I open the book and in the third paragraph, Rabbi Weiss writes: "I
am also grateful to the participants in the workshops that I cofacilitated
with the late Dr. Harry Jakobs..."
What happened to Harry Jakobs (the producer and director of 1987's Rebel
High, which IMDB calls the worst film of all time)?
I'm told he died quickly of a brain tumor (circa 2001).
He was among the first persons I met in Los Angeles in 1994. We saw each
other regularly at Jewish events and meals over the next two years. We
didn't particularly get along. We had a couple of arguments about religion
and Harry later told friends I was an asshole.
Harry said he'd been raised Orthodox and that he had a Ph.D. from Yeshiva
University. But now he'd thrown away his religious observance and his
beliefs seemed New Agey to me. Harry struck me as very Hollywood. To the
best of my knowledge, he'd never married. He liked the ladies.
In June (?) of 1996, Harry invited me to a party at his Hollywood Hills
home. He told me to bring porn stars.
I'm glad I didn't because at the party I ran into Rabbi Weiss (and his
then wife) along with several beautiful B-level Hollywood actresses best
known for taking their clothes off on-screen. I got phone numbers from
a couple of the ladies but when I called them over the next few days,
they had no interest in me.
Harry later told me he was producing and directing a movie based on the
Isaac Bashevis Singer novel The
Slave, which I loved.
Later I saw flyers for these Kabbalistic seminars Harry was giving with
Rabbi Weiss and I didn't understand how an Orthodox rabbi could give religious
seminars with a secular on-the-make What
Makes Sammy Run?-style producer such as Harry.
(I've long admired Rabbi Weiss for, among other things, his frank talk
about sex. He said that within the boundaries of Jewish law it was like
putting a key in a lock and turning it.)
I am grateful to Ari Noonan for his sensitive article on "The Spiritual
Course" which Harry Jakobs, Ph.D., and I are offering to the community
("Taking a Spiritual Course," June 27). The first workshop has taken
place and all the participants confirmed that we had, indeed, delivered
on our promises.
With his wife, Rabbi Weiss threw great singles parties at his home on
Simchas Torah. I went for years to try to find my future wife (which never
happened, but in such matters it is the search that counts). There was
a hitch though. Rabbi Weiss's wife would warn women I hit on at her house
that I was a womanizer.
Despite this, I met one older woman. Despite the warning she got from
the rebbetzin, she took a chance on me. She allowed me to give her a ride
home. A week or two later, we were hosted for Shabbos dinner by an Orthodox
It had been a tough day for my date and I did my best to be sensitive.
While the man and woman of the house retired to bed, my date and I retired
to a spare room and, by the glow of the fish tank, hooked up.
Afterwards, I walked to my old van parked outside and fell asleep in
Saturday morning, my hosts saw me drive away. I was headed for Stephen
S. Wise and the powerful reform Torah of Dennis Prager.
Abner Weiss (who in the 1960s was the runner-up for the Chief Rabbi of
the British Empire post which was taken by Emmanuel Jacobvitz) left Beth
Jacobs of Beverly Hills for London in 2000. That
didn't work out for him. He got divorced. He moved back to Los Angeles.
He met a divorcee. He
found out he wasn't really a Cohen. Thereby, he was allowed to marry
the woman he loved -- Dr. Yolande Bloomstein, "my partner in our
mental health practice."
As I reflect on these weighty issues, I realize that Harry Jakobs was
right -- I am an asshole.
Terrence emails 12/27/06:
Luke, just read your what happened to on Harry Jakobs. Trust me, your
belief that you're a bastard as compared to him? Not even close. What
he did to people in Hollywood and Montreal (and probably other countries)
pales to whatever you said that offended him. And I'm not even 100%
sure if he's actually dead or faked it, as there's another Harry
Jakobs out there in Arizona who's ripping off people and destroying
lives just as effectively as the one I know.
I used to work on an tv show of his that his produced in Montreal,
a show called Time of Your Life. It was this pretty horrendous teen
tv show a la 90210, just without the budget and production values/ Well,
just on that show alone (and there is TONS of proof in the Quebec Superior
Court records), he alledgedly -
- did not pay taxes on salaries of any of the cast, production, and
misc staff (this ran into the millions);
- did not pay any of the WORKMAN'S comp requirements, so had anyone
gotten hurt, crippled or killed on the show, they were on their own;
- had convinced a number of merchants to loan merchandise to the show,
which he then sold off at the end of the season;
- would eat at any number of local restaurants, running tabs of thousands
of dollars with no intention to pay;
- (this point is unconfirmed, but relayed to me by a Mr. Mashkin, who
would be explained later) took the production tapes of the show, and
would then go off and sell the broadcast rights over around the world
(known countries, Canada twice in english and french, France, Germany,
Italy and Indonesia) with no royalties to any others who may have been
- had rented all of the production equipment, and then SOLD them all
off illegally at the end of season.
That's just with that show. In the years after that, a writer based
in Hollywood, Mr. Mashkin, was swindled out of a multimillion dollar
home and was drained of almost all of his savings trying to fight Jakobs.
Jakobs somehow managed to convince Mashkin to invest in a number of
business dealings and rent out part of Mashkin's house. When they proved
false or fraudulant, he somehow managed to steal part title of Mashkin's
home. Mashkin was bankrupted as a result, with his life savings wiped
out. He then proceeded to try something similar with Empire Strikes
Back director Lawrence Kasden, but I don't know the end results of that.
But it's just incredible. There are 40+ legal suits against Jakobs for
fraud, theft and so on in just Quebec alone, before he skipped off to
Hollywood. With the Mashkin fights as well, I can only begin to imagine
what might be in California.
Greg emails Aug. 8, 2007: "I had known Mashkin since the 70's in
Boston. Bob and Harry's war was all consuming for Bob. Bob would sit for
hours listening to the tapes he made from bugging Harry's room and phone.
In truth Harry was a small part of Bob's downfall and never got the title
of Bob's house. Harry was a classic sociopath."
So I have been hearing this rumour about Harry
Jakob's being dead and all...I last saw him in Montreal in September
2002. I believed I even emailed (Mickey) Jason LeCavalier about it.
As far as I know he looked very well and alive then.
Now I want to set some of the The
Time Of Your Life (TOYL) records straight. Please don't take
offence to my humour or language. First of all, I am so damn tired
of hearing how much of a "shyster" hustler , scummier rip off artist
everything negative under the sun about this guy. If he was so fucked
up why and how the fuck did he ever get so much money to mess people
up like that when they all already knew he was so full of shit?
I definitely didn't agree with his unscrupulous hustle and how he
even messed me up with TOYL (as we called it) 2ND season that never
happened but that shit was going on for years with many other people
in the film industry. Those so- called tax shelter years in the
late 80s-90s played many actors directors and producers.
Thing is at the end of the day...you know what? He did something.
He still gave a shot to some people to make shit happen. CINARS
studios break came from TOYL and look what eventually happened
with out Harry down the line. CINAR still made great kids shows
Now let us not forget folks, in 1986 and 1987 when Rebel
and TOYL was released... jack shit was happening for English
Canadian film and television...especially in "Quebec". Back
then CFCF/CTV had "Snow Job " and not much else. Most Canadian
programs were 90 percent American..and CBC wasn't doing much
more then ...CBC stuff...you know Beachcombers nshit...Johnny
Wayne was still chillin with Frank Shuster. The francophone
stations had even worst crap on, translated cheesy American
ABC weekly 70s movies starring Donna Pescow , Anson Williams
and Bernie Kopell. Or something European with Gerard Depardieu
being always violent, driving off some Swiss cliff having rough
sex with a his impostor.
That "negro" Harry still had the balls to get shit done
by any means. If people were too fuckin stupid and yes everyone
of us out there who worked on his so-called worst film or
shittiest syndicated show, ever did know that this Dr. Rabbi
had such bad vibes and was so evil? Then why the fuck did
he get shit done..why did he get another chance to shoot why
did so many actors even known ones audition? .Why wasn't his
ass capped then 20 years ago. by the mob who was looking for
him? Harry knew how to manipulate people and who ever he hooked
up with sucked his dick up with it. Those are the facts. I
saw how everybody who worked on TOYL would literally chant
"Let's Kill Harry ! on set and when he would show up ...it
was Oh Harry ! hi Harry! He actually did have a near fatal
car accident as the chants were becoming so religious on set
and he was not a very happy camper, never the same from that
We went on strike for contract shit and walked off the
set. It made the papers! his own publicist set him up! Know
what though? He still got laid , he made money and many
got played. Mind you the *&^% government does that shit
every day to everyone of us to the point of a brand new
world war, corruption, disease, poverty and bullshit.! What
can we do? just bitch about it but nothing is changing today
or tomorrow or any time soon..
Life is not always what we want it to be...Yes I will
not deny I had many hard years of struggles as a result
of that "cursed' series but you know what? I am still
the first Black Canadian to get his black ass on TV all
over the world for some odd 5 years in syndication. I
did gain notoriety...It was a great training ground for
an actor to be at entry level ..it did open big doors.and
no other real Montreal Quebec Canada series that has been
shot .. has been represented all over the world like that..if
so they didn't get much more even in royalties still to
I still get recognized and sign autographs from people
did love the show.from as far as Greece..and Israel.
Only nicey nicey conservative DeGrassi Jr High from
Toronto was rival to our asses and it sucked big time
square ass then. Chambre en Ville , Riverdale or Norhwood
or some shit were all "biters!"
We the, TIME OF YOUR LIFE dealt with gay, heroin,
suicide, guns, cults, violence toward women, fucked
up dream sequences, porn, rape, abortion, promiscuity,
alcoholism, kung fu, bullying with no stereotypes
in 130 episodes in a built in studio warehouse next
to Orange Julep with full dressed sets n shit. Shooting
daily from 6:30 am call time to 5:30 pm wrap ( paid
over time if needed) at 150.00 per day..Episodes were
shown 2 weeks in advance in soap opera video format
in a sweet time slot Monday to Friday at 4:00 pm right
after General Fuckin Hospital! That slot belonged
to Bob "Back Kick" Barker Price is Right and we punked
Bob price right off!. For first timers that was the
bomb! The weekly syndication made up for 5 years of
TV in some countries! Many actors may never have such
What killed the show I really believe was he
really wanted to make it as independent as possible
without the participation of political institutions
that would've eventually fucked us up anyway. I
would have been another pretty show with no grit
and possibly killed off all Black actors or my character
(Matt Peters ) would have killed or smoked freebase
or ganged up some bangers stereotype then.
Our excellent cast had nuff culture ...Shondelle
Riley (Jessie Dragon) and her sweet mother Claire
of Native and Afro American decent, myself of
West Indian Trinidadian decent, Grenadian roots
Francois Roberson (Laura Moriarty), "big big"
red Head boy Alan Legros (Eddie Saunders), Concordia
drama teacher Dez Gallant (Evan Taylor), lovely
Kara Feifer ( Lisa ), Ara Carrerra (Christine),
Karen Peterson (Charlie), Lana who was from BC
or somewhere out west. The bad homeboys David
Lipper (Kevin Waters) and (Mickey) Jason Lecavalier...and
from Ontario sharing September 15Th b-day with
me , mystery chick idol Intellectual musician
Scott William Armstrong (James) who shaved his
long ass hair and fucked off to India. He had
some vibes issues to work out though (last seen
by me in June ? 1993 when "my affiliation with
"The Madhatter Library Pub" happened) .
The original synopsis originally written
by Rhea Cohen was about High School Confidential,
a brother and sister moving into a new town
and all that shit...sound familiar? Then I think
right after he was pissed of and stepped Harry
sold off ideas or someone else "bite" the idea
in "Beverley Hills".
The crew was the bomb too! Floor manager
Dominic Vanelli is a bomb producer and true
grease behind RDC (Reseau des Sports) , Studio
Camera 2 David Franco is notorious for Graceland
3000 and real Hollywood DOP A list movies,
Alain Dahan , Philippe Spurelle, Christophe
Flambord, Vincent Di Clemente, RIP Steven
G Blanchard, David Blanchard, Pierre Henri,
Lynn Picard, Terri Joseph Darryl and Anne
back in BC (I am starting to lose some long
term memory..too many joints joints !!!lol)
where some of Concordia grads (Big Up Loyola!)
who cut their teeth and went on as big killas
in this dog eat dog industry across the country
even the world! TOYL was their first real
So I am happy to say but sadly ...if
that if this is true about Harry Jakobs...
I took initiative to make up some peace
with him (Like I said in 2002 September
we went out for a drink...he didn't drink
though at a bar in the New Forum) to tell
him I was sorry on behalf of the cast for
chanting to kill him. He seemed quite reflective
as I asked him why and what happened. We
spoke of a possible reunion end to the story
of Mickey and Laura 15 ish years later killing
everyone at a bad high school reunion putting
an end to the dead horse. I asked him for
rights all to the foreign tapes.They still
exist. By the way is Natalie Rosen still
around? He was lonely and seemed aware of
his fuck ups. I think he started to finally
understand sometimes karma stinks. He spoke
of girls and wanting to do something ..you
know the spiel but like almost someone who
was not all there either. Maybe that was
his brain going. Ironically I lost his phone
number but have an email address for him
that seems to still be active.He hasn't
responded though maybe because...
What I think we should do is find those
130 episodes preserve them and put into
a national Canadian cinema TV archive
to show that Montreal could put shit even
in together back in 1988.
Now I can't speak for the other shit
he put people through and if his is
still around he could deserve a good
cuff in he head but I could only speak
for my own selfish experience of being
a privileged and kick ass cast member
of Canada's first prime time syndicated
soap opera Time of Your Life.
May 2007 will mark 19 years since
the first auditions. We aired October
17th 1988. Today I am a better actor
and way better producer because of
the experience. I learnt not what
to do from the worst. Simple.
Oh yes I remember May 1987 so
long ago ...so innocent.
May he rest in peace?
RIP Mark Feifer, Steven Blanchard
Thanks and peace to you
Luke for letting me go off
a bit if you have any question
don't hesitate to let me know
whats up yo! Respect.
Richard Raybourne aka Matt
Peters ( He was such a pussy
and got none because Mickey
punked him for Jessie! Bastard!)
We should have a cheesy
dvd box set lol!
June 17, 2007
I came across your website while
searching for information on
the above-named series, which
isn't exactly plentiful.
I discovered the
series in the early 90's, when
CFMT (now OMNI-TV) here
in Toronto ran some episodes:
first on weekdays, later on
Sundays. Though I never got
to see more than a couple of
dozen episodes out of the 130
Richard Raybourne (Matt Peters)
says were produced, I'm inclined
to agree with him that it was
superior to, say, either DEGRASSI
JUNIOR HIGH or DEGRASSI HIGH.
I might even say it's an overlooked
video gem -- one which may someday
achieve cult-classic status.
To that end, I E-mailed the
Drive-In Classics channel to
ask whether they might run it
soon (they're showing STRANGE
PARADISE, aren't they?). I got
the following "Out-of-Office
Greetings from Drive-In
Thank you for your
interest in our station and
for taking the time to write
to us. We regret that due to
the large volume of e-mails
and calls we regularly experience,
we may not be able to respond
to your message personally.
Be assured that your comments,
queries and suggestions are
taken seriously and individually
Once again, thanks for your
input and for tuning into Drive-In
I might get a personal reply
yet; when and if I do, I'll
pass it on to you.
One item in your blog that interested
me was that executive producer
Mark Feifer (whose daughter
Kara played Lisa Greenberg in
the series) had died (on May
22, 1995, as I later learned).
You mention that he had been
a lawyer -- but then how did
he get involved in TV production?
And what other series did he
I checked the Internet Movie
Database (IMDb), too, and discovered
that, first, not all of the
characters are listed there;
and second, those that are,
are identified by first names
only: I've made a number of
corrections and additions which
haven't yet taken effect. For
example, Kara Feifer's last
name is there given as "Feiter,"
and Evan Taylor's first name
is given as "Even,"
which is rather ironic since
the character was considerably
less than balanced. I've run
into trouble trying to find
Karen Petersen, who played James
Warren's twin sister Charlie,
listed there. And I can't find
a last name for Mickey...
But there's an interesting trivia
item about David Lipper (apparently
the son of writer Greg Lipper):
"David Lipper, or Kevin
[Waters], the 'rich' kid, left
the show in mid-season after
being accepted to Boston's famous
Emerson College." The storyline
actually accommodated this,
with Kevin preparing to finish
his senior year (the kids were
apparently all seniors) on an
exchange program in the then-Soviet
Richard says: "...TIME
OF YOUR LIFE dealt with gays,
heroin, suicide, guns, cults,
violence toward women, fucked-up
dream sequences, porn, rape,
abortion, promiscuity, alcoholism,
kung-fu, bullying with no stereotypes
in 130 episodes..." I'll
tell you my recollections of
some of these.
Reardon (Lana Higgins) worked
as a phone volunteer at a help
center, but ironically she was
at least as troubled as many
of the people whose calls she
took. While working at the help
center on Christmas Eve, she
got into an argument with another
girl (Jessie Draygon, I think,
whom Shondelle Riley played),
who then left; Helen then swallowed
a bottle of pills, and her life
was narrowly saved.
Warren (Scott William Armstrong)
was alerted by his best friend
Eddie Saunders (Alan Legros)
to a men's-magazine photospread
allegedly of the former's girffriend
Christine Hutchison (Ara Carrera).
In reality, Christine was a
victim of "photoshopping,"
but she couldn't convince her
father of that (for his part,
he'd been alerted to the photospread
by a co-worker). The man called
her some pretty awful names
and kicked her out of his house.
She then went to the Warrens'
house: Beth Warren, the mother
of James and Charlie (and played
by an Irish lady whose name
escapes me) called up the irate
Mr. Hutchison to plead on Christine's
behalf, but got nowhere. Christine
prepared to move into her first
worked part-time at Harry's
Place (an in-joke involving
Harry Jakobs: this was another
bit of trivia I found at the
IMDb), a diner serving as the
seemingly obligatory hang-out
for the kids. One night around
closing time, Evan Taylor (Des
Gallant), in a bitter, dope-fueled
rage, tried to rape her. James,
Matt and Jessie arrived just
in time to break up the attack
(at least James and Matt did
that) and send Evan packing.
The threesome then escorted
Charlie home, where she went
to bed and they all fell asleep
in the Warrens' living room.
Jessie subsequently woke up
and went home to her frantic
mother, Roberta Draygon (I think
this is whom Shondelle's real-life
mother Claire Riley played),
who taught science at the high
school the kids all attended.
She explained what had happened,
saying that she, James and Matt
might have been "standing
guard duty" at the Warrens',
and adding that she was safe
there because "James is
Charlie's brother." "Matt
isn't," pointed out Roberta
(who had just mentioned having
long known that Evan was trouble),
forbidding Jessie to see him
again, and earning herself the
nickname "Dragon Lady"
from him (which might account
for Richard thinking that Jessie's
last name was "Dragon"
rather than "Draygon,"
as it actually was).
Greenberg found herself pregnant
by Kevin Waters. In a booth
at Harry's Place, she confided
her predicament to Laura Moriarty
(Francoise Robertson), who in
turn showed her some money she'd
been saving to buy dope. While
Laura was picking up something
she'd dropped on the floor,
a desperate Lisa stole the money,
intending to pay for an abortion
The main-title sequence was
quite intriguing, too. The title
graphic took the form of a high-school
yearbook, which opened itself
and turned its own pages. On
each "page" was a
title card identifying one of
the regulars (e.g. "Scott
William Armstrong as James Warren,"
"Ara Carrera as Christine
Hutchison," etc.), and
bearing a shot of the individual
which, in a real yearbook, might
have qualified as a "candid."
The shot for "David Lipper
as Kevin Waters" showed
Kevin with, of all things, a
pet duck! The sequence was accompanied
on the soundtrack by a female
francophone, whose name also
escapes me, singing (these lyrics
are quoted from memory):
"Papa said, 'Hit those
books, kid, or hit the street.'
Mama said, 'Always be a good
girl; don't be indiscreet.'
They've got their problems,
I've got my problems;
How can I face the world on
my own... ?*
Tell me you're having the time
of your life,
Tell me you're having the time
of your life,
Tell me you're having the time
of your life,
Tell me you're having the time
of your life... "
*This line may be wholly or
A bit downbeat, don't you think?
But thanks for letting us know
that the series hasn't been