Don Pardo: The Man with the Big Voice

As a staff announcer at NBC for 60 years, Don Pardo was a robust, velvety virtuoso of enunciation, whose baritone resonated like the aftertaste of a full-bodied fine wine. His trademark gig was performing the introductions at the beginning of each episode of Saturday Night Live, which he did for all but one season between the show’s debut in October 1975 and its most recent season finale in May.   Pardo, who died on Aug. 18 at age 96 in …

Christopher Walken to Play Captain Hook in NBC’s ‘Peter Pan’

Christopher Walken fans get ready: the Oscar-winning actor is slated to play Captain Hook in NBC’s upcoming live adaption of Peter Pan. Walken is no stranger to song and dance. He’s showcased his dancing feet in Pennies From Heaven, Hairspray and Jersey Boys as well as stints on NBC’s own Saturday Night Live. “He might really be a song-and-dance man at heart,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters. “He’s fearless as a comedic actor and always comes to play. …

Sid Caesar: Maestro of TV Sketch Comedy

Without Sid Caesar, we might not have had Saturday Night Live. In the early days of TV, some comedians simply got on camera and performed the same slapstick routines that had been a hit for them on Vaudeville, while others tried to replicate the situation comedy of radio shows. But Caesar, who passed away on Feb. 12 at age 91 in Beverly Hills, Calif., pioneered a new way to make us laugh in the age of television. >> Sign up for the …

The Behind-the-Scenes King of Comedy

Bernard “Bernie” Sahlins, co-founder of Chicago’s Second City theatrical troupe, wasn’t a comedian himself. But thanks to him, we’ve all had a lot of laughs over the past few decades. Without Sahlins, who died on June 16 at age 90 in Chicago, George Wendt – best known for his role as Norm Peterson in the iconic 1980s-early 1990s sitcom Cheers – might have abandoned comedy and perhaps even become an accountant. As Wendt recently recalled, after he and other Second City newbies in the …

Grownup TV Favorite Jane Curtin Back on the Tube, an ‘Unforgettable’ Treat

What a brilliant idea, to add flavor and humor to “Unforgettable” by bringing in the Queen of Deadpan herself, Jane Curtin, as mouthy medical examiner Joanne Webster.  Her debut this month on the Poppy Montgomery-Dylan Walsh CBS crime procedural won her praise from both critics and fans.  For us, it’s a treat to see this Grownup TV favorite back on the tube. “I’m thrilled to be here.  There are terrific people working on this show,” she notes.  She’s glad not …

Happy Birthday, Jon Lovitz!

Actor and comedian Jon Lovitz is turning 54 today, and he is one Hollywood ham that people love to death — or love to hate. Lovitz was one of the infamous cast members from the 80s who got their big break with Saturday Night Live, which propelled his career into Hollywood roles of hilarity like the The Three Amigos, Big, or my favorite, The Wedding Singer. See the ridiculousness below.