The New Show (1984) - News Poster

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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 »

Why ‘Saturday Night Live’ Isn’t Dead (At Least Not Yet)

Why ‘Saturday Night Live’ Isn’t Dead (At Least Not Yet)
The last time Lorne Michaels ever really let a public comment pass about which “Saturday Night Live” cast member might not return to the program came in 1986, at the tail end of “SNL’s” ill-fated 11th season.

Many people have wiped that era from memory: After leaving “SNL” to try his hand at other projects (NBC’s “The New Show”), Michaels returned to his creation for the 1985-86 season, only to have to bring an all-new cast in front of the camera after “SNL” had gone big and broad with Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest and Martin Short. Michaels’ picks? An eclectic bunch – Robert Downey Jr., Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Randy Quaid, plus a young Jon Lovitz and Dennis Miller – that never found its stride.

Things were so bad that in the season’s last sketch, these truly Not Ready for Prime Time Players huddled on stage, only to discover
See full article at Variety - TV News »

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