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Posts Tagged ‘Dana Carvey’

Kevin Pollak Recalls Trying to Teach Gabriel Byrne How to Imitate Carson

The oddest and funniest echo of this week’s gargantuan news trail about the future of The Tonight Show belongs to Kevin Pollak.

During the actor’s appearance on KCRW’s weekly program The Treatment, host Elvis Mitchell noted that Pollak’s new book How I Slept My Way to the Middle does not include the business of how just about everyone on the set of The Usual Suspects got into imitating Carson. Here’s Pollak, from the March 20 radio conversation:

“When you say everyone was doing Johnny Carson, I want to give credit to Kevin Spacey. Kevin and I both do a really good Johnny Carson. Everyone else was just being kind of silly, except for Gabriel Byrne, who was fascinated…”

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New Brown Ad Nails Whitman for Being Like Schwarzenegger

We would have said the concept for this ad was wrong. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not endorsed Meg Whitman. He has been very critical of her “plans” or lack there of. He urged journalists at the LA Press Club Awards this year to ask the tough questions of her. He’s no Whitman fan. He called some of her ideas “bogus.” So if he was to endorse someone to be the next governor of California – by default it would most likely have been Jerry Brown. However, this minute clip of Whitman parroting Schwarzenegger platitudes is pretty stinging…we’re guessing for Schwarzenegger.

But now that we think of it – Whitman does remind us of a Dana Carvey character, who famously spoofed Schwarzenegger as Hans and Franz. “Girlie men?” He’s the missing link! We’ve found it!

Leno’s Back at Late Night Line-Up: American Heroes and Zeros

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NBC’s revival of their prime time line-up, er Jay Leno moving back to late night, starts next week. His guests include athletes who won gold at the Olympics like Apolo Ohno, Lindsay Vonn and Shaun White and others who are just famous for being trashy and on TV like the Jersey Shore kids, Kim Kardashian and Sarah Palin.

From NYT:

Monday, March 1 – Guests include Jamie Foxx, the Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and a musical performance by Brad Paisley

Tuesday, March 2 – Guests include Sarah Palin, the Olympic snowboarder Shaun White

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Bernie Brillstein Dies at 77

Bernie Brillstein.jpgBernie Brillstein, one of the premiere manager/producers in the industry and the orchestrator behind the careers of John Belushi, Jim Henson and a slew of ‘Saturday Night Live’ stars, died this week from complications stemming from double-bypass heart surgery in February.

Brillstein ran the most successful management company in Hollywood in the 1980s and ’90s, repping such stars as Lorne Michaels, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Geena Davis, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Dabney Coleman, Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller, Nicolas Cage, Rob Lowe and Jay Tarses.Brillstein partnered with Brad Grey in 1991. After producing such shows with Brillstein as “The Sopranos,” “Just Shoot Me,” “NewsRadio” and “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” Grey went on to become the chairman and CEO for Paramount Pictures.

Brillstein was an outgoing, avuncular Santa Clause type who will be sorely missed.

New York Times Has 1,200 Advance Obits In The Can

In a new feature up on mediabistro, New York Times obituaries editor Bill McDonald pulls back the thin black veil, if only slightly, on the obit-writing process — and it doesn’t sound terribly dissimilar to how Dana Carvey‘s Tom Brokaw handled Gerald Ford:

Despite the potential for awkwardness, anticipation is key when it comes to producing obituaries for major figures. “You have to maintain a bank of advance obits in order to have length and depth and fact-checking,” McDonald explains. “It would be impossible to write on deadline otherwise.” The Times itself boasts a bank of over 1,200 such “advancers” — the oldest was penned back in 1982, also a case where the subject has outlived the author — and they are constantly refreshing the copy. “Some become obsolete and have to be rewritten,” says McDonald. “And some are fine, they get a minor dusting and in the paper they go.”

Prepping obituaries for important figures in advance is crucial because it eliminates the frenzy of creating them at the last minute and prevents factual errors from being introduced in haste. “We could never produce a comprehensive, well-researched, well-crafted 5,000-word biography of a head of state, say, or a literary giant, in a day’s time or less,” says McDonald. “And yet our print readers would expect to see such an effort from the Times in their morning papers the day after a major figure died. Our Web readers would probably expect to see the same in minutes.”

But with so many people to cover, how do they decide which ones to tackle first? One way major news outlets like the Times and the Post make the call is by monitoring the declining health of notables, as well as other factors including age, external risks and prominence. McDonald likens this challenge to “battlefield triage — tending to the most aged and the supremely important first, and then hoping the others can hang on a little longer until we can get to them.”

  • Death Goes Digital