Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The Ed Sullivan Theatre tour

May 23, 2015 Comments off

Google Maps now includes inside the Ed Sullivan Theatre, with the recently torn down David Letterman set. You can check out the audience, and even get a bit backstage!


10 Great Seconds – Get a Life

April 27, 2012 Comments off

This is from the Chris Elliot show “Get a Life” (still available on DVD?). Fox put it on for two seasons back in 1990, and though it was uneven (like so much Chris Elliott stuff), when it was good it was AWESOME.

The setup: Chris finds an alien life form and names it “Spewey” because it constantly spews a stream of milky liquid at everyone. Having just watched E.T., Chris befriends the alien even though it’s obviously trying to kill him. Chris’s decided its violent attempts are how it shows affection on its planet.

He wakes up, and Spewey’s gone – so Chris thinks he’s dreamed the whole thing.

It was a toss up between this scene, and another where the feds are looking for the alien and Chris is showing him that Spewey’s not there (he’s hidden in a closet). They open the closet door, and a giant stream of spew streams across the room, continuously soaking Chris for about 10 seconds. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV, but not so strong out of context.

Incidentally, I’m a big Chris Elliott fan. I think he’s uneven because he’s constantly experimenting and trying new things. It’s great that he keeps finding opportunities to do that. He had a show called “Action Family” on Showtime or HBO that was fantastic – it was a single episode of a combination gritty police action show and a TV sitcom. I watched that thing a hundred times when I was 16, but can’t find a copy of it to save my life, now. It had a rare off-his-show David Letterman appearance.



10 Great Seconds – You Did It

April 11, 2012 Comments off


One of the best TV series ever – made by a lot of the guys who went on to do Cheers. Taxi was a Judd Hirsch vehicle (like what I did, there?) that had one of the great casts, including Andy Kaufman and Danny Devito.

The setup for this scene: to save from freezing in a car during a blizzard, Latka (Andy Kaufman) had sex with a woman to create warmth. They get rescued, and now he’s overcome with guilt, certain that his wife (Carol Kane) will find out. He and Alex plan to go to his house and act normally, hoping that she doesn’t discover. Latka’s convinced that she’ll just know, but Alex (Judd Hirsch) tells him he’s being ridiculous. Here’s the scene.

What’s better than Andy Kaufman’s eyes?

60 Great Seconds – Coach’s Daughter

March 3, 2012 Comments off

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t cut this down any more, it’s such an awesome scene. This is from the first season of “Cheers,” and is a reminder what a great show that was. I don’t know why, but it’s easy to forget what great writers and cast they had.

The setup: Coach’s daughter is marrying a jerk, and Coach finally sets her down to tell her not to marry him. She struggles not to tell her dad why she’s settling for the jerk, which is because she thinks she’s ugly and won’t ever get anyone better. Check it out:

I’ve watched the scene a half-dozen times (trying to think how to cut it down) over the last couple of days, and it gets me every time. Nicholas Colasanto (Coach) was just awesome. But the writing – does it get any better? Her line “She was really beautiful” is so perfect. Not “you think she was beautiful” but just the simple statement, and we know what she means. Ken Estin wrote that – he worked with Cheers creators Glen and Les Charles and James Burrows on one of my other favorite shows, too: “Taxi.” We’ll get to a great clip from that sometime soon, too.

10 Great Seconds – Now and Again

February 25, 2012 Comments off

Now and Again – This is the opening of the first episode of the only season of this show. It was a really, really, really good show that never found an audience. I only found it on the old “Trio” channel, which used to show “Brilliant But Cancelled” shows that only lasted one or two seasons, and this was one of them.

Did I mention that it was a really, really, really good show?

In this opening, an old Asian guy gets on a subway and leaves a few eggs on the seat before leaving the car. The little boy in this clip has been watching them slide around on the seat, back and forth, laughing and anticipating them falling. Here’s what happens when they do:

Awesome opening, yes? The next bit is the train pulling into the station, it’s windows covered with blood. That switches to a warm family scene with John Goodman, who only appears in the first episode and a few flashbacks later, before he trips in front of a train (not the same train) to his death. He then wakes up in a new, enhanced body as part of a government experiment. The government primarily thinks of him as property, but all he wants to do is get back to his wife and little girl.

What an awesome premise to a show that really needed a second season. Not to give it all away, but the end of the first season has him explaining it all to his wife (FINALLY) while government agents are on the way, and they pretty much demolish the house as he tries to escape with her.

Man, this was a great show. I managed to get the whole season TIVO’d when they played it on Trio, and it rocked. Ask me, and if I like you, I’ll let you borrow the DVDs. :)

10 Great Seconds – The final Marx Brothers

February 12, 2012 Comments off

Thanks to “News From Me” for finding this. This is the last time the three Marx Brothers appeared on screen together. Shortly after this, Chico’s health deteriorated and, though they were planning to shoot a TV pilot, it never came to be.

Here’s the setup – the clip’s from a TV show starring Chico and Harpo (no Groucho in the credits) as inept crooks, in a mostly silent 30 minute show. They get caught, they’re in the police line-up, and here’s the last 25 seconds of the show, with its only line of dialogue:

How awesome is that – you’re watching TV in 1959, and there’s a Marx Bros reunion that no one knew was coming!

By Ken Levine: Written by Treva Silverman

February 6, 2012 Comments off

Here’s a link to a screenwriter’s blog that I read pretty often, celebrating some Mary Tyler Moore Show scripts written by the awesome Treva Silverman. I’ve been watching re-runs of MTMS for about a year, now, and am about four episodes away from the finale. Man, I’m gonna miss that show. Some of the best characters ever on TV.

via By Ken Levine: Written by Treva Silverman.

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