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January 2015 Friday Night Spotlight: Neil Simon


Guest obrienmundy

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Guest obrienmundy

In a most modern-skewing month for TCM, the Friday Night Spotlight has been revealed to be films from Neil Simon scripts. This provides a good assortment of some of the best films of the 1960s,  1970s and 1980s.  In addition, Barefoot in the Park is showing on January 13th, making it 18 Simon films playing in January.

 

January 2

 

8:00 PM
 
Odd Couple, The (1968)

 

10:00 PM
 
Out-of-Towners, The (1970)

 

12:00 AM
 
Come Blow Your Horn (1963)

 

January 9

 

8:00 PM
 
Murder by Death (1976)

9:45 PM
 
Cheap Detective, The (1978)
 

11:30 PM
 
Plaza Suite (1971)

1:30 AM
 
California Suite (1978)

 

January 16

 

8:00 PM
 
Goodbye Girl, The (1977)

 

10:00 PM
 
Chapter Two (1979)

 

12:15 AM
 
Only When I Laugh (1981) 

 

January 23

 

8:00 PM
 
Lost in Yonkers (1993)
 

10:00 PM
 
Biloxi Blues (1988)
 

12:00 AM
 
Seems Like Old Times (1980)
 
 

2:00 AM
 
Sunshine Boys, The (1975)

 

 

January 30

 

8:00 PM
 
Heartbreak Kid, The (1972)
 

10:00 PM
 
Prisoner of Second Avenue, The (1974)

12:00 AM
 
Sweet Charity (1969) 

 

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I hope the Friday Night Spotlight host pronounces Biloxi correctly. For the uninitiated, it's Bi-LUX-ee, not Bi-LOX-ee! When the stage production of "Biloxi Blues" won the 1984-1985 Tony Award for Best Play, Neil Simon didn't say it correctly, and he should have known better.

 

I've heard that a major reason why the people in the film version get it right is because Park Overall, who plays Rowena, is from Tennessee -- and she kept them straight.

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My guess is that Richard Dreyfuss would be a logical host for this series. He's acted in a couple of films with Neil Simon screenplays, including one of the best (THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977)), and he's a friend of TCM, having previously been interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz at the film festival.

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My guess is that Richard Dreyfuss would be a logical host for this series. He's acted in a couple of films with Neil Simon screenplays, including one of the best (THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977)), and he's a friend of TCM, having previously been interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz at the film festival.

 

Dreyfuss would be great for a night of Simon films.

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  • 1 month later...

The host for the January Friday Night Spotlight: Neil Simon will be.....(drumroll)...Ken Levine

 

Who's Ken Levine, you might ask?  Ken Levine (pronounced La- VINE, not La Veen), is a veteran TV writer/director, whose credits - usually with partner David Isaacs pretty much cover the cream of the late 70s/80s sitcom crop.  Levine and Isaacs produced/story edited the Silver Age of MASH after Larry Gelbart left. They were the prime writing force for the initial (and series defining) season of CHEERS, and after leaving there, still contributed many, many fine scripts for that show. they also wrote and story edited WINGS, and also wrote many , many scripts for FRASIER and the underrated BECKER. Levine himself has directed many fine sitcoms. and still story consults on shows today.

 

Levine also has a daily blog, called 'by KEN LEVINE'  - http://blogspot.kenlevine.com, which is something all interested in show business, especially the creating of television comedy should read - you should be warned,,,,it is very VERY addictive.  Actually, reading the blog, you will understand just why he was picked to host the Spotlight, a trip through the archives will kill....several days, and never fail to entertain! 

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last night Mr. Levine mentioned how Neil Simon couldn't remember writing the screenplay for SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES. I can believe it. One tends to prefer forgetting the tragedies in one's career. ;)

What a stinker!!

BTW, am liking his intros. He's knowledgeable, funny, enthusiastic and at-ease on camera.

Simon's output can be hit or miss.

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last night Mr. Levine mentioned how Neil Simon couldn't remember writing the screenplay for SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES. I can believe it. One tends to prefer forgetting the tragedies in one's career. ;)

What a stinker!!

BTW, am liking his intros. He's knowledgeable, funny, enthusiastic and at-ease on camera.

Simon's output can be hit or miss.

 

I was impressed that he pronounced Biloxi correctly in his intro for "Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues," as did everyone in the film itself. It's pronounced Ba-LUX-see, but Simon actually said it wrong when he accepted a Tony for the play in 1985!

 

As for the Chevy Chase-Goldie Hawn film, well, it was very much a movie comedy of its time. It's like watching an old episode of "Dynasty," when big hair and shoulder pads for women were the style. 

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