Introducing The Guests In Song

Here’s a clip I found that showcases a fun way of introducing the guests on a talk/variety show. At the start of Milton Berle’s colour prime-time special from 1963, instead of using an announcer, he sings the introductions of all his guests, and has each one of them sing a parody of a popular song to introduce themselves. (Laurence Harvey singing “Put On a Happy Face,” and so on.) It can’t be an original technique, because it’s Berle and nothing he ever did was original, but it’s so wonderfully full of the style, music and clothes of the era.


Those Dastardly Bloggers Ruined Everything For Peter Bart

The New York Observer has an item on the collapse of Variety, once the definitive source of Hollywood insider info. What happened was the internet, where there is no “definitive” source of anything and where having a big online presence doesn’t actually help a trade paper make money. It may be even worse for entertainment trade papers than for non-niche papers. Whereas the internet can’t compete with the New York Times for reporting, and bloggers/twitterers wind up linking to or quoting from newspaper reporting, the information that Variety or The Hollywood Reporter offer is often accessible to anyone who has an inside source or two. News about executive firings, movie projects and TV cancellations therefore winds up being “broken” all over the place. So all Variety has left is its brand name, and it’s a brand name that’s increasingly associated with boredom and, during the writers’ strike, a pro-producers slant that didn’t set well with a lot of its readership.