Garry Shandling and Ricky Gervais’s Epic Sparring Match
Judd Apatow’s two-part documentary on Garry Shandling, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, was released this week on HBO and it is, in a word, beautiful. In several more words, it attempts to paint a complete picture of a man who seemed to refuse to allow anyone to ever see the whole thing. It... [Read More]
An Appreciation of the Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart
Quick Warning: This article spoils a minor plot point from the first episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Reading this won’t ruin your enjoyment of the show, but you’re (probably) a good person, so you deserve a heads-up. When did you become aware of Bob Newhart? While it’s not a ... [Read More]
An Appreciation of the Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart
Quick Warning: This article spoils a minor plot point from the first episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Reading this won’t ruin your enjoyment of the show, but you’re (probably) a good person, so you deserve a heads-up. When did you become aware of Bob Newhart? While it’s not a ... [Read More]
Looking Back at Alan Partridge’s First Show: 25 Years of Alan Partridge Featuring Alan Partridge
There is a chance, especially if you are living in America, that you may not know who Alan Partridge is. Played by Steve Coogan, Partridge is easily one of most popular personalities to emerge from England alongside David Brent and Ali G. Alan is a parody of the worst of British television hosts, co... [Read More]
Dave Foley Gets Into the Holiday Special Spirit
Holiday specials, for the most part, are a family affair. In general, they are (at best) sweet adventures or (at worst) cloying cash-grabs. There is a sweet spot for holiday specials, however, that make them entertaining for every member of the family and not something the older folks in the room dr... [Read More]
Dave Foley Gets Into the Holiday Special Spirit
Holiday specials, for the most part, are a family affair. In general, they are (at best) sweet adventures or (at worst) cloying cash-grabs. There is a sweet spot for holiday specials, however, that make them entertaining for every member of the family and not something the older folks in the room dr... [Read More]
Take a Good Look at Ernie Kovacs’ Incredibly Strange Game Show
Ernie Kovacs was a genius. There’s no way around that. Carson, Letterman, and Conan have all cited him as an influence, and there have been hundreds of tributes, articles, PBS clips shows, and even two, very well done DVD retrospectives of his work from Shout! Factory. Well, Shout! is about to... [Read More]
A Lost Script from the Files of the ‘Police Squad!’
Airplane! The Naked Gun. Kentucky Fried Movie. When it comes to the classics of modern comedy, Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker were kings. After several popular films, the trio went to ply their trade on television, bringing along one of their secret weapons from Airplane!, Leslie Nielsen. In 1982, AB... [Read More]
Satirizing Two Birds with One Bush: Looking Back at ‘That’s My Bush!’
Anthony Atamanuik’s The President Show is unlike anything else on television right now. It takes a current-day public figure and satirizes him by showing us a fictionalized different side of the “character.” It ignores the fact that you probably want to forget about the news when y... [Read More]
‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Local TV Origins
Guys, there’s so much TV now. There are a million channels, with new ones launching constantly, and then tons of streaming platforms, with new ones launching constantly, and they all need content. Hundreds and hundreds of new TV shows being made, filling up an infinite number of half-hour bloc... [Read More]