"If you're a pretty good actor and live long enough, you can play any role," said Len Lesser, sitting on a worn couch just after finishing an evening performance at A Noise Within in Glendale.
Fred calls Lamont a "big dummy." Aunt Esther warns Fred to "Watch it, sucka!" Fred fakes a heart attack, crying out heavenward, "Elizabeth, I'm comin' to join you!"
Thirty years ago, when few representations of blacks appeared on television, "Sanford & Son," starring Redd Foxx, brought such gags into the pop culture lexicon. And for most of its 1972-1977 run, a couple of Jewish boys, Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein, oversaw the writing on the top-rated African American sitcom. Today, "Sanford" is the second most-watched program among viewers age 25-54 on rerun cable outlet TV Land, trailing only its doppelganger -- the wholesome, decidedly white "The Andy Griffith Show."
On Monday, July 7, Comedy Central will premiere the first of a six-part series called, "Heroes of Jewish Comedy." Unfortunately, the series suffers for being a clip job not up to its subject. Less documentary and more comedy would help.
Robert Clary doesn't really enjoy sitcoms. Even though he played the French sidekick on one of television's most unusual sitcoms, "Hogan's Heroes," the POW situation comedy (1965-71) set during World War II.
Don't get Howard Rosenberg started on the snobs who dismiss sitcoms as trash.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times TV critic thinks they're an American art form, which is why he's hosting "The Serious Side of Laughter," a panel discussion about television comedy Feb. 17 at the University of Judaism. The panelists -- responsible for some of the biggest yuks on the tube -- include Sam Simon of the groundbreaking animated series "The Simpsons," Judd Apatow of the quirky college romp "Undeclared," Phil Rosenthal of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Larry Wilmore of "The Bernie Mac Show."