Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Actor: Allen Garfield

For this week's Tuesday's Overlooked, I decided to go in a different direction. Instead of focusing on a specific movie or TV series, I'm looking at an actor. This week, it's character actor Allen Garfield.

Born Allen Goorwitz (he used his real name in credits for a few years), Garfield usually plays officious jerks and comic foils (usually both at the same time). He studied acting at the Actors Studio under Lee Strasburg and Elia Kazan and has appeared in films such as The Conversation, Mother, Jugs, and Speed, The Candidate, and Nashville. He's also appeared in no less than three previous Tuesday's Overlooked Films on this blog: Teachers, Get Crazy, and Continental Divide. In the latter two, he is cast against type as more agreeable, jovial characters. Garfield unfortunately suffered a stroke in the 2000s and hasn't acted since.

In researching this post, I came across a fine retrospective of Garfield's career, which you can read here.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked: John Pinette, 1964-2014

For this week's Tuesday's Overlooked, I look at comedian John Pinette, who died this weekend at the age of 50.

I've mentioned Pinette on the blog several times before, as he was one of my favorite comedians the past few years. He didn't perform biting social commentary like George Carlin, or do political satire like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert, or anything high concept. His comedy was mostly about himself and his obvious weight issues. I enjoyed and admired his work simply because it made me laugh out loud every time. Anyone who can do that to me on a regular basis leaves an impact on me.

I had the pleasure of seeing Pinette perform in person back in 2011, and it was a night I still think about and laugh about today. Now I'm saddened to know that I won't get another opportunity to do so. Pinette had his problems to be sure; besides his weight, he spent time in rehab last year for painkiller addiction. Still, when thinking about him, all that comes to mind is his ability to make me laugh until I cried.

Here are some clips that showcase his humor. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The New Show

This week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV is the 1984 sketch comedy series The New Show.

The New Show launched in January 1984 with an impressive pedigree. The show marked the return to television of Lorne Michaels, who had left Saturday Night Live years before (and would return to SNL in 1985 and remain there to this day). The show also boasted as writers Jack Handey, Alan Zweibel, Buck Henry, Al Franken, and Tom Davis among others. Regular cast members included Henry, Dave Thomas, and Valri Bromfield, as well as frequent guest stars John Candy and Catherine O'Hara (who, like Thomas, were SCTV alums). The series was very much in the style of SNL, with guest hosts, musical guests, and multiple comedic sketches. It aired Friday nights at 10pm.

However, the series never clicked with viewers. It was in a tough time slot opposite ratings powerhouses 20/20 and Falcon Crest, and the hip audience that would be attracted to its offbeat sense of humor was likely away from TVs at that time. The New Show ran for nine weeks in the winter of 1984 and earned the dubious distinction of being the lowest-rated prime time series of any of the big three networks for the entire 1983-1984 season. The series' failure was a personal one for Michaels; however, considering he practically runs NBC Entertainment these days, I think he recovered nicely.

Here are some clips from the series. Enjoy!


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