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Hollywood & Levine

281 EpisodesProduced by Wave Podcast NetworkWebsite

Hollywood & Levine looks at the world of entertainment, pop culture, screenwriting, and life, and takes none of it seriously. The point is to make you laugh, although useful information might accidentally slip through. Hosted by Emmy-winning writer/baseball announcer/talk show host, Ken Levine, Ho… read more

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EP281: Inside JEOPARDY

June 30th, 2022

32:44

JEOPARDY has become a nation obsession. This week and next Ken talks to head researcher Suzanne Stone who was with the show for 38 years. Go behind-the-scenes and learn how the questions are assembled, the contestants …

EP280: How to write the script that gets you in the door

June 23rd, 2022

32:49

If you want to be a TV comedy writer you have to write a pilot on speculation. In this episode Ken will tell you just how to do that.

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EP279: The Art of Radio Drama

June 16th, 2022

27:04

A new podcast series called “The Big Lie” starring Jon Hamm drops this week. We’ll meet the creators and learn what goes into creating an entire world based only on sound and your imagination.

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EP278: Overcoming Writers Block

June 9th, 2022

39:37

What writer hasn’t faced this? Ken offers tips and reassurance to overcoming this annoying or even crippling problem for writers.

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EP277: TV Today and Tomorrow

June 2nd, 2022

40:50

More with 35-year network and media vet, Preston Beckman. The future of sitcoms, networks, streaming services, the Super Bowl, various platforms — all discussed right here. The ever-changing world of television is …

EP276: The Current and Future State of Television

May 26th, 2022

32:52

Ken’s guest is Preston Beckman, a major force in network programming for 35 years and currently a media consultant.  He discusses all things TV …

EP275: What it takes to be a Showrunner

May 19th, 2022

29:51

Television is facing a shortage of qualified showrunners. Ken discusses why and offers advice on how to be an effective showrunner. This is a must episode for anyone in TV. More podcasts at WAVE:

EP274: The Best of Your Worst

May 12th, 2022

36:33
After Ken’s picks last week for the worst songs of all-time, the listeners now weigh in with theirs… along with a few egregious samples. Is your …

EP273: Listing the worst songs of all-time

May 5th, 2022

39:21

Ken offers his picks for some of the worst songs of all-time. You’re welcome to share some of yours. It’s good cringing fun! More podcasts at WAVE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/artist/wave-podcast-network/1437831426

EP272: From Vaudeville to Netflix

April 28th, 2022

33:08
Technology, taste, and trends continually change the forms of entertainment we enjoy. What does the future hold? Can the past offer any tips? Ken …

EP271: Baseball on the radio

April 21st, 2022

29:35
Baseball is a sport made for radio. A good announcer can fill the down time with spellbinding stories and humor. Ken salutes the best — past and …

EP270: Award ceremonies where no one hit me

April 14th, 2022

32:53
In light of the Will Smith/Chris Rock fiasco, Ken recalls the numerous times he attended award ceremonies and the amusing things that happened on the way to his many losses and occasional wins. 

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EP269: Writing and directing for animals and athletes

April 7th, 2022

37:52
Whether it’s a former NBA superstar or sheep, writing and directing for athletes and animals can be a challenge.  Comedy generally isn’t in their wheelhouse.  Ken shares amusing stories working with both.  

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EP268: Cartooning and Comedy

March 31st, 2022

26:01
Part two with New Yorker cartoonist, David Sipress. This week is focused on the art of combining comedy writing and drawings. It’s a fun look at the process of creativity. Along with a good Cliff Clavin story.

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EP267: Meet New Yorker cartoonist David Sipress

March 24th, 2022

25:25
Now one of the best and funniest New Yorker cartoonists, David was rejected for 25 years before finally landing a sale there. It’s an inspiring story of perseverance and belief. Learn how to get through the tough times …

EP266: Do you believe in Hollywood miracles? YES!

March 17th, 2022

35:13
Dan Erickson was working for Postmates and writing a spec pilot.  That spec became SEVERANCE on Apple + with Dan as the showrunner.  How did this …

EP265: Meet radio star, John Records Landecker

March 10th, 2022

42:42
The golden days of music radio are discussed with John Records Landecker, one of the premiere disc jockeys of the era. For years he ruled the …

EP264: Lisa Edelstein Part Two

March 3rd, 2022

23:09

Journey through Lisa’s excellent career with stops along the way for THE WEST WING, HOUSE, THE KOMINSKY METHOD, ALI MCBEAL, and various voice over gigs.  We also discuss the difference between acting in a single-camera …

EP263: Meet Lisa Edelstein Part One

February 24th, 2022

27:36

Lisa Edelstein has led a fascinating life. She’s a terrific actress. You’ve seen her in HOUSE, THE KOMINSKY METHOD, GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO DIVORCE, and 85 other titles.  She’s also been an MTV host, playwright, and …

EP262: Your VIP Tour of the MGM studio lot

February 17th, 2022

34:45

One of the iconic studios in Hollywood even though it’s in Culver City. Learn the history and some personal stories.  It’s a behind-the-scenes tour …

EP261: Inside the David Letterman Show

February 7th, 2022

32:29

Steve Young, who wrote for Dave for 25 years, leads us through what life was like on the Letterman Show.  Great behind-the-scenes look at a TV icon. Steve also offers terrific tips for young writers trying to break into …

EP260: Bathtubs Over Broadway

February 3rd, 2022

39:16

Under the radar of Broadway from the 50s through 80s were extravagant Industrial Musicals.  Major corporations would hold sales conventions …

EP259: Marc Summers, Part 2

January 27th, 2022

27:47

Marc Summers is a TV personality, disc jockey, radio host, warm-up guy, comedian, game show host, magician, stand up comedian, talk show host, and producer.  He’s best known for hosting DOUBLE DARE for Nickelodeon and …

EP258: Meet Marc Summers Part 1

January 20th, 2022

34:07

Talk about carving out a career. Marc Summers is a TV personality, disc jockey, radio host, warm-up guy, comedian, game show host, magician, stand up comedian, talk show host, and producer. He’s best known for hosting …

EP257: Cartooning for fun and a little profit

January 13th, 2022

40:08

Ken’s cartooning days from drawing Woody Woodpecker at 4 to trying to get in the New Yorker. If you’re a fan of cartoons, comics, comic books, or New Yorker cartoons this episode is for you.

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EP256: Humbling Experiences in Hollywood

January 6th, 2022

30:13

The minute you think you’re hot stuff in Hollywood, something comes along to knock you back down to size. Ken shares some of his more humbling …

EP255: Classic Comedy Routines

December 16th, 2021

40:18

Ken features some remarkable comedy routines featuring Richard Pryor, Albert Brooks, Bob & Ray, Steven Wright, Abbott & Costello, and a surprise. NOTE: Some very explicit language (hey, it’s Richard Pryor). End …

EP254: The Obscure Sounds of the Season

December 9th, 2021

33:00

For all the radio stations playing Christmas music, there are still forgotten songs you’ve never heard. Ken has found them. Enjoy holiday music you …

EP253: Shari Lewis Remembered

December 2nd, 2021

34:15

Shari Lewis was a remarkable entertainer — ventriloquist, children’s show host, singer, dancer, actor, author, conductor, co-writer of a STAR TREK episode. Ken talks to her daughter, Mallory to get a real sense of just …

EP252: The Annual Turkey Show

November 25th, 2021

29:50

A yearly tradition — some of the worst, funniest, most cringeworthy songs (“turkeys”) you’ll ever hear.

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EP251: Broadcast Blunders

November 18th, 2021

36:25

When you’re on the air live, mistakes happen. Ken shares some of his and others — some very embarrassing and amusing. Included is how Ken personally pissed off a President of the United States (and it’s not the …

EP250: For Those Who Love Lucy

November 11th, 2021

46:43

Ken does a deep dive into the history and making of the most successful sitcom in history, I LOVE LUCY. Bet you’ll learn things you didn’t know.

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EP249: Writer/Producer Clyde Phillips

November 4th, 2021

21:07

The man has done it all — from game shows, to movies, dramas, and comedies. Discover the fascinating career of writer, Clyde Phillips along with some great advice on how to break into the business.

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EP248: The Return of Dexter

October 28th, 2021

35:54

Ken talks with Clyde Phillips, the guiding force of DEXTER for its first four seasons (the good seasons) and the new DEXTER series premiering in November on Showtime. If you’re a fan of DEXTER “carve” out some time for …

EP247: The Art of Showrunning

October 21st, 2021

29:59

Ken continues his chat with comedy writer, Dave Hackel. This week they delve into what a showrunner really does. It’s a unique and rigorous responsibility. And Dave is one of the best. They also discuss BECKER, a show …

EP246: Meet comedy writer Dave Hackel

October 14th, 2021

32:13

Dave Hackel is the creator of BECKER, and worked for years on FRASIER, WINGS, and many other shows. This week he talks about breaking into the business on game shows and has a hilarious Truman Capote story (who …

EP245: Getting through the “Bad” times

October 7th, 2021

38:29

We all go through low periods of our life. Ken shares some of his and how they ultimately benefited him.

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EP244: The art of “Warm Up.” Part Two

September 30th, 2021

30:42

More this week with Bob Perlow who for 37 years was the gold standard of audience “Warm Up.” This week we talk a lot about FRIENDS and what an ordeal …

EP243: The art of “Warm Up.”

September 23rd, 2021

31:40

A key element in a sitcom’s success that’s shot in front of an audience is the Warm Up person. This week and next Ken talks to Bob Perlow who for 37 …

EP242: Flights from Hell

September 16th, 2021

32:10

You’d think that flying charter with MLB teams would be dream travel — and often it is. But any seasoned traveler knows there are unforeseen …

EP241: Meet Character Actor, Paul Willson

September 9th, 2021

33:26

Paul Willson has been on over 120 shows and movies, many as a recurring character, including CHEERS. He’s also been in OFFICE SPACE. It’s a unique …

EP240: Name Dropping Theater

September 2nd, 2021

33:43

Ken drops names and tells stories about various celebrities he has encountered. Along with some tips for those who come to LA hoping to spot stars.

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EP239: Beware of Agents!

August 26th, 2021

30:38

Ken has had some “unpleasant" encounters with Hollywood agents. Not many, but enough to fill an entertaining episode of dish.

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EP238: Attending movie screenings

August 19th, 2021

32:08

Industry people in Hollywood don’t go to movies, they go to private screenings. This week Ken’s describes his screening adventures. Lots of inside …

EP237: Joe Buck Part 2

August 12th, 2021

26:23

This week Ken & lead Fox play-by-play man, Joe Buck discuss calling NFL football, the Super Bowl, World Series, and dealing with Social Media, which is not for the faint of heart. It’s a fun, informative, and candid …

EP236: Meet Joe Buck Part 1

August 5th, 2021

26:40

Joe Buck is the voice of sports for Fox. He’s won 7 Emmys calling numerous Super Bowls, World Series, the U.S. Open, and All-Star Games. He’s also an upcoming guest host on JEOPARDY. This week we discuss hosting …

EP235: The Golden Age of TV Comedy

July 29th, 2021

39:33

The early ‘70s gave us amazing comedy shows — ALL IN THE FAMILY, MASH, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, THE CAROL BURNET SHOW… and one year they were all on the same night on the same network. They were …

EP234: Mike Nichols: A Director

July 22nd, 2021

35:28

More with author, Mark Harris who wrote the book MIKE NICHOLS: A LIFE. In this episode we delve into Nichols’ directing career — his approach, …

EP233: Mike Nichols: A Life

July 15th, 2021

25:26

Ken talks with Mark Harris, author of the best-seller, “Mike Nichols: A Life” — a fascinating look into this complex giant of the entertainment …

EP232: George Wendt Part Two

July 8th, 2021

29:25

This week we discuss the changes that occurred during the run of CHEERS, the series finale and disastrous live cast appearance on THE TONIGHT SHOW, and life after CHEERS.

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EP231: Meet George Wendt, a.k.a. “Norm!”

July 1st, 2021

27:36

George Wendt discusses his early days at Second City, and what it was like to be on CHEERS. And we discuss the beer.

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EP230: Sportscaster Jason Benetti, Part 2

June 24th, 2021

32:31

More with ESPN/NBC/Chicago White Sox announcer, Jason Benetti. Topics this week include working with partners (like Bill Walton), social media criticism, and not letting Cerebral Palsy prevent you from achieving your …

EP229: Meet ESPN/NBC’s Jason Benetti

June 17th, 2021

28:14

Jason Benetti is a rising sportscasting star. He calls baseball, football, and basketball for ESPN, is the TV voice of the Chicago White Sox, and will be calling Olympic baseball this summer for NBC. But more than that, …

EP228: Another Free-Association Episode

June 10th, 2021

28:25

Ken riffs from topic to topic; everything from Jean Smart’s new show “Hacks,” to Toronto, Kurtwood Smith, Gal Gadot, a power failure, making Claire Danes laugh, advice from Red Barber, and getting smacked by Wayne …

EP227: Writer Mike Reiss Part Two

June 3rd, 2021

36:53

More with SIMPSONS writer Mike Reiss including how he auditioned to star in THE OFFICE and as a tourist was chased down the street by a woman with a meat cleaver.

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EP226: Meet Comedy Writer Mike Reiss

May 27th, 2021

29:58

Mike Reiss has written for THE SIMPSONS for 30 years. Also numerous other shows including THE TONIGHT SHOW and THE GARRY SHANDLING SHOW. What was Garry like? What was Johnny like? These stories and more including Mike …

EP225: The process of writing

May 20th, 2021

32:19

Every writer has a different process. Ken discusses his and many others. How fast to write, when to write, partnership etiquette, how to solve script …

EP224: Meet Singer Extraordinaire Linda Eder

May 13th, 2021

41:24

“Star Search” winner/Broadway star/recording artist/Carnegie Hall concert singer, Linda Eder has an amazing voice and career. She’s also a very fun guest.

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EP223: Things that YOU hate that others love

May 6th, 2021

23:32

After Ken’s list of things he hates that others love, listeners weighed in with their selections.  Audience participation podcasting!

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EP222: Things I hate that you might love

April 29th, 2021

24:16

There are things universally loved in popular culture that Ken just doesn’t get. Everybody has their own list. Ken shares his. 

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EP221: Part Two with actor/Broadway star, Chip Zien

April 22nd, 2021

40:12

Chip Zien has been in 13 Broadway shows, has over 65 TV and movie credits, and was the voice of Howard the Duck.  This week he talks about being HOWARD THE DUCK, acting in LES MISERABLES, UNITED 93, working with Mike …

EP220: Meet actor/Broadway star, Chip Zien

April 15th, 2021

37:11

Chip Zien has been in 13 Broadway shows, has over 65 TV and movie credits, and was the voice of Howard the Duck.  He starred in INTO THE WOODS and discusses working with Stephen Sondheim along with many great showbiz …

EP219: The State of Television — THIS Minute

April 8th, 2021

37:39

Longtime NBC/Fox scheduler/guru Preston Beckman discusses the current television landscape — all the the changes and where things might be heading. …

EP218: The MGM Studio Tour

April 1st, 2021

28:16

A personal tour of one of Hollywood’s most iconic studio lots. This episode is filled with stories, history, movie stars — everything but the lion.

EP217: The Worst Podcast EVER

March 25th, 2021

39:10

A spoof on bad podcasts. Annoying elements, no editing, discussions about nothing that go nowhere — they’re all here in this simulated brutal but …

EP216: Perfect Shows (in my opinion)

March 18th, 2021

40:30

Ken answers a listener’s question and lists all the TV shows and pilots he thinks are as close to “perfect” as possible. 

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EP215: Mike Scully’s sitcom writer journey continues

March 11th, 2021

26:53

Comedy veteran Mike Scully discusses the change that saved Parks & Rec, working on Everybody Loves Raymond, and the animation process used to …

EP214: Meet SIMPSONS writer Mike Scully

March 4th, 2021

33:56

Go inside The Simpsons writing room with Mike Scully and hear how the show has evolved over the last 175 years. Mike has also been with other shows …

EP213: Elton John Sings Jingles

February 25th, 2021

48:22

Jonathan Wolfert, president/founder of Jam Creative Productions is this week’s guest discussing why today’s music is different from yesterday’s (you …

EP212: Your Questions, My Answers

February 18th, 2021

43:56

Ken answers listeners’ questions ranging from television, actors, to child actors, comedy, continuity, and cop shows.

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EP211: The Development of Arrested Development

February 11th, 2021

32:59

Part two of the interview with Emmy-winning writer Jim Vallely. Most of the episode centers on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT — the making of one TV’s funniest and most revered sitcoms. Other podcasts on WAVE!

EP210: Comedy Writing Legend, Jim Vallely & the Golden Girls

February 4th, 2021

34:44

Jim Vallely is one of the funniest people in Hollywood.  He was a big part of The Golden Girls, To and a Half Men, and Arrested Development.  This …

EP209: My worst reviews

January 28th, 2021

31:43

Every writer gets bad reviews. Sometimes really bad reviews. These are Ken’s worst. Listen and feel better about yourself.

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EP208: All Things WINGS Part 2

January 21st, 2021

38:46

Ken talks to Rob Leszczak, who wrote “The Complete Guide to the TV Sitcom WINGS.”  More reminiscing, including a prank I pulled on NBC, and a story …

EP207: All Things WINGS Part 1

January 14th, 2021

34:10

Ken talks to Rob Leszczak, who wrote “The Complete Guide to the TV Sitcom WINGS.”  Between Rob’s research and Ken’s personal recollections of working …

EP206: CHEERS commentary track: Boys in the Bar

January 7th, 2021

31:16
A popular feature.  Ken does a commentary track on the controversial “Boys in the Bar” episode of CHEERS that he and David Isaacs wrote.  Hear about …

EP205: Holiday Extravaganza!

December 17th, 2020

37:26

The history of your favorite Christmas songs forms part one of this super-size episode.  Part two is an interview with Jhani Kaye, who launched the “all-Christmas-music” format on KOST radio in Los Angeles, which now …

EP204: The Hollywood & Levine Mini-Play Festival!

December 10th, 2020

23:57

Short plays written for the theatre have had to adapt to Zoom. And now podcasts.  Ken presents two of his favorite ten minute comedies adapted for Zoom.  It’s theatre of the mind, or Starmaster, or wherever you listen …

EP203: Mistletoe Miscellaneous & Why I hate making holiday episodes

December 3rd, 2020

26:54

Ken riffs on all the holiday season and gives an insider look on the making of Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed TV episodes.  The tropes and the …

EP202: The Annual Turkey Show

November 26th, 2020

27:15

Ken plays some of the worst (and most amusing) songs you will ever hear.  A Thanksgiving tradition.

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EP201: Author! Author!

November 19th, 2020

41:35

Ken takes you through the world of publishing and self-publishing as he discusses the four books he’s written and his adventures in trying to sell them.   You can publish your own books and make money! Ken shows you …

EP200: Episode 200!

November 12th, 2020

54:05

Ken celebrates his 200th podcast with a super-sized episode featuring highlights, surprises, rarities, giveaways, laughs, and more.  Join in the fun!

EP199: Meet Director Katy Garretson Part Two

November 5th, 2020

24:56

Katy Garretson is a DGA award nominated sitcom director.  This week we talk about actors testing directors, difficult shows, and delve into her …

EP198: Meet Director Katy Garretson

October 29th, 2020

28:37

Katy Garretson is a DGA award nominated sitcom director.  She discusses the craft and unique challenges a woman faces in television directing.  She also shares a story about a “lost” episode of FRASIER.  It’s a story I …

EP197: Writer Rob Long Part Two

October 22nd, 2020

36:24

Two CHEERS writers discuss the actual process and share insights and stories… including firing a Tony-winning actor.  It’s a great insiders’ look at how sitcoms really get written.  

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EP196: Meet writer Rob Long Part One

October 15th, 2020

39:44

Rob Long broke into TV writing by getting on staff of CHEERS when he was 24.  He and Ken have a freewheeling discussion of television comedy, advice on breaking in, theories, the business, the craziness, the fun. 

EP195: The Voice of God and Eyewitness News

October 8th, 2020

26:39

Charlie Van Dyke has one of the most recognizable voices in America although you might not know the name.  From big-time DJ at KHJ, WLS, KFRC, CKLW, WRKO, KRTH, KLIF, and more he transitioned into voice over, and I …

EP194: The First Night of CHEERS

October 1st, 2020

23:41

September 30th marked the 38th anniversary of the debut of CHEERS.  Join Ken for the first night party and more inside scuttlebutt on the show that is now iconic but finished last in the ratings the night it premiered. 

EP193: The Man who Saved Batman Part Two

September 24th, 2020

27:48

Ken talks with Michael Uslan, the originator and executive producer of the Batman movie franchise.  This week we discuss the various Batman reboots, …

EP192: The Man who Saved Batman Part One

September 17th, 2020

38:31

Ken talks with Michael Uslan, the originator and executive producer of the Batman movie franchise. We’ll talk the origin of Batman, his revered place …

EP191: CHEERS trivia you might not know

September 10th, 2020

29:37

On this week's Hollywood & Levine, Ken takes you behind-the-scenes with insider stories about the hit sitcom Cheers. If you thought you knew a …

EP190: The Inside Secrets of TV Research

September 3rd, 2020

32:46

Research plays a major role in what shows get on the air. But how does it work and what are they looking for?  Steve Leblang is a media research …

EP189: Writer Bill Persky Part Two

August 27th, 2020

23:01

Bill Persky and partner Sam Denoff wrote 29 episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and eventually became its showrunners.  More fascinating stories …

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

August 20th, 2020

30:23

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

EP187: The best DJ no one ever listens to!

August 13th, 2020

32:35

Deke Duncan has been spinning the hits for 45 years.  No one listens. No one ever has.  No one can.  Meet this fascinating personality. It’s a crazy …

EP186: Another Free Association Podcast

August 6th, 2020

35:53

Ken riffs from topic to topic; everything from the Emmys to the Catskills, Cub Scouts, National Anthem, comedy exercises, American Bandstand, bowling, British sitcoms, summer camp, snark, and Sinatra.   Fun personal …

EP185: Singer/songwriter Debbie Gibson Part 2

July 30th, 2020

39:07

From pop star to Broadway star to reality show star (with a few Shark movies thrown in), Debbie Gibson continues her unique and remarkable career.   The ups and downs of show business and what she’s learned along the …

EP184: Meet singer/songwriter Debbie Gibson Part 1

July 23rd, 2020

26:07

Debbie Gibson was a huge pop star in the late ‘80s – writing, performing, and producing a string of gold records while still in high school.   It’s a …

EP183: TV Critic Alan Sepinwall Part 2

July 16th, 2020

27:30

Alan Sepinwall is the Chief TV critic for Rolling Stones magazine and author of numerous books on television.  This week we discuss the future of …

EP182: Meet TV Critic Alan Sepinwall

July 9th, 2020

23:54

Alan Sepinwall is the Chief TV critic for Rolling Stones magazine and author of numerous books on television. With the industry changing so fast, …

EP181: Part 2 with JEOPARDY champion, Jennifer Quail

July 2nd, 2020

32:54

More with Jennifer Quail who won $228,000 in eight days on JEOPARDY and will likely be in this year’s Tournament of Champions.  We get into the pressure, strategy, Alex Trebek’s condition, advice, and more juicy …

EP180: Meet 8-time JEOPARDY champion, Jennifer Quail

June 25th, 2020

34:32

Jennifer Quail won $228,000 in eight days on JEOPARDY and will likely be in this year’s Tournament of Champions.  Ever wanted to go on JEOPARDY?  Or know what it was like?  Jennifer graciously shares her experience this …

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

June 18th, 2020

28:18

In this week's Hollywood and Levine podcast, Ken discusses the do’s and don’ts of giving notes, and how to also treat writers and actors with …

EP178: Meet Billy Van Zandt: Part Two

June 11th, 2020

25:39

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

EP177: Meet comedy writer Billy Van Zandt

June 4th, 2020

24:10

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

EP176: A Master Class in Directing Part 2

May 28th, 2020

34:23

More expert advice in directing from Andy Barnicle.  Dealing with actors, the difference between TV and theatre, blocking, rewriting, lighting, interpretation, the technical part of the job.

EP175: A Master Class in Directing Part 1

May 21st, 2020

32:55

Everyone says: “what I really want to do is direct.”  Then this is the episode for you.  Meet Andy Barnicle, who has directed over 300 full-length …

EP174: The Broadcaster’s Nightmare

May 14th, 2020

38:09

We’ve all had the “nightmare” – it’s the day of your college final, you never went to class, your life depends on this grade, etc.  Every profession …

EP173: The Early Days of My TV Career

May 7th, 2020

33:35

If you're trying to make it in the television industry, this is the podcast for you. Emmy winning writer Ken Levine walks you through his early days as a freelance writer in the business working with David Isaacs. Ken …

EP172: Bringing Live Theatre to YOU

April 30th, 2020

28:06

Ken shares a one act play he wrote called SIGNING OFF. It’s about a late night talk host who’s put out to pasture meeting his young replacement. It’s a comedy/drama, performed last year at the Atwater Theatre in Los …

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

April 23rd, 2020

48:00

On this week's Hollywood & Levine podcast, Ken shares 25 different top 5 lists in categories that range from movies, TV, radio, actors, …

EP170: The Golden Era of Radio

April 16th, 2020

30:57

By popular demand, Ken shares an audio documentary he made for a UCLA class with fellow classmate, Bill Pearl. It traces Southern California Top 40 …

EP169: For those who miss sports

April 9th, 2020

35:08

On this week's Hollywood & Levine, sportscaster Josh Lewin joins Ken to discuss his new podcast, “The Throwback League” – recreating games …

EP168: Free Association Podcasting

April 2nd, 2020

32:42

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

EP167: Comedy Suggestions While Quarantined

March 26th, 2020

36:39

On this week's Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken Levine puts together a list of over 60 of his favorite comedy movies worth seeing whilst you're …

EP166: More with Comedy Writer Jay Kogen

March 19th, 2020

25:29

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

EP165: The Birth Of The Simpsons

March 12th, 2020

25:30

Ken interviews Jay Kogen, one of the original writers of THE SIMPSONS. He’s worked on many great shows and won an Emmy for a script of FRASIER. In part-one of this two-parter, Jay talks about breaking in, learning from …

EP164: And now for the play-by-play

March 5th, 2020

52:28

With the help of celebrity interviewer, Arlen Peters, Ken discusses his “other” career – that of a major league baseball play-by-play announcer.   How he broke in, why he broke in, the stories and lessons along the way …

EP163: All things FRASIER

February 27th, 2020

24:01

In the second part of his discussion with David Lee, the co-creator of FRASIER, they get into the creation, casting, tone, and speculation over …

EP162: Meet FRASIER co-creator David Lee

February 20th, 2020

28:01

David Lee was a showrunner on THE JEFFERSONS and CHEERS and co-creator of WINGS and FRASIER. He’s an Emmy winning writer/director/producer.  In part one of this two part discussion, he discusses breaking into the …

EP161: 50 Actors we Rejected

February 13th, 2020

42:14

Even the best actors get rejected countless times. Ken lists all the actors he and writing partner, David Isaacs have rejected for projects – often …

EP160: Meet John Pike Part 2

February 6th, 2020

23:37

The former president of Paramount TV and VP of CBS Late Night, John Pike discusses his role, the birth of Fox, the return of STAR TREK, working with …

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

January 30th, 2020

26:42

Ken’s guest is John Pike, the longtime president of Paramount Television in the ‘80’s & ‘90s. Most people don’t know this but John played an …

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

January 23rd, 2020

49:59

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

EP157: Analyzing Comedy with David Isaacs , Part 2

January 16th, 2020

23:33

Ken and longtime writing partner David Isaacs discus genres of film and TV comedy. Why FRIENDS and other successful sitcoms work. 

EP156: Analyzing Comedy with David Isaacs, Part 1

January 9th, 2020

28:55

On this week's Hollywood and Levine podcast, Ken’s writing partner David Isaacs returns for a lively discussion on comedy – theories, genres and …

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

January 2nd, 2020

34:19

The wild stories of the making of these two Hollywood films (one a huge hit, the other a colossal bomb). It’s a saga filled with colorful characters, …

EP154: Holiday & Levine

December 19th, 2019

32:17

This week on Hollywood and Levine, Ken tells tales of his Christmas childhood growing up in ole’ LA.

EP153: What it takes to be a good Comic Actor

December 12th, 2019

36:37

Ken puts on his director hat and shares his thoughts on how to become a good comic actor. And he offers some great examples.

EP152: Crazy Casting Stories

December 5th, 2019

27:33

This week on Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken shares some stories of horrible casting suggestions, and inspired casting choices that were rejected. …

EP151: Thanksgiving Turkeys

November 28th, 2019

31:43

Once again Ken plays some Thanksgiving Turkeys, songs that don’t try to be funny but just are.  Get ready to laugh and cringe, but mostly laugh. 

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

November 21st, 2019

37:20

Former MTV Reality Star Susie Meister shares her experiences, what it’s really like being on a reality show, and what life is like after your fifteen minutes of fame are up. It’s a compelling and sometimes heartbreaking …

EP149: Keeping it Real: a lesson in comedy

November 14th, 2019

25:40

Ken discusses the importance of reality in comedy and shares a one act play to serve as an example. 

EP148: Meet comedy writer extraordinaire Bob Ellison

November 7th, 2019

29:44

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

EP147: Hollywood Horror Stories for Halloween

October 31st, 2019

21:57

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

EP146: This week’s guest: ME Part 2

October 24th, 2019

40:35

Entertainment reporter Arlen Peters continues his interview with Ken – interacting with actors, learning to direct, breaking into the feature world, playwriting, anecdotes, and much more.

EP145: This week’s guest: ME Part 1

October 17th, 2019

37:51

On this week's Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken switches things up and invites entertainment reporter Arlen Peters to take the reins and interview …

EP144: Writing Advice and a Rant

October 10th, 2019

29:02

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

EP43: Once Upon a Time in Woodland Hills

October 3rd, 2019

31:15

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

EP142: Meet radio star Shotgun Tom Kelly

September 26th, 2019

35:27

How many disc jockeys have a star on the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame?  Okay, several, but Shotgun Tom is one of them. Currently on Sirius/XM’s 60’s on 6 …

EP141: Taking Meetings in Hollywood

September 19th, 2019

32:05

Ken discusses the various and wacky movie meetings he and his partner, David Isaacs have “taken” over the years. 

EP140: Inside the Writer’s Mind

September 12th, 2019

34:33

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

EP139: From Russia With Like

September 5th, 2019

34:17

Ken takes you on a wacky tour of Scandinavia and Russia – filled with absurdities and atrocities.  What more could anyone ask of a summer vacation?

EP138: Meet Corporal Klinger – Jamie Farr

August 29th, 2019

36:22

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

EP137: Jobs I Didn’t Get

August 22nd, 2019

24:24

For all the jobs that writers, even successful writers, get – there is always a long list of jobs they didn’t get.  This week Ken shares his.  …

EP136: Howard Michael Gould Part 2

August 15th, 2019

32:29

Ken and Howard discuss their writing process and how it applies to teleplays, features, stage plays, and novels.  And probably whatever task you’re undertaking.

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

August 8th, 2019

30:32

Not what you’d call an under-achiever -- Howard Michael Gould has been a TV writer, a screenwriter, showrunner, TV and film director, copywriter, …

EP134: Meet comedian/writer Jeff Cesario

August 1st, 2019

38:18

Jeff Cesario has been a stand-up who’s appeared often on LETTERMAN, THE TONIGHT SHOW, CONAN, KIMMEL, and has had his own SHOWTIME special.  He was also a writer/producer on THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW.   He and Ken discuss …

EP133: Pilots I Have Worked On

July 25th, 2019

28:54

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

EP132: Legendary Director Jim Burrows, Part 2

July 18th, 2019

26:23

This week in part two of the interview, Ken and Jim Burrows discuss the technical aspects of directing, the challenges of filming a live show, and the unique requirements of sitcom pilots. They also discuss some very …

EP131: Meet Director Jim Burrows Part 1

July 11th, 2019

31:28

On this week's Hollywood & Levine, Ken interviews 10-time Emmy winner, Jim Burrows, who has directed over 1000 episodes of sitcoms including the …

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

July 4th, 2019

25:40

Ken discusses what he learned writing the book for a musical  and also shares an insane story of writing a musical for the United States Army. …

EP129: Our Pilot That Failed at ABC and HBO

June 27th, 2019

25:39

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

 

EP128: Ken’s Commencement Speech and Welcoming in Summer

June 20th, 2019

33:26

If Ken were to ever speak at a college graduation, this would be his speech.  And then he reflects on summers past.

EP127: Meet Kara Mayer Robinson: celebrity journalist

June 13th, 2019

29:14

Kara Mayer Robinson has written for the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and has her own podcast, “Really Famous.” She and Ken …

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

June 6th, 2019

44:22

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

EP125: Filling in for Wolfman Jack and other radio adventures

May 30th, 2019

29:13

Ken tells crazy stories of his disc jockey days -- filling in for the Wolfman, befriending the Hells Angels, and almost getting deported from …

EP124: In defense of Multi-Camera Shows

May 23rd, 2019

24:32

Multi-camera shows shot in front of a studio audience are much maligned, unfairly so.  99% of our classic sitcoms are multi-camera.  Ken explains …

EP123: Open Letter to Ungrateful TV Actors

May 16th, 2019

22:00

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

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

May 9th, 2019

29:05

Ken is your guide for a VIP tour of the 20th Century Fox  lot where thousands of classic movies and TV shows have been filmed including MASH.   Enjoy …

EP121: Another CHEERS commentary track w/ Writer Ken Levine

May 2nd, 2019

28:35

Ken provides a commentary track for the CHEERS episode “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” from season 6, episode 17. Frasier and Lilith's wedding is nearing, and their best man and maid of honor, Sam and a very …

EP120: NBC’s Al Michaels, Part 2

April 25th, 2019

27:35

In the second of two parts, NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, who has called 10 Super Bowls, numerous World Series, and will be forever known for his “Miracle on Ice” call, joins Ken for an in depth discussion on NFL …

EP119: NBC’s Al Michaels Part 1

April 18th, 2019

33:15

In the first of two parts, NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, who has called 10 Super Bowls, numerous World Series, and will be forever known for his “Miracle on Ice” call, joins Ken for an in depth discussion.  In Part 1 Al …

EP118: More Celebrity Dish w/ Arlen Peters

April 11th, 2019

38:29

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

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

April 4th, 2019

31:02

Ken introduces you to four of his all-time favorite radio performers.  These are the voices that inspired him and made him laugh.   Vin Scully, Dan …

EP115: Meet Dennis Palumbo, writer/therapist

March 21st, 2019

38:46

Dennis Palumbo is a licensed therapist and also co-wrote the comedy classic, MY FAVORITE YEAR.  He talks about common problems writers face and offers invaluable advice.  Also he discusses his fascinating career.  From …

EP114: My Writing Process

March 14th, 2019

26:21

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

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

March 7th, 2019

32:11

Bruce Miller has composed and conducted the music for many TV series including FRASIER. He tells the inside story of what “Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs” really means along with other fascinating tales. Plus, a …

EP112: Ken’s Annual Bitchy Snarky Oscar Review

February 25th, 2019

19:08

Once again, comedy writer Ken Levine watches the 2019 Academy Awards so you don’t have to, and files his opinionated, hopefully insightful, hopefully …

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

February 21st, 2019

17:45

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

EP110: TV in the age of Ageism

February 14th, 2019

30:11

Ken discusses the realities of the television industry and how he has faced and learned to cope with ageism. It’s a candid personal look into …

EP109: The Art of Magic, w/ Bruce Kalver

February 7th, 2019

38:02

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

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

January 31st, 2019

37:29

A great entry-level job in the industry is becoming an extra – the background people you see in movies and TV shows.  Ken explores that world, the requirements, pay, future, how to get one of those jobs along with some …

EP107: More with writing partner, David Isaacs

January 24th, 2019

33:54

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

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

January 17th, 2019

30:18

Ken welcomes his long-time writing partner, David Isaacs to the podcast. We discuss how we broke in, how we work, writing together vs. separately, …

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

January 10th, 2019

23:57

Ken shares a hilarious and jaw dropping article from 1958 on how to get a husband. You won’t believe some of these tips. And finally, a prank Ken …

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

January 3rd, 2019

53:09

Hope for older writers:  Tracy Newman broke in when she was 46.  She also had other careers.  She’s a fascinating Renaissance Woman who once lived …

EP103: Merry Christmas Charlie Brown… and Everyone

December 20th, 2018

24:33

In this holiday-themed episode, Ken explains how one of the most successful TV specials in history almost didn’t get on the air, the fascinating …

EP102: Short Attention Span Podcast

December 13th, 2018

23:50

Ken tackles a variety of unrelated, but hopefully humorous, topics. You’ll learn the amazing thing Mary Tyler Moore said in his living room, a …

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

December 6th, 2018

30:36

Ken explores the various forms of product placement in films and TV. And how a scene he and his partner wrote involving Coca Cola caused a huge stink.

EP100: We Made It! EPISODE 100!

November 29th, 2018

35:26

Ken looks back at the insanity of over 60 hours of podcast material and reprieves his favorite three stories one from TV, one from radio, and one from baseball. Thanks to everyone for listening and subscribing. On to …

EP99: Holiday Turkeys: What Were They Thinking?

November 22nd, 2018

34:31

In honor of Turkey Day, Ken spins one audio trainwreck after another. You’ll laugh till you cringe. 

EP98: My 15 Seconds of Fame: Me on Camera

November 15th, 2018

44:08

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

EP97: Behind the Scenes: Another CHEERS commentary!

November 8th, 2018

28:51

Ken provides a commentary track to an episode of CHEERS he co-wrote. “Any Friend of Diane’s,” Season 1, EP6. Lots of great inside stuff. You can …

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

November 1st, 2018

36:36

Ken’s guest is media consultant, Valerie Geller. Her keys to success are invaluable for anyone wanting to start a podcast, host a radio show, YouTube …

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

October 25th, 2018

39:46

It’s typical for a movie to take years to get made.  Ken takes you through the saga of VOLUNTEERS, from the initial idea to all the studios, ups and downs, production, release, and how it not only closed a theater but …

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

October 18th, 2018

29:23

In part 2 of Ken’s chat with legendary Voice Over Artist and Voice Actor, Neil Ross he discusses how to break into the world of Voice Overs, what it takes to learn your craft, the odds of success, cartoon voices, and …

EP93: The Man who Killed Jim Morrison

October 11th, 2018

26:16

Well, he didn’t really, but Ken talks to Neil Ross, a voice over artist who has announced the Academy Awards, and in his prior life was a disc jockey …

EP92: The History of Sitcoms

October 4th, 2018

31:14

Ken discusses how sitcoms are made and how the process has changed over the last eighty years. The history and evolution of sitcoms all in one …

EP91: Meet writer Nell Scovell

September 27th, 2018

38:40

Nell Scovell who wrote “Just the Funny Parts” about what life is really like for a woman comedy writer and co-wrote “Lean In” discusses her illustrious TV career, working with David Letterman and Garry Shandling, and …

EP90: To Rome with Like and Barcelona with Love

September 20th, 2018

26:40

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

EP89: Surviving the red carpet: Award war stories

September 13th, 2018

33:29

Throughout his career in Hollywood, Ken has received multiple nominations and won many awards, but also missed out on some too! On today's episode, …

EP88: Less is More in Comedy

September 6th, 2018

29:02

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

EP87: Meet Comedy Writing Legend Earl Pomerantz

August 30th, 2018

39:29

Ken discusses comedy writing with Earl Pomerantz whose Emmy winning career spans from THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW to TAXI, CHEERS, shows he’s created like MAJOR DAD, two Garry Shandling series, and variety specials with …

EP86: Peri Gilpin Interview Part 2

August 23rd, 2018

31:02

Ken and Peri have a free-form discussion on FRASIER, the process, acting, directing, writing, careers, publicity, matching, Broad City, etc. and Peri interviews Ken. 

EP85: Meet Peri Gilpin of FRASIER

August 16th, 2018

33:45

Peri Gilpin, who played Roz on FRASIER talks about the possible FRASIER reboot, working with that cast, her career, and her dad who was a celebrity himself.

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

August 9th, 2018

35:59

Ken’s guest is Bob Bergen, one of the most successful cartoon voice over artists in Hollywood.  It’s like having Porky Pig and Luke Skywalker give …

EP83: The Making of CHEERS

August 2nd, 2018

34:26

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

EP82: Casting Director Sheila Guthrie: Part Two

July 26th, 2018

35:56

Casting Director Sheila Guthrie talks to Ken about casting FRASIER, how to audition, mistakes to avoid, and some crazy casting stories you won’t …

EP81: Casting Director Sheila Guthrie: Part One

July 19th, 2018

32:31

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

EP80: A tour of the Paramount Lot

July 12th, 2018

27:42

On this week's Hollywood and Levine Podcast, Ken gives you a VIP tour of the Paramount lot where many classic movies and TV shows were filmed. Ken …

EP79: Inside the Writers Room

July 5th, 2018

29:37

Ken takes you inside the Writers Room and explains what it takes to succeed. A must episode for all perspective sitcom writers. 

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

June 28th, 2018

41:19

Ken talks to Bill Diamond, a veteran writer/producer (WINGS, MURPHY BROWN) who has produced sitcoms in Russia.   It’s a crazy story. Ken & Bill also discuss reboots – specifically the new MURPHY BROWN and whether …

EP77: How do you know if something is funny?

June 21st, 2018

25:28

Ken discusses how top comedy writers determine whether things are funny or not, and offers some helpful tips on how to make your writing and content …

EP76: The Worst of Levine & Isaacs

June 14th, 2018

20:20

Ken Levine discusses AfterMASH and MANNEQUIN 2, two of his least successful projects. You’ll learn what went wrong, how he dealt with it, and ways to …

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

June 7th, 2018

40:43

In part two of Ken’s conversation with the multi-talented Mark Evanier they discuss voice over work for animation, how to break in, what they’re …

EP74: Mark Evanier - Marvel and DC Comic Book Universe

May 31st, 2018

39:50

On this week's show, Ken interviews the fascinating Mark Evanier in a 2 part series. In part one, Mark discusses the world of comic books and Jack Kirby who created many of your favorite Marvel & DC superheroes. …

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

May 24th, 2018

26:30

Ken records an exclusive directors commentary for an episode of TV sitcom Frasier. Filled with inside stories and useful industry information, Ken …

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

May 17th, 2018

43:47

Ken talks to podcast host, writer, and comedian, Matt Mira about a variety of subjects including his busy schedule writing for The Goldbergs in Los …

EP71: Aloha OY

May 10th, 2018

27:47

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

EP70: How To Write Material That SELLS

May 3rd, 2018

33:00

Ken’s guest is Blair Richwood, a longtime feature development person and book editor.   They discuss what it takes for you to write a screenplay, pilot, or book that sells.   Also tips on pitching, what studios and …

EP69: Celebrity Fist Fights

April 26th, 2018

31:32

Ken tells stories about various altercations he has had in his career – none were his fault. Okay, maybe one. He also plays some fascinating radio …

EP68: Meet Nancy Travis

April 19th, 2018

42:46

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

EP67: Sports Radio Daze

April 12th, 2018

35:56

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

EP66: Meet Writer Phoef Sutton Part 2

April 5th, 2018

32:56

Ken interviews the versatile Phoef Sutton who has written sitcoms, dramas, screenplays, and novels.  Among his credits:  Cheers, Newhart, Boston Legal, Terriers, a Robert DeNiro movie, and novels, including one with …

EP65: Meet Writer Phoef Sutton Part 1

March 29th, 2018

34:05

Ken interviews the versatile Phoef Sutton who has written sitcoms, dramas, screenplays, and novels.  Among his credits: Cheers, Newhart, Boston Legal, Terriers, a Robert DeNiro movie, and novels, including one with …

EP64: Surviving Hollywood Rejections

March 22nd, 2018

33:40

Everyone in show business gets rejected. Ken shares some of his most memorable rejections and offers tips to help you rise above them. 

EP63: Ben Mankiewicz, The Voice of TCM

March 15th, 2018

38:01

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

EP62: My snarky 2018 Oscar Review

March 5th, 2018

18:09

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

EP61: Getting You Ready for the Oscars

March 1st, 2018

16:30

Ken shares stories and his unique observations about the Academy Awards and all the insanity that go along with them. 

EP60: The Art of Improv Comedy

February 22nd, 2018

34:02

Ken talks to Andy Goldberg who performs and teaches improvisation comedy.  It’s an invaluable skill for actors, writers, business people, anybody. …

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

February 15th, 2018

33:54

With pilot season in full-swing, Ken shares a story of one of his pilots that didn’t get on the air (get ready for a lot of fights with the studio) …

EP58: How I Write Comedy

February 8th, 2018

34:29

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

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

February 1st, 2018

38:51

Part two of Ken’s interview with network scheduling chief Preston Beckman.  This week they discuss ratings, research, programming strategies, …

EP56: How SEINFELD Got On the Air

January 25th, 2018

29:06

 … and other tales of TV programming.  Ken interviews Preston Beckman (aka the “Masked Scheduler”) who scheduled programs for NBC and FOX for 35 …

EP55: Let’s Do Lunch!

January 18th, 2018

33:23

Power lunches are a Hollywood tradition and this week Ken examines the rituals and which restaurants mean you have a viable career.    Ken also …

EP54: Are you ready for some football?

January 11th, 2018

32:06

With the NFL playoffs in full-swing, Ken interviews Dan Hoard, the radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals.  It’s a fun-filled episode of play-by-play …

EP53: Revealing the Secret: Who is Richard Castle?

January 4th, 2018

36:37

The TV show CASTLE spawned 7 novels supposedly written by the star, Richard Castle.  They became New York Times Best Sellers.  But who really wrote those books?   He also produced NURSE JACKIE, COSBY, NIGHT COURT, GRACE …

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

December 28th, 2017

29:39

Ken goes stream-of-consciousness this week, riffing on the end of the year, the industry, parades, bowl games, Disneyland, prime rib, Oscar season, and one of the great Elizabeth Montgomery stories EVER.   Start or end …

EP51: Holidays in Hollywood

December 21st, 2017

28:32

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

EP50: Behind The Scenes Cheers Episode Commentary

December 14th, 2017

30:10

On this week's Hollywood & Levine podcast, Ken Levine provides us with a commentary track for an episode of the popular hit TV show Cheers that …

EP49: Celebrity Dish Part 2

December 7th, 2017

38:15

More with entertainment reporter Arlen Peter who has interviewed hundreds of major Hollywood stars.This week they discuss Robin Williams, Meryl …

EP48: Dishing The Dirt On Celebrities - Part 1

November 30th, 2017

32:38

Ken grills entertainment reporter Arlen Peter who has interviewed hundreds of major Hollywood stars.  In Part 1 they discuss Mariah Carey, Barbra …

EP47: Leftover Turkeys and Tales from the Hollywood Front

November 23rd, 2017

29:01

Ken tells more crazy anecdotes of pitching projects, wants to know more about you, and serves some turkeys that are both hilarious and hard to digest. 

EP46: Thanksgiving for the Memories

November 16th, 2017

28:42

Ken gets you into the holiday spirit with tales of Thanksgiving – how to survive the travel, the hell that is writing Thanksgiving episodes, the …

EP45: Why I left MASH and Other Vital TV Questions

November 9th, 2017

29:04

Ken answers listeners’ questions about television including why he left MASH.  Also, Ken’s thoughts on the World Series and how being a sports fan …

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

November 2nd, 2017

28:18

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

EP43: My First Girlfriend…and Writing Assignment

October 26th, 2017

27:05

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

EP42: Charlize Theron and Other Dreams

October 19th, 2017

27:29

Ken talks to writer Avin Das about the Charlize Theron sex tape that he wrote and co-starred in for Funny Or Die.  He also reveals what it’s really like to be a production assistant on a hit situation comedy.  Plus, Ken …

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

October 12th, 2017

29:16

Ken tells crazy stories that touch on aspects of his career.  Getting bad script notes, being shunned at a radio convention, a Hollywood ending to be …

EP40: The State of the (WGA) Union.

October 5th, 2017

22:03

Ken talks with the President of the WGA West, David Goodman about the state of the industry – strikes and near strikes, issues the Guild hopes to address, diversity, opportunities, the health plan, and navigating this …

EP39: The Making of FAMILY GUY

September 28th, 2017

36:22

Ken talks to the new WGA President, David Goodman who was also the showrunner of FAMILY GUY.  David shares the process of making that show along with touching on his other credits which includes STAR TREK ENTERPRISE, …

EP38: Ken’s Bitchy Review of the 2017 Emmys

September 17th, 2017

21:48

Ken reviews the 2017 Emmy Awards ceremony in his delightfully unique snarky (but accurate) way.   Written and posted only hours after the annual …

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

September 14th, 2017

19:13

Ken and his partner wrote a pilot for HBO that they loved but the studio hated so much they tried to fire them. It’s another crazy Hollywood story …

EP36: Topics Galore & Win an Autographed CHEERS Script!

September 7th, 2017

26:55

Ken is unleashed.  Instead of one or two topics, he has twenty.  From TV, movies, sports, Broadway, hurricanes, Emmys, theme songs, songwriters, …

EP35: The Fascinating Lives of Natalie Wood & Ann Jillian

August 31st, 2017

34:03

Two former child stars who made it to adult stardom.  Ken discusses the life and mysterious death of Natalie Wood and then interviews his childhood …

EP34: The TV Pilot from Hell

August 24th, 2017

34:41

Ken shares the saga of a pilot he and his partner once did for NBC where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  Spectacularly.    If comedy …

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

August 17th, 2017

38:59

Ken and David Isaacs discuss their longtime partnership, how it formed, their process and how it’s evolved over the years, hard lessons they had to …

EP32: Why I REALLY became a writer

August 10th, 2017

25:04

As we approach the Emmys, Ken salutes the iconic DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and how it inspired him to become a writer.   Hint: Being in puberty at the time helped.  You’ll get the inside story on the making of the show (and …

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

August 3rd, 2017

30:23

Ken touches on many aspects of his career – radio, writing, and baseball.   You’ll learn how he met Prince Charles and almost caused an international incident, the secrets of the CHEERS “Bar Wars” episodes, useless …

EP30: A TV Pilot for Your Listening Enjoyment

July 27th, 2017

34:56

Listen to a failed TV pilot that Ken Levine & David Isaacs wrote and produced for Fox in 2003.  Now with a new (and better) cast, you’ll hear a reading of the pilot produced exclusively for this podcast.   Hear how …

Episode 29: My Stand-Up Comedy Debut

July 20th, 2017

28:45

Ken throws caution to the wind and does his very first stand-up routine at an open mic night. You’ll hear the whole set. How did he do? You decide. …

Episode 28: The Making of WICKED

July 13th, 2017

38:54

WICKED is the most successful musical in the last fifteen years.  It’s had thousands of productions worldwide and is still playing on Broadway.  But …

Episode 27: Comedy 101

July 6th, 2017

40:08

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

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

June 29th, 2017

32:34

Ken discusses the transition between comedians to comedy writers, and interviews EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND writer, Tom Caltabiano.   Tom and Ray started in stand-up together and wound up sharing an apartment together …

Episode 25: Adventures in Television Directing

June 22nd, 2017

35:40

Ken shares stories of directing sitcoms. He describes what it's like to be challenged by actors, how to win them over, and almost killing an actor. Then he discusses the many times he got fired in radio and how he went …

Episode 24: Interview w/ Filmmaker Kevin Smith Part 2

June 15th, 2017

45:05

Kevin discusses his directing process, the incredible story of getting CHASING AMY made, the even more incredible story of trying to write a SUPERMAN …

Episode 23: Interview w/ Filmmaker Kevin Smith

June 8th, 2017

30:23

Ken interviews filmmaker Kevin Smith, who has produced dozens of movies including Dogma, Clerks, and Mallrats. They discuss Kevin’s writing and directing process, how he broke into the industry, and who were his …

Episode 22: Hanks for the Memories

June 1st, 2017

30:35

Ken tackles a variety of subjects including getting Tom Hanks to star in his movie, dealing with agents, and the wacky fights he had with network …

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

May 25th, 2017

30:03

Not everyone in Hollywood is crazy. Just the people who worked for Ken. Laughs are the theme this week as he introduces you to some of the nuttiest …

Episode 20: Romy & Michele’s Podcast Reunion

May 18th, 2017

38:07

“Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion” has become a comedy classic. Ken interviews Robin Schiff, creator of those characters and screenwriter of …

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

May 11th, 2017

28:25

The last CHEERS episode drew over 42 million viewers. Ken discusses the making of that classic show, bringing back Diane, the filming, airing, and …

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

May 4th, 2017

30:46

A key element of any TV show done before an audience is the warm-up man. There is an art to this very unique role. Ken was the warm-up man for CHEERS …

Episode 17: How the Airlines Screw You and Why

April 27th, 2017

26:38

“Travel” is the theme for this week’s episode. Ken tells how he survived a cyclone on a cruise ship and how bad the ship’s lounge show was that night. Also you’ll learn that airlines make your flying experience …

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

April 20th, 2017

31:09

Ken shares five different stories this week – how to avoid the “casting couch,” how to rewrite Neil Simon (if you dare), Hollywood screenings, what …

Episode 15: Behind the Scenes at the Academy Awards

April 13th, 2017

28:28

Ken’s guest is Randy Thomas, one of the premier live event voice over artists in the country. She has been the voice of the Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys. …

Episode 14: From Hollywood to the Big Leagues

April 6th, 2017

32:02

How does a successful sitcom writer become a major league baseball announcer?   In this episode Ken shares his “Walter Mitty” story of how a midlife …

Episode 13: The Art of Pitching a Show

March 30th, 2017

28:05

Everyone has “ideas” in Hollywood. But how do you sell them? Ken discusses the art of pitching and how to turn those ideas into actual TV shows and …

Episode 12: Pissing off NBC and other TV tales

March 23rd, 2017

33:21

To avoid NBC giving away a big surprise in an episode of FRASIER that Ken co-write, they slipped it in at the last minute and NBC aired it sight unseen. The peacock was not pleased. Also, hear about the time Ken got …

Episode 11: Breaking In Is Hard to Do

March 16th, 2017

39:22

In this week’s episode Ken tells the story of how he and David Isaacs met, became writing partners, and finally broke into the business – learning lessons, making rookie mistakes (that you can avoid), and discovering …

Episode 10: The Making of FRIENDS

March 9th, 2017

25:36

FRIENDS has become a phenomenon. But what about the early days? The making of the pilot was anything but smooth. Ken shares things about FRIENDS you probably didn't know like Jennifer Aniston was almost written out of …

Episode 9: My Annual Snarky Oscar Review

February 27th, 2017

21:09

Ken reveals the most jaw-dropping Oscar ceremony in history. The winners, the losers, the blunders, the fashions, the politics, the red carpet, the …

Episode 8: The Romantic Comedies You Need to See

February 23rd, 2017

32:47

Ken reveals his favorite rom coms and why you need to see them. Some you know, but others you might not. Find out what you’re missing. For anyone who likes to laugh or swoon. Also, he’ll be introducing you to a very …

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

February 16th, 2017

42:41

The Magic Kingdom is this week’s theme and Ken has an expert who will give you helpful tips and secrets on how to make your stay at Disneyland or …

Episode 6: Valentine’s Day with Beyonce

February 9th, 2017

29:41

In this episode Ken tells about the Valentine’s Day he spent with Beyonce that resulted in them both getting a hepatitis shot.  Also, for writers …

Episode 5: My One Night Stand

February 2nd, 2017

28:42

Ken reveals what the Netflix algorithm thinks he wants to watch--we can't explain it, but the really think he wants to see Escorts, Love Actually, and Zootopia. Ok, maybe he does actually want to watch Escorts. And just …

Episode 4: Scaring Tourists and Other Delights

January 26th, 2017

28:23

As if Ken Levine didn't offer you enough with his blog and podcast, now he's offering you tips on getting more laughs. Ken teaches comedy writing, and this episode is begins with some thoughts on whether you can teach …

Episode 3: Take Me To Your Pilot

January 19th, 2017

31:00
Ken Levine has been through his fair share of pilot seasons, and if you're not in Hollywood you might not know about the madness that it is. So …

Episode 2: The Warm-Hearted Writers of MASH

January 12th, 2017

33:57

Get a behind-the-scenes look at one of television's greatest hits as Ken Levine discusses how the writers of MASH handled the actors' notes. Plus, we …

Episode1: Hollywood & Levine's Maiden Voyage

December 31st, 2016

38:07

For Ken Levine's first episode, he dives into the world of television, film, and comedy. He kicks off award season with some commentary on the Golden …

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