The number 23 was chosen as the floor level in the title for the source play because, according to Neil Simon, script sessions for the original 1950s Your Show of Shows (1950) were held either on the 11th or 12th floor of the NBC-TV building. Add them together and one gets 23. See more »
Lucas' last name is Nader in the film, Brickman in the credits. See more »
We Simply Loved This Movie!!! A number of the reviews here seem to miss the point this is NOT a comedy per say .it's an homage to the greatest sketch comic to hit TV so far, Sid Caesar.
As a kid I watched "Your Show of Shows" on TV every week and I loved it! I've read about it and watched interviews with all the principles Particularly good was an HBO (?) Special a few years back that featured most of the writers, plus at the end Sid, sitting on a stage and just discussing what it was like to work with the manic Sid and produce a live one & one half hour comedy show a week!!! The predecessor "To Laughter on the 23rd Floor" was the wonderful "My Favorite Year". In that movie about "The Sid Show" Joe Bologna did a great job bringing the talented and wonderfully crazed Sid Caesar to life. He had the advantage over Nathan Lane because he looked and was built like Caesar but the writers bullpen wasn't as the real writers described. When Sid wanted to apologize to someone he would send over some steaks or tires to the offended party.
"Laughter" used the same Director, Richard Benjamin, and the star, Mark Linn-Baker, as "My Favorite Year". Baker played a Young Mel Brooks junior writer in "My Favorite Year" and 20 years later the older Baker played the Head writer in "Laughter". Neil Simon used his history as a "Show of Shows" writer to make "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" feel REAL! and although short and stumpy... Nathan Lane managed to achieve a poignancy in his interpretation of (large & muscular) Caesar with his genius performance. This movie was about the life of a comedy writers bullpen featuring the greatest group to ever work a TV show and about their untimely end.
NOTE: The Show of Shows had only one sponsor as did most of the early TV shows and therefore the program was forced to please that sponsor if they wanted to keep working. I believe it was the Hoffman Television Co. that backed Caesar and because they were soooo successful in selling the new TV's... Hoffman couldn't keep up with the demand so they decided advertising was no longer necessary and dropped "The Show of Show's"! Caesar & Company was damned for being tooooo good!!!
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