Comedian David Brenner died today at his home in New York, NY. He was 78. A favorite of Tonight Show host, Johnny Carson, Brenner made over 150 appearances as a guest and substitute host on the NBC latenight show, starting in the ’70s. A contemporary of such stand-up legends as Andy Kaufman, Freddie Prinze and Gabe Kaplan, Brenner made a name for his observational comedic styling accentuated by his toothy grin, wavy hair and lanky demeanor. Brenner was born on Feb. 4, 1936 in Philadelphia, the son of a vaudeville singer and comedian who went under the stage name “Lou Murphy”.
Jay Leno Reminds Bill Maher Of Israel As He’s Inducted Into TV Academy Hall Of Fame With Rupert Murdoch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E Kelley, Ray Dolby & Brandon Stoddard: Video
Jay Leno, being inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, said he’s glad he left NBC’s Tonight Show when he did because he was the oldest person on the show. Everyone else was 20 to 40 years younger than him and, while you may think you’re holding your own with them, “they’re really just laughing at you,” he explained. “You can’t be hip past a certain age. You have old guy gestures.” And when you make references to The Dick Van Dyke Show they think it’ s “a lesbian joke or something” — and they don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say the time is “Half past 2.”
Leno told the Beverly Wilshire Hotel gathering his favorite book is Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol — a searing indictment of 19th century industrial capitalism — and his favorite character in that classic work of literature, Mr. Fezziwig, who treated a young Ebenezer Scrooge like a son. Leno mentioned this by way of saying how proud he was that his Tonight Show was a place where people came to work hard during the day and, at 6, they went home to be with their family.
Even though he’s now “jobless and penniless” Leno still is a “fantastic stand-up,” said Bill Maher, who inducted Leno into the Hall, and the fact people are wondering what he will do next proves he’s still relevant, the HBO show host said. He described Leno’s more than two decades hosting Tonight as a drive down a highway in “some giant gleaming pristine luxury car with the competition far in the rearview mirror — except one time when NBC,” driving some beat-up clunker, “blindsided him and beat the sh*t out of his beautiful car.” Maher blamed TV critics for rewriting history to make Leno’s predecessor, Johnny Carson, out to be some guy who did a “rebellious, edgy, film noir version” of Tonight Show that by comparison made Jay look like a milquetoast. “That’s all bullsh*t — and I say that as a fan of Carson,” Maher said. Leno is the victim of “some bad publicity over the years” that he did not deserve — most famously how America got it into its head that “Jay Leno stole Conan O’Brien’s dream,” Maher complained, calling it, “the most hysterical thought I’ve ever heard, in a business known for bullsh*t.”
“Jay reminds me a little of Israel,” Maher continued. “He isn’t perfect but he’s held to standard I don’t think anybody in the world is expected to live up to but him,” he said, calling Leno “the most Machiavellian and also the most morally upright person I know in show business. He will hide in a closet but never needs a confessional booth.”
It’s an awards-season cliché to say that it’s an honor just to be nominated, but going to the Emmy ceremony year after year and never taking home a statuette can be excruciating. Just ask Bill Maher, Emmy’s current “biggest loser.” Despite 32 nominations (including three for this year alone) for Politically Incorrect, Real Time and various standup specials, Maher seems cursed when it comes to the golden girl. At least he retains a sense of humor about it: “I am OK with it. In fact, winning now would only fuck things up. I would lose all my street cred,” he told Deadline a few seasons ago, adding that he’s proud he has been nominated every single year since his shows started in 1995. “It comes down to people voting their taste, and I’m not the taste preference of a majority. Maybe that’s a good thing.”
Nevertheless, Maher is in good company, considering the caliber of talent that has also gone Emmy-less over their careers. Susan Lucci was the poster child for Emmy losers, striking out 19 times at the Daytime Emmy Awards before finally taking her one and only win for All My Children in 1999. It must give hope to others like Angela Lansbury, the reigning queen of the Tonys, who has managed to lose the Primetime Emmy 18 times. That includes 12 consecutive nominations for every single season of Murder, She Wrote. She even lost the Emmy for hosting her beloved Tonys.
Well, it’s April 1st and we have our fool. After all his huffing and puffing, Donald Trump has unsurprisingly withdrawn his $5 million lawsuit against Bill Maher. The Celebrity Apprentice host had his lawyers file the request for dismissal with prejudice in LA Superior Court on March 29. Trump, whose NBC show hit a season low last night, first filed the breach of contract suit back in early February against the HBO host. He said that Maher broke a written promise that he’d give $5 million to the charities of Trump’s choice if The Donald could prove he wasn’t “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”
Obama Adviser Says Bill Maher’s Attacks On Women Are “Not Excusable,” But Rush Limbaugh’s Are Worse: Video
Bill Maher’s profane characterizations of women including Sarah Palin are “not excusable in any way,” President Obama’s chief election strategist David Axelrod says a day after word spread that he backed out of of an appearance on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. But he adds in an interview …
There’s no explanation for why President Obama’s political strategist decided not to join the comedian on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. A campaign spokesman simply confirmed that Axelrod is “not scheduled to go on at this time,” despite promotions saying he would appear, website Politico reports. But we can make a pretty good guess as to what’s going on: Maher has become a lightening rod for critics on the right who argue that there’s a double standard in the recent barrage of attacks on Rush Limbaugh — who has been losing advertisers since he went on-air to call an advocate of employer health plan payments for contraceptives a “slut” and a “prostitute.” (He later apologized for using the words.) Maher put himself into the political fray recently when he donated $1M to PAC Priorities USA, a super PAC that supports the president. Last week Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren attacked Axelrod’s plan to appear with Maher, who has used virulent language to describe Sarah Palin. Van Susteren asked: “Is that the Obama price tag for decency? Give a million and you can be as nasty to women as you want?” Axelrod isn’t alone in his new skittishness about Maher.
Yahoo announced today that it is launching a Yahoo Comedy Channel in February 2012 and has inked a deal with comedian Bill Maher to kick it off with a free, live stand-up performance. The content will include short-form videos and both licensed and original programming from the likes of Funny or Die, Broadway Video, Elecuts, and Yahoo! Studios, among others. The web giant recently launched a women’s slate that it said saw almost 10 million streams in its first month. Here’s a look a the content being prepared for the comedy launch; more programming will be added going forward, Yahoo said:
– CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley – On February 23, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. PT Bill Maher will host a live comedy show exclusively broadcasted online on Yahoo!. This will be Maher’s first live online broadcast ever. For the last nineteen years, Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and for the last nine years on HBO’s “Real Time, Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him twenty-seven Emmy nominations.
– Funny Or Die Presents “First Dates with Toby Harris” (Funny or Die) – starring Seth Morris, a series that takes us on a journey of ill-fated first dates with the lovable (sometimes deplorable) and always single Toby Harris. Set with Los Angeles as a back drop, each episode centers around a different woman and issue that will leave the audience bickering amongst themselves who was right and who was wrong, and how they would have handled it better! Love him or hate him, a date with Toby is a date you will always remember.
At a party tossed by Family Guy creator/runner Seth MacFarlane this week, MacFarlane was joined onstage by Bill Maher to belt out the Frank Sinatra tune Star. It turns out both guys have decent chops, even after a cocktail or two. Of course, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise in the …
Penguin Group’s general trade imprint it launched in November under president and publisher David Rosenthal now has a name: Blue Rider Press. It has acquired books by more than a dozen authors so far, the first of the titles to be released in the fall, Penguin announced today. Among its …
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow was a panelist on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher last night and the host brought up Keith Olbermann exit, which had just been announced. Here is the duo’s exchange:
He may have gotten out of touch, he may have been famously unprepared for his interviews, and he may have been responsible for his show hemorrhaging viewers to average underwhelming 700,000 a night, but Larry King is still an institution. After more than 25 years and about 50,000 guests, the …