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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Invasion Of The Pod People. 3.

Continuing on with the Pod People, today I'll be talking about "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show"
Kevin Pollak is a great comedian, and an extraordinary mimic.
For the uninformed, his current specialties in that regard are Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Albert Brooks, and Christopher Walken.
There is a major visual component to each of these impressions, which he will launch into at the drop of a chapeau.
He is very big on chapeaus. Always wearing one.
So the fact that this podcast is also televised is very helpful.

Unlike Larry Miller's which runs approximately 35 minutes in length, Pollak's runs between two and two and a half hours.
And it is primarily an interview show.
He has one guest per show, ranging from fairly well-known actors to Giants of the Industry.
But it is always about Show Business, and this appeals to me.

In a previous post, "Why I Miss Tom Snyder", I bemoaned the passing of interview shows where the idea is to have extended interesting conversation.
This is what Pollak provides, and is primarily why it is worth your time.
Pollak is a first-rate interviewer.
He works in the rarefied air of expecting his audience to know almost as much about Show Business as he does.

The visual trappings are very similar to that of the Charlie Rose Show, without the somnambulistic similarities.
Aside from his guest, he has two other people filling two other seats that are on camera quite a bit: his young girlfriend, Jamie Foxx (yes, there is another one) and a young actor/friend named Samm Levine (yes, there is another one, for you old Jewish theatregoers out there).

Pollak spends very little time talking directly to the audience, preferring to talk directly to Jamie or Samm or his guest.
Much like Howard Stern does.
This does not rob us of any entertainment value.

There are, in my view, some minor excesses.
He likes to indulge in a patronizing game called "Who Tweeted?", where the object is for he and his guest to determine who, among Paris Hilton, Tyra Banks, and Justin Bieber, made the mindless Tweet that is quoted.
This doesn't imply that they don't deserve to be patronized.
I suppose this was funny the first time, but they do it every week.

He tends to fawn over his guests.
The bigger the guest, the bigger the fawning.

He shows some mock (I THINK it's mock) contempt for his viewers, having no trouble telling them individually to go fuck themselves at the drop of another chapeau.

He closes each show with his catchphrase,"Get out of my face".

But I am a fan of well-done mean-spiritedness, and that's what this is.
For regular readers here, I'm sure you notice that I indulge in it my own self fairly often.
So if Pollak should perchance read this, I would wear the "Go Fuck Yourself" hurled in my direction as a Badge of Honor.


My book, "Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store, You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
You might want to check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.

The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle. I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.

The website "On Screen & Beyond" has two hours of an interview I did on it's podcast in their archives.
Just Google On Screen & Beyond to find them if you're interested.


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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."