Alan Spencer Bio
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Alan Spencer is a writer, producer, director and occasional on camera personality living in Hollywood, California.
Spencers first foray into show business occurred in the seventh grade: appearing as a contestant on Chuck Barris infamous Gong Show doing an impression of Maxwell Smart singing Let It Be into a shoe.
enthusiastic response (and avoiding the gong), Spencer soon began
performing standup comedy at local nightclubs
to L.A.s renowned Comedy Store.
Too young to drive, Spencers transportation was an RTD bus.
He continued riding to other noteworthy destinations
Instead of heading
home after his high school classes
Spencer took the bus over
to Twentieth Century Fox studios where his hero, Mel Brooks, was
directing the milestone comedy Young Frankenstein.
the lot, Spencer watched Brooks guide a legendary ensemble
Feldman, a puckish spirit with an appreciation for mischief, befriended Spencer allowing him to return on a regular basis as his personal guest.
imparted shrewd advice, encouraging Alan to write
he would be judged not by his age, but by the page.
Soon, Alan was selling material to top comedians through the mail who were unaware the author was just a kid. (Years later, Spencer met Rodney Dangerfield and informed the comic hed sold him jokes at age fifteen. Dangerfield replied: I remember those jokes. They looked like they were written by a fifteen year old.)
After creating a syndicated radio show and having a humor piece published in National Lampoon, Spencers confidence was bolstered enough to try breaking into television.
odds, Spencer sold a story to the sitcom One Day At A Time
while still in high school, earning him the distinction of becoming
the youngest member of the Writers Guild of America.
Subsequently, Paramount Television signed the adolescent Spencer to his first writing contract. During this, he worked on such series as Mork & Mindy and Working Stiffs starring Michael Keaton.
Concurrently, off-the-wall comedian Andy Kaufman was portraying Latka Gravas in the sitcom Taxi at the same studio.
Kaufman and Spencer struck up a fast friendship.
Andys eccentricities had a profound effect on the impressionable Spencer, like the time Kaufman had Alan sit through a ninety-six hour marathon of Peoples Court episodes.
Andy also coaxed Alan to think outside the confines of traditional sitcoms.
Subsequently, Spencer began writing experimental theater pieces for playwright Oliver Haileys workshop at the Mark Taper Forum, as well as warped screenplays that mined a more twisted sense of humor.
After penning a particularly insipid episode of The Facts of Life, Spencer vowed to honor both mens memory and only write abnormal, or Abby Normal, comedy.
While trying to peddle his odd screenplays, Alan sustained himself by writing standup material for such noted comedians as Garry Shandling and Michael Richards.
Finally, one of Spencers scripts drew favorable attention: a deranged satire of vigilante cop thrillers called Sledge Hammer!