Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snappy Answers For March 23

New York Times Obituary Of Elizabeth Taylor Written By Theater Critic Who Died Six Years Ago

Answer: Proving the theory that you should never get into an argument with the guy who owns the ink factory – he'll always have the last word.

Jeff Daniels In Talks To Play Aaron Sorkin's Third Version Of Me

Answer: Josh Charles, Peter Krause, Jeff Daniels. To say nothing of Ben Affleck. How can I complain? They could've gotten Robert Prosky or Wilfrid Brimley. By the way, that's no typo about Krause. Aaron told me that the reason (he thought) Sports Night didn't really work was that while he based the character Josh Charles played on my demeanor and overall approach, both he and his partner, played by Peter Krause (who was physically patterned on Craig Kilborn and Dan Patrick), behaved like I would have in real life. Thus, as he put it, there weren't enough conflicts since he had "two Olbermanns." I tried to explain that should've provided more than enough conflict, but I let it go. This also seems the right moment to mention that he had an alternate ending to the series in which the fictionalized version of ESPN is bought out by some evil guy who hated sports, and who turned it into a shopping channel. The guy he wanted to play that role, in the last episode? Me!

One other note. During the 2000 World Series I was walking up 6th Avenue when from a distance of two blocks, who did I spy walking towards me, but none other than Josh Charles himself. Thus I had plenty of time to prepare my greeting. When we finally reached each other, I stared at him, he briefly gave me that "yes, I'm an actor, I'll sign an autograph" thing, then his eyes opened wide and I got to say my carefully rehearsed line: "Excuse me, but you don't get to ask this question very often in life. Didn't you used to play me on tv?"

Josh and I had a very nice 20-minute conversation about which was worse, working for ESPN or working for Aaron's version of ESPN.