6.4/10
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12 user 1 critic

Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001)

R | | Comedy | TV Movie 26 May 2001
Writing a weekly TV show for a famous comic is anything but easy.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (teleplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Ira Stone
...
Milt Fields
...
Harry Prince
Kristi Angus ...
Darlene Drew
Ardon Bess ...
Cecil
Colin Fox ...
Cal Weebs
...
Faye
Frank Proctor ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Lucus Brickman
...
Cal's Secretary
Robert Bidaman ...
Brad
Ian D. Clark ...
Doctor
...
Dennis
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Storyline

Writing a weekly TV show for a famous comic is anything but easy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TV's top comic has everything. Except his sanity.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Most Original Comedy  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The following characters are based on the following real-life people as follows: Lucas Brickman on Neil Simon; Max Prince on Sid Caesar; Kenny Franks on Larry Gelbart; Val Slotsky on Mel Tolkin; Brian Doyle on Tony Webster; Milt Fields on Sheldon Keller; Carol Wyman on Lucille Kallen; Ira Stone on Mel Brooks; and Harry Prince on Sid Caesar's brother Dave Caesar. There is no character based on Woody Allen. See more »

Goofs

Lucas' last name is Nader in the film, Brickman in the credits. See more »

Quotes

[With a thick Russian accent]
Val: Go feck yourself.
Milt: There's no such word as feck. A person cannot go feck themselves. You cannot be an American citizen until you learn to say "Go fuck yourself."
Val: Kiss my Naturalization papers.
See more »

Connections

References A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Only some mild laughter in this ponderous television adaptation

I have always found Neil Simon's earlier works far more satisfying than his middle and later periods. It's understandable that comic writers such as Simon and Woody Allen felt the need to develop, having become tired of churning out pungent one liners. The transition from pure comic, to serious writer, albeit with a comic base, is a tricky one. Both Simon and Allen have on occasion handled this fusion of elements well, but by and large the challenge has not been well met by either.

"Laughter on the 23rd Floor" being a reminiscence of Simon's television writing days on the legendary "Show of Shows" was largely a comic piece when produced on Broadway. Since most of the characters in the play are loosely based on a group of writers famed for their wit, the play should have been a hilarious riot. While it made for an enjoyable evening in the theater, one couldn't help feeling it had somewhat missed the mark.

For the television adaptation Simon has turned "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" into a supposedly deeper and more serious work, in his portrayal of comic Max Prince. Depicting the complexities that make up the psyche of a comic is not an easy task but Simon's depiction of Max Prince does not go far beyond the clichés one would expect. Nathan Lane pulls out all the stops, but at times he seems to be unwittingly doing a Zero Mostel imitation. The biggest let down is that despite a group of fine and seasoned performers and many one liners, even the comic bits are not as funny as they should be.

Those who have a particular fondness for the period of 50's television and the tremendous talents around at the time are likely to be disappointed.


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