There’s an old saying:
“Life is an adventure or it’s nothing”.
I don’t know who said it first. If nobody claims it soon, I’m gonna say I did. It doesn’t matter who said it. I’ve come to believe it’s true. An adventure or nothing. Which is why, after a decades-long career in one profession I am suddenly, inexplicably, plunging headlong into something completely different.
The something different is my toy company. I want to tell you about it. But first, I want to tell you how I got here…
I grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. My world revolved around comedy. Woody Allen. Laugh-In. Mad magazine. I collected comic books.
Then I started drawing my own.
My first career setback: in fourth grade, Jack Faucett was voted Class Clown instead of me. Jack Faucett?! You can’t be serious! The guy’s a hack. Ask anyone. His impression of Mrs. Lavinio wasn’t half as good as mine.
Professionally, I started out writing and performing comedic songs. Only one thing held me back: my near-total lack of musical talent.
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.
Gadfly Records was foolish and desperate enough to release a live CD. You can BUY IT HERE.
I gradually transitioned into sketch writing. After Letterman, I wrote for Saturday Night Live, Steve Martin, and others. 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 written a number of films, including I.Q., Sgt. Bilko, and Rat Race. Rat Race was directed by comedy legend Jerry Zucker and I’m pretty proud of it. HERE’S A SCENE FROM IT.
Then, another transition, to episodic television. Remember “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.
These days, I’m working on another series. It’s called The Good Cop. It’s on Netflix and stars Tony Danza and Josh Groban. It’s the show I was born to write. CHECK IT OUT.
Also, for the last 20-plus years, I’ve co-hosted a radio show called SEVEN SECOND DELAY. Each week, we try to do something that’s never been done 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 lucky. I’ve gotten to hang with and work with people I’ve always admired. I’ve written for the Oscars. I traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO.
Along the way, I’ve received a smattering of media attention. For example, when they ran out of Springsteen stories, New Jersey Monthly ran THIS PROFILE OF ME
Which brings me- finally- to UNCLE ANDY TOYS. Starting a toy and game company may seem like a big departure for a TV and movie writer, but to me it feels like a natural continuation. The toy business is basically show business with dice.
Check out my budding line toys and games. Are they a little SUBVERSIVE? Perhaps. Are they a tad IMPOLITE? Yeah. But hey, so are you.
Our current line includes: SHIT HAPPENS, a party game as crude and unpredictable as life itself.. REAL-LIFE TRAVEL BINGO, a travel game for real, dysfunctional families like yours… WHO TOOTED?, a board game which combines America’s two favorite pastimes: poker and farting.. and LITTLE DIABLO, a trash-talking doll featuring the voice of Jon Lovitz..
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.