Friday, June 28, 2013

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 1, 2013); Inside Sanford and Son: Comedy and Cocaine by Ted Bergman

It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of July 1-5, 2013, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVRs (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

Monday, July 1, 2013
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl) - Watch Max on a repeat of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development/The Larry Sanders Show/The Ropers) - Jeffrey appears on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Molly Shannon (Kath & Kim) - Molly is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) - Miranda stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Grant Show (Accidentally on Purpose) - Grant guests in NYC on New York Live on WNBC4 at 12:30pm in the NYC market.
  • Laura Prepon (That '70s Show/Are You There, Chelsea) - Laura drops by Better TV, so check your local listings.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on a repeat of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry is a guest on a repeat ofLate Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Charlie Sheen (Anger Management/Two and a Half Men) - Charlie appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony chats on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Tune in to see Patricia on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney drops by The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Brad Garrett ('Til Death/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Brad is a guest on Joy Behar: Say Anything! at 9pm on Current.
  • The Cast of Hot in Cleveland - Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves are guests on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Watch Neil on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) - Miranda visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jennette McCurdy (Sam & Cat/iCarly) - Jennette chats on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Steve Carell (The Office) - Steve is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Zendaya (Shake It Up) - Zendaya discusses her role as an ambassador of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and her recent endeavor performing and making it to the finals on the hit show Dancing with the Stars on Marie at 12pm on Hallmark Channel.
  • Bill Engvall (The Bill Engvall Show) - Bill opens up about lending his hand to help the children at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and his accomplishment winning Best Male Standup at the American Comedy Awards on Marie at 12pm on Hallmark Channel.
  • Roseanne (Roseanne) - Roseanne stops by Katie, so check your local listings.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
  • Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey) - Catch Nick on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - Tune in to see Jennifer on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy chats on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Margaret Cho (All-American Girl) - Margaret guest co-hosts a repeat of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Marilu Henner (Taxi) - Marilu discusses her energy makeover plan on a repeat of The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
Friday, July 5, 2013
  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Watch Woody on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil appears on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Tune in to see Miley on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Eve (Eve) - Eve chats on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!


Ted Bergman

Today we have a very special hilarious article about Sanford & Son written by one of the writers himself--Ted Bergman! It's not a Biography episode or anything, it's a funny take on the behind the scenes. But first, here is a short (and funny) bio about Ted by Ted: "I grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA. I sold my first TV script, The Munsters, while still in college, yet girls continued to ignore me. A short time later I became the youngest staff writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, earning an Emmy nomination which I've never quite lived up to. My producing and writing credits range from The Hollywood Squares to All in the Family, Sanford and Son, What's Happening!!, Gimme a Break, The Garry Shandling Show and way too many unsold pilots like, Who Needs Friends?! and The al-Qaida Comedy Hour. In the mid '90s, unable to take a deep breath or make a left turn, I and family moved from Los Angeles to Sebastopol, California, in the heart of the Napa Sonoma wine country." He is now working on this Dogs and Cats comedy.

Please read his articles below and I think you'll have a good laugh and maybe even learn a fact or two. Sanford & Son was such a good show. Enjoy!

Basically, there's only one real problem on Sanford and Son. But, it is serious and we deal with it every day. It comes in the form of a question that everyone asks first thing in the morning. "Is Redd here?" And if he is, "How's he feeling?" Redd Foxx likes cocaine and marijuana, is a chain cigarette smoker, loves to late night party and hates to rehearse. He will not show up at least one day a week, often two, sometimes three. And when he does come in, he's frequently groggy, hoarse, sometimes barely able to speak. If you watch the old reruns, you can tell by his voice what went on the night (or weekend or week) before. It is testament to the patience and people skills of the producers, Saul Turtletaub and Bernie Orenstein that we manage to get a show taped every week - and that it is as good as it is. Redd's immense talent manages to overcome most of his evils, but I've often wondered how great this series might have been if he (and others in the cast) hadn't been high so much of the time.

Tonight is our Bon Voyage party. Garry Shandling (who knows I am a shaky flyer), has brought a cake with a toy jetliner crashed into the frosting. Cute. I've already told everyone at Sanford and Son that I'm not returning as head writer for a third season. That's right; I'm walking away from one of the most beloved, successful situation comedies in television history at the height of its popularity. I've also turned down offers to write and produce either Grady or The Sanford Arms, both which will turn out to be unsuccessful spin-offs of Sanford and Son. Two days ago in the NBC commissary I was introduced to a young producer, Dick Ebersol. Dick is putting together an innovative, late night comedy show called, Saturday Night Live and wants to know if I'm interested. I say no thanks. I'm going to Europe with my girlfriend and I don't know when I'll be back.

We've bought a new, bright red, '76 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible and will be picking it up in Munich. I'm uneasy about this trip. I'm coming off a mammoth hit show and suddenly I'm this comedy writing genius that everybody wants to throw money at. I'm worried that if I go away, all that will too. Kathy thinks not. She says now is the time, when we have the youth, the money and the freedom. She believes walking away like this will only add élan and mystique to my persona, make me even more in demand when I return. She will be right. There's another subtle, more insidious reason that prompts me to go. I'm not even aware of it until the end of this article. So, we'll talk about it then.

FRED
Esther, you've broken one of the commandments.

ESTHER
Yeah?

FRED Thou shalt not covet Godzilla's face.
Two years earlier, a simple, but fortuitous incident leads to all this. I am leaving my apartment to go down to the little corner market for an ice-cream bar. I've been struggling to come up with a story idea for my spec. Sanford and Son script, so I'll do anything to avoid sitting in front of the typewriter. Waiting at the elevator are my new neighbors; two Japanese girls who are opening a restaurant just down the street. The subject of Japanese food provides the catalyst for the Sanford and Son story that has eluded me. This spec script can't be just good, it has to blow them away. I haven't had a steady writing job in almost two years and I'm now pushing thirty four. I have about two months before I run out of money and either hang myself or go sell real estate. In the seventies, the Japanese were the Arabs and Chinese of today. They had gobs of money and were snapping up properties and businesses all over the US. My story will be about a Japanese company trying to buy up all the houses on Fred Sanford's block in Watts in order to build a brewery - and Fred is the lone holdout.

I finish the script and turn it over to my new agent at ICM, Helen Kushnick. At this stage of my career, Helen is perfect for me. She is ruthless, cutthroat, has a killer instinct. Rumor is, when she had surgery to remove an ulcer, they also found the head of a sea turtle, two small tuna and an old license plate in her stomach. But Helen is fiercely loyal, and as long as the ass she's kicking is not mine, go get 'em! She will eventually represent talents like Jimmie Walker, Elayne Boosler, David Letterman and Jay Leno. A week later, Helen calls, tells me Sanford and Son loved my script, wants to buy it and I'm getting all the money, over five grand! I soon meet with the Sanford producers, Saul Turtletaub and Bernie Orenstein for rewrite notes. Two weeks later I get the second fairy tale phone call of my career. They were so impressed with my rewrite that I'm being offered a job on staff!

FRED
Esther, go into the kitchen, stick your head in the freezer and make me an Uglysicle.
Saul and Bernie are the best producers I will ever work with. Here, I am allowed the freedom and creativity to put my stamp on the show. In the next two seasons I will be credited for writing eleven episodes of Sanford and Son and almost completely rewrite a dozen more. Yes, there were better sitcoms before and after Sanford and Son. But, for its time the show certainly was brave. I don't think Redd Foxx ever thought of himself as heroic, but his character of Fred Sanford wasn't hesitant to find humor in social and racial injustices. Keep in mind this is only a decade removed from attack dogs, fire hoses and three young civil rights workers being murdered in Mississippi. And, whatever its place in television history, there's no doubt that Sanford and Son is special to African Americans. I've had countless black people tell me how much they loved and still love the show. I've been asked many times how can a white guy write for black people? My best answer is that I just wrote what I thought was funny and let the cast decide if it was acceptable. A good example of this is a joke I wrote for my spec script. The episode was supposed to open with Fred and Grady playing a board game. Fred is rolling the dice when Lamont enters and asks what they're doing.
FRED
We're playing Monopoly.

LAMONT
Monopoly? That's a kid's game.

FRED Yeah, but where else can a black man own hotels, railroads, power companies, plus a card that lets you outta jail free?
The joke gets a huge laugh when it's first read around the table, but is immediately cut. Redd says that black people don't play Monopoly. So, maybe it was all those soul food dinners I consumed on the set. Beats me...

Because so many positive things come together for me on this show, it's not surprising I get off to a fast start. Monday morning, my very first day, all the cast and crew are seated around a big table, the script for this week's episode in front of us. I've already read the script, made notes; I'm excited, nervous and primed. This first reading is to give us an idea of what shape the script is in. I also get lucky because Redd rarely shows up on a Monday. About ten minutes into the script we come to a scene where Lamont, trying to be urbane, gives Fred an unusual birthday present, an exotic piece of fruit. Fred looks at it, disappointed, says, "What is it?" Lamont answers, "It's a Papaya." The script indicates "Fred reacts." That's it. As they read it, a line occurs to me and perhaps because of all the adrenalin, I just blurt out, "Fine. Where's my pa, pa present?" It's not protocol; you're supposed to wait for the rewrite meeting after. But, it gets a good laugh around the table and an approving wink from Bernie.
FRED
Esther, when you go to the grocery, do me a favor.

ESTHER
What?

FRED
Tell the bag boy to put one over your head.
From that day, I knew I was going to do well. Unlike Smothers Brothers and The Jonathan Winters Show where I sometimes struggled to find my voice, here the producers encourage me to say what's on my mind. Yeah, I know, with me that's like giving a four year old an Uzi.

Even if your stars aren't doing drugs, writing/working in series television can be grueling. There is a pervasive macho concept in television production that the later at night you stay up to work on the script, the better the show will be. Think about that for a moment. Now, think about it at two in the morning. Case closed. However, there is enormous pressure to make these shows succeed. Often, the producer is the creator and has a percentage of the profits. If the series stays on the air for several years, long enough to go into syndication (and later CDs) the financial rewards are stupefying. So, it isn't surprising that the mind set is to work yourself and everybody around you like the Pharaoh is dying and you're trying to finish his freakin' pyramid. On Sanford and Son (and most sitcoms) we have a five day production week for each episode. We start with the first draft script reading on Monday morning and end with the two tapings on Friday night. Monday mornings and Friday nights are the most fun for me. Mondays, even if my name isn't on the script as the accredited writer, I almost always have made a significant rewriting contribution. However, even if I wind up rewriting 100% of somebody else's script, unless we also completely change the story, the WGA dictates the original writer gets the "written by" credit. (And the resultant residual) So, basically, when I'm not writing my own script, I am the in-house, handy man joke fixer.

FRED
Esther, I got a beauty tip for ya. Try using toilet paper on your face.
(This one didn't get on air, but almost made Redd fall out of his chair.)

Redd Foxx rarely shows up on Monday. If he doesn't come in on Tuesday, we start to get uneasy. Tuesday afternoon is the first important rehearsal of the week, the actors walking and talking through the show, scripts still in their hands, lines not yet memorized. However, this rehearsal is also when the director begins blocking the show. Fundamentally, blocking is choreographing the movements of the actors. This has to be intricately planned in advance so the performers don't bump into each other and the cameras don't miss anything. This rehearsal is also the first opportunity for the actors to work with each other in sequence and begin to get their timing down. Over half the time, Redd does not show up on Tuesday. By Wednesday, there's only three days left before the show is taped before an audience. Wednesday afternoons' rehearsal is called the "Dry Run Thru." (no cameras.) This rehearsal is crucial because tonight will be the last opportunity for us to make any extensive changes. Wednesday night is rewrite night and any new material has to be in the script by Thursday morning. We consider ourselves lucky if Redd shows up on Wednesdays. But, even if he does, it is not unusual for him and others in the cast to be high on coke or weed, giggling through the rehearsal like teenagers. Wednesday nights is also when I discover I am good in a room. Tonight is the rewrite night of my original spec script. It's already after ten and we're still struggling to come up with this one last fix. It's an exit line, so it's important. When the Japanese real estate lady is leaving the Sanford home, she says, "Sayonara." Fred is supposed to reply, "Never saw the movie" (If you're frowning, Sayonara was a Marlon Brando movie back in 1957, but an old reference even then.) The so-called joke won't, hasn't worked all week. In frustration, Bernie keeps muttering, "Sayonara, sayonara, sayonara." I have no idea where it comes from, but I answer, "And Frank Sinatra to you too." I make it home in time for Johnny Carson.
ESTHER
I'm not feeling well. Is there some place I can lie down?

FRED Try the fast lane of the freeway.

Thursday is camera blocking day in the set at NBC, Burbank. Again, especially in comedy, blocking is crucial. This is when the camera shots are laid out by the director. Even if something as seemingly minor as a gesture or facial expression is missed, the audience at home won't see it and laughs are lost. In reality, the living room set on Sanford and Son isn't much bigger than an average apartment bedroom and it is vital that every cast member know exactly where to be at every moment. By Thursday, Redd usually shows up. However, the rehearsal is frequently a disaster, and realizing we are twenty four hours away from a live audience, most of us want to go home and hide under the covers until Seinfeld is created. Friday afternoons everybody unwinds a little, might even be a drink or two in someone's office. We've done everything we can to make this show as good as it can be. Now it's in the hands of a fifty-two year old, drug addicted night club comic with an attitude. We'll shoot the same show twice tonight; one at five thirty, the other at eight, with a catered dinner in between. Redd insists that there's plenty of "Soul food." That's okay with me, I love ribs, hot links, sweet potato pie. However, you can have the grits. I cannot see why anyone would want to eat grits. To me, this is the stuff that produced the expression, "Let's throw it against the wall and see if it sticks." As far as I'm concerned, you can leave it there. Our audiences are at least half African American and tonight Redd will, for them, tell it like it is. However, his appeal isn't limited to black people. My father is a seventy-five year old conservative Jew who does not hesitate to use the derogatory Yiddish word for African American, "Schvartze" (literally, "black.") However, he absolutely adores Redd Foxx, thinks he's funnier than Jack Benny. And, miracles of miracles, week after week, show after show, come Friday night, Redd Foxx undergoes an incredible transformation. Suddenly, this man who has been mumbling, sleepwalking all week, is razor sharp, energetic, charming and...hilarious! It defies logic and every show business axiom. And the audiences love him, shouting his name, laughing, stomping their feet. We see this and we shake our heads and smile. For Redd, the audience is the good drug.

FRED
Esther, every time I look at you I feel like singing, "Who Let The Dogs Out?! Who Let The Dogs Out!"

El Segundo is a small town a few miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. It is mostly a blue collar community, home to a refinery and dozens of storage tanks of various nefarious chemicals. On the freeway, everybody knows when they're passing El Segundo because someone in the car will jokingly say, "Wasn't me!" Halfway through the eight o'clock taping, there's a technical problem and we have to stop. It's going to take a few minutes, so Redd walks out to the audience and without preamble, says: "This couple is necking in the car and it's starting to get hot and heavy, they're really steamin' up the windows. Finally, the girl starts panting and moaning and says. 'Oh honey, oh baby, kiss me! Kiss me where it smells!' A perfectly timed pause, then Redd says: "So, he drove her to El Segundo." A few weeks later, we're taping the "Fred Recalls His Army Days" episode. In this particular scene, Fred and Lamont are American spies, captured by the Nazis and expecting at any moment to be interrogated by the Gestapo. Instead, in walks Pat Morita as a Japanese officer. Fred is surprised the "Japanese officer" speaks such good English.

MORITA
Not so surprising, I was educated in your country.

FRED
UCLA?

FRED
No, University of El Segundo

Pat Morita started his career as a stand up comic and often opened for Redd on the road. Redd, always supportive of his friends, one day asks me to come up with a way to use Morita on the show. Thus, Lamont's friend, Ah Chew is created. Pat's debut on Sanford and Son was also Garry Shandling's first writing credit. It turned out to be a good push in the back for both of them.

One Friday afternoon, Redd pops into my office. He and some of the cast are playing Liar's Poker at twenty bucks a pop. I give him what I have in my wallet, a couple of bills. The following Monday morning we're all at the table reading and I'm doing my usual thing, taking notes, concentrating on the script. Surprisingly, Redd has shown up and is sitting across from me. At one point he slides a bill across the table to me, says, "Thanks, Mustache" (This is his nickname for me, prompted by my drooping, seventies style mustache.) I'm working on a joke, so I pay scant attention, just stuff the bill in my shirt pocket and forget about it. The script is in pretty good shape, so I get to drive home late in the afternoon on this beautiful spring day. However, things quickly go south when I get lit up by a Highway Patrol cruiser and dutifully pull over to the side of the freeway. My dad always taught me if stopped by a cop, get out of the car, walk back and use your people skills to chat with the guy, try to talk him out of the ticket. (Do not attempt this nowadays, you may be asked to immediately recline on the freeway - but not in those words.) Anyway, after the cop checks my license and registration, he tells me I made an abrupt lane change. No big deal, he's not going to write me up, just a warning. Relieved, I turn to walk back to my car, but bothered by the glare of the setting sun, I stop, reach into my shirt pocket and pull out my sunglasses. I also snag the bill that Redd gave me this morning, which falls to the ground. I pick it up, now noticing that it's a hundred and twisted at each end like a piece of candy. Thank God the cop is already walking back to his cruiser and has missed this. When I get home, Kathy and I unwrap the bill and yep, you guessed it, there's a goodly amount of Cocaine packed inside. Can you imagine me telling the cop, "Oh, that's not mine, it's a gift from Redd Foxx in return for me lending him money and I had no idea there was cocaine in there!" An arrest, jail, possibly prison time is adverted by happenstance.
FRED
Esther, beauty is only skin deep, and you're going to need a Roto Rooter.

By my second season, Sanford and Son is more popular than ever - and suddenly everybody thinks I am the latest comedy writer genius. Carsey and Werner at ABC, call, say they're dying to work with me. Columbia Pictures Television is offering a juicy development deal. Doug Cramer, producer of shows like The Odd Couple, Mission Impossible and Dynasty, promises me the equivalent of a new Porsche if I'll just take a rewrite pass at his sitcom pilot starring Dionne Warwick. (I am now also the genius white guy who knows how to write for blacks.) Does all this go to my head? Of course it does!

One Friday afternoon, Redd shuffles into my office. (That unique Fred Sanford walk was actually due to Redd's arthritic knees.) He wants to do something a little different on the show, shake things up a bit, maybe get the cast into fun costumes. I say, hey, how about something about World War Two!? Redd says, "Let's do it." I do not tell him about The Dirty Dozen sketch I wrote over five years ago for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour that never got on the air. I already have ten pages of the sketch, so by working through the weekend, on Monday I hand in a first draft teleplay. Saul and Bernie are amazed, but I don't tell them either. Let the legend grow! They smartly massage Redd's ego by buying a full page ad in Daily Variety and giving him a story credit. This episode also featured Pat Morita as the lost Japanese officer and was a particularly funny and successful show. However, an ugly incident that occurs during the taping will seal my fate and send me off to Europe.

Corky (Corrine) is a long time, treasured friend. When we were dating (well before Kathy), she was an AD (assistant director) on The Newlywed Game. One night she invites me into the booth with her for a taping of the show. The booth is a small room crammed with electronic equipment and TV monitors, where the director calls the shots to the cameramen down on the set. Corky is sitting next to the director. I'm up back in a corner, hunkered down and somewhat embarrassed because the director is being a real dick. He's throwing hissy fits because the cameramen are allegedly missing reaction shots from some of the contestants. Near the end of the show, the director perceives another cameraman atrocity, screams, "F***!" and hurls his pencil at one of the TV monitors. It ricochets off the screen, the point hitting Corky just under the eye. This is Corky's job and I could get her fired, so I manage to keep my mouth shut and not ask this a****** if a missed shot is worth blinding someone. Fortunately, Corky is okay, just a scratch. The director makes a token apology and I chalk it up to just another show biz dickhead taking himself too seriously.

FRED
Esther, your face could launch a thousand ships, all of 'em the Titanic.

Flash forward ten years and here I am in another booth, about to watch the second and final taping of the, "Fred Recalls His Army Days" episode. I've been toying with the idea of learning how to direct, so I'm sitting right behind our director. The show opens with Redd in a General's uniform, backed by a huge American flag, parodying the seminal scene in the hit, World War Two movie, Patton. Redd is just supposed to stand at attention, looking tough, while the voice over describes the dangerous mission that "this dedicated and brave solider" is about to lead. It's a completely scripted scene, except for Redd reacting, mugging to the voice over. However, now this comic genius throws us a curve which turns out to be, at least for me, one of the funniest moments in television. Redd is still standing at attention, but as the scene progresses his pants are starting to slowly slip down. No doubt he has somehow rigged this, but he pretends he doesn't notice, continuing to salute and look very George C. Scott like. This bit also contains the element of truth that all sight gags must have: that the heavy pistols he's got strapped to his waist would drag his pants down. The audience begins to notice, the laughs are starting to build and finally Redd does take action because his pants are dangerously close to dropping completely. Frantically, he tries to tug them up with one hand, still continuing to salute with the other, but it's a losing battle. Finally, when the pants do drop, we see he’s wearing red, polka dot boxer shorts. By now, the studio audience is hysterical, falling out of their seats. Well, you had to be there. No, really, you had to be there! Because the director, looking pages ahead, has his face in the script. So, without his direction the camera remains tight on Redd's face and the majority of the pants bit is missed. When I see this I am so angry, so furious, that I sling my pen at the monitor. I'm glad Corky wasn't there to see it.

A month later the season is over and I've quit the show. My agent, my parents, most of my friends and maybe even you, think I'm crazy. But, you all weren't in that booth with me. Yes, later we retrieved most of the pants scene with the roving, hand held camera. But, that's not the point. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I think I subconsciously sensed that I was in danger of becoming one of those self important show biz pricks that I loathe. I think I somehow knew that I had to get away. There are people that have to experience a heart attack to get their head on straight. I am going to try it another way.

WHAT'S TED UP TO NOW?

A New Dog and Cat Comedy TV Show That Will Raise a Ton of Money For Animal Related Charities You Can Help Get This Show on The Air With a Click of Your Mouse


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, January 23

Young Sheldon - "An Entrepreneurialist and a Swat on the Bottom" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon takes matters into his own hands when Meemaw refuses to drive him to a lecture with Dr. Linkletter (Ed Begley, Jr.). Also, Georgie tries to impress Veronica with his new business venture.

The Unicorn - "No Small Parts" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Grace gets the lead in the school musical, Wade realizes that the teachers are giving her special treatment after he hears her sing. Also, Michelle and Ben persuade Delia and Forrest to volunteer for the chaotic snack bar duty at a school function. Tim Baltz guest stars as Mr. Kersey, Grace’s drama teacher.

Young Sheldon - "A Pineapple and the Bosom of Male Friendship" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After being released from the mental hospital, Dr. Sturgis unexpectedly breaks up with Meemaw.

Mom - "Audrey Hepburn and a Jalepeño Pepper" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
While Bonnie struggles to enjoy her perfect honeymoon with Adam, Christy makes some questionable changes at the bar while they’re away.

Last Man Standing - "Bedtime Story" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mike tries to avoid hurting Vanessa's feelings due to her snoring.

Outmatched - "Pilot" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kay and Mike cope with raising three high-IQ children.

Superstore - "Favoritism" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Amy tries to make Mateo her new assistant, leading to accusations of favoritism and a group competition in the store. Meanwhile, Sandra gets caught in a power struggle between Glenn and Dina, and Jonah attempts to show Garrett that he's still "one of the guys."

The Good Place - "Patty" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The group makes some new friends.

Will & Grace - "Lies & Whispers" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Larry (guest star Tim Bagley) warns Will and Grace about the difficult entry process into the elite school they both want their kids to go to, they set out to prove that their child would be the better candidate. While helping Jenny (guest star Demi Lovato) with her ASMR livestream, Jack unwittingly creates problems between Karen and her “booty buddy,” Luke (guest star Chris Thornton).

Perfect Harmony - "Regionals" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Season 1 Finale. At the regional choir competition in Lexington, Arthur relishes the opportunity to finally stick it to his old rival, Magnus, when the unexpected happens. Presented with a surprise job offer, Ginny starts to doubt her worth before her big interview. Adams puts her past to bed with her still very alive dead husband, allowing her to move on.

grown-ish - "Damn" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The crew tries their best to cope with a shocking surprise, but another unexpected bomb sends Zoey into a spiral.

Everything's Gonna Be Okay - "Giant Asian Mantises" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Matilda wants to get white-girl-wasted; Genevieve's low-key birthday party leaves Nicholas, Alex, and Matilda banished to the guest house; in the main house, Tellulah turns things up a notch; Nicholas is stuck being the responsible adult.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 20)

Thursday, January 23

  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Catch Kumail on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie) - David stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fortune Feimster (Bless the Harts/Life in Pieces/Champions) - Fortune appears on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC. She will also be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andrew Santino (Mixology) - Andrew is a panelist on Lights Out with David Spade at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • The Cast of Schitt's Creek - The cast of Schitt's Creek are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 10:30pm on Bravo.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry talks about America's Got Talent and Brooklyn Nine-Nine on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Nancy Travis (Last Man Standing/The Kominsky Method/The Bill Engvall Show/Becker/Almost Perfect) - Nancy appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jason George (Eve/Off Centre) - Jason is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Boris drops by The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Norman Lear (Producer of All in the Family/Sanford and Son/One Day at a Time/The Jeffersons/Good Times/Maude) - Norman is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Melora Hardin (The Office) - Melora talks about The Bold Type on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) and Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly) - Retta and Reno talk about Good Girls on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One

11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (Blu-ray)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/06 - 9JKL - The Complete Series
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Atlanta - Season 2 - Robbin' Season
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
12/17 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (2019 Release)
12/17 - The Other Two - Season 1
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season ((Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

01/23 - The Conners Celebrate Grand Opening of Lanford Lunch Box with Contest; Lifetime Celebrates 30 Years of Original Movies
01/22 - HBO Max Gets Animated with Royals Comedy; Netflix Announces Premiere Date for Sophia Lillis Comedy
01/21 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Hulu - a Comedy with Steve Martin and Martin Short, the Renewal of Dollface
01/20 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: More Cable; 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Winners
01/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 20, 2020)
01/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Punky Brewster Reboot Officially a Go; Freeform Renews Pair of Series
01/17 - Fri-Yay: Sitcoms in 2020; Peacock Streaming Services Programming Update
01/16 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Cable Day 2 - American Dad! 2 Season Renewal, Tacoma FD Season 2 Premiere Date
01/15 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Cable Day 1 - Comedy Central, Amazon, Paramount Network and More!
01/14 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Showtime and Pop; Will Smith & Martin Lawrence Talk Hit Sitcoms
01/13 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: NBC and CBS Includes The Rock Comedy at NBC and The Price Is Right at Night on CBS
01/12 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 13, 2020)
01/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saved by the Bell Reboot Gets More of Original Cast; ABC Expanding Game Show Empire
01/10 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 2; PIX11 Celebrates 45th Anniversaries of The Jeffersons and Barney Miller
01/09 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: ABC Includes Modern Family Finale, The Conners Live and Return of Millionaire
01/08 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Fox; 13 Series Renewed for 2020-21 on The CW
01/07 - E! News Gets 3rd Host for Midday Show; Freeform Schedules Valentine's Day Comedy TV Movie
01/06 - 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Winners; Fox Animated Comedies to Air After NFL Divisional Playoff
01/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 6, 2020)
01/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Loses Streaming Rights to Friends; Networks Prepare for Midseason
01/03 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 1; Modern Family Heads to Paris for Episode
01/02 - Fox Orders New Animated Comedy; Netflix Leslie Jones Comedy Special Premieres Jan. 14
01/01 - Happy New Year! Binge on Merry Happy Whatever, A New Holiday Sitcom
12/31 - New Year's Eve 2019 and New Year's Day 2020 TV Marathons
12/30 - In Memoriam: Remembering the Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2019
12/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 30, 2019)
12/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The On-Going Feud Between Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy; Writer of Friends Theme Song Dies
12/27 - Freeform January 2020 Schedule with The Simpsons, Superstore, Family Guy; WarnerMedia and Xandr Upfront Now Combined in 2020
12/26 - SNL with Eddie Murphy Scores in Ratings; REELZ and Alex Trebek Explore Game Shows
12/25 - Merry Christmas from Sitcoms Online
12/24 - 2019 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day TV Marathons & Movies
12/23 - South Park Closes Season 23 With Bang; Zoë Kravitz Hulu Series Trailer