Tag Archives: TV

Remembering the Unknown TV Pioneer, Angel Casey

angelcaseyby Legendary Lew

Mitchell Hadley’s blog, “It’s About TV,” currently features a guest entry by Crystal Eidson, one of the people instrumental in getting Tristan Meinecke’s art work rediscovered in Chicago and the world.

Meinecke’s wife, Angel Casey, is even less known than her husband. However, she had an influence in television that still reverberates to this day. Anyone who’s interested in this trailblazer would do well to learn all about her in Eidson’s piece.

After reading it, check out angelcasey.com and tmeinecke.com. The Underground Multiplex also has loads of stuff on The Meinecke Project located here.

lew-win_20160713_205425Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex and former personal video consultant of almost 20 years. He’s a writer, producer and host of the podcast “Mediatrocities” and the upcoming “Vital Media” series.


RIP Underground TV Talk Show Legend Joe Franklin, “The King of Nostalgia”

joefranklinby Legendary Lew

If you were anybody who was anybody in show business, chances are you landed a gig talking to Joe Franklin. Franklin died on Sat. Jan. 24 of prostate cancer at age 88.

Dubbed as “The Wizard of Was,” Franklin was on TV for forty-three years (1950-1993), long outlasting Paar, Carson, Leno, Letterman, Steve Allen. In fact, he fathered the modern day talk show format with his congenial manner and outshined most of them with his encyclopedic knowledge of old-time show business.  He talked like (and dressed like) the best talent agent on Earth.

That knowledge allowed for amazing appearances on his show, not only for legends like Frank Sinatra, but for performers long forgotten or those who didn’t make many talk show appearances. Watching “The Joe Franklin Show” was like having the question, “Whatever happened to…?” answered instantly.  People like Anita O’Day, Arthur Prysock, Jack Gilford, Steve Reeves, Tommy Sands, Sally Kirkland and Carol Lynley showed up and proved they were still alive.

This, of course, made for some great shots by fringe entertainers, such as Sir Monti Rock III:

Here’s Joe talking to The Ramones or as Joe called them The RAYmones. They died before he did:

And talking to horror master Dario Argento:

And finally a guest Franklin said was his favorite:

Joe, you are now among the legends you loved.

Happy Birthday, Sophie Tucker!

Sophie Tucker albums from the 1960s

Sophie Tucker albums from the 1960s

Born on this date in 1886 was the woman known as “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker became a major influence on big-voiced performers like Ethel Merman, Mae West and Bette Midler. Her fantastic comical and risque songs definitely stand the test of time and make her one of last century’s great performers.

The albums above were produced during her later years when her singing voice may have waned, but rather than embarrassing herself pretending she was part of a younger generation–as Mae West tried to do  with unintentionally hilarious results–Tucker used her great stentorian delivery to wax philosophically on life and the grand way to live it.

Here are some good words to live by in the song “Be as Big as the World You Live In”:

…and watch her performing live:

Is Jamie Kennedy the Most Brilliant Man in Entertainment Right Now? I’m Serious.

Jamie Kennedy Trying to Control his Out of Control NYE Special

Jamie Kennedy Trying to Control his Out of Control NYE Special

A few days after Jamie Kennedy’s New Years Eve Special, “First Night” on KDOC rocked the internet world with its disastrous highlights gone viral, Kennedy gave an interview to the New York Times saying he meant for it to go this way:

It was totally supposed to be like that. We wanted to make almost an anti-New Year’s Eve show, and the recipe calls for unexpected. We had an open bar for our guests, we were unrehearsed. It was not glamorous. We shot at the apex of craziness on Hollywood Boulevard on New Year’s Eve, in front of one of the most highly visible places, the Chinese Theater, and it was more like a block party type of feel.

This was probably the smartest response he could have possibly ever given. He knows this is a massive viral hit, regardless of whether it’s the “worst NYEve special ever.” Perhaps it is, but it sure as hell is entertaining. I’ve already watched the highlights 4 times and could watch them another 40 more. Some on the internet have already declared this “the” viral video of 2013.  He already has a sponsor interested for next year and Marilyn Manson apparently wants to be a part of it.

That’s massive success, my friends.

One piece of advice for Jamie:  please, please don’t change anything. Keep the open bar. Keep the same video production crew. If they were drunk that night, get them drunk next broadcast, too.  This approach will work, because it’s a New Years Eve. People expect general nuttiness on that night, so you can definitely get away with that.

You’ve shown interest in an Oscars special, probably taking  an “anti-Oscar” path similar to the way you approached “First Night.” I think that would be a mistake. Don’t concentrate on the Oscars. Your approach would work much better in a Razzies special. The Razzies still haven’t worked out a TV deal. Here’s your chance. John Wilson, head of Razzies, start talking with Jamie. This is the direction you want to go.


KDOC’s Stupefyingly Awful Live New Years Eve Special Hosted by Jamie Kennedy is One for the Video Ages

Host/Exec Producer Jamie Kennedy looking confused during his NYE broadcast. It would get worse.

Host/Exec Producer Jamie Kennedy looking confused during his NYE broadcast. It would get worse.

Wow, oh wow, oh wow. LA TV station decides to do a live New Years Eve show with Jamie Kennedy and runs into missed cues, F-bombs galore, incredibly drunk performers, more boob implants than you’ve ever seen outside a porn video convention, black screen, dead audio and more. It’s a cornucopia of horrendous video production. And this is all in LOS ANGELES! What, they don’t have people there who can handle this sort of thing? NSFW, of course, but it will change your life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to The Real Simple Jack for capturing and editing this disaster for posterity.