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#95 The World According to Howard Cohen

After I deliver the final Care Bears script to Lori, I slink to my office. The letdown hits me like a blacksmith’s hammer. I’ll feel it over and over throughout my career. I’ll spend so many months with wonderful characters and suddenly a series is finished and the characters are gone. I miss Grumpy Bear, Champ, Friendship Bear, and the whole crew. I miss them a lot…

Brooding in my windowless office, the silence closes in. I walk from my office feeling like I’m moving in slow motion as I pass artists and writers. I imagine them stealing glances at me, thinking, “There goes Olesker. His series is over. Poor guy. Dead man walking.”

I come around a cubicle to see Howard holding court, surrounded by newer staff and writers, pontificating about his glory days directing films for legendary B-film producer Roger Corman. When he’s finished, someone chimes, “I saw you at Hamburger Hamlet last night

with a gorgeous gal. How do you do it? I mean…you’re not…” When the newbie fumbles, realizing his gaffe, Howard lets him off the hook with, “I know what you mean. I’m no John Travolta.” There are nervous snickers.

Howard lowers his voice conspiratorially. “Here’s how I do it.” He pauses, milking it as he watches his audience move in closer for the reveal. He confides, “I ask a hundred beautiful women to dinner. If three accept, then I’m doing pretty well.”

There’s good-natured laughter all around, Howard basking in self-denigration. I reluctantly calculate his stock rising a couple points in my book. Anyone who can laugh at himself is okay with me.


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