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Sketches

ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2012 | By Liesl Bradner
Long known for being genteel and charmingly indifferent to headline news, the New Yorker in recent years has earned a reputation of skewering political and cultural figures with its cover art. Barry Blitt's infamous 2008 Barack and Michelle Obama fist bump cover poking fun at the perception of the then-presidential candidate, for instance, spawned countless satiric imitations. With "Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See" (Abrams), art director Françoise Mouly gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the selection process.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2009 | Christopher Smith
An English newspaper once described a soccer star as having "developed splendidly and then aged as well as could be hoped for." That might sum up another U.K. icon, Monty Python. Because while it's been 25 years since the seminal six-man English comedy troupe has produced any new material, its thoughtful silliness still resonates. Now the group is again among us, cheerfully exploiting its upcoming 40th anniversary with a Python-palooza of events on tap: a new play in Los Angeles based on its classic TV sketches, a six-part documentary on the IFC channel, a book describing its live performances and a rare coming together of the group's five living members for a Q&A session in New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
Sketches about funny voices and the 2012 election dominated the opening of "Saturday Night Live's" 38 th season. Host Seth MacFarlane, creator and voice actor of “Family Guy” and “Ted,” tended to rely upon his vocal characters for most of his starring scenes (a dark sketch about a damaged puppet class attendee was arguably the most successful in terms of both humor and originality), although the host did take a stab at celebrity impression during a fond Weekend Update tweak at the genial dimness of Olympics star Ryan Lochte.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Dennis McLellan
Sid Caesar, a television pioneer who reigned as the king of live TV sketch comedy in the 1950s with his inspired brand of mimicry, pantomime and satire on the classic comedy-variety series “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar's Hour,” died Wednesday. He was 91. Caesar died at his home in Beverly Hills after a brief illness, according to his biographer and friend Eddy Friedfeld. A two-time Emmy Award-winning performer during his TV heyday in the '50s, Caesar has been hailed as “one of the great TV clowns,” “one of television's most inventive performers” and “a genius at making people laugh.” PHOTOS: Sid Caesar | 1922 - 2014 “Television had its share of comedy geniuses,” Times television critic Howard Rosenberg wrote in 1994.
BOOKS
January 26, 1986 | Charles Champlin
Even amid the endemic and fashionable gloom-unto-suicide of turn of the century Czechoslovakia, the melancholy of Rudolf Tesnohlidek was something special. His father was an animal skinner, and in a brief biographical afterword to "The Cunning Little Vixen," Robert T. Jones, one of the translators, says that Tesnohlidek as a boy would run screaming from the moans of the dying beasts. That might have given anyone a dark vision of existence.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 15, 1987 | BILL STEIGERWALD
The most astonishing thing about "NBC Presents the AFI Comedy Special" isn't that it's so consistently and so pathetically unfunny. It's that NBC doesn't seem to have a clue that it's created yet another TV crime against comedy (tonight at 10 on Channels 4, 36, 39).
ENTERTAINMENT
December 31, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Bill Gold was just 21 and a recent graduate in illustration and design from the Pratt Institute in New York when he was hired in the advertising department of Warner Bros. in New York City. His first poster was for the 1942 classic " Casablanca. " Over the next 60 years, Gold was responsible for either designing or working with illustrators on about 2,000 motion pictures, including Elia Kazan's 1951 "A Streetcar Named Desire" and 1955's "East of Eden," Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 "Dial M for Murder," Stanley Kubrick's 1971 "A Clockwork Orange" and 1975's "Barry Lyndon," and 35 Clint Eastwood movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1998
Sid Caesar, the real-life model for Max in Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor," dominated network television in the '50s with Milton Berle, Groucho Marx, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers and Jack Benny. "Your Show of Shows," Caesar's NBC program (1950-54) nurtured the best comedy writers--among them Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Larry Gelbart, who all went on to stage and screen careers, and of course Simon, our most successful commercial playwright.
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