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Ladies and Gentlemen this is Al McGuire reconvening the case for comedy. Sir would you please make an opening statement. We're already learning this thing one that television you made you know very sought no longer do we have people who are not aware. How great you were and we learn from our great you were Jimmy to Randy. Now it's sort of like well you know to every corner of the land. Michigan State University radio presents the comic arts and essay and sound on the humor of our times featuring the comics the humorist the joke writer the clown the Dauntless individuals who work in the world of comedy. With dollars and the many thousands of viewers in the millions and an insatiable appetite for all kinds of comedy television today is the ultimate
comic medium. This great electronic conveyor commands public attention every hour of the day reaches every corner of the land even and circles the world itself and is part and parcel of our way of life. The working comic or writer TV is a medium of both challenge and frustration. While consuming the largest output of comedy programmes ever known it allows no time for the development of performers chews up material at a frightening rate. At the same time relying on a number system to determine programme survival Some say the closest thing yet to an American equivalent of Russian roulette. But the game is here and now and today a game the comic artist must play. I think you originally were sort of disappearing because we're already learning from this one that television too. It made this universal no longer do we humor spokesman George you're
clueless. The great you were and we learn from our great you were Jimmy to rant. Now it's sort of like well you know to every corner of the land the same is true of all the great comics I don't think there's any great comic was not going on today of course you could correctly. I can't think of anyone that Danny K. of course was a hoedown for about 10 years and finally four or five years ago he became part of this. Electronic entertainment world. There was no one today who can be purchased by the TV people. Find your way to comedy from those who have reached the top. Stars like Danny Thomas. Have comedians from other forms succeeded in adapting their work to the television media.
I don't see where TV has come up with comedy. Actually I'm disappointed. I don't know any great actor. Your big show is a comedy show true but it also had it. It ran the gamut of emotions. On my part and I have two commitments with United Artists but only the good Lord above no one will ever get to them because we have THE DANNY THOMAS hour which is twenty two shows and the most highly diversified thing I've ever been associated with I didn't think it was such a
challenge. You know we're doing four specials big specials into what we call mini they feel. They good. He won 11 years now I could've gotten a long gray beard with that but it was time to do it. Changes and variations. Part of TV and even the rough and ready types encounter a bit of strife. You talk backstage with Jackie Leonard. A great many television appearances for this type of variety. Different players get the show. You know. I don't know whether Johnny Carson much anymore. But I want to discuss the cleverness. But
I will say this about my reverend. Before I go on the show. You know. And I try to play I want to say that. And that's a. Song or dance or getting. Appeared to me and watching the periods of time that performers particularly looking forward to your appearance because they're like afraid. Well. I don't even want to mention a name. But. I'm not particular. I want I don't want me I just want. I want to do it because I think. There's a lot of
feel that. I want to show or a friend of mine. You know it's ridiculous you know. Television interest every rich young the very young. Children see more entertainment today with television than they ever had in the history of mankind. And we have to be very careful what we do for children because they're influenced by television and influenced by what they see. I can't tell you how strongly I feel about children's television.
TV comedian Chuck McCann voices a warm philosophy when you ask about youngsters and their love for TV comedy. Number one they're the most loyal audience I think any performers work for they change every three or four years every three or four years you can go back and do the same material over again because you have a whole new audience and they're smart. I think they're a hipper in the comedy and right now today through television and most of the dumps are because they've been weaned on they've they've got a tremendous pace. If you're not funny they watch you. And if you're funny they'll watch you and they're just a great great audience I'd I'd rather have one kid come up and ask me for an autograph than have 10 adults come up and ask me for an autograph because they're sincere when they come up for the autograph. They mean it
when adults come up for the autograph. You're not so sure. They're great great great people. I love love children and I hope to continue working for them for the rest of my life. Of course with adults also I tried to run the middle road more or less and that is. How can I say. Maybe that's maybe the spoken joke the child might not get because of its inference but the visual he will get. So at the same time we're doing the visual and he's enjoying it. Mom and Dad are enjoying the joke or the the the little lives that we're doing. Performer needs perspective on the television scene. So you talk to a visitor from abroad who knows the very essence of the comic Barnes a brilliant performer of world renown who has surmounted all barriers of communication through pantomime. What's your Marcel Marceau are probably known to many millions of
Americans as much to your appearance on television appearances on television is on the stage how do you feel about this has the right idea. I must tell you frankly I think it's a very important medium because you can today. Become popular. If you don't work on movies or television because it alone is not enough. Unfortunately you see what's amazing is that Sourav could be a legend though she was not the actress and not a television actress because in that time you know I don't either. Bad. Names. Become legends but I think that when they have the chance. To be shown that lifetime straight medium like television screen they should do it but the problem is how are they projected by the medium. I would say that. In 55 I have done a special show. With militia by day it was produced by Max Liebman spectacular and I got the Emmy Award for that show it was my first show in
America with this was very encouraging for me. Unfortunately I did other works which. I'm not so ready to receive because it was 15 minutes you know in a show and you can then give the maximum of your thoughts. I love to work with Dinah Shore has become more a. Weapon and I think that the Red Skelton has given me. It was a first who gave me. The chance to do run our program completely with him. That mean if you joined together in a concert of pantomime many times several times did say let's be more modest I think it was three times. And but it's only like a lifetime you see and we did he did he is a wonderful way. As a kid now speaking also doing pantomime but with his own style. And I did in my classic way and then we joined together. And then millions of people could see us in children especially. We have noticed that when we tour that all children had seen you on this Red Skelton Show. And.
Definitely I think that is a great future for my television. If it is used. Properly and given to correct and that allows for these U.S. bases you have to have the patch for it. The team which works on it the producer the cameramen have to feel. How. To. Shoot the different angles and of course today I think the technique has changed. When you look champion films which are grades and of cause. The technique used is not the same you are using today now as some would consider his feelings of tension concerning the style I don't think so I think that what he offered us was testing and could be seen in a steady lead she show what that means. Four sharks. And. An American. If you say this is a waist shot you see. Yes and he did
not. Put on close ups because he didn't need it and he did not use the same technique used today. But. The problem of champions freedom and technique if you would go on television today. Being. 20 years old or 30 years old if you would today have a show of his own on American television maybe he would have created another star. Because today you have to add that just to the technique or the technique has to adapt itself to your style. It makes a very interesting combination. But definitely I think that you can not ignore the importance of television and movies when you are. In the acting field today. Television a magnetic medium drawing in millions of viewers who watch by the hour by the day by the clock delivering an audience of unequal size
which beckons in turn are comedians writers and entertainers. Comedy natural television harnessed together for long. Our thanks to George Q A little as Danny Thomas Jackie Leonard Jack McCann and Marcel Marceau portions were prerecorded. This is Alex. Our next program covers the great field of film and the comic arts. The comic art series with Alice wire is produced by Michigan State University Radio in cooperation with the humor societies of America program consultant George Q. Lewis the music by Jerry Tillman. Your announcer can be charter. For. This program was
distributed by the national educational radio network.
The comic arts
Episode Number
Episode 8 of 13
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3293. This prog.: George Q. Lewis, Danny Thomas, Chuck McCann, Jack E. Leonard, Marcel Marceau
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Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-12-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:51
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Chicago: “The comic arts; Episode 8 of 13,” 1968-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “The comic arts; Episode 8 of 13.” 1968-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: The comic arts; Episode 8 of 13. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from