I love Lee Goldberg.
He has brought our family so much joy. Although many of you already know him as the writer of the TV shows Diagnosis Murder. Martial Law, Nero Wolf, Missing, and Fast Track, I will forever love him for his heartwarming adventures of the lovable, stumbling, flawed, but still trying against all odds – Adrian Monk (who was originally created by Andy Breckman).
Anyone who can with words, bring a character to life so much so that the he lives in others’ conversations (Mom, that sounds like something Monk would say) is golden in my book. Lee has consistently done this with his many, many characters by giving them all a sense of humor with humanity.
As a writer myself, you will never find me agreeing to any kind of censorship. Words are too important to stifle. Ever.
However, having said that I do believe that as writers we need to write responsibly for our audiences and as parents we need to monitor what our children are exposed to.
Imagine my delight when back in the day, we discovered a TV show that the entire family (all 6 kids) could enjoy and which didn’t involve any teenaged vampires giving oral sex to one another.
Then imagine my further delight when I discovered that Lee had written a series of Monk books which could be read out loud to all those kids. And that is what I did. I read the first book to my poppets followed by the next and the next.
Dishes were cleared and the requests for “just one more chapter – pleeeease” immediately began.
I entered a note on his website forum telling him about my reading out loud to the kids (jobs well done should be acknowledged as jobs well done) and he actually replied. A big, busy, important guy like that responding to a mom like me. Extra, extra bonus points for that one.
Lee is prolific, funny, a wonderfully talented writer, and a heck of a guy who now has a chicken in New Hampshire named after him.
Job well done, Lee.
Good Egg Interview with Lee Goldberg
What is the best advice an older relative or family member gave you?
My grandfather gave me two pieces of advice I have followed all of my life.
1). “It never hurts to be over-prepared, it always hurts to be under-prepared.” That’s why I always have a jacket with me, even if it’s 110 degrees in the shade, a habit which my daughter finds embarrassing.
2). “Never buy a car on time. That way, no bank can ever take it away from you and, if worse comes to worse, you can always live in it.” My accountant absolutely hates me for following that one.
If you were given one wish to use anyway you wanted, what would you wish for?
That everyone could have at least two of their dreams come true.
If you were allowed the use of a large billboard over a well traveled road, what would you put on the billboard?
What are you doing reading this billboard? You’re going to get someone killed. Keep your eyes on the road!
What’s the passion that drives you to get up every morning?
Usually a full bladder and the passionate need to relieve it.
What is your ideal dinner? What would you eat and with whom would you share it?
A buffet of home-made dishes, preferably served on a picnic table beside a beach or lake, on a hot summer day with my entire family. I’m talking about platters of BBQ ribs, thin-sliced tri-tip, fried chicken, slices of melon, my mom’s “seashell casserole,” my grandmother’s pecan cookies, my sister’s lemon cookies, and many more artery clogging foods.
Do you have any favorite chicken stories or memories?
Thanks for being such a good egg, Lee!
About Lee Goldberg
Lee Goldberg published his first book .357 Vigilante (as “Ian Ludlow,” so he’d be on the shelf next to Robert Ludlum) while he was still a UCLA student. The West Coast Review of Books called his debut “as stunning as the report of a .357 Magnum, a dynamic premiere effort,” singling the book out as “The Best New Paperback Series” of the year. Naturally, the publisher promptly went bankrupt and he never saw a dime in royalties.
His subsequent books include the non-fiction books Successful Television Writing and Unsold Television Pilots (“The Best Bathroom Reading Ever!” San Francisco Chronicle) as well as the novels My Gun Has Bullets (“It will make you cackle like a sitcom laugh track,” Entertainment Weekly), Beyond the Beyond (“Outrageously entertaining,” Kirkus Reviews), and The Man with the Iron-On Badge (“as dark and twisted as anything Hammet or Chandler ever dreamed up,” Kirkus Reviews).
Goldberg broke into television with a freelance script sale to Spenser: For Hire. Since then, his TV writing & producing credits have covered a wide variety of genres, including sci-fi (SeaQuest), cop shows (Hunter), martial arts (Martial Law), whodunits (Diagnosis Murder, Nero Wolfe), the occult (She-Wolf of London), kid’s shows (R.L. Stine’s The Nightmare Room), T&A (Baywatch), comedy (Monk) and utter crap (The Highwayman). His TV work has earned him two Edgar Award nominations from the Mystery Writers of America.
His two careers, novelist and TV writer, merged when he began writing the Diagnosis Murder series of original novels, based on the hit CBS TV mystery that he also wrote and produced. And he also writes novels based on Monk, another show he’s worked on.