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Peter Mehlman
Peter Mehlman started his career as a sportswriter for the
Washington Post. He slid from print journalism to television when,
from 1982 to 1984, he wrote for and produced the television series,
"SportsBeat" with Howard Cosell. For the next five years he returned
to writing full sentences and worked as a freelance magazine writer in
New York. His byline appeared in numerous national publications
including the New York Times magazine, GQ, Esquire and every women's magazine imaginable.

In 1989 he needed "a change of scenery," and moved to Los Angeles
where he bumped into Larry David, whom he'd met a few times in New
York. David, was developing "a little show with Jerry Seinfeld", and
invited Mehlman to send over a sample script. Having never written a
script, Mehlman sent a humor piece he had written for the New York
Times Magazine. Jerry Seinfeld loved it and gave Mehlman a writing
assignment, out of which came the series' first freelance episode,
"The Apartment." Mehlman was hired for the first full season of
"Seinfeld as a program consultant (1991-92) and, over the next six
years, worked his way up to co-executive producer.

Mehlman is most famous for his "Yada Yada" episode, and his
episodes also such now classic Seinfeld-isms as "spongeworthy" and
"shrinkage" and "double-dipping."

In 1997, Mehlman joined DreamWorks and created "It's like, you
know...," a scathing look at Los Angeles. In recent years, he has
continued creating TV shows while writing on the upcoming DreamWorks
animated feature "Madagascar." He has also returned to full sentences,
writing humor pieces for Esquire, The New York Times and LA Times. A collection of those pieces has been compiled into a book called, MANDELA WAS LATE.

Entries by Peter Mehlman

250 Million Undateable People

(13) Comments | Posted May 9, 2016 | 10:09 AM

The commercials, dusted with corn-fed humor, feature lonely male farmers at a loss for love in tilled America. The initial moments of rural longing give way to a voice-over, or a talking cattle dog, suggesting Farmers Only Dot Com. Instantly, love seems possible under spacious, a revelation reinforced by a...

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LA Elba... Banishment

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 12:14 PM

Life after losing all my credibility has been hellish. Actually, you know what? Drop the "-ish".

If you live in L.A., credibility is all you have. Not your personal or professional credibility where the truth is just a devious form of lying -- but your movie recommendation credibility. A...

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Man And Supermodel

(2) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 2:43 PM

There are just shy of twelve million valid reasons for quitting Facebook, but my path began with its suggestion that I befriend Christy Turlington.

Knee-jerk-wise, friendship with Ms. Turlington seemed like a killer idea. Imagine: Menlo Park chose me, a private citizen with average cheekbones, to...

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Never Enough

(37) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 2:00 PM

In Los Angeles, a self-made mogul sat poolside the morning after hosting his daughter's wedding in a hotel ballroom his wife had redecorated for the event. From rooms he paid for, out-of-town wedding guests drifted down to the pool and asked how a pop legend wound up performing at the...

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Loving Drones

(21) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 8:14 PM

Here's an unlikely capper to a half-caf, no-foam conversation among people with decades-long IMDB pages: "Yeah, those drones are pretty cool."

Everyone smiles and nods and avoids eye contact with the kid collecting signatures ten feet away. "Homeless children?" "Plastic in the ocean?" "Darfur?" Whatever the can't-possibly-oppose cause, kids are...

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(21) Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 2:49 PM

The world has always been infested with opinions but in the past 15 years, everyone has a platform for their views. Or a hundred seventy-five million platforms. Whereas opinions used to come in handy mainly for cocktail parties, we now need our views fully weaponized for a walk on the...

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Following the Evidence

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2011 | 9:53 PM

At 7:10 a.m., evidence dotted three feet of a stone stoop. West to East were two nut-infested energy bars in their wrappers, five mini-Dove Bar dark chocolates (one half-eaten) a nearly polished-off bag of plain M&Ms and $9.50 in quarters huddled in a clump.

The quarters were what would...

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A Brief History of Contract Murder

(5) Comments | Posted June 27, 2011 | 3:34 PM

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the 19 murders allegedly committed by James "Whitey" Bulger is that he performed the killings himself. For many Americans and a handful of Swedes, this self-reliant brand of homicide harkens back to a simpler, more disgusting time.

Now, according to someone in...

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On Being a Hick

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2011 | 2:43 PM

Let me get this straight: A snake escaped the Bronx Zoo and bit Spiderman who was attending the 800th preview performance of a play about Mormons?

Something doesn't sound right. When I lived in the city, only Peter Parker attended the theater and even then...

Oh forget it....

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80's New York

(6) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 11:25 AM

"The details of that summer day in 1987 remind New Yorkers of what a different place the city was then. Murders were trending toward a historic high, with street crime ingrained as a fact of life." ~ New York Times, January 25, 2011.

Somewhere in the soup of DirectTV's...

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Signs and Omens

(12) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 3:57 PM

Foreboding was all over Los Angeles last week. Monday through Friday -- on the 101, Will Rogers Beach, Beverly Boulevard, Rustic Canyon -- signs and omens popped up everywhere, all pointing to one wildly eventful five days.

I don't think it ruins this story to let...

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LeBron to Santa Monica?

(13) Comments | Posted July 1, 2010 | 1:38 PM

Believe me, I'm under no false illusions. Luring LeBron James away from the NBA and signing him up for my Monday night game at the Santa Monica YWCA, is going to be tough. Artie "Clank" Gotbaum retired due to chronic White Man's Disease, so yes, we have room under the...

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College Days

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2009 | 12:56 PM

Each fall, some kids ask me for college recommendation letters. This is, more or less, this year's edition.

Dear Dean of Admissions,
It is with pleasure I write to you on behalf of ____ ____. Although your university is her safety school, I assume she would eventually adjust and...

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Let Us Drive in Peace

(4) Comments | Posted September 17, 2009 | 2:53 PM

First, drinking. Then talking on the phone. Then text messaging. You'd think the government would cut back on its probes into highway accident-causing activities, but ... no dice.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Board is now set to release a study claiming that undergoing reconstructive knee...

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Numerology: A New York Memory

(5) Comments | Posted June 23, 2009 | 7:30 AM

In 1967, football jerseys were a teen fad in New York City High Schools. The world was decades away from maniacal sports marketing so the jerseys were bloodless: no team logo, no team colors, no superstar stranger's name along the upper back. Just white jerseys with striped shoulders and a...

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(19) Comments | Posted February 12, 2009 | 12:41 PM

Between elections, bailouts and octuplets, short shrift has been paid to another highly deserving national travesty: A recent survey found that ninety percent of our high schoolers confessed to cheating on exams. This data can only make adults shake their heads and wonder: What kind of kid talks to...

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Apres le Qvelling

(14) Comments | Posted December 17, 2008 | 2:17 PM

As their euphoria over the November election levels off, American Jews -- nearly 90 percent of whom voted Barack Obama -- are slowly coming around to one major question: "How did a black guy get in the White House before a Jew?"

Many leaders of the Jewish...

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In No Particular Order....

(15) Comments | Posted November 1, 2008 | 2:10 AM

A few notes:

Note 1: On Thursday's Larry King episode, Ben Stein took a stab at graciousness but -- damn it -- came up just shy. He started out okay, complimenting the efficiency of the Obama campaign. But sadly, that wee moment of sanity goosed his fight-or-flight adrenals, kayoed...

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A Deadline for David Brooks

(56) Comments | Posted October 4, 2008 | 9:36 AM

In his New York Times column today, David Brooks raved about the performance of Sarah Palin in last night's debate. Curious thing: Mr. Brooks was a talking head on PBS before and after the debate. Assume his head talked in a New York studio since his column had no dateline....

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We Rock

(10) Comments | Posted October 2, 2008 | 3:38 PM

It's impossible to prioritize the disasters of an average American's life right now but one thing we have going for us is self-esteem. Oh, we are flush with us. We've become our own role models. We emulate ourselves. We look up to ourselves. We are so taken by us,...

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