Makin’ Whoopee With Eddie Cantor

He’s not a household name today (though his character appears in episodes of “Boardwalk Empire”), but Eddie Cantor was the original renaissance man of the entertainment world in the early 20th century, conquering vaudeville, Broadway, records, Hollywood, radio and TV. Cantor began in vaudeville in 1907 in New York, moved to the Great White Way […]

Films & TV We Grew Up With: April

OK, kids. Time for another trip down memory lane. Here’s a smattering of some films and TV shows making their way to DVD this month — films and TV shows that were part of our cultural landscape and influenced us as we grew up. So here’s to the start of a new monthly column. Dirty […]

The Ernie Kovacs Collection

The Ernie Kovacs Collection On April 19, Shout! Factory will release a lavish six-disc set compiling the work of one of the greatest comics of the 20th century — Ernie Kovacs. This is a collection not to be missed. Here’s the press release: Featuring more than 13 hours of Kovacs’ original classic television content, unforgettable […]

Taylor Swift’s Performance Malfunction

What are we to make of the ongoing controversy over 20-year-old country singer Taylor Swift’s off-key performance at the Grammys last week? The Web world is abuzz with fans and detractors defending or denigrating the singer. MTV News even published an article titled “Why You Shouldn’t Hate On Taylor Swift” in response to the backlash. […]

Return to Peyton Place

On September 15, 1964, ABC began airing a twice-weekly primetime drama based on the then-scandalous best-selling novel “Peyton Place” by Grace Metalious (which had been made into a 1957 theatrical feature by Mark Robson starring Lana Turner, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn, Terry Moore, Hope Lange, Diane Varsi and David Nelson). The show catapulted […]

The Smothers Are Back

One of the offbeat highlights of the late-1960s was “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” an hourly variety show that debuted in February 1967 on CBS. Showcasing the talents of irreverent folk-singer/comedians the Smothers Brothers (who had a bevy of folk-tinged musical/comedy album hits in the 60s), the show quickly morphed from a “hip” version of […]

All You Need Is Love

In the mid-1970s, at the suggestion of John Lennon, celebrated journalist and film director Palmer decided to document “The Story of Popular Music” and set about interviewing and filming all the major players in the industry. Even in the mid-70s, this was seen as a monumental task, but despite the scale of the undertaking, Palmer […]

Get Your Kicks

Forty-seven years ago two young men jumped into a brand new Corvette and took off in search of America and themselves. That was the idea behind CBS’ “Route 66,” which debuted October 7, 1960. During the course of four seasons, the two men found themselves at the center of all sorts of dramas, meeting all […]

Gumby turns 50

Remember Gumby? That odd-looking animated clay figure that resembled a pencil eraser (and became the template for thousands of erasers and key-chains fobs). Animator and producer Art Clokey created Gumby in the mid-1950s and soon after the clayboy received his very own Saturday morning TV series. “The Gumby Show” debuted on March 16, 1957 on […]

The Fugitive Kind

In the fall of 1963 I was in the middle of a teenage existential angst. Fresh out of high school, facing the uncertainties of college and on the verge of a world gone mad (Vietnam, Civil Rights fights, the continuing threat of nuclear war), not sure of who I was or where my future lay, […]

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