Joseph Bologna passed away last week. Funny name, huh? Never heard of him?

Maybe he wasn’t a huge movie star, but his achievements were quality, if not quantity.

People behind the scenes aren’t as celebrated as those who appear on the screen. Joe did both. Besides acting in many movies he wrote and directed some pretty popular works. In many of these, his wife (Renee Taylor) was his creative partner.

Joe Bologna with Renee Taylor

Husband-and-wife team of Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor.

I stopped to think of all the pleasure Joe had given me, mainly from a sentimental favorite of mine, “My Favorite Year.”

This 1982 movie isn’t remembered by many — not like Casablanca or The Wizard of Oz. But it is a gem and meant a lot to me. It’s a great piece of writing and acting, as well as a nostalgia piece and a tribute to one of the greatest shows ever to air on TV in the golden age, and a tribute to several great talents that made that show great and went on to do other great things.

Premiere Magazine (a big glossy magazine I call “The Rolling Stone Of Movies”) voted this movie as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time” back in 2006. Of course, I agreed with them.

The movie is a behind-the-scenes story of a comedy variety show based on “Your Show of

Read more on “My Favorite Year” Actor Joe Bologna — RIP…

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The Academy Awards show will be the talk of the world tomorrow. Unlike most programs on television (even awards programs) the Oscar ceremony is not presented for the people watching it on TV but the live audience in the room — the movie business insiders.

And as in all awards shows (and many other facets of life) I am against competition. We have turned everything in our lives into a contest with winners and losers, and a decision on who is the best.

But — does the Oscar itself matter?

Do you think the Oscar award goes to the best movie or actress or director? Well then you probably believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. The Academy awards are presented

Walt Disney presents Shirley Temple's Honorary Oscar

Read more on Oscars: Who Will Win? Who Is Best? Bah! Humbug!…

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Oscar host Seth MacFarlane performed a comedy song 'We Saw Your Boobs' The 2013 Oscar telecast was newsworthy for many reasons — both the obvious and some unique reasons. But the most visible result (at least right here) is that it spurred me to post something new for the first time since December.

Face it — Network TV is a dinosaur.  It is a Dead Man Walking.  It doesn’t know it has died and has not yet laid down in a grave.  The networks flail around trying to attract a public that is more interested in something that respects their intelligence and gives quality instead of pandering to advertisers.

One example is the three yearly broadcasts of Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes awards Gervais is well known for his snarky style, and the producers obviously thought he’s got that “edgy” attitude that would bring about some excietment and some buzz to the awards show.  It did — and the feedback was usually that people were outraged by his behavior.  Perfect!  The awards show got attention and people would turn in to see what the bad-boy would do next.

Oscar producers tried the same strategy with Seth McFarlane.  He is far from an unknown quality.  McFarlane is one of the most prolific producers of multimedia comedy working today. He has at least three television shows in production and scored a huge hit with the theatrical film “Ted.”  So getting him to be host was obviously done with eyes wide open.

Looking at the resulting headlines tells the stories.  His opening number “I Saw Your Boobs” was offensive to women.  His “Ted” presentation with Mark Wahlberg was offensive to Jews.  His irreverent attitude toward Hollwood and Movies and Oscars was basically offensive to to everybody.  Or so the Outrage-Press would have us believe.

In other words — the strategy worked like a charm  Look for other programs to try this tactic now that it is well-proven.



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