Daniel Tosh Hates Producing His Own Show
It's almost "Hammertime" — as in A&E's reality show built around the '90s pop-rap sensation MC Hammer, his wife and his six kids — and the artist born Stanley Burrell lets us know that among those pulling for the series are residents of the hamlet where he and his family live, Tracy, Calif.
"We've had a tough 18 months in Tracy. Things have happened that got national attention — a little girl kidnapped and found dead there and a young man who was found to have been enslaved by grown-ups for a year and a half, chained up like an animal," Hammer says, referring to the cases of 8-year-old murder victim Sandra Cantu and the 16-year-old boy who last fall escaped after a year of imprisonment and torture. Both stories continue to play out as suspects await trial.
"All of a sudden, in the midst of that, there's the Hammer family with this show. It puts the town in a very positive light, on the map in a big way," notes the performer, who moved to Tracy 12 years ago looking to regain his equilibrium away from the searing heat of the spotlight after his public financial downfall in 1996, when he plummeted from having a $33 million fortune to being bankrupt.
"I think now (Tracy residents) have seen the promotion and publicity around the show. The town is very excited about it," he adds.
"Hammertime," debuting Sunday (6/14), also certainly will remind viewers of the charisma of Hammer as it shows the charm of his big, loving family — and his relationship with his wife of 23 years, Stephanie.
So many other show business marriages fail; what's their secret for a lasting union? "My secret was and is that I love her," Hammer tells us. "I've loved her from the time we first met at a church revival, and I made a commitment that I would never leave her. I meant that in spite of all my flaws and faults, she would stick it out with me."
THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: Stand-up comedian Daniel Tosh tells us he's glad to have his own show on Comedy Central, but working on the creative end hasn't been easy. "I did it solely for the paycheck, but as far as the actual work part of it, that is awful," says Tosh of being an executive producer on his show, "Tosh.0." "There are just too many meetings, so that sucks. But I do like to have a say. At least when jokes are awful, I know that I'm the one that said that's the one we're using." Overall he admits it's been a good change of pace. "It is a nice break for me. I don't have to jump in a plane every single day to go to some city to do stand-up, so I'm enjoying a new lifestyle for the time being. Stand-up is always going to be a huge part of my life and income. I'm not looking to replace anything. I'm just trying to mix up my day-to-day routine so I don't get suicidal too early in life," he adds with a laugh.
Tosh just hopes people will tune in to the series, which delves into all aspects of the Internet. "The show is a half-hour once a week, and the offices are close to my house, and my friends are working on it, so I'd love a few years out of this. Who knows? They only ordered 10 episodes, so I have till the end of the summer to prove that the show is worth picking back up. My gut instinct is always that the bad thing will happen, but you can't help but daydream and think the show will stay on the air. Hopefully, something awful happens on the Internet every week and I get to exploit it."
GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: "CSI's" George Eads admits, "I miss Billy desperately," speaking of the show's longtime leading man, William Petersen. During shooting of this past season, he recalls, Petersen "came by the set to visit with some family members. He looked at me, put up his dukes and said, 'Boy, I'll knock you out.'" He sighs. "That's life, isn't it? Sometimes our experience with someone is brief. Everything is so temporary. It's been nice, though, to have someone come on that I so admire," he adds, referring to Laurence Fishburne. "I learn as much as I can from him."
TAKE TWO: Grace Johnston is eagerly looking forward to the release of Chazz Palminteri's "Once More With Feeling" flick, in which she's part of the cast along with Drea de Matteo. "(Palminteri) was so amazing. What most people will be surprised to know is he has a great voice! He really sings. In this movie, he's a karaoke singer, and he sings all through it," says the actress, who recently pulled duty guesting on "The Closer."
The pretty brunette Johnston, remembered as Barbara Hershey's daughter in "Beaches," left the business behind for years because, she tells us, "I went to school. I wanted to finish school, and I did. I just recently came back." That's another reason she's looking forward to seeing "Once More" find a home beyond the festival circuit.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
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