Joe on a WTVT remote

Channel 13's 
Mary Ellen

Joe was eventually allowed to floor direct, and then he become a director on "The Mary Ellen Show."  It was during this time that Joe came up with the idea of filming adventure stories with Mary Ellen and a gaggle of youngsters in tow.  Working with photographer Jack Cosgrove, Joe's stories usually involved ghostbusting or crime solving, and the results were a more entertaining show and a definite bump in the ratings.  At age 11, Larry appeared in a Mary Ellen adventure with a plot that involved a modern-day pirate. "There was one scene where I'm kidnapped by the pirate.  He throws me into a stolen boat and takes off.  Dad had arranged for a Tampa P.D. boat to chase us down the Hillsborough River.  We were supposed to get away from the police boat because it was going to be too big to go under the drawbridge.  Well, the police boat is chasing us with its siren and lo and behold, the bridge operator raised the bridge!  We had to go back and explain to them 'don't open the bridge.'"

Larry enjoyed the role, except for the ribbing he got from classmates and the knowledge that his part was played for free, while sister Pam's commercial for a local advertising agency not only paid her for the shoot, but royalties as well!