Interview conducted by Cindy Klauss & Diane Hopkins, All Rights Reserved
Back to Previous Page | Back to page one
Diane: Can I ask you some fifth season questions?
Glenn: Yeah, but I probably can't answer them.
Diane: How about in your opinion? Do you think it was done, that the show was ready to be finished by the fifth season?
Glenn: Oh, I have no objectivity about that.
Diane: Actually, I should say by the end of the fourth season.
Glenn: I don't know. I'm in a real fog about that. The truth is, I wasn't very involved with those episodes. People I love dearly were really involved in those episodes. I'm not sure I have the facility to look at those episodes objectively. I did not go willingly, so you know, it's hard for me to be objective about that. Or to answer anything about that.
Diane: Can I ask you if you had written a finale, what kind of things would you have wanted in the finale?
Glenn: A lot of nudity.
Glenn: I have no idea; you have to be there. It's sort of like saying, "What would you have made for dinner that night?" Well, I wasn't there all day, so I don't know if it would have felt like fish day or chicken day or pasta day. I just don't know.
Cindy: I have a few questions concerning the controversy surrounding I am Curious...Maddie.
Glenn: The controversy? What's that one about? I don't even remember
Cindy: That's the one when they sleep together.
Glenn: Oh, okay. Oh, you know why? Because the original title was The Big Bang and they wouldn't put it on TV.
Diane: Did that title have to be changed?
Glenn: Yes, they wouldn't let us call it "The Big Bang."
Cindy: You are credited with the teleplay for this episode and several writers are credited as being the writers. Tell me what that means. What was your input? Did you write that episode?
Glenn: I almost never took credit for writing.
Cindy: But your name is listed as writing the teleplay, and that is one of the only times I saw that.
Glenn: That must mean that I, I must have done a huge overhaul on it, because I almost never took credit for writing.
Cindy: And there's a whole list of people as writers, like six or seven people. It's really unusual.
Glenn: I have no recollection of the process to be honest with you. It's a long time ago.
Cindy: Whose idea was it to have this highly anticipated event occur the way that it did? Was it your idea?
Glenn: Did you like it?
Cindy: I loved it!
Glenn: It was my idea.
Glenn: No, seriously though for a second, it was. Only because, I mean, I don't think anyone else would even dare to take credit for it because there are a lot of people that think it absolutely destroyed the show. I also believe very strongly that there was, the show was filled with really all sorts of wonderful and interesting possibilities, which unfortunately, we didn't get to explore. But, it doesn't necessarily have to be the end of something. But, you know, we'll never know. But, yeah, I felt like it seemed inevitable to me that these two people were going to get together in this way. And that it was naive not to let that happen, And I also thought it was, frankly it was great show business; I think we got some ridiculous share, like a 40. Now of course, they have Animal Planet, so you don't need to do that.
Cindy: Who wrote that scene and the dialogue in that great fight? Did you write that?
Glenn: I'm fairly sure I did.
Cindy: Who made the choice for the song ("Be My Baby" by the Ronettes) that was used and what was the reason for that choice?
Glenn: I did.
Cindy: What was the reason behind it?
Glenn: Great Song; it's a fabulous song; I had seen it; I think I was very effected by Mean Streets, and I think it had been used in Mean Streets, and there was something very combustive and violent at the same time passionate, kind of very boy / girl; I loved the Wall of Sound, which was the thing that Phil Spector did. And I was enamored of Phil Spector. And Phil Spector would not release the master unless he brought it personally. I mean, there's all kind of lore attached to that song.
"Be My Baby"
- Click here to read lyrics.
- Click here (needs REALONE Player) to play.
- Click here for Salon.com's analysis of the song's "magnificent carnality."
Cindy: And that song is almost never on any 60's compilation because Spector won't allow it.
Glenn: Right. I mean cause he's very personal about it, and I was very flattered that he let us use it.
Cindy: Tell me if the story is true about how the scene was filmed with the bed attached to the wall as reported in the press. What is the whole story with that?
Glenn: That is true. When you photograph a beautiful woman and she's lying down, gravity pulls parts of you and can distort if you're not careful. Based on where we wanted the camera to be and what we wanted the scene to look like...We talked about it; I can't remember who thought of it. It might have been me. It might have been Cybill. We decided at a certain point, to take the bed, and stand it up, and everybody looked beautiful because gravity was doing what it was supposed to.
Cindy: And I think it allows lighting to hit people....no shadows?
Glenn: Well, you can light anything from anywhere, but if it makes it easier, suddenly now, you're lighting from the floor instead of from above. But, it was really...It had a lot to do with gravity.
Cindy: We'd always heard that it had something to do with the fact that Bruce had a broken collarbone, and Cybill was pregnant.
Glenn: Well, no, I think...I'm sure it was part of the conversation because those things always were part of the conversation. But, my recollection is that the primary motivating force was...was aesthetics. And I frankly have used the trick since. I mean, in Picture Perfect, remember. There's a bed scene in Picture Perfect, and I did it the same way. I mean people just look better. Yeah, people, human faces look better standing up than they do lying down. Because when you lie down, God says give me some of that skin, and when you're standing up...
Cindy: Okay. One more question about Curious and the controversy. The fans debate this constantly...Sam Crawford--good guy or bad guy?
Glenn: Oh, Mark Harmon? Come on, it's a long time ago. Good guy or bad guy?
Cindy: Yeah, good guy or bad guy? Sam Crawford.
Glenn: Oh, I think a really good guy. I'll go one step further. I think Mark Harmon's a really good guy. He was fabulous. And that was Chick Eglee's idea. He said he was really good friends with Mark Harmon and he said, "We've got to develop something for Mark Harmon; we've got to get Mark Harmon in here;" Mark Harmon is really the only guy who could sort of square off with Bruce, you know, it would be sort of an interesting fair fight. He was really the sort of force behind that, and then when she got pregnant, I remember thinking, "Okay, better get him in here in a hurry. You know, I sort of set up the idea that she...cause I liked the idea that we wouldn't know who the dad was. It's interesting, you know...and it's sordid.
Diane: Can I ask a question about your last episode, which was Womb with a View?
Glenn: I think it was. Again, you know, I am surprisingly fuzzy on these things.
Diane: That was the miscarriage episode. And you chose to end it with a song and dance number. Can you tell me what your thought process was there?
Glenn: I'm sure it was, "Wow I'm on page 63, I'd better wrap this up." I don't remember. I haven't seen the episode in probably 10 or 12 years. Here's what I remember. I remember thinking I was really smart, because obviously the viewers were wondering is it Mark Harmon's baby or is it Bruce Willis's baby? I thought it was really smart that you saw the baby, and the baby was played by Bruce. So now, you, as a viewer know something that Maddie, David, and Sam don't know. That I remember being sort of...patting myself on the back a lot about.
After that, I don't remember very much. I want to say that Jay Daniel had a lot to do with that episode; I remember that he had a bunch of ideas. I remember the set design in that episode being...I mean, here's a show, it's going to take place in the womb. I'll see you in a week -- go build a womb. It was very, very...(laughter) Yeah, all set designers love a challenge, but our guy just consistently rose to the occasion, you know. You know, we would do -- a lot of it was reality based, some of it was phantasmagoric. And none of it seemed to throw him. He just did a fabulous job. But, I don't...I couldn't tell you what the end of the episode is.
Cindy: After all this time, does the staying power of this series and the fact that people can still be so passionate about it surprise you?
Glenn: It delights me. I'll tell you, when we were doing it, I would often say to Bruce, cause it was hard, it was very hard to do. We worked really, really hard, and you hear this all the time from every guy in television, but it's true. I think we worked longer and harder than most people. Maybe we didn't, but we certainly thought we did. And when we'd be in the thick of it, and people would start getting crabby, I would say to Bruce, who almost never complained, I'd say, "You know, if our kids are watching this at midnight, on some UHF station, when they're in college, we will have succeeded." I mean that was sort of my goal, you know, and he went, "Yeah, okay". You know that was sort of what...that was what we were aiming for -- if we could crack up 19 year olds you know, 20 years hence, then, we would have succeeded. I don't know if we're even on 19-year-old's radar anymore,
Diane: Oh, yeah, you are.
Glenn: I don't know if they watch Bravo or anything, you know, but -- it's Bravo that it's on, right?
Cindy: Yes it is. I get lots of young people coming to the site that are crazy about it.
Glenn: Well, but it's nice that it's still out there. I'm dismayed that it's not more available like on DVD and stuff like that. But it pleases me that people still enjoy it.
Diane: Can we go back to DVD for a minute? In terms of the DVDs, there is a legitimate group of people out there who are interested in working and campaigning for that. Are there people whose doors we should be breaking down?
Glenn: Yeah, I mean, we did the pilot. And then I was led to believe that there were going to be episodes put out. Anchor Bay was going to do that.
Cindy: With commentary on them too? That's great.
Glenn: Well, you know I'm certainly willing to do commentary where there's a commentary to be done. There isn't an abundance of supplemental material, I mean, they were so excited because I had that screen test. That was a big thing.
Cindy: You don't have any, like, dailies or anything left?
Glenn: Yeah, we have dailies, but dailies would bore you beyond belief because all a daily is the same thing done 16 times in a row
Cindy: Yeah, but sometimes scenes that are cut..see, that's what the fans would like to see.
Glenn: Oh, we didn't cut scenes, we didn't waste anything. We were so desperate to get shows on the air that I can't think of a cut scene.
Diane: So, Anchor Bay is still the people that are controlling this?
Glenn: That's my understanding.
Diane: At this point, ABC not at all?
Glenn: No, I mean, ABC was purchased by Disney. Disney controls the rights to the shows, but my understanding is that they sold the video rights to Anchor Bay. Anchor Bay put out the pilot. Now perhaps the pilot didn't sell as well as they had hoped...
Diane: Well, at Anchor Bay it's still on their web site. They are still announcing somewhere down the line, but about a year ago, we had somebody from ABC contact one of the people on the list and was working on, and actually sent her, a copy of Atomic Shakespeare on DVD. She's the only one, evidently, that has a copy.
Glenn: I don't have a copy. ABC doesn't release, I mean, to my knowledge, they don't have a...
Diane: What this gentleman told her was that he was involved in just the actual mechanics involved in getting it to DVD, and that he really didn't have any influence whatsoever in what was going to happen or where it was going to happen.
Glenn: I know they had them in Britain. But, I'd love to have them, you know, I don't have them.
Cindy: You know that Bravo, at the end of this month, that they won't be running it again because they don't have the rights anymore. Do you know who does? Who's got it, what's going to happen with it? Is it going to be shown anymore?
Glenn: I did not know that it was over. No, I wasn't aware that there wasn't going to be running on Bravo anymore.
Cindy: Maybe that means now they're going to put them on DVD or VHS?
Glenn: I don't think that one inhibited the other, because in fact, originally, the two were linked. In other words, because they'd gotten the deal to run the shows on Bravo, they now have an incentive financially to clear all that music, which is what made the DVD's possible. But then, for whatever reason, they didn't go ahead with the DVD's. I don't know where the shows going to end up. They've never been very good, frankly, about communicating with me about what they're doing. Before the show went on Bravo; we got a call I want to say like a minute before it went on Bravo. Somebody from Bravo called and said, "What are your 10 favorite episodes?", and I said, "Why?" They said, "Well, we're going to show the show." I said, "You're going to show the show?"...and I got very upset, you know. But I was also very excited because here in New York, they actually did a really lovely campaign announcing that they were going to be showing the shows. But, no, I don't know where they'll be showing next. I also don't have enough of an awareness of how badly; I shouldn't say how badly, how much they were edited on Bravo.
Cindy: Yeah, they were. Quite a bit on Bravo.
Glenn: Right. But the thing I don't know that anybody has unless they have their ABC ones, are, you know, we used to shoot those special sort of prelude things.
Cindy: You're right, Bravo cuts a lot of those.
Glenn: Yeah, and those are, in many cases, the funniest parts of the show. You know, we used to shoot our own promos, too. Because I didn't trust the people at ABC to do the promos. And also, very often, we were promoing, we didn't know if we had an episode to promo, so we would shoot generic promos. You know, but we shot the most; we wrote them and shot them ourselves. And those are pretty funny.
Diane: I'm a absolutely huge fan of the writing; this is what keeps me there. My question is, are there people in your past that have really influenced you?
Glenn: You mean as a writer?
Diane: As a writer, yes.
Glenn: I'm sure there are. As a young writer, I had the good fortune to work with a guy named Steve Gordon, and that meant a lot to me. Steve was a wonderful, wonderful writer, who went on to write and direct the original movie, Arthur. Dudley Moore. Um, who else? I was very effected by, and very much a product of, that whole sort of Jim Brooks's school of television that happened. When I was in college, you know, the Mary Tyler Moore show was on, and then that whole sort of series of MTM comedies; they were very humanistic. The first show I worked on when I went to Hollywood was Taxi. You know, Woody Allen, whose movies were sort of at their zenith at that time. I loved the Marx Brothers. I'm a big Frank Capra nut. I know that's not a fashionable thing to say, but I loved Frank Capra. Which means, really, I love Robert Riskin, cause Riskin wrote most of those movies. You know I'm drawing a blank. I don't give it a lot of thought. Yes, of course there are influences, I wish I had them at the ready.
Diane: And now the other side. You indicated earlier that you don't read fan fiction, and I can appreciate that; but there's a lot of it out there. There's a lot of Moonlighting fan fiction out there. There's also a group that's got a web site that has kept the series going for two additional seasons and into the next season right now. And I guess I want to know how do you feel about that? That what you've done has inspired other people to pick up a pen.
Glenn: It's always very gratifying, and flattering, and honestly, a little mystifying, because you, on some level you move on, and what you want is for your current work to be as, umm, your hoping your current work is as important as the work you've done in the past. So, it's a whole bunch of feelings. You know, again, it's just, you know, it's obviously extraordinarily flattering that people like you take the time and travel all this way. I still haven't gotten over that. But, so, it's you know, wonderful; like I say, it's unbelievably flattering. I just; I don't quite know what to do with it...because writing television is a fairly anonymous thing, you know. So, you know, I'm just very, very flattered.
Cindy: I recently registered the name and idea of having a Moonlighting Fan Club with the national registry of fan clubs and acquired the domain name for the same. Are you the person that could grant us permission to let this be an official fan club?
Glenn: When I made the shows, I made them in partnership with ABC. ABC owns 51% of them, and I own 49%, so I'm not really in a position unilaterally to give you that right. But, more importantly, emotionally, hear me out here. Being a fan, it seems to me is the right and privilege of anybody that sees something and is enamored of it. I wouldn't want to do something that would exclude other people from that. The possibility of that. I do remember going on your web site. One of the things I liked a lot about it, I hope I'm right about this, you know, you have those squares with the different topics and then you punch the button and you get into the section, and that's so great! All that design and what it took. It's a really terrific web site.
Cindy: Thank you. Yes, that is our site.
Glenn: And it's probably, it's hard for me to imagine that anyone will ever have a better Moonlighting Web site.
Cindy: Thank you.
Glenn: Having said that, I wouldn't want to deny… when I was a kid, when I was a kid,
I was enamored of a TV show that I loved...The Wild, Wild West (pause) you know, with Robert Conrad, they played secret agents? And all that stuff. Being a fan, I think one of the reasons the fan fiction thing, people are so passionate about it, is it's completely personal. You sit in your room, and you write this story that you know is the truth. That David and Maddie would absolutely do this thing. I just wouldn't want to…I'm uncomfortable sanctioning anything. But I'm happy to support you in other ways, like doing this interview.
Cindy: You know that I am pro-reunion, very much pro-reunion. What is your position on a reunion? Is that a possibility?
Glenn: Oh, pro-reunion. Okay, I thought it said pro-reading.
Cindy: (laughing) Pro-reunion.
Glenn: I'm agin it, I'm agin reading!
Cindy: Yes, pro-reunion. I am very, very much so.
Glenn: Well, as you know, Cindy, I'm an abolitionist, so...
Cindy: Is this viable? Is it feasible? Is there a snowball's chance in hell? Let's just be honest.
Glenn: Oh, I think there's a snowball's chance, but I don't think there's much more. I mean, I'm being completely candid with you. I must tell you, I get a call almost every year from Jordan Kerner, who's a producer over at Disney, and he says, "Hey, let's do the Moonlighting movie." But what they would want to do if they did a Moonlighting movie, my suspicion is, is a movie called Moonlighting; I don't think they want to do a movie about two people in their 40s, even if one of them is played by Bruce Willis. So, what you have is something like the Charlie's Angels movie, the Brady Bunch movies, or...it's a movie that uses the title. Yeah, and in some way, tries to encapsulate the spirit of the original, and I have no interest in that. Okay, I don't want to sully what I did with that. On the other hand, so you start saying, where could you do a Moonlighting movie with Bruce and Cybill?
Cindy: Feature film?
Glenn: Well, no, but I'm telling you I don't really think right now you could actually do that. So, you start talking about television movies, and when you do that, I think, understandably, Bruce who's an international motion picture star, probably isn't going to be interested. And I have not yet had the sort of Eureka moment that I would have to have, where you sit up in the middle of the night and say "EUREKA! I'VE GOT IT!! This is the story!!"
Cindy: If you had that moment, would you make it happen?
Glenn: Of course. Okay. But let me explain to you how I would get that moment. Because I'm an egomaniac, okay? Because you don't get to do this unless you're a member of the Egomaniacs Union. Which means I either have to have the idea or believe I have the idea. It's not something that someone can give to you.
Cindy: So a fan campaign doesn't do it for you? It doesn't drive you?
Glenn: No. The campaign just lets me know that people care very deeply, and that's extraordinarily gratifying. But, now, so here's the sad part; I come back to you, you've said to me, "This is what we want, can you give it to us?" and I come back to you and say, "I don't know how to do it right now." I don't have an idea worthy of bringing these two people together. And I don't think the economic climate exists right now. I mean the sad truth of the American motion picture business is, is that, by and large, it's not driven by movies that people over the age of 21 want to see. Let's take it out of the realm of quality, but let's talk about demographics for a moment. So it's a very tough proposition right now. But, really, those are all excuses, the real key is, I don't have this great idea and here's the other thing. For me, it's like the guy you went out with in high school or the girl I went out with in high school. I have such extraordinary memories of that. All I could do now is screw it up, you know? No, I'm being serious. Yes, you'd be amazed at how much I could screw something up. And, and I don't want to...that would be the risk; you talk about risk, that would be a risk. Because all these people like you, who love this thing, you know.
Glenn: I'll tell you a story. Bruce and I always try and exchange gifts for birthdays and stuff like that. When we were doing Moonlighting, it was really like, "Can you top this?". One year, he got me tickets to go see Frank Sinatra in concert. It was down in Orange County somewhere, and I had never seen Frank Sinatra perform....Bruce had seen him a couple of times. And he's very much an icon to both of us, as you can imagine. And so I went to see Frank Sinatra. And Frank Sinatra is one of the greatest performers who ever lived, that goes without saying. Having said that, I saw him in the late eighties, and he wasn't at his best. And I remember sitting there thinking, "Why didn't I get up off my ass, and see him in the seventies?" I think it's the late eighties for Moonlighting, and we wouldn't be at our best. And I don't want anyone -- I'd rather they have the experience that you guys had, looking at the tapes, and hopefully the DVD's.....you know, rather than trotting out -- 'cause you know, they'd probably be married by now, they'd have kids. I don't know, like I say, I just don't have that Eureka idea that sort of supports it. I apologize, but at the same time......you know.......And what was your last question?
Cindy: We want to know about your current projects.
Glenn: I'm doing a pilot for ABC, hopefully it will be a series in 2003.
Cindy: What's the name of it?
Glenn: Oh, right now it's called Meant to Be, but that could change.
Cindy: Tell us everything you can about it, cause I know the fans will want to know.
Glenn: It's gonna be in color, and have synch sound…
Cindy: What's the premise?
Glenn: I'm not gonna tell you anything about that. Those are tightly held secrets, you know.
Cindy: We know the fans will want to know, cause they will want to support you.
Glenn: And tell the fans that I am very grateful for all of that, and I'm not trying to be difficult. And I'm producing a movie that looks like it's gonna go...we've got a couple of movies in the works. And that's pretty much it. But I cannot tell you how flattering it is that people like you come all this way, and want to know all these things, and I'm sorry, I know I seem like a nincompoop, but I have not sat down with the shows in so long.
Diane: No, not at all. And actually, we're glad you feel flattered, but we work as representatives for a lot of other people too. There are a lot of people out there who are very, very involved and adore the show, just strictly for the show
Glenn: I'm gonna tell you a secret. While I don't have an idea for a reunion, and I don't think there is a tremendous chance that there'll be a reunion, I would be hurt if you didn't want a reunion. And it's tremendously gratifying and flattering, and you know, if I seem dim about some of it, it was a while ago, and it's also, when you spend four years of your life on something, and then, you know, so there's some pain involved, there's all kind of things. So sometimes you don't dwell on it. My kids are just about at an age where they're starting to get curious about some, and I can sit them down and show them some of them. But I thank you so much for coming.
Cindy: We can't tell you how much the show means to us.
Diane: Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us.