Thursday, November 28, 2019
And time for me to give thanks, for everything that made this blog possible this year:
- The pubes in my frat’s bathroom
- Not dropping my friend’s baby
- International Joe Day
- Grilled foot
- The teasing squirrel
- Pete Rose calling me
- Spiked soda in a child’s lunch
- Writer/director/actor/masturbator Louis CK
- Roach Prison, the movie
- Three-year-olds with mohawks
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
So we celebrated Ricky’s day at home, I thought it was particularly special to watch the Kingsman scene together, in which Eggsy is ordered to shoot his puppy. You know, because witnessing the alternative is the best gift of all.
Monday, November 25, 2019
I had a chance to do just that yesterday, although it was a comedy scene. I participated in a talent blast, and got to perform in from of a room full of people, including six casting directors and two directors.
It was a rare chance for instant gratification, and I really liked it. My scene, about a handmade Valentine’s Day romantic coupon book gone horribly wrong, got great laughs. Very little feels better than that.
Speaking of performing, look at these knuckleheads:
DOGS, BRUH!!!💪🔥🤣🐶😭 pic.twitter.com/x3dllflZ9U— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 19, 2019
Friday, November 22, 2019
Thursday, November 21, 2019
You can thank the film’s director Garry Marshall for that. Garry made a lot of movies, and was also a producer of TV shows like “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley” (starring his sister Penny, whom Garry isn’t afraid to admit was a nightmare on set) and “Mork & Mindy.”
Garry unfortunately passed away a few years ago, but not before he wrote a great autobiography, which I’m in the middle of reading.
He was easily one of the nicest guys in the business, so when a movie he was producing called The Grasshopper got off to a rocky start, he and his producing partner Jerry Belson were faced with a dilemma:
“Every time we got ready to start, director Don Medford said he needed another week to prepare. After five weeks, we had to fire Don. Jerry and I were nervous wrecks because we had never fired anyone before. I don’t love confrontations, so after we broke the news to Don, we left in a hurry. I realized when we reached his apartment lobby that I had forgotten my glasses, but we didn’t dare go back. It was easier for me to buy a new pair.”In the second season of “Mork & Mindy,” Garry wanted to cast famous guest stars:
“Raquel Welch played an alien romantic interest for Mork. When she arrived for work the first day, I asked Raquel if there was anything I could do for her. She startled me when she said, “Buy me a television.” I of course wanted to make her as happy as possible, so I bought it for her. I thought she wanted it for her dressing room, but she took the TV right home.”
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
I had an entirely satisfying Uber ride home from LAX two weeks ago (you earned the 5 stars and 25% tip, Hyun), despite all the backlash the new system here is receiving.
Something had to be done; it was becoming an impossible logjam on the arrival level. I live three miles from LAX, and it once took me 90 minutes (granted it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving) to get into the airport to pick someone up. LAX had to respond. They did.
As of November 1st, there are no more pickups by taxis, Uber or Lyft at the terminals. Instead, new buses have a dedicated lane, and run constantly around the horseshoe, picking up passengers and taking them to Lot 1 in the airport, where hired rides can take them home. (Loved ones can still pick you up at the terminals, only now crazy faster.)
“PASSENGERS STRANDED FOR HOURS WAITING FOR THEIR UBERS!” was splashed across the Internet when this began on November 1st. Must you, haters? LA is the best city in the world. Don’t be jelly.
Why it’s my job to demystify all this bullshit I’m not sure. But I love LA and I’m happy to do it. So come visit me, friends. I’ll come pick you up so fast, I won’t even come to a complete stop.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Monday, November 18, 2019
Yeah, my actual dad had a bit of a problem with booze, and my younger brother hit rock bottom before cleaning himself up and becoming New York’s preeminent intervention specialist. So I’m a kind of familiar with this stuff.
This made it that much more special when I attended a friend’s 15th “birthday” of sobriety on Saturday. I’m really proud of this person, who recently married well and is super driven and talented. It was a fun party – we celebrated at Bowlero. Congrats, friend. Really well done.
Friday, November 15, 2019
Now I’ve got a heap of shows to watch as I’m on the nominating committee for the SAG Awards. Every day, my mailbox is stuffed with all sorts of screeners. I’d be overwhelmed if it weren’t for this being the most pleasurable undertaking ever –I have to spend every waking moment watching TV. My whole life has led up to this moment.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
I auditioned for a Lexus “December to Remember” commercial a couple months ago – cute wife and daughters hide the novelty-size gift bow from nutty dad – and felt good about it. Then I received an email from my agent and I felt great about it: Lexus wanted to know if my passport was up to date. I was one of the final two choices to play the dad, and the commercial was shooting somewhere that had snow in August.
Then the phone never rang so I assumed it was never them. The commercial came out great, except I’m not in it. And it’ll run a cajillion times for the next couple months. Easy come, difficult go.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
I fall into a slightly different, yet entirely nerdy category. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with sports uniforms. 12 years ago, I came across a website run by a guy who shares my passion – along with a very large audience of guys like me.
Uni Watch is a daily blog that bills itself as “The Obsessive Study of Athletics Aesthetics.” It was created by Paul Lukas, a very talented Brooklyn-based writer who has been on staff for The Village Voice, ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
Paul constantly appears on TV and radio shows, as he has become the preeminent uniform historian and inside guy. (He gets invited to and covers the Super Bowl halftime Puppy Bowl!) He created a true community on his site, happily crediting guys like me who spot an interesting uniform quirk and let him know about it. (If you’re still not quite getting it, check out this column that Paul wrote for ESPN about the many oddities of the Dallas Cowboys uniform. You don’t need to love sports to find this fascinating.)
Over the weekend, Paul came out to San Diego to cover the Padres’ new uniform reveal. Whenever he travels, he tries to host a Uni Watch gathering party at a local bar. Sunday, it was Wonderland Ocean Pub in San Diego. I was so excited he’d finally made it to Southern California, I drove down to join in.
By the way, Paul, and many of his readers, tend to prefer classic looks, like the football uniforms worn by Penn State and Alabama, and Maryland’s splashy design is considered blaspheme on the site. Paul got a kick out of my jersey nonetheless.
Yeah, we’re nerds alright. But cool people, they didn’t name a candy after you, did they? Case closed.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
My blog is far from perfect, but I’ve certainly put in the time. As is customary, whenever I hit a milestone, I choose my favorite five entries from the last 100 posts:
Flowing. Such a happy day, until the champagne stung my eyes and gave me brain freeze. Celebrate in a my pleasure/pain here.
My Role. I considered wandering off set, gun in hand, and shouting “Official police business!” on a crowded street. (DNA Killer. Coming to TV this spring!) Instead, follow protocol with me here.
I Tour The TWA Hotel. Remember when flying used to be fun? Me neither. We were all born too late. Role-play the old days with me here.
Two Days At The Ballpark. I love the Yankees. I also love eating. And being on TV. See my head almost explode here.
Homecoming Weekend Part I: Xfinity And Beyond. Before college, I didn’t have a degree, or any idea what I wanted to do with my life. But NOW I have a degree. Let’s get some mileage out of that diploma here.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Brett Harper is not having such an easy time of it. He’s a romance novelist whose wife has passed away, and without his muse, Brett has severe writer’s block. Suddenly, his wife appears in the form of a ghost, still dressed in her bloody hospital gown. (She was hit by a car, and mental note – whatever you’re wearing when you die is what you’ll wear for eternity.) Hilarity ensues.
Brett is played by my friend John Kapelos in the new stage production The Last Word. It’s running at the Garry Marshall Theatre, which is Garry’s old Falcon Theatre, renamed for him after he died. I’m coincidentally in the middle of reading Garry’s autobiography, which made this all the more special. J
John is perfect for the role and captivating and funny even pulled a bit of old Second City improv magic by working my name into Saturday night’s performance. In a line about an old friend, he said, “Max? You mean Max Shevin?” I was sitting in the front row and this made me smile throughout the entire second act. Little did John know my grandfather’s name was Max Shevin, and I’m named after him. (It’s Jewish custom not to name a baby after a relative who is still alive, but instead to use the relative’s first initial. Max = Matt.)
Friday, November 8, 2019
Thursday, November 7, 2019
The incident happened Saturday, when he was hit in the mouth by a bat before his baseball game. The best part: he did it to himself. Nice bat control from a three-time all-star. Also, terrific timing, two days after Halloween. Could have made for a kickass and appropriate costume: Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
I thought about my time with her and so many other amazing memories all weekend. I’d call my college years the good old days, except back then I had to buy my professors’ terrible books for 80 bucks each, and nowadays I have a Pit Bull and a career and a place by the beach. And yet, watching college football on a crisp autumn day with my fraternity brothers really felt like home.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Years ago, a young Matt Shevin discussed his emotions with his therapist, and said to her: “There’s a basketball player at my school who opposing teams try to constantly rattle. They trash-talk him all game, but get frustrated because he won’t respond to any of it.” That player was Joe Smith – at the time, the best player in the country. He was drafted #1 overall, and played in the NBA for 16 years. Saturday, I related that story to Joe, pictured above, and he was very amused.
My frat brother Buzzy keeps his keys on a University of Maryland lanyard, and noticed that Joe had a Dallas Cowboys lanyard sticking out of his pocket – a big no-no in Redskins country. “Joe,” Buzzy said to him, “I would love for you to do two things for me: replace that lanyard with a Maryland one, and drop that Cowboys lanyard in the trash.” Buzzy gave Joe his UM lanyard, and Joe immediately dropped the Cowboys lanyard in the trash.
Who knew homecoming could be so remarkable? Count me in from now on.
- There’s a notion among some that grown men shouldn’t wear sports jerseys. The jersey I’m wearing in the lede picture is game-used by a Maryland tight-end, and I think it’s the most beautiful jersey in all of sports. Because of Kevin Plank, we are the flagship campus of Under Armour, and they outdid themselves.
- When I told my therapist about Joe Smith being impervious to taunting, her response was: “That’s all going to bottle up inside him until he explodes.” Not so much, even in the face of tough financial adversity. Joe made $61 million over his career, but his agents fleeced him for most of it. He’s now in debt and putting his life back together, always smiling.
Coming tomorrow, Part III: get to know the men who hazed me.
Monday, November 4, 2019
This week, I’ll be name-dropping famous Maryland athletes from my alma mater. It all began Friday, the first night of homecoming weekend, as the Maryland basketball team had a preseason game.
Tomorrow: I get together with another giant while offering a peak into a younger Matt Shevin’s mental state.
Friday, November 1, 2019
Thanks for covering it, Mom and Dad. I loved college, and today, I’m heading back to the University of Maryland for homecoming. I’m going to see my frat brothers, tailgate and get extra sentimental about things like decorating my dorm room with furniture found exclusively on the side of the road.
Flying out super early this morning. Appropriate pics when I get back.