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April 26, 2007



Here is a suggestion for a movie I happened to catch on TCM. A King In New York. From 1957. Starring Charlie Chaplin. Being a Buster Keaton fan, I wasn't expecting much. But it was funny in a Jerry Lewish Cinderfella kind of way. Satires on TV ads. A hot actress. Broad frustration situations like he's seated in a restaurant next to the band and waiter can't hear his order. The plot is a deposed king in exile gets called before a suspicious Congress. That's not especially funny. But what is funny is some of the media objects of ridicule are still around.WK


I've been harping about DEXTER for many moons, Ken. Glad you finally caught up with us!


Between Dexter, This American Life and late night movies like Styricon I have to say, we have dumped HBO and decided to stick with Showtime. And that was a shocker to us.Even Sho's entree to the late night reality sex genre "Debbie Does Dallas.....again" was more fun and entertaining than Cathouse, which just looks like a pandering ad for Dennis Hof.Go Showtime!

Tallulah Morehead

"But it was funny in a Jerry Lewish Cinderfella kind of way."In Comedy Heaven, the late Sir Charles Chaplin is weeping, I think with joy over the highest praise he could ever receive. WK, if you liked that picture, you should really watch some of his GOOD films, like "City Lights", one of the finest masterpieces in the history of film, or "Modern Times," or "The Gold Rush." Hell, I even love "Monsieur Verdoux," but I wouldn't go to that one next if I were you.Chaplin was no Jerry Lewis, and I should know, but he's good anyway. The French think Jerry's a genius. Everyone else knows Charlie was one.


ken mentioned pratfalls..im a writer working in singapore, and i actually think the art of the pratfall is something that has been lost. I was watching an old preston sturges comedy with henry fonda and barbara stanwyck and that one had henry fonda falling over sofas and slipping on mud. Hilarious stuff, because it was so unexpected and made his stuffy character human.im now trying to introduce as surreptitiouly as i can, a pratfall, into a character, when i want to take a mickey out of him or her. i hope i am not selling out. haha.


I worked with Tom Straw on both those series, as did someone else in the news this week, though tragically, for a much less noble reason: he murdered his wife: See http://crimeblog.us/?p=385


Of course "City Lights" made 21 years earlier in 1936 was Chaplin's masterpiece. "A King In New York" in 1957 was his last starring full length comedy. And it was funny with gags hold up today. They reminded me of Jerry Lewis gags at their funniest. It was an outright comedy in contrast to the earlier "Limelight" from 1952. It made fun of the targets of 1957. Teenagers, rock and roll. Hidden camera TV shows. Stupid TV ads. In addition to satire about the HUAC. It's worth checking out. WK


Sure Showtime has some nice shows, but nothing anywhere can come close to "The Wire". Nothing. Period. End of discussion.


Dexter's my boyfriend, Ken. Hands off! ;-)Stacey


I've now listened to Great Big Radio at work for two days. I'm really enjoying it. But man, those transitional jokes are awful!

Great Big Radio Guy

Anon...at last! SOMEONE gets it! Thanks for listening (and thanks for the plug, Ken. I now have more listeners than I had on regular radio).


Please bring back the CBS Sunday night movie,and what have the networks done to Saturday nights? all re-runs for the most part.I was hoping for more "Jesse Stone" movies with Tom Selleck that are so good! Good writting,good acting.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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