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Posts Tagged ‘George Burns’

Stacy Jenel Smith Bids Farewell to Co-Columnist Marilyn Beck

MarilynBeckStacyJenelSmithAt the top of the in-house obituary for Marilyn Beck, who passed away over the weekend at age 85 after a three-year battle with lung cancer, there is a great picture of Beck with Elvis Presley and a reminder of this reporter’s place in the entertainment journalism pantheon:

Beck was the last of the old school, high-powered Hollywood-based newspaper columnists with some 500 papers, domestic and international, running her five-day-a-week column at the height of her fame. That was in addition to her NBC Marilyn Beck’s Hollywood Outtakes specials, her long-running stints on television’s syndicated PM Magazine and E! Channel Gossip Show, her reports on LA radio station KFI and her books.

Following a divorce, Beck set up shop in a Beverly Hills canyon home on El Roble Lane. For a time, she wrote alongside her daughter Andee. It was also from that hillside abode that Beck embraced the Internet very early on. She cited George Burns as a favorite interview subject, feuded with Robert Blake and gained the trust of various other Hollywood stars during her long career.

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It’s Time to Admit It: Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin are a Classic Comedy Duo

The medium of television and the sensibilities of comedy are vastly different today than they were during the runs of such gold-standard bearers as Mike Nichols and Elaine May, George Burns and Gracie Allen or Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. So just to preface this for comedy purists; we would never suggest that a 21st century couple, atop today’s fractured media landscape, could ever lay claim to that kind of titanic yucks aura.

GriffinCooperNYEHowever… As a sign of just how much we have come to love the NYE shenanigans of one Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, FishbowlNY has no trouble admitting that we DVR-ed the entire thing December 31 and watched the entire thing January 1. And enjoyed every minute of it.

This year’s seventh go-round (by Cooper’s count) or eighth (by Griffin’s) ranks as the best so far. Largely because, after a couple of borderline years, Griffin seems to have finally read the contractual fine print and figured out more nimbly than ever how to straddle the Times Square barrier.

One of the highlights of Cooper-Griffin 2013 was when she launched into the first of several recurring bits mocking her co-host’s banal tweets and starved-for-attention Twitter M.O. Cooper was literally doubled over with laughter as Griffin put on her therapist party hat:

“Why do you read every single [reply] tweet?”

“I know the hurt little boy who lives inside the model body. He’s five-years-old. Mommy’s missing, she’s at Studio 54. His soup is cold… And all he wants is love. So he’s reading every, single tweet…”

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Revered Journalism Professor Jolene Combs Passes Away

She helped shape the minds of many a brand name journalist, including FOX 11′s Lauren Sanchez, ESPN Radio’s Beto Duran, and Washington Post reporter Jason Reid.

Now, some of Jolene Combs‘ former colleagues and students at El Camino College are paying fond tribute in the wake of her death at age 69 from apparent pneumonia complications, as reported last Friday by Daily Breeze reporters Larry Altman (a regular speaker in Combs’ classes) and Douglas Morino (a one-time student). At the heart of Combs’ methodology was a principle that the late George Burns was equally fond of espousing when asked how he could keep going as a comedian–Do what you love to do:

“She really wanted her students to succeed,” said Lori Medigovich, an El Camino journalism professor since 1989. “She wanted them to have a good life and be happy… One of her biggest things was no matter what you do in life, you should love it, embrace it and do your absolute best at it. Whether it was journalism or, as she would say, selling refrigerators.”

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