Sight And Sound, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-07


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K 1 *Ws SIGHT AND SOUND n. NEW YORK, May 6.— It may be taken as sheer coincidence that at the very mo-moment a group of eminent humorists. wits and comics and funny men were sitting j •round on one TV channel Sunday night. I I discussing the state of American comedy, two I of the most talented , clowns on the air were J over on another TV channel giving a bright and vivid demonstration that its doing very nicely, right now, and thanks for asking. Seated around that coffee table on David Susskinds "Open End" program on WNTA-TV at 9 p. m. a new opening for Mr. Susskinds seminars were such notables as Abe Burrows, H. Allen Smith, John Lard-ner, Henry Morgan, Walter Slezak, John Sack and that English musical hall singer, Anna Russell — all of them thinking deeply and uttering profound words on the taboos and pitfalls that surround comedy in this country at this moment. And while these people were just sitting there and talking about it, three notches away on the same j I I I , J dial Sid Caesar and Art Carney were busily engaged in a full hour o; uproarious chaos called "At the Movies," telecast by NBC-TV. To all intents and purposes, it was the most startling juxtaposition of theory and practice that TV has given us this season. A A A The teaming of Caesar and Carney — with some assistance from Audrey Mea-I dows and singer Jaye P. Morgan— brought together two of the most warmly engaging comics on the air. The show itself was divided into three principal segements, opening with skit in which the two boys took the two girls to a driven-in movie, then devoting itself to a lengthy piece on the rise of a movie star back in the days when the movies really moved, and finally winding up with a medley of songs from such films as "Forty-Second Street," "Naughty Marietta," "The Good Ship Lollipop," or whatever it was that the young Shirley Temple appeared in at the time, and other cherished affairs of the period. Not all of it, of course, was caught Caesar repeating one of those classic burlesques he used to do on his weekly appearances, and since its been a good many years since anybody attended pictures like "Forty-Sec ond Street" and "Naughty Marietta," the question arose as to whether the current crop of movie fans really appreciated I what was being shown. AAA But when, in that opening sketch, Caesar told Carney to get into the back seat of j the car so that one of the girls could come , into the front seat in his place, and Carney wanted to know what would happen then — - thats when I popped the buttons. Or the | passage in which a new silent screen star with patent leather hair, Anthony Stunning, was dicovered by a silent movie director, to become the idol of millions of I fans in the space of one week, only to go off a three-day drunk, in which he loses his hair and becomes as bald as You-Know-Who, the two boys rose to unprecedented heights. Even such a brief bit as Miss Meadows coming into view, to start work on a new movie as Cleopatra, wearing the classic costume of the Queen of the Nile and then sayig that these were her street clothes, which she wears to go marketing, and shed have to go home and change into the proper attire for the J movie — even a moment like that can well go down in history.

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