Proof of something or other

The Illuminated Donkey has been laid off.

When a hard-working man the likes of Ken Goldstein gets the axe it’s a powerful argument for a universe free of oversight.

Maybe he’ll blow his unemployment on a visit. Time for a drink.

Actually, come to think of it, he’s like the third person I heard of getting the axe this month. Hm.

Suddenly it all makes sense

In November, I recieved a peculiar postcard, which I noted and shared here, thinking it somehow foreshadowed an event involving Ken, an ex-coworker of both of ours, and a story involving fecal matter.

At that time I did not share the message on the back of the card, as I found it obtuse, possibly a feeble ‘jest.’

Now it’s all coming clear. If Goldstein thinks I’m letting him take Kensapoppin‘, tweak the book and add some dance frippery and then call it an original work that he’s free to peddle under the quite-probably infringing title Ken’s Misbehavin’ to those heartless shmucks in Hollywood (HA! an option on UPN! HE has NO IDEA what he’s walking away from!) he’s going to have ANOTHER THINK COMING.

I’ll be wrapped up with the contract law team for the rest of the day but rest assured… This game ain’t over.


Regarding that deal memo

To: Britney Alexander, Acquisitions, BTVP
From: Mike Whybark
RE: Kensapoppin’

Dear Britney:

Thank you for your recent missive concerning your forthcoming effort, “Kenny, Big & Tall.” While we understand your disappointment at the MOW status for the project (quite a step down from the two-part, twelve-hour HBO MS we were discussing in Vegas), the projected demography for the piece makes it a nice fit with UPN, and heartily wish you the success that all of us in the entertainment industry associate with the top-quality products associated with everyone’s favorite netlet.

Furthermore, we extend our congratulations and condolences on your recent marriage and annulment. What with the deal memos coming so thick and fast this New Year in Las Vegas, we can easily understand that you anticipated casting your ex-husband in the role of Mr. Goldstein, an idea which, we must note, was expressed to you in an informal casting guidance note prior to the temporary alteration in your relationship to Mr. Alexander.

What a shock and disappointment it must have been to you when it became apparent that the Mr. Alexander of your childhood acquaintance, while Tall and we can only presume, commensurate with his status as a gridiron expert, Big, is neither the former star of Seinfeld and The Producers nor a Tony Award winning Broadway performer. We extend our deepest, most heartfelt sympathies, which only intensified when we learned of the contractual obligation between Bigshot Television and Mr. Alexander regarding “Kenny, Big & Tall.”

In spite of our sympathies, however, we have grave concerns about the employment of the Ken Goldstein brand in conjunction with Mr. Alexander, especially in the context of the scripts we’ve seen for “Kenny, Big & Tall.” While, as noted, we have only the best wishes for your production, we must insist that any attempt to represent “Kenny, Big & Tall” as an endorsed endeavor, or to incorporate the name or likeness of Ken Goldstein or The Illuminated Donkey or The Ken Goldstein Project into the shooting script, marketing materials, story line, resultant publicity, ancillary promotional products, keychains, tee-shirts, coffee mugs, children’s plush sculpted backpacks, bobbleheads, chewing gum, potato chips or other fast-food ad snack packaging, museum exhibitions, commemorative magazine releases, DVD packaging or on-disc trailers, automotive limited editions, commemorative ceramic plates, wristwatches, production prospectus materials or any other materials unspecified in this informal letter will be met by immediate and forceful legal action. We will demonstrate our exclusive rights to the aforementioned brands and materials and our dependent interest in assuring that we maintain creative and approval control over any media appearances or derivational properties.

To that end, please relay an updated shooting script that effaces the infringing materials as soon as is convenient and please include a cover letter that enumerates any promotional communications or production materials embargoed by our request. It is not our intent to impede your production in any way, and trust that in order to meet your deadlines you will comply with all due promptness.

Mike Whybark
The Ken Goldstein Project
cc: KG, JD, ES, VP, MG, JA, GD

The Century

Late-breaking news:


This rarely-reproduced shot of the now-forgotten and unrecorded first flight – one hundred years ago today – was deliberately excluded from early aviation histories because of the thoughtless presence of Ken Wright in the frame. Wright had just arrived on the scene, having lost hundreds of dollars at an all-night poker game on the Coast Guard base just down the coast and had accompanied a few of the Coasties to the flight ground in hopes of borrowing a few mullions of cabbage from his notoriously parsimonious relations.

Wandering into the shot just as the Flyer lofted and creating a shambles of the event, Wright was physically removed from the premises shortly thereafter.

The third Wright


As I was investigating various Wright-related imagebanks, what should I uncover but this amazing find, which appears to reveal the existence of a previously unknown Wright Brother. It’s thought, I think, that the third Wright, seen here for the first time, mostly stayed at home in Ohio, feeling vaguely dissatisfied and making occasional forays into humor writing. Later, he passes out of the family history, headed for New Jersey.

More on Ken's dilemma

kencard.jpg Ken sent me this card recently. Shortly thereafter, a humorous aside he’d written more than a year ago generated an angry letter from an ex-coworker whom we’re both fond of and hold in high esteem.

He’s a laugh-riot, ladies and gentlemen, a reg’lar Henny Newman! He’s taken the Mel Brooks exposition of Aristotle’s Treatise on Humor and turned himself into a living monument to comedy!

Plush dolls and playing cards. I’m tellin’ ya, I’ll make a mint off this kid.

I win! I win! It's meeeee

donk_100k_full.jpgThe Illuminated Donkey announced that when the counter over there rolled over to 100,000, a prize involving obscure 80’s films on VHS might be in the offing.

Well, I must be getting old, cuz I had nothing better to do between 11:50 and 12:15 tonight except to kick that puppy over!

No cheating or chicanery was involved – just good old Murrican know how and more computers than one man could ever possibly actually need. I even tried Lynx, for god’s sake, but it didn’t render the java, of course.


KGOTW: Fireworks number

Paul celebrated a birthday in company with Ken, leading, inevitably, to the return of Ken Goldstein of the Week here at

We spent the fourth in company of tennis Friends of the Donk Matt and Bader, and Ken was fondly discussed more than once.