The Producer at Leverage Replies to My Suggestions

03.13.2012 | 10:50 am

A Note from Fatty: In yesterday’s post, I announced that I — as an award-winning celebrity cyclist megablogger on the internet — have been invited to star in an episode of Leverage. Well, Paul Guyot, Writer and Producer at Leverage, has taken the time to reply to my letter.

Isn’t that nice of him?

Dear Elden,

Good to hear from you. I would love to clarify some things from your open letter response to my closed letter invitation… by the way, no need to address “everyone else at Leverage,” as we have over 200 cast and crew members who are all working very hard and when they have to stop to read a letter listing a myriad of requests that frankly, will only frustrate and annoy them, well, it just slow things down.

But I understand this is all probably foreign to you, so let me see if I can help.

Hair : Um, your hair, or lack of hair, is not really an issue. The role I invited you to play is simply a quick and fun little walk-on. You would most likely ride up on some sort of Fixie, hand a package to one of our actors, have them sign it, and be on your way. I could perhaps create a little “business” for you to do with said actor, but that would be determined on the day and involve variables such as how the actors are reacting to you, how close we are to being on schedule, and what would be in the best interest and least disruptive of the creative process.

Therefore, your hair is fine the way it is. Or your head, rather.

Beard : Again, Elden, the beard issue falls into the same category as the hair issue. Not really relevant or necessary. As to the grayness of it all, our makeup and hair professionals will most likely be dealing with our actors who perform on the show every week and will probably not have time to deal with “de-grey-ifing” your beard.

With beard or without, you will look just fine for the very brief scene.

Weight : Honestly, any sort of text graphic at the beginning or end of a show costs money. And there are strict guidelines as to what can and cannot be added. I think your best bet here is to put your own disclaimer on your own blog the day before the episode airs.

Diction : James Earl Jones is not available, I’m sure. Even if he is, I do not think the studio or network will pay to have a man of his reputation and excellence brought in simply to overdub a day player. A “Day Player” is an actor who comes in to work on a show for one day. One day.

Speaking of which, the reality of this is that you do not have to worry about diction problems since you most likely will not be speaking in your scene. I originally thought you might, but some recent events have caused me to rethink the situation. This should assuage your vocal concerns and give you comfort.

Breath: I think your breath concerns can be addressed in my response to your diction concerns. That said, I have no problem letting the cast and crew know of your affliction, and making sure there is ample Binaca on set.

Face asymmetry : No. Our FX department is swamped with… just, no.

Appearance Trademark : I am confident Mr. Tucci has not trademarked the way either of you look.

Plot Suggestions

Mr. Nelson, while I appreciate the amount of time and energy you’ve spent on these ideas, the writing department at Leverage is quite competent and probably has a better grasp on just what the show is. Also, please refrain from sending any more story ideas, as due to the litigious nature of our society, anything you submit to me immediately becomes unusable in any way, shape or form. Meaning, if your blind squirrel of an idea-making brain manages to locate a nut lost somewhere in one of your rambling sentences about something completely unrelated to said nut, we would not be able to use it.

I hope I have put you at ease and look forward to seeing you in Portland.



PS with regards to your being a recurring character in the show: Why don’t we put a pin in this idea and perhaps come back to it around Season 7 or 8?


  1. Comment by KM | 03.13.2012 | 10:57 am

    Well, that’s not a no to the recurring role,…at least he didn’t say, “I’ll have my people call you.” That’s a positive, I think.

  2. Comment by Dan in Sac | 03.13.2012 | 11:08 am

    So, BYO toupee. And it’s striclty business on the set!

  3. Comment by Haven-KT | 03.13.2012 | 11:10 am

    Y’know, maybe Fatty could play EVIL Stanley Tucci. I mean, Evil Spock had a goatee, so…..

  4. Comment by Ferd Berfle | 03.13.2012 | 11:37 am

    Paul, what is Bucky up to these days?

  5. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 03.13.2012 | 11:41 am

    Sounds like the ‘producer’ side of Mr. Guyot is coming out. Writers!

    Maybe St. Louis isn’t all that ‘Mayberry’ after all.

    Have your agent call his agent. Hold out for your name over the title credits.

    …and get that goatee going

    You have history to uphold…and an elite group to join:


  6. Comment by roan | 03.13.2012 | 11:51 am

    Well, …Fatty just let people know ahead of time when & where you will be in Portlandia. OR.
    At LEAST we could get a FUN GROUP RIDE together, cause…we still luv U.

    ps: I need planning time because it’s a 3+ hour drive one way for me. I’ll bring the Mayo packets that I pick up on the drive there.

  7. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.13.2012 | 11:54 am

    See that’s the thing about people that work at the speed of script writers, they just need to see what’s what and proceed.

    It is just unbelievable that Paul took your serious suggestions and dealt with them so professionally.

    Did I get that sentence backwards?

  8. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 03.13.2012 | 12:02 pm

    I believe the producers are missing the fact that your simple presence on the show will guarantee a MONUMENTAL increase in viewership. Which of course will ensure that a 7th or 8th season happens.

    I would keep that letter and so your people can give it to your lawyers at the proper time. Sounds like they committed to me ;)

  9. Comment by Wife#1 | 03.13.2012 | 12:15 pm

    No blonde mullet? *sniff*

  10. Comment by ScottR | 03.13.2012 | 12:23 pm

    Regarding the writing staff having a greater grasp on what the show is… have they seen the first half of the most recent season? :-)

    They were almost redeemed by the final few episodes, which I thought were excellent.

    (<— Just to directly note: this is from a _big_ fan of the show, starting with the first season)

  11. Comment by NYCCarlos | 03.13.2012 | 12:46 pm

    I will STILL Donate $75 to Paul’s page if Fatty is wearing a toupee on the show. Even if it’s under a helmet.

    PS – Paul, I second the “update on Bucky, please” sentiment.

  12. Comment by JIm B | 03.13.2012 | 1:14 pm

    I read Paul’s response and got the feeling that Paul’s assistant wrote it, not knowing the jocular nature of the previous exchange.

  13. Comment by Anonymous | 03.13.2012 | 1:15 pm

    Someone on the staff of Leverage needs to get a sense of humor…

  14. Comment by TK | 03.13.2012 | 1:47 pm

    The person who wrote this response either has no sense of humor, or totally lacks the ability to express sarcasm in an entertaining way. There is a fine line between being funny and coming across as a douche. I think I will continue to not watch the show.

  15. Comment by MattC | 03.13.2012 | 1:55 pm

    Wife#1….the blond mullet is not necessarily ‘out’…it’s simply Fatty’s choice. I personally think he would look FABULOUS w/ a blond mullet dangling down from under his bike helmet. Adds ’street cred’ to the role of a badass bike messenger…sending out a big “don’t mess w/ me” attitude, no speaking necessary (which is a good thing, cuz he’s not gonna). Who knows…he might end up w/ his own SHOW after a cameo like that!

    It could happen.

    I wonder if Stanley Tucci does any bike stunts?

  16. Comment by 3d brian | 03.13.2012 | 1:59 pm

    To other posters – the reply is funny, there is a huge sense of humor there.

    “Speaking of which, the reality of this is that you do not have to worry about diction problems since you most likely will not be speaking in your scene. I originally thought you might, but some recent events have caused me to rethink the situation.”

    “Meaning, if your blind squirrel of an idea-making brain manages to locate a nut lost somewhere in one of your rambling sentences about something completely unrelated to said nut, we would not be able to use it.”

    Then after all that:
    “I hope I have put you at ease and look forward to seeing you in Portland.”

    That’s funny stuff.

  17. Comment by rich | 03.13.2012 | 2:01 pm

    I’m guessing paul wrote it with a sense of humor….and its us that is taking him too seriously.

  18. Comment by Full Monte | 03.13.2012 | 3:27 pm

    I get filming is in Portland. But the setting for the current season is Alaska. How many bike couriers are there in Alaska? I mean, how are we going to make Fatty believable as a bike courier in four feet of snow?

    He could be chased by a bear. Or a moose. Or a pack of wolves.

    Maybe he rides on a snow machine and his bike is behind on a sled equipped with a Thule carrier.

    At least, since he’ll be needing a parka with a hood, as well as a stocking hat, there’s no need to worry about hair. And his breath — well, we’ll be able to see it, even. And hey, a parka hides a bit of belly so that’s all good, too.

    This is gonna work out okay. Except for the whole bike courier in Alaska part. Gonna pull out my Northern Exposure DVDs and look for ways to pull it off. Don’t worry, Fatty!

  19. Comment by ComedyTragedy | 03.13.2012 | 3:38 pm

    Here’s a link to help you deal with your retreating hair line.

    Given what we all spend on bike parts and such the 159.00 price tag shouldn’t make you flinch at all.

    Oh, and don’t ask how I know about them…

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.13.2012 | 4:16 pm

    @full monte – There will be 4′ of snow worth of melted snow on the ground in PDX – trust me on this.

    @roan – pick me up on the way

  21. Comment by Clancy | 03.13.2012 | 7:40 pm

    Advantage Paul. Very nicely done sir!!!

  22. Comment by Jenni | 03.13.2012 | 7:43 pm

    TEAM FATTY PHILLY- Join us on the Team Fatty Philly Facebook page for updates:

    We currently have rooms on hold for Team FATTY.

    Please spread the word for anyone planning to come to Livestrong Philly, this is a close deadline! Let’s try to get as many of us as possible in one place.

    Hotel: HYATT HOUSE Philadelphia Plymouth Meeting
    Must secure your reservation by 3/30/2012

    Room Type- One bedroom suite ($119)
    Two bedroom suite ($169)

    Call reservations department at 855-691-9555.

  23. Comment by eclecticdeb | 03.13.2012 | 7:49 pm

    I think the response was hilarious! I *heart* Paul, and second (or third/fourth) the requests for an update on Bucky.

  24. Comment by LidsB2 | 03.13.2012 | 8:02 pm

    Um… Not funny. No, not funny at all. Maybe it’s because I’m reading it at 1:00 am after a 16.5 hour work day. Or maybe it just went totally over my noggin. Either way, no laughs. And I need a good laugh. Somebody please explain…

  25. Comment by Cali_Lady | 03.13.2012 | 8:37 pm

    Totally funny!! Great response Paul! Silly Fatty – trying to be a prima- Donna with all sorts of requests. Looking forward to Fatty’s ’short’ appearance on TV! Thanks Paul for giving Fatty this fun little (non-speaking) part on Leverage!

  26. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 03.13.2012 | 9:46 pm

    Still want to see Fatty and Stanley Tucci together at one of our events. They share a personal history with cancer as well as physical similarities.

    And as for the Leverage role Elden, I thought you were a boxers kind of guy?????

    “…With beard or without, you will look just fine for the very brief scene.” I hope it’s not a thong!

  27. Comment by Andrew | 03.13.2012 | 11:05 pm


    Great response, I thought it was great. You start out thinking wow he took that seriously, but then a subtle statement and another, and then whole paragraph’s.

    Well done I can see why you write for a living.

    Fatty, what next? Should you get out that track bike (or was it two) and get the runner to film a few demo tapes for Paul so you can demonstrate your acting prowess?

    Re: Bucky – I’d love an update.

  28. Comment by Graham | 03.14.2012 | 5:42 am

    That was exactly the response that Fatty deserved… well played, sir! Of course, to my mind this is simply a thrown gauntlet for Elden and I’m eagerly awaiting his response.

    Can we PLEASE have the actor make some oblique reference to fat cyclists or bicycles that would prompt Fatty to roll his eyes in “bike messenger disdain for the terminally uncool” when he delivers his package?

  29. Comment by stu | 03.14.2012 | 7:51 am

    Hi comedy tragedy, the ‘hair system’ website is the funniest thing I have seen in ages! Thanks……

  30. Comment by AKChick55 | 03.14.2012 | 10:17 am

    Awesome! :) I think Fatty is holding out. He was recently spotted at the opening of the Hunger Games movie in LA (you can’t tell me that is Stanley Tucci, I don’t buy it).!/photo.php?fbid=411581762191814&set=a.411579985525325.115324.159746560708670&type=1&theater

  31. Comment by AKChick55 | 03.14.2012 | 10:18 am

    Poo, the link didn’t copy over properly. If you copy and paste it into your browser, you can see Stanley aka Fatty at the premiere. :)

  32. Comment by Shep | 03.14.2012 | 10:23 am

    I’d like to thank Paul for letting me know why I don’t watch Leverage or any other dramas on television. He came off as a douche who was trying to add just enough dry humor so as to come across as a good guy. He gets paid to write and that’s the best he could do at disquising his lack of sincerity? I think I’ll just turn the station to The History Channel or Discovery and break the remote.

  33. Comment by AKChick55 | 03.14.2012 | 10:43 am

    Posted before reading all the other posts. As an Alaskan, I can’t help but not comment.

    Ahem, @FullMonte, please, please, please do not use Northern Exposure as a guide to Alaska. It was shot in Washington so isn’t a realistic portrayal of Alaska.

    Love the snowmachine idea though except they are illegal to drive on the streets in the major cities in Alaska and since most streets are bare pavement, it would be hard on your machine. :) Plus they are wicked noisy!

    And bears aren’t out in the winter, they are sleeping until spring (which is a great idea, wish i could do that). Most moose in cities are pretty socialized to people – I bike by them all the time on our bike trails and roads(but always keep a close eye on their body language and avoid moms and babies). And wolves? You aren’t likely to see any or have them chase you cause they want to avoid you (though there have been very rare instances of them following people who usually had dogs that they wanted to lure away and eat). Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a wolf in the wild or even heard one howling.

    Fatty wouldn’t need a parka if it were summer, but he might need an industrial strength raincoat. Or if in Fairbanks, lot of sunscreen cause they regularly get up in the 80’s or higher in the summer. However, if it were winter, he would definitely need a fat tire bike which I think he should seriously investigate getting cause it would open a whole new world of biking for him every winter and he’d never need a trainer ever again. :)

    I don’t think we have bike couriers up here. I think people are too attached to their cars and our major cities are too spread out to make it profitable.

    Okay, I digress. My apologies for being so long winded. I know it was probably said tongue-in-cheek, but as an Alaskan who has repeatedly watched my state get misrepresented in film after film and in various TV shows, I’m a little sensitive.

  34. Comment by AKChick55 | 03.14.2012 | 10:48 am

    Okay people, first off, lighten up a little okay? I don’t know if Paul even wrote the response in this post. Knowing Fatty, he wrote both of them. Even if Paul wrote it, he was joking around just as much as Fatty was joking around. I wasn’t able to meet Paul in person in Austin, but he strikes me as a super nice guy with a great kid and a wonderful sense of humor. For pete’s sake, this is supposed to be FUNNY. Sheesh. LIGHTEN UP FATTY FANS!!!

  35. Comment by Bikemike | 03.14.2012 | 11:30 am

    With great anticipation, I look forward to (possibly but not likely) seeing more of you on the show in seasons 7 or 8.

  36. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.14.2012 | 12:47 pm

    hold everything – here is Fattys costume and cycle for the bit part. And it is authentic PDX.

  37. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.14.2012 | 12:53 pm

    @Shep – I am pretty sure Paul was not trying to disguise a lack of sincerity, he was hilariously and intentionally portraying it as a sterotypically arrogant show-biz guy.

    which he is not.

    Bingo. – FC

  38. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.14.2012 | 12:55 pm

    @Paul_G – nice job. You apparently completly sold your character!

    Maybe you should do some acting on the side.

  39. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 03.14.2012 | 1:33 pm


    I agree, that outfit would definitely portray Fatty’s Quads to their best advantage. Still needs a tat or two.

  40. Comment by Full Monte | 03.15.2012 | 9:09 am


    My comments were all tongue in cheek. I grew up out west in the lower 48 where wild critters, mountains and harsh weather are all common. As an avid outdoorsperson, I’ve had lots of time in the wild and have heard just about every silly comment an urbanite could possibly utter. So I was riffing on the common stereotypes one often sees when places like Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming come up. Especially in the media, like a TV show, where Fatty will be appearing to our mutual delight.

    However, I still love Northern Exposure and will always force myself to believe that it took place in the very real, not fictional, town of Cicily, AK.

  41. Comment by Haven-KT | 03.15.2012 | 2:02 pm

    Northern Exposure took place in the very real, not fictional town of Roslyn, WA. Not a fake place at all, northwesterny enough to apparently sub for Alaska. Who knew?

    I agree that Alaska gets short shrift in Hollywood terms. Didn’t know that Portland was subbing for Alaska in the current season; what happened to Portland being portrayed as, I don’t know, Portland? What, we don’t have interesting crime things, people who need help?

    Clydesteve, let me know when the ride is, I’ll meet y’all at the starting point.


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