Comedy, like drama, comes from the clash of personalities and ideas.
The 1970ssitcom, Mork & Mindy (1978-1982) took this basic idea and stretched it into new directions. Mork (the late Robin Williams in one of his first major roles) is an alien who is sent to Earth to study humanity and report back to his superiors. Renting a room from Mindy (Pam Dawber), the culture clash, the difference in perspective, and Mork’s charming innocence makes for classic television that will never get old.
I remember watching reruns of this show as a kid and laughing, but not quite getting all of the references. Now, as an adult, I get it and I love it. Mindy is to Dean Martin as Mork is to Jerry Lewis. Mork’s naivete, out the left-field references, and complete lack of cynicism perfectly conflicts with Mindy’s realism and understanding of the world around her. If nothing else, this series cemented Williams’s on-screen persona that has kept the audience laughing for decades.
Last night, Will And Grace returned to our television sets after an 11 year absence.
Will Truman (Eric McCormack) is still a gay lawyer. Grace Adler (Debra Messing) is still his neurotic, straight interior designer best friend/roommate. Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) is as rich and boozed up as she ever was. Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) is still the Jerry Lewis to Will’s Dean Martin. It’s as if the 2006 series finale never happened.
I have been a fan of Will And Grace for a very long time. Needless to say, the hype and the pressure to re-create the success of the original series was palpable. The cast, creative team and the crew succeeded with flying colors. Last night’s episode was pure Will and Grace, it was everything I hoped it would be and much more.
I absolutely recommend it. Welcome back Will And Grace, you’ve been sorely missed.
A good comedian is more than the joke coming out of their mouth. A good comedian makes us laugh, brings people together, helps to create understandings and heal the wounds that hate and prejudice create.
In the 1960’s, Dick Gregory was the face of black comedy in America. Breaking the color barrier, he used his platform to speak of the injustice that African-Americans faced. He use his celebrity to fight not just against prejudice and hatred that were part of daily life for African-Americans, but he also protested against the Vietnam War by going on a hunger strike.
He was 84.
Jerry Lewis is more than an actor/comedian/philanthropist. He is an icon. Pairing with Dean Martin in the 1950’s, Lewis was the goofball compared to Martin’s straight man. When they professionally parted ways, Lewis became a star in his own right. One of his most beloved movies (and my personal favorite) Jerry Lewis film is The Nutty Professor. While on the surface, it is slapstick comedy, there is a more subtle message about self-esteem, finding love and being brave enough to show the person who you love your real self.