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But Strassman, who died Friday at 66, was in showbiz for more than 10 years before she wound up on the sitcom that became a pop culture touchstone, in part because it made a star of John Travolta.
Lithe and raspy-voiced, Strassman began her showbiz career on stage and also tried to become a pop star in the mid-1960s before her thesping work took off. After she got her break on “Kotter,” she became active in the Screen Actors Guild.
Here are 12 things you didn’t know about Strassman’s early career:
She got off to a good start in the pages of Variety. Her first reference came in the Sept. 11, 1963 edition, in an item noting that she would replace Liza Minnelli in Off Broadway’s “Best Foot Forward, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Who doesn't love to laugh? Whether your taste runs to R-rated raunch, classic yuks or witty British humor, you'll find something hilarious to stream on Netflix.
Right now, there are movies starring Robin Williams, Walter Matthau, Jack Black, Goldie Hawn and a nice selection of films showcasing the comedy chops of Joan Cusack. (Availability subject to change, so get streaming now!)
1. "The Addams Family" (1991) PG-13
Everyone's favorite macabre family is wonderfully portrayed by Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Raul Julia as Gomez, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as Wednesday. Spooky fun, just in time for Halloween.
2. "The Bad News Bears" (1976) PG
3. "Bernie" (2011) PG-13
Jack Black stars in the real-life story of a mortician who ends »
- Sharon Knolle
Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) and Vladislav (Jermaine Clement) are typical vampires: they avoid sunlight, and live off human blood. But they must also cope with the mundanities of flatsharing - like paying rent in time, sharing kitchen chores, and dealing with ex-girlfriends. Spinal Tap meets Interview With a Vampire in this whipsmart mockumentary from New Zealand parodists Flight of the Conchords. »
The Post-1960S, Pre-Digital Age: Real-time One-offs, 1975-1998
British filmmaker John Byrum is responsible for the first (and in some ways only) real-time period film. Inserts (1975), set in the early 1930s, is about a Boy Wonder movie director (called Boy Wonder, played by Richard Dreyfuss fresh from American Graffiti (1973) and Jaws (1975)) now washed up before the age of 30, resigned to making porn because of Hollywood’s conversion to sound. Not only is Inserts scrupulously real-time (with the exception of the opening credits sequence, which offers glimpses of the stag film we’re about to see made) and period, but it’s rather long for such a film, just shy of two hours. To tell the entire story would be spoiling the fun, but the Boy Wonder deals with recalcitrant actresses, the problem of his own potency, career problems, death, sex, after-death and after-sex…and in the end, as »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
Actor, writer, musician, comedian — Michael McKean seems to have done it all over his extensive career. From his early work in television, including an iconic role as Lenny on Laverne and Shirley, he soon established himself as part of the ensemble responsible for bringing the term “mockumentary” to the masses. Starting with Rob Reiner’s sublime This Is Spinal Tap (which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year), McKean joined bandmates Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and a group of improvisatory geniuses in a string of features that toy with nonfiction filmmaking conventions, including modern classics such as Best In Show and A Mighty Wind. For the first part of our new “Pick 6” series, Nonfics reached out to McKean for a selection of films to recommend to our readers. The goal with this series isn’t to create some definitive, “best in show” list, but to bring to light works that quickly come to mind when artists, actors »
We’ve seen a couple of brief teasers for Better Call Saul [see here and here], and now AMC has given us another peek at the upcoming Breaking Bad spin-off with a music video for ‘Better Call Saul: The Song’, which has been written by show creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould and Breaking Bad composer Dave Porter, with country musician Junior Brown perfoming. Unfortunately, the official video below is only playable within the U.S., but there’s a low quality version below that should work worldwide. Check it out below…
Set six years before Saul Goodman meets Walter White. When we meet him, the man who will become Saul Goodman is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet. Working alongside, and, often, against Jimmy, is “fixer” Mike Ehrmantraut, a beloved character introduced in ‘Breaking Bad.’ The series will track »
- Gary Collinson
When it came out in 1984, “This Is Spinal Tap” convinced many people they were watching a genuine documentary about a clueless heavy metal band. “We showed it in Dallas,” recalls Christopher Guest, who played fictional axe man Nigel Tufnel. “There were these two girls in front of us, who said to each other, ‘These guys are so stupid. Why would they make movie about them?’”
But the world caught on and a genre of comedy was born. Thirty years later it’s considered a bonafide classic and will be honored in a screening Oct. 8 (followed by a Q&A with Guest) at the New York Film Festival.
Directed by Rob Reiner and starring Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, “Spinal Tap” isn’t just a send-up of pompous metal bands, it’s an unblinking portrait of awkwardness and a masterpiece of improvisation.
“(McKean) and I had been playing music for 20 years, »
- Tim Greiving
February is when we re-encounter sleazy lawyer par excellence Saul Goodman, or rather Jimmy McGill, the man he was before he became the “legal” backbone of Breaking Bad. AMC are ramping up the anticipation with a fresh teaser, following last month’s debut snippet. It doesn’t add anything to the mix besides another look at Mr McGill plying his trade but obviously reminds us all just what we’re getting into…
The show is reportedly set in 2002 and features a different version of Bob Odenkirk’s antihero, though according to sources there are also parts set during the times of Bb. Can the affable but slippery Odenkirk hold a season all by himself? He’ll need all of Saul’s bartering skills to do so. Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould and co-starring Spinal Tap’s Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn and Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, the series »
- Steve Palace
We got our first look at the upcoming Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul back in August, and now AMC has released another incredibly brief teaser for the series, which sees Bob Odenkirk’s corrupt lawyer in the courtroom. Check it out below…
Set six years before Saul Goodman meets Walter White. When we meet him, the man who will become Saul Goodman is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet. Working alongside, and, often, against Jimmy, is “fixer” Mike Ehrmantraut, a beloved character introduced in ‘Breaking Bad.’ The series will track Jimmy’s transformation into Saul Goodman, the man who puts “criminal” in “Criminal lawyer.” The series’ tone is dramatic, wove with dark humor.
Better Call Saul is set to premiere in February 2015, with AMC airing the show in the States and Netflix snapping up the UK rights. »
- Gary Collinson
The only way is ethics for Man Bites Dog, a pseudo-documentary, which focuses its lens on the media’s obsession with on-screen violence and so-called “Reality TV” and our obsession with watching it. It is probably the most controversial film in Belgian history, and it continues to repel and intrigue audiences in equal measure.
Written, directed and produced by Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel and Benoit Poelvoorde (all of whom play starring roles), Man Bites Dog is a cross between mock-cinema verité, à la Spinal Tap but with the violence turned up to eleven, and the ultimate reality TV show. The film shows an amateur film crew who are following a loquacious and charismatic serial killer named Ben. Ben kills to make a living. Strangely he is not seeking revenge or attempting to surmount a past trauma, in fact an interview with his mother reveals that as a child he was »
- Will Roberts
AMC has debuted a brief behind-the-scenes teaser for Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's upcoming Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. After revealing that the series starts almost a decade before the events seen in Breaking Bad , the pair introduce Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and discuss how he transformed into Saul Goodman. Check it out and read on to find out more about the show.
The series stars Bob Odenkirk as the titled character and will also include Jonathan Banks, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Michael Mando. It is set six years before Saul Goodman meets Walter White. Jimmy McGill, also known as Saul Goodman, started off as a small time lawyer that is struggling to makes ends meet. The show will follow the events that transform him into the man fans know as Saul Goodman. The series has already been greenlit for a second season. The first »
Bob Odenkirk’s fast-talking Saul Goodman will go down in history as one of TV’s most endearingly skeezy criminal lawyers, but on his upcoming AMC series Better Call Saul, a spinoff from the acclaimed Breaking Bad, he’s known by a different name: Jimmy McGill.
Today sees the arrival of a new teaser for the series, which arrives on AMC next February. There’s not much by way of footage from the actual show, but creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould do address some of the questions that they will set out to answer in Better Call Saul.
First and foremost on their minds: how did Saul Goodman become the character we learned to love and hate in equal measure on Breaking Bad? In the teaser, he claims that representing guilty people is not something he’s keen about, but Breaking Bad-era Saul has made defending guilty-as-sin individuals his specialty. »
- Isaac Feldberg
The official premiere date of the Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul has been bumped to February 2015. Originally it was announced that the series would make its debut in November 2014, but a recent teaser trailer for the series starring Bob Odenkirk as the hilarious sleaze ball attorney Saul Goodman says otherwise. The 11-second teaser (yes, just 11 seconds!) brings Saul back to the small screen as he declares that it’s always important to have a lawyer on your side. The clip doesn’t show much else, but seeing Odenkirk as Saul again is enough to make Bb fans happy. Michael McKean, Michael Mando, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, and [ Read More ]
The post ‘Better Call Saul’ Gets First Teaser Trailer, February 2015 Premiere appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Sarah Anne Luoma
Better Call Saul‘s titular lawyer isn’t just someone you’d want in your corner; he’s someone you’ll need. (Or at least that’s what he wants you to think.)
Related AMC Renews Breaking Bad Prequel, Moves Premiere Date — See First Photo
“You hope you never need it,” he tells a potential client. “But man, oh man, not having it? No!“
Related Better Call Saul: AMC Confirms Series Regulars, Teases [Spoiler's] Return
Premiering in February, »
AMC has given Breaking Bad fans our very first look at Better Call Saul with the release of a teaser for the upcoming spin-off – and by teaser, we do mean teaser. It runs for just nine seconds, and features Bob Oedenkirk’s shady lawyer Saul Goodman comparing lawyer’s to health insurance: “You never hope you need it, but man oh man, not having it? No.”
Watch the first teaser here…
Better Call Saul is set to premiere in February 2015, with AMC airing the show in the States and Netflix snapping up the UK rights. Also returning from Breaking Bad is Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehremantraut, along with new cast additions Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap), Rhea Seehorn (Whitney), Patrick Fabvian (The Last Exorcism) and Michael Mando (Orphan Black).
- Gary Collinson
Though Better Call Saul won’t be landing in November of this year, as was previously planned by AMC, Breaking Bad fans craving their latest Albuquerque fix don’t have that long to wait for the highly anticipated spinoff. A new teaser trailer released by the network today promises that the show, which follows the misadventures of lawyer Saul Goodman before he ever became entangled with dastardly chemistry teacher Walter White and his meth-cooking partner Jesse Pinkman, will land in February.
In the brief teaser, Saul makes an effort to land some new clients. It’s slight even by teaser standards, but Breaking Bad fans will likely take whatever they can get of Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy smooth talker at this point.
The exact date of Better Call Saul‘s premiere will of course be revealed closer to next year. Production is currently underway in Albuquerque, where a billboard recently »
- Isaac Feldberg
The first teaser for AMC's “Better Call Saul” finds Bob Odenkirk as the attorney who will become Saul Goodman, explaining why everyone needs a lawyer. The “Breaking Bad” prequel, debuting in February, finds Goodman in the days before he adopts his fake name and meets a nascent criminal mastermind named Walter White. The teaser, which debuted over the weekend, features the criminal attorney likening lawyers to health insurance. Also read: Sneaky ‘Better Call Saul’ Teaser Billboard Pops Up in Albuquerque (Photo) The series, from “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan and writer-producer Peter Gould, also stars Michael McKean and Jonathan Banks, »
- Tim Molloy
After creating fake ads for dubious products like Mom Jeans, Little Chocolate Donuts, the Bathroom Monkey and the CNN Pregnancy Test, “Saturday Night Live” is developing a stronger interest in real ones.
Broadway Video, the production company behind the venerable program, is seeking a sponsor or sponsors for activities related to the 40th season of the comedy showcase, which could give a marketer the opportunity to have its name associated with an exhibit related to the show, among other things. And “SNL” has in recent months allowed cast members like Cecily Strong and Kyle Mooney to appear in ad campaigns for Jeep and Sprint. These practices, say ad-agency executives familiar with the program, have been viewed warily by “SNL” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels for years.
Does “SNL” see more commercial opportunities for a show that once boasted of its cast as “The Not Ready for Prime Time Players »
- Brian Steinberg
“Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It’s just not really widely reported.”
This Is Spinal Tap runs only 82 minutes, which is hard to believe, given how many jokes, both subtle and not so subtle, are thrown at us. One of my favorite moments of the film is when we see Nigel Tufnel’s shrieking guitar solo. He is aimlessly dragging a violin across his guitar, and then stops to tune the violin. Kills me every time I see – which is a lot of times and I always find something new to laugh at I hadn’t noticed before.
This Is Spinal Tap is such a perfect send up of the lost days of arena rock that you will often feel that you are watching a documentary. Every line is perfectly believable. This movie is commonly labelled a “cult classic”, which is a shame, because it is one of »
- Tom Stockman
Interestingly, when viewers are finally able to catch back up with skeezy lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in his upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, the character will actually be going by the name Jimmy McGill and won’t have realized his full potential as a lawyer quite yet. And seeing as the series is set six years before Breaking Bad, he certainly has some time to figure everything out. Now, thanks to a clever bit of advertising from AMC, we have our first look at Odenkirk in character as McGill.
A commuter snapped the above pic of a billboard along I-25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where much of Breaking Bad was set. Funnily enough, the number on the board is real, providing those who call it with a message from Odenkirk’s McGill. Go ahead, try it, you know you want to – we’ll wait.
Now that you’re back, »
- Isaac Feldberg
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