Emmy-winning actor JAY THOMAS is best known to audiences as doomed hockey star Eddie LeBec on “Cheers” and tabloid talker Jerry Gold on “Murphy Brown,” but he’s also a show business renaissance man, having worked as a stand-up comic, disc jockey, sportscaster and reality show host. Jay stopped by Gilbert’s apartment on a late summer evening to share some hilariously candid anecdotes about everything from stealing Bill Cosby’s jokes to getting kicked out of a “West Wing” audition. Also: Jay looks back on the infamous “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?”! Joe Piscopo runs afoul of the mob! Jay runs afoul of Rhea Perlman! And The Lone Ranger “rides” again!
“Agent 99” herself, the funny and utterly charming Barbara Feldon invites Gilbert and Frank to her Manhattan townhouse to share warm memories of “Get Smart” co-stars Don Adams, Ed Platt and Bernie Kopell and gives us her take on the Steve Carell feature film version. Also, Barbara looks back on working with everyone from Dean Martin to Bruce Dern and tells us how she managed to win $64,000 on a quiz show. Plus: Gilbert channels John McGiver! A live rendition of the “99” song! Barbara auditions to be a stripper! And the worst TV movie ever made!
Gilbert and Frank return to the legendary New York Friars Club to talk to the candid and colorful Danny Aiello about his uphill journey from Greyhound bus dispatcher to Oscar nominee. Also, Danny shares his memories of goofing around with Paul Newman, sightseeing with Rodney Dangerfield and singing backup for Bette Midler, and tells us why he’s embarrassed by his role in the classic rom-com “Moonstruck.” PLUS: Uncle Miltie meets Jack Ruby! Danny jokes about his notoriously fiery temper! Robert De Niro learns to throw a baseball! And the Pete Best of “The Godfather”!
Showtime recently aired “Quality Balls,” a documentary about the life and surprisingly controversial career of legendary comedian, director and host of Showtime’s “Inside Comedy” series, David Steinberg. Lifelong Steinberg fans Gilbert and Frank rang David up to talk about his friendships with Jack Benny and George Burns, his 140+ appearances on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” and how his standup act landed him on Richard Nixon’s infamous enemies list. Also: the Smothers Brothers get hate mail! David directs Gilbert in an episode of “Mad About You”! John Candy does Doc Severinsen! David saves Tony Randall’s life! And the Mount Rushmore of Jewish comedians!
Five-time Emmy winner Bill Persky has led a charmed life in show business. Handpicked by comedy legend Carl Reiner to write (and eventually produce) “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” Bill and partner Sam Denoff scripted many of the series’ most memorable episodes, including “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” and “That’s My Boy.” Later, the duo would create the groundbreaking sitcom “That Girl” and write comedy specials for Bill Cosby and Mary Tyler Moore and Bill (now flying solo) would go on to produce and direct hit shows like “Kate & Allie” “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Who’s the Boss?”. Bill sat down with Gilbert and Frank to talk about his journey through the golden age of TV comedy and working with EVERYONE — including Steve Allen, Bob Hope, Tim Conway, Julie Andrews, Gene Kelly, Peter Sellers, and Orson Welles (to name but a few!).
To kick off the launch of his new book, “Heroes of the Comics,” Gilbert and Frank are joined by their favorite illustrator, the incomparable DREW FRIEDMAN. While sitting and admiring Drew’s work adorning the walls of Manhattan’s Society of Illustrators, we managed to cover everything from Drew and Gilbert’s days at “National Lampoon” to Gilbert’s Lon Chaney, Jr. obsession to the time a 15-year-old Drew paid a visit to the home of the legendary Groucho Marx. ALSO: why Drew is Howard Stern’s favorite artist…”The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant”…Jerry Lewis kvells over Drew’s portrait…and the triumphant return of Milton Berle’s s*****g!
With an epic marathon of 552 (!) episodes of “The Simpsons” launching this week (on cable channel FXX), Gilbert and Frank decided to sit down with someone who’s been there from the very beginning (way back in 1988), writer, producer and former show runner, Mike Reiss. Mike joined the boys in Gilbert’s Chelsea apartment to share a few “dark secrets” behind TV’s longest-running prime time series, including the true story behind Itchy & Scratchy, how Groundskeeper Willie became a national hero, and why Marge’s bouffant is so tall (bet you don’t know the story behind that one.) Also, Mike recalls writing fake “letters to Santa” for Johnny Carson and working on one of our all-time favorite sitcoms, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” You want more? How about Michael Jackson’s sound-alike, hookers in helicopters and Raymond Burr does Tiny Tim?
“Man of a Thousand Voices” Billy West has lent his unique talents to projects such as “Ren & Stimpy,” Matt Groening’s “Futurama,” “Looney Tunes” cartoons and of course, “The Howard Stern Show,” where he won over longtime listeners with his savagely funny impressions of Larry Fine, former Stern show writer Jackie Martling and late Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Gilbert and Frank rang up Billy at his home in Hollywood to compare notes on some of their favorite essential topics, including Bud Abbott, Gale Gordon, Peter Lorre, Al “Grandpa” Lewis, and the racism of Dick Tracy cartoons. PLUS: the true story behind the voice of Dr. Zoidberg! Billy jams with The Beach Boys! Jewish Frankenstein! Angry Munchkins! And Gilbert sings the theme song from “Problem Child”!