Sunday, December 28, 2014

Neil Simon (and me) on TCM

Here's the info from the TCM website on the Neil Simon Film Festival that begins this Friday.  Just click here.   There will be 17 Neil Simon movies shown the month of January, hosted by your intrepid blogger/Simon fanboy.   Join me for the laughs and factoids.


21 comments:

Matt Neffer, Boy Spotwelder said...

Hey Ken,

In the spirit of the season, I wonder if you've ever seen SCTV's "Neil Simon's Nutcracker Suite." It's great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP_TsB4KmvA

Anonymous said...

I saw that SCTV bit and it's a great take-down of Simon, even if you don't believe he deserves one. I forget if that was Eugene Levy doing Judd Hirsch.

Michael said...

I remember that one of Simon's wives made him sign a pre-nup that he couldn't use anything about her in a play. They're divorced and he's been married for several years to Elaine Joyce, whom some of you may remember as a game show panelist and host who, in the former role, tended to play the ditzy blond and was anything but.

Casey C said...

Happy Holidays Mr. Levine! You’ll never know just how excited I am for Neil Simon Month! Although an avid fan of TCM, and frequent the annual film festival in LA, I actually do not have Direct TV or cable; I do however possess Mr. Simon’s work on DVD, so I won’t miss the actual films. So my comment is kind of a multi part Friday Question/ Monday Morning Request:

You mentioned already taping the intro/outro segments for the spotlight; Will we be seeing any new Simon interviews as well? And I don’t know if you can, but would you mind posting any transcripts here for those who miss them (unless TCM will be posting the video segments online)? Can you also write about how your collaboration with TCM came to be?

Did you happen to help in organizing the Simon film schedule? The line up for Jan. 9 is perfect! The whole schedule is amazing, that day just happened to stand out. Also really appreciate that your ending it with Sweet Charity; cherry on top of a sundae of a month!

This is long, I’m sorry, I’m nearly finished. Ok, so every so often you’ll feature a guest blogger; is Mr. Simon an obtainable guest?

If not, would it be possible for you to ask Bebe Neuwirth? You’ve mentioned Neuwirth here and there, mainly for her work on Cheers and Frasier. The year she first appeared on Cheers was the same year she was in Sweet Charity on Broadway, for which she won a Best Featured Actress in a musical. With Neuwirth’s insight of Simon’s book and Fields’ lyrics, along with her experiences with Bob Fosse, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon, Debbie Allen, and many more, I was wondering maybe she could elaborate on Sweet Charity? Compare/contrast, maybe tackling the whole “stage production” versus “film”, the ridiculous entertainment controversy of which is “better”, anything Charity related. Just thought she might have something interested to add.

Anywho, again, apologies for long comment, just super psyched! Thanks for hosting! Your awesome, your blog is awesome, just keep up the awesomeness!

Jim said...

Elaine Joyce is also in the wonderful Lot of Livin' dance in Bye Bye Birdie, which should have been one of the highlights of anyone's career. Groucho Marx's kid Melinda and robot-to-be Lorene Yarnell are somewhere in there too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS38PiZ2-RA

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Huge NeilSimon fan. Had a chance meet him twice, along with Wendy Wasserstein.
Got to ask him a couple of questions about writing too.

unkystan said...

Finally I'll get to see the original "Heartbreak Kid" again! Happy New Year Ken.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Murder By Death is one of my favorite comedies of all time. Unfortunately, it's dated.
When I saw it as a kid in the 70s, all the archetypes were well known in the culture. Charlie Chan, Poirot, Nick & Nora, Sam Spade, Miss Marple.

I showed this movie to my kids a year ago, and even though I had to explain the parodies, it went over their heads. "#2 son" is just not funny if you don't know about "#1 son".

I think I need to show them the Maltese Falcon and a few others.

CamrioKid said...

Do your sessions with Mr. Simon start at the top of the hour, or do we need to set DVR to start early?

Stuart said...

I would like to record a few of these to watch, what do y'all recommend as the top 4-5 movies worth watching? Yes, I know they're all good, but pick 4-5 as your faves.

Thanks!

Ken Levine said...

I'll give you a few of my favorites:

THE ODD COUPLE
THE OUT OF TOWNERS
THE HEARTBREAK KID
THE GOODBYE GIRL
THE SUNSHINE BOYS

Pretty much any title that starts with THE.

I believe the intros start at the top of the hour.

Stuart said...

Thanks Ken. Will set the TiVo.

Lord Lillis said...

And remember: the FU stands for "Felix Unger"

chalmers said...

In between Bobby Van's death and her marriage to Simon, Elaine Joyce was with J.D. Salinger for a few years.

CarolMR said...

I never knew Come Blow Your Horn was written by Simon. Looking forward to seeing you, Ken, on TCM.

Barry Traylor said...

Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts about The Odd Couple, not only my top favorite Simon written film but also with two of my favorite actors.

Carla the Cold-Hearted Bitch said...

Anytime I DVR a TCM movie, it always catches the intros by Osborne or Mankiewicz, when there is one. If it starts at 8pm, there'll be a couple of promos for the channel, the intro, info card about the film's rating and content, and then the film will start. There's a lot of padding between the start time and the actual film, and even plenty before the intro.

VP81955 said...

I gave the Spotlight (and you, Ken) a plug at Carole & Co.:

http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/753259.html

P.S. Don't know if you mentioned it when you made the promos, but in her autobiography, Myrna Loy noted that she had been invited to send up her Nora Charles character in "Murder By Death," but politely declined.

Gary West said...

Happen to see TCM today (Weds.) and they are plugging "The Out of Towners" for Thursday eve - 10pm (eastern of course). We know it's playing Friday night. Looks like a gaffe.

Johnny Walker said...

Congrats on the gig! Are you just a presenter for hire, Ken, or did you write or co-write these intros? Also, how did this gig come about? I think you're the perfect choice, but that a TV executive should think the same is surprising!

Johnny Walker said...

(Which is to say, I don't have much respect for typical TV producers.)