Featured

40% OFF NEW YEAR'S SALE

Only $150 for an intensive consultation on your script or manuscript.

Leaping into 2020, I’ve discovered I still have slots available in my schedule, so I’m offering a special New Year’s discount on my screenplay and story consulting services until the end of January.

40% OFF NEW YEARS SALE
Purchase
a $250 Screenplay or Story Consultation
for Only $150

Yes, the bargains abound here at the online palatial Dobkins Emporium! Click HERE to learn more.

G. Clifford Prout (1930-2020)

A great and noble crusader has fallen

Lost one of the great ones. Tomorrow, in honor of his passing, I will dress all the household pets and any coyote, raccoon, or possum I can capture.

Thankfully, Alan Abel is still with us.

Simple Gifts – Six Episodes for Christmas

Revisiting an obscure but beloved Christmas special from decades past.

SOCIAL MEDIA POST FROM DECEMBER 26, 2009
One night in 1978, I stayed up with my pop and watched an animated anthology on PBS called “Simple Gifts – Six Episodes for Christmas,” and it became one of my few favorite Christmas specials. I have not seen the special in the 31 years since that night, but now a stranger has given me a simple gift by posting it on YouTube. If you have the time, watch it. I dare you not to be charmed.” – Michael Dobkins

“Prologue” by Maurice Sendak

A Memory of Christmas” from Moss Hart’s autobiography, “Act One.” Narrated by Jose Ferrer.

part one

part two

“Lost and Found” from Fontaine Fox’s classic comic strip, “Toonerville Folk.”

“The Great Frost” from Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando.” Narrated by Hermione Gingold.

part one

part two

“My Christmas, an entry in the diary of Teddy Roosevelt, age 11

“December 25th, 1914” from a letter from The Western Front by Captain Sir Edward Hulse.

“No Room at the Inn” from R.O. Blechman’s “Tutto Esaurito”

part one

part two

Historical Roots of The Hollywood Show Biz Elite's War on Christmas

Cruelly candid photos from the front lines of early days of the War on Christmas!

I used to think the War on Christmas was an overwrought alarmist myth until I stumble across this photographic evidence proving that the Hollywood show biz elite has been waging a battle against the Yuletide holiday since the early days of classic Hollywood. This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

Silent film screen tart Mary Pickford ruthlessly replaces a decently festive Santa Claus Lane street sign with a salacious and smugly self congratulatory Hollywood Boulevard sign.
Boris Karloff and Ginger Rogers spread the holiday “jeer” by stealthily adding the roadkill remains of family pets to Christmas tree decorations.
Candid snapshot of snide glamourpuss Sophia Loren breaking into a home early Christmas morning to confiscate ornaments and replace all the children’s presents with coal.
Alan Ladd and Sue Carol gloat over all the cash and checks from grandparents they’ve found in Christmas cards they’ve stolen from neighborhood mailboxes!
Serial divorcee Ingrid Bergman and unnamed heathen hussy wearing druid headgear share a deviant moment of cruel satisfaction over informing a small child of the nonexistence of Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas!

Caroll Spinney

To create a character — the complexity of skills necessary for the simplicity of execution — is an amazing thing. I was too old to be part of the target audience for Sesame Street when it premiered, but my younger brother was.

My whole family watched Sesame Street during those early years when it when it was a brand new thing. It was witty, clever, funny, and entertaining, but it also had heart. And its heart was Big Bird.

There was something ingenious about making the “child” character in the ensemble also the largest, and all the other characters treated this sweet innocent giant with such gentleness.

At Big Bird’s core, literally, was Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer inside the suit, bringing Big Bird to life with something unique inside of him. Somehow this adult man could become a child again — questing, learning, feeling, growing as all children do.

It was a gift, especially for children making the same journey that Big Bird was making. That’s what true artistry is, a generous gift shared with us all.

This clip of Big Bird struggling with the death of one of the original Sesame Street character, after the actor playing the character had passed away provides a taste of what that gift was.

Imagine a child who had lost someone important — like a grandparent, a parent, or a teacher — seeing Big Bird struggling to process the same emotions and experience and loss. Hell, I’m decades past childhood but I can still recognize Big Bird’s feelings and confusion in myself.

As I said before, a gift for us all.

Rest in Peace, Caroll Spinney.

Dorothy Fontana 1939-2019

Dorothy Fontana R.I.P.

Sad news. Dorothy Fontana and I both worked on the Make Way For Noddy television back in early 2000s, and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her at a writer’s meeting for the show. She was a lovely lady.

I doubt I made very much of an impression, but I was thrilled because she had made an impression on me long before I even met her. There’s her work on Star Trek, of course, but she also wrote for the original Land of the Lost, Then Came Bronson, Circle of Fear, The Waltons, Babylon Five, and… even Wild, Wild West.

I didn’t even realize she had worked on that last one until checking IMDB. All of these shows were part of the pop culture stew I lived on back in the days, and she worked on all of them, and many more. The woman had a career and should be an inspiration to anyone with aspirations to write for television.

I’m glad we had her for so long, and I’m glad I got a chance to meet her.

50% OFF HOLIDAY SALE

Starting next week, I’ll have some spare time in my schedule for screenplay consultations and I desperately need to kick this Scrooge outlook I’ve been cultivating, so I’m announcing a holiday season sale. Bah, hum, er, humongous savings!

Purchase
a $250 Screenplay Consultation
for Only $125
Offer expires at midnight January 1st, 2020

Yes, the bargains abound here at the online palatial Dobkins Emporium! Click HERE to learn more.