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Monty Python rides again. Those malicious rumours that they were washed up, pooped out, time expired (usually started by them) simply aren't true. With the launch of the sell-out show 'Monty Python Live (mostly)', the great, hugely influential comedy group geared up anew, surprising even more generations. This revised and updated edition charts the course of a revolution in British comedy and will appeal to die-hard fans and new recruits alike. The world of Python, its ear finely tuned to the absurd, was that rare beast: absolute originality. This tribute to the inspired collective genius of John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman, is based on personal reminiscences and exclusive interviews with each of them. It recounts, with many illustrations from the archives, their pre-Pythonic lives, their meeting, it's impact and the aftermath. They have come a long way over the years since then. Today, Gwen Dibley would hardly know them (were she still alive). The book is a faithful chronicle of the people and events who engendered a revolution in comedy.
*** The Hilarious Number One Sunday Times Bestseller! *** The follow-up autobiography to one of Britain's best loved actors and national treasures In his first book David Jason told us about himself from his early years training as an electrician through to making it as one of Britain's greatest actors. This autumn, in a follow up autobiography, he tells us about the many other lives he has lived - his characters. From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost, he takes us behind the scenes and under the skins of some of the best loved acts of his career. And in the process he reflects on how those characters changed his life too. The result told with his characteristic charm and wit is both funny and poignant, honest and heart warming.
Double acts don't come any closer than the The Two Ronnies. Messrs Barker and Corbett kept a nation laughing for two decades, and yet despite the rigorous work that went into writing, rehearsing and broadcasting almost a hundred episodes to millions of viewers each week, the pair never shared a cross word. In this memoir, the late Ronnie Corbett tells the story of their rise from theatre, through The Frost Report and into their own legendary show, as well as how some of their greatest sketches, including Mastermind and Fork Handles, came into being. This is the story of one of the great British institutions of the last thirty years, and a hilarious and moving look inside the working lives of two of our most-beloved comedians.
Satirical TV has become mandatory viewing for citizens wishing to make sense of the bizarre contemporary state of political life. Shifts in industry economics and audience tastes have re-made television comedy, once considered a wasteland of escapist humor, into what is arguably the most popular source of political critique. From fake news and pundit shows to animated sitcoms and mash-up videos, satire has become an important avenue for processing politics in informative and entertaining ways, and satire TV is now its own thriving, viable television genre.
Satire TV examines what happens when comedy becomes political, and politics become funny. A series of original essays focus on a range of programs, from "The Daily Show" to "South Park," "Da Ali G Show" to "The Colbert Report," "The Boondocks" to "Saturday Night Live," "Lil' Bush" to "Chappelle's Show," along with Internet D.I.Y. satire and essays on British and Canadian satire. They all offer insights into what today's class of satire tells us about the current state of politics, of television, of citizenship, all the while suggesting what satire adds to the political realm that news and documentaries cannot.
This fascinating text offers the first in-depth exploration of acting processes in British television. Focused around sixteen new interviews with celebrated British actors, including Rebecca Front, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Ken Stott, Penelope Wilton and John Hannah, this rich resource delves behind the scenes of a range of British television programmes in order to find out how actors build their characters for television, how they work on set and location, and how they create their critically acclaimed portrayals. The book looks at actors' work across four diverse but popular genres: soap opera; police and medical drama; comedy; and period drama. Its insightful discussion of hit programmes and its critical and contextual post-interview analysis, makes the text an essential read for students across Television and Film Studies, Theatre, Performance and Acting, and Cultural and Media Studies, as well as academics and anyone interested in acting and British television.
New in paperback, In Two Minds is the first comprehensive biography of Jonathan Miller - the story of one of post-war Britain's most intriguing polymaths. Descended from immigrants who fled Tsarist anti-Semitism to become shopkeepers in Ireland and London's East End, Miller was born into an intellectual milieu, between Bloomsbury and Harley Street - the son of a novelist and a leading child psychiatrist. Miller trained as a doctor but then forged a career as a stellar comedian and as a world-renowned theatre and opera director. He is a controversial humourist, public intellectual and TV personality. As a star in the groundbreaking satirical revue Beyond the Fringe, he shot to fame alongside Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett. His expertise and interests encompass many areas, from medicine (he wrote and presented the hugely acclaimed BBC documentary series The Body in Question) to the history of art, Mozart, atheism and the nature of laughter. Jonathan Miller is one of the most multi-talented Britons of his generation, celebrated for his dazzling intelligence and anti-establishmentarian wit. Drawing on in-depth interviews, this is an entertaining and illuminating portrait of a fascinatingly complex man.
Today more than ever, series finales have become cultural touchstones that feed watercooler fodder and Twitter storms among a committed community of viewers. While the final episodes of The Fugitive and M*A*S*H continue to rank among the highest rated broadcasts, more recent shows draw legions of binge-watching fans. Given the importance of finales to viewers and critics alike, Howard and Bianculli along with the other contributors explore these endings and what they mean to the audience, both in terms of their sense of narrative and as episodes that epitomize an entire show. Bringing together a veritable ""who's who"" of television scholars, journalists, and media experts, including Robert Thompson, Martha Nochimson, Gary Edgerton, David Hinckley, Kim Akass, and Joanne Morreale, the book offers commentary on some of the most compelling and often controversial final episodes in television history. Each chapter is devoted to a separate finale, providing readers with a comprehensive survey of these watershed moments. Gathering a unique international lineup of journalists and media scholars, the book also offers readers an intriguing variety of critical voices and perspectives.
Pioneering Chinese American actress Anna May Wong made more than sixty films, headlined theater and vaudeville productions, and even starred in her own television show. Her work helped shape racial modernity as she embodied the dominant image of Chinese and, more generally, "Oriental" women between 1925 and 1940. In Anna May Wong, Shirley Jennifer Lim re-evaluates Wong's life and work as a consummate artist by mining an historical archive of her efforts outside of Hollywood cinema. From her pan-European films and her self-made My China Film to her encounters with artists such as Josephine Baker, Carl Van Vechten, and Walter Benjamin, Lim scrutinizes Wong's cultural production and self-fashioning. Byconsidering the salient moments of Wong's career and cultural output, Lim's analysis explores the deeper meanings, and positions the actress as an historical and cultural entrepreneur who rewrote categories of representation. Anna May Wong provides a new understanding of the actress's career as an ingenious creative artist.
Narcos is the hugely-popular Netflix series that follows the drug war from the rise and fall of El Patron - the man responsible for the international addiction to cocaine - to the ingenious emergence of the Gentlemen of Cali. Need another hit? Discover the truth behind every aspect of the show's production with behind-the-scenes photos. Then get to the source of the series with exclusive interviews with the cast and crew. Narcos: The Art and Making of the Show is a detailed investigation into the creation of this addictively gripping and shockingly authentic historical drama.
Alesha Dixon has one of the most incredible stories of any star, yet she remains an enigma. Behind the fabulous smile and signature laugh is a private woman whose childhood was blighted by domestic violence, poverty and a lack of confidence. As a beautiful young woman, she has struggled to overcome professional failure and the devastating effect of her husband's infidelity. The UK's leading celebrity biographer Sean Smith has travelled to her home town to uncover the truth about her upbringing, her unconditional love for her mother, her loyalty to her extended family, her feud with her elder brother and her unsettled relationship with her Jamaican father, who left home for good when she was four. He discovers a sensitive and secretive woman, who managed to keep her long-term relationship with a member of one of the country's best-known boy bands hidden from public scrutiny. For the first time that love affair can now be revealed. He examines the circumstances that led to the break-up of her marriage to rapper MC Harvey and the effect that unhappy time has had on her life. Aleshadescribes a roller-coaster career that began when she was 'discovered' at a dance class in Central London. She achieved huge early success with Mis-Teeq, who had seven consecutive top ten hits before their record label went bust. Her subsequent solo career stalled when she was dropped by Polydor before her debut album was even released, but she turned things around with a spectacular victory on Strictly Come Dancing. Sean Smith lays bare her subsequent TV career, including the row over her appointment as a judge on the programme, as well as her triumphant switch to Britain's Got Talentin 2012. Aleshais the dramatic and uplifting account of her journey from a humble start in life and how she overcame all obstacles in her way to become an inspiration to women everywhere.
One of the biggest attractions of George R.R. Martin's high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and by extension its HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones, is its claim to historical realism. The author, the directors and producers of the adaptation, and indeed the fans of the books and show, all lay claim to Westeros, its setting, as representative of an authentic medieval world. But how true are these claims? Is it possible to faithfully represent a time so far removed from our own in time and culture? And what does an authentic medieval fantasy world look like? This book explores Martin's and HBO's approaches to and beliefs about the Middle Ages and how those beliefs fall into traditional medievalist and fantastic literary patterns. Examining both books and programme from a range of critical approaches - medievalism theory, gender theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and race theory - Dr Carroll analyzes how the drive for historical realism affects the books' and show's treatment of men, women, people of colour, sexuality, and imperialism, as well as how the author and showrunners discuss these effects outside the texts themselves. SHILOH CARROLL teaches in the writing center at Tennessee State University.
Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America's favorite comedians as he turns 65, and a look back at a remarkable career
Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like "Buying the Plot" and "Nodding Off," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at "Saturday Night Live," "When Harry Met Sally," and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac"), grandparenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.
`To a great mind, nothing is little' Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes has become such an iconic figure that he's almost real. He's on our TV screens, he's in our films and, of course, the books are still as popular as ever. This fascinating little miscellany tells you everything you need to know about this enduringly popular figure, and lots of stuff you don't! It contains the plots of all the novels, character descriptions, details of some of the plethora of Sherlock websites, and highlights the best films and TV adaptations. Entertaining and engrossing, The Elementary Sherlock Holmes will satisfy the curious and enlighten even the most dedicated Holmes fan.
In this original study, Thompson explores the complicated relationships between Americans and television during the 1950s, as seen and effected through popular humor. Parody and Taste in Postwar American Television Culture documents how Americans grew accustomed to understanding politics, current events, and popular culture through comedy that is simultaneously critical, commercial, and funny. Along with the rapid growth of television in the 1950s, an explosion of satire and parody took place across a wide field of American culture-in magazines, comic books, film, comedy albums, and on television itself. Taken together, these case studies don't just analyze and theorize the production and consumption of parody and television, but force us to revisit and revise our notions of postwar "consensus" culture as well.
This book brings together the many contributors to the Catalan television program "Silenci?": a showcase of the different tendencies in creative spheres today, including photography, fashion, music, film, graphic design, and advertising. "Silenci?" is characterized by the eclecticism of its contents, actively furthering design and social culture with a commitment to experimentation. It carries contributions of Peter Saville, Boris Hoppek, Tim Biskup, Obey the Giant, Twin Sisters, Paul M. Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Catalina Estrada, Antony Micallef, and Jordi Labanda, among many others.
The hardback of this first and authorised biography received very good reviews and immediately reprinted. It tells the story of one of the heroines of post-war British comedy, on radio, film and TV. Hattie Jacques is known as the billowing, imposing Matron in the Carry On films, as the star of such BBC radio classics as ITMA, Educating Archie and Hancock's Half Hour, and as the fictional sister of Eric Sykes in his long-running TV sitcom. But the formidable, frumpy galleon-in-full-sail screen persona could not have been more at odds with the real-life woman, as this biography reveals for the first time. She had a tempestuous wartime affair with an American officer, and then a strange marriage to the actor John le Mesurier (Corporal Wilson in Dad's Army) whose dissatisfactions she circumnavigated by moving her lover, a flashy Cockney car dealer, into the matrimonial home. But as well as being warm and sexy and generous she was also, owing to her lifelong struggle with her weight, needy and melancholic, and rueful that her size persistently typecast her and excluded her from many roles. This biography has been written with full co-operation from Hattie's son, and show business friends like Barbara Windsor, Clive Dunn, Galton and Simpson and Ian Carmichael.
Phil Wickham's study of The Likely Lads provides an entertaining and insightful critical account of one of Britain's best-loved and most enduring sitcoms. The programme had two incarnations: the original series, The Likely Lads (BBC 1964-6) depicted the escapades of Bob and Terry, two footloose and fancy-free Tyneside lads; its even more popular 70s sequel, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads (BBC 1973-4), shows our heroes coming to terms with the end of their youth and its attendant possibilities. Now Bob, engaged to Thelma and with an executive starter home, is aiming for the stars via the badminton club, while Terry revels in the gutter. Phil Wickham explores what the series says about Bob and Terry's times, from the affluent 60s to the more troubled decade that followed, and how The Likely Lads tackles issues of class and masculinity. He also considers the nature of the series' humour and its place in the tradition of British sitcom before examining the way it appeals to its audience by raising questions about time, failure, and the realities of everyday life. His discussions are informed by interviews with the writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.
This collection of essays responds to the recent surge of interest in popular television in Eastern Europe. This is a region where television's transformation has been especially spectacular, shifting from a state-controlled broadcast system delivering national, regional, and heavily filtered Western programming to a deregulated, multi-platform, transnational system delivering predominantly American and Western European entertainment programming. Consequently, the nations of Eastern Europe provide opportunities to examine the complex interactions among economic and funding systems, regulatory policies, globalization, imperialism, popular culture, and cultural identity.This collection will be the first volume to gather the best writing, by scholars across and outside the region, on socialist and postsocialist entertainment television as a medium, technology, and institution.
This book examines the American television legal series from its development as a genre in the 1940s to the present day. Villez demonstrates how the genre has been a rich source of legal information and understanding for Americans. These series have both informed and put myths in place about the legal system in the US. Villez also contrasts the US to France, which has seen a similar interest in legal series during this period. However, French television representations of justice are strikingly different, as is the role of fiction in offering viewers the possibility of acquiring significant understandings of their legal system. The book will be an important addition to the study of popular culture and law and will interest legal scholars, sociologists, and media scholars.
"A highly engaging and impeccably researched study of the cultural anxieties produced in the destabilization of straight and gay identity." --Michael DeAngelis, DePaul University "Original and compelling . . . an example of the best kind of television scholarship. Gay TV and Straight America is a rare find." --Sasha Torres, author of Black, White and In Color: Television and Black Civil Rights After years of relative silence on the subject of homosexuality, television in the 1990s saw a striking increase in gay material. Sitcoms like Friends, Seinfeld, Ellen, and Will & Grace, and dramas like Party of Five, Beverly Hills 90210, Homicide: Life on the Street, and The Commish added numerous gay and lesbian characters, aired special gay-themed episodes, and included references to homosexuality nearly every week. In Gay TV and Straight America, Ron Becker draws on a wide range of political and cultural indicators to explain this sudden upsurge of gay material on prime-time network television. He argues that the growing visibility of gay material both reflected and deepened Straight America's anxieties about social fragmentation and the politics of sexuality. In this cultural climate, gay material became a highly charged but also highly valuable narrowcasting-age tool for television executives looking to target a quality audience of well educated, upscale adults interested in "edgy" programming. Bringing together Supreme Court rulings, media coverage of gay rights battles, debates about multiculturalism and political correctness, analyses of numerous prime-time programs and much more, Becker helps us understand just what gay TV reveals about Straight America. In today's cultural climate where same-sex marriage bans are passed with wide margins yet millions of viewers tune in weekly to programs like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this book offers valuable insight on the complex condition of America's sexual politics. Ron Becker is an assistant professor of communications at Miami University, Ohio.
Enjoy the taste of the cult classic TV series Twin Peaks with more than 100 recipes inspired by the show's scenes and characters - including Maple Ham Pancakes, Coffee Donuts, Icelandic Hangikjot, Percolator Fish Supper and Chocolate Chestnut Log. Along the way you'll discover fun facts and features - such as how to tie cherry stems in your mouth, and how to fold origami owls - and a diner jukebox selection inspired by the show that you can enjoy with a slice of damn fine cherry pie. This publication has not been prepared, approved or licensed by any entity or individual that created or produced the well-known TV programme Twin Peaks.
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