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May 8, 2009
Re "Some late-night laughs are cheap," May 4 Here's the no-joke bottom line: Top-banana comedians paying for one-liners is nothing new. In the 1930s, mirth masters like Bob Hope and Milton Berle would pay about five bucks a gag or steal the jokes that young, nonunion writers (there was no WGA then) sent on penny postcards into the newspaper columns of Ed Sullivan and Walter Winchell at the six or seven local dailies. I guess some things have changed since then. Hank Rosenfeld Santa Monica
November 24, 2004
Re "Powell's Talk of Arms Has Fallout," Nov. 19: So here we are listening to Iranian exiles telling us about weapons of mass destruction being built by the current regime and apparently our government is listening again. How many times do we fall for the same gag? How many more young Americans need to die? I need more proof than statements from people who have so much to gain from having our troops do their dirty work for them. Larry Berardino Redondo Beach
August 28, 2004
John BALZAR'S story on the declining ranks of the editorial cartoonist ("Biting the Bullet," Aug. 24) misses the mark. While Balzar touches on "panel" cartoons being political, he ignores the growing political nature of many so-called "gag" cartoons. The L.A. Times carries at least six daily strips that have political or controversial social topics at least 50% of the time ("Prickly City," "Non Sequitur," "Mallard Fillmore," "Boondocks," "La Cucaracha" and "Doonesbury"). Political debate is still being encouraged by cartoon art; the setting has changed.
April 12, 2013 | By Amy Nicholson
Poor Charlie Sheen! In the opening of "Scary Movie V," no sooner does he bed Lindsay Lohan - both barely convincing playing themselves - than a ghost kills him and kidnaps his three kids. (Legal troubles aside, Lohan is fine.) Three months later, Snoop Dogg finds the now-crabwalking moppets in a haunted cabin in Humboldt County and delivers them and their new ghost mom back to civilization. Three months is auspicious. "Scary Movie V" lifts its plot from Jessica Chastain's surprise horror hit "Mama," released in January, and if you think three months is an impossible amount of time to write and produce a feature film, well, it is. In the Oscar nominee's role is former Disney star Ashley Tisdale, here seen having her way with a microwave.
August 13, 2001
MGM and QRZ Media took the film of my dead brother, Michael Marich, and the audio-recorded phone call between an LAPD officer and my parents informing them of their son's death, and "sold tickets." I am glad that my parents didn't settle with MGM. Often there is a settlement clause that places plaintiffs under a "gag order" to avoid negative press for the defendants. One of the blessings from all of this is that now MGM can't shut us up. Thank you, Howard Rosenberg, for your article.
Say the title, "Laughing Matters." You can change the meaning by emphasizing either the first word or the second. In Hal Kanter's show at the Westwood Playhouse, the emphasis is on the laughing. This is primarily laughter for laughter's sake. Kanter has assembled four comics and thrown himself into the mix as the emcee.
Four Los Angeles-area people whose bodies were pulled from a Northern California reservoir in March died of asphyxiation, and at least one of them was strangled with a cord or rope, officials with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday. A fifth person, whose body was found in the reservoir in October, also suffocated, apparently because of tape used to gag him, according to a medical examiner from Calaveras County. Authorities believe at least two of the victims were kidnapped.
July 14, 1986 | SHEILA BENSON, Times Film Critic
The mystery of how any artist creates is usually less mysterious than it is wearying: by trying and rejecting, again and again and again. Usually that process is private and unrecorded. But tonight, genius is revealed in some of the most illuminating and remarkable moments on film. "Unknown Chaplin," a prize-winning series made in 1982 by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill for Britain's Thames Television, airs on PBS.
April 2, 1987 | HOWARD ROSENBERG, Times Television Critic
NBC's new sitcom, "Nothing in Common," has little in common with the appealing theatrical movie of the same name on which it's based. Unfortunately. Although the series (premiering at 9:30 tonight on Channels 4, 36 and 39) was developed by the very same Garry Marshall who also directed the movie, it's geared mostly for cheap laughs and debuts with a gaggle of jokes that could make you gag. Todd Waring is David Basner, the wild and warped advertising man played by Tom Hanks in the movie.
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