August 27, 2009 |
They came from New York, the Midwest, the Southern states, a great exodus of young comics traveling west in search of a few minutes with Johnny Carson. That's all it took to begin the migration: In 1972, "The Tonight Show" moved from New York to Burbank, and stand-up comedy's center of gravity went with it. A shot with Carson could make a comic's career and lead to lucrative stand-up gigs, comedy albums and film roles. So they came to town by the hundreds, ambitious and penniless.
September 2, 1989
So CBS has announced that Dan Rather may stand to read the news. And Calendar reported this in an 8-inch article, plus a photograph ("Dan Rather May Try a Stand-Up Routine" by Jay Sharbutt, Aug. 19). Wow! Please continue to keep us informed of such earthshaking events. A breathless nation waits. TERRY FISHER, West Los Angeles
May 27, 1989 |
Craig T. Nelson has been a very busy man this year. Though one of his more salient roles was as the beleaguered father in the original "Poltergeist," he has this year been seen in HBO's "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story," the Shelley Long feature "Troop Beverly Hills" and the yet-to-be-released "Turner and Hooch" with Tom Hanks. Nelson is working on a six-hour miniseries called "Desperadoes," about a Drug Enforcement Agency agent who was kidnaped and killed in Guadalajara, based on the book of the same name by journalist Elaine Shannon.
April 15, 1989 |
One can't help being a little leery of performers who adopt a showbiz moniker that's affected or corny, or that seems to promise too much. But Bob Zany couldn't have selected a more appropriate pseudo-surname. His performance Wednesday at the Laff Stop in Newport Beach observed the tenets of truth-in-advertising. It was plenty zany. If you demand stand-up with probing, sociopolitical relevance, go rent "Lenny" or something. Bob Zany aspires to something altogether different--and nothing to be denigrated as small achievement: He wants you to laugh, to have fun, and to walk out feeling great.
June 18, 1989 |
Click/Click/Click/Click. It's the way we take our home entertainment now, and it has had its effect on the way we watch theater and movies. Maybe even on the way we watch life. A bad effect, in some people's view. Kids raised on "Sesame Street," teachers tell you, can't follow a traditional story. All they want is the ups. Others argue that it's just the reverse. TV has exposed us all to so many traditional stories that a couple of images give us enough to infer the rest. I tend toward the second view.
June 25, 2010 |
If any staff in entertainment deserves a mental health day, it's the writing team behind Conan O'Brien. In the space of about a year, they got the promotions of a lifetime ( "The Tonight Show"!), moved their families cross-country, settled into their custom-made studio at Universal, only to watch it fall apart seven months later. And then — boom! — that redheaded smart aleck rocketed back with a comedy tour that summoned some kind of Team Coco movement and served as an opening act for his forthcoming talk show on TBS. Now, some of O'Brien's writers are taking their turn in front of the cameras.