Saturday, January 30, 2010
DRATCH & FEY ARE "WICKED' FUNNY- RARE PERFORMANCE ON THE SECOND CITY'S CHICAGO MAINSTAGE - CIRCA 1999
Tina Fey is one of the most inventive and intelligent voices in contemporary comedy.As the first woman to serve as head writer of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and in her current , award winning role as star/executive producer/writer on NBC-tv's kinetic 30ROCK, the Upper Darby, PA native can focus the funny in the most complex social, professional and political situations.
Sardonic and silly,the "show within a show" Fey created,30ROCK, uses absurd characters to find the awful and hilarious truth of life behind the cameras, producing a late night comedy show.
Rachel Dratch, one of her best,comic co-conspirators at SNL and in the early episodes of 30ROCK is a master improviser who crafts characters with nuance that rivals a novelist.Credibility is her comic capital and she spends it carefully, but with hilarious and formidable dividends for the audience.
Before the pair achieved SATURDAY NIGHT STARDOM, they practiced and perfected their craft at the mecca of improvisational comedy, THE SECOND CITY, in Chicago.
In 1999, as the pair was on the threshold of television stardom, and after they had paid their dues on the hallowed mainstage at 1616 N Wells St, they debuted DRATCH&FEY.
It was their two woman, satirical review that won critical acclaim and drew large crowds.
Here, posted below, from the GAGARINA YOU TUBE SITE is a funny and honest piece that showcases the duo's laser-targeted sense of satire, while it follows Fey as a judgemental , opinionated mother , and Dratch as her strident, socially insecure daughter while shopping at the mall. It's called WICKED and it is hilarious.Enjoy!!!!
Monday, January 25, 2010
LAUGHTER IN THE DARK - RARE COLOR CLIPS OF THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON - NBC-TV - CIRCA DEC. 31, 1965 /JAN. 1, 1966
As American television viewers and NBC television executives try to forget the landmark BATTLE OF BURBANK that sent Jay Leno back to his desk at 11:35pm and Conan O'Brien off in search of a new network, here is a bright and breezy excerpt from THE TONIGHT SHOW's halcyon days and hippest New York nights.
In recent weeks, we've watched the 56 year old TONIGHT SHOW lose its luster in the corrosive crossfire among Leno, O'Brien ,Letterman and NBC Universal executives. Here, we see the crown jewel of late night talk aglow in LIVING COLOR with a sparkling selection of guest stars.
As was tradition in the Johnny Carson years, New Years Eve was a sophisticated, black tie affair, broadcast LIVE to the eastern and central time zones from NBC's renowned, Studio 6-B at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. That stage is now home to LATE NIGHT with Jimmy Fallon. Because the program crossed the midnight hour, it started on 12/31/65 and concluded on 01/01/66.
In this excerpt, we see Carson, sidekick Ed McMahon, actress Gila Golan , the comedy team of Phil Ford & Mimi Hines, plus a young, sardonic Woody Allen, at the zenith of his stand-up career, welcoming in 1966 with luxe laughter in a rarefied, cocktail party atmosphere.
This episode is , to me, a dazzling, kodachrome snapshot of TONIGHT's most elegant, Manhattan years, with a young and daring Carson at his brazen, comedic best.
Here from the HARRY KELLO, YOU TUBE site are two segments of the 1965/1966 New Years episode of THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON,with some commercials included.Enjoy!!!!!
Friday, January 15, 2010
WHEN AMERICANS STARTED LOSING SLEEP OVER TV - STEVE ALLEN EXPLAINS HOW THE TONIGHT SHOW WAS LAUNCHED - NBC-TV - CIRCA SEPTEMBER 27,1954
There's a reason storm clouds seem to be gathered over that iconic, art deco building which looms over New York City's Rockefeller Plaza.There's nothing funny about recent events in the NBC executive suite at 30ROCK. That's because the best drama on television is actually about television and it unfolds every weeknight night on The Peacock Network. But there's no reason to celebrate, even if America is consumed with the backstage, reality show that, seen in the harsh light of TMZ.com,E!,EXTRA or ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, is dark and truly surreal.
It's the BATTLE OF THE NETWORK TALK SHOW HOSTS, and the stakes are enormous ,with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, plus rarefied careers and an American broadcast instituion in the balance.
For over six decades, no network nor syndicated competitor could begin to unseat NBC-TV's, venerable, pajama party,THE TONIGHT SHOW. Now, the legendary and lucrative,late night, talk franchise is being shaken to its core by an internal insurrection among the court jesters at the Peacock's Palace and a rebellion among NBC affiliates.
While Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and NBC-Universal Boss, Jeff Zucker act out an acrid ,angry episode of SURVIVOR:BURBANK,here at KINESCOPE HD , we want to wash away the blood and tears in the warm, flickering glow of video history.
Now, that comely, Clark Kent look-alike,depicted above, in the company of leaping ladies and lovable llamas is a verifiable, video visionary who talked softly and did a lot of schtick. That's Steve Allen, the inventor of tv talk in the night, as we still know it , today.
Here, posted below, is a fascinating excerpt from THE ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION interview with TONIGHT'S first host, the erudite and engaging Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen.
If you don't know the name, Allen was an innovator in television comedy, a prolific songwriter, a popular author and a gifted thinker who hosted the late night, laugh-fest,until January 25, 1957.You can find the entire interview at this URL:
As a bonus,posted below,here are the opening moments of TONIGHT, as it debuted on the NBC-TV Network,September 27,1954.Enjoy!!!!!!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
LATE, BREAKING NEWS ON NBC'S REAL LIFE,
LATE NIGHT, BACKSTAGE DRAMA
In a defiant and daring statement released late this afternoon,Conan O'Brien the affable, yet aggrieved host of the longest and most successful, talk show franchise in late night , network television, THE TONIGHT SHOW on NBC-TV,says he won't continue to host, if the network executives move the ratings challenged program to a 12:05AM EST start time. Peacock executives say depressed ratings for Leno in prime time and O'Brien at 11:35PM, plus angry demands to return to more traditional shows as a lead-in to late, local news from network affilates, motivated the complex, programming moves.
NBC announced on Sunday that Jay Leno will return to late night television in the 11:35PM to 12:05AM timeslot after the 2010 Winter Olympics conclude, with TONIGHT SHOWat 12:05AM and LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON moving to 1:00AM. No official word on the fate of LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY.
Long rumored to be a favorite of executives and younger audiences at the rival FOX television, this decision opens the door for O'Brien to host a later night show starting at 11:00 PM EST, Albeit , on a smaller network with fewer affiliates, and a more troubled history in late night talk.
Here, posted below, is the story as it was covered on NBC NIGHTLY NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS.Enjoy and stay tuned!!!!!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
HAWAII FIVE NO!!!!!! RARE OPENING TITLES TO BUSTED PILOT FOR AN UPDATED SERIES - CBS-TV - CIRCA 1997
In 1997's pilot season CBS-TV was banking on the future by betting on its past.
The Tiffany network had lost its much of its celebrated luster and was desperate to recapture the 3 R's of success in television: ratings, revenue and recognition.
Starting with the kinetic ER ,9 of the Nielsen Top 10 programs for the 1996-97 Television season were on NBC-TV. The wholesome TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL was the only hit series on CBS-TV.
That wasn't always the case.
In halcyon days of the late 1960's and early 1970's television, when CBS-TV was America's favorite network, HAWAII FIVE-O, the high velocity, high intensity morality play , filmed like a travelogue and disguised as a crime drama was dependable performer.
Hawaii was a good luck charm, of sorts, for CBS. HAWAII FIVE-O, plus MAGNUM PI after it , were solid hits. Viewers loved being transported to the 50th states' exotic climes.Plus,programming executives relished their sojourns to the islands.
Produced on location, in vivid color, and redolent with tropical ambiance,it told the workman-like stories of a special state police unit that took on the toughest cases and most dangerous criminals. Viewers saw those stories through the eyes of stoic and steely Steve McGarrett, chief of the unit. He was played with volcanic force by Jack Lord,and supported by his tactically adept team of crime fighters.
From espionage to embezzlement, and murder to misdemeanors, they always cracked the case in 52 minutes, plus commercials and those incredible title sequences.The phrase "Book 'em, Dano" entered the national lexicon as coda for closure in crime solving.The series ran for 12 seasons from 1968-1980.
In 1997, CBS executives thought it was time to revisit the taught storytelling, the tense action and sultry locations that had electrified audiences,years earlier, by reviving HAWAII FIVE-O. Also, a re-orchestrated version of the pulsating, hit theme song would be part of the redux.
The network enlisted a true Prime Time savant, Stephen J. Cannell, who gave viewers THE ROCKFORD FILES, THE A- TEAM and 21 JUMP STREET, to write and produce the sample episode, which was directed by Bradford May. The pilot starred Russell Wong and Gary Busey...
Yes, that Gary Busey.
The addled actor was cast as Nick Irons, the man who runs the present day FIVE-O unit,and would also feature a cameo by James McArthur, as Dano Williams, McGarett's chief acolyte, who had ascended to become the governor of the Aloha state.
The show was produced and reviewed by the same CBS-TV executives who commissioned the 60 minute pilot. After an executive screening ,the island mystery wound up in cold storage.It was rejected.
Posted, below is a rare excerpt of the updated HAWAII FIVE-O,opening titles. KINESCOPE HD firmly believeS that the classic, credits sequence for the original series is, along with I SPY and BAYWATCH, the best of class. While the 1997 titles are pretty good , they remind you that you really shouldn't fix things that aren't broken.Enjoy!!!!!
As a bonus, here are the titles, visualized by Reza S. Badiyi, that heralded the original HAWAII FIVE-O. Enjoy!!!!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Most 1950's, teenage television viewers became aware of Dick Clark as the host of a rock and roll dance show that changed the face of nascent television as it showcased adolescent America.
But it wasn't until the early 1970's, when Eisenhower-era, teens grew to comprise the adult television audience, that Clark was finally and fully embraced as television's man of the midnight hour on New Years Eve.
In December of 1972, Richard Nixon was president of the United States, American troops were fighting in Viet Nam, All IN THE FAMILY was the most watched TV show in the nation and, from his post, high above New York's Times Square Dick Clark rocked New Year's Eve for the very first time on ABC-TV.
Dick Clark is one of the most prolific, accomplished and successful performers and producers in television history. A true entrepreneur, Clark is many times a millionaire. While he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2004,the 80 year old continues to appear on ABC-TV'S NEW YEARS ROCKIN'EVE telecast.The yearly LIVE special continues to rule the ratings, 37 years later.
But, before he achieved this rarefied level of success, Dick Clark was known as the world's oldest teenager and Philly's pied piper of rock and roll.Long before MTV planted its psychedelic flag on the Moon, the affable Clark was truly the world's first VJ, hosting a show that made television history.
A staff announcer at Philadelphia's ABC affiliate, WFIL-TV, the Utica New York native, auditioned to host a local teen dance show called BANDSTAND.As a performer,Clark was a dichotomy, of sorts. Had a youthful presence, but a mature demeanor. Legendary WFIL program manager, Lew Klein hired Clark to replace the show's original host, Bob Horn, who had run afoul of the law.
On July 9, 1956 Dick Clark debuted on BANDSTAND, which aired weekday afternoons on Philadelphia's Channel 6. In August 1957,the ABC-TV network, anxious to capitalize on new viewers who were watching THE MICKY MOUSE CLUB, elected to carry the rock and roll dance party, rechristened as AMERICAN BANDSTAND,nationally.
AMERICAN BANDSTAND set teen trends in style, made musical careers and launched Clark as a presence on the national stage.He took the show to California in 1964 and hosted the hop until it's cancellation on ABC-TV. The last dance for AMERICAN BANDSTAND came in 1987.
As Clark rose to national prominence, he was the surprised subject of NBC-TV's THIS IS YOUR LIFE WITH RALPH EDWARDS. The show was a hit series that took the form of a sentimental tribute to famous faces in show business, culture. sports, science and politics.
From 1959,posted below, from the HWY61MEDIA YOU TUBE site, in 3 parts, is Dick Clark being honored on NBC-TV'S THIS IS YOUR LIFE WITH RALPH EDWARDS.Enjoy!!!!!