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Tim Maloney, Attorney, Reality TV Show Producer, and Friend
Episode 53rd April 2020 • The Alamo Hour • Justin Hill
00:00:00 00:58:53

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San Antonio's own, Tim Maloney, a son of personal injury lawyer legend Pat Maloney and personal injury attorney himself joins us to talk about his other interest. Tim is one of the producers of Southern Charm: New Orleans which is on Bravo. He has also produced movies, documentaries and is here to talk about that path and upcoming projects.


Justin Hill: Hello in Bienvenido, San Antonio. Welcome to the Alamo Hour discussing the people, places and passion that make our city. My name is Justin Hill, a local attorney, a proud San Antonion and keeper of chickens and bees. On the Alamo Hour, you'll get to hear from the people that make San Antonio great and unique and the best kept secret in Texas. We're glad that you're here. All right. Today's guest is a movie producer, television reality show producer, former Riverwalk restaurant tour/bar owner, local injury attorney and one of my very best friends Tim Maloney. Tim, thank you for being here.

Tim Maloney: I appreciate the opportunity, sir.

Justin: Tim, we're not going to talk about the things- you and I like to talk about at bars, which is usually law and other high-minded things. I want to talk to you a little bit about some of your passions outside of the law. How did you get into television producing?

Tim: Seventh grade Maria Fleming, I wanted to make out with her. The reason I got into it was I produced Charlie Brown Christmas show and I cast her. I injected a controversial scene to the seventh grade production, which of course got me suspended, and that was she actually kissed Snoopy. That's absolute true story. That's how I got started in production.

Justin: It turns species love scene?

Tim: Pretty much. By the way, very controversial, not only the kiss with the beagle, but the beagle was also a female in a costume. I was actually, shall we say, ahead of my time.

Justin: You were definitely ahead of your time. For everybody to know, I have warned at Tim and let him know that this is a family friendly podcast, and we're only going to talk about family friendly things today.

Tim: They were very friendly.

Justin: Okay, well, Snoopy.

Tim: They were lovable. You all love Snoopy.

Justin: Tim, I want to talk to you more about the TV and stuff like that. We're probably not going to talk much about the law. I'm going to start with a top 10 for everybody because I think it's important to just get a little bit of a slice of who you are. You're never going to know what they but they're going to be pretty simple, okay.

Tim: I'll give it my best shot.

Justin: All right. I know the answers to a lot of these, but some I don't. First, do you have any pets?

Tim: Yes, I do.

Justin: Cats?

Tim: Yes.

Justin: Feral?

Tim: Very feral.

Justin: You got feral cats you feed, but you name them?

Tim: They like Will Ferrell, but they're also like some of the other SNL characters do.

Justin: All right. Cheri Oteri?

Tim: Actually, they were more old school, Eddie Murphy in the day.

Justin: What's your favorite restaurant right now?

Tim: Boy, I would say the Palace at lunch.

Justin: What's the buffet special there?

Tim: Sushi. [laughs] Cut. You have to edit that out.

Justin: What were going to try it again. What is your favorite restaurant eat-out right now?

Tim: A signature I think right now is on top of their game.

Justin: The [unintelligible 00:02:46] ridiculous?

Tim: It's really good. I did not want to like it, and it's now my new go-to.

Justin: I'm embarrassed that I know what that is, but it's pretty good.

Tim: It's really tasty.

Justin: I think I know the answer to this. What is your favorite go-to hidden gem in San Antonio?

Tim: Boy, hidden gym.

Justin: Doesn't have to be a bar, doesn't have to be restaurant, can be just anything in the city that you think, man if you want your PhD and know in San Antonio, you've got to know this place.

Tim: I would say the library then in my street.

Justin: I was going to say the Japanese tea garden for you because you're a big fan of that.

Tim: Absolutely. That's one of the great hidden place in town.

Justin: You told me time about a trail behind it. Tell everybody what you're talking about?

Tim: There is a wonderful secret trail. You go to the tea garden, by the way, if anybody hasn't been it's an absolute must. They've redone it, and it's just spectacular. It is right next to the zoo. You go up. Instead of going down to the actual Koi pond, you stay up high and you keep following a trail it's not marked and you've been cut over to the left and there is a road that is blocked off, but you can get through it. It goes behind sunken garden. You are literally about 200 feet above the sunken garden stage, looking straight down on to the stage and to the right is the highway, trinity word. It is absolutely spectacular at night.

Justin: Where does it kick out? If you're not in the gardens? Where could you get on it to get to the gardens?

Tim: You could actually come across Trinity, but you would actually have a crop come across that overpass over the highway that says IWC. That will take you to a grassy area and you make it that way.

Justin: I've still never done it. You've told me about it. Something I really wanted to do--

Tim: He said must, see, do.

Justin: Because this is our very first episode, and I don't know what I'm doing. I just started our video a little bit late with Tim Maloney, local TV producer, great friend of mine, local injury attorney. We're going through our top 10 list. He's got some feral cats.

He says, "Will Ferrell." I think that they'll give you a fever if they scratch you. Favorite restaurant now signature hidden gems in San Antonio, the land a library but also close second Japanese Tea Garden. I think I know this, but what's the nonprofit charity that you're most involved with here in town?

Tim: That's a tough one. There's battered women's shelter, Planned Parenthood. It's odd, but a lot of the the causes for women who are struggling, dress for success. The battered women's shelter I think is by far the one that I'm quietly involved in.

Justin: What is the gala you've invited me too many times?

Tim: Let's say that would be the cancer. That would be Healing Hearts. That is for a good friend of ours, Karen Martinez, who was a anchor here for years, she died of breast cancer. Before she died, it was remarkably brave of her to actually film from her hospital room going through the procedure to encourage other women that they're not alone. Happens every year in March, and it's a very special charity.

Justin: It's a very heavy?

Tim: Yes, this is

Justin: I'm not one for galas, but I've gone to it with you a few times in this past year in our efforts to be magnanimous, we both entered into a few auctions. I was lucky enough to win what I thought was a metaphorical wheelbarrow full of alcohol that turned out to actually be a wheelbarrow from Home Depot. It was full of booze.

Tim: They weight 400 pounds.

Justin: That's right.You won for how much of a hunter you are.

Tim: Because you know, my joy, my love, my life is of course, the slaughter of very nearly extinct animals. Passion of mine.

Justin: You won the hunting trip to Africa?

Tim: I did it because I thought it was a photo journalism. Safari and I finally found it in my drawer the other day, and I'm thinking, "I might as well use this." I look down and apparently I get to kill an impala, couple of wildebeests, and something that got horns. What's really nice is then they will cut the animal's head off decapitated right in front of you and boil all the meat off and salt it. You too can have your photograph taken with a skull and horns of a animal you've just shot from basically like a caged hunt.

Justin: Which is something a lot of people like.

Tim: I can't imagine a better time.

Justin: Not so much my thing. I don't think so much or thing either. Next question--

Tim: Unless of course, the impala is wearing a maga hat, but I don't get started.

Justin: This is a non-political show.

Tim: I'm a non-political maga hater.

Justin: Do you have any odd hobbies? [laughs] I know where that can lead with you. "I've got a friend who's into woodworking, I just found out." Do you have anything like that?

Tim: Yes, vintage watches. I collect very rare, old vintage wristwatches.

Justin: I didn't know that and I'm apparently the beneficiary of these one point--

Tim: I'm wearing one as we speak. Yes, I do. I have developed a love for old watches. Because between the years of 1966 and 1972, the greatest watches of history were made, because there was a huge competition among which ones could develop the first automatic chronograph. Very, very impressive thing happened in 1969. Those watches are still out there, and they're still running perfectly, and they're just so much cooler than I say what we have today.

Justin: I did not know that. I know you've told me the history of all the watches you have and how rare some of them are, but I didn't know that that was the reason.

Tim: That's it.

Justin: You've lived here your whole life?

Tim: Born and raised.

Justin: What is the single biggest change you've seen in this city in the time that you've lived here? I'm sure that kind of transcends everything, but what's the one thing that really sticks out to you in terms of the city's identity?

Tim: That we've matured into a city. We used to have a chip on our shoulder that Houston, Dallas, and [unintelligible 00:09:03] Austin was always-- There was always a fourth city. There's Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. What's happened is with multiculturalism and the idea of that being Hispanic is nothing to, quite frankly, be ashamed of.

Because, quite frankly, when I grew up it was. The city was very, very prejudiced. It was very, very close minded. What's happened in the last 25, 30 years, gloriously, in my opinion, is Hispanic culture, it's become the dominant culture as it should. Also, the idea that the tolerance in the gay and lesbian community, and also the idea that San Antonio has become a very cool place. That was almost a possible think of when I was growing up.

Justin: I'm glad you said that. I think is one of the ideas behind this podcast I wanted to do. I think our city is this-- I say it's the best kept secret in Texas, and people have the shirts that say, "You can keep Austin." Because I think we have this weird thing happening here. We're a little bit 10 years behind other cities, but it is this wonderful thing that I think many people in Texas still consider us to be the fourth city.

Tim: Kind of what Chicago for years. That's why they call it second city with that chip on its shoulder. Then after New York and then there were Chicago. Everything in New York and then there were Chicago. There's Austin and then there's San Antonio. What's cooler Chicago or New York? Give me Chicago any day of the week.

Justin: Next question. This is near and dear to my heart because when I was a young man, I had a mullet. A real, real mullet, but I think these things follow all of us in life. What is the terrible trend that you bought into when you were junior high high school?

Tim: This is a family show, but I do have a wonderful story of humping my geometry teacher, but I won't get into that, in high school. Fros, back then, we literally have fro picks. We'd pick our hair off like the brothers. I actually had a fro and I have a fro. I made Julius Irving look like an amateur. There was a reason for that. This is honest to God true story. I don't know if I can say it on this family show. Anyway, in my senior year in high school, I ended up getting a fro, permanent, from one of my teachers. I went to her house and she actually did it.

Justin: Hold on. You glossed over that. You got a perm?

Tim: A perm.

Justin: You said, a permanent, from a teacher. You get a perm in your hair?

Tim: Permanent. That's why they're called permanent.

Justin: I know, but most people--

Tim: A perm in my hair because that was a trend, and she graciously agreed to--

Justin: Do the perm for you.

Tim: Do the perm for me in her [crosstalk]

Justin: Different people, different upbringings. I've learned yours is very different than mine. I was quite edgy with mullet, but now it's a cause for--

Tim: Did you have a Rush t-shirt too?

Justin: That was before me. I was post-Rush, pre-MC Hammer pants mullet. I was more Joe Dirt mullet.

Tim: I would bet in the greater Burke Bennett area, did you have a little wispy mustache?

Justin: No, and I couldn't have a rat-tail. That was a rule my dad laid down. I could have a mullet but no rat-tail.

Tim: You had the proverbial pickup truck?

Justin: I'm talking I had a mullet when I was eight. Not when I was in high school. When I was a kid, I had a mullet. I'm sure I did a million of other terrible things whenever I was in high school, but I'm not going to [crosstalk]

Tim: Did you really have a piece of hay- sucking on a piece of hay too?

Justin: I had a bronco too. No truck. You've lived here your whole life. [unintelligible 00:12:52] Which one's your favorite fiesta then?

Tim: King William Fair.

Justin: King William Fair. You throw a great party every year at King William Fair.

Tim: Every year. What we do is also we donate a bunch of money to the fair. That, to me, is what fiesta used to be and should be. Awesome neighborhoods. We have pride in the neighborhoods, pride in their friends. It's by far, to me, the best of the--

Justin: Still small. Feels small. It's still about noon.

Tim: By then, quite frankly, does anybody really remember?

Justin: The parade's, what, nine o'clock or something?

Tim: Yes, but it's over by 10 o'clock. The bar is open at 10:01. It's getting people out of the office is the hardest part.

Justin: 10:01. Come on.

Tim: Maybe nine.

Justin: You have to test. I'm having guests for God's sakes. All right. We're fixing to get into some of your extracurricular involvement with television. You do produce a reality show, currently, on Bravo. Since we're talking about reality shows and we're going to talk about reality shows, what is your favorite reality show outside of the ones you've been involved in?

Tim: That's a hell of a question. I'll tell you why, because people don't really understand the history of reality shows. The very first reality show was when HBO was a nascent network. It was called An American Family. It was about the Loud family. It was actually filmed early 1970s. It was the first time, actually, we're going to follow a family around. It was going to be a joke because how could this be interesting? It became an absolute phenomenon. No one had ever done it before. They just follow the family drama, and no one really knew what was going to happen.

It was really reality TV. That really started the whole genre. If you go back and look at it, it was so well done and so good that it shows you that the form can be elevated into something more than just rich people screaming at each other. That got me interested in it. What's going on today, unfortunately, is you have broadcast stuff, that is for entertainment. Then you have reality shows. Stuff like a little shot in Mexico on the border, crime stuff. Incredibly serious subject matter show. If you're looking for entertainment, below deck by far. It just ain't as awesome. I happened to meet her a couple times. She is a pain in the ass. She's great. That's a very well-done show, I think.

Justin: I always thought the beginning of reality was Real World because they were one of the first movers on--

Tim: That was the first entertainment. I think, for entertainment, it was. That was geared toward an entertainment show as opposed to, really, a family drama, real drama in the family.

Justin: What would be the line between documentary and reality show then?

Tim: The spontaneity of it. I've done documentaries. I did one on a diviner called Halston. It did very well. It's called Ultrasuede. They're online. You can still buy it. Please do. We were on Showtime and we're on HBO. We knew exactly where the story was going to go. It was a recreation of events that have already occurred. When you're doing a documentary, you have a blueprint from A to Z. When we do these shows, we really don't know what's going to happen. It's called a story bible. The story bible is, "Let's go to dinner, and we'll have a few cocktails and it's because somebody said something about somebody else, turn the camera on, let's what the hell happened." In that aspect, it really is real. That's what people don't really get and that people also don't really understand how difficult it is to make these shows.

Justin: To be fair, it's real, the same way like throwing an injured animal into a pen with a lion would be real, but you all are creating an arena for drama to occur with people that have been pre-vetted to probably be that lion.

Tim: Interesting though because it's more like you throw a wolverine, a bear, a lion, a tiger, and some drunk guy with a gun.

Justin: All hungry?

Tim: Yes, and throw them all into a pit, and just see which one survives. You think maybe the tiger is going to pull it off but that little wolverine, quick. You don't know.

Justin: I guess now, I never even thought about this but what's the Showtime show that's been following politics that follows-- You know what I'm talking about? End of the circus or something like that?

Tim: I have heard the name of the show but sure.

Justin: You have that fine line between what a documentary is if it's consistently paying out as opposed to a reality show that also follows a less structured. Really, if you think about it, there's a gray area. Nobody would call Real Housewives a documentary but you could.

Tim: A documentary is a very specific format that you follow. In that regard, to say, when we were doing a documentary and also just how it was done. That was a really witty show and he did a great job with it. I was a producer on it, but they did most of the work but I took all the credit. They did all the work. Typical producer.

Justin: I've seen it. I saw your name.

Tim: It was scripted from day one. That's still what we were trying to do. In other words, we were trying to really show in New York in the '70s and '80s. Really about Studio 54. The AIDS crisis was just starting. Stonewall in '75. It just happened. All of these things. That was really what we're trying to do when we voiced it through a designer named Halston. He was king of New York. You know where you want to end up. In other words, there's no surprise because we know he died. We know where he lived. We knew the end of the story, and that's the biggest difference.

Justin: That's what I'm saying. This political one. Would you call that a reality show? Each episode changes as the campaign goes.

Tim: We call them docudramas.

Justin: Docuseries?

Tim: Docudrama. Docuseries would be like a political show. It's a docudrama.

Justin: Let's go back a little bit, Tim. You were a practicing lawyer. I'm going to skip over. You came from a lawyer dynastic family in San Antonio. Your father's a legend. You and everyone of your siblings, and I think almost all of your nieces and nephews of age are attorneys. You spend some time in politics, and then you became a practicing lawyer as well. At some point,