Question: Last Monday you had a letter in which the writer decried the quality of today's comedies. He noted that the networks are at a disadvantage compared to HBO because of censorship. Here's my problem. The writer noted great comedies from the past 20 years, like Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier, Friends, The Cosby Show. I can add other great comedies: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, M*A*S*H, Taxi, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy and many more. None of these great comedies needed a lack of censorship in order to be funny. Why do so many people think there has to be foul language and sex in order for a show to be good? All that's needed is quality writing, truly funny situations that people can relate to and some good acting, and you know what? You have a classic sitcom. What do you think?
Answer: I think you're right, of course. But try convincing today's generation of tone-deaf program executives to go with class over crass. You'd think
In bringing The Honeymooners to the big screen, costars Gabrielle Union and Regina Hall faced considerable challenges.
The two actresses had to elude the shadows of classic TV
icons Audrey Meadows
and Joyce Randolph
, who played Alice and Trixie. They also had to turn two white '50s housewives into modern, independent black women. What's more, the Gabrielle Union of take-no-bull, Deliver Us from Eva
fame — who married NFL player Chris Howard
in 2001 — definitely had to forget her own marital habits to play Alice.
"[Alice] is so different from me as a wife," Union explains. "I'm not as forgiving. I tend to speak and then I think about what I just said, whereas this role took me back to the advice my mom gave me before I got married. She was like, 'You're in for a rude awakening; you're going to
The Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched, The Honeymooners... Cedric the Entertainer is the first to concede that the trend of adapting classic TV shows into films has turned into a joke.
But then, of course, the star of The Honeymooners
— in theaters today — immediately defends his big-screen update of the beloved '50s sitcom
about the everyday lives of a bus driver, a sewer worker and their long-suffering wives.
"It can seem like a big cliché when you think about all the films coming out that used to be TV shows," Cedric says, "but this particular one makes sense to redo. All of the themes of the show still make sense today."
Did the comic feel any qualms about filling the s
Hollywood is currently crazy for adapting cult-classic television series into movies. Here's the scoop on a few small-screen favorites bound for the big screen in the near future.The HoneymoonersIn theaters Cedric the Entertainer
as Ralph Kramden and Mike Epps
as his pal Norton. What to expect
It's an ethnic twist on the classic comedy, but we're holding out for at least one commemorative "Hamina, hamina, hamina!" In theaters
Stars Nicole Kidman as Samantha, Will Ferrell as hubby Darrin and Shirley MacLaine as Endora. What to expect Utter zaniness when a real nose-twitching witch is hired to play Samantha in a movie adaptation of Bewitched. It's a show within a movie about a show (got that?) in Nora Ephron's take on the hit series. In theaters July 8, 2005
The Dukes of Hazzard