016 - S2E3 "Double Standard" with Jodi Chase

They-ah we ahhhh! They-ah we aaaaaaah!! (This is Bostonian speak for “there we are”)

They-ah we ahhhh! They-ah we aaaaaaah!! (This is Bostonian speak for “there we are”)

Extras found exclusively at facethefactspod.com!


From The Digital Cutting Room Floor:


No-Pest Strips do still exist! Turns out they are now owned by Hot Shot. But in 1980 they were talking about this older version:


An early Parkay Margarine commercial (with a pre-”Alice” Vic Tayback!)

My Interview With Michael Wanzie

This article was featured in the December 13, 2018 issue of Michael Wanzie’s weekly WANZeGRAM. It is an email newsletter about Central Florida arts, entertainment, and events. If you wish to receive it, send Michael a message through Facebook requesting to be added to the email list. You can also visit his web site, wanzie.com (currently under construction).

Wanzie Logo.png

Let's Face The Facts: "The Facts of Life" was a Shit Show with which podcaster David Almeida is Obsessed

Into the crowded fray of podcasts of every description and level of quality or lack thereof comes a fairly recent entry by Orlando Actor/Writer David Almeida which is just quirky enough to rate being featured here in your WANZeGRAM.

For each episode of his “Let’s Face The Facts” podcast David Almeida invites one Central Florida so-and-so of some degree of notoriety into his Audubon Park home to watch an episode of the 1980s TV sitcom “The Facts of Life.” Once the episode concludes David turns on the recording device and coaches his guest to join him in “overanalyzing” said episode.

This concept seemed just weird enough to Wanzie that when asked by David to be a guest on the podcast he couldn’t say no. Especially since, as Wanzie explained to David, “I’m not sure I have ever seen an entire episode of ‘The Facts of Life’ from beginning to end because even back then I thought the show to be atrocious and most of the acting so bad I couldn’t bring myself to sit through an entire half hour of that tripe.” David saw this as a positive in keeping things interesting and so Wanzie did indeed avail himself to be a guest in this venture and thus, for perhaps the first time in his life, Wanzie watched an entire episode of a series which he refers to as “One of the most appalling, badly-written, poorly-produced TV sitcoms to have ever survived beyond its first season.”

The whole concept seemed so off the wall to Wanzie that he insisted we here at WANZeGRAM (WG) World Headquarters - nested in the heart of the lovely College Park neighborhood of Orlando Florida - conduct an interview with podcaster, David Almeida (DA) and so we have:

WG: What made you decide to enter the very crowded podcast arena?

DA: I love listening to podcasts, and some of my favorites are TV-nostalgia oriented. (My favorites: “TV Guidance Counselor,” “Go Bayside.”) I was like, “I can do that! I watched too much TV when I was a kid, too!” And crowded as it is, podcasting is easy, inexpensive, and allows anybody an international platform where their work can be found.

WG: Why this subject matter for your podcast?

DA: Other podcasts have used a similar format to talk about other shows, but nobody had done “The Facts Of Life,” which was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. I had considered others, but I thought this particular show was the best choice because it had a long run (9 years!), it dealt with the issues of its day, it took on many different formats, and it clearly has a lasting place in our culture.

WG: Would you briefly explain your podcast formula for our Subscriber Friends?

DA: I invite an artist friend to my house. We watch an episode of the show. Then I hit record and we synopsize the show. Along the way, we analyze it, critique it, and use it as a springboard to talk about other related subjects. I also do a brief interview of the guest so they can talk about their own art and projects.

WG: Who have you had as guests thus far? 

DA: I have had Matthew Arter (a/k/a Carol Lee), Kevin Kriegel (a/k/a Mitzi Morris), Mike Marinaccio (of the Orlando Fringe Festival), Mark Baratelli (of The Daily City), actor friends Philip Nolen, Alex Mrazek, Paul Padilla, Brett Waldon, Martin Kunz, and a little up-and-coming spitfire named Michael Wanzie. I think he’s going to do well in this town. (I apologize that this list doesn’t contain more females! It was just a scheduling thing; I am already working to correct this!)

WG: How would rate or to compare your podcast which featured Wanzie with others you have done?

DA: Michael is one of my guests who had never seen the show before. I love the insight and observations that those people bring, and Wanzie’s spin didn’t disappoint. It didn’t help that we were in Season 1 when the show hadn’t yet found itself. Michael also gave me loads of crap for the extensive notes I took while watching. He then expanded on that to shame me for how clean and organized my home is. I think I am still traumatized.

WG: Do you intend for this to be a commercial/for-profit venture or is it just for the hell of it or what?

DA: This is 100% for my own fun and diversion. I think so many of us in the arts can relate to having many, many people we call friends, and yet we rarely see or spend time with them. This is a great excuse to create time to do something fun with those friends, and then send it out into the world to show how many amazingly talented and entertaining people we have here in Central Florida. If down the road the show became very popular and I could find sponsorship and/or monetize it, I would certainly consider it. Just to defray the relatively small costs of web hosting, etc. But this was not started with for-profit intentions.

WG: What has proved to be your greatest challenge thus far?

DA: The marketing side of things. I’m still figuring out the best ways to reach people and get the word out about the show. I’m learning that social media marketing is very complex, and while I want this show to be heard by lots of people, I don’t want the business end to swallow up the joy I get from creating the show itself.

WG: How many episodes do you have in the can?

DA: I had banked about 8 shows before I premiered it this past Halloween. I have enough right now to get me into the new year. In January I’ll be back to recording every week.

WG: Tell us anything more you want WANZeGRAM Subscriber Friends to know about the podcast.

DA: I am part of the generation that grew up in front of the television, and I’ve learned there are so many others like me. If you love to talk about the shows you grew up with, then I think you’ll enjoy the podcast. I realize not everybody is tech-savvy, but the good news is if you aren’t connected to a podcast app on your phone, just go to www.facethefactspod.com and you can listen to the show directly from the web site.

To go directly to the episode in which Wanzie is the guest just point your browser to: https://www.facethefactspod.com/podblog/2018/11/28/005-s1e5-overachieving-with-michael-wanzie

EDITORS NOTE: David Almeida is originally from Massachusetts and has lived in Orlando since 1992. He is a full-time performer at Walt Disney World and can also be seen at Universal Studios. He has appeared with many local theatre companies including Mad Cow TheatreGarden Theatre, Winter Park PlayhouseSea World, Beth Marshall Presents, Orlando Philharmonic, Bay Street Players, and Jester Theater. He has also produced / written / performed in many Orlando Fringe Festivals. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As a writer, he was film critic for Watermark for 5 years. He recently penned a new murder mystery for Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre, where he also performs. Other playwriting collaborations with co-author Stephen J. Miller have been featured by Playwrights’ Round Table, Theatre Downtown, and off-off-Broadway with Emerging Artists’ Theatre. David wishes WANZeGRAM subscriber friends to know that he is a Leo. He is single. His favorite food is pizza. His FICO score is 807. He owns his own home and he doesn’t have any pets, unless you count his roommate Austin. Potential suiters may wish to visit www.davidalmeida.com.

015 - S2E2 "The New Girl, Part 2" with Matthew Arter

…Then it got awkward.

…Then it got awkward.

EXTRAS for you to enjoy exclusively here at facethefactspod.com!


Matthew asked, and I delivered: This is a home-recording of “ON LAST WEEK’S SHOW” taken from the DVD box set:


Before you listen to the audio extras, just FYI the nonsensical bit we do in the middle is from this video by the hilarious Punchy Players:


The egregious theme to the egregious 1990 attempt to reboot “The Brady Bunch” into “The Bradys:” We love Florence Henderson … this was not the best material match for her voice.


Helen Hunt famously jumping out of a window on angel dust in the after-school special “Desperate Lives


014 - S2E1 "The New Girl, Part 1" with Matthew Arter

We have SUCH FUN…!

We have SUCH FUN…!

Here are some extras, found exclusively here at facethefactspod.com!


As discussed, the Nielson Top 30 for the 1979-1980 season (where Facts Of Life Season 1 came in 74th out of 79 shows): Poor NBC! Still lagging so far behind, even though “Real People” was an unexpected hit that year.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 7.25.57 PM.png

Nancy McKeon’s Hallmark Commercial where the producers first noticed her. The label says 1981, but it had to pre-date her first appearance on Facts Of Life which was 1980.


“Little Darlings” - trailer (fan-created, not original)

“Little Darlings” - entire movie (!!)


OK, so it’s not a cigarette machine… it’s a PASTRIES machine…? Like future Edna’s Edibles Pastries? To the left is the old-fashioned one-cup-of-coffee-at-a-time coffee machine.

Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 10.26.39 PM.png

And finally, let’s hear it for the coke-bottle-glasses-wearing bartender. Matthew and I dismiss him as unattractive, but he’s actually not bad looking at all. (Probably better without the glasses…) He is uncredited in the episode… Anybody recognize him? Write to me!

Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 10.48.58 PM.png

013 - S1E13 "Dope" with James Brendlinger

James Brendlinger and the other one

James Brendlinger and the other one


They couldn’t afford a landscaper!? James is quite right that the greenery is way overgrown in the exterior shot from the FOL opening theme. Check out this comparison between then-and-now (now being 2014). The building is Harwood Court dormitory at Pomona College, located at 170 East Bonita Avenue in Claremont, California. (bottom photo by Lindsay Blake from  this article  in Los Angeles Magazine)

They couldn’t afford a landscaper!? James is quite right that the greenery is way overgrown in the exterior shot from the FOL opening theme. Check out this comparison between then-and-now (now being 2014). The building is Harwood Court dormitory at Pomona College, located at 170 East Bonita Avenue in Claremont, California. (bottom photo by Lindsay Blake from this article in Los Angeles Magazine)


James’ other observation about the opening theme: The creepy dude in the back of this shot. OMG I can’t believe I never noticed him! (BTW, these exterior shots around the “campus” didn’t appear until Episode 5.)

James’ other observation about the opening theme: The creepy dude in the back of this shot. OMG I can’t believe I never noticed him! (BTW, these exterior shots around the “campus” didn’t appear until Episode 5.)


Since James and I discuss it… the first time we ever EVER met Edna Garrett in the “Diff’rent Strokes” pilot:

All I Want For Christmas Is Tootie (and Nightmare Fuel)

My friend Justin gave me this for Christmas. A Tootie Ramsey OFFICIAL LIMITED EDITION ACTION FIGURE… ! It has credits: A Consultant, THREE sculptors, and a Seamstress.

IMG_3589.JPG
IMG_3609.JPG
IMG_3590.JPG

I checked to see if the others were as horrific, and YUP. (No Natalie doll, only Blair, Jo, and Tootie.)

Blair, with the jawline of Rocky Dennis.

Blair, with the jawline of Rocky Dennis.

Jo. Have I taken crazy pills!?! Has Jo EVER had RED HAIR!?! Has Nancy McKeon ever had RED HAIR!!?!?!?

Jo. Have I taken crazy pills!?! Has Jo EVER had RED HAIR!?! Has Nancy McKeon ever had RED HAIR!!?!?!?

011 - S1E11 "Running" with Kevin Kriegel

Kevin loves decorating for Christmas. A lot. As in A LOT of decorations.

Kevin loves decorating for Christmas. A lot. As in A LOT of decorations.


At Sleuths with an early incarnation of Kevin’s alter ego, Mitzi Morris

At Sleuths with an early incarnation of Kevin’s alter ego, Mitzi Morris

Mitzi Morris in “Dazzled To Death” at the 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival.


@ Sleuths… I have no idea what we were dressing for here.

@ Sleuths… I have no idea what we were dressing for here.


“Bubble Gum Party,” Orlando Fringe Festival 2015. (with Summer Aiello & Sarah French)

“Bubble Gum Party,” Orlando Fringe Festival 2015. (with Summer Aiello & Sarah French)


Kevin and his husband Brian at Christmas. Yes, they are THAT gay.

Kevin and his husband Brian at Christmas. Yes, they are THAT gay.

010 - S1E10 "Adoption" with Meghan Moroney

Moroney & Almeida: Separated At Birth?

Moroney & Almeida: Separated At Birth?



Meghan in “Love At Sea” on The Hallmark Channel

Meghan in “Love At Sea” on The Hallmark Channel


Listen to Meghan talk about “Twin Peaks” with our friend Brett Waldon  on his podcast ! (Brett was my guest in Episode 006)

Listen to Meghan talk about “Twin Peaks” with our friend Brett Waldon on his podcast! (Brett was my guest in Episode 006)


I did some research and was reminded that Blair’s father David Warner appeared on 5 episodes of the show throughout the series. He was played by English actor Nicolas Coster, best known for his work on daytime dramas as well as Buck Rogers and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I did some research and was reminded that Blair’s father David Warner appeared on 5 episodes of the show throughout the series. He was played by English actor Nicolas Coster, best known for his work on daytime dramas as well as Buck Rogers and Star Trek: The Next Generation.


I incorrectly said that Norman Jewison played Natalie’s father. Norman Jewison is the Hollywood director who made such films as “In The Heat Of The Night,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and (one of my all-time favorites) “Moonstruck.”

I incorrectly said that Norman Jewison played Natalie’s father. Norman Jewison is the Hollywood director who made such films as “In The Heat Of The Night,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and (one of my all-time favorites) “Moonstruck.”

This is actor Norman BURTON, whom we meet as Natalie’s father in S3 E17 “The Affair.” Norman is best known to TV audiences and homosexuals as Joe Atkinson, Lynda Carter’s boss on Seasons 2 and 3 of “Wonder Woman.”

This is actor Norman BURTON, whom we meet as Natalie’s father in S3 E17 “The Affair.” Norman is best known to TV audiences and homosexuals as Joe Atkinson, Lynda Carter’s boss on Seasons 2 and 3 of “Wonder Woman.”


About That Poem: I’m sure it ran in newspapers at various times since its initial publication, so Mrs. Garrett’s “source” isn’t completely implausible. Once again, my friend Bob, whom I believe has earned the official title of Unpaid Volunteer Archivist & Researcher, decided to do some digging on his own. He tracked down the poem’s origin. It is from the April 5, 1952 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. And, to our surprise, it is just a random thing stuck in the middle of a page with a completely different story. ?!?!? I mean, I’m glad that it was published… And whoever Fleur Conkling Heyliger is (more power to you for that name), thank you for these words, which I as an adopted child find very touching. :-) I can only find one other poem called “Clouds” by her on the interwebs. (Is FCH a pen name? Write to me if you know any more about her. I’m assuming it’s a she because Fleur is the French word for Flower.)

Cover.jpg
The_Answer.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 3.02.58 PM.png

Every year some friends throw a “Crap For Christmas” party where we all unload something we already own in a white-elephant-style gift exchange. A couple years back I received a gift bag with some random decorative items, statues, candles, and THIS PICTURE FRAME. It had a picture of parents and a baby in it. I decided to give it my own personal spin:

2016-01-31 22.47.59.jpg

And lastly, OF COURSE THERE IS ALREADY FACTS OF LIFE FAN FICTION. (Because Internet.) DISCLAIMER: I have read very, very little of this. I just felt the need to share. In case my podcast doesn’t waste enough of your time already.