Tom, that actually was my cousin. That's the source of a whole nother chapter. We'll do it. We'll spend a day on that talking down the line with my therapist here. But, uh, but, so he had a much, I had a much older brother, let's call him. And he

Fritz Coleman (00:17:43):


Ed Begley Jr. (00:17:43):

And he, Tom had, was in a nightclub, not a nightclub of Vaudeville with my father. And he did a lot of that kind of stuff with my dad. At some point when he was a teenager, he went, I didn't wanna do that. I wanted to be playing with my friends and you made me go on stage. And so my dad said, I'll never do that again. So even though my sister and I wanted it and begged him to go on interviews, he kind of didn't forbid it just said, you, if you wanna do it, you do it on your own. But then some miraculously, Fritz, how did I go on the, about five, six different interviews from age 10 to age 17. I mean, I, I got it because I was Ed Begley's son. Somehow I got out on these interviews, but I got no work whatsoever. Why? I hadn't trained. I had no training. Imagine the son of a plumber saying, I'm gotta go ride in the truck today and do a plumber's job. You know, you gotta learn how the pipes fit together.

Fritz Coleman (00:18:30):

And you weren't a sitcom as a child, but you were on my three sons.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:18:33):

Right. My first job. I got it when I was 17. As I said, I'd, I'd interviewed for other things, gone on different job interviews, never gotten anything with no training. Finally did some training. Go in this job, get the job, do the job. I leave my makeup on because I've got a paper route I have to still satisfy at 3:00 PM the late paper, the Herald Examiner in la I'm out delivering my papers. Seriously. Fritz hoping somebody recognizes me and goes, oh, you've got makeup on? Are you an actor?

Fritz Coleman (00:19:00):

<laugh> hire you on the spot. So you, you were so proud

Ed Begley Jr. (00:19:02):

Of it. I was so proud of it. I was in my dad's business. I had gotten into Screen Actors Guild and I literally thought the phone was gonna ring off the hook and quickly. And I didn't get much work. So I kind of shifted gears. I became a camera assistant for a while, you know, pulling focus, doing that job and doing this slate and loading camera magazines back then with film cameras. And so I learned a lot about that, did that. But then, you know, the acting work kind of beckoned again, it pulled me back in on this show called Room 2 22. Oh yeah, of course. Great show. Yeah. And Gene Reynolds was a friend of my dad's and a child actor himself. And also James L. Brooks, I believe was a writer on that show. So I wound up getting a job here and there on that show, and got back into acting. And then it finally took off with St. Elsewhere.

Fritz Coleman (00:19:44):

And, and did he ever say to you, you, you are talented. I'm glad you're pursuing this. This is not a stretch for you. What I mean is did he support you after you got a little of your own momentum?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:19:54):

He did. He came to Valley College where I studied and he saw me in a few plays and had found something nice to say that I don't, I don't know where he found it, <laugh>, any reason to be nice about what I was doing on stage there. I failed miserably at Valley College. But that's how you learn. You don't learn from your successes or being cued or whatever you think you are. All your little bag of tricks, you learn from failure. And I learned that quickly and started. But he, I, I didn't work. I worked more as a Cameron when he was still alive. Rich. He died when I was 20. It was mostly camera work, but he'd drive me to the set sometimes to work as an assistant cameraman, grab a cup of coffee at the coffee here and there and say, how's my boy doing this? He doing okay? Oh. And he was very proud.

Fritz Coleman (00:20:32):

What were

Louise Palanker (00:20:33):

Some of the more interesting sets that you got to be on?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:20:36):

With my dad? Yeah. I was on the set of, uh, I was on the set of Unsinkable Molly Brown. I was backstage at advising and consent. I was backstage at Look, Homeward Angel. I was backstage, uh, and he took me to a few plays on Broadway. He was not in. Also, I got to see The Miracle Worker on Broadway with, uh, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. I got to see, um, with Pete and Dud, Peter Moore and Dudley. Oh yeah. Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. My god, my brains. You know, they did, uh, beyond the Fringe then Behind the Fringe and all these plays. Yeah. So I saw some Broadway stuff and really wanted to be an actor. But what little I did, he was very proud. But then he died when I was 20. Not yet 21. And somehow after that, things began to pick up and I could then call myself a working actor cuz I worked on all those Owen Marshall Council at Law, manic, you know, Adam 12, all those shows we watched. You

Fritz Coleman (00:21:26):

Were like your dad. You were a working actor, working actor. It wasn't about being the lead, it was about doing the work. And you just exactly accumulated this swimming pool full of credits.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:21:35):

Not unbelievable. And it seemed like a good gig. There was no big ups or downs, just kind of steady work his whole life from when he really became successful as an actor, which was in his forties. Before that, he was a factory worker at the Wire mole plant in Hartford, Connecticut. He was born and raised in Hartford. So he was really a factory worker that made it in his mid forties. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. He was, did some theater in New York. He was directed by Kaan in 12, not in directed by ILI Kaan in all my sons, ah, on Broadway and many other wonderful plays. And then he was a big hidden radio too in New York. Fibre McGee and all those shows. And Aldrich family and Mike Diamond, private detective, working actor. And then he began to work in Hollywood in different movies. And so I went, I wanna do that. I wanna do what he did. And I had the good fortune to, to do just that.

Louise Palanker (00:22:22):

You do now, ed, you have 329 I M D B credits. <laugh>, are you ready to play Imd b quiz time? I, I, I say a random IMDB credit and you tell us the plot of the episode. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, are you ready to play? So let's be, I'm ready. Okay. Let's begin with my, my three sons. The episode is entitled The Computer Picnic. How Prescient And you play Marv.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:22:43):

Marv is a guy that's gotten, like Chip has, chip was one of the three sons played by Stanley Livingston. And so Chip has gotten a computer date, but it turns out the computer back then had malfunctioned as they do sometimes today. And it put him with a, a very tall girl and he's a shorter gentleman. And so it was kind of a bad fit. And so I said, well, I'll trade. You got a tall, I'm tall. I was tall back then. At age 17, almost 18. I said, I'll trade your girl's tall about, but I was kind of a shyster. This guy Mar was <laugh> because my girl had a broken arm and she couldn't even go to the picnic. Oh. You know, so I, I give him, he was able, wasn't able to to get the prize, which was going the picnic with, uh, chip. That was the plot. As much as I remember. That was pretty

Fritz Coleman (00:23:25):


Louise Palanker (00:23:26):

That's pretty good. All right. I

Fritz Coleman (00:23:27):

Can't remember stuff that far

Louise Palanker (00:23:28):

Back. Adam 12. You played Bud?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:23:30):

Yes. I steal. No, I actually did not steal. It looked like I stole some rims off a car. And this guy, his name is Leo, and he wrote the episode two and he was in at a character actor. I'll think of his. Leo Gordon. Leo Gordon wrote the script and was, knew a lot about law enforcement. And he puts me in these little handcuffs that are like thumb handcuffs. Oh God, cuff your thumbs together. Cuz he had knew that I'd stolen these rims, these expensive magnesium wheels. But it turned out I hadn't, I had the receipt and everything I had bought them. And so he was kind of being a, you know, and he was not a real cop. He was like a security guard that did this. And so Kent McCord and Marty Miller took him away and cuffed him cuz he was acting above the, he was vigilante time. Oh

Fritz Coleman (00:24:11):

My God. Fantastic.

Louise Palanker (00:24:12):

Wow. That's great. Okay. Nanny and the professor you play Richie Cooper,

Ed Begley Jr. (00:24:17):

Nanny and the Professor. I remember being on the set <laugh>, I remember zero about the plot. Isn't that interesting? Nothing. I remember being there at 20th doing it.

Louise Palanker (00:24:28):

I wonder if it's because that's, that's not a show that gets rerun as much as the other two that I mentioned. Yeah.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:24:33):

And I, I have no idea anything about it. I don't know what the show is about.

Louise Palanker (00:24:36):

Oh, well there's a nanny and then there's a professor. Yeah. It's all in the title. Ed. I

Ed Begley Jr. (00:24:41):

Don't remember who was Who's Richard Long?

Louise Palanker (00:24:43):

Richard Long.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:24:44):

That's why

Louise Palanker (00:24:44):

Richard Long. And then there's a nanny. And of course he needs a

Ed Begley Jr. (00:24:47):

Nanny. She's a British, right?

Louise Palanker (00:24:49):


Ed Begley Jr. (00:24:49):

British woman was a nanny. Richard Long, he was very nice, by the way, very handsome. I'd seen him in other shows and liked him. He was very, very nice. But remembered nothing <laugh>. But I couldn't, sitting here, I was going, I know the guy that was in, I'm gonna impress you by knowing the name Richard Long couldn't come up with it. It's okay. It's the name I know. I know who Franklin Pangborn is. I knew who th Ritter was, but I couldn't think the other day playing this freaking crossword game. <laugh>, I couldn't think of the name. Sean. Connery. <laugh>. Okay. I couldn't think of the friend's name. Sometimes not, because I didn't know who it was. I knew he was in run, uh, red October hunt for red October, whatever it was. I couldn't, I knew he was the first James Bond, but I couldn't think of his name. What is that about?

Louise Palanker (00:25:30):

Do you, do you ever do the alphabet thing? When I can't come up with a name that I know, I know. I go through the alphabet and, and sometimes my brain will stop at the letter at the right letter and give it to me.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:25:39):

That's a, I'm gonna try that. Yeah. It works because I do the crossword every day and love it. And I can do the crossword. I remember incredible things. I don't know that I know, but I couldn't think of that name the other day. Sean Connery. What the hell is going on with my brain?

Fritz Coleman (00:25:52):

Okay. I want you to continue. This is a great game. But

Louise Palanker (00:25:54):

I, yeah, I have a couple more, but I,

Fritz Coleman (00:25:55):

But hang on one second. Okay. Because he's, he's referenced the crossword

Louise Palanker (00:25:58):

Puzzle. Yes he has. And I have an,

Fritz Coleman (00:26:00):

He brought it into the crossword anecdote.

Louise Palanker (00:26:02):

Okay. He brought this into the studio with, I

Fritz Coleman (00:26:04):


Louise Palanker (00:26:04):

Means he goes everywhere

Ed Begley Jr. (00:26:05):

With, in case there was some downtime here and you guys were busy with another guest, this

Louise Palanker (00:26:08):

Guy is ready to be on a set.

Fritz Coleman (00:26:10):

So we're at the 40th anniversary of the Comedy Store.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:26:14):


Fritz Coleman (00:26:15):

Do you remember being there? Yes. And you and I were backstage waiting to go on. Yes. I was gonna perform and you were going to just go out and talk or do whatever you were gonna do. And we're all nervous. I mean, it's the 40th anniversary of the Comedy Store and lots of famous people are in the audience and everything and, and we're all stoked about going on stage. But Ed's doing a crossword puzzle and he's on the phone with Harry Dean Stanton <laugh> trying to get the answer to the crossword

Ed Begley Jr. (00:26:39):

Puzzle. Exactly right. Am I lying? You're telling the truth. That exactly right. Harry would call me every single day. He didn't miss a day. Have you done it yet? <laugh>. And so I would always became, because he stays up till like three in the morning and I'd go to bed fairly early and get up early. So I would always answer yes when he said, then he'd be pissed off cuz I'd done it before. What the hell is the answer to? This spotted at the prom. It's only four letters. Nothing fits. I saw a spy. What is fits? I said it's acne. No, it's spotted at the prom. The answer is acne. What do you talk about? How does acne, what does it have to do with being in a prom? Acne. It's a sat and dug out,

Fritz Coleman (00:27:14):

But everybody else is scared to death. And you were completely involved in your crossword puzzle. Couldn't have cared less about going on stage in a few minutes. It was,

Ed Begley Jr. (00:27:20):

It is the joy of my day. I do it every day. And it just, and now this is, this is weird cuz this is, you see no date on this. Do you know why? Because this is only Tuesday and Tuesday is a miserable day for me. Cuz it's so easy. You're done within five minutes. So this is, uh, this is what's his name's, uh, will Schwartz, book of the Hard, he's

Fritz Coleman (00:27:38):

He's the New York Times

Ed Begley Jr. (00:27:39):

Guy, the toughest of Saturdays. He has a book of them. So I copy it and I put it, you know, on a little clipboard and then I can do it if I have downtime.

Fritz Coleman (00:27:47):

Anyway, I didn't want to interrupt you, but I had tell my ed crossword puzzle

Louise Palanker (00:27:50):

Short. That is, that is fascinating. <laugh>. I, and I like his old school method. He's got a pencil, a clipboard. His, this is great. So, all right, here we go. This one is, might be a little tougher, but I only need one answer. You appeared on seven episodes of Room 2 22 playing Bob Willard, stretch George Michael, I'm not sure who, who el who all else. But can you tell us one plot line?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:28:11):

Yes. Uh, stretch Webster. I kind of remember that one. I think it's the most recent one I did. And at that point I was like 23 or something. I was really pushing it. I can't believe they're still casting me as a high school student. But they were, I guess I looked young back then. At any rate, uh, stretch Webster was a guy that was, uh, there was a young lady played by Angela Cartwright, I believe she was, uh, was a, an attractive young woman and she was wearing a sweater at the high school and what have you. And she was a very curvaceous young lady. And I was looking at her as a basketball player and getting distracted. So my parents were like trying to tell her, get her to wear a bra or something <laugh> so I wasn't distracted. You know how easily men are distracted and

Louise Palanker (00:28:57):

So Yeah. I mean thus, thus the burka.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:28:59):

Exact Exactly. Make her change. Make her wear a burka. Cuz I couldn't play basketball. Blame it on the woman. It's

Louise Palanker (00:29:06):

Always the women.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:29:07):

That's basically the plot of

Louise Palanker (00:29:08):

Action. It's our responsibility to keep men from having thoughts.

Fritz Coleman (00:29:11):

That's very funny.

Louise Palanker (00:29:12):

That is, that is awesome. So I wanted to talk to you about something I read on your Wikipedia page. And that's that when you, you were growing up with your mom and dad and your, your mom died when you were a little boy.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:29:24):

Yeah, we were seven when she passed.

Louise Palanker (00:29:25):

And then later in your teens, you found out that she wa she had not been the mother who had given birth to you. Is that correct?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:29:30):

Right. She was gone a fair amount of the first seven years of my life. She had cancer and was in and out of hospitals. But she finally passed away when I was seven. And I would go as any young man would to visit her grave there out, out on Long Island. We went to grade school out in Long Island, my sister and I. Then when I was 15 and a half, I was soon to be 16 and soon to get a driver's license, I was able to get my learner's permit at the dmv. And to get that, we had to stop. My dad and I had to go to his business manager's office on Wilshire. We lived in the Valley and we would, we went to the office on Wilshire. He handed me an envelope C there, I would have in it my birth certificate and I could get a learner's permit. So I open up the envelope, just I, geez, I've never seen my birth certificate. What does it look like? And I look at it and dad's driving and I look at it. Dad? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.


There's no mother's name in the birth certificate. It's blank. Why is that? Do they erase it when your mother dies? I don't get it. No. Amanda wasn't your mother. He just like keeps driving. It wasn't even, forget about a, you know, a father knows best moment. He doesn't even pull over <laugh>. I'm talking about what a great daddy is. This is a little contrast to that. So he keeps driving himself. Well, who is my, who was my mother? He says, Sandy's your mother. You know, several t and t blasts in the side of my head. Oh my. Because there was this woman, Sandy, that I would see Christmas time, Easter, sometimes Valentine's Day, Halloween once in a while. Get some candy from her. She's this woman my sister and I were crazy about. Oh. And she was our mother. And, uh, so suddenly it was, you know, as sad as that is, it was kind of good in a way. Now I've got a mom. My mom was dead. Now she's not dead. And and it was,

Fritz Coleman (00:31:08):

It was, she wasn't a stranger. It was somebody who was already, already in your

Ed Begley Jr. (00:31:12):

Heart? No, a little bit, you know, we didn't see her often. It was kind of, and at this point we hadn't seen her in years, like maybe five years or something like it. But I used to see her a lot and always thought of her fondly. And uh, and now here it turns out she was my mother. And it all kind of made sense. I'm a year younger than my sister. She remembered more than I remembered cuz I'm sure there was some point we'd be going when we meet her. My sister might have said, or maybe I said, mommy, no, no, sweetie, that's not your mommy. Your mommy's over here. That's not mommy. Something like that must have happened because one day she started, my sister started walking away from the bus stop when the bus was approaching to pick us up. I said, where you going? She said, I'm going into Manhattan to see Sandy. She walked to the Long Island Railroad, not too far. Got in a seat, talked to a woman, a kid traveling with adult would ride free or something. And so she rode with her, went to Grand Central Station and walked around going, where's Sandy? She thought Sandy lived at Grand Central Station. Sad. Wait,

Louise Palanker (00:32:08):

Is Sandy your sister's mom

Ed Begley Jr. (00:32:09):

Too? My sister's mom too. Correct. Wow.

Louise Palanker (00:32:12):

So when was the decision made that you guys would be raised by your dad?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:32:17):

That's a very good question. And there's so much odd about all of that. I don't know how my father conv. I don't know what happened between my father and my, what turned out to be my stepmother died when I was seven. How he convinced her that he had found a couple kids in the alley that looked like him.

Louise Palanker (00:32:34):

<laugh>, he didn't tell her. Yeah. That he had had an affair.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:32:37):

I, yeah, I don't, she was mother, my, uh, birth mother was in a page at NBC and my, uh, what turned out to be my stepmother, she was in the hospital. She had cancer, wasn't expected to live. And he had not one, but two kids with this woman. And I don't know all that went, went on how he, but he certainly never

Fritz Coleman (00:32:56):

Married my birth mother. He, he was in a, a better position to take care of you too. It better. I definitely, it might've been economics.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:33:03):

I loved my dear mom, my birth mother. But had I been raised by her at 300 West 49th Avenue where she lived, things wouldn't have been so good. He was a fine father and took very good care of me. And she, with all her great qualities, was kind of a, not kind of, she was a hoarder. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> stacked up to the ceiling, Fritz. And when I, you hear things like that Yeah. Stacked up to the ceiling. Now if you're right. No. Stacked up to the ceiling mm-hmm. <affirmative> Wow. Stuff that you don't really need.

Fritz Coleman (00:33:29):

Wow. Yeah. That's an amazing story. Wow.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:33:31):


Fritz Coleman (00:33:33):

And I have to talk about the Christopher Guest movies, uh, because, um, they're some of the funniest movies ever made in my opinion. And he always uses this core group of players. You being among them and all the other ones. Eugene Levy and Fred Willard and Parker Posey and Catherine O'Hara hires these same group of players. Like, they like the, it's, it's like an ensemble. How is that as an experience and are they, what they seem to be mainly improvised and how does that work?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:34:08):

My history with Chris is a long and wonderful one. I met him through Sister Alyssa and I also knew him a bit from the National Lampoon, from Tony Hendron, the others that worked there, Doug Kenny and all those that worked at the Lampoon. I knew him from that. He worked on that radio dinner album, that very funny National Lampoon album. And he was a great musician. Is a great musician, a great comedian. And so at some point he and Rob Reiner and Michael McKee and Harry Sheer decided to do this Spinal Tap. Yeah. You know, movie. And I got happily pulled into just not to be in the movie. They were gonna do a little 10 minute presentation reel. And part of that was like a flashback to the old, you know, mop top kind of English invasion band thing with us playing in black and white.


It would never be in the movie would just be, you know, something to help raise funds for the movie or something. But then when they started to put things together that went, it's supposed to be low res and low quality, we can use that footage, sign here and you'll be in the movie and a sag and everything. And so I was in Spinal Tap with those guys. Then Chris got to do, got to do, they were lucky to have him do a movie called The Big Picture. And then he did Waiting for Guffman in a different Style than a scripted thing. And I was not in that, but that is my favorite movie. I have No Bias cuz I'm not, I ain't in It, but I sure love that movie Beyond Words. And then he called me in for Best In Show and then every movie and TV show thereafter. Oh. So I'm just

Fritz Coleman (00:35:31):

Blessed that I've seen Best In Show 15 times <laugh>, I love You Pal. And, and just tell me what the site, uh, uh, what, what the set like is, is it, what it seems to be, which is a lot of improvisation. Does he come in there with an outline like, uh, Larry David does and said, okay, we have to hit the point A to point B and you fill in the blanks. How does it work?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:35:48):

Yes, it's exactly that. He and Eugene Levy, and now it's him and, uh, uh, Jim Pidick. They do all the heavy lifting. They spend six months or a year writing, you know, the treatment for one of these shows that these done recently is the ones like Guffman that they did years ago with Eugene Levy. They do all the hard work of writing that treatment. But then when you get on set, it's just a slug, you know, this big like a couple inches, like a fortune cookie. You know, Jerry and Cookie Fleck check into the hotel, the credit card doesn't work. That's, that's what it is. But the, they, the Jerry Cookie is by Eugene Levy and Katherine O'Hara. So I get to be across the, the check-in desk from Eugene and Katherine. I'm a fan beyond description of S sctv and them and everything they've ever done. So I just got a say as little as possible and not start laughing up. Roly just, my job is to be like Easter Island or something. <laugh> just

Fritz Coleman (00:36:41):

Stay there.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:36:42):

And so, uh, I just, I just had the best time doing that. And everyone, since I just love Chris so much and everybody, Fred Willard rest his soul and all those great people that have been part of it for years. Uh, I I j I just love getting that call from Chris that he's doing something.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:58):

And to me it always seemed like it was a group of the cool kids in high school who put, they let the cool kids put on their own play <laugh> and you knew you would never be accepted as part of that group, but you just wish you could experience whatever it was they were experiencing as time went on. I just, I just love them. I'm thinking of what's going on in their mind even more than what they're saying. Cuz

Ed Begley Jr. (00:37:19):


Fritz Coleman (00:37:19):

Too, you can tell they're, you can tell they're improvising. And I, I I guess Guffman, there was talk for a while that they were gonna turn that into a Broadway musical or maybe still are. Right. Am I right about

Ed Begley Jr. (00:37:30):

That? I didn't know that, but that's a very good idea. Just

Fritz Coleman (00:37:32):

A rumor. Yeah. Cuz it was a musical and then it would, it would be an easy translation. So

Ed Begley Jr. (00:37:37):

What a good I Yeah. I never heard that. That's a great idea. I'm gonna ask Chris about that when I talk to him. I, I hope that is something in the works. Not that I would be in it. I can't sing a note, but, uh, I would love to see it.

Fritz Coleman (00:37:48):

Just a rumor. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:37:49):

<affirmative>. So, um, I would like to talk about some of your environmental activism. And I, I understand that your sworn environmental combatant is Bill Nye, the science science guy. Could you tell us about this battle?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:38:01):

He's my neighbor, former neighbor. We lived a few doors down and we were in a fierce competition to see how the lowest bills, lowest natural gas bill, lowest electric, lowest water bill. And he, full disclosure, he would beat me often, but he has one person in his house. Back then when I was his neighbor, I had three. So, okay. That was the problem there when he would beat me. But per capita, I always beat him. Okay. Now I've, I'm the one that's cheating because I moved a, a mile east to where I used to live with Bill NY and a another street in Studio City. I moved a mile east and I'm in a lead platinum built from the ground up home. So you can do a lot when you build from the ground up. Okay. We were both at the time we had the competition living in 1936 homes that you can only make so energy efficient mm-hmm. <affirmative> then you've, you know, the walls are so thin you can't do what you'd like. It doesn't have passive solar design with most of the glass on the south side of the building. No, there's a lot you can do with that. We put in the 10,000 gallon rainwater tank underground. You know, there's a lot you cannot do 12 inch thick walls on and on. We've done a lot. And so I have a very energy efficient home. So eat that Bill Nye <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman (00:39:09):

Where did this uh, um, community passion come from with you both environmental and your social outreach things? Where, where did that come from? Was that your dad or

Ed Begley Jr. (00:39:20):

Was it just Definitely my dad. He was a conservative that liked to conserve, proving this shouldn't have party affiliation. It should be bipartisan, non-partisan. You know, he just turned off the lights and turned off the water and save stringing and saved tin foil. He was the son of Irish immigrants. He lived through the grape depression. Oh wow. And that's what you did. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I was raised with that deep in my bones and my dna. And my mother was like that too. Even though I wasn't raised with her. She was by nature of her hoarding, she was kind of a recycler of sorts too. She hated to throw anything away in her case. Became a, a huge impediment. And I've never allowed that to happen. Stuff. Stuff comes in to be recycled. It quickly goes, you know, goes out and gets a second use. But, um, it was my dad and he died within a few days of the first Earth Day.


And so I always remembered what he told me when I would complain about the smog. You know, in the late sixties before he passed, I'd say, I hate this mug. He said, Eddie, I know what you're against, but what are you for? What are you doing? You know? And so I started riding my bike more and taking public transportation, what have you. And so I even bought a 1970 electric car because of him. I just looked in the phone book knowing I wouldn't find anything. But I just to satisfy my recently deceased father, I looked to say I checked and tried to buy an electric car in 1970. Looked in the valley phone book knowing it wouldn't be under, what the hell is this? <laugh> electric Cars <laugh> right there in the phone book. Call up the number. This guy Dutch and Recita sold California license plate registered in California electric vehicles. Now I wanna say electric vehicle, I'm talking about, I'm being quite grand. I'm talking about a gu, a golf cart with a windshield wipe and a horn. Okay, <laugh>. Yep.

Speaker 5 (00:40:58):

I remember seeing you in

Ed Begley Jr. (00:40:59):

Back in that, you know, it had a top speed of 20 miles an hour, had a range of 20 miles, but it was 950 bucks, which wasn't a bad price for used car back then. And it was much, much, much cheaper to fuel. I plugged it into the outlet and my electric bill didn't go up much at all. And it was also much cheaper to maintain. There was no expense whatsoever to maintain it. No tuneup, oil change, fan belt, radiator, flush valve job, small check, none of that. So I've, I've had electric cars most of my life ever since. And I, I really like it. It's, you know, not just good for the environment, it's good for my pocketbook and that's another benefit I get from my dad. Everything I did that was, you know, green as in the environment, it was good for the other kind of green, my budget, you know, for green money. It's always saved me money cuz I did in the right order. I did the cheap and easy stuff first. It's a zero emission vehicle at the tailpipe cause you're not burning any fuel on the vehicle. But if you charge it at home, you could be using some utility power from coal or natural gas or nuclear. We're using none of that for this car. Cuz I have nine kilowatts of solar electric on the roof of my house that runs a house and charges a car.

Fritz Coleman (00:42:05):

Well my goal is to own a Tesla. I can't right now cuz my daughter goes to a very expensive university. But I'd like to own one. But I think we're gonna hit the tipping point with electric cars in this country when two things happen. One when they get the battery storage up just a little bit more. Yep. And when we build the recharging infrastructure, which is actually part of this new Biden infrastructure program, it is when we get, he wants to do, you know, 8,000 recharging stations around the United States where people can trust that they can leave home and not get stuck somewhere and not be able to get back home. When people trust that, I think the, the doors will fly open.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:42:42):

I agree. I used to have to go on long trips. Ritz, I had, first of all it was the natural gas car before we knew, before I knew what people know now about fracking and what have you. It was cleaner out of the tailpipe. So I drove a natural gas car for years trying to do the right thing. No foreign oil and cleaner at the tailpipe. But then I got a hybrid cuz I started to hear about fracking and I got cross country in that. But now I have just an electric cuz I did, I was on a series for a few years and I got myself a Tesla and that Tesla, Tesla infrastructure is what Joe Biden wants to have for everybody. The availability. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> of not just the inexpensive cars, but the charging infrastructure you can drive. Right now, today cross country, up and down California in every state.


There's chargers everywhere for Tesla and there need to be chargers for every kind of car. Yeah, yeah. And there will be with this new plan and it, it works today there's, I have, uh, nearly 400 miles of range in my car. And so that's a pretty good, that's, that's a good run. I go to Albuquerque to work and I stop in needles for breakfast. About a half hour or so. I'm done. I get in the car again, I stop in Flagstaff for lunch, half hour, 35 minutes maybe. Next stop is Gallup, New Mexico for dinner. And then I'm Do you charge

Fritz Coleman (00:43:52):


Ed Begley Jr. (00:43:52):

Those places? Charge each time for mm-hmm. <affirmative> just about 30 minutes is all you need. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you don't need to do it forever. Just grab some breakfast. 30 minutes later I'm ready to get in the car, make it to the next stop easily with, and they're very good about it gives you, they don't let you, uh, finish, you know, charging until you have some buffer in case, oh wait, this one, there's too many cars parked in Flagstaff. I'm gonna direct you to Holbrook, Arizona. Wow. Wow. It's very sophisticated. That's the way the computer has. So that shows

Fritz Coleman (00:44:18):

Up on your dashboard.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:44:19):

It shows, all you do is I put in the address, the final address in Albuquerque. I punch that in. It says, we we're gonna recommend that you stop a needles first and then Flagstaff next. And then if things change, it goes, no, no, we want you to charge instead in, you know, Kingman, Arizona. You know, it's very good with with that. That's,

Louise Palanker (00:44:36):

That's amazing. And that's gonna be good for businesses along the way. Oh,

Fritz Coleman (00:44:39):


Ed Begley Jr. (00:44:39):

Absolutely. Right now they're businesses. The breakfast stop, there are needles is where I eat. You know, they're getting people that are stopping there more often. All of them, you know, they're right near places where people like to have extra commerce and, you know, more customers. And so it, it's win-win for everybody.

Louise Palanker (00:44:54):

And it's also social because you're gonna, you're gonna talk to people who are on a similar adventure. Exactly.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:45:00):

It's very social at the charging stations.

Fritz Coleman (00:45:03):

I, I can't wait for that to happen. I I, I think it's gonna change the global politics, you know, when we, it's gonna lower our carbon footprint and the whole deal. I can't wait for it to

Ed Begley Jr. (00:45:12):

Happen. Here's the best thing about electric cars. It's the following. You cannot make gasoline on the roof of your house. I happen to know this fact <laugh>. You can make electricity in the roof of your house. Cuz I've been doing it since 1990. It works, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I've had a wind turbine since 1985 as an investment in the California desert part of a wind farm. I know that wind power works. I know that solar power works. I know that energy efficiency works in homes and offices. When people wanna, people come to me and I want a solar company to put panels on my roof. I said, here, I give 'em a number. They go, what the hell is this home energy audit. I want solar. I said, no, not till you get a home energy audit and reduce your demand. First. They may try to sell you six, seven kilowatts. You might not only need four or five. Make your home more energy efficient. First with cheap and easy light bulbs. Weather stripping, energy, saving thermostat, you know, insulation. Do that first. Then you get your solar system. Alright,

Louise Palanker (00:46:02):

First up, ed, when you get the home Ener energy audit, does the same company help you meet the goals that they've recommended for you?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:46:10):

They give you a list of stuff, you know, low hanging fruit, medium hanging fruit, and get the ladder top of the tree. Stuff like solar or an electric car. You know, they give you that stuff in a list, a, b, abc. And so you go right away. Any sensible person would do well. I want, I don't know about these energy audit companies or any of this, but Begley told me to do it. So I you do the first ones, you get the energy efficient light bulbs. You put some weather stripping up and you get an energy saving thermostat. Walk away from it. Let's see what happens. Instantly your bill's gonna go down. I promise it. As I sit here with you, everybody's bill always goes down in the impressive way. They call me Jesus Christ works. They right away wanna go medium ticket stuff and do some of that stuff that they can afford. And eventually, if you make enough money and save enough money, you can go for the go Booya and get the solar on your roof.

Fritz Coleman (00:46:56):

Have you gotten to the point now where you're feeding power back to the grid? What I mean is, I, I I think if you save enough energy, you'll get to a certain point where you're actually giving, uh, power back to the power company and get rebated.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:47:08):

Yes. And at the most important times I'm doing it, I'm doing it when they need it. Most is a computer in the Tesla power walls. I have two Tesla power walls also in my house. So it figures when they need power, mostly one to five, sometimes one to nine, you know, PM it is sending it all, all the power from the solar at that time that it has. And then you use it when you need it. Now I have an unusual situation. I can't get by with, you know, just the power on my roof anymore cuz I'm charging three electric cars that, uh, for my daughter drives a, she drives a Chevy Volt but never buys gasoline for it. It's always electric cuz she stays within the range of it. My wife has a Tesla and I have a Tesla and then my grown daughter comes over and charges there too cuz she's an apartment. Doesn't have any ability to charge. So I'm, I'm a charging station for four vehicles. So I'm using a lot of cheap nighttime power cuz I also buy, the only power power I buy is after 10:00 PM I'm sorry, after 8:00 PM and before 10:00 AM That's the only time I buy power because otherwise I can make it with my nine kilowatts of solar.

Fritz Coleman (00:48:13):

And it's, it's past the peak of the day. The peak exactly of

Ed Begley Jr. (00:48:16):

The day. Yeah. It's past the peak of the day and it's very inexpensive. The basic base power that I'm buying is like three or 4 cents a kilowatt hour, I think. But then I add another 3 cents to it, happily with a smile. I pay 3 cents extra for green power. And this is a real green power program. It's not just taking title to some hydro plant in Idaho that's been around since 1936. You just, it's a feel good thing when, when you do that cuz there's nothing new going into the grid. When you buy green power from LA and many other municipalities like that, that have a good green power program, they're putting new solar, new wind, new new geothermal into the grid when you buy that extra power.

Fritz Coleman (00:48:55):

Okay? So when you pay for the extra power, you're definitely getting it, uh, from someplace that is environmentally sound. You can, instead of just coming off the, uh,

Ed Begley Jr. (00:49:03):

The power, you're getting it from the green, green, wp, the green, uh, DWP program, it's from their grid, but it's not like if you take, um, if you take, uh, money out of it, an atm, $200 cash, then you put it back in the the bank, they're not, you know, it's not always the same twenties that you're putting in the bank and taking out mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But it's a real cash transaction. So if you have a program like DWP where they're putting new power into the grid, not just taking title to something existing, then you're really making a difference When you buy each kilowatt hour, that's the kind of, and Edison has a similar program, Southern California Edison does and many other power, uh, utilities across the nation have it. You wanna buy one of those with and, uh, native powers another one. Some indigenous people, uh, have organized that called native power. And uh, so

Louise Palanker (00:49:53):

It's like a take a penny, leave a penny kind of

Ed Begley Jr. (00:49:55):

Concept. It's that kind of a thing, but it's a real, you, you just wanna stay away from the ones that are feel good kind of things where you're taking title to something existing. You know,

Fritz Coleman (00:50:03):

What, what do you think about this very disturbing report that came out from the w h o two weeks ago? The World Health Organization about the dire situation that the climate is in right now? Many people have described it as being beyond the tipping point that we've already gone up the 1.5 degrees Celsius that we were warned against. It showed up 30 years early. Do you have any feelings about that?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:50:27):

I do. You don't wanna depress people and just talk about doom and gloom, but you can't also, you don't wanna lie the other way. No, it's gonna be fine. We're gonna save everything. We just gotta really get going now and put some more weather stripping and light bulbs. It'll be great. Recycle it. We'll be wa we'll be fine. That's not gonna cut it. We're going to, sadly, with what's happened already, what's in the pipeline, there's gonna be loss of species. There's gonna be some serious changes. This weather's gonna be bad. Wildfires and weather cha you know, storms and hurricanes more intensity, you know, more, uh, often that's gonna happen, but it's gonna be better if we do more now we're gonna alleviate some of the species loss. We're gonna make it so it's not so bad. We can't survive if we act now. We can't save everything now, but we can save a lot. We wanna save what's left is what it's about

Fritz Coleman (00:51:18):

Now. I know. It, it, it's amazing that some people still have their head in the sand cuz everything is now obvious. The Pacific Northwest has never seen temperatures at 118 degrees inland Oregon and inland Washington. The fires have just broken records. The number of hurricanes, the severity of hurricanes, the number of tornado outbreaks, the severity of tornado outbreaks and Miami, they already have street flooding every year. I mean the, the sea level is already rising. I mean, I don't know what else it takes to activate a political will to get this done. Some of it's part of the infrastructure program, Biden's infrastructure program. Great. But I I think it needs, uh, even more surgical work right now. I really,

Ed Begley Jr. (00:52:01):

Whatever awareness we have, you own a big piece of it, Fritz. Cuz you always talked about it. You took it seriously early on when the scientific consensus was such that they said, no, this is really happening. You were very scientific about it and spread the word about it and talked about it with your weather forecast. So hats off to you, pal. You were a beacon with some, some bad information coming from others.

Fritz Coleman (00:52:21):

Well, as much as they let us do

Ed Begley Jr. (00:52:22):

It, I know, you know, you couldn't, you couldn't hammer it

Fritz Coleman (00:52:25):

Every No, and it's the short American attention span. Like 10 years ago, I would get five minutes to do the weather and then with the shortened American attention span, I ended up with two minutes. So you have to do the weather for nine microclimates and then do a little discussion about climate change. You can't do it. So it was honestly having not enough time to present very important information. But

Ed Begley Jr. (00:52:46):

You still did. You got it in there that try too. Bay leaf in the soup that made the difference. Try. It's a thing of, you know, people like they're trying to, you know, they had little non tulon dolphin, dolphin safe tuna years ago. That's just like a brief can of it in some movie back when it got people's awareness about dolphins, that that small message sometimes can get through to people. And you were part of that. It wasn't always a small message. You devoted real time to it as much as they let you to. And God bless you for it. Fritz. Thank you. You were a beacon for years. Thank you.

Louise Palanker (00:53:14):

Well, I'd like to close with, uh, a quote that I read, uh, uh, that's attributed to you at Begley Jr. In your Wikipedia. It's, you're quoted as having said that your role models changed from the people who had an incredible brief spurt of creativity. So like a lot of people died at age 27, who Right, we are now the stuff of legend. But you said that you kind of gravitate towards people that were able to go the distance and that some of your heroes are people that were able to su uh, sustain long, meaningful careers in, in entertainment. Can you talk about some of those relationships?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:53:45):

That's very true. For years, I had like anybody, I thought, wow, Jim Morrison was a real hero. And you know, all these, you know, actors and others and musicians that, you know, died early. Well, that's what a great life that is. Lived strong, live hard. And, but it changed. Suddenly I got to be 30 and had kids and had a house. I thought, no, my hero is now Jimmy Stewart. My hero is Gloria Swanson. They got grandkids and they seem very happy and their kids and grandkids seem pretty happy. And I'm gonna go a different way with this. You know, I, i I, I just, I changed my point of view and, and here I am, 71, almost 72, I have kids and grandkids and, uh, I've had a very lucky life. You know, I, I know I was born on second base, ed Begley's son, grew up in Van Nuys and a bit out on Long Island. Didn't get any luckier than that. And I'm in this business because of my dad. So I really, I'm a very lucky man. You don't have

Louise Palanker (00:54:38):

329 credits because of your dad. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:54:41):

I I I I want to, I, I wanna push back a little bit. Yeah. That I, I mean, your dad got you the name. He may have gotten you in the door, but your talent got you the work and your conscience gave you this amazing shadow that you've cast over the world with not only your performances, but your work of conscience. I just love the fact, first of all, that you are, that you're a very talented person who's comfortable in their own skin and, and you're so easy to relate to. But also that you've used your fame for good. You've changed a lot of people's thoughts about the environment, about electric cars, about all those things. And I, I think it's, it, it's not quantifiable to know how much you've changed, uh, life in our world. It's, it's an amazing, it's an amazing life you've had my friend.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:55:28):

Bless your heart friend. That's what a nice thing to say

Fritz Coleman (00:55:30):

About we, we, we gotta plug a couple

Louise Palanker (00:55:32):

Of these. Yeah, we wanna talk about your products. You can go to beg, uh, what's the website? Begley Living? Yeah,

Ed Begley Jr. (00:55:37):

Begley Living. And that's a lot to remember. Just go to ed too. It leads to the same places Begley living ed or if you are on Amazon, you can just type in Ed Begley cleaning or just Ed Begley. It'll come up at Amazon and you'll see my cleaning products there. They're wonderful certified EPA designed for the environment certification. Uh, that makes them very quantifiably clean. But most importantly, most importantly, they clean every bit as good as the, you know, more toxic kind of products. Wow. The years I used vinegar and water and baking soda. And that stuff's fine. And I still recommend the people use it. They're on a tight budget. But you know, then people, if that doesn't do enough, which is doesn't for a lot of people, then they get the 4 0 9, they get the ammonia glass cleaner. You can get these products and there are other green products out there.


I happen to like mine, but there's many other brands of green products in the cleaning products arena. Try one of them. Try mine perhaps, or try one of them and see if it works. Ours work very, very well. Uh, Begley's Earth Responsible products. Again, just go to Amazon or any search engine, go Begley cleaning products. It'll come right up. And uh, we've got a floor cleaner. We've got an all-purpose cleaner. We've got a, you know, odor pet and stain remover and uh, check it out. Uh, if you try it, I think you're really gonna like it cuz pets are on the floor all the time, licking their paws and licking the floor. Kids are on the floor all the time, crawling around an all fours putting their fingers in their mouth. You don't want them to be, you know, in a toxic environment, putting that toxic stuff in their mouth. And people regularly, me among them with signs saying, stop that hazard's waste site near my house, protesting with my friends in Love Canal. Stop the hazard's waste site near my house. Where's the worst hazard's waste site? It's in our house. In

Fritz Coleman (00:57:14):

Your house. The

Ed Begley Jr. (00:57:14):

Kitchen. We're making our kitchen in the right, you know, stop. Get rid of that stuff.

Fritz Coleman (00:57:17):

And you know, I think people, um, um, are are becoming more savvy about this stuff. Cause uh, I, I sold my home and I temporarily had to live in Tula, which is the apartment complex over the Whole Foods market in Burbank. You know that big?

Ed Begley Jr. (00:57:32):

Oh, I know it well. Yes, yes, I know it.

Fritz Coleman (00:57:34):

And, and, and it's a great store. It is. And I go in there and buy my dinner cuz I just had to go down two floors. But it was amazing. And p how, first of all, the variety of things, environmentally conscious things they give you to buy in there and second of all how popular they were. And people had baskets full of this stuff.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:57:51):

I'm one of them. I go there and shop them regularly, get everything. I'm not growing in my backyard.

Fritz Coleman (00:57:55):

I I think people have maybe turned the corner on that

Ed Begley Jr. (00:57:58):

Stuff. I think they have. It's gotten very mainstream. It used to be a fringe thing. It has used to have to go down to Lancasters from there. They had the Good Life. It was a health food store at Magnolia and Lanum, the Good Life. And I would shop there that place. Jack Lela, I think had interest in a place down in Sherman Way in Receda there that I would go another health full of life or something. I can't remember the, it doesn't matter. But two places in all of the Valley now, there's a lot more. Whole Foods has everything you could want. Now

Fritz Coleman (00:58:24):

It's hip.

Ed Begley Jr. (00:58:25):

That's right. And you could charge your electric vehicle while you're shopping there, <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman (00:58:29):


Louise Palanker (00:58:29):

Point. There you go. Full circle Fritz. Let's tell people before we read the credits where they can subscribe to our show and how they can subscribe and leave a review that will help others find our show. All

Fritz Coleman (00:58:40):

Right, listen, very close to me. If you enjoyed this episode of Media Path, it would help us a great deal to be more discoverable by potential new listeners. If you leave us a quick review on Apple Podcasts, and if you're new here and this is your first time with us, please check out our back catalog. You'll find binge-worthy material. I'm telling you recently we've interviewed Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers who's getting ready to do a new, uh, Vegas run. I loved him. Yeah, he's such a great, it was so much fun. Mark Summers, uh, you know, he's, he's the host and the king of slime from Nickelodeon. Richard Sterban from the Oak Ridge Boys was fascinated. The Livingston Brothers, we talked about my three sons. They were fantastic. Part of our youth. You're gonna have a chance to hear people from all walks of life. Keith Morrison, Henry Winkler, thank you for spending an hour with us and we would be overjoyed if you took a moment to share your thoughts with us or recommend us to a friend. We love you. Be safe and thank you, right?

Louise Palanker (00:59:37):

You come, you're 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 podcast We wanna thank our wonderful guest, ed Begley Jr. Our team includes Dean of Friedman, Francesco Desmond, John Madox, Sharon Beo, bill Philipp, Thomas Hubble, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Maddox. I'm Louise p Blinker here with Fritz Coleman and we will see you along the media path.

Ed Begley Jr. (01:00:17):


Fritz Coleman (01:00:18):

That was so fun.

Ed Begley Jr. (01:00:19):

It was so fun. You guys are so great to talk to. Aw, what a treat like anytime. Definitely. This was great. I'll put in

Louise Palanker (01:00:25):

A charging station for you.

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