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GH Head Scribe Ron Carlivati On Franco's Popcorn Pantomime!



We have previously written here about the fabulous performance of Roger Howarth as Franco, as he proceeded to destroy his “Hallowedding” to Carly (Laura Wright) on last week’s episodes of General Hospital!

Throughout the scenes, Howarth was at his best, complete with sitting on the sidelines pantomiming eating popcorn as he got a front row seat after dropping his bombshells to the wedding party: Carly cheating on him with Sonny (Maurice Benard), and Michael (Chad Duell) finding out that Sonny shot and killed his father AJ Quartermaine, and that Carly went along with the cover-up!

Now Soap Opera Digest has posted an online interview with GH head writer Ron Carlivati for some behind the scenes insights as to what was written in the scripts, and what was ad-libbed including; that end of the episode devious wink Franco gave to Carly, and the popcorn pantomime.  Here is an excerpt below:

Carlivati on if the Popcorn pantomime was scripted:  “No, it was not. I mean, we indicated that the camera was on Franco at the reveal, to see his reaction. We did not say what that reaction was. Frank (Valentini, executive producer) told me, if I’m remembering this correctly, that (Roger Howarth) did it with the popcorn during rehearsal, and then he didn’t do it when they went to tape it, and Frank was like, ‘Wait, wait, wait, why didn’t you do that thing that you did before?”‘And he was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know, I was just trying it,’ and Frank said, ‘No, no, no, you gotta do it.’ So, it was something that he did when they were rehearsing and Frank loved it and said, ‘You have to do that when we tape it.”‘

Did you love the popcorn pantomime and Franco’s wink as much as we did?  Comment below!

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Loved it; in fact I loved his whole performance that episode!! Howarth has fleshed out the Franco character better than James Franco ever could!

Loved the popcorn and the wink at the end was perfect!

I love Roger’s portrayal of Franco but I wonder how long can Franco last in a town where the the only friend he has is some unemployed, barely out of her teens girl? Plus I am sick and tired of everyone being able to insult him without judgements. Franco made some horrible choices but people forget if it wasn’t for Franco, Michael might be dead and Morgan may be in jail for his murder, after the fight on the docks where Morgan knocked Michael into the river unconscious and he we about to drown. I think we see the writing on the wall , Franco and Nina are going to become G.H. answer to the Adam’s family as a couple.

Franco has replaced AJ as the town punching bag. I was frustrated for AJ and I’m now frustrated for Franco. Let’s not forget, in addition to what you mentioned, Franco also risked his life to save Carly from Heather…actually tried to kill Heather (remember when he buried her thinking she was dead?) to protect Carly. And she runs back to…and sleeps with Sonny…who didn’t lift a finger to rescue her and threatened to kill her when she shot Olivia. I love Roger and he finally has some material to play off of. Unfortunately he’s going to be the town pariah…unless he gets a few people in his corner other than Kiki. Popcorn scene was very Todd…Roger…now Franco. Subtle but effective.


Did I love the popcorn pantomine and Franco’s wink? I think it is pretty sad that this is what passes for great acting choices and gets attention. That’s what I think.

Well, speaking for myself, I keep lowering the barometer for my expectations. I thought the popcorn bit was funny, however it was evocative of Todd from OLTL’s past as he simulated the same action when he pulls off similar antics when Todd was supposed to marry Blair.
I do understand why they call him Re Ron. The dialogue at this wedding was almost word for word the same dialogue utilized at Todd and Blair’s wedding. Also Nina’s theft of Ava’s baby is a repeat of Marci stealing a baby. Oh well, it’s been amusing and not painful to watch as of late.

This again showcases why Roger Howarth is one of the best in the business. That wink and the popcorn pantomime were fantastic. Honestly, the scene probably wouldn’t have been the same without it, and it fits so perfectly with the character. Roger finally has the material worthy of his talents, and he’s finally getting me to love Franco. Couple the “Hallowedding” with the other madness going on in Port Charles, and it was GH’s best week of shows in a long time.

Totally agree! He’s finally really playing Franco and is playing it to the hilt!
Great actor..

Franco often shocks me…mostly to the point of laughter! I enjoy Roger Howarth.

The pop corn (relax watch the show) was Rogers inner genius when it comes to subtle humor..
I really like the ”’wink” that was so believable for the ”I gotcha” ..
Franco is a very unique character that only Roger could own..
Roger is a soap treasure …

Love love love the wink and Frankco eating pop corn well done acting.

I actually watched this twice (great episode) and had no idea what the heck Franco was doing with those movements. So now I know!

I agree. I didn’t know what he was doing, but it was funny to watch.

Roger Howarth can make reading the phone book entertaining.

He is a talented actor and “makes” the scene…. I would watch him in anything he chooses to do….

having watched Roger for so many years, I knew it was just ‘so Roger’ to do that. You can’t script his humor!

That’s why he’s the best there is.

It just goes to show how off GH’s priorities are that the reveal to Michael about what Sonny and Carly did, about justice being served for AJ, is all. About. Franco. The. SERIAL KILLER.

Roger is just simply the best actor in daytime! They are finally putting him to good use! I also love the “Pepperoni” comment. That was super funny. Roger is just such a peach!

That was hysterical! Roger is a great actor! Has chemistry with anyone that shares scenes with him!

Loved the episodes! Roger Howarth has been and continues to be brilliant !

It seems as though a lot of Roger’s expressions are unscripted-which I love! Roger is very talented, a great comedic actor with great timing. Just continue to flush out the fact that he was brought back as Franco-stop referring to how he was a psychotic serial murderer, etc.

I love Roger, and trying to like Franco. It’s hard when the best character ever was Todd. EVER. Todd had people who loved him because they went deep into understanding where he came from. I’m not there yet with Franco, but that being said, anything that RH does is okay by me. My issue is why the Franco blame? Why not let us sympathize with him. Sonny killed AJ, Carly covered it up. She cheated. Her arrogance is annoying. Let’s not pretend they did nothing wrong. So yeah for Franco for blowing up there world. And Michael, the kid had to know. Just wondering how Franco is going to come out of this by leaving with Cocopuff Nina. She’s an emmy waiting to happen. Oh the wink and popcorn ….classic.

Totally agree. Franco was completely justified; he risked his life to save her from Heather when she was kidnapped! She cheats on him, betrays him in every way…Sonny is a serial killer!!! LOL…it’s as if being a murderer in the mob is SO much more sane than just than Franco’s past actions. Sonny and Carly’s indignation and ridicule of Franco would be so much more palatable if we saw more people in Port Charles side with Franco, even in a private conversation. But they won’t. Just like the scapegoat that was AJ. And actually, Scott. They pick a few people in town who are the pariahs. (They’re usually the ones I side with.)

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Finn Tells Violet That Gregory Passed, While Elizabeth Sees He Has Been Drinking

The raw emotions continued on the Wednesday, May 22nd episode of General Hospital as Finn (Michael Easton) and Chase (Josh Swickard) try to come to grips with the death of their father, Gregory (Gregory Harrison).

In story, Gregory passed away in his sleep and his battle with ALS came to its conclusion. In the pick-up, Finn now has to tell his daughter, Violet (Jophielle Love) that her grandfather had passed when she returned home from school.

Gingerly, Finn does his best to explain to Violet what happened. Finn tells her that her grandfather’s heart stopped beating, and he wasn’t in pain. Violet bursts into tears saying that she wants Grandpa to still be here and runs into his room calling out for him. Then, in very touching scenes, Finn follows Violet. She asks her dad where her Grandpa is. Finn explains the paramedics took him away. She cries that she didn’t get the chance to even say goodbye.


Next, Finn hugs Violet and tells his little girl that life is so beautiful, but sometimes it’s unfair. He carries Violet back to the living room, but passes by the bottle of booze. He sits her down on the couch and tells her there will be a funeral in a few days so they will get to say goodbye to Grandpa together. When Violet asks where her Grandpa is now, Finn says he is in heaven.

Later, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) shows up and hugs Violet and Finn. She can see right away that Finn has been drinking, especially after eyeing the glass, and the bottle on the counter. Getting Violet out of the room for a moment, Liz tells Finn she can’t even imagine the pain he must be in right now. So, he should go to a meeting and Violet will come home with her for the night.


Finn puts his foot down that Violet will stay with him. He just watched two total stranger, the paramedics, take his dad away. He says he took one drink to ease his pain. Finn stands up to Liz and says he thinks given the circumstances he has a right to do whatever it takes to get through the day. Next, Liz says she can’t stop him, but she will not have him get drunk with his daughter in the apartment, and so, she is taking Violet with her.

Elsewhere, Chase (Josh Swickard) and Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton) decide at the airport to head back to the Quartermaines, and not take off for their honeymoon, since Gregory died. When they show up at the Q’s, Chase says he wants to be with his brother, but he is giving him time to tell Violet. Next, the newlyweds are greeted by Ned (Wally Kurth) and Lois (Rena Sofer). They tell the two the truth, leaving everyone stunned or in tears. Chase heads out to find Tracy.

Meanwhile, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) is holding on to her good luck charm from Gregory as her reinstatement hearing begins. Little does she know, he has passed away. Alexis finds out she is in a court battle with Fergus Byrne (Lane Davies), the brother of the late Neil Byrne.

So, what did you think of the performances of Jophielle Love and Michael Easton in the touching scenes between Violet and Finn? Will Finn end up on a complete bender? Will his brother Chase show up in time to help him? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Daytime Stands Up/Stand Up to Cancer Live Auction Continues Through May 26; Bid Now on DAYS Set Visit and Video Call with GH Leading Ladies

As announced on last Thursday night’s livestream event Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer … We All Have A Story, the live auction where you can bid on several soap opera related items is continuing now through this Sunday, May 26th.

Now is the time to get in your online bid in for a good cause to help fund vital cancer research.  Items up for grabs to the highest bidder include: a set visit to Peacock’s Days of our Lives where you can go behind the scenes and meet the cast at Burbank Studios, in Burbank California where the soap opera is taped.

Another main item is a 15-minute call one-one-one video call with three of the leading ladies of General Hospital and all Daytime Emmy winners: Laura Wright (Carly), Cynthia Watros (Nina) and Maura West (Ava).

Photo: JPI

In addition, Y&R and ATWT favorite, Colleen Zenk (Jordan, ex-Barbara, respectively) is also offering up a video call to the highest bidder, and so too are Robert Newman (ex-Josh, GL) and Vincent Irizarry (ex-AMC, GL, DAYS, B&B et al).

Want an autographic script from The Young and the Restless, Guiding Light or As the World Turns? They are also three of the items up for bids for a good cause and more.

Photo: JPI

Check out the entire auction and place your bids here.

Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer featured live interviews and conversations, musical performances and on-location segments featuring daytimes biggest star who shared their personal journeys with cancer and more.

In case you missed it, you can watch the entire show below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Michael Easton Pens Touching Farewell to Gregory Harrison

Following the on-screen death of his on-screen father, Gregory Chase played by Gregory Harrison, longtime soap vet, Michael Easton (Finn, GH) shared his feelings on a touching Instagram post.

Easton summed up getting to know Gregory Harrison, and to play emotional scenes with him for the last three years. In story, Gregory succumbed to ALS, a disease in which there is no cure.

Sharing several photos of himself with Harrison. Easton expressed, “Gregory Harrison. One of the finest actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with and an even better human being. I learned so much from you, my friend, and it was an absolute honor to get to share a stage with you these past three years. Your talent, grace and powerful presence will be greatly missed around the studio. @gnhsurf @generalhospitalabc #gh #fathersandsons”

Photo: ABC

In addition, Josh Swickard (Chase), Harrison’s other on-screen son told Soap Opera Digest on Gregory’s exit, “Sometimes when you’re working on a show like this and someone plays your dad, it spills over. He really felt like a father figure to me in so many ways. Still does. He’s such a good human being. He’s been around the block in life, in Hollywood, and then some, and he’s just a wealth of knowledge. And he’s a humble human being.”

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) also took to X and shared her sentiments on her time working with Harrison. Grahn said, “Was hard to say good bye to working with my friend, Gregory Harrison. What a treat to share the stage with this guy, and getting to know him was a gift. I truly love & respect everything about him. And I know he’s seeing this. He doesn’t post, but likes to read mine.”


Fans of GH caught on the Monday, May 20th episode some very heart-tugging scenes between Gregory and Finn, where they each tell the other how proud they are to have been each others father and son.

Watch below the heartbreaking moment and the touching portrayal by Michael Easton when Finn finds his father has passed away.

So, what do you think about the words written by Michael Easton and he says farewell to the exited Gregory Harrison? What did you think of his performance on today’s GH? Comment below.


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A post shared by Michael Easton (@iammichaeleaston)

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