This Week’s Best Profile

A bit frazzled over here this week, so we’ll quickly leave you with this David Simon profile in the NY Times magazine. If you haven’t seen The Wire, forget subscribing to HBO, put the money toward a Netflix subscription, and burn through the DVDs. By then, Treme will be out too:

Simon remembers many network notes when writing for “Homicide.” “The notes felt like they were not serving the best possible story,” Simon explained. “Jimmy Yoshimura — Eric worked as supervising producer with him, and I was a junior producer under them — Yosh used to do this notes meeting, call me in and say, ‘Come on, let’s do the antler dance.’ And I said, ‘What’s the antler dance?’ And I swear to God, he would put his phone on the floor, on speakerphone, so you’d hear the voice of the network exec. And with his voice, Jim would approximate a reasonable, ‘Well, that’s a very good note, but if we do that. . . .’ But his body language would begin with his hands up above his head as if he were wearing antlers, like some sort of drum circle, and he would dance around the phone, gesturing obscenely to it, do a little more dancing, but all the while he would be saying, ‘Oh, no, that’s a really good note, we’ll have to consider that. Let me talk to Tom [Fontana], because I think we’re going to do something in another episode.’ Meanwhile, he’d pull down his zipper and stick his thumb through it, and if the guy kept persisting on a note and he couldn’t talk him out of it, Yosh would get down on the floor, close to the speakerphone and. . . .”

Yoshimura claims that there are limits to Simon’s recall. “No, no, no, that was David!” Simon offered the following rebuttal via e-mail: “I will own the origin of this particular gesture if that is Jim’s memory, but in the event that he is trying now these many years later to whitewash his authorship of the sacred ritual of the network-note antler dance, I can only quote ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ and John Wayne’s remark to Jimmy Stewart: ‘Think back, pilgrim.’ ”

Enjoy.

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