Posts Tagged ‘television’

jan-hooks Mark Evanier tells a story about Jan Hooks, his friend, and a member of the cast of Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1991, who died on October 9 at the age of 57 (!). The story also features some lying multimillionaire schmuck who she had tried to make nice with.

The day before I heard about her death, I had just happened to have watched a segment of Saturday Night Live featuring her and Paul Simon. I really haven’t watched the show much this century, but I watched it religiously before that. I’ve long thought the best SNL cast may not have been the original troupe (John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, et al.) but the group of the late 1980s, with Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and Jan Hooks.

I also watched her on shows such as Designing Women and 30 Rock.

Here are some nice recollections in the Huffington Post and the New Yorker.

Her former SNL co-star Victoria Jackson also wrote an article. Considering that Ms. Jackson has become a bit of a lunatic, I believe it was surprisingly pleasant.
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SamuraiFrog noted the passing of actress Elizabeth Peña on October 14. I thought she was older, mostly because she plays the mother of the character played by Sofia Vergura (42) on the TV show Modern Family. But he was only 55(!) herself. (The death of people younger than myself usually gets the (!) response.) Ms. Peña was in my favorite John Sayles movie, Lonestar, and she is a voice in probably my favorite animated film of the last half century, The Incredibles. But she also appeared in a number of other projects I’ve watched, going back at least to LA Law.
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I read, before I saw any confirmation in news stories, that vocalist Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer has died on October 16. I have some of their music, going back to the days on vinyt. Chuck Miller wrote a very nice piece, complete with links to MT music.
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10 Glamorous Oscar de la Renta Gowns.
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Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post editor, dies at 93.

alex-trebek-jeopardyIt’s no great secret that many game show hosts in the United States are politically conservative. Here are articles from the Daily Beast and Salon.

This list of MCs includes Alex Trebek, host of JEOPARDY, a show I’ve been watching in one iteration or other more than half of my life. I’m not suggesting a political litmus test, so the fact that he speaks approvingly of the Tea Party is disappointing to me, but doesn’t alter my appreciation of the game.

However, his comments on air are cumulatively starting to irritate. Read the rest of this entry »

good-wife-the-second-season-dvd-coverOne of joyous experiences I have had recently is periodically watching episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) with The Daughter. I bought the complete five seasons a couple years and we’re down to the last half dozen of 158 episodes. It’s interesting watching what she finds funny, or mystifying. I’m also fascinating by what programs I remember very well (the Christmas show early on, the ventriloquist Paul Winchell near the end), and others not so much. Mark Evanier has been revisiting the classic show too.

In some ways, I’m like this columnist who sometimes would rather re-watch a program she enjoyed, rather than to venture out and try new stuff, even though there is a lot of quality stuff out there (The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad) I’ve never seen. Read the rest of this entry »

george_harrisonIn late September, Conan O’Brien devoted to a week to the music of George Harrison, in honor of some of his music being re-released. I’ve mentioned before that my realization of how much I experienced George’s loss was much more gradual than the shock of John Lennon’s murder.

LISTEN to:
Conan Kicks Off George Harrison Week

Beck – Wah-Wah.
Read the rest of this entry »

Michael_DouglasIn the 1960s and 1970s, I used to watch The Fugitive and Cannon and Barnaby Jones, virtually all the Quinn Martin productions, including the cop show The Streets of San Francisco. It starred Karl Malden as the wise senior partner, and Michael Douglas as the impetuous junior partner.

I didn’t really know who Michael Douglas was, except that he was the son of Kirk Douglas, the guy whose jaw was so square that the mimics on the Ed Sullivan Show just had to grit their teeth to “do” him. Read the rest of this entry »

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