eCREATIVE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 - Page 25

eCREATIVE people will get to see the smaller independent movies, and then you get nominated against all these international dramas, and you win! It was great fun.” In the Fall of 2015, after a ten-year effort, David Simon announced that he and actor/ writer Paul Reiser have secured the exclusive rights to the 30-year library of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. “The success of The Tonight Show was that celebrities came on as themselves and in front of millions, Johnny made them feel comfortable and adored. He was more powerful than anyone in Hollywood, “ Simon said. Simon and Reiser are partnering with The Carson Company to create a behind the scenes sitcom set in 1972 Valentine, Nebraska. The series focuses on a wide-eyed, Midwest kid who has to grow up fast when he lands an entry level job on The Tonight Show in an era full of recreational sex, recreational drugs, and now classic rock and roll. Reiser stars in Amazon's original series Red Oaks and is currently in the movie, Concussion. David Simon’s only regret about his Hollywood career is that he didn’t do more different types of creative projects. What would his advice today be to the 22 year-old David Simon headed to Hollywood? “I would tell myself to f---- up as much as possible. You have to be ‘Gumby’ and a Viking at the same time,” he said. “The secret is not to win, it’s to play. It’s ugly and unfair and a lot of people will try to destroy you.” Today, Simon happily mentors many young people, having learned much about Hollywood himself from Gail Parent, one of the writers on The Carol Burnett Show. He continues writing on various projects, including a feature film about a Blue Color Fashion Week with the models’ catwalk set in a bowling alley. Simon is also hopeful that a stage play he has completed will be produced on for a theatrical audience. “At television, we used to laugh at theatre people. But writing is rewriting,” he said. “My play went from a bloated two-act piece with 17 characters to a 64 page one-act piece with four characters. Writing a play over the past two years definitely humbled me.” David Simon says he now has the job he has always wanted – one that doesn’t require pants. “I’m very lucky. I have the opportunity to write what I want when I want,” he said, and is nostalgic when he reflects on his writing career. “As I get older, it’s not just about writing scenes any more. You’re trying to plant your legacy,” he added. “It’s like we’re writing our epitaphs every time we work on a new project and, as you see less time in front of you, rejection becomes harder. This is my time capsule.” 