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October 25, 2014

BillyCrystal

Gone Too Soon: 'Soap'

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 13th 2010 4:00PM
'Soap'
Normally, you'd think it odd to spotlight a series that lasted four seasons in a column like 'Gone Too Soon.' But 'Soap' was a different kind of series. Like the soap operas it was mocking, it was a premise that could have gone on for years and years. In fact, there's no reason to imagine that it couldn't still be on today.

From 1977 to 1981, Susan Harris crafted what would become a timeless comedy classic for ABC. But despite high ratings throughout its run, 'Soap' would only see four seasons, abruptly ending on a slew of cliffhangers that have frustrated fans for decades.

Despite that, the stellar cast and writing have stood the test of time in a way very few television series can, even if the wardrobes haven't. 'Soap' is as relevant and hilarious today as it was more than thirty years ago now. It deserved a longer life, and both the series and its fans deserved a true ending to Harris' brilliant vision.

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Sacha Baron Cohen Was Considered as Oscar Host

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 19th 2010 3:03PM
sacha_baron_cohen_headshotThe history of the Academy Awards telecast has been generally a pretty traditional show. You've had historic moments of bad taste like Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White, bizarre musical opening numbers from the likes of Lucie Arnaz and Liza Minnelli -- not together -- and, of course, great highs like most of the Billy Crystal musical medleys of the Best Oscar nominees.

This year if Billy were there, his medley would be about 20 minutes long to include all ten nominated movies! They'd have needed an oxygen tank in the wings to revive him after that.

But here's a wickedly wild idea that might have set the Oscars into to fierce wilderness of 'oh-my-God' TV. The Oscar producers were toying with the idea of having Sacha Baron Cohen host the show. Yep, believe it. Producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic were on NPR's 'Fresh Air' with Teri Gross, and they said when they contemplated shaking up the broadcast, they thought of 'Borat.'

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Who'll host the Oscars? The oddsmakers like Billy Crystal

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 3rd 2009 11:29AM
oscar_statuetteOscar roulette is usually played when it comes time to figure out the nominations. However, this year there seems to be a wheel of fortune spinning with the names of possible hosts for the show. Of course, the folks running the show have intimated that they might want to have a few stars sharing the duties. Historically, that hasn't worked out too well.

The other day when Hugh Jackman removed his name from the running, I asked you for your ideas and told you that I like Kathy Griffin. Jimmy liked George Clooney and Justin Timberlake. Sancty suggested Neil Patrick Harris.

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I actually like Jay Leno's 10@10

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 30th 2009 9:00AM
The Jay Leno Show: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, 10@10
The Jay Leno Show
has taken a bit of a beating from viewers and critics, but my household has been watching, and we like the show. Sure, there are parts of it that fall a little flat (like, ok, The Real Housewives of Orange County bit last night; Jason didn't like it either), but overall, Jay's pretty funny no matter what he's doing, and we enjoy the show.

One of the bits we like is 10@10, the part where Jay gets celebrities on his screen and asks them ten questions about anything. In last night's episode, he caught up with Billy Crystal, currently in Philadelphia touring with his show, 700 Sundays.

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The Jay Leno Show: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 30th 2009 2:38AM
Julia Louis-DreyfusI'll give Leno credit for getting creative in the ways he's starting to incorporate celebrities into bits and segments. It fills time for him and gives them their plug opportunities. Tonight, he trotted out three of The Real Housewives of Orange County for a "Battle of the Jaywalk All-Stars Challenge." And ... wow.

I don't watch The Real Houswives of anywhere, but if this is the intellectual capacity of their "stars," then I'm glad I don't. I couldn't tell if they were putting on an act or if they were being themselves. Either way, it was obnoxious and I wanted to reach through the screen and strangle each of them. The blondes were enforcing stereotypes left and right!

If it was all an act, then that's even more unfortunate, because it means they're playing characters rather than being themselves. What? A reality show that's less than real? It was funny that their first reaction to seeing a picture of Nancy Pelosi was that she needed botox. And of course, they had no idea who she was, or anyone else.

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Don Rickles on the D-List, The Tonight Show, and more

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 7th 2009 2:03PM
Don RicklesIt's always great to see Don Rickles on TV. He's rarely out of form, and he has a knack for sailing some great zingers past the censors. Which means his appearance on last night's My Life on the D-List was a perfect opportunity, a place where he could be a bit more loose.

We got a taste of that from him, walking around Kathy Griffin's house, but we also got a glimpse of the guy I have heard about from comedians who've met Rickles - the old softie who is ever willing to talk shop with other comics. It was a great moment when Griffin and Rickles talked about how both of their mothers would try to tell them not to pick on people so much, with Griffin's mom providing a bit of the dialogue. Meeting Rickles was on Griffin's mother's "bucket list."

I thought I'd use the occasion to take a look around YouTube to find some of Rickles' best TV appearances. He seems to have been everywhere, from The View to cable.

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Neil Patrick Harris saves the Tony Awards

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 8th 2009 12:02PM
NP Harris TonysIf you had DVR'd the Tony Awards on CBS last night, or switched off the set after Elton John's Billy Elliot, The Musical won the final big award of the night -- Best Musical -- you missed the best thing in the entire show. In a word, Neil Patrick Harris.

At a few minutes after 11 o'clock, Tony host Neil Patrick Harris wrapped up the broadcast, but instead of just saying goodnight and urging viewers to go see a Broadway show, Neil did a musical number and it was the high point of the night. In true Barney Stinson style, the How I Met Your Mother star (and sure bet Emmy nominee), performed a song that was as good as any Billy Crystal Oscar opening. Funny, snarky and pointed, it really skewered the Tonys, almost like a Mad magazine parody.

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Larry Wilmore: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 5th 2008 3:41PM
Larry WilmoreAlmost as soon as I arrived in Beverly Hills for the press tour on July 13, I had an assignment: find a power brick for my laptop, which I had left behind in New Jersey. One frantic and sweaty trip to Radio Shack later, I was ready for my next assignment: a brief interview with The Daily Show's Senior Black Correspondent, Larry Wilmore.

Wilmore was on hand to promote Make 'Em Laugh, a wide-ranging PBS documentary series on the history of modern comedy that's set to air in 2009 (it was announced that day that Billy Crystal is hosting the series). Right after the interview, Wilmore was on a panel with two other documentary participants: original SNL writer Anne Beatts (whom I also interviewed) and comedian Richard Lewis.

I only had a few minutes with Wilmore, so I quickly moved on from the special to ask him about how he got the Daily Show gig after a career spent behind the scenes as a writer and producer (The PJs, The Bernie Mac Show). I also asked him what it's like to work on a show that's so influential on the political and news scene. The interview is after the jump.

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Billy Crystal named host of Make 'Em Laugh

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 16th 2008 7:57PM
Thirteen/WNET and Ghost Light films named Billy Crystal host of the new documentary series Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America. The six-hour documentary, which will air in January 2009, will explore the tropes of American comedy and chronicle its evolution.

The comedian will appear in the opening of each episode and introduce viewers to the funniest moments in American entertainment. Some of the comedic talents that will be featured include: Charlie Chaplin, Jack Benny, Abbott & Costello, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, Anne Beatts, Woody Allen, Larry Wilmore, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Richard Lewis, Jon Stewart, and Chris Rock.

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American Idol: Idol Gives Back 2008

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 9th 2008 7:45PM
Miley Cyrus(S07E29) Well, this is what you've all been waiting for, right? What's that? Finale? Yeah, I guess that'll be cool, too. But if you've listened to Ryan all season then you know TONIGHT is really what it's all about! If you're looking to find out who got eliminated by vote last night you're going to have to wait until tomorrow. But if you're looking for two-and-a-half hours of entertainment chock full of celebrities and song and charity, then you're looking for "Idol Gives Back."

Last year's inaugural edition was very good, and Kristin's report of the Idol Gives Back taping from this past Sunday was also very positive. We don't have any pesky (non) eliminations to deal with like last year, so just kick back, donate and enjoy. And, if you want, join us online and chat about it in real-time with other giving Idol fans.

You can join the chat starting just before 7:30/6:30pm CDT by following this link. Look for the full episode review right here later tonight.

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Ten actors I want to see on TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 10th 2008 12:00PM
network tenHave you noticed lately that the new faces cropping up on TV series in starring roles are often actors you've never seen before -- or if you have, it was in a supporting role of a feature or a foreign TV show? Think about it, Lee Pace as the Pie Man on Pushing Daisies, Jonny Lee Miller on Eli Stone, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in New Amsterdam, Michelle Ryan in Bionic Woman, all of these leads are relatively new faces. That's one way to cast series. Another is for big stars to take to TV, if not for the first time, than for a return.

In an interesting article at IGN.com, blogger Travis Fickett points out that there used to be a line of demarcation between the worlds of acting: film actors vs. television actors. But nowadays the stars are going back and forth a lot more fluidly.

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TV Squad Daily with Brigitte - VIDEO

by Brigitte Dale, posted Aug 15th 2007 5:23PM
Hey, Brigitte here with TV Squad Daily. I'll be covering the TV stories I find interesting each day, Monday through Friday, in this video blog.

Today on TV Squad Daily:
  • Kim Kardashian is my new favorite source of embarrassingly stupid news.
  • Billy Crystal won't be taking over Conan's time slot, but that doesn't mean he won't be hosting a late-night talk show.
  • Clay Aiken will be appearing on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? to raise money for a charity.
The video's embedded below, or you can subscribe to this podcast via our feed. Plus, you can also download the file directly.

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