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Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: Classic Series Joins Decades Today

The classic comedy duo is back on TV. Starting today, you can watch the iconic series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In on the Decades network.Created by Ed Friendly and George Schlatter, the sketch comedy show featured hosts Dick Martin and Dan Rowan in a series of skits, musical numbers, and scenes with celebrity guests like Goldie Hawn, Lily Tomlin, Bob Hope, and Sammy Davis Jr. The show ran from 1968 to 1973.Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Sock It to Me: A Brief History of Rock & Roll Variety Shows

Sock It to Me: A Brief History of Rock & Roll Variety Shows
When Neil Patrick Harris returns to TV next week, he won't be cracking jokes in another sitcom. Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (debuting on September 15th on NBC) marks the return — overdue or not — of the variety show, that long-dormant format in which kooky skits, musical guests, and frenzied production numbers are jammed into an hour of family-friendly entertainment. "When you think of the variety shows we all grew upon — Sonny and Cher and Donny and Marie — those [programs] all said, 'Sit on the couch, be entertained with a little song,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Judy Carne obituary

Singer, actor and comedian who made her zany mark in the American hit sketch show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In

Comedians are often defined by one stock expression, from Jack Benny’s sighing “...well!” to Homer Simpson’s “Doh!” For Judy Carne, who has died aged 76, the phrase was “sock it to me” and every time she uttered it, or anything close to it, on America’s hit comedy sketch show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, she would be doused in water, disappear down a trap door, or worse. The producer George Schlatter had appropriated the phrase from black musicians with whom he worked. It made Carne the show’s central figure, and put “sock it to me” into 1960s vernacular.

Carne was a vivacious singer and dancer whose rise to something close to stardom had been rapid in the Us, and which Laugh-In wound up bringing to a screeching halt.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Trailers From Hell on 1976's Politically Incorrect 'Norman... Is That You?'

Trailers From Hell on 1976's Politically Incorrect 'Norman... Is That You?'
"Laugh-In" director George Schlatter based this 1976 farce on a failed stage play about two stereotypically Jewish parents and their frazzled reactions to the fact that their son has a boyfriend. For the film Schlatter cast Redd Foxx and Pearl Bailey as the parents, thereby ensuring a comedy even more rife with politically-incorrect possibilities. Look for Mad cartoonist Sergio Aragones in a small part.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

How Gary Owens Became an Iconic Announcer on 'Laugh-In'

How Gary Owens Became an Iconic Announcer on 'Laugh-In'
In a career that spanned seven decades, Gary Owens' role as the off-the-wall announcer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was a highlight that has become part of broadcasting history. Owens, who died Thursday at 80, will always be remembered as he cupped his hand over his ear and provided the voice of the comedy show that reinvented comedy. When he got the job just before the series launched in 1968 — and made comedy history — Owen's "audition" was anything but standard, recalls George Schlatter, now 82, who was the hit show's creator and executive producer. Schlatter's

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

TV Review: ‘Robin Williams Remembered – A Pioneers of Television Special’

TV Review: ‘Robin Williams Remembered – A Pioneers of Television Special’
PBS isn’t always particularly nimble, which makes its speed in throwing together “Robin Williams Remembered – A Pioneers of Television Special” something of an occasion. Not surprisingly, the resulting hour is warm and heartfelt, drawing extensively on an interview conducted with Williams as well as recollections about the comedian and actor (shot, appropriately, at the Comedy Store) taped after his death. Coming nearly a month after the outpouring of affection unleashed by Williams’ suicide, it’s a fitting tribute that touches on most of his career highlights, presented under an umbrella that otherwise has generally under-delivered.

Producers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein race pretty quickly through the biographical material, getting to the point where Williams discovered improvisational comedy in college, before earning a spot at Julliard alongside Christopher Reeve. (Their teachers included John Houseman, who pushed them toward the higher calling of theater while, as Williams notes wryly, earning a
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Robin Williams Tribute Special to Air on PBS

Robin Williams Tribute Special to Air on PBS
Stars and friends of Robin Williams will share memories of the late comedian in “Robin Williams Remembered — A Pioneers of Television Special.”

The one-hour special will feature Williams’ last full-length television interview, including never-before-seen footage and Williams’ stories from his early days as a stand-up comedian, his desire to be a dramatic actor and his efforts to entertain U.S. troops overseas.

It will also feature tributes and interviews with Williams’ friends Henry Winkler, Yakov Smirnoff, Louie Anderson, Paul Rodriguez, Rick Overton, Blake Clark, Pauly Shore and George Schlatter, as well as Penny Marshall, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Stiller, Jimmie Walker and Williams’ “Mork & Mindy” co-stars Pam Dawber and the late Jonathan Winters.

The special is set to air at 9 p.m., Sept. 9 on PBS SoCaL. Other PBS stations’ air dates can be found in local listings.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Creative Arts Emmys 2014: Winners And Nominees

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

(Winner) Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex

Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Diana Rigg, ‘Game of Thrones

Kate Mara, “House of Cards

Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom

Kate Burton, “Scandal

See Also: ‘True Detective,’ ‘Oitnb,’ Jimmy Fallon and Allison Janney Score at Creative Arts Emmys

Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series

Boardwalk Empire

Francesca Paris, Department Head Hairstylist

Lisa Dellechiaie, Key Hairstylist

Therese Ducey, Key Hairstylist

(Winner) “Downton Abbey

Magi Vaughan, Department Head Hairstylist

Adam James Phillips, Key Hairstylist

Game Of Thrones

Kevin Alexander, Department Head Hairstylist

Candice Banks, Key Hairstylist

Rosalia Culora, Hairstylist

Gary Machin, Hairstylist

Nicola Mount, Hairstylist

Mad Men

Theraesa Rivers, Department Head Hairstylist

Arturo Rojas, Key Hairstylist

Valerie Jackson, Hairstylist

Ai Nakata, Hairstylist

The Originals

Colleen Labaff, Department Head Hairstylist

Kimberley Spiteri, Co-Department Head Hairstylist

Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special

Dancing With The Stars

Mary Guerrero, Department Head Hairstylist

Kimi Messina,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Robin Williams: ‘Comedy Cyclone’ Burst Out of 1970s L.A. Club Scene

Robin Williams: ‘Comedy Cyclone’ Burst Out of 1970s L.A. Club Scene
Robin Williams honed his zany, rapid-fire comedic persona in the hothouse environment of Los Angeles comedy clubs in the mid- to late-1970s.

Even in an scene that nurtured such notables as David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, Richard Lewis, Sam Kinison, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen and George Miller, Williams’ unique style made a huge impression. From the start, Williams was endowed with the incredible ad-lib and improv skills that friends and fans have hailed as comic genius since his death Monday of suicide at age 63.

“He seemed to be omnipresent back then and was a topic of discussion wherever he went,” said author-humorist Merrill Markoe. He was a tough act for other comedians to follow — akin to a “comedy cylone,” she added. “In his act, he was id, ego and super-ego all at the same time.”

Off stage, there was a gentleness to Williams that was always quite the contrast to his hyper-kinetic performances.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Robin Williams: ‘Comedy Cyclone’ Burst Out of 1970s L.A. Club Scene

Robin Williams: ‘Comedy Cyclone’ Burst Out of 1970s L.A. Club Scene
Robin Williams honed his zany, rapid-fire comedic persona in the hothouse environment of Los Angeles comedy clubs in the mid- to late-1970s.

Even in an scene that nurtured such notables as David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, Richard Lewis, Sam Kinison, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen and George Miller, Williams’ unique style made a huge impression. From the start, Williams was endowed with the incredible ad-lib and improv skills that friends and fans have hailed as comic genius since his death Monday of suicide at age 63.

“He seemed to be omnipresent back then and was a topic of discussion wherever he went,” said author-humorist Merrill Markoe. He was a tough act for other comedians to follow — akin to a “comedy cylone,” she added. “In his act, he was id, ego and super-ego all at the same time.”

Off stage, there was a gentleness to Williams that was always quite the contrast to his hyper-kinetic performances.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Inside Robin Williams's Private Struggles - And His Comedic Genius

  • PEOPLE.com
Inside Robin Williams's Private Struggles - And His Comedic Genius
Robin Williams could do it all: make an audience helpless with laughter, move them to tears, astound filmmakers with take after take of improvised comic genius. "He was a guy who had the highest of highs while performing," Bob Zmuda, the creator of the Comic Relief charity, tells People. "But when he walked off that stage and went back to the dressing room alone, he could face the lowest of lows." Related: Hollywood Reacts to Robin Williams's DeathAs the world reels to process the reality of his death on Monday from an apparent suicide, those who knew Williams best
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Hans Zimmer Tribute at the Annenberg Raises $1.2 Million for Israel Philharmonic

Hans Zimmer Tribute at the Annenberg Raises $1.2 Million for Israel Philharmonic
Two giants in their respective fields, Hans Zimmer and Zubin Mehta, held court Wednesday night at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, where Zimmer was bestowed a lifetime achievement award by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, for which Mehta is co-chairman and holds the post of music director for life.

But it was Zimmer — perhaps the closest thing to a mogul in the scoring realm — who was clearly humbled by the honor. “I was a little nervous about a world-class orchestra playing Schubert (Symphonia N° 8, Unfinished) and Zimmer, and Schubert is a real composer,” Zimmer told Variety. “And just seeing how they really knew my stuff and they loved it. There was this bond.”

The lavish, black-tie affair — consisting of a concert by the orchestra of mostly Zimmer movie compositions, and a Wolfgang Puck-catered supper in the Center’s courtyard afterward — raised approximately $1.2 million for the Israel Philharmonic,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Whoopi Goldberg's Moms Mabley Doc Premieres On HBO Tonight - Watch Trailer

Whoopi Goldberg's Moms Mabley Doc Premieres On HBO Tonight - Watch Trailer
HBO will premiere Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley (previously-titled Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You) tonight, Monday, November 18, 9pm-10:15pm Et/Pt. Future HBO playdates after tonight's broadcast debut of the documentary include: Nov. 18 (4:45 a.m.), 21 (1:45 p.m.), 24 (5:45 p.m.), 26 (11:15 a.m.) and 30 (1:30 p.m.) The premiere will be a part of an HBO Documentary Films presentation of a weekly series debuting provocative new specials every Monday through December. "Moms Mabley has been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, but not a lot of folks outside of the comedy world know about her legacy," says Goldberg. "There are a lot of us who wouldn't be working today without pioneers like her. HBO gave me my first break on TV, so it's only fitting that Moms has a home there now." Goldberg also executive produces the documentary, along with Tom Leonardis
See full article at Indiewire Television »

NBC to air the 'American Comedy Awards' in May

NBC to air the 'American Comedy Awards' in May
After a 13-year hiatus, NBC announced Thursday that the American Comedy Awards will return, with the telecast set to air May 2014. “For all of the award shows on television, not one is devoted to comedy, and that’s not so funny,” said Don Mischer, who will produce along with Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare. “So we’re thrilled to be part of a show that will celebrate the community of talented, innovative people who make us laugh each and every day.”

Created by George Schlatter, the American Comedy Awards — which honor the achievements of comedy’s most celebrated personalities in
See full article at EW.com - Inside TV »

NBC to air the 'American Comedy Awards' in May

NBC to air the 'American Comedy Awards' in May
After a 13-year hiatus, NBC announced Thursday that the American Comedy Awards will return, with the telecast set to air May 2014. “For all of the award shows on television, not one is devoted to comedy, and that’s not so funny,” said Don Mischer, who will produce along with Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare. “So we’re thrilled to be part of a show that will celebrate the community of talented, innovative people who make us laugh each and every day.”

Created by George Schlatter, the American Comedy Awards — which honor the achievements of comedy’s most celebrated personalities in
See full article at EW.com - Inside TV »

NBC To Resuscitate ‘American Comedy Awards’ With Don Mischer

The American Comedy Awards lives again. NBC announced today it will revive the franchise created by George Schlatter in the late ’80s. Competitors began snarking that it’s likely to be the only funny TV hit NBC has on all season, which is just cold — NBC’s not having such a great season in primetime with comedy so far, it’s true (though it’s having a fine time with football, The Voice, The Blacklist, etc.). Getting back to the American Comedy Awards, the franchise aired for many years on broadcast TV — ABC had it a while, Fox appears to have taken a quick stab, causing the franchise to bleed in the ratings. It moved to Comedy Central for one year and was laid to rest in ’01. Now back, and on NBC, it will be produced by Don Mischer Prods., with Mischer — whose credits include the Academy Awards, the Primetime Emmys,
See full article at Deadline TV »

‘American Comedy Awards’ to Be Revived by NBC After 13 Years

‘American Comedy Awards’ to Be Revived by NBC After 13 Years
NBC is bringing life back to the “American Comedy Awards” and will telecast the event in May 2014.

Kudos fest will honor those who have achieved new heights during the past year in both film and TV as well as pay tribute to some of comedy’s most enduring personalities.

Don Mischer Prods. will produce the 2014 program, with Don Mischer, Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare exec producing. Mischer’s TV credits include the Super Bowl, Academy Awards and Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The “American Comedy Awards” were created by George Schlatter and primarily broadcast on ABC throughout its run from 1987 into the new millennium. Comedy Central broadcast the last “American Comedy Awards,” which took place in 2001.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

HBO Sets Debut Dates For 'Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' To Tell You' & 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'

HBO Documentary Films has announced premiere dates for its second half of 2013 programming. Included in that press release are two documentaries we've been following and you probably would want to know about. First, Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You from first-time director Whoopi Goldberg. The feature-length documentary about the iconic stand-up comedienne, had its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, which is where we saw and reviewed it Here.  Executive produced by Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and George Schlatter, the documentary will debut exclusively on HBO on November 18, in primetime. We'll know that exact time of day as the date approaches. In the film, Goldberg explores Mabley's legacy through recently unearthed photography, rediscovered performance footage and the words of numerous celebrated comedians, entertainers and historians, including Eddie MurphyJoan RiversSidney Poitier, Kathy...

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See full article at Indiewire Television »

HBO Sets Debut Dates For 'Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' To Tell You' & 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'

HBO Documentary Films has announced premiere dates for its second half of 2013 programming. Included in that press release are two documentaries we've been following and you probably would want to know about. First, Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You from first-time director Whoopi Goldberg. The feature-length documentary about the iconic stand-up comedienne, had its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, which is where we saw and reviewed it Here.  Executive produced by Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and George Schlatter, the documentary will debut exclusively on HBO on November 18, in primetime. We'll know that exact time of day as...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

It’s Not TV: HBO, The Company That Changed Television: The Wasteland

The Wasteland:

Television is a gold goose that lays scrambled eggs;

and it is futile and probably fatal to beat it for not laying caviar.

Lee Loevinger

When people argue over the quality of television programming, both sides — it’s addictive crap v. underappreciated populist art — seem to forget one of the essentials about commercial TV. By definition, it is not a public service. It is not commercial TV’s job to enlighten, inform, educate, elevate, inspire, or offer insight. Frankly, it’s not even commercial TV’s job to entertain. Bottom line: its purpose is simply to deliver as many sets of eyes to advertisers as possible. As it happens, it tends to do this by offering various forms of entertainment, and occasionally by offering content that does enlighten, inform, etc., but a cynic would make the point that if TV could do the same job televising fish aimlessly swimming around an aquarium,
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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