My brand of humor is usually self-deprecating, but today I’m going to start with some bragging bluster as I flaunt and vaunt what I think is one of my greatest qualities: I know Norman Lear. (Guys like me we had it made.) I was once lucky enough to attend a birthday party weekend that included a then 93 year-old Norman as a guest. (Those were the days.) I spent so much time nervously honing my toast that I earned a compliment from the man himself. (Yeah, we’re moving on up!) Norman telling me I was funny remains my greatest comedic achievement. (Ain’t we lucky we got ’em – Good Times.) That moment led, somehow, to me reading for the part of Schneider for the remake of One Day at a Time. (Now we’re up in the big leagues. Gettin’ our turn at bat). I was terrible. Beyond terrible. (There ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.) But that takes nothing away from the fact that I know Norman Lear. As much of an honor it is to have met and interacted with the man himself, it’s an even greater honor to have experienced Norman Lear’s groundbreaking, memorable, television. The great Norman Lear turns 100 today, marking one hell of an American century for a remarkable artist and a really good person. And as is his nature, Norman is celebrating his hundredth by sharing a gift with us: this column in the NYT (which is a gift article from me, and I know Norman Lear, so that’s really something): On My 100th Birthday, Reflections on Archie Bunker and Donald Trump. “Reaching my own personal centennial is cause for a bit of reflection on my first century — and on what the next century will bring for the people and country I love. To be honest, I’m a bit worried that I may be in better shape than our democracy is.” And on Archie Bunker: “If Archie had been around 50 years later, he probably would have watched Fox News. He probably would have been a Trump voter. But I think that the sight of the American flag being used to attack Capitol Police would have sickened him. I hope that the resolve shown by Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and their commitment to exposing the truth, would have won his respect.” And a final show theme lyric that Norman Lear has defined for a century and that I hope he’s experiencing today. This is it. This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball.