Pioneers of Television
The four-part series examines the people who left their imprint on sitcoms, late-night, variety and game shows in the early days of the medium. The program features interviews with legendary stars, including Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Art Linkletter, Andy Griffith, Betty White, Phyllis Diller, Jim Nabors, Marlo Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Ed McMahon and Merv Griffin. Using never-before-seen images and showcasing timeless clips, the documentary series examines the entertainers that provided the classic scenes that still amuse us today.
Late Night (#102H) Duration: 55:46 STEREO TVG
The stories of Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson headline this episode about the formative years of late-night television. Merv Griffin also emerges as a key player on the late-night scene. (His interview for Pioneers was his last before passing away.) Regis Philbin offers revelations about his years as a late-night sidekick (to Joey Bishop). Dick Cavett and Arsenio Hall also discuss their years in the mix, and Sigourney Weaver offers personal details about her father, Pat - the inventor of "Tonight." The episode is peppered with dozens of never-before-seen clips, including Johnny Carson performing in his early 20s.
Acting Funny (#404H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
This episode peeks behind the curtain to reveal the backstage techniques of America's favorite comedic actors. The program features the manic improvisational style of Robin Williams, along with his comic predecessor Jonathan Winters. They're a fascinating contrast to Tina Fey, who explains her measured, highly prepared approach. The episode also highlights the all-time #1 Emmy winner for comedy acting: Cloris Leachman.