An Interview with Bob Rafelsen

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is basically Bob's back story. He's going to be a regular in the fic, so he needs a little something here. Also, due to some of the overtones of this, I would probably have to give this an R rating, just as a precaution. Also, text in red indicates notes that aren't part of the interview, such as an action Bob or the interviewer takes, or a certain tone of voice Bob uses. And in case any of you are wondering, this is NOT taken from my real life. This is strictly fiction. Everything you read below has been MADE UP.

 

Q: How did you get started in show business?

A: My first exposure to the media was modeling when I was fourteen. The modeling led to a regular spot on the TV show, "Non-Stop Sock Hop." I was one of the regular dancers.

 

Q: How did the modeling lead to the Sock Hop spot?

A: I was sending my head shots every place, and the people on Sock Hop liked how I look, so I came in and did this dance schtick. They asked me my name, and I said "Robert Rafelsen." I refused to go by Bobby at this time, and I hadn't gotten to Bob yet. They told me I needed something snappier, and they wanted to change my name to Bobby Roberts. I said if they changed my name to that, they could forget it. Apparently, I was the number one choice for these guys, so they agreed to keep my last name Rafelsen, and I agreed to go just by Rob.

 

Q: Did you always want to be a producer?

A: Actually no. When I came out to California, I had no direction in life. I had dropped out of school, hitchhiked to LA, and lived on the streets for awhile, then came the modeling, and I was living in this apartment above a photographer's studio at the time. I just did the modeling to make some dough. I did that for two years, while also working the graveyard shift at 7-11. Then I went back into high school. I met some kids who were interested in making movies, and they saw me in the school play we did my senior year. We were doing "Peter Pan" and I was Captain Hook. They liked my style, and they cast me in a "Beach Party" spoof. I directed two or three of these, but mostly, I acted in them. But I felt my true calling was to be a director.

 

Q: So you acted in student films first?

A: Yeah, I was one of those actors who says "but what I really want to do is direct."

 

Q: What was the first thing you directed?

A: In high school, I directed a scene for my English class. We were studying Shakespeare, and the class was separated into groups and did scenes. So my group got stuck with Hamlet's soliloquy, the Alas Poor Yourick bit. I didn't act in that, I just directed it.

 

Q: How long have you lived in California?

A: About 17 years. I was born in Canon County, Michigan, and I hitchhiked to California when I was fourteen.

 

Q: Why hitchhiked? You didn't move with your family?

A: No I didn't. My parents were killed in a car crash when I was eight, and my sister and I ended up with different foster parents. But after one family, that was it! I'm not going to go into what happened, but when Child Services found out, I was back at the Children's Home faster than a jackrabbit in mating season!

 

Q: Jackrabbit in mating season?

A: Yeah I picked that up from some college friend or another. I didn't trust any of the families who came in. The more normal they seemed, the less I trusted them. That first family that took me in seemed normal, but the father was alcoholic and abusive, the mother smoked everything under the sun and then some, and the oldest kid, who was seventeen at the time, was . . . . . well, let's just say he was the main reason I was taken out of that home. So were the family's two younger kids.

 

Q: So when does the hitchhiking come in?

A: I'm getting there, I'm getting there. When I turned thirteen, I kept trying to get out of Michigan. So I kept running away from the children's home, but they always found me, and brought me back. I kept this up for a year, running away every other week or so. They finally shipped me off to this Home for Wayward Boys. I called it the Asylum, because I was going crazy there. These guys were a lot tougher than they were at the children's home. And the kids there were really messed up.

 

Q: What do you mean?

A: Most of the kids were like junior drugees and alcoholics. A lot of them had been physically and sexually abused. I fell into the latter category, I'm sorry to say. There were two or three kids there who were suicidal. I think one was homicidal. They had a room where they were giving the seriously "disturbed" boys electric shock therapy.

 

Q: I can see what you call it the Asylum!

A: Yeah, that's for sure! I swear, it was like living in a mental institution! Anyway, I kept up the runaway act. I also did whatever I could to get thrown out. You know, vandalized everything I could get my hands on, pick fights, that sort of thing. Eventually, running away finally worked. I think they were tired of calling the police with reports of "Bob Rafelsen again." I went to Lansing where I hitchhiked to California, and here I am.

 

Q: Did you always go by Bob?

A: Yes. My full name is Robert Reid Rafelsen. My parents called me Bobby for awhile, and so did my sister, and the people at the children's home. I shortened it when I turned thirteen. In all honesty, I hate to be called Bobby. This is probably because my seventeen-year-old foster brother had a very obnoxious way of saying it. Yeccchhh.

 

Q: I've heard rumors about you participating in suggestive movies. Is that true?

A: Unfortunately, yes, it's true. I gotta tell you, it was the worst experience of my life! It was my first year at Los Angeles Community College. I was studying film, music, radio, TV, that sort of thing. These three or four guys came up to me at the student union, and told me they saw a short I directed and starred in. It was a one man performance that I called "Night of the Living Big Mac."

 

Q: "Night of the Living Big Mac?"

A: It was the weirdest thing I did. I put the video camera on the table and sort of "animated" a Big Mac coming to life and devouring the entire town. I had bought like five or six Barbie dolls as the Big Mac's victims. At the end of the short, the Big Mac is laughing, until a giant hand picks it up. The Big Mac is screaming, and then there's silence. Then the hand puts the Big Mac back on the table and there's a huge bite in it. I did all the sound effects. I do a mean scream, I tell you!

 

Q: (laughs) That's a little out there.

A: Yeah. (laughs) Anyway, these guys saw it, and they told me they liked my style. They invited me to join this production company of theirs. They were all like twenty-three, twenty-four, around that, and here I am, this eighteen-year-old schmoe from Michigan, who just directed the schlockiest short you ever did see in your entire life, and they asked me to join their production team. I was so excited over it, I said yes without really thinking it over. They called themselves Midnight Fantasy Productions. I didn't even think about what was going on.

 

Q: What did you do for these productions?

A: I mostly did the financing. I was still on the graveyard shift at 7-11, and every now and then, the guys would give me a briefcase, and they told me to go to the corner of such and such, and give it to this guy, and he'd give me this huge wad of money. They told me never to open the briefcase. I never did, because these guys were a lot older than I was. After awhile, we'd all sit around and smoke, and drink, and there were all these girls around, heavily made up, big breasts, tiny outfits, that sort of thing. We all lived in this house belonging to Midnight Fantasy's CEO, and there were all these . . . . . Ladies of the Evening, or whatever the phrase is, hanging around. I was only eighteen, and it was kind of weird. So then, I started acting in these things. In the first one I did, they had me wear a mask, a holster, these tight jeans, so tight they looked painted on, you know? And they also had me wear this western shirt, cowboy hat, and cowboy boots. They were calling this thing "The Lone Stranger." Then they started videotaping me with a camcorder, telling me that they were doing a screen test. They also gave me like six or seven drinks, to loosen me up, because they said I was too stiff in front of the camera.

 

Q: Did you loosen up after that?

A: Loosen up was an understatement. I was so plastered, you wouldn't believe it! They told me to do something wild and crazy, so I got up on the table and I kicked off the cowboy boots, and I just started stripping, and I was singing "The Stripper" music, too. I took off the shirt, and I start swinging it around, and they're taping this whole thing. Then they had me lie down next to this girl in this saloon girl's outfit, and they gave me another drink. I don't know what happened after that. I think I blacked out after having so many drinks. And they didn't dilute the stuff either, they gave it to me straight. So I woke up the next day, seriously hung-over, with no recollection of what happened. So this went on for about a month. They'd get me drunk, they got me to do who knows what, and they'd film every single thing. And I never caught on!

 

Q: Did you eventually catch on to what they were doing?

A: Yeah, after awhile. I was both figuratively and literally sick of the routine they had me on. And they never told me what they were doing with the footage of me when I was drunk, so I told them I wanted to direct one of these productions, and they wouldn't let me. They said I was to "green" to direct. To this day, I still don't know what they heck they meant by that. In any case, our CEO said he was throwing this Arabian themed party, and he gave me this sheik outfit. And before I knew it, I was high, drunk, and acting like a loon, and there are all these belly dancers flocked around me. One of the guys gave me a glass of something and he told me to drink it. So I drank it, and I tell you, it was the strongest thing I ever tasted! Like almost the minute I guzzle it down, I'm on the floor. SPLAT! Next thing I know, it's morning, and I was laying next to this girl I didn't know, and her clothes are all over the floor, and my clothes are all over the floor, and there are like six or seven other couples in the room, and their clothes are all over the floor! It looked like . . . . . well, never mind what it looked like, but you can only imagine my shock when I saw this!

 

Q: Yeah, I bet.

A: Yeah. So anyway, I didn't have the nerve to confront our CEO just yet, so I just took a walk downtown, get some air, go catch a movie or something. I don't know what was out, I think "E.T." or "Poltergeist," "European Vacation," "The Breakfast Club," or whatever the heck was out at the time. I think the first Care Bears movie was out, I don't know. Anyway, the only theater I knew in this district was a small one, and it specialized in risqu� stuff, you know, you had to be eighteen or older to get in. I glance at a poster and I recognize myself on it. It says "Bob Rafelsen stars as Bobbalicious, the Lone Stranger." I tell ya, my eyes nearly popped right out of their sockets! So I go in, and I take a look around, and we've got all these posters saying "Bobbalicious In" some flick or another. We had "The Lone Stranger," "The Sheik of Suite Seven Fifteen," and my "personal favorite" (note the sarcasm), "Bobbalicious and the Bad Girls." So I go to see "The Lone Stranger," and it's me doing the stripper bit on the coffee table. And that did it. I stormed back to Midnight Fantasy's HQ, ready to throttle these guys. I walk into the main "studio," which was basically an empty bedroom, and the guys who filmed me doing the Lone Stranger thing are in there, and they've got this girl . . . . like thirteen or fourteen, I don't know, they've got this teenage girl on the table, half naked, passed out drunk, and they've got her strapped to the table with duct tape. They stopped what they were doing and looked at me, because I wasn't supposed to be in there at the time. I told them to stop what they were doing, and they looked at me as if I were crazy. When they didn't say anything, I kept going, because they had teenage kids all over the place, both boys and girls, and what they were doing was illegal. These kids were like between twelve and fifteen, and these guys were in their twenties and thirties, and some of them were older. I also found out what was in those briefcases I was delivering. Pictures of grade schoolers in . . . . well, let's just say questionable positions. I was so mad, I told them I wanted no part of it, and I was going to tell the police about them.

 

Q: Did you?

A: No, they sort of got to me first. I was just about to leave when they jumped me. I tried to fight them off, but they were too big, and too strong. Two of them held me by the arms, and another one started punching me in the face and the stomach. Then they threw me on the ground and just kicked me in the stomach. I'll never forget what one of them said. He said to me, "Once you join Midnight Fantasy, you don't leave until we tell you to leave." It was then when I realized I unwittingly joined a cult.

 

Q: So what did you do?

A: Unfortunately, not much. Next thing I knew, the CEO comes in with a roll of duct tape. He rips off a piece and puts it over my mouth. Then he says something like "get him prepared. If he wants out, we'll give him out." So then, the guys sort of took me into their basement, and sort of put me in a toga made out of a bed sheet. They also taped my wrists together behind my back, and they taped my ankles together as well. Then they put on these black hoods, and black gloves, and they set up the camera. Then they took these whips and started to hit me with them. Then after that, they ripped the tape off my mouth, and poured the strongest form of alcohol you ever tasted down my throat. Then they put the tape back on, took some razor blades, and started cutting my arms, legs, and face. I still have the scars from that incident, but you can only see them on my face if you look closely. They're more visible on my arms and legs, which is why I don't wear short sleeves or shorts anymore. I don't want people to think I'm a cutter. Anyway, after they were done slicing and dicing, they loaded me into the back of their equipment van, drove out to some slum or another, and just deposited me in an alley and left me for dead.

 

Q: Then what happened?

A: Well, some time had gone by, I guess a couple of hours at most. I don't really know, because the next thing I knew, there was a German Shepherd licking my face, and there's this guy I knew from my film class standing over me. The police and the medics are there, and they took me to the nearest hospital. The police were at the hospital, and I just spilled my guts about Midnight Fantasy, and then they went to report it. The doctors found traces of LSD in my bloodstream, and some other drugs as well.

 

Q: What happened to Midnight Fantasy after that?

A: It was a couple of weeks later, after I had been released from the hospital when I heard about them again. I picked up the local paper on my way to class and read that the "CEO" had hung himself, as did the other members. What had happened was after I told the police what happened, it sort of made the local news, and some of Midnight Fantasy's other victims began calling in to the police telling them their accounts of what had been going on, and most of them were the teenage kids. The members found out, and they all figured there were too many people to track down and have "mysteriously disappear," so the CEO just gave an order or something and they all hung themselves. I gotta say, some cults are downright crazy!

 

Q: Yeah, I hear ya. So what did you do after this experience?

A: I got together with this guy, Jake Marlon, after I went back to school. He was the one who found me in the alley. I credit him for saving my life, because the doctors told me if he hadn't called an ambulance when he did, I would not even be here today, and Midnight Fantasy probably still would. In any case, Jake and I and some buddies of his started our own production company. We called it Marlesen, which is a combination of Jake's last name, and my last name.

 

Q: What kind of movies did you make?

A: Schlocky B-Horror pictures, what else?

 

Q: Ah. I might have known.

A: Yeah, Jake was a huge horror buff. He liked the gory stuff. He really loved "The Exorcist," especially the head spinning scene, and the pea soup bit. That one was a little too gross for my taste. Jake liked the ultra scary stuff, blood and gore, and such. Me, I prefer schlock. My two favorite movies are "The Blob" and "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." Incidentally, a spoof of "The Blob" was Marlesen's first movie.

 

Q: Did you make any money with these?

A: We didn't start making money until we did "The Christmas Hacksaw Massacre," which was a spoof of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." One of Jake's friends submitted it to a film festival and it won first prize. Then we decided to see if these would make it in the box office. I don't really remember how we managed to do that, but we did. Soon, Marlesen Productions was a huge hit for horror buffs like me and Jake.

 

Q: How long did Marlesen last?

A: Three, four years, max. Jake sort of got into drugs and alcohol, especially marijuana. There was a lot of that going around our place. I managed to stay clean. It got to a point where I was doing most of the work. I was doing the writing, the financing, the producing, the distributing, the accounting, you name it, I did it. Jake just sort of hung with his druggee buddies and got high all the time, so I was doing the work of two people, but was only getting half the credit, and half the money. I never spoke up, and to this day, I don't know why I didn't. But we were making money, and lots of it. It came crashing down one Christmas Eve, though. My greed had gotten the better of me, and my girlfriend at the time was sick and tired of me. So after that, Jake went out to drink and get high, and I told him to call me if he needed a ride home, because I did not want him driving drunk. One of my biggest pet peeves is drunk drivers. That's how my parents were killed. They were hit by a drink driver.

 

Q: Did Jake call you for a ride?

A: No, I never heard from him. I got a phone call the next morning and they told me that Jake was dead. He had crashed his car into a tree and was killed instantly. After the funeral, I directed a short about drunk driving and submitted it to the Los Angeles Public School system. I was shooting for teachers showing that to their students in high school or something. I didn't really pay much attention to any critiques on it. I just folded up Marlesen and that was the end of that. I just sort of dropped out of the lime light and went back to 7-11, but during the day this time, just to pay my rent. After Jake died, I just lost interest in everything. Jake's friends wanted nothing to do with me, because they said I was too square, because I didn't smoke marijuana, or shove crack up my nose, or stuff like that. Hey, I wasn't gonna fry my brains to be cool and have friends. In any case, I was seriously contemplating suicide after a couple of weeks. I figured no one would really care if I was gone. I mean, I had no one. No friends, no family, no nothing.

 

Q: What stopped you from committing suicide?

A: At the time, I was living in a small apartment, and I mean small! It was so small, the cockroaches were hunchbacked. (snorts disgustedly at his own stupid joke) Anyway, the living room was right next to the bathroom, and I happened to have the TV on and the bathroom door open one night. I was just about to jam a razor blade into my neck when I heard the show "Unsolved Mysteries" come on. I watched that pretty often, just in case I knew something about one of the cases they profile, because, well, you just never know, right?

 

Q: Right.

A: So anyway, I go and sit down, and they started profiling this "Lost Love" case or whatever. They start it in, of all places, Canon County, Michigan. Needless to say, I was intrigued. But what really got me hooked was when they mentioned Allan and Joanne Rafelsen, who were my parents. They mentioned the car accident, and they mentioned the kids, Robert Reid Rafelsen, and Sondra Lynette Rafelsen. And they even interviewed Sondra Rafelsen, who is better known as Sadie. I was three years old when she was born, and I couldn't say Sondra, so I called her Sadie, and the name stuck. But I'm off the track. During the interview, Sadie said that it had been fifteen years since we had seen each other and she wanted to see me again. The minute they put the number to call on the screen, I snatched the phone and dialed as fast as I could.

 

Q: And that's what stopped you from committing suicide?

A: Yep. I thought it wouldn't matter if I killed myself. I wouldn't be hurting anyone. Then I heard the TV and saw my sister on "Unsolved Mysteries," saying that she was looking for me. After a couple of weeks, I got in touch with Sadie over the phone, and she just shrieked. I think I went deaf! I told her I saw the show, and then she came out to LA.

 

Q: When did you start working at Screen Gems?

A: A year after my sister got married. She and her husband persuaded me to send my resume into all these studios. Her husband, Dirk, he told me to keep the Midnight Fantasy stuff in, because it was part of my work experience, and he said that it would make my resume stand out. I went in for interviews at nearly every place in California, but never got the job. Finally, I went in for an interview at Screen Gems, and I was desperate for work. I was doing freelance photography and videography at the time, and it wasn't getting me anywhere, and I was back at 7-11 just to make ends meet. I didn't tell that to the interviewer. All I said was that I was desperate and I would do almost anything to work at a studio. They told me I could start in the mail room and they'd see how it would go from there.

 

Q: What did you do in the mail room?

A: I had to deal with the fan mail for the actors currently on the roster. Very few of them were nice. A lot of them, in fact, were jerks. They didn't even sign their own photos for autographs. They gave me these stampers and an ink pad and told me to handle the pictures. So what I did was I'd take a photo, the matching stamper, and an ink pad, and then just WHACK! Slam the stamper on the photo and send it. I had this wall with these cubbies that had a pile of photos in each, and the matching stamper. That way, I didn't get mixed up.

 

Q: How long were you in the mail room?

A: Six months. They moved me to the front desk, and I had to deal with the sponsors for the TV unit. Then it was to the front desk to answer the phones. I was doing some more movies in my spare time, and a couple of the executives thought they were pretty good, but not good enough for me to direct anything of theirs, unless they purposely wanted a flop, which, at the time, I don't think they did.

 

Q: How did the whole Camp Monkee Mallard thing come around?

A: Camp Monkee Mallard came around when the head honcho of SG called me into his office and asked me if I would like to head a project. I told him okay, and he said I was going to be the head of the music department. It was pretty empty at this point, and they told me I could do what I want with it. I pick the talent, I do the producing, that sort of thing. I didn't know what to do at first, so I just said, okay, and I was the head of the music thing. I think he just wanted me out of movie directing for awhile.

 

Q: Why do you say that?

A: Kellogg's is a huge sponsor for Screen Gems stuff, and I did this schlocky thing for a laugh that I called "Cereal Killer." Honestly, it was just supposed to be seen by me, my sister, and my brother-in-law and his family. I had this stuffed chicken, you know, the Corn Flakes mascot? And I was walking around the room, clucking and filming this stupid chicken. I also "animated" the chicken eating a bowl of Corn Flakes. In anycase, I had a little box of Cheerios with me, which is a General Mills cereal, and therefore, Kellogg's competitor. I set the camera up on a tripod and filmed myself putting on these black gloves. I was also wearing a black ski mask. I set up a tape recorder and pushed the play button on it so the next thing you heard was more chicken clucking, and then I reach out and grab the darn chicken by the neck and shake it, and all these panicked chicken sound effects are coming out of the tape recorder. I take the Cheerios and pretend to shove them down the chicken's throat. Then I go up to the camera, and say in this really gruff voice, "Kellogg's sucks!" (laughs) Anyway, I was called away suddenly, and left my project in the room, unattended. It just so happened that I had mixed the tape up with some of the other tapes with Corn Flakes spots that had been filmed for television. They just had to send them over to the Kellogg's people, and my tape got sent to Kellogg's.

 

Q: Uh oh!

A: Uh oh is right! Kellogg's called here and really chewed out my boss! They threatened to pull the plug, and the studio couldn't afford to lose Kellogg's as a sponsor. He immediately called me into the office and gave me a chewing out! He even got Kellogg's on the phone, and they gave me a chewing out!

 

Q: How did he know you did it?

A: I was the only person there who ever filmed schlocky horror stuff.

 

Q: Oh, I see.

A: I actually asked him if he was moving me to the music division because of the whole Corn Flakes fiasco. He said no, but he said it in a way that meant "yes." So I just went with it.

 

Q: Who was the first act on the label?

A: Camille Chameleon, actually. I was scoping out bars and clubs and stuff, and I found this girl, this anthropomorphic duck (I call them "anthros" for short). She's on stage doing this "Stupid Cupid" thing. You know, that old Connie Francis song? So anyway, she's singing that, and she's got this . . . . I don't really know how to describe it, but her voice is a bit on the raspy side. But I liked what I was hearing, so I asked her if she'd be interested coming onto the SG label, and she said okay.

 

Q: Did your boss mind?

A: I did ask for his approval with Camille, but he told me that I was in charge of the music division, I can do whatever I want with it, he didn't care what I did. I think he was tired of me begging to direct something. I don't know. In any case, after I found Camille, she and I went on this east coast tour thing, and we found the next act, an anthro duck, Quacky Quackerstein. Camille and I found him in a piano store or whatever at a mall in Philadelphia, and he's playing one of the pianos. And this guy is good. He's playing this old Floyd Kramer thing, "On the Rebound," which sounds to me like something out of a Charlie Brown cartoon. When he's done, he just sits there, staring at the keyboard, sort of intently. When I manage to get his attention, which is done by me screaming in his face, I tell him that his playing just knocked me out, and I asked him if he would be interested in joining the label. We signed him on as a studio musician, until I found out he could sing. Although he zones out a lot.

 

Q: Why is that?

A: He tells us he fell out of a tree when he was eight, hit his head, and suffered some minor brain damage. Don't even try to talk to him when he's reading a book. You'll never get anywhere. He gets too caught up in the story.

 

Q: So who came next?

A: The Monkees. This was in . . . . August, I think. I'm thinking either July or August, because I had met Peter's nephew when he was twelve, and he had turned thirteen that September.

 

Q: How did you discover the Monkees?

A: Quacky and Camille were top sellers at the time, but I needed some more on the label. Two people wouldn't go anywhere, you know? So I went club and bar hopping again until I stopped into the Vincent Van Go-Go. So there are these four guys . . . . though I couldn't tell if there were four or five in the group, because of this twelve-year-old kid who would get up on the stage every other song or so and perform with the group. The drum said "The Monkees," so I figured that was the name of the group. Their act bombed, and there were only four people applauding them. The twelve-year-old, a blonde girl, a brunette girl, and myself. Nobody else did anything. Not even boo them off the stage! So when their set was over, I walked to their table, told them I was a record producer, said I liked their style, and told them to stop by the offices so we could talk turkey. So the next day, I get a call from this guy, Mike Nesmith, and he says he and the other three Monkees are interested, but Peter would only sign up on one condition.

 

Q: What was that?

A: I had to give his nephew, Fluey McAlister, an audition. I later found out he was the twelve-year-old kid at the club. He was somewhat of an aspiring musician, so I figured, okay, what the heck, why not? I've seen teenage musicians before. Frankie Lymon for example. The problem was that he was underage to sign the contract, and so was Davy, for that matter. I had to send a contract all the way to England for Davy's father to sign it, and Peter had told me he had absolutely no idea where Fluey's parents were. I later found out that Peter was Fluey's legal guardian, but I wasn't sure if I could have Peter sign it for Fluey and it remain legal or what. So I sent it to Connecticut to get Peter's mother to sign the darn thing. In any case, when I got the contracts back, we were able to get started. Although I didn't know what to do with Fluey at first, but I'd probably figure it out sooner or later. So I got some names on the label, but I think I needed a little more, so I went club hopping and bar hopping. It was in one bar when I found Reggie Bushroot, and he was doing a couple of old Rick Astley tunes. Remember Rick Astley?

 

Q: Sorta.

A: Yeah. Well, Reggie's doing them, and I come up to him when his set is over. You know what the first thing I said to him was?

 

Q: What?

A: I said to him, "Hey, it's not easy being green!" because he's, you know, green. (laughs) So he gives me this look . . . . I don't know how to describe it, but it was one of those "What did you just say to me?" looks. So I sort of laugh nervously, and said just kidding. I don't think he appreciated the joke. He told me that he has heard that comment about twenty times since he was in college. Anyway, I apologized and told him that his voice just knocked me out. Really, you have got to hear Reggie sing. He's got this deep bass, and he can hit a falsetto at times, too. I told him I was a record producer, and I wanted to sign him up.

 

Q: So why was he green, anyway?

A: He told me it was a college science experiment gone bad. He was doing something with plants. He didn't say much after that. So I signed him then and there. Then I decided to put an ad in the paper to get some more acts on the thing.

 

Q: How did that go?

A: Well, I got a ton of people in, and all they would sing was "Kum By Yah." I really grew to hate that song with a passion! Everybody who came in sang "Kum By Yah" and I was really sick of hearing it. So anyway, this anthro duck walks in with a guitar, and I had just had it. I told him that if he wanted to audition, he was gonna have to sing something other than "Kum By Yah," and if he did sing it, I was gonna grab him by the nostrils, and toss him out of the office. He looks at me like I'm an axe murderer, clears his throat, and takes out an electric guitar, and plugs it into an amp. I had heard tons of "Kum By Yah" on various instruments, but not an electric guitar. I was about ready to scream, if I heard that song one more time, but he didn't play it. I think he just did this riff or something. I don't know if it was a real song, but really, this guy blows me away.

 

Q: Who was this?

A: This was Drake Mallard, but I didn't like the name much, as a singer. So I started him as a studio musician. A little while later, I had Quacky, Reggie, and Drake sing something, and the three of them sounded okay, so I billed them as the Mallards, but I told Drake he had to get a stage name, because I didn't particularly like the name Drake Mallard for a singer, and he didn't particularly like the fact that the band name was the same as his last name. He came up with Darkwing Duck.

 

Q: How did he come up with Darkwing Duck?

A: Beats the heck out of me! He's never really explained why, but the rest of us don't ask. Anyway, after a week with the Mallards, I realize they needed something, but I'm not sure what, so Mike goes over and sings the song with the guys, and that's it. That's what the Mallards needed. So Mike joined the Mallards that minute.

 

Q: How did the rest of the Monkees feel about losing their fourth?

A: Surprisingly well. This is because Mike jumps from one group to the next, and basically, the Mallards are a trio, and Mike only sings with them or tours with them when I need a fourth voice for the Mallards, but most of the time, he's with the Monkees.

 

Q: Can you tell us the wall story?

A: Oh god, the wall story. I hate this story. Okay, I was holding this staff meeting. The Monkees were there, the Mallards were there, Camille was there, Fluey was there, Mike's wife Phyllis was there, Peter's wife Valerie was there, and Drake's wife Pam was there. And this was before Jerry, Sarah, and Ken came into the picture, just so you know. I'm setting the scene here. In any case, the Monkees had just released a new album, and it had gone gold, but Mike wasn't happy. He hated the new album, and he was upset that I had released it without consent of the guys. So in any case, at the meeting, Drake got the ball rolling, to say the least, and there I was trying to tell Mike and the guys that what we were doing at the time was what the public wanted. Mike and I have had this argument about a million times. The thing is, we clash something awful. He's a high strung perfectionist, I'm a high strung perfectionist.

 

Q: So what happened?

A: I told Mike he sounded like a broken record because every time we had a meeting, he'd complain about the set up. So he finally said if I didn't let him or the others have more input he was gonna quit. I told him to read his contract, and that only we could tell him when to quit. Then he slugged the wall.

 

Q: He actually slugged the wall?

A: Yeah, he put his fist right through it! SMASH! Really, it was about an inch from my face! Well, after that, he says to me, "that could have been your face," and he's out of there. Phyllis almost immediately jumps up and follows him out. The others just start yelling and talking at once, and then there's Fluey, who was either thirteen or fourteen then, he had screamed, and he was positively petrified, because he had never experienced Mike's temper before. And this was the first time I had ever seen him blow! Most of the others left, and I just sort of collapsed in a chair and began to hyperventilate. I was having flashbacks of that one foster family I was in. I didn't mention this before, but my foster father actually broke my nose once.

 

Q: You're kidding.

A: I swear, it's no joke. The whole wall incident reminded me of the time my foster father broke my nose, and I was scared to death. I felt like I was having a heart attack, and the rest of them, well, they didn't really pay any mind to me. To them, I was just a jerk on an ego trip. But really, I was shaking like a leaf, here. Reggie, Quacky and Micky were hanging around, and the three of them noticed I was in this catatonic state, so they asked if I was okay, told me when Mike usually exploded, he would go calm down, and he'd be cool a few minutes later. I just nodded, took out my phone, and called someone to arrange for the Monkees to have control over their music, and for him to get someone to come in and fix the wall.

 

Q: So what happened after that?

A: I just let them go nuts in the studio. After that meeting, we referred to it as The Wall Incident, and to this day, I try my best to avoid having Mike lose his temper and come up and smash my face in. But when we let them have control over things, sales plummeted, and I needed to find a way to make some fast cash. I filmed some test movies, but then I decided not to release them. Mike was getting edgy about that, wanting to know why I bothered to make them if I didn't release them, and I said no one wanted to see much of the Monkees anymore because we were being bombarded by teen idols and stuff. Then I went and opened my big mouth and said that the guys weren't talented actors.

 

Q: What did Mike have to say about that?

A: He didn't say anything, but he nearly knocked my head clean off my body. After that, I vowed to myself, okay, no more stating my opinion around Mike Nesmith unless I want to commit suicide! Of course, there were a few times when I came right out and told Mike he couldn't have his way, then he'd throw a fit, and I'd let him have his way. I'll admit, I was just being chicken, but my body has gone through the wringer so much in the past eleven years, I didn't want anymore to be done to it!

 

Q: Would you mind elaborating on that?

A: Well, other than the Midnight Fantasy stuff, I had an extremely abusive childhood, let's say. I spent two years with one foster family, who seemed very normal. Like I said before, they already had three kids. The oldest was seventeen, and they had a nine-year-old boy, and a four-year-old girl. I was eight when I lived with them. Well, I mentioned that the mother was an alcoholic, and she smoked everything under the sun and shoved God only knows what up her nose twenty-four seven, and the dad was an alcoholic, too. He took most of his anger out on the seventeen-year-old, and he'd smack around the two younger ones from time to time. And he really smacked me around a lot, too, even more so than the seventeen year old. Probably because I wasn't their real kid, I don't know. In any case, the stuff this man would do to me . . . . like I said, he broke my nose, but he also broke my hand once, and slammed me into the wall a couple of times, I remember he gave me a black eye once, and I told everybody I ran into a doorknob. So basically, I learned to just do whatever he asked, and not make trouble. But compared to the abuse I had to go through with the seventeen-year-old, this guy made it seem like a walk in the park!

 

Q: What happened with the seventeen-year-old?

A: You know when I told you about the Asylum? How most of the kids there were physically and sexually abused, and I fell into the latter category?

 

Q: Yes?

A: Well, the seventeen-year-old . . . . the only way I can describe him was that he was one sick little puppy. I remember the first time it happened. This is something I will never forget, for as long as I live, no matter how hard I try. One day, he comes up to me and asks me if I want to see something, so I say "okay" and I go with him. I'm not going to go into the gory details, because, really, I don't know how to describe it, other than saying that I was sexually abused by my seventeen-year-old foster brother for two years.

 

Q: Yeah, okay, sorry I asked.

A: Eh, don't sweat it. Actually, this is the first time I've ever talked about it for the longest time.

 

Q: How come you never talked about it before?

A: Because I didn't want anyone to think I was wallowing in self pity to play on their sympathies. I have wallowed in self pity, but it was always when I'm alone. I'm not the kinda guy who will gather a group together and go (mock whining) "oh poor wittle me! Nobody wuvs me! Everybody hates me! I guess I'll go eat worms!" You know, something like that. I'm only talking about it now, because I think it's time, you know what I mean?

 

Q: Yeah, I think I do. So has there ever been a time where you actually told Mike where he couldn't have his way, and stuck to it?

A: Yes. So far, only one time, and he raised such a big stink over it, but I told him that they were going to do it, whether he liked it or not.

 

Q: What was "it?"

A: I made them tour. That doesn't really bother Mike, as far as the Monkees are concerned. He doesn't mind touring, as long as it's with the Monkees. That way, he can just come out and play his guitar, and he's a happy camper. But I wanted to do a tour with the Monkees, the Mallards, and Camille, and the Mallards sometimes don't play instruments, so they dance at times, and Mike hates it. I can understand why, he's uncoordinated.

 

Q: Then why is he part of the Discophonics?

A: I haven't the foggiest idea. I guess I just liked the way they blended. But then again, I didn't form the Discophonics.

 

Q: Who did?

A: Jerry Blavat. I'll get to the story on that in a minute or so, because it sort of ties in with the touring. I had planned tours for weeks, but I never got around to working with them. Right before I wanted them to start, I just got the news that Drake's wife, Pam, was killed in a car crash, and that just shook everybody. I felt bad for Drake and his two kids, I really did.

 

Q: Do you know the details?

A: It was a drunk driver. He hit her, and walked away without so much as a scratch. I gotta wonder where the justice is in that.

 

Q: Did you finally get a tour going?

A: Yeah, about two months after the accident. I'm sure Mike wanted to have my head. Camille couldn't work with Mike's temper when it came to the dancing. So I called on this DJ I knew the Monkees knew, because I heard he was a dancer.

 

Q: This was the Geator.

A: Yep. Jerry Blavat. I had heard his radio show before I called him in, and I know the Monkees knew him due to a band contest he was MC-ing, and the Monkees signed up for. I asked him if he could help Mike. Jerry said he wasn't a miracle worker, and Mike nearly popped him one. But they got over it, and got down to work. This is where the Discophonics come in. It was after the tour, and Jerry started hanging around here a lot, much to Davy's dismay. He and Jer don't get along too well.

 

Q: Why is that?

A: The band contest I mentioned a minute ago was for mixed groups, and the Monkees made Davy dress like a girl, and Jerry . . . . well, Jerry sort of fell for him . . . . needless to say that band contest sort of made fools out of the both of them, and they blame each other for it. Anyway, Jerry hung around, and he and Reggie and Mike sort of got together, and played around with Jerry's record collection. The three of them started singing along with a lot of Jerry's doo wop and Four Seasons records, and something just struck a chord there. I told them to record a demo of them doing the Four Seasons bit, but not singing along to the record, and another group was born.

 

Q: Who came up with the name?

A: Oh jeez . . . . I don't really know, but my best bet is that it was Jerry, because the word "discophonic" is one in his vocabulary. I think it came around when we were trying to come up with a name for the group, and we were trying to think of what hadn't been done. I mean, I would have called them the Cadillacs, but it apparently had been done. I had other ideas. They didn't like Corvettes, because that made them sound like a girl group, Mike didn't like Fords, because he said when people think of Fords, they either think "Found On Road Dead" or "Fix Or Repair Daily." Reggie didn't like Chevrolets, because he was afraid they'd get called "The Chevys" for short, and all three of them hated the sound of that. Jerry didn't like the Dodges, because he said it sounded too much like the Dodgers, you know, the baseball team. I had also come up with Buiks, Concordes, Cavaliers, Limos, and GTOs, but they didn't like those. I finally got so fed up with the three of them, and yelled "well then you guys come up with something better!"

 

Q: I can see where that was heading.

A: Heh, you're not kidding. Jerry didn't have anything. As a matter of fact, after I yelled at the three of them to come up with a better name, boy, did he squirm! Reggie and Mike, however, they had ideas, but they were worse than mine. We had Reggie come up with the Harleys, and the Vegetables. We all just stared at him as if he were nuts for coming up with that one! Mike's bid was the Texas Prairie Chickens, and when we shot that one down, he came up with the Corpses. He came up with another one, but I can't say it here. Too risque. I still don't know if he was just kidding or not with that one!

 

Q: So how did the name come around?

A: Well, Reggie, Mike, and I were yammering all at once about these names and stuff, and Jerry stepped in, and he had to yell to be heard over us. He says something along the lines of the name of the group has to sound like something out of the doo wop era, and Jerry knows doo wop. He says it has to be new, it has to be different, it has to be discophonic, and Mike just gives him this look and says "say what?!" because this is the first time we had ever heard him say something like that, and then it hit me. I told them we'll call them the Discophonics. It was different, to say the least. The guys were tired of arguing about it, so they went with it.

 

Q: What happened after the birth of the Discophonics?

A: The gang got into the swing of things after awhile. Then the head honcho comes in and tells me to direct a movie. A full length feature film, and he wants the gang to be in it. You know, Monkees, Mallards, Jerry, Camille, Phyllis, blah, blah, blah. And just my luck, the set designer quits two days after I get the script. I needed someone to make the sets, or at least design something, so I called around, and I got a hold of this artist, Sarah Phoenix. I hadn't seen her work, so I don't really know how good she was. But apparently, Reggie had, because he and Micky, they sometimes go to art galleries, and Reggie was familiar with Sarah Phoenix and her work, and he was a fan of it. So when he heard I had hired her to paint the sets for the movie, he rushed into my office and starts going, "where is she? I gotta meet her!" So I introduced them.

 

Q: Did Reggie know what Sarah looked like?

A: No way. He was under the impression that Sarah Phoenix was an older woman. So when he saw her, he says to me, "you're kidding right?" And I think Sarah was ready to throttle him. I told Reg that I wasn't kidding, this was Sarah Phoenix. Reggie was just dumbstruck. He could not believe what he was seeing here. So I just left them alone, and they got to talking. Next thing I heard, the two of them had left the studio together during a lunch break, and then they came back together, and they worked on the sets together. From that point on, Reggie and Sarah were practically inseparable. And they weren't the first couple that met at Camp Monkee Mallard. Quacky and Camille were pretty much a hot topic in the teen magazines when it came to romance.

 

Q: What about Mike and Peter?

A: They had been married before I signed them. Drake had too, but at this point, he was now a bachelor, but not looking.

 

Q: I've heard rumors about Camille being extremely . . . . active, let's say. Are they true?

A: Oh man. The honest answer to that is yes. I'm not sure why she was at the time . . . . she isn't anymore, but she and I, well, we dated before I signed Quacky to the label, and a little while after I signed Quacky . . . . she went out with Micky, Jerry, and Davy a couple of times, and I think she saw Reggie once or twice before she and Quacky became serious. I do know, however, that she never went all the way with Micky or Davy. I can't say much for Jerry, because he neither confirms nor denies it, and neither does Camille for that matter. I know I have had an intimate night or two with her, and so has Reggie.

 

Q: Does Sarah know that?

A: Yes, Sarah does know that. Actually, Sarah's had some pretty intimate relationships herself, but not with any of us, except Reggie. And yes, Reggie knows about it.

 

Q: When did the Butterflies come around?

A: Well, Sarah was not only doing the sets for me, but she hung around a lot with Camille when she wasn't hanging around with Reggie. And there were times when Drake's brother-in-law and his wife came down and then, she'd join in with Camille and Sarah. The three of them would get to singing, and they sounded. Camille came up with the Butterflies, and it stuck.

 

Q: I heard somewhere that they all knew each other before Camp Monkee Mallard got started?

A: Well, sorta. See, by the time Fluey had come to live with Peter, things were getting a little stressful at the Pad. I think they all went their separate ways and made new friends, or somethin'. I knew all four of them knew Jerry Blavat before Camp got going. They all knew Valerie, too. Actually, Peter and Valerie got married right before we started Camp Monkee Mallard. Micky and Reggie knew each other, Mike and Reggie knew each other, Fluey and Linda knew each other, and Davy and Quacky knew each other. And Valerie and Phyllis knew each other. They were roomates.

 

Q: When did Phyllis come into the picture?

A: A couple of months before I found the Monkees at the club. It was a pretty bizarre situation. Mike had met Phyllis right after he found out he was part witch, and that alone is a pretty bizarre story. I wasn't there when it happened, but Jerry was and so were two of his aunts, so they'd know the details.

(WEBMISTRESS'S NOTE: This is going to be in an upcoming story)

 

Q: I also heard a rumor where you were the prop man on some TV magic show?

A: Yeah, that was "The Amazing Monticello," and it starred Marvin Monticello. He was this magician at a local carnival, and we filmed the show over there in front of a live audience. Mr. Monticello was not a very nice guy, at times, and he made me nervous, especially when I had to lug heavy things for him, because I dropped things and broke things a lot. This was right after Camp Monkee Mallard was formed, and I was shutting everybody out. I wasn't going by Bob then. It was Robert. And with Mr. Monticello, it was Robert do this, Robert do that. There were times where he called me "Robbie," and he was the only one who could get away with that at the time.

 

Q: When did you start going by Bob?

A: I think Mike was the one who started it. I mean, Jake Marlon and his buddies called me Bob from time to time, but mostly, I went by Robert. I still go by Robert on credit lists. The only time I ever go by Bob in anything in the media is on my recordings, unless it's a soundtrack to a play. Then it's Robert. But in any case, as far as Camp goes, I think Mike just up and called me "Bob" one day, and the others followed suit, and it just stuck.

 

Q: When did Ken and the Impossibles come into the picture?

A: Ken Mills was a fairly recent installment. Fluey had turned sixteen, so we threw him this gigantic party, and he invited his best friend, Multi Mills and his girlfriend, Shawn Smith to the party, and Shawn invited some of her friends, who were Erin James, Linda Stanley, and Aimee Armbruster. Aimee had invited this boy she knew from another school, Sebastian Cat, and Sebastian brought along his friend, Coiley Collins. I already knew Fluey's friends, except Linda, and I knew Sebastian, because I had been working with his little sister, Lilly, who's a friend of Drake's nine-year- old, Gosalyn. This was my first meeting with Coiley and Linda, but I didn't think much of the deal with Linda, since all she did at the party was drool over Davy. This was also before Jerry had met Linda as well. As a matter of fact, Jer was in Philly when we threw the party, but I'm off the subject.

 

Q: Just one thing, how did Aimee know Sebastian if they went to different schools?

A: Aimee has a little sister named Ellen, who's also friends with Sebastian's sister, Lilly. They were in the same third grade class, and they also took an art class together after school during the time, and Sebastian usually had to pick Lilly up, and Aimee usually picked Ellen up. So that's how they met, and became friends. Multi, Shawn, Aimee, and Erin had known each other since Fluey moved out here to LA when he was eleven. As far as I know, they knew Linda pretty well at the time, but then she dropped them when they were fifteen or something for the Davy Jones Fan Club, and then she dropped the fan club after awhile.

Q: Why did she leave?

A: Complicated story. Her "friends" from the DJFC hated Jerry with a passion, so they spent a couple of days attacking him. Only Linda was hesitant about the entire thing, but it didn't stop until the other girls almost killed him. I don't know too many of the details on that one. Mike, Davy, or Jerry won't tell me much on that. So anyway, back to the party.

 

Q: Yeah.

A: We just let the kids goof off for awhile. Peter and Valerie were chaperoning the thing, as well as Multi's father, Ken, who was a better chaperone than Peter because he's older. I was in my office, still trying to find a niche for Fluey. I had given him some stuff to record, but they didn't go very far. So I decide to work on something else for awhile. I began to go through a movie script, when Peter ran into my office, saying "Bob, get out here, you've got to hear this!" and I ask him, "well, what is it?" All Peter says is "Really, trust me." Well, as far as Camp Monkee Mallard goes, Peter is the only one I do trust.

 

Q: Why is that?

A: The others have used every excuse in the book to weasel out of doing something. Mike is the worst. I have been told so many lies by these guys, it isn't funny. Peter has been the only one of the men of Camp Monkee Mallard to be truthful to me when it comes to him not being available to do something. So I got up and went to see what was going on, and there are Coiley, Multi, and Fluey just jamming together on guitars, singing Beatles songs at the tops of their lungs. I like the way it sounds, and BOOM! We've got not only another band on the roster, but I finally found that niche for Fluey I had been looking for.

 

Q: Who came up with the name?

A: That one nobody knows! I think we were all tossing things out, and someone came up with The Impossibles, and it just stuck. I don't think anyone wants to take credit for coming up with the name, but I can tell you, it sure wasn't me. Ken didn't become a regular member until I started working on "Nights in White Satin."

 

Q: I saw that. Was it supposed to be a horror movie?

A: Yeah, I wanted to do a horror thing that wasn't a spoof of a schlocky B-flick, but it looked more like a comedy than a horror.

 

Q: So now that we're done with the career questions, can I ask you some personal questions?

A: Fire when ready.

 

Q: Okay. Have you ever been married?

A: Once. Only once. We met after Marleson got started. Her name was Veronica Haddley, but most everyone called her either Ron or Ronnie. We were nuts about each other. But her parents weren't too crazy about the relationship, so we had to elope. A year after that, we had a kid and we named her Rita. She's eight years old now.

Q: What happened to the marriage?

A: Ron got wind of my career in X-rated movies two or three years after Rita was born, and filed for divorce the next day. She moved out, and she took Rita with her, and moved to New Mexico. I hadn't seen either of them since, but to make a long story short, we straightened things out, Ron moved back to California, and we both agreed to joint custody for every other month. I get her January, March, May, July, September, and November, and Ron gets her February, April, June, August, October, and December. Exceptions to these are Mother's Day, Father's Day, and if something should come up like Ron has to go on a business trip, or if I'm shooting on location or on tour or something along those lines.

 

Q: So, you're not currently in a relationship.

A: Yeah, and I'm not in any big hurry to get into one, either.

 

Q: Why is that?

A: This is gonna sound really crazy, but I'm sort of afraid to get into a relationship, probably because I'm afraid of what's gonna happen. Every single person I have ever gotten close to in my entire life has been taken away. First my parents, then my sister, then my best friend.

 

Q: So what's with the shades?

A: These are actually perscription glasses. I got them when I was in high school under some very bizarre circumstances. I ended up running into a local gang of guys at my school who were all drunk, and we sort of got into this fight . . . . . I don't remember what it was about. All I remember was one of them threw a broken beer bottle at me, and I got hit in the face with it, so now I wear these rose tinted glasses, but I can actually see in normal color with these things. I mean, nothing looks rose-tinted when I wear them. And I have to wear them because I am completely blind as a bat without them!

 

Q: Is it true you got a visit from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future?

A: (laughs) Yes, but you will not believe the story! It was during Christmas, natch. I was being a Scrooge over the whole holiday, because this was during my "I Hate Christmas" phase. Probably because my parents were killed around Christmas, and so was Jake. When I was young, I really didn't know what a Merry Christmas was, and it just brought back painful memories, I don't know. Anyway, I was trying to figure out how to capitalize on this whole Christmas thing, because I needed a way to make some cash, so I started working on this Christmas concert, but Peter had left early because he got a call from the school nurse, and he had to go pick up Fluey, because he was sick. I told him to come in early the next day, but he didn't, so I docked his pay. I had also fired Mike for not doing the concert, and then everyone else quit on the concert, they refused to do it. Then I tried to make everyone come in the twenty-sixth, and that's when Mike decided to pull the whole Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future on me. He cast this weird spell, and his cousin Sabrina was Past, his aunt's boyfriend, Dr. Early, was Present, and he was Future, though he staid hidden until he wanted to push me into a grave.

 

Q: You're right. I don't believe it.

A: I didn't think you would. I told my sister about it, and she said I needed a vacation.

 

Q: Anyway, back to the questions. What do you do on your days off?

A: Sometimes sleep, and sometimes catch up on some deadlines and stuff. Other times, I go play tennis. I've been playing tennis for about fifteen years or so. Usually, I'll play with Peter and the girls, because they're the only ones who'll actually get out and play it with me. Mike hates to play tennis with me, because I cream him. That and he refuses to wear anything above his ankles. That includes tennis shorts. I told him he can play tennis in jeans. I do it all the time.

 

Q: Why's that?

A: Because of all the scars on my legs, and my arms. I wear long sleeves all the time. I don't want anyone to see my scars because then I'd have to explain about Midnight Fantasy, though the guys are probably gonna find out about that anyway after they read this interview. In any case, they've only seen the scars on my face, and those you have to look really close to see them. I told everybody it was a shaving accident.

 

Q: So what else do you like to do in your spare time?

A: I go to video stores and rent schlocky B flicks. They don't run classics like those in movie theaters anymore, and I usually have to go to specialty stores to get them. I also like to watch cartoons, and old TV shows.

 

Q: What are your favorites?

A: Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, classic Hanna- Barbera. And my favorite TV shows are the sci-fi ones. And the horror types. And the old Superman with George Reeves, and I Love Lucy. I adore I Love Lucy! My favorite episode is "Job Switching." That's the one with the candy factory.

 

Q: Do you have any favorite people in Camp Monkee Mallard to work with?

A: The kids. I like working with Gosalyn and her friends.

 

Q: Why is that?

A: Well, I feel kids understand things better than adults. I feel I can open up to them more than I can with Mike and Jerry and Davy and the others. Of course, I don't tell them every little thing about me, but I find them easier to talk to, and I've always admired the innocence of children. I don't know.

 

Q: Now, among the kids, which ones are the easiest to work with, and which ones are the hardest?

A: The easiest kids to work with are Julie Olsen and Leland Lizard. With them, they do what you tell them, and they don't give any lip. Gosalyn's pretty easy to work with, but there are times when she gets incredibly difficult. And Catchum Crocodile is one of the most difficult kids I've ever worked with. He cops an attitude at times, but he gets the job done when he gets in the mood. It all depends.

 

Q: Mind if I ask some more personal stuff?

A: Go ahead.

 

Q: Favorite food?

A: Okay, you're probably going to find this disgusting, because everybody else at Camp Monkee Mallard does. My favorite food is liverwurst, sardine, and onion sandwiches.

 

Q: Liverwurst, sardine, and onion sandwiches.

A: Yeah. Don't ask me why I like 'em, I just like 'em. Mike is my worst critic, especially after lunchtime.

 

Q: Why is that?

A: My breath. Actually, sometimes I eat those sandwiches just to get someone off my back, like the president of Screen Gems. They could just be standing there talking to me over something, and then I'll say something, anything, and then, well, good night!

 

Q: (laughs) Okay, I can see why you don't have a girlfriend, either.

A: (laughs)

 

Q: So do you have any words of advice?

A: Yeah, I have a few words to live by. One is learn from your mistakes, don't let setbacks stop you, and keep trying. Be persistent. Never give up once you get started. Also, don't eat a liverwurst, sardine, and onion sandwich when you have a hot date and expect a goodnight kiss. I've learned that the hard way!

 

The End