Eugene, a young teenage Jewish boy, recalls his memoirs of his time as an adolescent youth. He lives with his parents, his aunt, two cousins, and his brother, Stanley, whom he looks up to ... See full summary »
Musical dancer on the way out (at 36) Paula McFadden had it swell with actor Tony DeSanti, but instead of taking her to Hollywood he gets a European movie part. He even sublets their (his) ... See full summary »
Hallie Kate Eisenberg
Connie Doyle is eighteen and pregnant when her boyfriend kicks her out. She accidentally ends up on a train where she meets Hugh Winterbourne and his wife Patricia who is pregnant. The ... See full summary »
Three days into his Miami honeymoon, New York Jewish Lenny meets tall, blonde Kelly. This confirms him in his opinion that he has made a serious mistake and he decides he wants Kelly ... See full summary »
Rich playboy Charley Pearl meets Vicki Anderson, singer at a nightclub in Las Vegas. But she's a gangster's-moll, Bugsy Siegel's, and when he finds the two of them in bed, he forces them to... See full summary »
There are a few brief inserts of The Lawrence Welk Show, and Lawrence Welk's voice is heard saying "thank you, Myron" after a voice-over introduction. The announcer's voice was not that of Myron Floren, a band member who often provided transitions between musical numbers, but that of the regular announcer who opened each show. See more »
I'm trying to get pregnant.
Ask your husband. Why should we do everything?
See more »
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.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?