Jfcwonderboycrop_2Among the many interesting things about the "John from Cincinnati" finale seg is that it heralds the ascent, in WGA terms, of Zack Whedon.

Zack is the latest addition to the Whedon clan’s tradition of producing fine TV and film scribes, stretching back to the 1950s and ’60s with Zack’s grandfather, John Whedon ("The Andy Griffith Show," "Dick Van Dyke Show"); and father, Tom ("The Golden Girls," "Benson," "Alice"); and on through older brother Joss ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Serenity").

Zack has been schooled in the David Milch tradition for the past four years, starting out as an assistant to Milch on "Deadwood" early on in its first season. He wound up co-writing a "Deadwood" seg with his boss last year, and this year he was a kind of permanent freelancer on "John from Cincinnati." And like the titular character, Zack had good timing throughout. In episode seven, he fell into a bit acting part as Wonderboy, aka the Stinkweed vice president armed with all the research about the company’s target demo and its prospects for expanding in e-commerce — all of which earns him a face full of Linc Stark’s bare ass in the memorable mooning scene. In Milch-ian fashion, they wrote the character the day before the shoot and were time-pressed to find someone to play the part.

(HBO’s hard-working publicists searched but could only find one production still above from that scene, with Milch at the center, and it offers only a glimpse of Zack’s arm, his hand holding a pencil and a bit of his face in the far right-hand corner.)

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