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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Tag Archives: Mel Brooks

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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There have been dozens of written tributes to Gene Wilder since his passing this past Monday. By all accounts, he was a wonderful, kind, sensitive man. I didn’t know the man but his friends and associates seem united in their appreciation. What I do know is his talent was special. Gene Wilder had an unusual […]

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Just as we learned of the passing of the great character actor, David Huddleston, my friend Dr. Tim also discovered that another great character actor, John McMartin, passed away last month on July 6, 2016. You may not immediately know their names but if you watched any film or television in the last 50 years, […]

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Today is the 90th birthday of comedy giant, Mel Brooks. I must admit that Mr. Brooks deserves credit for a certain portion of my humor. Brooks is a perfect example of humor as a tool to rage against the system. I honestly don’t remember the first time I saw Brooks’ 1973 movie classic, Blazing Saddles. The […]

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There are three big Hollywood birthday on the calendar today and since two of the people are particular favorites of mine, I thought it merited a post. Roddy McDowall was not only a popular child star (Lassie Come Home, How Green Was My Valley, The Pied Piper) but he went on to a career as […]

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I watched Letterman last night and he had Kevin Spacey as his guest. Dave was enjoying himself because he obviously likes and respects Spacey. One of the things I’ve always loved about Letterman is that there are certain guests that come on Dave’s show that he couldn’t possibly care less about and when these people […]

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I watched most of Jimmy Fallon’s first “Tonight Show” last night. Here’s what I thought was the best bit of the evening: I thought that was cute and a good way to get a bunch of celebrity cameos onto the first show although I literally don’t care or really dislike exactly half of the 14 […]

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Question of the day, how many “stand up philosophers” have YOU known in your lifetime? Whatever the number, I’ll bet few were as funny as Comicus.

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Never in the history of American comedy has there been a more impressive and successful collection of comic minds as there was in the 1950s in the writer’s room of SID CAESAR’s various variety shows. To be fair, it actually started in 1949 with the show, “The Admiral Broadway Revue.” In 1950 it became “Your […]

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Dressing up? Never cared for it. Tons of cheap candy? Loved it as a kid, now, blech! Roasted pumpkin seeds with lots of salt? Always great. But the best thing about Halloween is watching old, scary movies like “Frankenstein,” “The Wolfman,” “Dracula,” etc. And the only thing better than old horror movies are comedy horror […]

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