Did MAD TV Rip Me Off?

After producing and directing “The Riot Act” — a live sketch comedy show in Hollywood in 1995 — I sent a couple of the sketches I wrote to the producers of MAD TV as samples of my work.  Years later, I discovered they had subsequently produced a sketch that was incredibly similar to one of the scripts I sent them.  I have assembled the two videos back-to-back for comparison.  You be the judge.  What do you think?

Santa Clarita Philharmonic

I was recently asked to photograph a concert performance of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic Orchestra.  In case you didn’t know that Santa Clarita has its own philharmonic orchestra, it is an incredible ensemble of local musicians, whose mission statement is to “preserve the art of orchestral music while providing the opportunity for amateur, retired, professional, semi-professional, and student musicians to have a rewarding outlet for their talent.”

It was a tremendous honor to photograph this event and I hope you enjoy some of the photos I took.

More information on the SC Philharmonic.

 

Typewriter

Diversity in Casting

(Stevenson Ranch, CA) — Writer-Director Braddon Mendelson today proposed a one-sentence notice for writers to add to their screenplays and teleplays regarding the casting of minorities in movies and television productions.

The proposed wording would be as follows:

Author’s Note on Casting Diversity:
Where a specific character’s race or ethnicity are not pertinent to the story, the author encourages casting the role from a diverse selection of performers.

Mendelson said the statement could be contained on a page following the title page.

“While this won’t solve the problem of providing more roles to minority actors,” explained Mendelson, “my hope is that it will remind filmmakers to be conscious about diversity when making casting decisions.”

Mendelson has forwarded copies of the Author’s Note on Casting to the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA.

theater and marquee

UPA Documentary Website

Anyone who has seen a Mr. Magoo cartoon is familiar with the iconic mid-century modern style of United Productions of America, aka UPA Pictures.  Founded in the 1940s by former Disney employees, for over three decades UPA set the standard for artistic expression in animation.  In addition to Magoo, UPA produced hundreds of animated shorts, documentaries, commercials and a handful of features. A new documentary is in the works, “The Boing Heard Round the World,”  that will present the story of UPA to a mass audience.

I was honored to have been chosen to create the website for the documentary.  The site, in addition to promoting the film, is arguably the most comprehensive compendium of UPA history and information available on the web.  Perhaps that’s because the executive producer and director of the documentary — and the person who hired me to create the website — is Tee Bosustow, son of Stephen Bosustow, one of the UPA founders.  Thanks you Tee, for entrusting me with this project.

The three beautiful pages of artwork that bring you into the site were created by artist Fenway Fan and art director G. Garry Black faithfully designed with the mid-century modern look of UPA — with a tiny bit of added web animation done by yours truly.

Enter the theater and enjoy.

Woman Arrested for Counterfeiting Blames TheSkunk.org

A woman was arrested for counterfeiting in Tennessee after she tried passing off a fake five dollar bill at a market.  The clerk called police, who arrested her after discovering she was trying to make a purchase with a counterfeit bill, both sides of which appeared to have been printed with a home printer and then pasted together.   She was also in possession of a fake hundred-dollar bill in her purse that had been glued together with one side upside down.  Authorities subsequently found in her home a printer, reams of printer paper and thousands of dollars in fake bills that wouldn’t even be believable as monopoly money.

Her defense was that President Obama had passed a law making it okay to print your own money.  According to CBS Washington, she told police, “I don’t give a ****, all these other b****** get to print money, so I can too!” She was apparently referring to an article I wrote for TheSkunk.org in 2009 titled “Obama Wants Citizens to Print Their Own Money.”

It’s sometimes nice to see how far a reach my influence has.

Map of territory of Braddon, Tasmania

Visit My Namesake City

Come visit the beautiful town of Braddon, Australia.  As much fun as it is to tell people this place was named after yours truly, according to Wikipedia, Braddon was name after an Australian legislator named Sir Edward Braddon.  Sir Edward participated in the writing of the Australian Constitution and was the Premier of Tasmania from 1894-1899. Tasmania also has its own area called Braddon.

Apparently, Braddon is also a very hip place to eat.

Sir Edward Braddon and Braddon Mendelson

Braddon, Australia is located on the south-east side of Australia, in a northern suburb of an area called Canberra, and was settled in 1922.

Braddon Mendelson is located on North America, in a northern suburb of an area called Los Angeles County.

Here’s a map, if you need directions:

For more information on Braddon, the city in Australia, click here.

For more information on Braddon — me — click here.

Cover of book Have You Seen the Tickle Bug?

Never Too Busy to Laugh

My children’s book “Have You Seen the Tickle Bug?” celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

The story of the little purple creature whose sole ambition in life is to make people laugh, is available from Amazon.com and other online retailers.

If you are so inclined, you can purchase a copy here.