This unique work profiles the private lives and careers of 32 American game show hosts, including the originals (e.g., Bill Cullen, Peter Marshall), the classics (e.g., Bob Barker), and the contemporaries (e.g., Regis Philbin). Organized alphabetically by host, each chapter begins with a personal profile including dates and places of birth, family information, and a complete career history. Immediately following is a detailed biography highlighting the most significant developments of each host’s early life and career, complete with successes, failures, and scandals. Frequently, the biography is accompanied by personal interviews with the host and/or his family and closest friends.
A compelling and innovative television writer, David Chase has created distinctive programs since the 1970s, each reflecting his edgy humor and psychological realism. These critical essays examine Chase’s television writings, placing particular emphasis on how his past works have shaped and influenced the current cultural phenomenon of HBO’s The Sopranos, and studying Chase’s use of identity, community, and place in defining his on-screen characters. Topics explored include Chase’s constructs of the urban L.A. environment in The Rockford Files, the portrayal of hybridized American archetypes in Northern Exposure, and the interpretation of sexual identity/masculinity in The Sopranos. An appendix containing complete episode guides for The Rockford Files, Northern Exposure, and The Sopranos is also included.
This work examines the unique and ever-changing relationship between politics and comedy through an analysis of several popular American television programs. Focusing on close readings of the work of Ernie Kovacs, Soupy Sales, and Andy Kaufman, as well as Green Acres and The Gong Show, the author provides a unique glimpse at the often subversive nature of avant-garde television comedy. The crisis in American television during the political unrest of the late 1960s is also studied, as represented by individual analyses of The Monkees, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and All in the Family. The author also focuses on more contemporary American television, drawing a comparative analysis between the referential postmodernism of The Simpsons and the confrontational absurdity of South Park.