On this episode of Uncommon Convos Dennis talks with two very talented men. Rowan Joseph and Shane Partlow are business partners who have had some great successes together over the years, which we will certainly explore. But separately and individually, they have each had amazing careers in the entertainment industry.
On this episode of Uncommon Convos Dennis talks with Tom Hart. He is a Emmy nominated writer, story editor, and producer. He mainly works with children’s animation and has written for The Penguins of Madagascar, Kim Possible, Mouseworks, Get ED, Dave the Barbarian, Care Bears, and many more notable children’s shows. He has a very neat story on how his path lead him to the Quad Cities and then on to LA to start his career as a very successful writer, story teller, and producer.
Full Episode Transcript
Dennis V (00:01)
Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you if you’re young at heart. So stick around to meet someone who is truly young at heart, and from my perspective at least, is living the fairy tale. Tom Hart is our next guest on Uncommon Convos. Hi, I’m Dennis VanDerGinst. Join me in a series of entertaining and interesting conversations with entertaining and interesting people. We’ll explore various aspects of the human experience and what makes life more fun. This is Uncommon Convos. Welcome to Uncommon Convos. I’m your host, Dennis VanDerGinst, and before I introduce our guest today, I want to encourage you all to subscribe to, rate and review Uncommon Convos on your favorite podcast platform. It is completely painless, it’s quick, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s free. And when you subscribe, you’ll automatically be alerted to when new episodes are available. Also, don’t forget, you can learn more about Uncommon Convos, leave comments, leave suggestions, and watch the video version of all of our episodes simply by visiting UncommonConvos.com. Lastly, I want to thank our sponsor, VanDerGinst Law. If you are injured on the job or due to the wrongdoing of another, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help. Simply go to vlaw.com for more information. Now. Tom Hart was born in Denver, grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and then lived in the Illinois-Quad Cities area. He graduated from the University of Iowa, with a double major in film and art and a minor in theater. And then after a stint in the Quad Cities doing production work and performing in a locally produced sketch show, as well as being in the original version of the Comedy Sportz of the Quad Cities, he moved to LA. And while there he sold a script to MGM Animation Studio. Since then, he’s been a writer, story editor and producer for countless animated productions with Disney, Nickelodeon, Universal and other studios. Currently, he is the co executive producer and supervising story editor for Mickey Mouse Funhouse. Like I said, from my perspective, he has a true fairy tale job. And I’m so happy to welcome Tom Hart to the program. Tom, thank you so much for being here.
Tom H (02:37)
Thanks, Dennis. It’s great being here. That was quite the intro.
Dennis V (02:44)
Well, you wrote it for me. Not really. You gave me the pointer. Is it accurate to say that most of your adult life you’ve been involved in creating children’s stories?
Tom H (03:01)
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, pretty much. That’s what I do and that’s what I’ve done.
Dennis V (03:10)
Most of those children’s stories have been animated. Is that right?
Tom H (03:13)
Yeah. I have one live action feature to my credit that I’m not too proud of, but otherwise everything is all animated. It’s all been animation. And that’s great because I grew up as a kid watching all the Warner Brothers cartoons and everything, so I feel like I’m able to really dive into what I know are knew.
Dennis V (03:36)
Yeah. And I definitely want to drill down on all of this and talk exactly about what you do, but I think a lot of people would be interested in the journey that brought you to where you are. And I know I always love to hear about people who are from my neck of the woods here in the Midwest who’ve made a successful living in the creative arts, because we don’t see that a whole lot. So when is it that you got the bug and how did that develop?
Tom H (04:09)
Well, I grew up around I think I wrote in my bio that my father was an industrial and educational filmmaker. So I grew up around cameras, filmmaking, studio, just that whole thing. So it kind of seemed natural that I would go into that to some degree. And I was always interested in acting and theater. And when I got into high school, I was active in all the Drama and Speech Club and Music, Band, the whole thing. A lot of the arts. So it’s kind of always been with me in that respect.
Dennis V (04:50)
When I read that, I couldn’t help but picture you mentioned that your dad did the industrial and educational films and it just kind of reminded me of Reefer Madness. Do you remember that?
Tom H (05:04)
Yeah. Oh, Yeah. Well, the studio that he worked at in Lawrence, Kansas, actually, they were a full studio. They had big clients like Texaco and they would get named celebrities that would be spokespeople for these presentations that they would do. And one of my dad’s coworkers and one of his very close friends was a guy named Herk Harvey, who’s a director, and he’s best known for the original Carnival of Souls film, the black and white one. When I was very, very young that is probably the first film I ever saw. I was very young and they had a screening at a drive in theater. And I remember being in the back seat of the car and kind of watching it from the back seat at this drive in. So they were geared to do feature films and they were going to do it, but then economics changed and it just wasn’t viable and then they stuck with the industrial stuff.
Dennis V (06:12)
So as a kid, were you able to hang out while your dad was producing these films and participate in any real level?
Tom H (06:24)
Yeah, I was in a number of educational films. There was one where I was a bad kid and I stole candy from a candy store and I got in trouble for it. And then there was one where I didn’t..
Dennis V (06:37)
Dennis V (06:39)
Yeah, typecasting, exactly. Then I had one where I wouldn’t wait for the light to change and I end up getting hit by this car. But the thing is, one thing I remember and this is going to sound terrible today, but at the time it wasn’t that big a deal. I was really little. I was probably like about six or seven, and they needed me to cry and I couldn’t fake cry or whatever, and I didn’t really like heights. And I remember this, and my dad came over and he picked me up and he threw me up in the air and he caught me again and then set me down and I just burst into tears. And they just filmed me right then and there, and they got me crying on camera. So just glad he caught me.
Dennis V (07:21)
Yeah, you’re probably right. I don’t know if that would fly too well today, but back in the day, they do what you got to do, I suppose.
Tom H (07:31)
Dennis V (07:32)
So you mentioned that you were involved in high school in performing and music and speech and all that type of thing. Did that carry on into college then? I know that you went to University of Iowa and were involved in art and theater. So did you perform as well while you were in college? Or was it backstage or writing or all the above?
Tom H (08:07)
That’s one of my it’s not really a regret, but I wasn’t very active in theater, even though I almost have a theater major. I had a minor in theater. I was just a couple of hours short of getting a major in it. I didn’t act at all in college, and I don’t know why I wasn’t more involved with it. I was taking the film path. I was in the film program, and I had really wanted to go to UCLA to come out here and go to school. And I’d come out here and I’d applied, and I’d been accepted. But at the time, the out of state tuition was just too high. And in order for me to go out here and get instate, I was going to have to live here for, I think, two years, maybe three. And my dad had actually gone to University of Iowa, and they had a very reputable film program. And I went and toured the campus, and I loved the town and the school, and so I decided to go there, and that’s.. While I was there, I was involved with some theater stuff, but it was mostly behind the scenes. I really didn’t other than taking classes, that was kind of my acting. It wasn’t until I got out of college that I did more performing.
Dennis V (09:17)
So for a film major, is that more about making the film, producing? Is it about directing, the writing? I’m not sure what that would entail. I have a vision in my mind, but I want to see if it’s accurate.
Tom H (09:36)
Well, I think it’s different now than it was when I was going to school. This was the early 80’s. I was at Iowa. I went five years. I was on the five year program, and we actually were still editing. We were editing actual film, 16 millimeter film. You could shoot 35 if you could afford it. It was very expensive. TV was a different sort of route to go, although I did take some TV classes so I knew how to edit videotape. It was more practical stuff. You would start with Super 8, and you’d shoot Super 8 films and you’d be given very simple assignments on editing, storytelling, and you were taking screenwriting classes and then some film theory. And then there was a lot of watching movies, deconstructing them and learning about different directors, different genres. And it all started with silent movies. I remember in the film classes, we watched a lot of, like, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Chaplin and everything. And you’d write papers on how films are made, history of film, and in the meantime, you’re also on the production route. So you’re making your own movies. And it finally reached a point until you did independent study your senior year and you made your own 16 millimeter film. And that could be pretty much anything you wanted it to be. It could be a short. I didn’t know anybody that even attempted to do a feature just because it was so cost prohibitive. But you could do, whatever your project was, it got reviewed by professors and then you did it and it got reviewed.
Dennis V (11:16)
Hm. Listening to this, it reminds me of The Fablemans. Have you seen The Fablemans?
Tom H (11:22)
I haven’t seen it yet, but yeah, I’m aware of it and I’ve seen lots of clips from it. I really can’t wait to see it.
Dennis V (11:29)
Yeah. And for those of you who are tuning in, if you’re not familiar with it, the Fablemans is a movie that was, I think, produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. And it’s at least loosely based on his life. And it’s now nominated for Best Picture and Best Director and some other Oscars this year. But it focuses on a young boy who has this passion for creating stories on films similar to how I envision some of your life having been… Editing. They’ve got a lot of scenes where he’s begging for a new editing machine so that he can deal with the 16 millimeter and beyond. And in fact, after you graduated, you stuck around in the Quad Cities area and got a job with the Fox affiliate, I think, KLJB, where they needed somebody who could edit 16 mm. Is that right?
Tom H (12:32)
That’s exactly right. I had planned, after graduating, to just go to LA. And just try to get into the film industry. And my best friend from high school, Greg Baldwin, who I knew very well throughout college, he went to Carbondale, he went to Southern Illinois, and he was into television. He wanted to be a news director and TV and everything. And he was working at KLJB. And they were not a Fox affiliate yet. They were just an independent UHF station. And they had a film library that they had acquired that was all 16 millimeter film. And they had a tele-cine there and they were going to convert it all to three quarter inch videotape. But they didn’t have anybody that knew how to edit actual 16 millimeter film. I mean, they kind of were able to do it, but they didn’t have anybody that really knew how to handle it. And so I hadn’t graduated yet. I was like one summer semester away from graduating, and they brought me in and he said, oh, you got to come in and interview. It’s a brand new station. It’s a good opportunity. And I was like, well, I’m headed to California. And I went in, I interviewed, and they were like, oh, can you start right away? And I was like, no, I got to finish college. And they were like, well, could you still work and still finish college at the same time? I’m like, no, you’re in Davenport. I’m in Iowa City. That’s not going to work. And I said, I’m sorry, I just can’t do it. And then I think it was right before graduation, like a week before, I got another call saying, we haven’t been able to find anybody. Are you interested? And I said, give me a week and I’ll be there. And my plan was to go and work for a couple of years, save some money. I went there, I took the job, and I was editing film, and I was shipping out film. It was so different back then. We had satellite stuff, but stuff was not really beamed like it is now. It wasn’t really streaming. You had physical media. You had one inch and sometimes even two inch videotape that would have TV programs and movies that would come through and we’d have to edit off that. But we had a ton of 16 millimeter film reels. We’d get TV shows. I remember we had like, Hogan’s Heroes and Beverly Hillbillies, Perry Mason, Twilight Zone, Munsters, all this stuff that would come in and we would edit it down and with the commercial breaks already in it. And then they would just run it on the tele-cine, and then it would be on a cassette, three quarter inch cassette, and then that’s how they would broadcast it.
Dennis V (15:02)
Yeah, those are some great classics too. I remember watching those probably on KLJB. I guess that stay was more extended than you had originally planned. But I guess the good part was you were able then to do some of the things that we were just talking about. You were performing more. I know you did some local community theater, and then you also were one of the original members of Comedy Sportz, which is a comedy improv group. So for those folks who are listening in or watching who are not familiar with Comedy Sportz, how would you describe that?
Tom H (15:50)
It’s a short form, game based improv format that has two teams competing against each other and there’s a referee. And then the audience gets to vote, after games are played, the improv scenes are played, which one they preferred, and then score is kept, and then there’s a winner at the end. If you’ve seen Whose Line it’s a little bit like that. It’s like, you know, you get a premise, you get a suggestion, and then you have, like, three minutes, and you do your improv.
Dennis V (16:21)
So you yeah, so you’ve got improv comedy, which is often based on suggestions from the audience, and even though we all know that there is kind of a method behind the madness and some kind of formulas that you can apply, it does appear to be very from the hip, and often it is. Some of the stuff is hysterical because of that, as opposed to the stand up routines, where it’s something that’s obviously been tested and rehearsed. And then, as you mentioned, with comedy sports, it’s one team versus another team, or sometimes, I guess, even more than two teams competing for the audience’s favor, I guess, although it seems like the competition is really kind of loosey goosey and not that serious, but a lot of fun. Yeah. I definitely encourage anyone who has not been to a comedy sports show to check it out. And then continuing along that comedic vein, I found this interesting. You wrote, produced, and performed what you’ve called, these are not my words, “a no budget cheesy sketch show for local TV” called Live on Tape. And I have to tell you, I checked out some of the archival footage. In fact, did I see some Don Abbott, maybe in a couple of those sketches?
Tom H (18:01)
Yeah, Don was a big part of it. Yeah, he did a lot. We did it for about three years, almost three years. He was there for most of it.
Dennis V (18:13)
Yeah. And again, those of you who are listening in, Don is a mutual friend of Tom and I and is the one that I guess connected us here. But this footage that I saw, I have to say, it seemed to me to be really ahead of its time and really well done, given the limitations of the time period. It was a lot of fun.
Tom H (18:40)
Thank you. You’re too kind. That experience of doing that, I sort of look at as my graduate school, actually, because I didn’t know what we were doing at the time, but we had a ton of fun doing it. At least I did. I had a blast doing it. I can’t speak for Don and everybody else.
Dennis V (19:04)
And I think that’s contagious. You can feel the fun that you guys were having putting this thing together, and that made it fun to watch. So I imagine. And that was your brainchild, right?
Tom H (19:20)
Well, that came around. It was really interesting how that happened. Like I said, I’d planned on working at the station for about a couple of years, and then I was going to move west. And at that time, I was doing theater. I was doing a lot of Playcrafters and Genesius Guild. And it came time, I was, like, thinking, okay, I’m going to head out and I got called into our general manager’s office at KLJB. Gary Brandt was the general manager at the time and he was a big one about doing local production and he was one of the reasons why at the time we didn’t have a news format. He saw no reason for us to have news at the station because we had three affiliates in the market and he said there’s no reason to do it, but he wanted to produce a local show. And he called me in and he said, I want to do a local show. And he said, I want you to be the one to do it. And I said, I’ve never done that before. And he goes, I know, but he said, you’ve got theater background and I like to have people learn and grow. I always like to see that. I was like, all right. And so he said, I want to do because we had a library of movies and with every library there’s always a bunch of bad movies. And he said, I want a way to format to showcase these movies. And he goes, I don’t want to do a creature feature because that’s already been done and it may happen again. He said, I want to do something that’s loosely a news format, kind of a wrap around for the breaks between the movies, and you do silly skits and whatever you want to do. And he gave me four weeks before we had to do it and so that was where the idea came from. And so I just took legal pads and just wrote as many ideas down as I could. And a friend of mine, Brandon Lovestead, who I knew through Genesius Guild. We’d been just kind of hanging out, and I told him about it. And so we spent, like, a weekend at just, like brainstorming stuff and coming up with ideas. And then I tried to grab as many people as I could, and we basically shot this really horrible first episode with some skits in it, but it was wrapped around a horror movie and we did that for about twelve weeks. And during that time we had people that would call the station that hated us, just hated what we were doing and but then we…
Dennis V (21:52)
You know you’re doing something right, then.
Tom H (21:55)
That was kind of how Gary’s, Gary Brandt’s mind worked. He goes, he goes, as long as you’re getting a response even negative, that’s great. He goes, then keep going. But we had people that really liked the movies too, and they were like, oh, these guys are messing up the movies. And then some other people were like, oh, we like the silly stuff. And after twelve weeks I got called in again and he said, look, I really like what you’re doing. He goes, I know it started out rough, but I can see a huge improvement where you are. He goes, I want to make it its own half hour show. And he said, what we’ll do is we’ll have you go across, we’ll have you basically on the air at the same time as local news, and then we’ll show the movie afterwards. And then for nearly 60 episodes, we did Live On Tape that way as just its own sketch formatted show. And it became more of almost like a sitcom in a lot of ways because we developed a bunch of characters, and it was more of a through line story with a few sketches in there. And that’s where it ended up being. I was already going out and kind of scoping out what LA was because I knew I wanted to go out there, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. And I would see them when I’d come out, and they were like, you should come out here and write for animation. Because they knew what I was doing because I was writing all this stuff for KLJB. I’m sorry. And I thought, well, okay. I hadn’t really thought about animation before, and I got my hands on some scripts because I never thought about that as something you write. I always loved filmmaking and animation. And at the time, animation was going through kind of a renaissance. That was when, like, Tiny Tunes and Animaniacs and all that sort of, Warner Brothers had come back. And I was a huge fan of that stuff, and I was watching it as an adult. So I made a plan. I was like, I’m just going to go out and through them, see if I can make some contacts. And they were great. They introduced me to some people, and I finally just made the move. I quit my job at KLJB, which was really hard to do. And I have to say this, that of all the jobs I’ve ever had in my entire career, the time I had at KLJB was by far the best, with no comparison. It was the most fun, best group of people I’ve ever worked with. And I just have nothing but fond memories about that time. But I just had to say that anyway, so I came out. Well, yeah, when you get to do your own thing, that’s fun. And like I said, I looked at it as sort of my graduate school. So I came out here, and I had to find a job, pay the bills. So I was working at a fast food joint, and during the evenings, I was working on writing a script. I’d write spec scripts when I had free time. I would make phone calls. I would try to meet people, try to pitch. And before I came out, I actually did have sort of a soft thing worked out. Hanna-Barbera was still in business, and I had met with a woman. I cannot remember her name now. And I’d come out here and I met with her and she really liked me and she’d read a sample script I had written and she said, sure. She said, if we talk again in like three or four months, she goes, Absolutely. You’re somebody we could use as a freelance writer. And it was based off that, really, that I came out and that in my contacts with John, Jim and Rob. And the week that I came out was the week that Turner took over Hanna-Barbera. And they basically shut everything down and fired everybody. And everybody that I had talked to was let go and they retooled the whole thing. So when I came out, the person who was now in the new job didn’t know who I was and there was no contact anymore. So that was sort of the the worm on the hook that I had when I came out here. But anyway, I worked for about a year, year and a half just doing odd jobs, trying to meet people. And I finally got in to talk to somebody at MGM and that was my break, I guess, to sell a script.
Dennis V (26:14)
As an aside, the guys that had the connections in the animation industry, are they still in the industry? Are they active?
Tom H (26:26)
Well, John Benke is still active in it. Rob Humphrey is no longer. And Jim Peterson isn’t either. They’ve been known as the trio out here in animation and they wrote on a lot of shows. And I think their partnership kind of ran its course. Nothing bad happened or anything like that. I think they just kind of went their own ways. One gets married, moves off and that sort of thing. But John is still out here. I haven’t seen him in a while, but every now and then John and I will have a beer or meet up.
Dennis V (26:59)
Well, given the fact that you had this background, this eclectic background when you were in the Quad Cities with comedy and then Genesius Guild and whatnot, I understand what you’re saying about the changes that were going on with animation at the time, but why not comedy? Or what was it about animation that you felt was your calling when you came out to LA. Was it simply that, well, you had these connections and you might as well kind of follow through on them? Or did you find yourself with a passion before going out there to want to go full in into that industry?
Tom H (27:48)
I have to say it’s kind of a combination of both. I mean, I’ve always loved animation. I grew up watching all the Warner Brothers cartoons. But I also was a Disney kid, too. I never particularly found the Disney shorts that funny. I love the Warner Bros ones. Now that I’ve seen, like, the original Mickey cartoons and the original Donald Duck, I have a different opinion about that now. But, yeah, there was the possibility of finding work doing that. It spoke to my sense of humor, which is pretty silly.
Dennis V (28:25)
I suppose that speaks to your audience a lot more. Anyway, they’re going to want silly more than they want adult funny anyway, right? So it was a little after a year, go ahead.
Tom H (28:43)
Oh, no, I was just going to say that. Yeah, it was also the draw of like at the time there was Nickelodeon was really chugging forward. At the time there was also Klasky Csupo, was doing a lot of animation. And then the prospect of working for Disney because I was such a huge Disney fan, that was all like, hey, this is all real. I could definitely do this.
Dennis V (29:09)
Well, in fact, one of the things that struck me as far as your story is you’re selling a script a little after a year going to LA. And there are literally thousands upon thousands of talented and creative people and a lot more not so talented or not so creative people who go out to LA every year and want to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry and never have any sense of success. Yet you were able to do that. Now you laid the foundation, as you said, with some connections. Obviously, you have to have the talent as well. But is there anything specific you attribute your success to? Was there something, for instance, about that initial script that you had? Why don’t you tell us about that script that you sold to MGM?
Tom H (30:05)
So much of it is just circumstance and dumb luck. The one thing is, when I came out here, for some reason I had complete confidence in myself in doing it. I don’t know why, because I shouldn’t have. The way it worked for me was I had written a spec Beetlejuice animated script. That was my spec script that I had written. And I had written it as sort of my calling card. And when I would go around and meet, I’d met people at Disney. I’d met some people over at Nickelodeon. And I was just constantly going in. And so a few people knew me. This is before the Internet and everything. This is early 90’s. And one day I’d heard that MGM was starting up a new animation division. They were going to start doing a new Pink Panther show. And somebody said, oh, here’s a number. You should call them and see if you can get into pitch. And they said, oh, all right. So it was a cold call, called this number. This nice woman, Maria answered the phone and I said, I understand that you’re going to start a new series up. Are you taking pitches? And she said, well, we might be. Let me get your name. And she took my name and she said, thank you. And a lot of times that’s it. And so I got off the phone and I went back to work at Fat Burger. And then it was like a day later. I was home and I got a call and it was Maria. And she said, oh, she said, yeah, can you come in Thursday at 2:00 and we’d like to meet you. I was like, great. And so I managed to work my schedule out and I went to MGM, which was down in Culver City, and I went in to meet Kelly Ward and Mark Young who were the showrunners on the show. And Maria Strada was the assistant who had called me. And they talked about the show and everything that they wanted to do with it. And the Pink Panther was a little different this time because he was going to talk, which was going to be a little strange. But they were looking to do kind of a classic show. And I took the materials and then I went home and I stayed up like all night coming up with premises. And I wrote a bunch of premises for him and I sent him in like a day or two later. And then they called me back and they said, can you come back in and meet? We’ll talk about your premises. I went in and out of the twelve or 15 little premises that I, or springboards that I had written up, they liked about five of them. And they said, well, here’s three that we definitely know we want to do. And they said, which one do you want to do? And I had one. This is the first one I sold. And it was one where Pink Panther is like hitching a ride through like some outback country in some foreign country. And he gets off the back of this hay wagon and he’s got like hay and stuff all over him and the villagers think he’s a werewolf. And they liked that idea. And that was the first script I wrote for them. And they had me write another freelance script. I think I wrote two or three. And then they said, we want to hire you on staff. And I was like, wow. And so they hired me on staff. And I had an office at the Filmland Building in Culver City, which was at the time right across from the MGM studio lot. And I worked there for a season. And then they did another season they hired me back on. And that time they had moved to Santa Monica. And after that I was able to find more work and I got an agent and I’ve continued to work ever since.
Dennis V (33:46)
Well, and I was going to ask about that when you get a job as a writer and guess before I get into that. Most of the work that you’ve done in the industry has been as a writer and you’ve also been a producer and a story editor so that everybody understands the distinction between those roles. Can you tell us what the distinction is? And also since we have this delay, I’m going to get in as many questions as I can. So you had mentioned specs, which of course, I know what you’re referring to, being married now to someone who’s in the industry. But can you kind of clarify what you’re talking about?
Tom H (34:33)
Sure, yeah. When I say spec, I mean a spec script, which means speculation, which means nobody’s attached to it, nobody’s offered to buy it. You’ve just written it, and you’re hoping somebody will look at it and either buy it or it’s a sample. It’s a calling card for you so they can see what you can do. The titles are a little different in animation than they are for live action. In animation, if you’re on staff, it’s a writer. If you’re basically the headwriter and you’re supervising the writing, you’re the story editor, which means you’re the headwriter, you’re guiding the stories, and the writers are underneath you, and you’re running the writer’s room. If you have a writer’s room, which some animation studios, some animation productions use, some don’t, and if you’re the producer, then you’re the boss of all that. There’s different levels of producers. There’s executive producer, there’s co executive producer. And those are kind of all gradients. And a lot of it is kind of production, production by production, what the duties are. But if you’re executive producer, you’re the show runner, you’re running everything.
Dennis V (35:39)
And you mentioned the possibility, I guess, that there be a writing team involved in and this is whether it’s live action or animation. Right. So when I think of these writing teams, it reminds me of one of my favorites, if not my favorite classic sitcom, which was The Dick Van Dyke Show, which followed this television writer, Rob Petrie. And to this day, that show gives me my perception of how script writing works in the entertainment industry, at least as far as television in that show. So first, I guess, was that an accurate depiction of how these writing teams work? Or how is it that a team puts together a script? It seems so difficult to me to envision. If I’ve got a vision and I want to commit it to a script, who does what to get it done.
Tom H (36:45)
There’s so many variations on how that gets done. I’ve been basically a solo writer my entire career. Although I have collaborated with really close writing friends, I have to say pretty much I’ve always enjoyed it. And every time it’s been different. I know that some writing teams, they will each take an act of the script. Like, one will write the first act or the second act, or the first half, second half. And then they’ll switch it, and then they’ll rewrite each other, and then they’ll put it together and then they’ll note it. A lot of teams will get a whiteboard out, start writing notes down. If you have a writer’s room where you have a whole team of writers, you’ll have everybody knocking out ideas and they’ll be just trying to see who can be the funniest, the most clever, and you get that all written out and you have a writer’s assistant there who’s basically taking notes for it and kind of loosely scripting it for everybody. And then the writer that’s attached to that will take all that information, and then they will do a draft of the script, and then it goes back to the team and everybody looks at it, and then they try to punch holes in it and make it funnier. And you do that until you have a finished project. Since I’m in animation, at least the era that I’ve gone through, because I’ve been doing this for about 30 years now, it’s usually been you pitch your idea, you write an outline. Other people, if you have a staff, they will read it and then you guys sit around a table and you try to punch it up. And then that same writer will go back with the punch ups, and then they write their first draft of the script. And then you may have everybody look at it, or you may just be dealing with your story editor or executive producer because you’re also getting network notes, too, throughout the whole process, which is its whole another level of things, or headaches.
Dennis V (38:42)
Yeah, well, like the network notes, would that be something that would have to do with wanting to get some branding in there, or what are some of the considerations you would see as far as network notes?
Tom H (39:04)
Well, it depends on the… In animation there’s a lot of striation between the different age groups, the different demos you’ve got. You have, like, Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers and that, which is basically an animated sitcom. So they pretty much have free reign to do whatever they want, although they do get network feedback. Then the older demo, which I’ve worked a lot in to like six to eleven, you do get network notes, and it’s usually standards in practice, sort of stuff, so that it’s appropriate for that age group and it keeps it on brand for Nickelodeon or Disney or whoever you’re writing for… Cartoon Network. And then if you’re in the preschool era area, which is where I’m at right now, there’s a lot of noting, and it didn’t used to be quite as bad as it is now. I don’t want to say bad. There’s a lot of layers to it now because there are so many concerns. Yeah, there’s a lot of eyes on it because first and foremost, they want to have a product that little kids love, that will watch. And then second, they want to sell a lot of toys. They don’t like to say that, but that’s what they want to do. They want to sell toys and they want to keep the branding, and then they want to make sure that there’s something that’s socially positive about it. So we’re always looking at it to make sure that it’s very pro social and that we’re very mindful of how we present all this to kids because they’re learning from it and totally understand all that. You have educational. So you just get raffs of notes and you’re like trying to navigate through it. And in there you’re trying to make it funny for a preschooler, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
Dennis V (40:56)
Sure, yeah, I want to circle back to Dick Van Dyke because I understand that you had a chance to work with him. So I’d like to hear about that. Who are some of the other celebrities that you’ve worked with and who was fun, who was not so fun? You might not want to name names, but maybe you do.
Tom H (41:19)
Well, since you started with Dick Van Dyke, that was like a dream come true. Because, I mean, I grew up, like, watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins. And then later, you know, the Dick Van Dyke Show. And he just was always just like, oh my gosh, what happened with that? I was working on Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and I was writing a what we call the movie. It was only a 45 minutes piece, but it was one where, it was a pirate episode of sorry, it wasn’t Jake and the Neverland Pirates. It was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and it was Mickey and it was a pirate adventure. And we had a character of Goofy’s Grandpa and we hadn’t cast it yet. And I was driving home from work one night and this ad came on the radio at a college out here in the Valley where it said, Dick Van Dyke will be performing with The Vantastix. And I was like, what’s this? Dick had a singing group and they would go around and perform. And I was like, Dick Van Dyke, he’s performing at this college and suddenly was like, wait, I can go see Dick Van Dyke perform live? And so as soon as I got home, I basically looked it up and tickets were not expensive at all. And so my wife and I went and we’re like we didn’t know what to expect. And I was like, oh, we got to get there early. It’s Dick Van Dyke and everything. And it’s like the place is like three quarters full, you know, it was mostly a lot of blue hairs and Dick Van Dyke came out and, you know, at the time he was in his 80’s, and he and his group, they just started singing and dancing and he was great. He was great. And they were singing songs from Disney and stuff like that and other songs and everything. And by the end of it, I was like, I wonder if we could get Dick Van Dyke to be Goofy’s Grandpa. And my wife, who works in animation as well, on the network side, she said, that’s a great idea. And so she contacted casting and they said, oh, we can’t get him. We’ve tried to go out to him, he won’t do anything. And somehow they managed to get to his agent, and his agent had kids that were fans of our show, and he said, oh, he goes, I’ll talk to Dick right away. And so we sent him the script that I had written and he read it and he said, oh, I’d love to do this. And so we got Dick Van Dyke that way. And we had him in the recording studio, I think for four or five days. And the real thrill was I got to write lyrics to songs that he sang. So he did like three or four songs that he sang. It was all my lyrics. And got to meet him, got to work with him. And the only way I could describe him was he was as nice as you would hope he would be. And the whole time we were with him, we were like, he’s so easy to work with, and he’s working so hard, and he seemed so genuine and sincere, and we were like, When’s he going to turn into a jerk? We just kept waiting for that and it never happened. And we worked with him again later because we had to come back and do what’s called ADR, which is we have to record some new dialogue to go with stuff that lines got changed or we didn’t have stuff we needed. Came back in and worked with him for a couple more days. He was just fantastic.
Dennis V (44:43)
I love hearing that. It’s always great when you hear that they are as nice as they appear.
Tom H (44:51)
Yeah, I did not expect that at all. He was great. But go ahead.
Dennis V (44:56)
No, I was going to say, I know that you had mentioned in your bio that you also had some good stories about working with Robin Williams, who’s another great favorite of mine, and Ricardo Montalban from Fantasy Island fame. Yeah, I was curious to hear about those little visits.
Tom H (45:21)
Well, Robin Williams was interesting because that was another huge thing. I had been asked to write a kids video game, which and this is in the 90s, late 90s. It was called Aladdin’s Math Quest. And Genie was part of that. And Robin was really wanting to be part of education and stuff at the time, and he wanted to voice the Genie for the game. So I had written a ton of Genie responses because there’s different responses. I mean, it was a huge document, and the recording took place in San Francisco, and I’d gone up with the team. They wanted me there in the recording booth, and they had me up there. And so we were up there and Robin came in and he met everybody. And I was also busy working on some other stuff at the same time. So during the recording, which went all day, it started in the morning and it went til about seven or eight in the evening. It was a long, long day. I kept having to leave the room and take care of other stuff I was doing at the same time, and so I would leave. And I remember every time I came back into the room, it was just a weird experience. Everybody would look at me kind of funny, and Robin was always really quiet, and I just got a weird feeling, and I thought maybe I was interrupting. I was like, I’m really sorry. I don’t mean to be interrupting. Like, no, no, it’s fine, it’s fine. So then I’d sit there for a half an hour, 45 minutes, working on stuff, then I’d have to go leave again. And it was at the end of the day, we were at the very end of the recording, and the session director came up to me and said, “Oh, don’t leave. Robin wants to meet you.” And I said, “Oh, really? Oh, great.” And so everybody kind of filed out, and so I went in, and Robin was standing there, and he was like, oh, so you’re the writer? And I go, oh, yeah, I wrote the dialogue. No, I really appreciate you being, he was, like, really nice. And he shook my hand, and he chatted with me for probably five minutes or so. And it was like, this is a great experience. And we said goodbye, and then we were getting ready to fly back to LA. And I was with our team, and we were sitting at the airport waiting for our flight, and I was like, wow, it was really nice. I got to meet Robin Williams. And they go, “Well, you don’t know what happened.” And I go, “What do you mean, what happened?” Apparently, Robin thought I was a studio executive. I wasn’t dressed up or anything, but for some reason, he thought I was a studio executive, and he did not like the studio executives because he’d had a bad encounter with them, with Aladdin and stuff. And so every time I left the room, he would stop what he was recording and he would riff and make fun of me. And I never heard any of it but I guess he would just say things about me, and then I’d come back in and he’d shut up. And I guess they did. Finally, it was after a little while that they said, you know, he’s not the executive. He’s the guy that wrote this. And I guess he felt a little bad, maybe he was like, oh, I’m really sorry, because I got to meet him. So I thought that was just kind of a nice, unique experience there.
Dennis V (48:31)
Yeah, that’s funny. So when he was making fun of you, was that all recorded? Is it something that you were able to listen to later on?
Tom H (48:42)
I never got to hear it. I don’t know if they kept any of it. I don’t know if it got really nasty or personal, but if it was, I’d love to hear it, because it’s Robin Williams.
Dennis V (48:52)
Yeah, exactly. You would expect it to be hysterical, probably.
Tom H (48:57)
I’m sure it was, because he was so funny. The Ricardo Montalban story is we had him on Kim Possible and he played a villain named Senor Senor, and he did a number of episodes for us. And I hadn’t been able to go to any of the recordings that he was at. And there was a script I’d written with that character in it, and I was going to go to the recording. But in the episode, there was a moment where he and his son, Senor Senor Jr., were trying to break into a house and they’d come up with a ruse where they were delivering flowers for Valentine’s Day. And Ricardo Montalban’s character is delivering the flowers while his son is trying to break into this window to get this information. And he’s trying to keep her busy, Ricardo is, and he hands off the flowers, and then he thinks he’s done. And then the woman goes, “Well, if these are from my husband. Isn’t there a card?” And he’s like, “Yes, there’s a lovely Valentine card here.” And he just makes up on the spot, he was going to make up a speech. And so I took a Valentine speech and I worked in the Wrath of Khan speech that he does for what he’s talking about. It’s basically the Moby Dick speech, ‘chase around perdition’s flame’ and all that. And I wrote it out and it was a little long. I knew the whole thing wouldn’t make it in. And Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, who were the creaters of the show, and the EP’s, when they read the script, they thought it was very funny, and they said, yeah, good luck getting him to do that. And I go, well, we’ll see.So I had the script there, and Ricardo comes in, and he was very old Hollywood in a good way. At the time, he wasn’t able to walk very well because he had severe nerve damage in his back. And so he was in a wheelchair, but he was very dressed up, had an ascot, looked very professional. And he came in and he met everybody in the room, shook their hand, and he was just lovely, lovely, lovely. And he hadn’t read the script yet. So he’s kind of going through and he goes into the booth and he’s looking at it, and he gets to the speech and he’s reading it under his breath, and he goes, this speech is very familiar to me. And he looked out at me because he knew me. And I went I just went, like this. And he goes, I will do it. And he did it. He did the speech. It got trimmed down. I don’t know if you can recognize it now, but at least I got to hear him do it. And it was fun.
Dennis V (51:46)
That’s funny. Well, you’ve worked with most of the, I’m sorry, go ahead.
Tom H (51:53)
Oh, I was just going to say as far as bad experiences working with people, really, the talent has always been unbelievably great. I haven’t had any bad issues. There’s been sometimes that people, we’ve had people, you can tell they’re having a bad day. It’s not personal, they’re not unpleasant. They’re professional, and they do it. But you can tell that they just want to get in and out. Go ahead.
Dennis V (52:21)
Sure, you’ve worked with most of the major studios, but from what I can tell, none more than with Disney. And I’ve always been like you a huge fan of Disney, the brand from film to the theme parks and everything in between. How have they been to work with? Do you ever just step back and say, wow, how did I ever get so fortunate to be in this kind of situation?
Tom H (52:55)
Oh, I still do. I’m just always like, wow, I can’t believe that I’m working for Disney and I’m writing for Mickey Mouse, and I got to work with Roy Disney, and I got to meet so many legacy people. Like Tony Anselmo is the voice of Donald Duck. And he was trained by Clarence Nash, who created Donald Duck. Tony is still the voice of Donald Duck. Yeah, Disney has been great. I mean, they’re a giant multibillion dollar company, so all the problems that come with that exist. But as far as a giant corporation go, I have to say, overall, they’re great. They really are. I think there’s a lot of ways to get very cynical about it, and I’ve had some bad experiences, but overall, I have to say they’re very positive. I don’t have any real regrets. I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Disney studio lot, and that, to me, is always just like, Walt walked here. It’s just amazing. The little kid in me is still, just like, thrilled.
Dennis V (54:07)
Right, you were nominated for an Emmy.
Tom H (54:11)
I got nominated for an Emmy for, it was when I was working on MouseWorks, and there was an episode that I wrote called Mickey’s Mechanical House. And that episode, the episode that that was in, it was short, in that half hour that got nominated. And I got nominated as a writer, and I wrote the whole thing in verse. And we were fortunate enough to get John Cleese to voice it, and so he did it. So I got to work with John Cleese. That was fun.
Dennis V (54:43)
That’s great. That’s cool, too. I’m a huge Monty Python fan and everything he’s done since then. So you’ve already hit a lot of the highlights that I would find so incredible. And speaking of incredible and also inspirational, where do you get the inspiration for your stories? And by the way, are they mostly episodic, or do you do much in the way of stand-alone projects? How does that work?
Tom H (55:22)
Especially in preschool, they’re pretty much stand-alone. We return to certain arenas that the kids are familiar with. We don’t do a lot of, like, big story arcs. Even in six to eleven, we weren’t able to do much of that. Now, shows like Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb and stuff like that, they can do more of an arc, and those are comedy shows, but most of it is they’re kind of stand-alone. And the shorter the stories are, the more comedic they are, the more they’re just kind of like, hey, we’re just getting in and out for laughs as much as we can.
Dennis V (56:03)
So do you get the inspiration from your own childhood, from…I know you have two daughters. Do they inspire you? Do you try to use what they found funny in some of the writing that you do for that age group, or how does that work?
Tom H (56:25)
Yes and yes, it is a combination of that and a lot of the inspiration that like, especially working in the Mickey Mickey cartoons that I’ve worked on, comes from the old Mickey shorts. We’ve done alot, me and the other writers I work with, we’ll go back and watch the old black and white Mickey cartoons and see how Mickey behaved, and gags that were done sort of some of that world and try to draw from that. And try to do it in a fresh way and an updated modern way, but it also keeps it feeling like Mickey and it feels like those shows. With my daughters, though, there’s been a lot of stuff that has come up that they’ve inspired tremendous amount of ideas, you know, for me, because interacting with them has been a huge help in seeing how kids of that age, you know, how they respond to stories and stuff. Now, my daughters have aged out of it. They’re ten and twelve now. But at the time when they were the preschool age, that was just a gold mine because I could put them in front of the TV and they could watch stuff I’d worked on and I’d see, is that funny? They’re like that. And you know what? It’s universal. Kids like to see other characters get hit. They like fart jokes, even though those aren’t really things we can do now. But whenever they would see a character hit another character or fall on their butt, that was just comedy gold every time. Burp gag is always funny too.
Dennis V (57:59)
Of course. Yeah, of course. Yes. Well, you mentioned Kim Possible and all the various Mickey and Disney related shows that you’ve worked on. What are some of the other, what’s your favorite? As far as all the projects that you’ve worked on? What would you say is your favorite or are your favorites and what are some of the others that most of our audience would probably be familiar with, especially if they have kids?
Tom H (58:29)
Kim Possible probably is hands down my favorite show that I worked on just because it was one of the animated shows that the writing came through because there’s a lot of shows that in animation that you work on as a writer because I’m not an animator, that there’s like a game of telephone. And a lot of times, like, what we write as a script, even though it’s all approved by the network, once it gets in the hands of the director and the storyboard artists and this isn’t a negative, it’s just the process is that it really gets changed. Kim Possible was written more like, more like a sitcom. I mean, it’s essentially Buffy. It’s very much that sensibility and just had a blast with those characters and playing in that world. The other show that I worked on that no one has ever seen was there was Atlantis show that was an action show that basically got shut down because the feature didn’t do well. But we wrote all the scripts, wrote a sequel movie, and that was headed up by Tad Stones, who created Darkwing Duck and worked on a lot of the Disney Afternoon stuff, Aladdin and that show was so much fun to write for. I mean, we just had a great time and we recorded most of the episodes and it was with the feature cast, except for Michael J. Fox. We had a sound alike for him, but those are two of my favorites. Those are both Disney. I loved writing Penguins of Madagascar. That series was a delight. Anything where you just get to have fun and play in the sandbox. That’s what I like.
Dennis V (01:00:15)
And what are you working on now? I think we mentioned it. But my question again, since there’s the delay, is if a show gets canceled, are you left looking or are you on a contract to do something else with them? Does your agent start pedaling and running around town or how’s that work?
Tom H (01:00:44)
Mostly it’s like I have to start looking. My agent usually will say, okay, you kind of know when the show is coming to an end, basically because the writing duties are all done, or the producing duties are coming to an end, and he’ll contact me and say, oh, let’s get you out there. What would you like to work on next? And set up meetings for me. And there’s a lot of times I’ll have downtime where I won’t have worked for six months or even a year, or I might have just a few freelance scripts in between. And there’s not as many staff jobs as there used to be. It just ebbs and flows. You can’t really predict how it’s going to be. But I’ve been doing it for so long, I’m kind of used to it. I try not to panic.
Dennis V (01:01:30)
I was going to say, so then you go back to Fat Burger, right?
Tom H (01:01:33)
Yeah. Go back to what I know. Go back to flipping burgers.
Dennis V (01:01:40)
Yeah. Well, you mentioned your wife is also involved. You have two kids. They’re young now. But do you think that they want to get into the industry? And along similar lines, what would you say to someone who wants to get involved in the biz, just getting started out? What words of advice, what sage words of wisdom would you have for them?
Tom H (01:02:07)
First, I think my daughter is definitely growing up around what I do and being around animation and having visited the studio and being here, I know that they are very interested in that. And they both are kind of heading down the art path a little bit. So I would not be surprised if that isn’t a path for them. As far as somebody who wants to get into the industry, that is a really hard one to do. I’m not saying it’s hard to break. It’s just everybody’s path is so different because people will say, oh, how did you break in? It’s like, well, you can’t do it the way I did it because it won’t work for you. And I didn’t even know what I was doing when I did it. It just sort of happened. If you want to write, I mean, if you are going to write, just write. Write specs. To be completely honest, if you wanted to get into writing, I would probably aim for live action and not animation unless you have a specific passion for it. Because live action is much more lucrative than animation. And I’m not saying that with any bitterness or anything. It’s just the reality of it. That’s just the way it works. But working in animation also has its benefits because you’re not dealing with the weekly schedule of getting a show out and you’re not working around the clock like you do in a live action shoot, you know, show, you can be there 24/7 working on a show. That’s not the way it is in animation. And particularly the pressures are a lot less and people are all really nice and we’re kind of all just kind of having fun because we have such a great love for it. I would say just meet people. If you have contacts you can exploit, do that. Don’t bug people. Don’t get overly like, hey, hey, hey, read my stuff, read my stuff. But be professional about it. Go on LinkedIn, go on Facebook, find people. Try to find connections of people that you know and then be writing spec scripts. That’s a good way to do it. Start a YouTube channel.
Dennis V (01:04:20)
Well, I was going to ask you about that because you mentioned that there are times you have downtime in between shows. Are you able to or do you still have a passion for doing any improv or comedy? I know you do have a YouTube channel that I checked out. So would you like to do more performing or is that something that you do occasionally?
Tom H (01:04:47)
I don’t get to do it very often and it’s primarily because I’ve got two daughters and daddy time is more important to me than anything. I still perform very infrequently with a group called National Comedy Theater, which used to be a Comedy Sportz team out here. We have a club down in San Diego, and I love going down there and performing when I can. And it’s short form, improv. I used to perform with IO West, Improv Olympic here. They shut down. They’re not out here anymore. That was long form, and I love doing that. We do some college shows around here. National Comedy Theater does, and I’ll usually get called and I’ll perform with them. I’ll do that. And I have some other friends that will say, hey, can you perform? And if I can, I’ll jump in. But I really miss it because I used to do it every week, just constantly, and I was doing it multiple days a week. But yeah, I really wish I could still keep it up.
Dennis V (01:05:45)
So when you’re gone from this world long from now, how is it that you want to be remembered?
Tom H (01:05:55)
Somebody who is goofy but nice, I guess.
Dennis V (01:05:59)
So what’s next on the horizon? Do you have something lined up whenever this gig is up, as they say?
Tom H (01:06:09)
No, not at this time, I don’t. We’re in our third season on Mickey. I’ll probably be working on it for about a year. I’ve talked to my agent. He has some ideas for things for me to do, people to meet. He was wanting me to try to write a novel. I’m like, well, there’s not really any money in that. I know, but he does handle a lot of authors, so that might be a good thing to try.
Dennis V (01:06:34)
No, I thought that I was going to ask you about that, too. I thought that might be something that you should, I think would be fascinating for a lot of people to have you do something that committed to, whether it be a novel or some kind of factual account of your life. I think that would be really interesting. But speaking of interesting and fascinating, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I always like to, near the end of our program, play a little game called Would You Rather? So the first question is kind of a serious one. So the first question is, would you rather be a successful writer or a successful performer?
Tom H (01:07:27)
I think a writer.
Dennis V (01:07:32)
Tom H (01:07:32)
The reason why would be now, having been around so many celebrities and famous actors, it’s like I would not want to be somebody going places and just instantly being recognized. That level of not having a private life, I think, would just be horrible because there’s times where it’s taking me I don’t want to elaborate too much, but I’ll be in a recording or working with really famous people, and they’re just like super chatty, super chatty. They just want to talk, talk, talk, talk. And I always thought it was kind of weird, and then somebody who’s been in the industry for a long, long time that I know said, oh, that’s because you don’t want anything from them. They can be real with you. They can talk to you. You’re not trying to get an autograph or a picture, and they’re working with you, so you’re a colleague, and so it’s a relief for them. And I was like, oh, I never thought of that before. And then I’ve also seen them when they’re around fans, and they’ve got to be on, and it’s just exhausting. Sorry.
Dennis V (01:08:33)
No, I get that. That makes sense, for sure. Okay, so now some not so serious ones. Would you rather always talk in rhymes or sing instead of speak?
Tom H (01:08:47)
Probably talk in rhymes because I can’t sing at all. I’m terrible. I can’t I wish I could sing. I so wish I could sing. And I’ve tried. I’ve tried. I can’t. But, yeah, talk and rhyme, and basically nobody would want to hear me sing.
Dennis V (01:09:00)
Well, now, you really would have impressed me if you would have answered that in a rhyme. Then, kind of like Dr. Seuss.
Tom H (01:09:06)
Man, I completely dropped the ball. You threw me off with the singing. I was like, oh, I can’t sing. I was like, no.
Dennis V (01:09:16)
Okay, so would you rather have a Texas accent and live in New York or a New York accent and live in Texas? I think either way, you’re going to get beat up.
Tom H (01:09:28)
Wow. Boy, I like New York a lot. But also there’s things about Texas I like, too. Probably the Texas accent in New York because I know the food is going to be really good there.
Dennis V (01:09:42)
Okay. All right. Would you rather have your entire diary published as a book or have a movie made about all of your most embarrassing moments?
Tom H (01:09:57)
I think a movie about my embarrassing moments. I think I’d like to watch it.
Dennis V (01:10:02)
It’d be entertaining.
Tom H (01:10:04)
And I would take my girls to it.
Dennis V (01:10:05)
Tom H (01:10:06)
They would love that.
Dennis V (01:10:07)
Okay, that’s funny. It’s good that you could take them to it. I don’t know that I could take my most embarrassing moments. Take any child to see that. Anyway, here’s a couple of appropriate ones to wrap things up. This is kind of a cartoonish thing, so would you rather there be a dinging sound, like every time you’d wink or a cartoonish sound every time you make a finger gun? Like a gun sound? Every time you make a finger gun.
Tom H (01:10:46)
I take the finger gun.
Dennis V (01:10:47)
So it’s like a ding or there you go. So you can shew shew.
Tom H (01:10:52)
Ding ding. Pew Pew, I love that. I love that.
Dennis V (01:10:53)
There you go. Right? Exactly. All right, so the last one, would you rather sound like Mickey or Donald for the rest of your life?
Tom H (01:11:05)
It’s got to be Mickey because nobody can understand Donald.
Dennis V (01:11:08)
There you go.
Tom H (01:11:09)
He’s just so hard to understand.
Dennis V (01:11:11)
Tom H (01:11:12)
I can talk like Mickey a little bit. But that’s it.
Dennis V (01:11:13)
I’m with you. That’s pretty good. Thanks, Tom. I appreciate you being here today.
Tom H (01:11:23)
Thanks, Dennis. That’s awesome. Oh Boy!
Dennis V (01:11:27)
We can do this all day long.
Dennis V (01:11:31)
Now we are getting silly. Tom, thank you so much for being here. I really do appreciate it. I could probably talk to you all day long, and hopefully next time you’re in town, we can get together and pick up where we’re leaving off. Maybe we can even try. Yeah, we can even try Donald Duck at that point. So we’ll see how much time we have. But for right now, I want to thank you all for joining us today. And again, be sure to subscribe to, rate and review Uncommon Convos on your favorite podcast platform. Visit UncommonConvos.com to watch the video version of this and every episode. Also, be sure to check out our other podcast, Legal Squeaks, to get the latest information on consumer and legal news that might affect your day to day life. Check us out the next time on Uncommon Convos. And in the meantime, be safe and love you all.
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