"Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em That I got no cerebellum"-The Ramones

Dear Friends,


Been overdue to talk to you all, (I feel like I’m always overdue, go through this site and anytime you see “delayed” “overdue” or “late” have a cookie. I have a feeling you may eat a LOT of cookies and I’m excited for you) but been going a steady pace lately, lots of live stuff going, been doing the “Jared Effing Kushner” show mostly in NYC, but started playing it in other venues....

But honestly, we’re doing this in live time, and the news has been going at a crazy place, so the SHOW has been going at a crazy pace, and before you know it, it’s 3am and you’re funneling coffee and singing “#1 Chief Rocka” over and over. However there’s some news on that, but I may have to put it in the next blog OH OKAY HERE IT IS, that live show is coming to TV, not sure how often and where but definitely in the tri state region, we’re live taping it in July. Stay tuned, not sure how it all works, but will try and get some tickets for y’all! But excited to share it.


Last month the good folks in Sarasota invited our film “King David” to play their fest.

Now, I’m in that flick for a second….because it was written and directed by my 10 year old son, Drew. Not a bad debut for a first film right? He played alongside some heavy hitters (Eric Stoltz was there! He’s been in 454385648 movies!), plus last month was “bring your kid to work” day, so pretty fitting his flick played the festival. Loved that Sarasota open the doors to the young filmmakers out there.


Now, a few months ago, I was geeking out here about a script I’d read and loved called “My Dad's First Dog” written by Santo Marabella. Well, low and behold, I then get a TV script by….Santo Marabella! (always talk about things you like, everyone, it only leads to more good things) called “Franklin Street Station”. We filmed the pilot episode in March:

it was finished by April....

It premiered in May! How about that turnaround? Great cast, great writing, great crew, an honor to be part of the whole thing, it’s a good show! It should be a really great series if we get that lucky.

James and David and I were on the red carpet, but we saw these young ladies and we knew they belonged on the red capet FAR more than we did, so we invited them along!

So with that, I’m overdue (cookie time!) on the film “Sunday. In Philly” and a few writing projects (I’m excited about this pilot called “The Groves” I’ll share more on soon), so the next few months will be buckling down and getting those finished, while I start, this Sunday, actually, a live show residence for the next 6 weeks or so in NYC (NY folks, where are ya? Let’s go have pizza), and I’m in early pre production on “Bartender’s Song” so between the next 6 weeks or so (8 weeks! Sorry, it’s just now turning June), that’s writing, live stuff, pre production, TV taping in July, TV making the rounds and just in case you’re not tired of looking at my big dumb face, they’ve been re running some old “Forensic Files” episodes and WOOK AT THAT BABY

(Here’s the full episode here, no need to “check your local listings” in Parking Lot Land)

Forensic Files - Season 4 Ep 8 Body of Evidence(1) from ParkingLotFilms on Vimeo.

Take care, be good, and don’t forget to keep being excellent to each other,




Farewell To A “Guy That Had No Place To Go"

A tribute to Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens, who should have, at some point, been the biggest rock and roll star in the world.

It was a fairly uneventful drive right after the holiday season, I’d had the radio playing in the background, turned to the legendary WMMR in Philadelphia, and the DJ was talking about who we lost in 2017, talent like Mary Tyler Moore, Chuck Berry, Tom Petty and then…Pat DiNizio…singer for “The Smithereeens”.

I was surprised to hear about Pat. He’d passed in December, and I was just hearing about it now. This was sadly reminiscent of the career of “The Smithereens”, we’d only sort of hear about them from time to time.

However, for me, this was a band I’d loved very dearly for a very long time. They’d had maybe a modest hit or two that you’d hear maybe in passing, for me I’d heard “A Girl Like You” when I was in 8th or 9th Grade. I loved the guitar, that immediately jumped out at me, and I’ve always been sucker for a great lyric and this song had it, “First love, heartbreak, tough luck, big mistake, what else can you do.” I was HOOKED on this song, and as luck would have it, soon enough, during computer class, a classmate Paul said “hey, you ever hear of The Smithereens? I’m giving away their record ‘11’ want it?” My excitement likely threw off the negotiations, as the cost went from “free” to “3 dollars”, a small price to be able to listen to songs like “A Girl Like You” as much as I wanted.

Don’t know why “11” didn’t click fo Paul, but it clicked for me, those crunchy guitars, those sinister bass lines coupled with those lurking drums, those perfectly crafted power pop songs, I didn’t just want to hear more, I HAD to hear more like this. Fortunately, for my music situation, I got a job in 9th Grade at 14 years old, and 95% of my paychecks from this job from 14 to 18 went towards buying music. My 9th grade year was spent purchasing as much music by “The Smithereens”, “The Ramones” and “The Replacements” as humanly possible, this also kicked off a very weird era of my life, where I’d show up, 14–15 years old at 21 and over rock clubs to try and see “The Smithereens” and “The Ramones” (“The Replacements” were already broken up but, fear not, dear readers, I caught them later on a reunion tour) and I’d fail to see them every time. I’d hang out on the sidewalk though, trying to hear what I was missing. This was a bit of my life’s version of “Almost Famous”… though a far less successful version of it.

I wanted to talk about “The Smithereens” to anyone that would listen, but very few would listen to me babble about how much I loved “Blood and Roses” (that song has this line “I want to love, but it comes out wrong, I want to live, but I don’t belong” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Those are some great lyrics) or how I was able to collect Smithereens’ b-sides and had so many of them I compiled them into a full length record called “Tracy’s World” so I could have an extra record in my collection that no one else had (I did this a lot and designed the record cover everything and released it under “Access Records” which was my own record label that I made up when I’d do these and I’d hand them out to anyone remotely interested in hearing them…I think the only one who has a copy of “Tracy’s World” other than me was my high school history teacher)

While I was working, getting through high school and trying not to act like a complete buffoon so maybe someday, some girl would like me, I also had an archive of Smithereens live performance (ever meet a fan of the band “Phish”? They have an amazing mental archive of live performances, right off the top of their heads, I had something similar for “The Smithereens”), I knew, if anyone asked, I could tell them that The Smithereens “Dennis Miller Live!” performance of “Top Of The Pops” sounded great and was worth it for Pat trying to make jokes after it, or that the guitar player Jim sang a line to “Blues Before and After” on “Saturday Night Live”, because I knew, eventually, it was just a matter of time before the world realized this band was great, and had so many catchy power pop tunes and when everyone got into them, I was going to be the guy to welcome them all to the “club”.

So, needless to say, if there was a soundtrack to my young adult life, “The Smithereens” would have been a prominent part of it, and after I’d heard that we lost Pat in December 2017, I thought a lot about him, and remember a story I’d heard about him, that he’d done a tour, where he’d come to fan’s living rooms and play a set for free. I laughed because I thought about how my teenage self would have done all he could to get one of those performances and would have recorded it and released it under his imaginary record label “Access Records”… where my high school history teacher would be the only one to ask for a copy.

Rest in peace, Pat DiNizio, the voice in the band “The Smithereens”,that, even for a brief moment, deserved to be the biggest rock stars on the planet.


The Ten 

Hi all happy holidays! Have lots to tell you all about but that's going to have to wait for another day, 2017 was as bonkers as a year can possibly be, but good things did happen, and I wanted to make a list pf "ten things I hope you all check out" I may go over 10, but I like to think no one is really counting anyway, right? Let's get into it, in no particular order, just things I dug and hope you might dig too.
Frodham! Every view was gorgeous like this.
(Travel) Frodsham, United Kingdom: So I got into Frodsham a little bit, it's near Liverpool, it's near Manchester. It's this cool little trendy town, very diverse, very welcoming, if there's a spot in the States that's sort of similar, maybe Manayunk PA, maybe a quieter street in the Village in NYC? Now I covered a lot of ground in the UK, but was able to stop in a few pubs in Frodsham, and here's what made it great, there was a lot of karaoke going on a Saturday night there. And I was excited to see what "the go to" song was in Frodsham, so I stopped into one spot, and the first song sung was "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers. Cool. Then I stopped into another place and someone was up there doing a full on karaoke I mean, eyes closed, singing their beautiful hearts out and THAT song? Well, it was also "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers. So on the way back, we stopped back at the original spot for a beer and guess what? This was 3 hours later and before we even got in, we could hear it "Jealousssssy turning saints into the sea". So, beautiful Frodsham, come for the fish and chips (which are the best on the planet) stay for the "Mr. Brightside".
(TV)"The Good Place": I stumbled upon this TV show this year, about a bad person who accidentally makes it into a heaven type place, and it blew my mind. Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and "Hi, I'm Janet", it's funny, it's weird and in the most delightful ways possible. I couldn't believe network TV did this one, it felt like a Netflix type show (shout out to NBC for letting this one happen) and for a 30 minute comedy, this thing has twists and turns like you'd see in a drama. It's halfway through season 2 and there are already episodes I re-watch like I do for so many classic comedies I hold in high regard (Parks and Recreation, Scrubs etc) so, if you're looking for a new show, you may enjoy this one.
(Music) Dave Hause "Bury Me In Philly": Dave is a Philly guy and in 2017, gave us "Bury Me In Philly", which is a very sincere rock and roll record. It's sort of a loud Springsteen hybrid sounding feeling (similar to Gaslight Anthem, if you like that sound, you may like this sound), and what Dave does similar to Bruce, is when they sing it, I believe it. Springsteen can sing a song about pumping gas in New Jersey, and make that sound so good we all want to do that too... and when Dave Hause sings "I need a friend right now, who reminds me of my home", I really really believe him. I hope this record sells, but also hope Dave does a record about pumping gas in Philly and makes all of us want to do it.
(Script) Santo Marabella "My Dad's First Dog": This wonderful piece came into my life by some really random coincidences, a fantastic actor I'd worked with on "Down With The Boogey" named Alan Mclintock knew Santo, and I was on the last few months of "The Other Ripken" festival tours, Alan was in Ohio, Santo was in Reading, PA and I was off in New York, and somehow, this all came together. After "Ripken" played the Reading Film Festival (this was a great little festival) Santo sent me this piece this year, a wonderful little story about a guy having a bit of a nervous breakdown...all narrated from a dog's point of view. It was funny, sweet and gut wrenching. Gave me tears in my eyes. Santo was going to do this as a stage play or film and asked me to be part of it, I have a feeling he realized how great it was and quickly replaced me with Ryan Gosling (it's okay, I don't blame him)
(Film) "Jim & Andy": This is a documentary, Jim Carrey was filming "Man On The Moon" and had lots of behind the scenes filmed. The documentary covers how deep Jim Carrey got into the Andy Kauffman character during the film. I worked on this film for a couple of days and towards the end of the finished film I pop up for about 2 seconds, and over the years when asked about it I said "I didn't meet Jim, I met Andy" and this film, sort of covers exactly what I was trying to explain. What made this filmmaking perfect, is there is this sort of "blurry" reality stretching feeling you get from watching it...and that feeling, was exactly what it felt like to be on the set of that film in real life. Jim was Andy, he never broke character, he was almost trance-like the entire time, then we're singing  "Happy Birthday" to Danny DeVito at 2 in the morning, all of a sudden Michael Stipe from REM appears there. It really was a very fun experience and nothing felt "real", this documentary brought that feeling 100% back to me. It's a great documentary for anyone interested in the filming, method acting process, but for me, felt like this blissfully weird little trip down memory lane.
(Music) Beck "Colors": I know, I know, Beck popped up on this list last year for "WOW" but that record, for some reason, didn't come out in 2016, it came out now in 2017, which is fine by me, we really needed this record in 2017. Beck returns to an early form, we all loved "Sea Change" and it won every award, but as a longtime Beck fan, I was happy to have a new bouncy, fun, dance-y Beck back, "I'm So Free" is the one I keep going back to on this one, but "Up All Night" is a good sample of what this record is:
(Sports) Alejandro Bedoya: Ale Bedoya plays soccer to the United States Men's National Team as well as with the Philadelphia Union, neither of those teams had a particularly remarkable 2017, however Ale has always been straight forward in interviews as well as on the field. He and I started shooting the breeze when he came to Philadelphia because of how charity-minded he was. The first thing he wanted to do when he got to Philly was donate to local charities. That's a good man who does that, new contract, new city to move his family and among the first things he did was look for what he could do and what he could give. You always sort of hope athletes when they come to town are like that, and Alejandro most definitely is. Weird side step, when the United States didn't qualify for the World Cup this year I sent him a quick "keep your head up" note, WHY did I do that, like Alejandro was like "man, what a tough setback OH thank goodness, a note from that idiot I saw in that Wendy's commercial one time, thanks, 'fresh salad guy'"...speaking of charity minded Philly athletes....
(Sports) Joel Embiid: New York City with the Steve Nash Foundation (we almost got Alejandro to this event too which would have been incredible) now, we were on a second year with Steve and his unbelievably wonderful crew of folks working for the cause, and low and behold who do we see coming in? Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76'ers and social media superstar. You can't miss Joel, even in New York City, and it was good of him to come out and bless the cause. Came out for charity, soccer and basketball, and those are 3 things I'm very fond of. Joel really is that big, I shook his hand and his hand completely covered mine. He's everywhere, as he has proven himself to be a superstar caliber athlete, but is also crossing over into other mediums, but among all of this, here's a guy who came out to a very hot day in NYC to help the cause. Proud to have Alejandro and Joel in the 215.
(Music) Kendrick Lamar "DAMN": The way I play music a lot, is when I have some time, I'll put the headphones in and play something from beginning to end, and when I spun "DAMN" I stopped. I sat. I let Kendrick just fill my head with these incredible stories and his writing seems so natural, lines like "Nobody pray for me, even a day for me" , I start to think "I've written, but I haven't KENDRICK written, I need to be much better at writing things". The production is thick and just rumbles, rumbles to the point if you're out on a run, this will keep you going, it's lively, and if I may get all "film geek" for a minute, the "DNA" video with Don Cheadle, it was just napalm. This a very poignant record for the world in 2017 not unlike when Dylan sang "Times They are a Changin". Also, I used some Kendrick lyrics off this record and spun it to fit my fantasy hoops team "Sit Down. Biyombo."
(Music) The Tom Petty Tributes. We lost Tom this year (we almost didn't, leave it to Tom Petty to have a storyline "Tom passed away, wait no, he didn't, he's fighting it") but what I felt, is everyone all across the boards came out to talk about what he'd meant to them. For me, I got in on his MTV videos, the "Don't Come Around Here No More" with the Alice in Wonderland thing (and the cake whatttt) and "Into The Great Wide Open" which had Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway it, but everyone seem to be connected to those songs, many social media posts like "I heard LAST DANCE WITH MARY JANE and then decided to go hear more", everyone was in on his music in some sort of way, I'm included, his line "most things I worry about never happen anyway" is kind of my mantra, It's something special when music means enough to us, that we can all commiserate together to mourn the passing. Those songs are great and they'll last us forever, I love a solid Petty "deep cut" try "Apartment Song" or "Straight Into Darkness", you won't be disappointed. Promise.
Lastly, you all were really especially beautiful this year, we lost our long time furry friend Miss Lucy and, wow, it was way worse than I'd expected. The notes and calls and texts were so overwhelmingly kind and beautiful. Thank you all so much for that. When I think of how sad that was, I also think about all of your beautiful messages. I wish you all a safe happy and hopefully restful holiday. Let's talk again soon. Love to you and yours, Tim

"My Friend"

Dear Miss Lucy,
We met in the mid-00's, I was a newlywed and was living in a once-owned-by-Ryan Phillippe's-family townhouse. You were scared, anxious, and skinny. You were a stray, and we weren't sure how you got to that shelter. We adopted you to come live us. It seemed like you needed us.
Over the years, we've traveled together, shared holidays together, our family got bigger, and every single moment, you've been there. In every photo, you were never far behind. It'd become a bit of a game, "Where's Waldo?" nah, more like "Look For Lucy!" We'd watch TV or relax and you'd put your head on my lap and nap, that was called "the Lucy Special."
We said good bye this weekend, your last moment was with us, and you had your head on my lap. They said you had heart failure. I'm pretty sure maybe that's because you gave 100% of it to everyone you'd met and loved over the years. You know how at the beginning, you needed us? Now we needed you.
I currently sit here in an empty non-"Phillippe Family" house, right now, writing this. Looking at that empty foyer where you would sit so you could keep an eye on everything and everyone, and I'm thinking about what others would tell me when I'd tell them that you were a shelter pet "oh, you rescued her", but with you in my life, we'd walk in the mornings,, we'd find trails, jump in creeks and see so many things that I'd never have seen if you weren't there with me. "You rescued her"
I'm pretty sure it was the other way around. 
I know you're in a more peaceful place, but we're going to miss you so much around here. I have no idea what I'm going to do during our 6am walk tomorrow. Love you, sweet girl, we will miss you.



"Word Forward"

Hi Friends!

I always mean to keep you all updated far more and make these more frequent rather than just do one biggie and barf details all over the place, but hope everyone had a few months of peace and solace in a weird strange little time for us all. I've been goofing off in New York playing Jared Kushner. The crazy thing about that, is that the world news is changing so fast, I'm sometimes writing jokes as the show is starting just to keep up. Thought of filming it all would be such a monumental task as we do this show in real time and there's the terrifying feeling of having everything outdated by the time we get that thing edited. The whole show has really been a great excercise in attempting to write fresh current event driven jokes and takes as it's all happening in real time.
The Bigger The Kushner The Sweeter The Pushner
All the while I'd been tinkering with this movie I'd been wanting to do. We played our last film festival for RIPKEN in April, and that film has played over the world, about 10,000 miles of geography and film screens, and in all of that, I'd had the chance to see this great little films, meet great people and see all of this great work all over the place. So when it was time, I wanted to do something big. Lots of story lots of actors, sort of something that would give the viewer the same feeling of me listening to a Wu Tang or Dropkick Murphy's record, where we think "this is so fun AND there are like 400 people on this track!" So I got to work. I'd always loved the way Jim Jarmusch did this film called "Coffee and Cigarettes":

  it was a feature film with all of these vignettes pieced together, almost like little short films and the connection is...well, coffee and cigarettes.Huge cast of wonderful actors, comedians, musicians, all working off each other. A highlight of the flick for me with RZA and GZA of Wu Tang.....and Bill Murray as himself...

"Are You A Bug, Bill Murray?"-RZA

Loved it, wanted to do something like that. So my way of taking it on, was to go through my idea notebooks (these things, all these fragments and lines and ideas pretty much look like the serial killer notebooks in SEVEN) and I'd had about 50-100 fragmented, half cooked ideas, so I had to make some sense of all of that madness. I wanted to bring the flavor of all the great talent I'd met on the RIPKEN tour and figure a way to incorporate as many people and as much diverse talent as I could. So I hit the road with these pages and this project, tentatively titled "Rum" and wrote pages of it while on the way to the United Kingdom (Hello Manchester, Liverpool, Frodsham and Wales!) in New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ohio, West Virginia, each time trying to capture that flavor of where I was, who I was meeting, what I was doing.

So after plenty of miles and wonderful, people, places and things, we got this thing finished, it's no longer called "Rum" and it's no longer strung together stories like "Coffee and Cigarettes" (though someday I really want to do that vignette piece), this just became it's own thing it'd evolved into, this narrative piece and it's called "Bartender's Song", and now comes the part where I start chasing actors down to ask hem to come be in this thing with me. We'll talk to agents about getting it made, but agent meetings are so "hurry up and wait", we can do this movie with or without 'em. But as soon as I finish talking to you all, I'm going to a rewrite/polish this piece up one more time before I get some other eyes on this thing (my sister Meg and my wife Jacci  are normally the ones who keep it the most real when reading these things, so fingers crossed Meg and Jacci like it!), and fortunately some great talent I've already talked to have committed to it (which I'm really excited about, really funny people and really dramatic actors you've all seen, have already said that they're "in" just on the pitch alone, so we're on a good foot already woooo hooooo!) So here it is and here we goooooooooooooooo, I'm proud of this and hope you all dig it when we get it out there:
So with a show, new movie in the works, with way too many black and white posters for them, and a ton of miles on the car and passport, wishing you all great love and peace as we head into another season with all sorts of new excitement, possibilities and  adventures. Now if you'll all kindly excuse me I have to go work on my begging of actors, producers and crew, do you all like a quick "Please?" or prefer a drawn out "Pleeeaseeeeeeeeee?" or prefer a sort of crying weeping "please...pretty please?" I'll likely be doing "CHOICE D: all of the above"!

Take care and be good. You'll never walk alone,