David Letterman's retirement announcement set off a minor media flurry. From Slate.com: "David Letterman Revolutionized Late Night," by Philip Maciak. David Letterman did not revolutionize anything. In the early 1950s, the king of late-night was a zany second banana with a Bugs Bunny face, Jerry Lester. His show: "Broadway Open House." A regular guest was Dagmar.
For some reason, we don’t get Fox Movies on DIRECTV, so I have never seen the “Fox Legacy” series. But when I read about Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman Tom Rothman making a name for himself as host of that series—acquiring a cult following and a ton of fan mail, including a note from Steven Spielberg—I chuckled to myself. In a world of simply terrible presenters and speechmakers, it’s a delight to come across someone that is really good. The Myth of PowerPoint The 10th issue of this e-zine, back in July 2005, was titled, “Power Corrupts, PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely”—a quote by Edward Tufte,
I’ve earned my living as a writer much of my life, just as my father and uncle had before me. I wrote some novels and business books, but it was junk mail that paid the bills. As a non-union writer, I follow the Writers Guild of America’s strike against the motion picture and television industries with fascination. Imagine! An unheralded collection of faceless individuals—whose behind-the-scenes creativity is the engine responsible for generating billions of dollars in revenues—has brought the entire industry to its knees. This column is about the Writers Guild Strike and the Mexican standoff that has become so expensive that no
In the mid-1950s, when I was attending Columbia College, I worked nights and weekends as a page at NBC in New York. In those days, television was black-and-white and always live. After squeezing fat tourists into thin seats, we pages were free to watch the show—from the back of the studio audience, the stage door or the control room. During those three years, I must have seen, in person, every major and minor star in the NBC galaxy, as well as those from other networks and Hollywood, since we also were assigned to work the Academy Awards and the Emmys. I was able to
Writing in Wired, Jeff Howe gleefully called the shadowy British graffitist, Banksy, “the most wanted man in the art world.” In this dreary politically correct world, Banksy’s pranks represent catnip for the rest of us. Banksy’s finest work to date has got the entire city of Bristol, England, his hometown, into a lather over whether it should go or stay. A Brief History of Pranksters Jim Moran (1907-1999). I remember seeing press agent James Sterling (Jim) Moran when he was a guest on Jack Paar’s late-night talk show, where I used to be an NBC page, hired to squeeze fat tourists into thin seats. The bearded, deadpan Moran
Cartoon Network's amazing unique selling proposition Sept. 22, 2005, Vol. 1, Issue #33 IN THE NEWS Don't touch that dial! Not unless you want your children to grow up to be clueless, sad-sack 40-year-old virgins. That's pretty much the message Cartoon Network is sending parents as it launches its new block of programming, "Tickle U," as in University: two hours of cartoons on weekday mornings that will ostensibly help preschoolers develop a sense of humor, without which they will lead a sad and lonely life. --Lenore Skenaky "TV telling kids what's funny? It's laughable." New