Seinfeld Chinese Restaurant 1 (1)

still can’t use hands…but thanks to my old friend joe klein, one of the original partners in genghis cohen, we have the story and videos behind the classic seinfeld episode, “the chinese restaurant” which was inspired by genghis cohen and my keeping jerry and larry david(the series co-creator) waiting in line.

by Joe Klein and Artie Wayne
JERRY SEINFELD and LARRY DAVID were among the major celebrities that ate at Allan Rinde’s GENGHIS COHEN, the restaurant I named and hosted for several years. One time Jerry and Larry came in and the restaurant was packed. Not a single table top was available for them and, as it turned out, even moving them to the “front of the line” still forced them to wait almost half an hour to be seated.
SEINFELD was rapidly gaining in viewership at the time and the program’s ratings were on the rise. I am sure that the star of a popular NBC show and one of its creators were not all that happy with the delay. But, as fate would have it, they managed to find humor in the situation, giving birth to one of the series most acclaimed episodes.
In 2004, all of the SEINFELD episodes were released on DVD’s, which included bonus features. One of the DVD extras is a documentary called HOW IT BEGAN, which chronicles the show’s origin and evolution into a monster hit. It included numerous interview clips with Jerry, Larry, the show’s other cast members and its writers. There’s a segment in the documentary where Jerry talks about a pivotal episode which was in Seinfeld’s second season. The episode is called “The Chinese Restaurant” and yes, you guessed it, it’s about the gang waiting for a table at a popular Asian eatery.

“The Chinese Restaurant” is widely regarded as the episode that firmly established the premise of Seinfeld being the one and only TV show that was “about nothing,” a format which would propel the sitcom to the top of the ratings heap for years to come. NBC didn’t “get it,” and, at first, refused to produce the episode. But when Jerry and Larry protested and threatened to quit the show if it wasn’t made, NBC reluctantly agreed and the episode was produced. The network still had its doubts and relegated the airing of The Chinese Restaurant to late in the season, first airing it in May of 1991. It was the first SEINFELD episode that Jerry’s neighbor “Cosmo” (played by Michael Richards) didn’t appear in, much to his chagrin later when it went on to receive rave reviews and ultimately reach legendary status as a Seinfeld classic.

NBC broadcast their own “reunion” documentary, called THE SEINFELD STORY, on Thanksgiving night in 2004, which included parts of “How It All Began.” The Chinese restaurant episode was included in the NBC documentary as well.

Sure the glitterati graced Genghis Cohen on a regular basis. You never knew which celeb would come walking through the doors. But it’s safe to say that Allan and I never could have imagined that one of Hollywood’s most infamous waits for a table would inspire an episode that would help to turn Seinfeld into one of the most successful sitcoms in TV history!


To watch the James Hong interview talking about playing the host in “THE CHINESE RESTAURANT”on SEINFELD.

copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne 

photo at top L-R…James Hong, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Jerry Seinfeld

To contact Joe Klein


Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne



I was shocked when I checked Facebook this morning and saw my longtime pal Ellen Feldman had posted that our friend Doug Fieger, lead singer of the Knack, and co-writer of “My Sharona”, had passed away.

I worked with Doug in the studio helping on background parts when he was in the Sunset Bombers, a group DJ Scott Shannon and radio spot maker Joe Klein produced for Ariola Records. Doug was one of the most natural lead guitarists I’ve ever seen in the studio. He could emerge from driving a solid musical track track to playing a dazzling solo in a heartbeat, without overdubbing.

After the Sunset Bombers flew off into the horizon, I ran into Doug a few times at the Whiskey and the Starwood. He told me about a new band he was forming. A few months later Ellen Feldman, who was working at EMI records at the time, kept raving about this new group she wanted me to see, The Knack. You can imagine how happy I was to see Doug with a great band and a set that included “My Sharona.”

The last time I saw Doug, it was after his first #1 record. We were having dinner at Martoni’s Restaurant in Hollywood, with his girlfriend, Sharona and CBS’ Allan Rinde.  I remember we had a lot of laughs, hearing stories about the Knack on tour, but I don’t remember much else, since I spent most of the night flirting with Susan Lucci at the next table.

Doug was always a positive person and years later, even though he knew he was fighting a losing battle with cancer he said to others who find themselves in similar circumstances, “Don’t stop living your life. Do every possible thing you can to build up your body. Stop doing anything that might be hurtful to your body. Eat really well, exercise, stop smoking and stop eating junk food,” he advises. “I’m here to tell you that you can get through it. I can’t tell you it’s fun. But going through it, I have to say, is nowhere nears as bad as the fear of going through it. The fear of having cancer is way worse than the reality of having cancer.”


Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne




The buzz is building at the last minute as the biggest blogging and podcasting event of the year is just about to kick off in Las Vegas simply called…Blogworld Expo!

Congratulations to my old friend New Media Joe (Klein) who’s announcing and co-producing the grand finale of the whole conference, featuring major new media and blogging entrepreneur, Guy Kawasaki.

Here is a link to the official Blogworld and New Media Expo blog with the latest information about the show:

All About New Media Joe:

You can follow New Media Joe, who will be tweeting from the Expo on Twitter, here:

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne

med vapors

When I was talking to my friend Kent Kotal, at Forgotten Hits, I found out that the ‘80s hit “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors was one of his favorite records. Then I told him the story of how it almost wasn’t a hit in the US.

“Although my client Joe Klein is busy with Casablanca radio spot campaigns, he thinks it’s time to expand our horizons, and asks me to go out and gets some new clients. I zero in on EMI America, who is starting to have some hit records with Kim Wilde, The J. Geils Band, Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes. While visiting my friends at the label, Norma Kemper, who once worked for producer Richard Perry, and Ellen Feldman, who once worked for Mercury records, Ellen introduces me to the head of EMI Marketing, “Frenchy” Gauthier.

This is the guy who is responsible for having radio spots made for EMI. When he can’t find time to make an appointment to see me, I decide to camp out in the reception area until I can corner him and make my pitch.

When my friend Ellen gets back from lunch, she takes me inside and points out where Frenchy’s office is. His door is open, and he’s on the phone, but he waves me to come in.

When he finishes his call, he apologizes for not connecting with me before. I tell that I’ll be a big man, and forgive him if he gives me three minutes of his time to play him something that could make millions for EMI!

He smiles as he plays, Joe Klein’s demo reel, which includes the “Star Wars” spot, “Donna Summer’s, “Bad Girls”, The Village People’s, “YMCA”, and “Brick House” by the Commodores. His eyes light up and Frenchy says he’s heard all of the spots on the radio!

He’s a little taken aback, however, when I tell him that we charge three times more than he’s used to paying for a radio spot. I simply justify the cost, by saying that our spots are proven to sell records.

He thinks for a minute, and then he puts on one of the company’s new releases, which is a big hit in the UK, “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors. The record is highly commercial, has a great hook, but it stopped at #85 on the US charts. Then he asks me, “What can you do with this?”

I know if I can come up with an idea right now and help get this record off the ground; we’re going to get the account. I jump out of my seat, and run through a scenario off the top of my head.

“What if we start off the spot in a newsroom, with the sound of typewriters and teletypes in the background? An American newsman reads copy about a strange phenomenon, where people are turning Japanese, and then cut into the chorus, “Turning Japanese, I think I’m Turning Japanese, I really think so”

Cut back to the newsroom, where the announcer is starting to talk with a slight Japanese accent, then into another chorus, “Turning Japanese, I think I’m Turning Japanese, I really think so”

By the time the minute spot is done, the announcer has completely turned Japanese, and the catchy chorus is repeated two more times.”

Frenchy, looks at me like I’m crazy, and then says, “I Love it…but can your guy do it?” I laugh and say, “Come on Frenchy…would I have suggested it, if he couldn’t?”

I ask him when he needs the spot, he says, “What time is now?”

With alI of my fingers crossed, I drive over to Joe’s as quickly as I can and tell him what just happened. He looks at me like I’m crazy and says, “Are You Crazy?”  I say yes, but it can get us the account!

Even though Joe has never done an accent like this before, the spot turns out great! Not only does the Vapors album go Platinum, but the ad is nominated for a Clio (the equivalent of an Academy Award in advertising), for the best radio spot of the year.

It isn’t long before Joe is doing a spot for every major release on the EMI label including; David Bowie, Devo, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, and Sheena Easton.

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne


To reach Kent Kotal at Forgotten Hits

Joe Klein>

roxbury1 A few months ago, I was talking to my friend, guitarist/producer Art Munson, who started off his career playing with Dick Dale and the Del-tones. He had just posted a 1962 TV clip on YouTube of the band doing “Miserlou”, and I told him it was the first time I had seen the band or heard the song, even though I knew it was a big hit…west of the Rockies. Had MTV existed at the time it might have been more than a regional hit.

As a kid I would go and see a movie, sometimes four or five times just to see and hear a song performed like “Secret Love” by Doris Day from “Calamity Jane”, or “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis, and wish there was a way to bring them home with me. Now these clips are as close as our computer. All you got to do is Google Secret Love Calamity Jane Video and there it is! Google Jailhouse Rock Elvis Video and got a choice of a black and white or a colorized version! The same search method can be used for any TV show or movie clip you’ve ever seen in your lifetime!

In 1982, my friend and client, Radio and TV record spot producer Joe Klein and I went to the launching party of MTV and experienced first hand why “Video Killed The Radio Star”. A few weeks ago, the first “American Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson entered the Billboard charts at 97 with “My Life Would Suck Without You”, the following week she hit #1…the biggest jump in the history of Billboard! Now it looks like she’ll have her first #1 World Wide hit. Thanks to videos, MTV, and music at the speed of life!

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As a songwriter and publisher I can now show songs on video to more artists and producers than I ever have before using the internet. I suggested to Alan O’Day that he update his classic, “Rock And Roll Heaven” (O’Day/ Stevenson) Here’s the demo that Alan O’Day came up with and the video by Sebastian Prooth, which gives me chills every time I see and hear it.

“One quiet afternoon I get a call from someone named Lynn Douglas (not her real name), looking for producer Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks).  I tell her that Shel was staying with me for a while, but has gone back to the UK.  When she says that Shel’s the only one she knows in Hollywood, I introduce myself and ask if she’s the same Lady who teaches Yoga on TV in the UK.

When she says yes, gentleman that I am, I ask out to dinner. When I pick her up, she looks even more beautiful than she does on television.

For the next 10 days I take her to parties, clubs and out to dinners, but she won’t let me get past first base with her. She says she’s going back to London in a few days and doesn’t want to have an affair with someone she may never see again.

Over the next few days, my creative juices are about to explode, but I restrain myself, and start to sublimate my feelings in a song. I want to play it for her before she leaves for the airport, but the man at the hotel desk says she’s gone.

I jump in my car and race out to LAX, fortunately I know what gate she’s leaving from. Just like in the Carlos Castaneda’s’ book, Patti Dahlstrom gave me, “Journey To Ixtalan”, where the protagonist shows a blank piece of paper to a train conductor collecting fares and is given a seat, I smile and show the pretty stewardess at the gate an airline schedule I found on the floor, and she lets me on the plane! I find Lynn sitting halfway down the aisle I start to smile and sing.

When I finish my song, the passengers in the area around us start to applaud.  An embarrassed, but flattered Lynn gives me a kiss, as I’m escorted off the plane by a security guard, who can’t help but smile.

The next day I play the song for Ann Munday at Chrysalis Music who buys half the publishing rights from me for $5,000 allowing me to follow Lynn and my heart to London, as soon as I can.”

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne from the forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”

To hear eight cuts from Alan O’Day’s new CD “I HEAR VOICES”

To Reach Art Munson

For Joe Klein

Artie Wayne’s Website

For Artie’s Blog

Sebastian Prooth