("Creative Guy")


IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This is not a real interview. It is designed to create the impression that it is a real interview, when, in fact, the questions were posed by one of Creative Guy's imaginary friends. His name is Harold. That's because the name Harvey was already taken, and besides, Creative Guy hardly ever talks to six-foot-tall rabbits. (Only in his dreams.)


Harold Goldstein*: So, Steve, tell me about yourself.

Steve (Creative Guy): That's kind of a broad question, isn't it?

Harold Goldstein*: So, Steve, tell me about your sex life.

Steve (Creative Guy): That's more limited in scope.** I'll give you that. But isn't it kind of personal?

Harold Goldstein*: Okay, why do you want to right a TV sitcom?

Steve (Creative Guy): Don't you mean "write?"

Harold Goldstein*: Sorry. Spell Check. Knows what I type. Doesn't know what I mean.

Steve (Creative Guy): Well, it's like this. Every decade since the 50s, there's been one -- and sometimes more than one -- great TV comedy. Lucy and Desi dominated the 50s; THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW pretty much ruled the 60s; ALL IN THE FAMILY, MARY TYLER MOORE and BOB NEWHART were the 70s. Then came M*A*S*H, which added a totally new dimension to comedy -- pain. CHEERS will always be a classic, and HOME IMPROVEMENT, SEINFELD, and WINGS have defined the 90s. There are others of course, but these shows have made my "see, even if it means skipping dinner" list. What's missing from this scenario is the comedy that will take us out of VERONICA'S CLOSET and into the year 2,000. I want to create that comedy, and I believe it will be SIX FEET UNDER.

Harold Goldstein*: Where did you come up with that name?

Steve (Creative Guy): I have no idea.

Harold Goldstein*: Okay...what's it about?

Steve (Creative Guy): That's kind of a broad question, isn't it?

Harold Goldstein*: I'll rephrase that. What is its driving premise?

Steve (Creative Guy): Death can be funny.

Harold Goldstein*: You mean death, like in dying?

Steve (Creative Guy): You know about some other kind?

Harold Goldstein*: Um, isn't that, kind of, you know...DEPRESSING?

Steve (Creative Guy): Everything in life can be funny. Think about a Bar Mitzvah. What's funny about that? Or a car crash. Give me a break! What's funny? We, the writers, make them funny! You think death isn't funny? Where have you been?

Harold Goldstein*: Death is funny, then?

Steve (Creative Guy): Okay, not death, per se. But the stuff that goes on at a cemetery/funeral home? Now THAT'S funny!

Harold Goldstein*: Is Hollywood ready for this? And, if so, is America ready for this?

Steve (Creative Guy): Well, maybe not Baptists or Mormons. But the rest of us are.

Harold Goldstein*: So, how funny is it?

Steve (Creative Guy): You'll die laughing.

Harold Goldstein*: That's the cheapest, two-bit pun I've ever heard.

Steve (Creative Guy): So you want better? Pay me.

Harold Goldstein*: Onto another subject. What else are you working on?

Steve (Creative Guy): I've got a screenplay called TRIANGLE and another one called THE BITTER SEASON, but I haven't sold them yet.

Harold Goldstein*: What's wrong with them?

Steve (Creative Guy): Nothing. But I'm what you'd call "A Complete Unknown," so I can't get Ron Howard to even look at them.

Harold Goldstein*: You mean Ron Howard, the director?

Steve (Creative Guy): No, I mean Ron Howard, the guy who owns the deli on East 53rd Street.

Harold Goldstein*: What is it you like about Ron Howard?

Steve (Creative Guy): The guy directs with heart. I think one of his early films was called SKYWARD. I love that film. You can't get it in the video stores, and I can't even find it in my movie database. But it was wonderful. Bette Davis played a crusty old aviator who taught a young girl in a wheelchair how to fly. I cried a lot. PARENTHOOD is another example of taking a great script and giving it a great touch. That's Ron, as far as I'm concerned.

Harold Goldstein*: So, Ron is busy. Who else do you like?

Steve (Creative Guy): The guy who played Meathead on ALL IN THE FAMILY. Rob Reiner. Great director. And Penny Marshall. Of course, Steven Spielberg. Can't say enough about that guy. I watched E.T. with my nine-year-old daughter the other night and was blown away by it. Again.

Harold Goldstein*: What if you can't find someone who's interested in making TRIANGLE, THE BITTER SEASON, or SIX FEET UNDER for that matter?

Steve (Creative Guy): I'm so sold on the SIX FEET UNDER concept, that if I have to go out and raise 15 million dollars to do the movie version of the script, that's what I'll do.

Harold Goldstein*: Fifteen million? Is that the budget for the picture?

Steve (Creative Guy): It seems like a good number, doesn't it?

Harold Goldstein*: What would you call the production company?

Steve (Creative Guy): Tombstone Pictures.

Harold Goldstein*: Wouldn't Disney throw a fit?

Steve (Creative Guy): "Tomb" is nothing like "Touch."

Harold Goldstein*: I take it your plan is to keep writing until something hits.

Steve (Creative Guy): If it takes writing twenty unproduced scripts to write "The Great One," I'll do it. Every time I write something new, I hone my craft.

Harold Goldstein*: Who is this Dave guy who helped you design the graphics for your web site?

Steve (Creative Guy): Talk about a jump cut!

Harold Goldstein*: I'm sure our readers want to know.

Steve (Creative Guy): Okay, okay! He's a really good graphic designer who worked for me when I had the ad agency. He worked on the PALE RIDER project, among other things. He's so good I had to fire him three times in 14 years.

Harold Goldstein*: Why?

Steve (Creative Guy): Because he would forget to come back from lunch.

Harold Goldstein*: Do you mean that literally or figuratively?

Steve (Creative Guy): Well, let's just say he disappeared for four days once. Didn't even call in. I never did get to meet her, but she must have been really something.

Harold Goldstein*: What is he doing now?

Steve (Creative Guy): I really don't want to know.

Harold Goldstein*: What other important people do you know?

Steve (Creative Guy): That was a really clumsy transition for a guy who wants to be a famous writer.

Harold Goldstein*: You're right. But shouldn't that be MY line?

Steve (Creative Guy): I guess so. But, hey, I'm writing both parts.

Harold Goldstein*: Oh, yeah, right. I forgot. So, Creative Guy, do you do a better job of keeping your characters straight in your scripts?

Steve (Creative Guy): What? Who said that?

Harold Goldstein*: What other important people do you know?

Steve (Creative Guy): John Hanson, Ric Jacobsen, Tim Baughman, Pam Benoit, Jim and Lynn McDonald, Todd Erickson, Becky Klein, Tony and Dawn Dempsey, Kathy Styer (and Brian-What's-His-Name), Wings Kallahan, Dave Durenberger, Paul McKee, Bill and Joan Brown, Ron Starke, Dennis Ross, Ryan and Carolyn Toole, Tom Tipton, Terry Esau, Duane Pederson, Tim Mahoney, George Johnson and Reid Johnson (no relation), Ken Wales, Brad and Heidi Stokes, Dick Breitman, Dick Young, Dick Smith, Sandra Seibert, Charlie Zahn, Sid Zochert, The Puringtons, and lots of other people. Oh, and Stan Stanek.

Harold Goldstein*: I've never heard of any of them, except maybe that Durenberger guy. Oh, yeah, Wales. Heard of him., too. Big-shot producer. Why are they important?

Steve (Creative Guy): They're good people. They're my friends. Through thick and thin. Nothing's more important that that!

Harold Goldstein*: Did they pay you to mention them in this interview?

Steve (Creative Guy): No, but I get 20 megabytes of hard drive space FREE with this web site, so I figured, what the heck? Give them a cheap thrill. After all, with any luck, the search engines will pick 'em up, and they'll be world famous, at least for a day, or so, on the WWW.

Harold Goldstein*: My, that was sure a bunch of commas for a single sentence!

Steve (Creative Guy): It was a complicated sentence.

Harold Goldstein*: If you're gonna do TV, you can't do stuff like that.

Steve (Creative Guy): Why,,,,,,,,,,,,?

Harold Goldstein*: Because viewers can't follow complex sentences burdened down with split infinitives, parenthetical phrases, implied verbs and hyph-en-ated-adjec-tives.

Steve (Creative Guy): You telling me TV viewers aren't very bright?

Harold Goldstein*: You ever seen WORLD'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS?

Steve (Creative Guy): That's an exception to the rule. You ever seen SEINFELD?

Harold Goldstein*: I rest my case.

Steve (Creative Guy): No, wait! That was MY line. The thing is, 6FU will set a new standard!

Harold Goldstein*: What if the world isn't ready for a new standard?

Steve (Creative Guy): As I've often said, "Put water in front of a horse, and it'll drink it."

Harold Goldstein*: Meaning people will watch anything that's put in front of them?

Steve (Creative Guy): Lord, no. I just mean horses are usually thirsty.

Harold Goldstein*: I can tell by your responses that we're really reaching for material here, so this might be a good place to end this interview.

Steve (Creative Guy): Okay.

* "Goldstein" was the last name of one of Creative Guy's college chums, who published the magazine "Twin Cities A-Go-Go" in an earlier (much) decade, before he went on to riches and fame as a real estate tycoon.

** You probably came up with a better comeback here...but this IS the LATE 90s, and I don't do tacky, sexist one-liners. After all, my wife is a woman (I'm not THAT late 90s), and I gotta live with her.




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