The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)
Last week, as I'm sure you're already well aware, we lost one of the greats. Sid Caesar passed away at the age of 91. [...]
Back in a time when our primary source of film-watching outside the movie theatre involved a trip to a video store, it was much harder to be a young boy curious about what might exist beyond the G-rated family comedies we would watch on Sunday nights (my family would do this “picnic style” which meant putting down a dirty blanket in our suburban finished basement, ordering chinese food, and eating on the floor while we watched). One day my parents allowed me to attend a friend’s birthday party where we would be watching Mel Brooks’ R-rated film, Blazing Saddles, perhaps just pleased that we weren’t going to watch one [...]
"I love Mel Brooks. And I've had wonderful times working with him. But I don't see any similarities between Mel and myself except, you know, we're both short Jews. That's where it ends. His style of humor is completely different. But Bob Hope? I'm practically a plagiarist."
- Woody Allen to Esquire in a great piece for their "What I Learned" series that also sees him discussing his dinner with Ingmar Bergman ("like a house painter sitting down with Picasso"), why he doesn't read any reviews, and the time a cabdriver taught him to shave as a kid.
Welcome to the latest installment of Tragedy Plus Time. Each segment will focus on a particular ‘life crisis’ — sometimes globally tragic, sometimes more of a personal affair — and we’ll explore how many of the comedians we know and love have dealt with it.
If you were following any social media during the Boston bombings last month, you would have observed the global dialogue quickly shift from mundane chatter to the somber details of the attack. Concerns for safety, information about what had transpired, and speculation on the culprits behind it dominated the national conversation. Remarks about any other topic were deemed callous and inappropriate. Especially jokes, on [...]
The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We're here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. Also, we'll keep you posted on the offerings from our very own podcast network. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
The Nerdist #288 - Mel Brooks
ROGER: Not too long after [...]