Mel Brooks

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Sid Caesar was a maniac—addicted to pills and booze. In 1957, I was an NBC page and worked the short-lived Caesar's Hour at the Century Theater off 59th Street. TV was live in those days. I remember a doctor chasing Caesar around backstage brandishing two syringes. One hyped him. The other calmed him down. I never understood how a guy could live like that

My friend, Goldberg, had a subscription to the old Metropolitan Opera on West 40th St. For years he sat next to a lady whose husband, on the other side of her, fell asleep through most of every performance. When the Met moved to Lincoln Center, Goldberg decided he’d had enough and informed the lady he was giving up his seats. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed having two men sleeping with me for the past 20 years.” Now—at age 72—I have become hooked on opera. Who’d a thunk it? Typical Opera Experience Opera was never my thing. Several years ago, my wife,

Here was an e-mail that got my attention. It was very relevant—to me. Sitting in my files for three months were four $80 balcony seats to the Mel Brooks musical, “Young Frankenstein.” The musical was to be the capstone of an evening with my stepbrother and his wife—our once-a-year splurge for something on Broadway guaranteed to be tasteless and hilarious. (Mel Brooks did not disappoint.) Ticketmaster’s reminder e-mail was thoughtful, and I was glad to have received it. Being an airhead, I might well have found those tickets in the file next summer. That e-mail made me feel that Ticketmaster and Mel Brooks

In the mid-1950s, when I was attending Columbia College, I worked nights and weekends as a page at NBC in New York. In those days, television was black-and-white and always live. After squeezing fat tourists into thin seats, we pages were free to watch the show—from the back of the studio audience, the stage door or the control room. During those three years, I must have seen, in person, every major and minor star in the NBC galaxy, as well as those from other networks and Hollywood, since we also were assigned to work the Academy Awards and the Emmys. I was able to

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