Tuesday, August 11, 2015
The Jerry Fairfax Show
As with Clip Joint, I created The Jerry Fairfax Show as a show-within-a-show and designed it around the unique talents of Michael Chanslor who was a member of my repertory company for film and TV. I recognized a number of qualities in Michael that made creating a show around him an easy decision. He has a great sense of humor and excellent comic timing. Michael is also an accomplished musician and has done a number of scores for my projects over the years--Clip Joint, Point of Departure, Carrera Panamericana (1950-54) and, more recently, my Series of ONE show. As someone with his own post production company (Viral Video) Michael understands what happens to a project when the shooting stops and that, for an actor, is a rare thing which makes shooting with him all the easier.
The character I created for him was that of s showbiz 'never-wozzer' whose claim to fame in Hollywood was appearing in a small role in the TV series Name of the Game in which he had a scene with Anthony Franciosa. It didn't bother Jerry that Tony stayed in his trailer while Jerry filmed his side of the scene. Jerry saw that as an act of respect and confidence on Tony's part knowing the scene would turn out perfectly without need for his presence.
After a failed marriage and a lackluster career as a drive-time radio DJ in the heartland, Jerry has returned to Hollywood to do his new variety show. Unable to find an affordable studio, Jerry tapes in the San Marino home of the wealthy Dorothy Bloomingdale-Smith who seems to have a soft spot for Jerry if not for the crowd of showbiz staffers and hangers-on who descend upon her home for taping each week.
Viewers would see the 'raw feed' which included show content as well as the nonsense that goes on while the show is 'out to commercial' though Jerry and his staff would habitually lose track of time and often, in the middle of a gag, song or story from Jerry, Dave would interrupt over the PA to announce "And we're back in five, four, three..."
Kevin Courtright appears as Todd in the last part of the promo seen here; a much put-upon production assistant somewhat disillusioned to have spent over $70K at U.C.L.A. film school only to find himself as a go-fer on The Jerry Fairfax Show. Kevin, by the way, is the the author of Back to Schoolin': What Led Zeppelin Taught Me About Music
Though I would create gags on the fly for each of the actors appearing on the show according to their signature (or brand), sending them in with a bit and waving them out to keep things moving, it was Michael who did the preparation required to create a weekly show theme, music selections and a guest list for each episode. Every week, Anthony Franciosa was announced as one of the guests though, unaccountably, Tony never actually appeared on the show. In all, 190 half-our shows were produced.