AUTHOR/EDITOR

 

Author of 19 Books including:

Poetry & Fiction (LET PEAS BE WITH YOU, MURDER IN THE SKIN TRADE)

Biography (COSBY, JOHNNY CARSON)

Non-Fiction Humor (WHO'S WHO IN COMEDY, STARS OF STAND-UP,

    GOLDMINE COMEDY RECORD GUIDE, COMEDY ON RECORD,

    COMEDY STARS AT 78 rpm, COMIC SUPPORT, SEXUAL HUMOR,

    COMEDY QUOTE DICTIONARY)

Non-Fiction (POE IN THE MEDIA, HORROR STARS ON RADIO)

Novelty (STOOGE FANS' IQ TEST,  WHO'D SAY THAT?, BEDSIDE BOOK

     OF CELEBRITY SEX QUIZZES)

Pop Culture (SWEETHEARTS OF 60'S TV, FIGHT FOR TONIGHT)

Editor of Three National Magazines:

ROCKET (Rock Music

RAVE (Comedy)

YARNCRAFT (like it says, co-editor with his significant other,  Suzanne)


Freelancer Writer: 


CD album notes for various releases (including albums by Flip

Wilson, Henny Youngman and Shelley Berman), magazine work

in everything from Reader's Digest to Writer's Digest, from

Dogs and Sheep! and American Horseman to

Teacher, Videoscope and Video. For Video he interviewed Gumby

creator Art Clokey and did a cover story interview with

Craig Claiborne. Also edited "John Lennon A Tribute." 


Photographer:


Works agented by LGI and London Features, photos in national magazines 

and used during TV news broadcasts. TV Guide, Penthouse, People etc.



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Ronald L. Smith - RADIO and TV

"COMEDY COLLEGE" 


Ron Smith's radio scripts were read by STEVE MARTIN, LILY TOMLIN

and BOB NEWART. The show was a syndicated half-hour featuring

a different comedian's bio each week. Garrison Keillor's 

company produced the series.


TELEVISION INTERVIEWS AND APPEARANCES


As one of the leading authorities on comedy, Ron's appeared on the major networks, commenting on everything from the death of Johnny Carson (NBC)

to new stand-up talent (HBO) to the history of comedy in general

(Norman Jewison's SHOWTIME special "In the 20th Century")

He's appeared on news talk shows from Rita Cosby to

Bill O'Reilly, and on the A&E Biography episodes for

Bill Cosby and Julie Newmar. Ron was a paid extra for Howard Stern's

"Private Parts" movie (ending up on the cutting room floor) and can be

glimpsed in "Too Far is Not Far Enough" the film documentary on

Tomi Ungerer (scene where Tomi demonstrates cartoon techniques).


VOICEOVER WORK includes poetry narration, WSCR radio show (where

he once stayed on air for 24 hours for a "Comedy Marathon) and

the voices for the Oxford "Dial-a-Pickle-Joke" campaign. He's been 

interviewed on dozens of radio shows. 


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LETTERS....RON GETS...CELEBRITY LETTERS

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Below, you can read my mail.

In the course of writing so many books and magazine articles, I've

corresponded with many celebrities, and some have become friends.


Below is a random assortment. I picked ones that didn't

have a lot of gossip in them or things that the celebrity

might not want to see on the Internet. 


In Order: BOB ELLIOTT, LOU JACOBI, VINCENT PRICE,

TOM LEHRER, JONATHAN WINTERS, JOHN BANNER,

HONEY BRUCE, FRAN ALLISON, BROTHER THEODORE,

SPIKE MILLIGAN, DICK MARTIN, AL JAFFEE,

MARCEL MARCEAU, RICHARD MATHESON

DISCUSSING BROTHER THEODORE, RICHARD JENI

POSTCARD, and oh yes, DOM DELUISE drawing a

self portrait on cardboard


It's kind of interesting how some stars have 

modest letterhead, or write long-hand...isn't it?



AUTOGRAPHED PHOTOS

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When I was a precocious junior high school student, I began writing

fan letters. It gave me a boost to actually get letters and autographed

photos back from these famous and busy stars. 


One amazing thrill was when my idol Paul Frees didn't write...

but phone me instead. I was almost to awe-stricken to talk. 


My confidence as a writer began to build as well, as aside from

school assignments and gold stars and whatnot, I was getting

validation from creative people who appreciated what I wrote.


I knew a guy who wrote fan letters as a hobby. He had 

a form letter. He told me "secretaries handle fan mail. I want

the autograph. I know the star won't read what I wrote."

I figured if you were sincere, wrote something unique, 

it would get attention. Before I had reason to write to

stars (for interview requests, fact-checking) I wrote just

to mention how their work affected me. I sometimes  included

unusual pix and collages to prove it. 

Patrick McGoohan didn't sign too much by

mail, but a collage of an early photo of himself, standing in the Paris

catacombs with a cat? 


The ability to verbalize what was so touching and important

about these performers, would allow me to move on to movie,

TV and book criticism in everything from VIDEO magazine

to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. 


No question about it...getting letters back from MOE of the Three 

Stooges and Julie Newmar, helped inspire me to focus on a

career where I would someday write "The Stooge Fans' IQ

Test" and "Sweethearts of 60's TV." 


Today, people meet a celebrity, ask for a SELFIE, and grin. 

They go to a book signing, get a signature and walk. 

That's fine for a thrill, but it's not exactly communication. 


Below, just a random assortment, some from my 

fan days, some in person when I was working on projects,

a lot of comedy stars signing pix while returning my questions

or proofs relating to my various books  None bought at memorabilia 

shows. Some were chosen  for the pose, or odd comment

(Tom Poston is responding to my recalling a fumetti 

that appeared in HELP! Magazine ).