Remembering Garry Marshall
By the time I started producing Mark and Brian in 1999 Garry Marshall was already a frequent guest and friend of the show. In their twenty-five years on KLOS Radio and in the thirteen I was with them, we had many guests from entertainment, music, and sports that were considered friends of the show. Looking back, I can honestly say there was no bigger friend of the Mark and Brian Show than Garry Marshall. There were also a lot of good memories.
One of the early events I was responsible for was a live Radio Theater Production that took place at the Museum of Broadcasting in Beverly Hills. In the spring we decided that the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” would be the choice that year. Casting was easy, guests came on the show and Mark and Brian would ask them to play a part. Mark and Brian asked Garry if he would join the cast as Clarence the Angel. Without any hesitation, Garry said yes and it was a role he made uniquely his own. You really have to hear it, to appreciate his talent.
In 2001 Garry cast Mark and Brian as the DJ’s to appear in The Princess Diaries starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Years after, Mark and Brian would continue to tell the story of how Garry kept telling them on the set , “Mark and Brian, say your names. You’ve got to promote.” He was that kind of guy.
Garry agreed to read “The Night Before Christmas” at the 2002 Christmas Show. As usual, we were running late and I got word from Garry’s people that he had to leave by a certain time to direct a scene for another film. We did some juggling of the schedule and Garry hit the stage giving a memorable rendition of this classic story with some very funny twists. After you hear it, you’ll understand why it’s one of the all-time Christmas Show Highlights.
I can’t even remember how many times Garry was on the show. He was always welcome, whatever the reason. When our show was about to end its twenty-five year run I started contacting all the friends of the program to come by and say goodbye to the boys. It was only fitting that on August 15, 2012, one of the last days we were on air, Garry came to the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard to make his final appearance with Mark and Brian.
Garry Marshall’s genius and talent touched the lives of many people and will be missed by us all. I feel fortunate that I also got to see the legend up close and see he was also a really great guy.