michael gould

Dana Gould is one of comedy’s “that guys.” His footprint is everywhere – from writing on top-line hits like The Simpsons to cult-status titles The Ben Stiller Show – and there’s a chance you’ve never heard of him. If you’re like Dana and you’ve spent the last quarter century hopping from great writers room to great writers room, while still managing to be a stand-up, a podcast host, and the voice of an animated gecko (not that one), you gain insights into life, entertainment and politics that a lot of us aren’t privy to.

THIS WEEK: Jack O'Brien, Daniel O'Brien and Michael Swaim sit down with Dana for an extended conversation about the world-building processes behind The Simpsons and Parks & Rec, Elvis Costello’s worst night ever, and the cognitive dissonance of the average Trump supporter. We also ask him about Gex.

More Simpsons Writer’s Room Stories (From A Simpsons Writer)


...death eaters...a modern day gang...

‘Cause this is survival of the fittest. This is do or die. This is the winner takes it so take all. So get your ideas, stack your ammo but don’t come unless you come to battle, I’m mad now jump in the saddle. This is it, it’s what you eat, sleep, piss and shit, live, breathe, your whole existence just consists of this. Refuse to quit, fuse is lit, can’t diffuse the wick.

you and me we spark // for Caleb - x Adam 

shut your eyes snow patrol; golden train justin nozuka; on your porch the format; be mine (robyn) ellie goulding & erik hassle; warmer climate snow patrol; the guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind griffin house; like real people do hozier; rob me blind jay brannan

Lucy the Choirmaster

S4;E14~ December 13, 1965


Lucy celebrates her first Christmas in California. To continue a tradition she started in Danfield, she convinces Mr. Mooney to allow carolers to perform at the bank.  

Regular Cast

Lucille Ball (Lucy Carmichael), Gale Gordon (Theodore J. Mooney)

Mary Jane Croft (Mary Jane Lewis) does not appear in this episode

Guest Cast

Lloyd Corrigan (Proprietor of the Christmas Tree Lot) was a portly character actor, who played bit parts in silent movies, before switching his attention to writing and directing. He returned to acting in the 1940s, appearing in two films with Lucille Ball. He first appeared as Mr. Holly in “Lucy Puts Up a TV Antenna” (S1;E9). This is his final appearance on the series. 

Teddy Eccles (Barry, left) previously played Mr. Mooney’s son Arnold in “Lucy’s Contact Lenses” (S3;E10). He began his show business career at the age of 4 and was 9 years old when he first appeared on “The Lucy Show.” His last screen appearance was in 1977 and is now producing for television. This is his final appearance on the series.

Jimmy Garrett (Jerry Carmichael, second from left) was part of the original regular cast of “The Lucy Show” having appeared in 54 episodes as Lucy’s son, Jerry. This is his final appearance on the series.

Robert Roter (Newton, second from right) was a child actor making his only appearance on the series.

Michael Blake (Malcolm, right) was a child actor whose career began at age two.  He is now an Emmy-winning make-up artist.

Theodore Miller (Stanley, Singer on Skates) was a child actor making his TV debut. He would do one episode of “Family Affair” in 1968 before leaving the business.  Miller was one of the few African Americans seen on “The Lucy Show.”  

The final credits list Miller as playing Lenny, despite Lucy calling him Stanley.

Sid Gould (Charley) made more than 45 appearances on “The Lucy Show,” all as background characters. He also did 40 episodes of “Here’s Lucy.” Gould (born Sydney Greenfader) was Lucille Ball’s cousin by marriage to Gary Morton. Gould was married to Vanda Barra, who also appeared on “The Lucy Show” starting in 1967, as well as on “Here’s Lucy.”  

The final credits list Gould as playing Joe, despite Llloyd Corrigan calling him Charley.  

St. Charles Boys Choir was conducted by Paul Salamunovich. He served as Director of Music at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood, California, for 60 years between 1949 and 2009.  “The Lucy Show” previously recruited local boys to participate in their sports team-themed episodes.

Other uncredited extras play the concert spectators and a passerby with a dog at the Christmas tree lot. Lucy rattles off the other boys names: Milton, Bruce, Lester, Steve, Walter, Jeff, Nelson, Homer, Lloyd, and Linden, although it is difficult to know if these were their real names or names contrived by the writers.  

This is one of two Christmas-themed episodes of “The Lucy Show.”  The first was “Together for Christmas” (S1;E13) during season one when the Carmichaels lived with Viv and Sherman.  

Lucy reminds Mr. Mooney that back in Danfield she used to bring carolers around for charity.  Although carolers were part of “Together for Christmas” (S1;E13), Mr. Mooney had not arrived in Danfield at the time, so she must be referring to something not depicted on screen.  

Mr. Mooney’s office is full of 25 wrapped Christmas presents.  Among others, he has bought presents for Doris Brown, his Aunt Clara (an umbrella), and his nephew (a baseball bat).  He bought Lucy a hand-knit sweater imported from Italy but insists she return it to pay for new gift wrap when she messes up his system of gift tags.

Lucy reminds us that she is a widow who lives alone. Although daughter Chris is not in the episode and not mentioned by name, Lucy does say she bought gifts for the children (plural).  

Mr. compares himself to Scrooge.  Ebenezer Scrooge was a miserly banker, the central character of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella A Christmas Carol.

Lucy rehearses the choir in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, pantomiming along to cue the boys.  The choir uses the lyric “three red hens” instead of the more traditional “three French hens.” The song, published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin.

The choir sings “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” for Mr. Mooney twice. According to the Guinness World Records, “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” is the second-most popular song in the English language, following “Happy Birthday to You” and followed by “Auld Lang Syne.”


Desilu started doing a Christmas tag at the end of “I Love Lucy” in 1951. In 1956 they fleshed out the tag to a full episode featuring clips. It did not enter syndication and wasn’t seen again until 1989 when the wrap-around segments (but not the clips) were colorized. The fully colorized episode was seen in 1990 and has become a holiday staple for CBS, airing along with a newly colorized “I Love Lucy” favorite.  

Blooper Alerts!

In “Together for Christmas” (S1;E13) Lucy stated that she traditionally has popcorn strings and candy canes decorating her Christmas tree.  Here, just three years later, both are absent.

Newton’s voice changes mid-song.  In his argument with Barry his voice is natural, but a minute later during “The Twelve Days of Christmas” his voice is suddenly cracking in both song and dialogue.

“Lucy the Choirmaster” rates 3 Paper Hearts out of 5

fall vibes

for those fall days or any day tbh where you are just relaxing in your room alone under the covers


take me to church // hozier

wherever you are // 5 seconds of summer

young blood // bea miller

cigarette smoke // arctic monkeys

a daydream away // all time low

the mother we share (vanic remix) // chvrches

medicine // the 1975

intro // the xx

shadow // wild nothing

autumn // bombay bicycle club

harvest moon // neil young

nirvana (acoustic) // sam smith

this disorder // the features

october (broken bells cover) // hubris

all about you (cover) // calum hood

the scientist (acoustic) // coldplay

rooting for my baby (remix) // miley cyrus

autumn leaves // alice kristiansen

giving up // haerts

hanging on // ellie goulding

wake me up when september ends // green day



P A U S E I T.  P L A Y I T.  // 1hour // 
A list of the most memorable mashups I have stumbled upon so far;

i. Royals Come Together | Lorde x The Beatles // ii. Chocolate Stars Smash Mouth x The 1975 // iii. Radioactive In The Dark | Fall Out Boy x Imagine Dragons // iv. Anything Could Change | Ellie Goulding x Michael Jackson//  v.212 Anonymous Haters | Azealia Banks x Sky Ferreira //  vi. This Charming Video Game | The Smiths x Lana Del Rey //  vii. Happy Team | Pharrell Williams x Lorde  // viii. Another One Bites Da Funk | Queen x Daft Punk //  ix. It’s Juliet | We The Kings x Imagine Dragons //  x. Shake The Scientist | Florence & The Machine x Coldplay //  xi. I Am Not Young & Beautiful | Lana Del Rey x Marina And The Diamonds //  xii. Thirteen Hearts Thirtyfive Mess | Gotye x Dillon //  xiii. Scumbody Told Me | Arctic Monkeys x The Killers //  xiv. Titanium City | David Guetta Ft. Sia x M83 //  L I S T E N //