Show Clothes

Writer/Producer Ken Levine has a very funny post on his blog about show jackets — the typical Christmas gift from a production company to the staff of a series. My closet is full of show-wear. I’ve got jackets, hats, fleeces, visors, vests, sweatshirts and t-shirts representing just about every show I’ve ever worked on.

I used to wear my show clothes a lot when I was first starting out — it was pride and it made me feel like a member of a special club. I could dress from head to toe in stuff that had a show logo on it.  I don’t wear any of it very often now (except my MISSING, MARTIAL LAW, DIAGNOSIS MURDER and COBRA fleeces, which are all super-warm on chily days). 

I never wear the BAYWATCH jacket because I’m afraid someone will ask me to give them mouth-to-mouth. I don’t wear my SEAQUEST jacket because it makes me look like the ultimate sf fanboy  geek. If I wear the other stuff, I run the very real risk of my waiter or waitress handing me their headshot or the guy at 7-11 slipping me his spec script along with my Big Gulp.

But you don’t always  get show clothing. You also get binders, book-bags, paperweights, belt buckles, pens, flashlights, key-chains, even candles. Ken has received some weird stuff, too:

One year on CHEERS we received lovely dart boards. At the time everyone
had young children. I don’t think anyone even took them out of the box.
(I’m sure there’s still one or two floating around ebay). On MASH one
year the cast gave us all engraved watches. It was a beautiful gift,
one I still have. The next season the new writer on the staff was
counting the days until the big gift. It turned out to be a custom 33
rpm album of all the scenes in which the cast sang on the show. He was
livid. “You guys get watches and I get a fucking album of Loretta Swit
singing?!” (I don’t even think ebay has that one).

A few years ago an actor on a show I was producing gave me a large
heavy rock with the word “remember” carved into it. I put it on the
front porch and am still looking for a companion rock that says “Pearl
Harbor” or “the Alamo” or “to wipe your feet”. I’d tell you who the
actor was but can’t seem to recall…

…Oh well, I still have my memories. And my IT’S ALL RELATIVE fleece, BIG
fleece, CONRAD BLOOM bowling shirt, ASK HARRIETT t-shirt, and GEORGE
& LEO beltbuckle…which I would all gladly trade for one FAMILY GUY

When you’re a producer on a series, the studio and network also send you gifts. From wine and wallets to alarm clocks and dishwear.  I got a bathrobe from Les Moonves once. I have it hermetically sealed in case he calls me to a meeting in a sauna some day.

6 thoughts on “Show Clothes”

  1. One of my cloest writing buddies worked on HANGIN WITH MR. COOPER for years. He had this hideous jacket from the show – they must have spent $400 on the thing, all leather and embroidered, etc. – and he gave it to me once for winning some silly contest we had going at JA.
    Then I gave it back to him for something. Then he sent it to me in the mail. I Fedex’d it to him while on vacation. Then he delivered it wrapped like a present for my birthday.
    The rule is – if we open the package and see the jacket – we HAVE to wear it in publis for one full day.
    I’m now plotting how to get it back to him…

  2. I felt I had arrived when I got my first show jacket – ABC Wide World of Sports (who cares that it was one size fits all and, as a five foot barely anything woman it really didn’t fit me all that well). I still wear it sometimes. With the sleeves really bunched up. I also have an awesome winter coat from the 1998 Olympics that is superwarm, but always prompts people to go, “Wow! You were in the Olympics?” Uhm… no. But I asked probing questions of those who were!
    Currently, I work for “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light,” two shows produced by Procter & Gamble. Every Christmas, they send a box full of goodies. It is awesome! Crest! Cascade! Bounty! I love my box!

  3. Before I found my true calling in life I worked maintenance in San Diego in the Civic Theater. I have a monogramed Jack Benny handkerchief that he left in his dresing room. I would gladly trade it for…..

  4. I have never worked on a show (watched a lot of them, though) or on a movie, but I am envious of those that have. Being a B-Movie/SF Geek Kinda Guy, I was (and am) a fan of Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment. For those that don’t know, Band is a Low Rent Roger Corman (which tells how how cheap his movies really are) who has taken a page from George Lucas in how to expand the profitability of his movies. Almost all of the fantasy characters in the Full Moon stable have become collectible figures and such. I even have Tunneler and Totem action figures! Wait, I’m sounding really pathetic now.
    Anyway, to make a long story boring, I purchased a Full Moon Entertainment tee-shirt (which I still wear with pride). Most often I get blank looks, if I get any at all, that is. But this one time I was strolling through SunCoast Video, wearing my Full Moon Entertainment tee-shirt, and the guy behind the counter says, “Full Moon? Cool. You work for ’em?”
    “Nope,” I said. “But I wish I did.”
    Just Another Day in the Life of a Doofus.


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