Posts Tagged ‘Mel Brooks’
It’s the kind of spontaneous testimonial that any new outlet dreams of. For The Stream, Al Jazeera America recently dialed up Mel Brooks via satellite from Los Angeles. At one point, the 87-year-old comedy legend took a moment to praise the instrument of his interview:
“Let me say something about Al Jazeera. I’m doing this because when Al Jazeera was first on the air, and I first heard about it, I thought it was probably Arab, Muslim, you know, slanted and maybe a little anti-Semitic, I didn’t know. And then I got to see it on my local station in Santa Monica and it was like a breath of fresh air.”
“It was like the New York Times of [TV] news. It was either MSNBC on the left or FOX on the right. It was giving me the news as earnestly and as honestly as I ever got it, and that’s why I salute Al Jazeera, and that’s why I’m happy to be here doing this even though the money is very small.”
Gene Wilder, who turns 80 today, refuses to somersault into the 21st century. Fitting for a man whose stage name was inspired by the works of long-ago novelists Thomas Wolfe and Thornton Wilder.
What appears to be Wilder’s official Twitter is delightfully stalled at the January 2, 2013 mark. Last Thursday, the actor was absent from the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony at the Dolby Theatre honoring Mel Brooks, delivering instead a brief video message. And it’s hard to imagine a Hollywood star memoir being further from the boiler-plate norm than Wilder’s 2006 tome Kiss Me Like A Stranger.
Wilder has gone on to author three novels and a collection of short stories. His latest, Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance, is set during World War II and tells the tale of an American corporal chasing across Europe after a mysterious Danish woman.
Some epic Internet math was laid out last night at YouTube’s Space LA by The Young Turks COO Steve Oh. Speaking to a snazzily-dressed crowd of fellow TYT Network personnel, show fans and supporters, he tried to frame just how staggering one billion YouTube views for the show – reached April 19 – is.
Assuming each view counts for an averaged-out minute, Oh said, that’s a billion minutes. Or… 2,000 years. In other words, the online show that began in an east coast basement is now on par with one of Mel Brooks‘ most famous characters. Too bad they couldn’t wrangle Brooks for the April 19 broadcast.
Another funny remark by Oh, who spoke from the lobby stage ahead of his New Jersey high school pal Cenk Uygur, was a remark that touched on the fact that many Young Turks personnel work for below-market-rate salaries. After noting that one producer had turned down another opportunity that paid three times his TYT salary, Oh joked that he still had to fire that person “for being so stupid.”
Here’s a fun challenge for DVR manufacturers. How can a future machine be set to truncate a program that “is about 73% really good and the rest… in the crapper”?
That assessment comes from the person at the center of the May 20 episode of PBS’ American Masters – Mel Brooks. And when you consider the Woody Allen-worthy jazz soundtrack coursing through the promo below, it may also be time for The Woodman to cast Brooks in a movie. Before it’s too late, for either or both of of these Your Show of Shows alums.
Any Hollywood company that can claim a 25-30% annual profit jump for the past five years and gross annual revenue growth of five to 10% deserves a media shout-out. This morning, Shout! Factory gets just that from TheWrap senior writer Brent Lang.
Two key assets in Shout! Factory’s retro-DVD arsenal are Judd Apatow‘s short-lived Freaks and Geeks series and the films of B movie maestro Roger Corman. For the former, company execs nimbly worked around some music licensing issues while, for the latter, they beefed things up with old-school DVD Extras featuring interviews with the likes of Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard:
“The DVD market was slipping when we made the deal, but, on the other hand, the slippage of DVD sales isn’t a cliff, it’s sort of a slope,” Corman said. “The hill is sloping downward, but it’s not dead. There’s still money to be made and Shout! has done just that.”
Santa Anita Park is doing a lot to raise the profile of its annual Breeder’s Cup races kicking off tomorrow. Per an article in the Pasadena Star-News by Brenda Gazzar, they’ve got Tony Bennett singing Saturday before the big $5 million race and a host of new celebrity supporters across the country.
But in terms of old school PR, Santa Anita has for years been able to count on the all-star comedy stable of Mel Brooks, his close friend Dick Van Patten and the Conway family duo of Tim and Tim Jr. Among the memorable anecdotes in Gazzar’s piece is this one, about a father passing on some life skills:
After returning from a day at the races with his father, Conway Jr. improvised a Show and Tell [at Encino Elementary] by teaching his classmates how to “box an exacta.”
When the Encino school’s principal told Conway Sr. it was “borderline child abuse” to teach a kid to gamble, he deadpanned: “Let me tell you what child abuse is. (He picks horse 3 and 5), it comes in 5-3, and he doesn’t have it boxed” and loses. “That’s child abuse.”
Charlie Callas, a regular in Mel Brooks‘ great comedic films of the 70′s and 80′s, died yesterday in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 86 according to his IMDB page and other news sources, although the AP, Hollywood Reporter and some other sources say he was 83.
Callas was best known for his roles in Silent Movie, History of the World: Part I, and High Anxiety, where he hilariously played a cocker spaniel.
James Rainey has discovered The Young Turks and their Internet talk show thingy. We of course follow the plight of Cenk Uygur and crew closely because they’re down the street – they film out of a building owned by Mel Brooks on Wilshire – and they’re a phenom and like nothing else we’ve ever seen. Well…almost.
It’s tempting to view Uygur as the prototype for a new generation of political commentators, who hone their craft with blogs and Web videos and then transition to older platforms. Political commentator and comedian Tina Dupuy calls Uygur “the Tila Tequila of political talk-show hosts.” Others, no doubt, will follow.
But unlike the one-video wonders who burst on the pop music scene, it’s likely that the future political talkers in the Uygur mode will make their bones more gradually. It takes more than one catchy lyric to build the world view, credibility and tone that win audiences in the long run.
Previously on FBLA:
It could be weird to just have one hour of content to fill as opposed to the three hours plus bonus content Uygur does five days a week in their mid-Wilshire studio owned by Mel Brooks. This is Uygur’s first time as a fill-in host for a cable news show although it’s long been rumored that TYT is being developed for a basic cable show.
Mediabistro interview with Uygur is here: Hey, How’d You Draw 250 Million Viewers to Your Web Show, The Young Turks?
Previously on FBLA:
The entire press release is after the jump.
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