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Preview: KCRW's Martini Shot

Martini Shot

Veteran TV writer and producer Rob Long shares his behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood life on "Martini Shot." A contributing editor for the National Review and Newsweek International, he was a co-executive producer of "Cheers" while still in his 20s and

Copyright: KCRW 2017


Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:44:00 -0700

Although he doesn't succeed in explaining all of the issues involved in the current contract negotiations between the Writers Guild and the producers, Rob does identify the key issue: it's all about the calendar

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Live tweet

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 16:44:00 -0700

Rob checks Twitter during a live appearance and reads what people are saying about him.  And then he makes mid-course adjustments.  Not proud of it, but he does.

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Wed, 12 Apr 2017 16:44:00 -0700

Rob tries to connect with the kids by having a bunch of meetings and coming up with a truly terrible idea. Just like Pepsi

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I'm Back!

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 16:44:00 -0700

This is Rob Long and on today's Martini Shot I actually do deliver today's Martini Shot. I've been gone for a bit. Please tell me you noticed. You did, right?

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Fan theories

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:44:00 -0800

Rob comes up with alternative theories about hit movies and television shows, because that's how you know you've got a hit TV show or movie, because audiences insist on rewriting it totally.

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Show running

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:44:00 -0800

Rob offers a depressing, comparison between being the executive producer of a television show, being an executive producer of a television show, and being president of the United States.

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What's new

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 16:44:00 -0800

Rob offers a soothing way to ring in 2017.

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My Friend's Place, 2016

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob take a break from complaining about everything and worrying about stuff he can't change and does something meaningful and concrete -- and then goes right back to the complaining and worrying.

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Fine Tobacco

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Today's celebrities try to sell you wine and cigarettes and hair products and low calorie beer. Also Studebakers and toxic breath freshener. In other words, it's hard to be a celebrity pitchperson

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Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob comes up with a better and more movie-star name for Benedict Cumberbatch. Archie Leach became Cary Grant; Frances Gumm became Judy Garland, and Benedict Cumberbatch should become Batch Benjamin. Otherwise he'll never make it big.

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Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob makes a glancing but significant reference to the election results, but promises not to talk politics. Instead, he talks politics-adjacent.

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Wed, 23 Nov 2016 16:44:00 -0800

This holiday season, Rob's declaring multi-device bankruptcy.

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Being a regular

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob makes fun of a friend of because he's relentlessly focused and totally impossible to distract, then realizes that he's actually very successful and happy because of these very traits, which is often the way it is with people we make fun of.

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Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0800

Pretty much every entertainment device since the magic lantern, since cave people sitting around a campfire, got hot, was dangerous, and could explode. The Samsung Galaxy 7 fits in a long tradition.

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Someone else's money

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:44:00 -0700

What would it be like to have your own magical and always-full ATM?  Sort of the way Time Warner must feel, as it approaches being bought by AT&T -- a new and endless source of money to spend.

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Call you back

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Silence, as we all know, is the most effective and cutting way to raise your voice....

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Place to Park

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:44:00 -0700

This is Rob Long and on today’s Martini Shot I spend most of my time talking about the second most talked-about thing in the entertainment industry, which is, where on the lot do you park? The most talked-about thing is, of course, when did you buy your house, and what did you pay for it.

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Bad real person

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob laughs at a couple of very famous people's physical misfortunes, and then feels bad about it because he's told they're real people, which is something he often forgest, because he's not totally convinced it's true.

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Is that out?

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 16:44:00 -0700

The secret of appearing like an insider: whenever anyone delivers surprising or unexpected news, just sigh and say, "Oh, is that out?"

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Damn millennials

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob takes all of those clichés about Millennials and flips them upside down, because A) that's a more accurate picture and B) he doesn't want to anger the young people

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Not You

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob tries to pace eating his lunch with a friend who is eating his lunch, but then he eats his cookie and Rob gets ice cream. And, yes, there is a metaphor about life in there somewhere.

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Friend, Me?

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob tells you the exact number of your friends who don't like you as much as you like them. He doesn't tell you who they are. You just have to figure that out for yourself.

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Forty Share

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob break his rule and talks politics, just for a moment, and just the only way he can: by talking about show business first.

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Hear the News

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob tries to step around the nasty arguments on Facebook without stepping in any of them, and still ends up having to scrape some of them off his shoe.

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Cos Play

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob tries to talk about Comic Con the way it should be talked about -- as a giant promotional event that's all business and no play.

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Wed, 03 Aug 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob shakes his fist at progress like an old, deranged man -- in other words he talks about Pokemon Go, and Hollywood, and how one is going to eat the other.

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Flipped Ghostbusters

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob takes a simple, successful movie franchise and extends its financial value by rebooting it, then reversing it -- which means he never has to come up with another original movie idea again.

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Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob dresses up as a famous movie character and beats the stuffing out of someone dressed up as another famous movie character, and they keep doing it until they get sued. 

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Wed, 13 Jul 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob makes a series of painful confessions surrounding politics, Interstate 40, Hollywood pettiness, and trying to be happy for other people's success. He more or less pulls it off.

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The Boss

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob helps actors with their headshots and writers with their pitches and even executives with their office politics. He says to stop worrying about the boss, because the boss is only worried about the boss one level up.

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Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob sends you a LinkedIn request to join your professional network and then endorses you for your many skills and then we both get lots of push alerts and notifications and we both wonder why we're on LinkedIn.

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Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob discovers that recaps are a really great way to get out of watching television.

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Make It Funny

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob talks about DC and Marvel, Sunni and Shia, and whether cancer can be funny -- all in three minutes. Yes, it's a stretch, but that's sort of the point. 

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The Marquis

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Some people just like choosing from among available options.

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Find It

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob on how hard it can be to direct actors, who are hypersensitive and ego maniacal and in that respect resemble everyone else in your life and on the planet, and that's: make them think it's their idea.

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Twitter Bot

Wed, 25 May 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob on Twitter bots, followers for sale, and because it's the law that he cannot be ignored, Donald J. Trump.

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Shutting Up

Wed, 18 May 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob tells us the best sales technique in the world, which is to make your pitch and then fall silent -- which he has a hard time doing.

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Super Fat

Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob eats ice cream and bread in front of an actor who needs to lose weight -- and he's not sorry about it.

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Other People's Money

Wed, 20 Apr 2016 16:44:00 -0700

How losing two million dollars on a show is something to celebrate...for someone else.

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Wed, 13 Apr 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Remembering a great teacher.

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Starred Changes

Wed, 06 Apr 2016 16:44:00 -0700

How the late Andy Grove, of Intel, helped make it easier for executives to give notes.

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French Exit

Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:44:00 -0700

You know when you're at a party and you're leaving and you make this long circuit to say goodbye? Don't do it. Do a French Exit. Just walk out.

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First Lady

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 16:44:00 -0700

There's no not-weird way to say this. Rob asks Nancy Reagan out on a date.

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Waze Trail

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 16:44:00 -0700

Rob's complicated and probably unsuccessful attempt at comparing the navigation app Waze to his current creative process. . .

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Wed, 09 Mar 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob fast forwards through all the screeners he got this year. It's sort of an industry secret.

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I Slay

Wed, 02 Mar 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Today's Martini Shot is all about Beyoncé. Well, it's about Rob and Beyoncé. That came out wrong.  It's about money and Beyoncé.

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Hot Costs

Wed, 24 Feb 2016 16:44:00 -0800

The secret to keeping your production on budget. Just arrange to have your credit card declined.

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Touch of Evil

Wed, 17 Feb 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob wishes he could do what Orson Welles did, which was to shoot ten pages in a night.

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Too Clever

Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob figures out how to save Al Jazeera America cable news network. Too late, of course, but he does figure it out.

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Boat Act

Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Is being a Donald Trump impersonator a major career move or a boat act?

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62 Million

Wed, 27 Jan 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob raises money for his candidate...not really. 

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Wed, 20 Jan 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob gets super financial and explains a hedge fund Powerpoint deck.

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Wed, 13 Jan 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob does what every producer in Hollywood does all the time: complain about the marketing budget.

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Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:44:00 -0800

Rob gives away all the secrets to Star Wars and doesn't even say Spoiler Alert.

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Spy Movie

Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Rob finds an old spy manual, filled with ways to sabotage any organization, and notices that all of them are in wide use at every major studio.

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No Complaints

Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Attempting the impossible for a writer in the entertainment business -- to be grateful and uncomplaining.

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Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Unsolicited advice to someone who is more famous and successful than Rob, just like a real journalist.

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Sell the House

Wed, 09 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800

A new rule for keeping a TV audience engaged in a show: you just kill all of the good guys.

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Listen In

Wed, 02 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800

What every tired and out-of-material stand up comic does: talk about the differences between New York and Los Angeles -- as if there are any.

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Too Many Interactions

Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Rob sets up an email to set up a conference call and then a text to remind himself about it and then a call after the call to talk about what happened on the call. It's called "work" but not much work gets done.

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Forget the Writer

Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Being a writer is a little bit like being a shepherd: it's quaint, people envy the solitude, but no one's afraid of a shepherd.  

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James Smith

Wed, 11 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Why movies succeed and why they fail and why the phrase isn't "The name is Smith. James Smith."

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American Graffiti

Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800

If you've got a political point to make, and you're clever, you can pretty much sneak it into anything.

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Presidential Traffic

Wed, 28 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob talks about two of Los Angeles' favorite topics: politics and traffic.

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Children's Movies

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob discovers that the most immature and impulsive segment of the population are old people who act like teenagers.

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The OODA Loop

Wed, 14 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Inside the OODA Loop of television development. It's a military thing, which, surprisingly, really applies.

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Two Hander

Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Why do TV shows have dumpy guys married to beautiful wives, and movies have really old dudes married to young women, but it's never the other way around? Rob senses a marketing opportunity.

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Many Meetings

Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob attends a meeting to come up with something really new and different. But it's meeting, so that doesn't happen.

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It's All Relativity

Wed, 16 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob sends a shout out to the bankrupt Relativity Media company. Because a successful movie and an unsuccessful movie both employ the same number of people, so more movies, more better.

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Peak Television

Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700

The TV business is like the oil business -- we keep pumping shows out of the ground until there're just too many shows and the price collapses. We need a show business OPEC.

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Safe Second

Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700

It's nice to have options.  This is LA, after all. Things fall apart. Projects collapse. People flake.

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Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:44:00 -0700

What primates do when they present themselves to each other.  It's what we do around here, when we pitch.

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob turns into the dark anti-hero he's always wanted to be.

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First Date

Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:44:00 -0700

On dating and television programming, which are a lot more alike than you'd think, both being complicated, expensive, and futile.

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Wed, 05 Aug 2015 04:44:00 -0700

Going back to a time when Dynasty and Laverne and Shirley were hit TV shows, now known as Empire and Broad City.

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Stealing Material

Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:44:00 -0700

With no original material, Rob does everybody else does: he steals from Twitter.

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Turn Left Now

Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Getting ordered around town by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who turns out to know the very best traffic shortcuts.

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The Olive Garden

Wed, 15 Jul 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Every entertainment executive should work at the Olive Garden for a day. Not exactly, but close.

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Open the Gates

Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Trying to do the impossible: to enter the gates of a studio and park for a meeting when it's the wrong studio and still maintain a small amount of personal dignity.

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Linkly Tied

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:44:00 -0700

What happens in Rob's brain when a pitch meeting goes well, which is that it stops working and says strange, nonsensical things.

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Forgot to Laugh

Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Wading into the recent controversy about what Jerry Seinfeld said about college kids. That they're insufferable killjoys.

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You've Got Nothing

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Explaining why a movie won't work at the box office, right after it hasn't worked at the box office.

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The Button

Wed, 10 Jun 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Using Evernote to prove that the entertainment business is about to get very crazy and very good, especially for writers. This is not a scientific conclusion.

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Who Did What

Wed, 03 Jun 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Breaking the tribal rule that binds all Hollywood writers together, Rob gives credit to a development executive.

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Leather Jacket

Wed, 27 May 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob takes a story with the worst and most dysfunctional moral ever, then kind of twists it so it comes out okay.

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Change This

Wed, 20 May 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Sometimes when the star makes a demand you give in, sometimes you don’t.

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Twitter Horror

Wed, 13 May 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Belated advice to Trevor Noah, and anyone else who suddenly goes from Internet famous to actually famous.

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Furiouser and Furiouser

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Furious Seven, Coca-Cola, and how hard it is to change people's favorite things just enough.

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Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:44:00 -0700

The big difference between sampling – where music producers reuse someone else's hook and borrowing, which is what comedy writers do to each others' material.

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The Machine that Spins

Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Rob solves the problem of television network programming

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Uber but for Meerkat

Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Meerkat is the latest amazingly disruptive and revolutionary app that manages to, basically, recreate 1950's live television.

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Liberation Theory

Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:44:00 -0700

The last place that might believe the characters from the show Friends could afford that apartment -- North Korea.

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What Can I Get You?

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 16:44:00 -0700

Next time Rob heads into in a pitch meeting and someone asks if they can get him something to drink, he's going to say yes.

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Need an Ending

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:44:00 -0700

What you do when you suddenly wonder what your life is all about. You do what studios do when they're making an expensive movie and they don't like the ending. They stop production and figure it out.

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Let's Get Entrepreneurial

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:44:00 -0800

The new and exciting directions the entertainment business is going in – a more disruptive and entrepreneurial way of doing business. And all of those words mean only one thing: the writer's not getting paid.

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You're Fired

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Getting fired, firing someone, and Rob's personal choice, just passive-aggressively ignoring them until they stop appearing in his line of sight.

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On Fleek

Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Rob's totally on fleek. And if you have to ask what that means, don't bother.  No one will be saying it in a week or so.

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Play One on TV

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 16:44:00 -0800

Sometimes really excellent actors have a hard time knowing the difference between things that happened to them in real life and on screen. News anchors, too. Not unrelated.

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Botoxing History

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:44:00 -0800

What the producers of the movie Selma do to historical fact as "giving history a little face lift and tummy tuck."

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Needs the Money

Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:44:00 -0800

The worst way to sell someone on anything is to assume that they need it. No one wants to hear that.

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