Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How Larry Miller Made My Day and Week

174.8 lbs. And has been for 7 days. Could be worse…

The gym has begun flashing health tips on their LCD displays that also give class schedules, time (always 10 minutes slow) and the weather forecast, as well as advertising sale items in the pro shop (such as it is). One of the tips I saw today (while working through 2, count ‘em, 2 hours of elliptical cross trainer) was about a positive attitude (and body image) being a boost to health and weight loss. Cool. Towards that end, I got a huge boost today (it helped me ignore the guy on the treadmill next to me who decided to give me a lecture on how, if I worked harder on the elliptical, I could lose weight. I refrained from telling him how, if he kept his mouth shut, people wouldn’t think he was an ass. He was also given to ostentatious yawns. That’s right, I said ostentatious and MEANT it.).

I subscribe to the “This Week With Larry Miller” podcast ( It is one of the reasons I look forward to Wednesdays (I have a couple of podcast subscriptions that update on Wednesdays). Larry Miller, if you don’t recognize the name, is a stand up and actor. You probably know his voice or his face (He’s part of the troupe that Garry Marshall likes to use. He was the store manager who let Julia Roberts shop in “Pretty Woman” and the crazy hairdresser in the “Princess Diary” movies. Yeah, that guy. No, not Hector Elizondo).

Mr. Miller starts his podcasts with a piece of music that sounds like a college fight song and segues into the meat of the podcast by saying “That was the  _______ Orchestra and the ______ Dancers and boy tenor ________ asks the musical question, “___________?” (For those of you born during the Reagan administration, this is a throwback to the 1940s and live broadcasts of big bands on Saturday night). He changes the names every week giving a shout out to members of his staff or his friends or the guy who sold him the new hamper. The musical question is something different each week, too. Silly stuff and a lot of fun. This podcast puts me in a good mood every Wednesday.

The podcast is funny and silly and covers important topics such as replacing a laundry hamper that had seen better days and the subtle art of mashing soap scraps into a Frankenstein creation of a bar (made from parts from others). He has successfully melded four bars together, yet had an attempt at a “five-fecta” fall apart. The quest for the five-fecta is something he has compared to the building of The Tower of Babel (it’s in your Bibles, folks) and perhaps he was overreaching through pride and arrogance. He has mentioned this comparison several times.

As I listened last week with the discussion of the quest for the five-fecta and whether it was a Tower of Babel, I got an idea and posted on the Facebook page for the show: “Wouldn’t the five fecta be known as the Tower of Bubble?” One of my friends hit it with a “Like” and I thought that might be the end of it. Except that someone from the show commented: “Oooh, that’s a good one. I like that.”

It was Larry. Miller.  Oh, cool. “But that was last week,” you ask, “Why would it impact today?”

A ha.

Today’s podcast, titled “The Game’s Over and You’ve Won” (November 2, 2011) , the dancers were the SUSAN THATCHER Dancers and the musical question was “Wouldn’t the Five Fecta be known as the Tower of Bubble?”


Not only did I get the shout out in this fashion, but he discussed it for a couple of minutes and RETURNED TO IT. Oh. My. God.

Look, I have been a fan of Larry Miller since the 1980s (I remember seeing his stand up on HBO) and every time I’ve seen him since, be it in “Pretty Woman” or on “Law & Order” (2 episodes where he played a truly despicable character named Michael Dobson and then one where he played a comedian named Larry Miller. Typecasting on the third time), I’ve tuned in a little more closely. And here I’ve made a connection to someone whose work I like a LOT and not only that, been able to give a little something back to HIM in terms of a goofy play on words (He says on the podcast that he loves puns). What goes around comes around in action. (We also like Fab Hot Dogs in Reseda. If you are a fan of the tube steak, you owe yourself a visit)

I recommend to anybody and everybody reading this post that he or she go to or ITunes (or Zune. I am a Zunatic and proud of it) and subscribe to this podcast, including listening to some of the older episodes. Larry Miller will put you in a good frame of mind, lift the corners of your mouth and make the day/week a little bit better talking about soap and laundry hampers (and the Larry Miller Drinking Society). The elevated frame of mind is a springboard towards achieving goals and/or bringing better things into our lives (I’ve been told and choose to believe). Hey, if Larry Miller helps me get there, that’s fine by me.

You know what? Yeah, I’ve been stalled at 174.8 lbs. for 7 days, but that’s still 50 lbs. down (okay, okay 49.8. Jeez). And “If you were able to walk out of bed, had a job to go to, a home to come back to and somebody waiting there who cares about you, game over, you’ve won,” I’m batting .750 which is even better than Ted Williams did in his heyday.

And that’s the truest thing I know. Thank you, Mr. Miller.

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