Before Paar, Carson, Letterman, Leno and Fallon there was Joe Franklin. The talk show legend and showbiz historian is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the host of the longest running talk show in history (43 years and 300,000 guests, give or take) and often credited with inventing the format itself. Gilbert and Frank dropped in on Joe’s infamously cluttered (an understatement!) Times Square office to nosh on chicken salad, dodge falling stacks of collectibles and ask the “King of Nostalgia” about his memories of Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and John Lennon (to name but a few).
Child actor Butch Patrick was barely 11 years old when he was asked to screen test for a CBS “family sitcom” and within hours, his life was forever changed. To mark the 50th Anniversary of the debut of one of TV’s strangest (and most enduring) shows, “The Munsters,” Gilbert rings up Eddie Munster himself to find out how he first landed the part way back in 1964, why the original Marilyn was replaced and if he still has his old “Woof Woof” doll. Also, Butch speaks with surprising candor about overcoming his various demons of booze, drugs and typecasting and tells us where “Lidsville” creators Sid & Marty Krofft found their own “inspiration.” All this, plus memories of Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde and more!
Millions of movie buffs know Robert Osborne as the elegant, erudite film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies, but few know that he spent time as a struggling actor, was mentored by comedy legend Lucille Ball, and even appeared in the pilot of “The Beverly Hillbillies? — a show he was certain would “never catch on.” A while back, Gilbert sat in as TCM?s “Guest Programmer” and now Robert generously returns the favor by traveling to Manhattan’s Society of Illustrators on an oppressively hot July evening to dish a little dirt and share anecdotes about Hollywood luminaries Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Natalie Wood and Walt Disney (among others).
Gilbert and Frank head to the Greenwich Village apartment of “Roastmaster General” Jeffrey Ross to talk about some of his favorite roasts and roast jokes (he also couldn’t resist the urge to roast his two interviewers). Jeff also recalls his friendships with showbiz icons Buddy Hackett, Bea Arthur, Sid Caesar and Milton Berle, including the time he was treated to a sneak peek of Uncle Miltie’s legendarily large appendage. Also, Gilbert chimes in on his infamous performance at the Hugh Hefner roast and the “Aristocrats” joke that spawned a hit movie.
Throughout the late 1950’s and 60’s, the comedy duo of Allen & Rossi performed to sold-out Vegas crowds, recorded bestselling comedy albums and made hundreds of TV appearances (44 of them on “The Ed Sullivan Show” show). Sadly, Steve Rossi passed away recently but a few weeks back, we tracked down the other half of the legendary team, 92-year-old (and still performing!) Marty Allen, to talk about his 60+ years in the business, his brushes with Elvis and the Beatles and the origin of the duo’s signature catch phrase, “Hello Dere!”
Musician, comedian, actor and composer Paul Shaffer was heavily influenced by the musical (and comedy) acts he grew up watching on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” so it was only fitting that we interviewed him in the “Ed Sullivan Room” of the famed New York Friars Club. Not many people can say they worked with James Brown, John Belushi, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis, Brian Wilson, Chevy Chase, Mickey Rooney AND the infamous Phil Spector, but Paul has — and he shares memorable anecdotes about every one of them. Also, Gilbert and Paul discuss their mutual obsession with a certain Cindy Crawford/Valerie Bertinelli infomercial.
Gilbert visits the Upper West Side neighborhood of of 91-year-old comedy legend Larry Storch, to talk about his days in nightclubs and burlesque, his gift for accents and dialects, his decades-long friendships with Tony Curtis and Don (“Get Smart”) Adams and his memories of everyone from Lucille Ball to Orson Welles. Also, Larry shares some of his all-time favorite jokes and joins Gilbert and Frank for an impromptu (and practically on-key) rendition of the “F-Troop” theme.
Support Storch’s Star at GoFundMe.com: http://www.gofundme.com/storchsstar.
Actor and alleged wiseguy Gianni Russo, who played the traitorous Carlo Rizzi in the original Godfather, stops by to talk about people he?s bumped off in real life (two, maybe three that he’ll admit to), having sex with Liza Minnelli and Marilyn Monroe and taking acting lessons from Marlon Brando. Also, crime boss John Gotti and Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega get mentions! (Did you know that Liza and Noriega briefly toured together in the ’80s? Okay, we made that part up).