4 items from 2007
24 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
It was May 11, 1988. Two months after the beginning of the writers strike, The Tonight Show returned sans writers. It started off just like any other Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson, with "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" But then, in the midst of a louder and longer than usual standing ovation, an audience member shouted, Welcome back, Johnny.
"The public was glad he was back, the staff was glad, everybody was happy to get paychecks again," said Carson's nephew Jeff Sotzing, president of Carson Entertainment, who was an associate producer on Tonight Show in 1988. "Nobody wanted to cross the picket line, but when they finally did, it was a huge relief."
Carson, who owned the The Tonight Show, had been paying his nonwriting staff out of his pocket, something his successors, led by David Letterman, have replicated during the current strike.
Also taking a cue from his idol, Letterman, who owns CBS' Late Show and Late Late Show, has been trying to negotiate an interim deal with the WGA that would allow the two shows to return with writers Jan. 2.
Carson had been pursuing such a contract in May 1988. According to news reports from that time, frustrated by the slow progress in the negotiations, he decided to return May 11 without writers. A couple of weeks later, his scribes followed after the WGA signed off on a deal.
Now, things are not moving fast on a contract between Letterman's Worldwide Pants and the WGA either, prompting a public appeal by the company last week to the guild that helped to start talks.
Additionally, today's WGA also is taking a page from its old playbook. Back in May 1988, while in a stalemate with the major studios, the guild pursued deals with about 80 independent producers. That also has been the WGA's recent tactic launched this month.
There were two guests on Carson's first night back, a copy of which is available at the Paley Center for Media: San Diego Wild Animal Park's curator of birds William Toone, who talked about the birth of the first baby condor in captivity, and actor-comedian Joe Piscopo, there to promote his movie Dead Heat. The Tonight Show band also saluted composer Irving Berlin for his 100th birthday with a medley of his tunes.
Talent booking for the late shows is getting a lot of attention these days, with speculation that many actors won't cross a picket line, making non-Hollywood types like Jack Hanna and medical experts preferred guests.
So far, no main guests for NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Night With Conan O'Brien and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, which are resuming production without writers Jan. 2, have been firmed up. Donald Trump had been booked to appear on CBS' Late Show With David Letterman on Jan. »
Comedian Joey Bishop, the last surviving male member of Frank Sinatra's legendary "Rat Pack" who appeared in such films as Ocean's Eleven and Sergeant's 3, died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach, CA; he was 89. The Bronx-born Bishop pursued a career in stand-up comedy both before and after World War II, and caught the attention of Sinatra during a Manhattan gig in 1952. Soon after, Bishop was opening for Sinatra's concerts nationwide, and also began appearing in films and on numerous talk shows. He also became a famed member of Sinatra's Rat Pack, which also consisted of Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Dean Martin (Shirley MacLaine is also considered something of an honorary member). The male quintet appeared in the 1960 crime caper Ocean's Eleven, and performed nightly at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas during filming; the next year, Bishop was asked to be the emcee for President John F. Kennedy's inaugural ball (produced by Sinatra). Away from the Rat Pack, Bishop starred for four years in the sitcom The Joey Bishop Show, which ran from 1961-65. He was also a frequent guest, and guest host, for such TV talk show kings as Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, and briefly had his own talk show in the late 60s. Bishop made fewer and fewer appearances throughout the 70s, occasionally popping up on a variety of television shows ranging from Match Game to Murder, She Wrote, and in a few films, the last two being Betsy's Wedding (1990) and Mad Dog Time (1996). Bishop is survived by his son, Larry. »
Talk show host Tom Snyder, who gained fame as the host of the late-night talk show The Tomorrow Show in the 1970s, died Sunday in San Francisco after a battle with leukemia; he was 71. A casual, smart and gregarious interviewer who wouldn't hesitate to grill his guests, Snyder's interviews on his talk show were a staple of the 70s, airing after Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show on NBC. His interview subjects were wide and varied, ranging from John Lennon to Ayn Rand to Charles Manson, as well as a number of rock stars, including Johnny Rotten, The Clash, and KISS, who made a notorious Halloween appearance on his show in 1979. Snyder was also the memorable target of a legendary impersonation by Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live. In 1982, The Tomorrow Show was canceled to make room for the fledgling Late Night with David Letterman, though Snyder returned to the late night format in 1995 with The Late, Late Show on CBS, which he hosted until 1998. In 2005, Snyder announced on his Web site that he was battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia. »
Comedian Richard Jeni, who appeared frequently on the Tonight show and headlined a number of HBO comedy specials, died Saturday in Los Angeles in what appeared to be a suicide; he was 49. Jeni died of a gunshot wound to the head, an hour after police responded to a 911 call from the comedian's girlfriend and he was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. A final confirmation of suicide was still pending Monday morning, after further investigation of the incident and an autopsy. Born Richard John Colangelo in Brooklyn, Jeni found national fame in 1990 with his first Showtime cable TV special, The Boy From New York City, which won three Cable ACE awards. He followed up two years later with Crazy From the Heat, which became Showtime's highest-rated comedy stand-up show at the time. In 1992, Jeni moved from Showtime to HBO, starring in Platypus Man, a special which won another Cable ACE award and nabbed him a sitcom deal with the fledgling UPN network. In the early 90s Jeni also began making numerous appearances on the Tonight show, first with Johnny Carson and then with Jay Leno hosting, and toured nationally with his stand-up act. In addition to his stand-up comedy work, Jeni appeared in a number of films, including The Mask alongside Jim Carrey and the recent documentary The Aristocrats. A friend of comedian Chris Rock, Jeni also appeared on Rock's UPN sitcom Everyone Hates Chris and wrote material for Rock's hosting job for the 2005 Academy Awards; his most recent TV special was A Big Steaming Pile of Me, which aired in 2005 on HBO. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff »
4 items from 2007
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners