Monday, May 23, 2022

CNN's Story of Late Night pays Tribute to WTC Climber's 45th Anniversary

Back in November, 2021 while watching CNN’s Original Series “The Story of Late Night" on HBO Max we noticed a clip of someone we know on a show that we booked them on, that featured a premise we cooked up...some 40 years ago! 
 
The funny part was, aside from that hilarious premise, the clip they were showing was from The David Letterman (morning) Show. So why was it being used to illustrate late night talk shows ? Oh, BTW  that someone was none other than George Willig, who climbed the South Tower of the World Trade Ctr. on May 26th, 1977. Some 45 years ago!


At 6:29 AM the day of the climb, George started up the northeast corner of the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. By Ten O'clock, after signing a few autographs for police ascending in a window-washing gondola, he had reached the top. As he gestured and waved towards the crowds below, George was arrested by Port Authority police and was initially slapped with a $250,000.00 fine that was later reduced to $1.10. One penny for every story he climbed. 

We did an interview with George shortly after the WTC climb and became friendly. I explained to George my connection to Marty Ingels as a free agent to his Celeb Contact service. George introduced me to Steve Lefkowitz, his agent at N.S Beinstock, a sports talent agency at the time. He steered me in the right direction and I booked George on ABC's Super-Star Show and got some nibbles back from the talent folks over at the David Letterman Show. Nibbles turned into a booking for George to appear on Dave’s morning talk show. 

Believe it or not, after all the preps and travel arrangements were made and expenses paid, the Talent Coordinator up & canceled George for Dave’s September 19th, 1980 morning show…while he was still in the air! This was before Air-Phones, so there was room to negotiate whereas today we’d be up that creek w/o a paddle. We arrived early at the studio for rehearsals and timings. We, included me, George and his then girlfriend Morgan Brittany, the actress. Originally scripted for the Show's opener was David climbing up a 45 degree angle (alone) and introduce George as part of the guest list.

Yet, after a few rehearsal takes, the scene was falling flat. I was spit-balling a few ideas with the scenic designer and tendered an idea that with the help of a blow up pic of a brick building, we could pull off the premise that George & Dave (side x side on the floor) would appear as if they were scaling the side of let's say - the RCA building. Then cue Dave’s dog Stan who would trot into frame for the comic reveal. It worked. Worked well enough to get me a sit down with Neal Levy the talent coordinator at SNL…thanks in no uncertain terms to Morgan and the Chyron lady! Totally Freaky!

 
So anyway back in November of last year we were checking out this docu-series called The Story of Late Night. It follows Late Night Talk Shows from their inception to "what made them popular to what have you done for us lately". Then, while watching Season One, Episode Two and listening to Conan O'brien answer an interviewers question about the cultist attainment the Letterman show was getting and how he was becoming the paradigm (except for Cher, maybe) of Late Night coolness...there it was, the clip of George & Dave Letterman scaling the RCA Building from the Letterman Show ...       41 years ago. 

It was definitely a WTF moment and got us thinking - Me thinks someone owes somebody some money here. Just spitballing, but hey - this be CNN and HBO…Max no less. With a bit of investigation and apparently well placed messages we got a call back to discuss the matter from the production company. A win insomuch as they didn't tell us to F--- Off. Nope, these guys were from Canada. Happy to report that Canadians are very gracious people.

All in time for George’s 45th anniversary!


Talk about standing on the shoulders of greatness. We would like to remind people who have access to HBO/Max that my pal Stefan Nadelman has got George Carlin 's American Dream premiering on the 20th. Stefan is the Animation Director on this Two Part TV Movie Documentary series, focusing on George Carlin's career and ordeals both at home and on stage. 
 
Stefan of course, is the nuts & bolts behind his Terminal Bar tribute to his dad, Sheldon Nadelman. Sheldon not only worked the bar but also his camera and captured a unique segment in time with his multi-dimensional photographs. They depicted a particular time in NYC that was raw, gritty and true-to-life testaments to an Era...where Disney was nowhere to be found. A time when grown men would go into Central Park and never be heard from again era.
 
Stefan Nadelman as TB's director, music producer, cataloger and distributor transformed those timeless 35 mm shots somehow back into life. I had the pleasure to be cast as a few voices that breathed some life back into those characters from years ago. Coming up to almost Twenty Years!
 
Check out all the recent Hollywoodland very impressive work Stefan's been up to on his IMDb Page including some past gigs you may have noticed but had no idea it was Stefan's talent behind some of those animation scenes like; 100 Foot Wave, Bad Vegan, Tiger King Two, Into the Storm and watch out for his take as (Animator) on the new documentary about David Bowie premiering in September called:

 

Here's a special Transatlantic email we just got from Stefan and thought it was worth sharing... and it reads:

(5/23/22, 4:11PM) So I got to Cannes today and just had dinner with the crew. Headed to the pre-party and the I’ll join the “delegation” of crew members and we’re gonna do the red carpet in an hour or so. It’s happening!
Tune in! I’ll hit you back when the madness subsides. Stefan

WoW ~ WoW ~ WoW, we know people. Couldn't happen to a better more talented guy! 

We're so proud of him.

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Tom Clifford's VO unveils Za'atar Road's Marketplace

Za’atar Road is a curated marketplace exclusively dedicated to share with the western world a North American-based online store - offering rare and spectacular goods sourced directly from farmers and artisans who cultivate their products in the beautiful Levant region. 

We did the teaser video voice-over back in November of 2021 for Za’atar Road, opined as a direct route to the Lavant and all its verdant riches. What we tried to convey in the voice-over was the emotional aspect of the Levantine region and it's artisans, expatriates, descendants and enthusiasts with their desire and resourcefulness to provide people around the world with access to the regions authentic goods they can't find locally.

The region is rife with heritage and customs. We were asked to create a path to connect them with the world. The inspirational music track helped with setting the mood for a laid back but inspired voice-over. Hopefully, we added to the movement. And so: Za'atar Road Marketplace was Born 

Stretching along the eastern coast of the eastern Mediterranean region of western Asia, the Levant has been a crossroads of cultures for thousands of years. Art, literature, and cuisine have thrived here across generations as people shared their bountiful harvests and learnings with each other. 

Today, Za’atar Road gives the skilled craftspeople of the Levant an international market for their vast array of beneficial Mediterranean ingredients. For more than ten thousand years, the people of the Levantine region have shared the bounty of their culture. Indigenous spices, oils, honey, herbs, fruits, seasonings, and teas have been cultivated by generations of families who call the Levant home.

The Levant region is named after the French word “lever,” meaning “to rise,” and is made up of several countries and cultures along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Everything offered at Za’atar Road is sourced directly from farmers and artisans who cultivate their products in the mountains and valleys of this beautiful, generous place. 

One thing's for sure - There's quite a broad-range of select and like totally cool items featured on the Marketplace website that are seldom seen or even published. All sorts of items, that on their own are hard to come by, but are also so rare they can act like extra garnish to dishes or beverages we already serve. Take for instance Citris Tyre Lebanese Honey or Carob Indulgence - we'll take two, please! Geez, they even have cool personal items like Arabian Oud Soap bars or Avisaine Rose Water. We can only hope that our VO does justice to all the featured choices of foods and personal products that will add to the website's success. 

Click to hear Za'atar Road voice-over

 

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sag Awards pave the way for Oscars and Will Smith


We left off last month with the post script of the Screen Actors Guild Awards about to take place on Sunday night February 27th. It be — the first of the guilds to give out their big prizes this season. The guilds — your Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild, Producers Guild and your Writers Guild make particularly interesting predictors of Oscar season. The Golden Globes are chosen by some of the same voters, of which Will Smith won for Best Actor in King Richard...as well as a SAG (*Actor) statue. This might be the time to mention that Golden Globe saying: Be careful what you wish for!


It starts to get intense the month before they broadcast the SAG Awards. The DVD squares sent through Snail mail arrive two at a time. This is in tandem to digital streaming links provided by the likes of: itunes, Disney, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon. Some days you can't remember which one was watched and its content. Early in the process, aspects of SAG performances are jotted down before early dementia sets in.

                                      Click the fuzzy graphic above to a get a clear picture of how the SAG Awards wound up.


 

And of course there are the BAFTA Awards across the pond. It was the 75th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTAs, that were held on March 13th, 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honoring the best national and foreign films of 2021. Check out (the clip) of this year's host: the New Rebel Wilson and her take on Will Smith before...well, you know. I forgot that Will & his wife Jada Pinkett have made public - they're having an open marriage. Spoiler Alert, I see where Rebel was going with that joke.


Now the stage is set for the 94th Academy Awards with this years hosts; Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes.

Amy Schumer, is at a loss as to why Will Smith went ballistic over Chris Rock's G.I. Jane joke aimed at Jada's shaved-head hair style. Will walked over from his ring-side table to the stage and bitch-slapped Chris in front of zillions of people. Then, from his seat afterwards, tongue bashed Chris with a couple of 'F' bombs. You see, those-in-the-know, knew that Will's wife Jada Pickett, struggles with the hair loss condition: Alopecia. Chris' joke perhaps, went below the belt for Ali to see.                Click to View   ( Sans  F - Bombs )

 

Was Will's slap real...or was it not? Who will tell. What has me guessing, is Will's slap and Chris' head moving so smoothly in the slaps direction. No resistance whatsoever. Almost as if the slap maneuver were rehearsed and seemingly with stunt motion follow through. Gnawing, is that tiny little Ltd. Columbo voice in my head that keeps saying: Ah, One More Thing is Still Bother'in Me Sir. It's something that's been missing all along. Calling Miss Conspiritorial-ality. But, don't you think it's sorta odd that at no time did Chris ever touch his face after the slap...not even (as it is customary with such a ferocious slug) to check to see if Will drew blood!!       Ah Haaaa! 

Still, my money was on Chris for regrouping so coolly and convincingly...if he really did get Blind-Sided and Sandra Bullock was nowhere in sight. Though the Academy had their own winner. Yep, Will took home another award (Male Actor in a Leading Role) — The Big Kahuna itself — Oscar...Oscar! All with a tearful and heart-felt (except for Chris) acceptance speech. 

Of course the internet was abuzz with nothing else but the memes of the S-L-A-P between Will & Chris, albeit with different Photo-Shopped heads. Check out the two Vlads havin a GO at it.


 
 
Hey, it ain't exactly Chris Rock getting his so called comeuppance, but if you want to see other famous comedians (one named Chris) battle-it-out with each other, check out a Celebrity DeathMatch I performed as Chris Tucker doin a 'Nite of the Living Dead ' number on comedian Steven Wright's G-U-T-S — back in the day.
 


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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Fertile Crescent gets a Voice with TC & Company

The agency wanted to project an earthy organic voice delivery. And since the Crescent is around the corner from where life began on earth, we crafted a similar sounding Peter Thomas persona ala his: The Triumph of Man delivery he did for the Travelers Insurance exhibit at the 1964 -1965 New York World's Fair.                


The Bridge of Tomorrow  (project title) centers around the Ehden & Quadisha Valleys in Lebanon. Agriculture with its crop wild relatives originated 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent and expanded northward from the Mediterranean to Central Europe during the sixth millennium BC. 

Ecosystems like here in the Fertile Crescent consist of many hot spots of diversity as in Europe where genetic multiples of wild crop relatives, forest tree species and local breeds can co-exist. My job was to raise awareness of whole ecosystems facing new challenges. There's some urgency connected to all this as climate change and migration of people out of rural areas could genetically alter the diversity they contain. We tried to express that urgency by sounding genuinely concerned and a little bit awed by it all. Particularly with lines like: Because once a genetic resource is lost...it's lost forever.

They laced epic shots of the countryside along with the vo and on-the-ground voices of people remarking about the landscape variety. The Ehden Nature Reserve has the highest tree range in Lebanon. Landscape diversity allows the survival of species like; pine, fir, cedars and junipers.  

This valley acted as a refuge during glacial cycles. Some species having high genetic diversity adapt to changing ecological conditions. If managed as a whole ecosystem, all those valuable genetic resources of crop wild relatives, animals and forest trees, can be effectively preserved.

The Bridge of Tomorrow is a pretty sizeable docu-something-or-another coming in at: thirteen and half minutes in length ...And I actually get an end credit.

 Click to Play 'Bridge of Tomorrow' video

 

 


This year marks the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The DVD's, online screening links and e-Movie Cash (for downloadable movie theater certificates) have been sent out. On behalf of the academy we have cast our votes and the results are to be broadcast, Sunday night on TBS & TNT respectively at: 8:00 ET - 5:00 PT.



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Monday, January 31, 2022

Terminal Bar V/O flavors MarkForged 3-D Metal Printing Promo...Sorta

 

The copy says it best; Go from design to industrial parts at the touch of Print!

Markforged is a manufacturer of 3-D metal printers. They're an eight year old start-up company that's an essential manufacturer based in Watertown, Mass. They have the largest online fleet of industrial 3-D printers in the world. 

They bring software, hardware and materials seamlessly connected together into one platform called: The Digital Forge - cloud-based, AI powered and always improving. They have printers that have the ability to print with metals, with composite reinforced carbon plastics and recently just launched the ability to print on copper. I'm guessing that's some pretty big NFT's.

They didn't want a traditional voice or attitude insomuch that their printers were certainly not traditional. Geez, metal printing is rather unique in that they take a hunk of metal, not just composites or carbon plastics and let you cut things away to create just about any object. The production director initially contacted us in hopes of using the same tone of narrative voice we used in the Terminal Bar years back.

Well, as chance seems to have its way sometimes, the direction of the read shifted away from that of the TR attitude or timber. It is an unbelievable phenomenon in this business and it happens all the time. Get hired for one read and then being asked to reshape it, back off a bit here and emit a bit more personality there and Voila`... hardly recognizable. 

We did the session here in our studio with conventional phone patch. They suggested using the more fashionable format of Zoom. But, since we hadn't used it for a sure fire, glitch free session yet, we opted for a basic land line. After cyclone storm Sandy, most if not all the copper communication lines in our area were refitted with fiber-optics, making old pro standards such as ISDN no longer viable. Click Soundbar 



Speaking of cool things like that wave form generator, Stefan Nadelman, just happen to reach out recently to announce that he's the director of visual effects on Tiger King 2. Of course I mentioned the recent job due to to him. He thought it was great TB can still work wonders with the six degrees thing. He also finished working on the David Bowie doc that will roll out this summer. Plus, he's doing the final tweaks on a Netflix series called "Bad Vegan" that airs March 9.
And was excited to announce - that he started working on a new Judd Apatow doc about the one and only George Carlin. 


All this during the 40th anniversary of the Terminal Bar's closing on 1/8/82. Then Stefan throws this link at me to an art gallery on New Bond Street in London, England; The Halcyon Gallery. WTF, art gallery. He says: "Check out the link (below)... I guarantee you will be gobsmacked" So, I click the link. GTF. Bob Dyan's an artist. No no, an actual artist...a painter. You know like Tony Benedetto. And guess what Mr. Tambourine Man painted amongst a lot of other cool stuff. He painted the "Terminal Bar". Here's the link to click: Bob Dylan's Terminal Bar painting

Stefan continues writing: "Seeing this, you may wonder, is there a possibility that Bob Dylan, at some point, watched Terminal Bar and caught your voice-over? Could his ears have received the smoky tones emitted by one Tom Clifford?" 

One could get a swelled head every 20 years or so. Maybe the times they are a`changin.


 

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

TC & Company's Year End Holiday Wrap Up

 

On the heels of the "teen" years, we're literally & figuratively becoming of age as we arrive on the heels of 2022. No more rookie status. We're supposed to be passed the age of reason. You know, grown ups.  Just barely; with 330 days or so of another administration. Time to look back and try to digest, celebrate...even project maybe. Yeah, that's the ticket. Can't help but project that at any moment I'm expecting Olson Johnson to bellow: "Never mind that Shit... here comes Mongo". Only this time it ain't Alex Karras but a new variant of COVID that's even m-o-r-e deadly...and still no sign of Dustin Hoffman. Nothin to worry about, right. Smooth sailin all the way through to the 30's. Where my father, with regards to Broadway, thanks you..my mother thanks you..my sister thanks you... and I assure you, I thank you. How's that for your standard Yankee Doodle'in!

The operative 'words' for this year could be - (inter or multi)-disciplinarian. Either way the year felt a bit more stabilized than last year. The work was there, internationally in particular. The spirit's there stateside. The body is still a bit shy to go total normal. Even though I hear things are starting to just plop back to where they were pre-pandemic. Still wearing a mask but not diving into the Coronavirus section of the Sunday paper to see the who's-of-whom have been vaccinated in town. But there still doesn't seem to be a Clear Picture of what's presently happening...and where. Traveling are we.

Yet all-in-all, you could say it was a respectable year, in a One/Two/Booster COVID-19 sorta way. Below are a few highlights to the year Worth Noting. But, first why not a...

Click - to start off the Holiday's with a  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Wolfman-Jack

Music 'Producer Tags'...an Unexplored VO Frontier. Got lucky and was given the chance to voice what's called a: 'Producer Tag'. Generally, producer tags (sometimes called drops) are prerecorded vocal snippets. They often feature all or part of the producers name or signature at the beginning of most of their instrumentals. These tags also serve as artist provenance and act as an important function to an essential, but often overlooked, contributor to the finished song.

On a different note entirely and catching us by surprise is MTV's 40th Anniversary. 8/1/1981, and MTV turns forty... and hey, radio didn't die. As part of their original programming MTV/Paramount produced an animated Clay-Mation series called; Celebrity DeathMatch, where we were featured regularly. 'WE' as in the many-voices-of. One of the very coolest platforms to audition & perform tons of celebrity figures against the actual voice of Mills Lane (the famous World-Boxing referee) and two play-by-play announcers.


Not just another venue for voice-overs but a whole new world. What's the buzzword in the textile industry - Micro Fiber'ing. Tom Clifford stylizes the introduction soundtrack of: TexPro with a particular emphasis on: Technical Textiles -  A centralized market hub of Fibre 2 Fashion that gives information on raw material prices to patents and tenders within just a few clicks...to play


The ad agency wanted that gravitas to bill-board the shots of the founder and CEO of the successful restaurant franchise: “STEAKBARSUSHI” . The copy was chocked full of text with esoteric and inspirational phrases like: "There are many mysteries on earth...the power to surrender to obsession"
Just short of doing a scene from Patton was the idea of combo'ing the WM Jack protocol with George C. Scott... then let the throat rest. And Voila, there's your bottom! Check out how close we came to Redd with our VoiceOver mix on the link up above or right here at the BAR You'll feel much cooler afterward and maybe a little hungry.

A little more than a year ago in August of 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, exploded, causing at least 204 deaths, 7,500 injuries, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. Boehringer Ingelheim contributed funds that made possible first aid, medical supplies, psychological and financial support to Lebanese families and their family's friends.
The Creepy-Voice commercials returns for the new attractions at The Mortuary - being co-sponsored by Fanta and Barq's beverages and feature QR code interaction. So, point your phone at the square and we'll pop out at you with the full shtick...complete with a set of COVID-19 instructions.

 

Check out T'was the Nite Before (an all-StarGeezer) Christmas Carol (Click below)





 

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

HBO Max -The Story of Late Night | Za'atar Road, Lebanon launch

 Our latest assignment, felt a little like Mysteries of the Museum all over again. At least this time, let it not cost us anything to watch. 

So, here's the skinny - While viewing on 'The Roku' this past weekend, we happened upon the HBO/Max series "The Story of Late Night", being fronted by CNN. It's a bibliography of sorts about the after-prime-time niche of Late/Night TV and its hosts. Apart from that, it's another visit down 'Memory Lane' of the rich & famous & powerful in that industry and what it's like from the inside. Though, it was entertaining.

That's Entertaining - was more like it, because the show featured a cool clip of George (WTC) Willig and Dave Letterman doing a skit from Dave's morning show. I was agent'ing back in 1980 and had booked George on the show. I remember spitballing the idea off the scenic designer to use an overhead shot of George & Dave on top of a blow up picture of a brick wall (placed on the floor)... then have Stan-the-canine do his walk-on reveal thing. She went with it!

But, it caught us completely off guard to see George & Dave's wall bit at the very last 60 seconds of Season 1, Episode 2. Even more cool and surprising is that out of all the shows to highlight, this be a Top 10-er. Hard to believe, got a chance on SNL & George was actually canceled for that show while in the air to N.Y. Check it out

 

Back in the real world of voice-overs we've had the good favor to be cast as vo to introduce the founder of Za’atar Road to the world for a video promo web-opener. ZR is a marketplace exclusively sourcing unique products from the Levant

Born in the mountains of Lebanon, Maya Hachem has always been an advocate for her homeland and its people. After emigrating to Boston, she saw the opportunity to help sustain the storied artisanal heritage of the Levant that connects buyers with the goods around the world.

What we tried to convey in the voice-over was the emotional aspect of the region and it's artisans. The region is rife with heritage and customs...why not create a path to connect them with the world. The inspirational music track helped with setting the mood and tone for a laid back but inspired voice-over. Hopefully, we added to the movement.  And so: Za'atar Road was Born 

 is the realization of Maya’s mission to improve lives. A long time in the designing, they are so thrilled they can officially launch ZR's online marketplace. With a direct link to the website you can check out the floating voice-over gizmo for Za'atar Road ...connecting Levantine farmers and artisans with North American consumers...


 

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