You've only recently become the subject/protagonist of a
documentary, Stu's Show
- so in a few words, what is the film about?
few words? OK, it’s about my life and career and my finally meeting
someone who loved me as much as I loved her and my struggle with the
medical industry to keep her alive.
Now how did
the project fall together in the first place?
CJ Wallis [C.J.
Wallis interview - click here], the filmmaker, did a documentary in 2017 called Perfect Bid,
which dealt with someone
who helped a contestant on The Price is Right guess the exact price
of his showcase by yelling the price from the studio audience. Not a big
deal but when you hear about the backstory, it made for a tremendously
entertaining film. I had CJ as a guest on my internet TV talk show because
I found the film highly enjoyable and very fascinating. When CJ came over
to do the show, he was intrigued by my show and what I done my entire life
as a TV historian and preservationist. When he learned of my plight
helping my then-girlfriend (now wife) recover from a life-threatening
brain aneurysm, he thought it would make an interesting story too, so here
about your love for vintage television for a bit, and some of your
favourite shows from yesteryear?
the time I was maybe eight or nine, I’d always been fascinated with
television - both the
people in front of the camera but also the technical aspect of it all –
the way it was shot,
produced, etc. I knew at that young age that it was television that I
wanted to base my
adult life and career upon. I grew up watching I Love Lucy,
Flintstones, The Dick
Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, etc. In the 1960s, all of these were
first run except for I Love Lucy, but I also watched
The Lucy Show during that
decade as a first run program.
The shows were so well-produced and well-acted that they left an indelible
on me and my childhood.
Now one of the key
focuses of Stu's Show
and also an important woman in your life is Lucille Ball - so what can you
tell us about her impact on your life, but also her as a person, and about
working with her?
if you had told me as a kid that I would someday know her personally and
even work for
her, I would have told you to seek some professional help. But lo and
behold, the stars aligned,
the cards fell into place, I was in the right place at the right time, and
I ended up taking
a class she taught at CSUN during my last year there. I made sure she
realized who I
was from the get-go and also let them know I had a vast knowledge of her
career. I stayed
in touch with her and her husband Gary Morton after the class ended, and
when the opportunity arose I became her personal film archivist for the remaining years of her
was like a second mother to me – always concerned about my well-being,
my family, I always
got birthday and Christmas presents from her every year, she really did
treat me like
one of her family. In fact, Desi jr, who I got to know well and became
friends with, used
to say when referring to me, “Stu is my mom’s other son… her other
It's only fair now that we also talk
about the other, probably much more important woman in your life, Jeanine
after nearly 51 years on this planet, a failed first marriage, and never
any long term relationships
prior to that, I finally met someone who loved me the way I loved
had everything in common too… which is why I fought so hard to make sure
Seriously, how many women do you know who love The Three
Are there any stories or show biz anecdotes
that you'd like to share that just didn't make the final cut of Stu's
there are so many personal tales I can share that really don’t have
anything to do with
the film. I’ve been so privileged and blessed to be able to work with
and know so many
wonderful people in show business – actors, comics, producers,
directors, etc. It would
take a year to document all the stories I could tell you.
What can you tell us about Stu's
Show's director C.J. Wallis [C.J.
Wallis interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?
is a BRILLIANT filmmaker. When he’s working, he focuses his entire
attention on whatever he’s
doing at that moment – he gives 1000% to everything he does. I noticed
the care and labor
he put into Perfect Bid, and that’s why when he approached me to do
our story, I knew
that there was nobody more qualified than CJ Wallis to tell it in a true,
proper, and entertaining manner, and he didn’t let me down. He’s
delivered a solid film that I’m damn proud to be a part of. He respected
my decision of agreeing to do the film solely to show people that they CAN
deal with the medical industry and all its red tape, bureaucratic BS with
all its bumps and sags, but if you play the system right, you can emerge
victoriously. There are some wonderful doctors, nurses, and therapists out
there. You just have to fight hard enough to get to them sometimes. You
have to cut through the crap that’s thrown at you along the way and
stand up for your principles and push, push, push to break down that
barrier that the industry thinks most people will just be resigned to go
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
spent a lot of hours telling and retelling the events because we’d
finish a session and
then I’d remember something I left out that I felt needed to be said.
Not once did
CJ ever respond with, “oh, geez – we have to do it all again?”, he’d always react positively and allow me to tell the same story again,
but with whatever additional points I’d want to make, and he’d always
shoot it all patiently, never once complaining. Honestly, he
made everything seem so relaxed and natural, even when I got excited all
over again when
I recounted some of the BS I had to plow through to get Jeanine the care
It was really rough on me having to recall some very tough days again; I
and super emotional at times just having to re-tell them, but CJ was the
director I’ve ever worked with. It was a dream set.
$64-question of course, where can Stu's
Show be seen?
May 2, you can see the film pretty much anywhere – over the air, it can
be seen in
the on demand sections of DirecTV, Dish, Cox Cable, Spectrum, and
Cablevision. Online you
can find it in the usual places – iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, and a
few other platforms.
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Stu's
critics (like you, and thank you for your kind review) are just now seeing
the general consensus is that CJ and Mallory hit this out of the park,
which makes me
very, very pleased. The more people who see this film, the more they will
be better equipped
to deal with the medical industry when and if their loved ones ever suffer
very serious. The rest of the film – my years with Lucy, my own TV talk show,
my career in general – it’s all fun to watch and hear about – I’m
for the things I’ve been lucky to have in my life, but the true point of
this film as
far as I’m concerned is learning how to properly deal with the medical
Any future projects you'd like to share?
now I’m semi-retired. We recently moved out of the LA area after 35
years and I’m
content with just doing my bi-weekly internet TV talk show from way up
here in this
picturesque mountain community.
talk about your podcast, aptly titled Stu's Show, for a bit, and
the philosophy behind it, and how it grew, maybe changed over the years?
for asking. As you saw in the film, I began the show in 2006 as a way to
celebrate classic TV by having conversations with those who were a part of
it both in front of behind the cameras. I call them conversations, not
interviews… conversations done in a way that makes it seem like the
audience watching and listening is right there in the room with us simply
observing. I break that “fourth wall” and look right into my camera
and make comments to my viewers all the time. They like that… makes them
feel a part of the show. After 500 audio broadcasts, in 2017, looking for
ways to make the show more entertaining and to not get stale, I invested
some money and switched the show to television (with an audio simulcast
still available for those who couldn’t plant themselves in front of a
computer or Roku TV to watch). I also went to a bi-weekly schedule to cut
back on my workload. That’s turned out very well and for the foreseeable
future, that’s how it’s going to stay. Viewers get a new show every
both within and outside of the show business, who inspire you?
- well, Lucille Ball (obviously), Desi Arnaz, Dick Van Dyke, Norman Lear,
Bob Barker, Mark
Goodson… outside of the business – hmmm… Barack Obama, Bill Gates,
Elon Musk – people
who had ideas and received tremendous success from them.
Saddles, Airplane!, Mary Poppins, The Comic, anything
Laurel and Hardy, The Marx
Brothers, The Three
Stooges. On the drama side, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,
The Social Network, Saving Private Ryan, ET (if that qualifies),
JFK, Goodfellas, Forrest Gump. I also love a good documentary –
love ‘em. You gotta remember, I’m way out of the desirable demographic
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
hate to slam something that someone put a lot of time and effort into, but
I will say that I don’t
like the way the movie industry is trending – all superhero and special
effects movies. I can’t stand any of them. I didn’t care at all for Star Wars way back when or any of its sequels… probably the only
person on the planet who thinks that way.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
- also available as a Roku channel
the Roku Channel Store (it’s free).
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
think we’ve covered everything…I’m exhausted!
Thanks for the
welcome – thank you!