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I liked this show, watching it nightly for awhile, and am surprised
that some 15 years later it has ZERO reactions on IMDb -no comments/no
boards. Probably because it predates the current "morning after" voting
era on IMDb.
As the show progressed I enjoyed mightily Chuck's willingness to pour his heart out on the air. It wasn't exactly entertainment per se, but a refreshing throwback to the '60s when I was an addict of numerous TV talk shows with egocentric hosts (some had NO guests at all!), forerunners of the rightwing glut on radio decades later. I was glued night after night to lengthy doses of Alan Douglas, locally Don Robertson (I lived in Cleveland then), Lou Gordon, Irv Kupcinet and sometimes even Joe Pyne -the ORIGINAL rightwing nutcase.
What Grodin did was of course political, by definition, but more accurately personal. Sure, Regis complains every morning over every little incident in his life and Seinfeld made a billion out of reporting colorfully on the tiniest non-incident he encountered. But Grodin carried the Dick Cavett-style of over-the-top sincerity past the breaking point; a loyal viewer like myself was downright embarrassed at times about what was coming out of Grodin's mouth spontaneously. Often satirized at the time (he's sort of a sincere version of the blowhards that Martin Short can portray so effortlessly), Grodin's soapbox outbursts nightly were classic in a way. You either were riveted by his stream of consciousness and non sequiturs, or you quickly changed the channel, never to return.
I never met Grodin, although I did interview him by phone in the mid-'80s when he was working on his very personal (but unsuccessful) movie that eventually was released with the title MOVERS & SHAKERS. His TV talkshow was one-of-a-kind and obviously forgotten. Fortunately he will be remembered for his fine performances, usually in the George Segal/Richard Benjamin romantic comedy vein, but led by the classic teaming opposite De Niro in MIDNIGHT RUN, wherein he actually outshone his megawatt costar.
I miss this show. I found it and Charles Grodin unique. Like another person said, you would never know what rant he would go on or weather he would cross a line. But he was often profound and always sincere. Never a hint of someone playing a character for our benefit. His honest compassion mixed with what seemed a thoughtful east coast Jewish neuroticism made him funny and enlightening all at the same time. When he had a guest on, if my memory still functions adequately, he could be gracious demanding thoughtful or combative. But I always felt that what encompassed all this was a smart man with a natural charisma that said "watch and listen to me. I'm talking to you and we're having a good time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I liked this show very much too. Grodin was very funny and at times very touching. He had his best friend as a producer or something, I don't recall, but he found a job for his best friend which was neat. I think he did the voice overs. Grodidn also touchingly said goodnight to his mother every night and that he loved her; very sweet. I do remember the first year it seemed there were more entertainment guests on, famous actors, with his friend Marlo Thomas being the first. It did get more political as time went on and became a bit of a different show. Very good still, but different. He also had great singers singing great songs at the end of each show, which was also a neat twist. If I remember it was on the same channel, either CNBC or MSNBC, either way it was the channel owned by conservative Roger Ailes. I think it was called the Everybody's talking network or something like that. Anyway, Roger had his own show too and then Grodidn came on later with his show, so allowing for lots of opinions and were respectful about it. They were a lot more polite than nowadays! I think the later political seasons, and I think the show was only on for a few years, led to Grodin being on 60 Minutes II in an Andy Rooney type bit.
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