Transcript: Star of Your Own Show
Rob Long on the complicated dance of Hollywood frenemies
This is Rob Long with Martini Shot for The Ankler.
A writer friend of mine offers this moral puzzler. You are traveling in the Brazilian rainforest. You come across an aging, though for some reason still spry Adolf Hitler. You tell him that he is the greatest villain of the twentieth century and that it will give you great pleasure to turn him in to the authorities and you hope to see him hanging at the end of a rope.
And he says, “I’m really sorry to hear that, but for the record I really enjoyed your last show.”
And you say, well, I mean, well, thank you first of all. And you know, what’s the point of stirring everything up, I guess. I mean, you’re going to die here in the jungle, right?
I am definitely going to die here in the jungle.
And that’s because writers get angry, and have feuds, have enemies, but there are always ways to make peace.
For instance, I was having lunch with a friend of mine once and he suddenly looked up from his Cobb salad.
"Oh, here's something I forgot to tell you," he says. "You know who I ran into the other day?"
And he mentions the name of a writer that I'd worked with almost 10 years ago.
A nice guy. Good writer.
We had hired him to work on the staff of a show we were doing back then. The show was cancelled eventually — do I really have to specify that, each time? Look, let's just stipulate, at the outset, that when I refer to a "show we were doing back then," it's a show that was cancelled. You'll know when I have a show on that's not cancelled because instead of talking about the minor disappointments and tiny humiliations and petty little rebellions I've noticed or enacted in my career, I'll start talking about the "art" of writing and the "craft" of storytelling.
Oh, who am I kidding? You'll know I have a successful show on the air when I'm suddenly not here. When I'm suddenly in Mauritius.