Wednesday, April 27, 2022

STU'S SHOW -- the movie

Stu Shostak is a force of nature.  If they hooked him to a power grid he could light Time Square.  Stu is the subject of a new documentary that I highly recommend.  Full disclosure: I’m one of the talking heads.  But I’m not featured enough to sour you on this film.  

It’s called STU’S SHOW, based on the internet podcast (now weekly TV show) he conducts interviewing people from the Golden Age of Television and animation.  And when I say “Golden” I mean back to the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Stu is one of the great TV historians and has an extensive collection of film, tape, DVD’s, Laser discs,  VHS, 3/4” tape, Betamax, early television sandscripts.   The real Museum of Television is not in New York.  It’s up in his cabin.  

STU’S SHOW is part nostalgia, part romantic comedy, part Hollywood survival, part love letter to Lucy, and part cautionary tale.  There’s exclusive home movies, animation, rarely seen film clips, and maybe the most emotional and unusual wedding you’ll ever see.   And it’s only 90 minutes, not 4 hours like most documentaries these days.  (How much more is there to know about sea otters or Garry Shandling?)  

We follow Stu’s unique career path, from working for Lucille Ball to becoming one of the top warm up men in TV.   There are any number of documentaries about Lucy but through the unseen footage and anecdotes from Stu you get a real sense of who this remarkable complex woman was the last ten years of her life.  

The narrative takes a real turn when Stu’s girlfriend Jeanine has a sudden brain aneurysm.  At this point it becomes a Paddy Chayefsky tale of fighting an absurd system, and we see Stu in action.  As a patient advocate, no one has ever been better.  Watching him fight through the system to provide the care Jeanine needed was both inspiring and heartbreaking.  

I promised you a wedding, but I don’t want to reveal any more.  Suffice it to say it will warm your heart and especially if you’re a Boomer you will wish you were there.  I was and it was one of the most joyous and special weddings I’ve ever attended.  And I got my picture with Dick Van Dyke.  

STU’S SHOW runs on various platforms.  Seek it out.  You can pre-order it here.   

And here is the trailer:


Lemuel said...

Sounds very promising, reminds me of "Art Fein's Poker Party".

Mike Chimeri said...

I've been aware of Stu for several years and have known this documentary was in the works for just as long. I'm glad to see it's complete and ready for release. I'm eager to watch on Prime Video next week.

Shelley Herman said...

Randy and I have known Stu for over 30 years and his energy just keeps getting stronger and better. Stu is a behind-the-scenes cheerleader for quality television and the preservation of our often overlooked TV icons. We are looking forward to his documentary and listening to his weekly podcasts.

Mitch said...

His weekly show should run on MeTV!


Greg Ehrbar said...

Stu and Jeanine and I have known each other for many years and his wedding was a who's-who of classic television. Where else would you be standing around in a small group and a nice little lady would say, "Hello, I'm Gloria Henry." WOW! Dennis the Menace's mom! To us, they are all stars, more deserving (and less demanding) of recognition and reverence than some claiming the designation.

Jeanine Kasun is a magnet of good will. She loves television and all kinds of music. I have not seen the documentary yet, but what everyone should know is that her situation was miraculous as well as a study in bucking the system and the will to survive.

I am sure the doc explains it better, but one day Stu was in Chatsworth talking on the phone with Jeanine while she was miles north in Pine Mountain. Suddenly she stopped speaking. Stu could not figure out why but started making calls. Out of nowhere in that instant, she had suffered a brain aneurysm. A crew flew Jeanine out to a hospital and the drama began.

Had Stu not been on the phone with Jeanine at that precise moment she would have left us. Call that what you will. Stu was grateful to the people, doctors, EMTs, nurses, etc who were genuinely helpful in saving Jeanine, so he had them as guests on his radio program, which is now both an internet TV and audio program. You may not be able to visit Stu's actual home TV archive, but this show and hundreds more are all logged on his site. Many legends he interviewed have since passed, some rarely did interviews and some were never interviewed by anyone else. (I was particularly glad when he reunited the voice cast of "Josie and the Pussycats" for the first and last time.) Jeanine can now also be heard hosting her oldies show again on his website, as she did before the aneurysm. As she says often, “Great stuff.”

JessyS said...


Can you please post your photo with Dick Van Dyke? And don't wait until his passing to do so.

Anonymous said...

I have known Stu since working at a Video distributor in the 80’s who handled his Shokus video line of classic tv shows. He was always a go getter and promoter
Of projects. He was the kid in school who was always marketing something.
Fast forward to 2009 and I needed to transfer some vhs to dvds. The first thing he said to me after I reintroduced myself was “ tell that Chris Gxxxxs he still owes me $500. Being a viewer during Jeanine’s fight to survive was true Stu. He was a f’n pit bull dealing with the health care system. His Facebook posts during that Time are priceless. I look forward to the success of STU’S Show!