In 1992 a TV producer wrote Charles Bukowski and tried to interest him with the idea of doing a television series, a sit-com, based on Bukowski’s life. Starring the actor Harry Dean Stanton as a “disreputable old writer.” And the producer attached three one hundred dollar bills to the letter to pique Bukowski’s interest. Bukowski took the 300 bucks and spent the day at the horse racing track.
A couple days later Bukowski called up Harry Dean Stanton (who he was friends with) and the producer, and invited them to his house to discuss the project. It sounded like pretty typical cheesy TV fare. The Bukowski character was written as sort of a curmudgeonly-but lovable Al Bundy/Archie Bunker type. And they had the whacky next door neighbor and all that. Pretty horrible.
Fortunately — even though it would have been a good paying gig for him — Harry Dean Stanton talked Bukowski out of it. “In that format, network television, there’s no way they could do Hank’s work or do anything about Hank.”
Thank God for that.