Don Rickles 1926 – 2017

Please observe a minute of insults. Mr. Warmth is no more. Don Rickles passed away Thursday at 90. He was the ultimate stand-up funnyman, heckling his audience for more than 60 years. His shtick was so abrasive he never had his own hit series. No matter; he livened up plenty of other hits, with memorable appearances on… Read on



Chuck Barris 1929 – 2017

If you buy the premise that the ’70s was the Golden Age of inappropriate behaviour, the guy on the poster would be Chuck Barris. Barris, who died Tuesday at 87 (days after another famous Chuck named Berry), created the long-running TV game shows The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game in the ’60s. He hit the… Read on


Robert Osborne 1932 – 2017

Turner Classic Movies almost never takes part in the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tours. I’m always a little disappointed about this, because it is one of my favourite channels. Around ten years ago, TCM cracked open the vault and hosted an evening event outdoors at the Beverly Hilton. They brought a few movie stars from… Read on


Bill Paxton 1955 – 2017

I met Bill Paxton, with other reporters,  on a couple of occasions. Once or twice during the run of HBO’s Big Love, and just last month in Pasadena during the TCA press tour where he was promoting his new CBS series Training Day. He was his usual, good-natured self on that day, dominating the session.… Read on



More on Moore: her quality shone through, even in tough times

It has been a 24-hour MTM marathon ever since the news broke Wednesday that Mary Tyler Moore has passed away. I was honored to be asked to share memories of watching and, on a few occasions, meeting Moore. The first time I met Moore was in January of 1986 at a TCA press tour gathering in… Read on


Mary Tyler Moore 1936 – 2017

What makes even a crusty TV critic cry? News that Mary Tyler Moore has passed away. I first fell in love with her on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but who didn’t? Certainly Dick Van Dyke did. Look at the photo above — how much in love were these two kids? They were even asked,… Read on


From TCA17 to Taffel’s 16mm TV rarities

Did you know Sammy Davis Jr. could not land a special on a U.S. network TV schedule in the late ’50s — so he made one in Canada instead? That’s just one of the things I learned Monday from my pal Stan Taffel, 16mm film collector extraordinaire. Taffel is the president of Cinecon, an annual Los… Read on


Boreanaz: I’ve got a script for Rocketship 7

PASADENA, Calif. — Will Rocketshop 7 someday blast off as a feature film? The cherished children’s TV series, broadcast out of Buffalo’s WKBW in the ’60s and ’70s, is a touchstone for many boomers who grew up in the Toronto/Buffalo/Niagara area. The possibility that there might be a project about the series was raised almost as an afterthought… Read on