Friday, January 18, 2008

Ken Levine

Today on my KMOX show, I talked with writer/producer/director Ken Levine, whose work you may know from some obscure TV shows -- "Cheers," "The Simpsons," "Wings," "Becker," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Dharma and Greg," and more.

We talked about his years on "M*A*S*H," where he and partner David Isaacs wrote such classics as the episode told entirely from a wounded soldier's perspective, Radar's finale, and others. Levine explained why, after leaving the show after four years, they returned to work on "After-M*A*S*H," which wasn't quite the smash sequel everyone expected.

However, Levine was involved with another spinoff that was pretty successful, a farce called "Frasier," where he got to write for a terrific cast of humans -- and a dog named Eddie. He took a few summers off from the sitcom world to become a major league baseball broadcaster, which he recounted in his memoir, "It's Gone! No, Wait A Minute" (yes, I had him explain the title).

Of the last couple of months, Ken has been walking the Writers Guild picket line, so he provided an update on new developments on that story, including the impact of the Directors Guild making a deal with the studios yesterday.

Listen, then read Ken's blog.