Life is an adventure or it’s nothing.
I don’t know who said it first. Probably some ancient, shriveled-up Chinese dude, zonked out on opium. Or it might’ve been a guy like me, a guy from Jersey, who’s only slightly shriveled-up, a guy who’s had a successful, decades-long career in one profession and is now starting over, plunging headfirst into an exciting new venture.
The new venture, of course, is my toy company. I want to tell you all about it. But first, I want to tell you how I got here..
I grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Even as a kid, my world revolved around comedy. Woody Allen. Laugh-In. Mad magazine. I collected comic books, then started drawing my own.
My first career setback: in fourth grade, Jack Faucett was voted Class Clown over me. Jack Faucett?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING?!? The kid was a hack.
I started out writing and performing comedic songs. I thought that I was the next Randy Newman (where would we be without self-delusion?).
In 1982, while writing for David Letterman, I appeared as a musical guest on the show. You wanna see it? Sure you do. HERE IT IS.
A company named Gadfly Records was foolish enough to release a live CD. You can BUY IT HERE.
I gradually transitioned into sketch writing. In addition to Letterman, I wrote for Saturday Night Live, Steve Martin, and others. If you’re old enough, you may remember a sketch I wrote and directed with Eddie Murphy called “White Like Me” for SNL. Wanna see it? HERE IT IS. I also wrote “Japanese Game Show” for Mike Myers and the late great Chris Farley. WATCH IT HERE.
I’ve also written a number of films, including I.Q., Sgt. Bilko, and Rat Race. Have you seen Rat Race? It was directed by comedy legend Jerry Zucker and it’s pretty hysterical. HERE’S A SCENE FROM IT.
Then, another transition, to episodic television. Remember the award-winning series “Monk”? That was my show. I created and produced it. Here’s a CLIP. If you buy the box set, I’ll make 12 cents. I’ll split it with you. BUY IT HERE.
For the last 20 years, I’ve co-hosted a radio show called SEVEN SECOND DELAY. Each week, we try to do something that’s never been tried on radio before. We call it “stunt radio”. Half of our shows are failures. The other half are disasters. HERE’S A LINK to some recent episodes.
I’ve been very lucky. I’ve gotten to meet- and work with- some of the most talented people in the world. I’ve written for the Oscars. I traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO.
Over the years, I’ve received a smattering of media attention. For example, New Jersey Monthly ran THIS PROFILE OF ME when they finally ran out of Springsteen stories.
Which brings me to my latest venture, UNCLE ANDY TOYS. Starting a toy company may seem like a big departure for a TV and movie writer, but to me it feels like a natural continuation, a logical next step in my artistic journey.
Check out my toys and games. Are they a little SUBVERSIVE? Maybe. Are they a tad IMPOLITE? Yeah. But hey, so are you.
This year, I’ll be introducing products like: a travel game for real, dysfunctional families like yours.. WHO TOOTED?, a board game built around a fart machine (available now from Goliath Games).. and FEED A PUPPY, the world’s first interactive animal webcam.
I have two goals. One: to develop a line of innovative, irreverent toys and games that are unlike anything else on the market.
And two: to finally prove to everyone in Mrs. Lavinio’s fourth grade class that they voted for the wrong Class Clown.
Andy Breckman still lives in New Jersey.
What achievement is he proudest of? Is it Monk? Is it a particular movie? His radio show? Or is it his family: his wife, Beth, his kids, Josh, Rachel, Julie, Molly and Evan, and his three beautiful grandchildren Lucy, Miles, and Ben?