Caleb Bacon is a television writer currently writing for the TBS hit show ‘Sullivan & Son’, which is executively produced by Vince Vaughn amongst other big timers in the entertainment industry. Caleb has written and worked behind the scenes on a host of television shows including Deadwood, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Luck, John From Cincinnati, Big Love and Animal Practice. So it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about the industry.
Above all, Caleb is a great guy who recently did an awesome show on Cogo.
Okay, lets dive into this. Can you tell me a little bit about your podcast and describe it in your own words?
Yeah! Can I use your words?
Yeah, you can use whatever you want.
It is called Man School with Caleb Bacon and it is a show where I talk to a variety of men about their real life experiences. Things that they personally have been through, whether they be difficult, unique or interesting and we will have an honest conversation about what that experience was like. Then, hopefully the conversations are something that people find to be inspirational, motivational or at a very minimum entertaining.
Yeah, I listen to your podcast a ton and to me it feels almost like a dad to a son relationship, if that is possible in a podcast. Something like rules you leave to your son sort of vibe. This made me wonder, when did you decide to do this & what made you want to do this podcast?
That is cool and interesting thought!
I got sober from drugs and alcohol a little over six years ago and I found that the biggest thing that helped me was just talking to other men about what they had been through. This was the first time in my life where it wasn’t like people lecturing me. Like the school principal or people just telling me what to do. It was about people who have had similar experiences and were to put things out in a way where it was like “Oh! That makes sense for me. I will listen to that” I just kind of took that and tried to apply it to as many areas of my life as I could with whatever problems I wanted to get over or get through. But, I also found that it was a really fun and entertaining thing to do. Just having a real, honest conversation with other guys, which most people do not do.
You know, podcasts are great because it is almost like hanging out with the show. The Man School Podcast really seems to have that feeling. You are hanging with Caleb Bacon and his guests every time you listen to the podcast. But okay, lets get into something a little less serious. Star Trek or Star Wars, do you have a preference?
Yeah me too! I never got that into Star Trek.
Nah, no. It didn’t speak to me to. I am afraid of the new Star Wars movies, but I will see them.
I feel the exact same way.
When you have been working with us and on previous podcasts raising money, you have been delivering pizzas to anybody who wants one for a donation. I was just wondering, what kind of pizza do you deliver?
It’s not up to me. It is whatever they want from the deliver. So far that has meant either going to someone’s house or meeting at a pizza place of their choice. They do have the option of me just giving them the pizza and me just walking away.
But that’s not fun.
Yeah. But everyone has decided to eat the pizza with me. I am open to be just a delivery boy though!
You are a pretty established TV writer. Could you just dive into your journey and how you got started in that, as well as how you reached to where you are at now?
I am currently writing on a TBS sitcom called “Sullivan and Son” produced by Vince Vaughn and I am at my office at Warner Brothers as we speak. I had a lot of jobs behind the scenes of shows and dramas. I worked on a lot of HBO one-hour dramas (Big Love, Denver, John From Cincinnati), but I had always loved comedy. Then as soon as a I got a chance to work on the comedy projects, as I had been moving my way up the writing ladder a little in Drama, I decided to entirely focus on comedy. I had some support staff positions and was able to turn that into full-time writing.
Are you happy that you went down this comedy field?
Yeah, it is the best thing ever because you get to laugh all day long.
I imagine that is a blast.
You get to work with hilarious people and your job is to be funny. I get to laugh. I get to make other people laugh. The hours can be really long though.
What sort of advice would you give to aspiring TV writers?
Write your balls off or write your ass off. Pick one and just write it off, because it is really easy on trying to come up with a strategy of how to have a career in it, as opposed to putting in the right kind of work. A lot of people think you just need that one good script, but if you write one good script the next one should be even better.
“It takes time to perfect your craft” sort of concept?
Yeah, yeah. Another thing would be to know as many people as you can. People want to hire someone who they want to spend time with, because you spend so many hours together. You cannot be anonymous.
If you have to single somebody out: who has been your favorite person to work with? Either with Man School or while writing?
I would say Rob Long, who is the co-creator of Sullivan and Sons. He is one of the funniest people I have ever known and is one of the smartest people I have ever known. He is full of great stories and very supportive of me. So you cannot beat that!
He sounds like a great guy.
He has bought me a lot of nice lunches! He was one of the head writers on ‘Cheers’, which is my favorite show of all time.
Okay, I cannot help but ask. Your name is Caleb Bacon, are you a snobby bacon eater or do you enjoy all types?
I will try all types, I won’t necessarily enjoy them, but I will have a go. We have this thing on set we refer to as ‘crack bacon’. It is bacon glazed with maple syrup and black pepper. It is sweet, spicy and addictive as hell.
Everyday on set we have three types of bacon for pickup. Regular bacon, turkey bacon and crack bacon. So, I am pretty happy.
Any shout outs or plugs or anything you would like the readers to know?
I just want people to listen to Man School and when you hear an episode you think would resonate with a friend, send them that particular episode.
Caleb Bacon is a great guy and that kind of person who is a joy just to talk to. He is currently working on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son. In 2013, he launched his own podcast called “Man School with Caleb Bacon.” If you listen to just one episode you will get hooked and listen to thirty. Check them out at http://manschoolshow.com out and on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/man-school-with-caleb-bacon/id596163957.