Stephen Nichols

Happy Days, or the Dude in the Orange Shoes

Imagine that you awaken one morning and go about your usual routine, put the coffee on, get the paper, prepare things you will need for the day's work. You get in the car and on the way to work you listen to the news from around the world, realizing once again what a blessing it is to live in this country, where bombs are not exploding around you and where you have a job to show up for at all. You arrive. As you enter the building, you amble down past the huge stage doors and say hello to the ever-friendly Stephanie at the security desk and continue on down the hall. Moving down the hallway, passing the costume department, stage manager's desk, and makeup departments, waving and exchanging hellos, you notice something feels different. The place has a different energy. The place is buzzing.A feeling of anticipation permeates the studio and no matter where you go in the building, this energy is there along with a feeling that everyone present has a renewed interest in his or her parti... read more

My Middle Name Is Earl…

I recently taped an episode of Days of our Lives which included (in a scene with Mary Beth Evans, Kayla) one of my all-time favorite lines of dialogue. I won’t give it away but it happens at the end of the show in our final scene of the day, and there’s mention of Steve Johnson’s middle name. I remember fondly how “Patch” was given a name other than “Patch,” and how the character came by the middle name “Earl.” First the story of how the character came to have a name other than “Patch.” Well, let’s see, we can even go further back than that. How did Patch come about? The story I heard back in the day was that an NBC Daytime executive mentioned something in a story meeting about the need for a “Falcon Eddie”-type character to go up against Bo Brady. Falcon Eddie was a character (with an eye patch) in the hit miniseries, Rich Man, Poor Man, starring Nick Nolte.Doris Sabbah, who was the casting director at Days bac... read more

Star Struck or Stars Truck

What do you do when an actor whom you’ve admired for years, and watched transfixed from the audience when he was on stage, who starred in Scarecrow, Serpico, Glengarry Glen Ross and the seminal masterpieces, The Godfather movies, is sitting 10 feet from you at the Polo Lounge? Well, it turns out, nothing. In all my years in Los Angeles and involved in the “business,” I have only once approached an acting hero. It was in Westwood at a movie theater. I saw Peter O’Toole standing in the lobby on the second level. I waved at him and called out, “Mr. O’Toole, you are an inspiration to me.” He called back from high atop the staircase with a grand flourish, “Thank you, my boy!” I have always been a bit reticent about approaching famous people in public. I was never interested in autographs, but it is a different thing to have been inspired by someone and feel a need to let them know that they have lifted you up and been an integral part of your ... read more


I know, the Patch Blog is way overdue. Sorry, I’ve been busier than an actor on a soap opera. Hey, I am one! Yes, I had this week off from the show, but there is always something to be done around the house and it was my birthday this week. Excuses! Included in the enormous box of gifts my wonderful fan friends sent me were many sweet birthday wishes in the form of notebooks filled with poems, thoughts, assorted birthday remembrances. Included was a "Birthday Chronicle." I know you’ve seen them, looks like a one-sheet newspaper. Anyway, there is a section that mentions the days you… I have been alive. Man, I never stopped to figure that out… 20,440. Does that seem like a lot or a little? I turned to my wife and remarked how we don’t get very many days. Another wakeup call to make the most of the ones we do get. So thanks, everyone, for the incredible birthday. I love you guys a lot. (See photos at, do I love the babies. Mary Beth Eva... read more

Patch’sYule Blog

Hello, friends. The holidays are upon us. Everyone is busy running around trying not to forget anyone on their list. I for one don’t want to forget to thank all of you wonderful people who have supported me during these past seven months. Your letters, cards, chats and especially your blog comments have been insightful and a constant source of energy and inspiration in my humble work. You remind me that it is a privilege to be able to do what I do. Also, a big thank-you to Gina from NBC publicity, who started this whole blog thing with me and has since moved to New York to take another job in the company. Happy holidays, Gina! My last blog brought on an unexpected deluge of Tootsie Pops. It was a total surprise when I started receiving box after box of Tootsie Pops. The Tootsie Pops brought on scores of inquiries from my coworkers at the studio. Like this one from our mail dude at work: Wendy (short for a really long name I can’t spell) came a-sauntering down the hall aft... read more

Plog # 6

Hello Plog Readers,This time I have a question for you.How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?Now, many people, like the commercial, consider it an impossible task to determine this. They’re biters, not lickers.Personally, I always took it as a challenge. You know me: I’m into self-discipline (as long as no whips, etc are involved).However, the ability to wait to get to the chewy, chocolate center is predicated on the belief that there is indeed a chewy, chocolate center at the end of the process.And there is.I’m telling you there is.I know because I just taped some scenes you’ve been waiting for.So, my friends, who are so impatient for that chewy, chocolate center: don’t give up. Enjoy the ride — the sweet candy-coated-outside ride. (FOR CLUES, SEE PHOTOS AT, what’s been happening on the set lately? Mary Beth is hysterically funny. It’s no surprise that Lucille Ball is her idol. When I arri... read more

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