R.I.P. Sid Caesar

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 12:11pm PST

THAT S LIFETV pioneer Sid Caesar has died at the age of 91 in Los Angeles. The Yonkers, NY-born comedian made his first appearance on TV in 1949 on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater. On February 25, 1950, Caesar was … Read More »

Comments 26

AFI Honors “Art And Farts” Of American Film With Laugh-Filled Mel Brooks Tribute

Pete Hammond

It was completely appropriate that AFI‘s 41st Life Achievement Award honoree Mel Brooks made his entrance at the Dolby Theatre to the Steven Sondheim song, “Comedy Tonight”.  It set the tone immediately for a very different evening than any that had come before at this annual event. Look at the list of the 40 previous AFI honorees, and there’s not a single solely comedic filmmaker or actor in the whole bunch. Yes, there are some — like Billy Wilder, Mike Nichols, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Hanks — who have made a few classic comedies but no one whose whole screen career is built on laughs. The AFI finally corrected that glaring omission Thursday night.

“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the American Film Institute honors the art — and the farts — of American film,”  said AFI Board Of Trustees Chair Sir Howard Stringer in welcoming the star-studded crowd. “When I telephoned Mel to tell him the AFI had voted him in as the 2013 recipient, he responded instantly, ‘What took you so long?’ Fair enough. Comedy is routinely short-changed at many awards ceremonies , particularly the Oscars. It is often said comedy is harder than drama because funny is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. That makes  Mel, without question, Hollywood’s principal lightning conductor.” Read More »

Comments (12)

George Clooney And Carl Reiner Reminisce

By | Friday October 14, 2011 @ 6:38pm PDT

Last night the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored Carl Reiner. Deadline’s own Pete Hammond (Pete describes the evening here) moderated panels which included Dick Van Dyke, Bill Persky, Bonnie Hunt, Eva Marie Saint, Gary Shandling, Larry Matthews, Lily Tomlin, and Paul Reiser. Pete then intro’ed a … Read More »

Comments (4)

HAMMOND: TV Academy Salutes Legendary Carl Reiner

Pete Hammond

Thursday night I had the honor of hosting the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences tribute to the legendary Carl Reiner, which also featured a surprise appearance at the end of the two-hour show from Carl’s Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13 co-star George Clooney who presented him with the enormous crystal … Read More »

Comments (9)