I have great pleasure in sharing my interview with Bill Boggs, author of The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog. Bill talks about his work producing and writing for a comedy team, writing satire, and his love of a bench in Copenhagen!
Over to Bill.
Bill Boggs is an Emmy Award-winning TV talk show host and producer, author and professional speaker. His Off-Broadway play, Talk Show Confidential, and novel, At First Sight, were optioned together for a screenplay inspired by his life.
He began his career as a comedy writer, and his satirical novel, “The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog …As Told to Bill Boggs,” reflects his strong observational comedy “chops.” He has written essays for The New York Times Sunday Magazine and travel articles also for The Times, and a well-received self-help book, “Got What it Takes?” for Harper/Collins.
A true industry insider, Bill has interviewed many of the most notable personalities of our time—cultural icons, music legends, presidents, writers, athletes, celebrity chefs—and a movie star or two.
His TV credits include the long-running “Midday Live” on Fox, and programs on Showtime, The Travel Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and ESPN. Bill spent a decade hosting and producing “Bill Boggs Corner Table” on Food Network. He has displayed unique versatility—as a game show host for CBS, a news anchor for WNBC-TV, and as host and co-executive producer of the syndicated series, “Comedy Tonight.” Bill was also the executive producer for the ground-breaking Morton Downey Jr. Show.
BILLBOGGSTV on You Tube features hundreds of Bill’s notable interviews from different shows over the years. He is an officer of the Friars Club in New York, a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. and M.A. He is an inductee into the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was selected a Father of the Year. He lives in Manhattan, East Hampton, and Palm Beach with long-suffering girlfriend, “Lady Jane.”
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
Three questions here, so about moi…I’ve been labouring away in the vineyards of the entertainment world all of my adult life.
I began my career launching the careers of a comedy team and producing and writing with them. They were Tom Patchett & Jay Tarses, who would go on to write for Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, the Muppets and the sitcom Alf. After ceasing personal management, I choose the path of television for myself and have hosted 15 different shows, mostly talk shows, and I’ve won four Emmy’s. All the while in every aspect of my career I have been a writer. I started writing stories in childhood, which I illustrated with drawings. I loved the “imaging in” process of fiction writing, seeing the story unfold in my mind like a movie.
When not writing, I perform on stage. I have developed five stage shows based on my TV career. They are mixed-media shows. The first one I developed, “Talk Show Confidential,” ran Off Broadway for six years at NYC’s Triad Theater. I also devote time to curating my YouTube channel, BillBoggsTV, which houses more than four hundred clips from past and current interviews.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)?
“The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog;” as told to Bill Boggs, is my third book.
The first novel, “At First Sight” was a romantic love story optioned for a movie, but sadly, was never made. My second book was a self-help book published by Harper/Collins. “Got What it Takes?” Successful People Reveal How They Made it to the Top.
What genre is it, and what is it about?
“The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog” is contemporary satire and absurdist humour. It is set in world of television and the story of a dog who, together with his master, becomes a big TV and internet star and the price both of them pay for fame. It is written with the objective of making you laugh.
What or who inspired you to write this book?
I had the idea that a dog narrating a story about his career would be funny. I liked the idea. I was greatly inspired by reading the satirical novel, “Razor Girl,” by Carl Hiaasen. The comedy of the TV series “Family Guy” was another big inspiration for me.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
“Once you commit to something, the forces of the universe come into play to help you.” Norman Lear said that to me in an interview for “Got What it Takes?” You have to commit. truly commit to trying.
What do you enjoy most about writing and why?
It’s still the same as childhood projects. I enjoy having the “movie/story” going on in my mind. I am constantly tuned to what’s happening and what I might do to make it really work. I am writing a sequel to the Spike novel right now and it’s on my mind.
List three interesting facts about yourself
As a child I walked around the house with a pencil in my hand pretending it was a microphone to interview people. At age five I wanted to be like the men on radio and TV who talked to people. I made my childhood dream come true.
My favorite place in the world is a bench in Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen. I had a psychic experience on that bench in 1973, and I have returned to the bench to access my life, and to think about the future every twelve years since then.
I was going to Las Vegas for Easter weekend, 1975. The morning I was to leave I woke up having a vivid dream that I was sitting in a chair talking to Frank Sinatra. I felt it was a precognitive dream, and that I would meet Sinatra that weekend and he would come and be a guest on my TV show, “Midday Live with Bill Boggs,” and it happened.
What is your least favourite part of the publishing/writing process?
The pressure to expand my social media extensively in order to sell books. But I do it.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Buy the book, read it, and tell me what they think and then spread word of mouth. My book was the last book reviewed by Winston Groom who wrote “Forrest Gump.” He pronounced it “Hilarious, original satire,” and it helped get the word out.
What is your next project?
The next book: “Spike Unleashed, The Wonder Dog Returns.” I am hoping to have it come out spring of 2022, so I better stop writing this now and get to work!
Spike and I thank you.
A very funny English Bull Terrier with a politically incorrect sense of humor and a heart of gold tells the story of his rise to fame on both his master’s TV talk show and social media, and the price he pays for that fame.
Spike is an English Bull Terrier with a keen comedic eye for human foibles. He rockets to TV and internet fame after appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, along with his master Bud, who hosts a local morning show in High Point, North Carolina. Spike and Bud soon hit the fast track to bigger stardom when Bud signs on for a talk show in New York City.
They embark on an endless stream of mind-boggling adventures that include the world’s first topless theme park, a Rabbi promoting Christmas shows, and a Yogi who discovers Spike’s comical talent for teaching Transcendental Meditation.
Spike’s pop culture fame and the A-list crowd he mingles with in Manhattan exact a potentially fatal price. Dangerous forces enact a scheme to snatch the famous wonder dog and plunge him into an international dog fighting ring.
The brash, athletic, sardonic, honest, and hilarious Spike will capture the hearts of readers who enjoy a character who tells it like it is. They will fall in step with his eye-rolling observations and root for this underdog of a wonder dog. A category unto itself, Spike is not a cartoon version of dogs acting human, but rather a charming portrayal of the human-like, spunky, and passionate mind of a dog.
Spike calls to mind the cultural icon Rocky Balboa as he goes into battle armed with humor and guile as well as the ancient, but never tested, skills of his breed. Will they be enough to enable him to survive?
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