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Redd Foxx

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  • TV Picks: Merv, 'Newsroom,' 'Last Patrol,' 'Worricker,' 'Poirot'

    TV Picks: Merv, 'Newsroom,' 'Last Patrol,' 'Worricker,' 'Poirot'
    "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.
  • Bill Cosby is in role of outcast after sexual assault allegations

    Bill Cosby is in role of outcast after sexual assault allegations
    A generation ago, Bill Cosby played the role of America's Dad, with a No. 1-rated family sitcom, a runaway bestseller about fatherhood and a lucrative ad career built around his Everyman image. His legacy as a pioneering African American entertainer...

    The finger of fate was never fickle to George Schlatter

     The finger of fate was never fickle to George Schlatter
    Award-winning producer-writer-director George Schlatter is a kind of P.T. Barnum of the small screen. An innovative showman, the 81-year-old Schlatter turned the comedy genre on its head with the hip, groundbreaking series "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"...

    Inside Hannibal Buress' Comedy Central special

    Inside Hannibal Buress' Comedy Central special
    Neal Marshall wasn't thrilled. About 15 minutes before showtime he walked to the lip of the stage, put his hands on his hips, held his body in a dejected slouch and stared out into the Vic Theatre. He had done this many times, in many theaters: As...

    Elliot Wax, TV Agent Who Packaged Shows From 'Carol Burnett' to 'Three's Company,' Dies at 84

    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...