Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel Collection
Collection Number: WGF-MS-004
Extent: 5.5 linear feet
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel Collection, 1985-1994 is comprised of materials relating to the writing duo’s screenwriting
careers, including handwritten and fully typed drafts, story notes, treatments, partial drafts and rewrites, re-shoot notes,
and assorted production materials for eight films, including CITY SLICKERS (1991), CITY SLICKERS II (1994), A LEAGUE OF THEIR
OWN (1992), and PARENTHOOD (1989).
Language of Material: English
Available by appointment only.
The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.
Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel Collection. Writers Guild Foundation Archive
This collection was donated by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, 1/9/2012.
Lowell Ganz (born August 31, 1948 in Glen Oaks, New York) and Marc “Babaloo” Mandel (born October 13 in New York, New York)
are long-time screenwriting partners that began their careers writing for comedic television in the 1970s. By 1974, Ganz was
co-producing Happy Days alongside creator and mentor Garry Marshall – a series for which Mandel also wrote several episodes.
The two New Yorkers met in a Hollywood comedy club where Mandel worked as a gag writer. Both were also on the writing staff
for the sitcom The Odd Couple and discovered that they had a lot in common – from their offbeat sense of humor to their adoration
of Billy Wilder. Their creative partnership began with collaborations on Laverne and Shirley and the duo made their feature
screenplay debut with the black comedy NIGHT SHIFT (1982), which reunited Ganz and Mandel with Happy Days alumni Henry Winkler
and director Ron Howard.
SPLASH (1984) brought Howard, Ganz, and Mandel together once again and firmly established the writing pair as a successful
Hollywood scripting team. They would go on to write hits such as PARENTHOOD (1989), CITY SLICKERS (1991), and A LEAGUE OF
THEIR OWN (1992 – directed by Laverne and Shirley colleagues Penny Marshall and co-starring Garry Marshall). Both Ganz and
Mandel have appeared in small roles in the films they have written. Notably, Ganz plays an announcer in A LEAGUE OF THEIR
OWN and each play writers in MR. SATURDAY NIGHT. The theatrical releases of GUNG HO, PARENTHOOD, and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
also served as springboards for follow-up television series which Ganz and Mandel contributed to. Other screenwriting credits
include EDTV (1999), WHERE THE HEART IS (2000), ROBOTS (2005), FEVER PITCH (2005), and PARENTAL GUIDANCE (2012)--New York
Scope and Content of Collection
The Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel Collection, 1985-1994 is comprised of materials relating to their screenwriting careers and
organized by film title. In addition to handwritten and fully typed drafts, the collection includes story notes, treatments,
partial drafts and rewrites, re-shoot notes, “wild lines” (extra dialogue that is recorded off camera for use in post-production),
and assorted production materials.
SPIES LIKE US (1985) features a writing partnership with actor and writer Dan Aykroyd, and their recurrent collaboration with
actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Billy Crystal is represented by materials from CITY SLICKERS (1991), CITY SLICKERS
II (1994, co-written), FORGET PARIS (1995, co-written), and MR. SATURDAY NIGHT (1992, co-written).
Ganz and Mandel wrote the majority of material in this collection in an era without modern script writing computer software.
This is expressed in story notes and basic plot points jotted down on index cards and a plethora of handwritten script page
inserts, comments, and dialogue revisions. The duo’s distinctive writing process is well-documented in such highlights as
predominantly handwritten early drafts for CITY SLICKERS and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, their personal screening notes for CITY
SLICKERS II, and a selection of typewritten drafts for the then untitled “Fatherhood Comedy” PARENTHOOD which feature extensive
hand cut and pasted alterations.