Story | Nov 20, 2014 | 8:38 AM
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Column | Nov 7, 2014 | 5:20 PM"The Merv Griffin Show, 1962-1986" (MPI Home Video). Even for many of us who remember the genuine article, the image of talk show host Merv Griffin is inextricably mixed up with the impression Rick Moranis unleashed on "SCTV": "Oooo, we'llberightback." But as this filling and fulfilling new DVD romp through the late midcentury demonstrates, that was barely a parody at all. There is a kind of jazzy intimacy to his sound, like a cocktail lounge strapped to the back of a Lear Jet; he pronounces the favorite word "sensational" with an exclamation mark attached to the middle syllable, as if he's taking a corner at high speed. With an afternoon talk show on NBC debuting on the same day (Oct. 1, 1962) that Johnny Carson took over "The Tonight Show," Griffin was a man of the old school, when talk shows were more devoted to talk than they are now and guests flogged their wares somewhat less conspicuously. (Some guests do just seem to be have been favorites of the series, whether great -- Richard Pryor, Henny Youngman -- or small, like rock-singing celebrity hairdresser Monti Rock III.) They have a leisurely air.
Story | Apr 19, 2014 | 11:00 AM
Column | Mar 25, 2014 | 4:41 PM
Story | May 7, 2014 | 8:30 PM
Elliot R. Wax, a former television agent at William Morris and the leader of his own agency, died on May 4 from complications of kidney disease at his home in Lake Sherwood, Calif. He was 84. Wax packaged many hit variety and comedy shows while at WMA...