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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: Television

It’s hard to imagine Dean Martin as 100. In truth, it was hard to watch Dean get old. He was the living embodiment of the old joke, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Except it’s doubtful Dean Martin would have changed anything he did. He […]

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Phil Silvers, comedy giant, was born on this day in 1911. He was the man who was always “glad to seeya” and we were certainly thrilled to see him. Best known as Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko, Silvers was the embodiment of the comedic con-man. He gave memorable performances in Top Banana, Sgt. Bilko, It’s A […]

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I was planning on putting up a post today in honor of Dave’s 70th birthday and then lo and behold, I read on the internet this morning that Dave’s mom, Dorothy, has passed away at the age of 95. My first thought after sadness for her passing and sympathy for Dave and his family is the […]

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I am part of the TV Generation, the group of kids who literally grew up on television. Radio as a narrative medium was over by the time I came around and video games were still in the future. TV was the center of our cultural universe. That said, most of my contemporaries were obsessed with […]

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Happy Birthday to one of the most talented men in the history of American entertainment! I love Carl Reiner for numerous reasons and projects that he has given the world. Nevertheless, he could have invented the light bulb and I still wouldn’t have been as grateful for that daily necessity as I am for his […]

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If you read through posts on this site it will quickly become obvious that I love character actors and actresses. As of late, I’ve taken to recording birthdays of thespians, musicians, comedians, etc. to salute here on this site, on my Sinatra and Company Facebook page, and on my weekly radio show. Today is a […]

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Comedian George Burns was born 121 years ago today. It seems unfathomable to me that I can have so many distinct memories of a guy who was born well over a century ago but that’s what happens if you live to be 100 years old as Burns did – you transcend multiple generations. Like most […]

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Ron Glass died over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the age of 71. He was best known for his luminous portrayal of Det. Sgt. Ron Harris of the 12th Precinct on the classic 1970s/1980s ABC sitcom, Barney Miller. He was also known for his role in the Sci-fi cult hit Firefly as Shepherd Book. Glass […]

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The answer to the above question is, “No, he can’t.” However, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady apparently can. They are listed as the directors of the PBS American Masters special from last night entitled, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of Myself. I just finished watching the program and it was, surprisingly, a disappointment. I say surprisingly because […]

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This election has been a smorgasbord of delights for our nation’s comedians. Normally, there are few jobs in the entertainment world more difficult than writing comedy. The past few months, however, have been like shooting fish in a barrel for our funny men and women. Colbert’s comedic coverage of Donald Drumpf has been excellent. The […]

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