Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Remembering Jerry Stiller of Seinfeld and The King of Queens; HBO Max Announces Santa Inc.

Jerry Stiller

Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, who was best known for his roles as Frank Costanza in Seinfeld and as Arthur Spooner in The King of Queens, has died. He died from natural causes at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on May 11. Mr. Stiller was 92.

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara

Stiller married Anne Meara in 1954. The comedy duo Stiller and Meara was successful in the 1960s and 1970s. They made numerous appearances on variety and talk shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. They played Barney and Grace Dickerson, Howie Dickerson's (John Calvin) parents, in four episodes of The Paul Lynde Show in 1972-1973. Some of their other sitcom guest appearances together included The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love, American Style, Rhoda, Archie Bunker's Place and The Love Boat. They hosted HBO Sneak Previews from 1979 to 1982. They had a sitcom pilot called The Stiller & Meara Show in 1986. In 2010, they had a Yahoo! web series called Stiller & Meara.

He starred as Gus Duzik in the short-lived 1975-1976 CBS sitcom Joe and Sons. He was the best friend of Joe Vitale (Richard Casellano) and worked with him at the Hobooken Sheet and Tube Company. The series also starred Florence Stanley, Bobbi Jordan, Barry Miller and Jimmy Baio.

Stiller played Sid Wilbur, the loyal maitre d' at a posh Manhattan restaurant, in the 1988-1989 comedy-drama Tattingers. The cast included Stephen Collins, Blythe Danner, Patrice Colihan, Chay Lentin, Jessica Prunell, Mary Beth Hurt, Roderick Cook, Zach Grenier, Rob Morrow, Sue Francis Pai, Yusef Bulos, Robert Clohessy, Simon Jones, Chris Elliott and Anna Levine.

Seinfeld - Estelle Harris, Jason Alexander and Jerry Stiller

He appeared as the cantankerous Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza (Jason Alexander) and husband of Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris), in 26 episodes of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998. Frank Costanza was a former cook in the Army and learned to speak Korean in while serving in the Korean War. He invented the holiday Festivus as a reaction to the cultural commercialism of Christmas. Stiller received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1997 and won an American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series in 1998 for the role. The series also starred Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards.

The King of Queens

He starred as the eccentric Arthur Spooner in the 1998-2007 CBS sitcom The King of Queens. Arthur Spooner was the widowed father of Carrie Heffernan (Leah Remini) and father-in-law of Doug Heffernan (Kevin James). He lived in the basement of their Rego Park, Queens, New York house. His fourth marriage was to Spence's (Patton Oswalt) mother Veronica Olcin (Anne Meara) in the final season. The series also starred Victor Williams, Larry Romano (1998-2001), Lisa Rieffel (1998), Gary Valentine (1999-2007) and Nicole Sullivan (2001-2005).

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Phyllis, Private Benjamin, Alice, Amanda's, The Larry Sanders Show and Sex and the City.

He provided the voice of Uncle Max for The Lion King 1½ and Harvey for Planes: Fire and Rescue. Some of his other voice credits included Linus! The Lion Hearted, Teacher's Pet, Fish Hooks and Foodfight!.

Stiller appeared with his actor son Ben Stiller in films such as Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit, The Heartbreak Kid and Zoolander 2. Some of his other film credits included The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Ritz, Nadine, Hairspray (1988), A Fish in the Bathtub and My 5 Wives.

He was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on December 12, 2005.

Survivors include his son Ben, daughter Amy (an actress) and two grandchildren. Anne Meara, his wife of over 60 years, died in 2015.

Mr. Stiller was a true comedic legend. He was perfectly cast as Frank Costanza and Arthur Spooner. He made everything he appeared in funnier. We thank him for the many laughs and entertainment he brought us during his long career. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Seinfeld and The King of Queens message boards. View photos in our galleries.

DECADES TV Network will honor the life and career of late comedian and actor Jerry Stiller with two back-to-back episodes of The Dick Cavett Show featuring the icon and his wife Anne Meara. Airing Wednesday, May 13 at 9p ET, viewers can relive a 1995 interview where Stiller discusses Seinfeld and his days on The Ed Sullivan Show. Following at 9:30p ET, the DECADES network will present a 1995 interview with Anne Meara.


Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen

HBO Max announced it has ordered the adult animated series Santa Inc. from global content leader Lionsgate featuring voice performances by leads Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen. The 8 episode, half-hour series will be written by showrunner Alexandra Rushfield (Shrill) and will be produced by Rogen's Point Grey Pictures as part of their multiplatform partnership with Lionsgate. Santa Inc. is the story of Candy Smalls (Silverman), the highest-ranking female elf in the North Pole. When the successor to Santa Claus (Rogen) is poached by Amazon on Christmas Eve, Candy goes for her ultimate dream— to become the first woman Santa Claus in the history of Christmas.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, October 2

The Simpsons - "Pixelated and Afraid" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Homer and Marge are lost in an icy wilderness, they must push themselves to their limits to survive.

Bob's Burgers - "Frigate Me Knot" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Linda encourages Teddy to attend a farewell ceremony for the ship on which he served in the Navy, but it means confronting his Navy pals and his past.

The Simpsons - "One Angry Lisa" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa gets called for jury duty; Marge becomes obsessed with her exercise bike.

The Great North - "Cillian Me Softly Adventure" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
During Lone Moose's Disaster Day event, Wolf and Honeybee have their very first fight.

Bob's Burgers - "The Reeky Lake Show" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The family's Labor Day lake trip takes a turn when the Belchers find themselves trapped in their cabin, hiding from what lurks outside.

Family Guy - "Bend or Blockbuster" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Resolved to enjoy a family movie night, the Griffins take a road trip to Bend, Ore., to rent a VHS from the last Blockbuster in existence.

The Villains of Valley View - "Havoc-Ween" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Amy brings her mischievous body-snatching Grandma to a party. Vic and Eva scam kids out of their candy untill they come across a villain even bigger than themselves.

Raven's Home - "The Girl Who Cried Tasha" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Alice uses a spell to bring her doll, Tasha, to life; when Tasha refuses to return to being a doll, Alice must enlist the help of Booker, Ivy and Neil.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 26)

Friday, September 30

  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/George and Leo/Chicago Sons/Simon/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move/Silver Spoons) - Watch Jason on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Lea Michele (The Mayor) - Lea is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Phil Rosenthal (Creator of Everybody Loves Raymond) - Phil appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary) - Quinta is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mario Cantone (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) - Mario chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • David Alan Grier (Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!/The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Topher Grace (Home Economics/That '70s Show) - Topher is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Eichner (Friends from College/Difficult People/Parks and Recreation) - Billy stops by to chat and play a rousing game of Never Have I Ever with a twist on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Rash (Community/Help Me Help You/Thanks/Katie Joplin) - Jim appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Bob Patterson/Listen Up!/Hit the Road) - Jason shares stories from his hit sitcom on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (In the House/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso dishes about the new season of Dancing with the Stars on Disney+ on Sherri, so check your local listings. He will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nick Kroll (Big Mouth/The League/Cavemen) - Nick talks about Don't Worry Darling and Little Big Boys on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew is a guest on Sherri, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (May-September)

Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) The Neighborhood - Season Four Young Sheldon - The Complete Fifth Season The Adventues of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Five The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Six

05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / The Complete Season Two
07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / The Complete Season Four
08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/06 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/20 - Kim's Convenience - The Complete Series
09/27 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Five / The Complete Season Six
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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