World’s Strangest

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Director Christopher Nolan Discusses Making His First Film, Following

Last night, director Christopher Nolan visited the IFC Center in New York City to screen his own restored print of his first film, Following. After showing the film (as well as one of his early shorts, Doodlebug), Nolan and incoming Village Voice film critic Scott Foundas discussed the film’s restoration, the challenges behind making Following—and [...]

The Late Movies: Harpo Marx, Harpist

Harpo Marx, the “silent” Marx brother, was a phenomenal self-taught harpist — hence the nickname. (His given name was Adolph, later Americanized to Arthur.) Today I saw a clip of Harpo playing “Blue Moon” quite brilliantly, and thought I’d dig in to find some other performances — and I was really pleased by [...]

How 11 Classic TV Stars Got Their Big Breaks

You never know which little role is going to lead to the first big one. Here are the defining moments that helped 11 stars of classic TV shows to land their first major breaks: 1. Mary Tyler Moore Mary Tyler Moore had fired the imagination of many TV-viewing young men in the late 1950s when she had [...]

Artificially Sweetened: The Story of Canned Laughter

The following article is from the bookUncle John’s Bathroom Reader Tunes Into TV. What if the studio audience isn’t laughing at what’s supposed to be funny? What if there isn’t a studio audience at all? There’s always “sweetening” -tweaking a program’s audio wth a laugh track or some other canned response. This is the story [...]

11 TV Theme Songs That Secretly Have Lyrics

Chances are, you’ve been humming these classic TV theme songs for years. Now you can get their lyrics stuck in your head, too. 1. We mentioned last week that Andy Griffith recorded a version of “The Fishing Hole” – AKA the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show – that was replaced by the all-whistling version. [...]

11 Great Television Shows That Are Lost Forever

Much early television was broadcast live and never recorded. This included news and variety shows, of course, but also early dramas and comedy series. Even recorded shows have not been safe. Film recordings were disposed of, to clear storage space or make way for new equipment. Video—useful, but expensive—was frequently erased and re-used. Nobody back [...]

On Music: Beatlemania Week – No. 4

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” Contrary to the popular story we all heard growing up, the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was not inspired by LSD; rather, by a drawing John Lennon’s son Julian did of his classmate, Lucy O’Donnell. Julian brought the drawing home from nursery school in 1966, and explained to [...]

Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. Any artist is lucky if he produces one enduring, immortal work. Jackie Gleason was to produce 39.  They were called The Honeymooners. I was October 1, 1955 and Gleason had been starring in and hosting his very popular [...]

The Late Movies: I Love Lucy

Saturday, August 6th is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lucille Désirée Ball. Lucy made many movies and TV shows, but will always be best known for the 1951-1957 TV series I Love Lucy. Here are a few memorable clips from the show, in addition to the grape stomping, Vitameatavegemin, Harpo Marx, and Superman [...]

What Do I Love Lucy & Star Trek Have In Common?

Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday is this Saturday and while I’m sure many of you are fans of the I Love Lucy show, many of our geek readers should also have an appreciation for the iconic red head for her pivotal role in helping to launch the Star Trek series. Here’s how it all came to [...]