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Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001)

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

Director:

Richard Benjamin

Writers:

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

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Cast

Credited cast:
Nathan Lane ... Max Prince
Mark Linn-Baker ... Val Skotsky
Saul Rubinek ... Ira Stone
Dan Castellaneta ... Milt Fields
Richard Portnow ... Harry Prince
Kristi Angus ... Darlene Drew
Ardon Bess Ardon Bess ... Cecil
Colin Fox ... Cal Weebs
Sherry Miller ... Faye
Frank Proctor Frank Proctor ... Walter Winchell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mackenzie Astin ... Lucus Brickman
Marcia Bennett ... Cal's Secretary
Robert Bidaman Robert Bidaman ... Brad
Ian D. Clark ... Doctor
Philip Craig ... 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:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Most Original Comedy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Black and White | Color (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Benjamin previously directed a similar film, My Favorite Year (1982). Both films feature a young comedy writer on a 1950's TV show that is based on Your Show of Shows (1950), and stars a Sid Caesar-like comedian. Mark Linn-Baker, who plays one of the writers in "Laughter," played the young writer in My Favorite Year (1982), which was produced (uncredited) by Mel Brooks, a fellow writer with Neil Simon on Caesar's 1950's TV show Your Show of Shows (1950). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[About Max]
Brian: He called me last night. Said something about we're going to war again.
Val: With the Japanese?
Brian: I don't know, depends on how Japanese NBC is.
See more »

Connections

References A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

What happened to the play? Elevator did not reach floor 23...
3 April 2002 | by mercutio-8See all my reviews

Neil Simon's play "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" centered on the relationship between a 1950s television comic (based on Sid Caesar and his staff of writers, who worked out of the 23rd floor of a midtown building in Manhattan. This group would talk, confide, fight, and go for each others' throats if the situation - however absurd - warranted it. Underneath the zaniness, hostility or any dilemna, however, was a shared love and talent for creating sketch comedy. And it was this talent that bonded writers and comic together and, when all smoke cleared, made them realize that they did in fact care for what they did, and for each other. Max Prince (the Sid Caesar model), and his writers. The writers and Max Prince. He needed them, they needed him. Together they needed comedy. This play was indeed a fine ensemble. Every character is defined. None are short-changed in depth. Would have been a novel approach for the film. Understandably, a film version of a stage script needs some change and adaptation so as to not be a confined, filmed play. When this transition goes so far afield, however, changing the intention and focus of the original piece, there seems to be no point in adapting it to film at all. The film "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" plays like a sequel to an original that was never made (like maybe the play?) The film focuses on Max Prince's relationships with virtually everyone (including his dead parents in a cemetary scene), EXCEPT the writers. Characters who were not even in the play become the main supporting cast, while the writers are left as incidental characters. Considering those who are playing the writers - Victor Garber, Mark Linn-Baker, Saul Rubinek, Dan Castellaneta, among others - a fine pool of talent is genuinely squandered, with nothing to do except occassionally react to and comment on the changing state of The Max Prince show. As a result, when Max makes the heartfelt statement that his writers mean everything to him, the point is lost, because there has been little interaction with them A more fitting title for this film would be "The Travels and Travails of Max Prince". Why this instead of "Laughter on the 23rd Floor"? Because Max hardly spends any TIME on the 23rd floor!


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