Alan Katz: A Self Portrait
Alan Katz Revealed
About Alan Katz
What is your birthdate?:3/1
Previous occupations:I've delivered newspapers, worked in my dad's children's shoe store, I wrote animated series, game shows, variety shows, TV commercials, and webisodes.
Favorite job:My favorite job was writing for The Rosie O'Donnell Show for five years; every morning was a blank slate to fill with funny stuff. A great challenge!
High school and/or college:Francis Lewis High School in Flushing, New York, then Queens College in (you guessed it) Queens
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:I really enjoy James Taylor.
Favorite movie:My all-time favorite movie is The Jerk (with Steve Martin). Okay, you can joke about that if you want.
Favorite television show:My favorite TV show is Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Wonderful family, grateful doing what I enjoy most.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Keep reading, keep laughing.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Perfect happiness is the moment when all my kids have done their homework and are busy with pre-bedtime activities that are personally satisfying and enriching for them, yet not overly noisy. I've never actually experienced that moment, but I hear it's wonderful.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. My greatest fear is that each of my kids won't do all they can to maximize their incredible potential.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Cooperstown, at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Never been there, but have always wanted to go.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. I have great affection for many humorists who are no longer with us; notably Jack Benny and Steve Allen
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Not one living person; five. My wife Rose and our four kids.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. Clean your room. No one listens.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. I regret not brushing my teeth better as a kid. I now know if you just wet the toothbrush at bedtime, it doesn't actually help your teeth.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. I'd love to be more musical. I don't play any instruments, and wish I could.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. My greatest achievement is developing the ability to make people laugh.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. My greatest flaw is procrastination. Can I tell you more about this later?
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. My best quality is my ability the humor in any situation.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. I would be me. It's all I know how to do.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. My bushy eyebrows and bushy smile.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. SpongeBob
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. The joker
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. I'd like to meet Abner Doubleday and thank him for inventing baseball. I'd also sing him songs from "Going, Going, Gone," 'cause I get the sense he'd love parody tunes about sports.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Bad, inconsiderate drivers.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Writing is pretty much all I do.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. As a writer, I'm living my fantasy profession.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. The ability to laugh, the ability to laugh, and the ability to laugh.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Cantaloupe
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. My favorite song is "American Pie." I have 4,235 choices for spots 2 through 5.
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. My favorite authors are Dan Gutman, Andrew Clements and Elise Broach.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. I figure I've read well over 3,000 books; while there's no way pick the five best, it's usually true my favorite book is the NEXT one I'm going to read. In general, I love reading biographies and books about sports and entertainment.
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. The Almanac. I crave information, and there's so such of it in there. I buy a new almanac every year!
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Write every day, whether it's a sentence or a novel, make sure you write something.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. My readers ask when I'm going to write a chapter book; I tell them I'm working on it (which I am!).