CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #238
In 1970 I enrolled at the State University of New York at Potsdam under my given name, Charles (Chuck) Levine. I lasted two years. Most of my memories are of playing guitar in rock bands at bars and frat parties (Casey Jones, Whipping Post, Southern Man, Aqualung), trying desperately to get coeds to wrap their legs around my 27 inch waist, learning to juggle, playing frisbee, Zig-Zag rolling papers, repeatedly listening to Voodoo Chile, and playing acid chicken with my roommates (the game involved who could watch their face melt in a mirror the longest without suffering a full-blown psychotic break). Oddly, I have only two memories of actually being in class. One in which my pupils were inordinately dilated and the professor was rude enough to notice, and the second when the alcoholic bastard who taught creative writing mocked my work and informed me I'd never make it as a writer because my grammar was awful. I only bring this up because someone at my old alma mata figured out I was once Chuck Levine, contacted me and offered me an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree along with an invitation to speak at this year's commencement ceremony. Thrilled and proud to finally have a college degree, I immediately accepted. In fact, I have already begun writing a speech which I hope will prove inspiring to the fresh-faced graduates. The theme is "personal reinvention, or how I stumbled ass-backwards into a job where grammar was ignored and neurosis, fear, desperation, childhood wounds and mediocrity was richly rewarded." I've also started practicing throwing a tassled hat up in the air using my old, wickedly accurate, frisbee wrist flick.
1st Aired: 19 January 2009