Doug Molitor, CA

Critically Acclaimed Writer

Trained as a journalist, Doug’s non-fiction passions are science, history, and biography, which come in handy for his time travel books. He has written 200+ episodes for TV genres from sitcom to science fiction, from crime drama to cartoon, from fantasy to western. He is the author of four novels, with a fifth in the works.He’s also a comedy professional, if you should want some humor in your story. Your call. His TV writing background means he sees his job as fulfilling your vision.

As a Story Terrace writer, Doug interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Talking at a Silent Movie

My daughter Deirdre was four, and she loved to laugh.She loved to be read funny stories and sung funny songs. SpongeBob Squarepants, Lucille Ball, Laurel & Hardy, and the classic Bugs Bunny – those were her childhood idols. I thought…why not introduce this kid to silent movies?

Every summer, The Last Remaining Seats presents classic cinema in the ornate old movie palaces of downtown Los Angeles. So I took Deirdre to the Orpheum Theatre to see Buster Keaton – a genius who had left this world three decades earlier, and made some of the funniest films I’d ever seen.

I explained to her this was made before talking films were invented, but that she would have no problem understanding the humour. As the organist began the score, I realize one hitch in my plan: The titles. “What does it say, Daddy?” she asked. “Shh,” I whispered. “We don’t talk in the movies, remember? It’s called One Week.”

I whispered more cards, explaining that newlywed Buster had been given a build-it-yourself house to assemble for his bride. But her spiteful ex-boyfriend painted the wrong numbers on the boxes.

A white-haired lady sat directly in front of us. Every time I murmured the title card to Deirdre, the woman seemed to be turning her ear in our direction. Was I violating the rule about not talking during a movie? Even a silent movie? Even to explain to a four-year-old what was going on?

Soon, I could stop reading. Deirdre howled with laughter as Buster dutifully built a crazy upside-down house with diagonal windows, doors that opened onto one-story drops without even a staircase for Buster to tumble down; a house that spun like a merry-go-round.

But each time my little girl laughed, the lady seemed to be turning toward her. What, I thought, we can’t laugh at a silent movie? The two-reeler ended, and the lights came on. Keaton’s masterpiece, The General, would be shown next. I prayed it would have no title cards, but knew it would.

The elderly woman turned around. “What’s your daughter’s name?” She wasn’t mad at us after all. I told her. She turned to my daughter and said, “Deirdre, did you like the movie?”

“Oh, it was soooo funny!” she crowed.

The old lady smiled: “Well, Deirdre, my name is Eleanor Keaton, and I’m so glad you liked my husband’s movie.”

A landscape group photo from a Writers Guild reading of my detective comedy Black & Wyatt starring Ed Asner, Jason Alexander, Charles (The Nanny) Shaughnessy, and Phil (Firesign Theatre) Proctor.

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