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Friday, June 19, 2009

Yes, Chris Berman Will Soon Have A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Crack-crack-crack-crack-crack-crack-crack-crack!

I’m am not kidding in the least with the headline above. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released the names of the latest individuals to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and THE Christopher Berman is on the list. Joining the ESPNer is a cavalcade of dignitaries, entertainment pros and….Mark Wahlberg….

TELEVISION:

Chris Berman, Jon Cryer, Peter Graves, Jimmy Kimmel,
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Maher, and Sam Waterston

Repoz Posted: June 19, 2009 at 05:41 PM | 231 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, media, television

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3225026)
Don't you mean Mark "Another Brick in the" Wahlberg?
   2. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3225043)
Berman: Thanks for the recognition, guys. But why is my star so far off the beaten path?

Hollywood: We thought you'd want it back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back there.
   3. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3225044)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus


Is she any more than a run-of-the-mill sitcom actress? Apparently the bar for a star is fairly low. I'm surprised. I mean, whatever you think of Berman, he's been on the air and fairly popular for 30 years.
   4. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3225050)
Still no Weird Al. Outrage.
   5. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3225053)
Apparently the bar for a star is fairly low.

The bar is set at a check for $X thousand to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
   6. Steve Treder Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:16 PM (#3225060)
The bar is set at a check for $X thousand to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

That's pretty much how I've always understood it to be.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3225064)
You're with me, concrete.
   8. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3225068)
Is she any more than a run-of-the-mill sitcom actress?
She is married to Brad Hall.
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3225070)
Is she any more than a run-of-the-mill sitcom actress? Apparently the bar for a star is fairly low. I'm surprised. I mean, whatever you think of Berman, he's been on the air and fairly popular for 30 years.


I'd see it the opposite way. She was a star of one of the biggest sitcoms of the past two decades, has made a few movies and is again in a sitcom of some length. These are entertainment industry productions, and so I can see how she'd be included. Berman's in an entirely different field (and is an insufferable ass, but I suppose that's besides the point).
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3225079)
I think if you saw a list of who has a star, you'd realize how very, very low the bar is set. Let me see if I can locate one...
   11. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3225084)
Is she any more than a run-of-the-mill sitcom actress?

Are you saying JLD:Seinfeld::Vivian Vance:Lucy?

She was a key ingredient of a long running sitcom which is in the discussion for best TV show ever and is a star in a moderately successful show. Wasn't she also on SNL? She's above mid-level of this entrance class.

Is Peter Graves more of a star? Stalag 17 was probably his most important movie, and as a 50s sci-fi lover I give him bonus points for them and while I loved MI in its day, his role didn't really require tremendous acting chops.

Plus as the BBHC said, she had the scratch.
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:30 PM (#3225087)
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3225091)
Is she any more than a run-of-the-mill sitcom actress? Apparently the bar for a star is fairly low.

Did you miss the part where they said Jon Cryer was getting one?
   14. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3225092)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is more of a peak candidate, but she's been on TV (off and on) for almost 30 years. She was at SNL during the Eddie Murphy era.

More importantly, this will increase the number of homeless people who take a dump on Chris Berman by nearly 30%.
   15. Young Blasarius yonder Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:39 PM (#3225099)
She was at SNL during the Eddie Murphy era.


Speaking of Eddie Murphy, I was beyond surprised to see that Charlie Murphy is honoured. I mean if that's the case, then I'd say Ducky is more than deserving.
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:44 PM (#3225110)
Is Peter Graves more of a star? Stalag 17 was probably his most important movie, and as a 50s sci-fi lover I give him bonus points for them and while I loved MI in its day, his role didn't really require tremendous acting chops.

and remember "Fury" ("...the story of a horse, and the boy who loved him..")

so long ago that Graves had dark hair
   17. Jerk Store Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3225120)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is more of a peak candidate, but she's been on TV (off and on) for almost 30 years. She was at SNL during the Eddie Murphy era.


She also did like 5 episodes of Arrested Development. AFAIC, anyone whose name rolled in the credits should have their own star.

(And yes, I am aware that her episodes are probably the weakest of the series).
   18. BringBackTimTeufel Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:51 PM (#3225130)
Did you miss the part where they said Jon Cryer was getting one?

Ba-zing!
   19. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 19, 2009 at 06:58 PM (#3225143)
I was beyond surprised to see that Charlie Murphy is honoured.
I wonder if we wrangle this into a Charlie Murphy thread, Google ads will respond by giving us those "Leroy Smith's Get Your Basketball On Motivational DVD's" Nike ads? Google seems to be able to cater its ads to the topic at hand.
   20. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: June 19, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3225148)
Considering how low the bar is, I'm surprised Jon Cryer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus didn't get a star 15 years ago
   21. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: June 19, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3225152)
She also did like 5 episodes of Arrested Development. AFAIC, anyone whose name rolled in the credits should have their own star.


From a quick glance at Shooty's link, I see Liza, Charlize Theron, Ron Howard, and Henry Winkler. It's been too long since I've seen an episode, so I don't remember the guests as well as I should.
   22. Obama Bomaye Posted: June 19, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3225171)
I don't know if I actually care, but don't they have like thousands of stars on there now? And are they running out of room? I don't know the geography or the logistics. Do they save prime space for big stars of the future, while shunting the C-listers into some side alley?
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 19, 2009 at 07:20 PM (#3225178)
From "Seinfeld" alone, I believe that Jason Alexander deserves a star. The fact that he didn't win a single Emmy for his work on the show is probably one of the dumbest things I can possibly imagine. People might have laughed at Michael Richard's physical tics, but Alexander was actually creating a workable character that was hilarious, every single episode.

JLD was also pitch-perfect in her role, and the development of her character from silly sidekick to strong-willed business woman was simply amazing.

(Watching all of the seasons back-to-back on DVD and listening to the commentary tracks from the writers really highlights how amazing those two were.)
   24. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: June 19, 2009 at 07:25 PM (#3225191)
How long before Jose Canseco sues the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to get on the Walk of Fame?
   25. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 19, 2009 at 07:58 PM (#3225232)
From "Seinfeld" alone, I believe that Jason Alexander deserves a star. The fact that he didn't win a single Emmy for his work on the show is probably one of the dumbest things I can possibly imagine. People might have laughed at Michael Richard's physical tics, but Alexander was actually creating a workable character that was hilarious, every single episode.

Well, it's not that hard to just act like Larry David all the time.
   26. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3225242)
If you watch the first season of Seinfeld, Jason Alexander wasn't acting "like Larry David," so much as he was doing a Woody Allen take-off. Listen to his nasal vocal intonation, which left by the second season. ... I thought of this when I read last week that Larry David is now starring in a new Woody Allen movie, which Rotten Tomatoes says is "not Fresh."
   27. zonk Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3225264)

Well, it's not that hard to just act like Larry David all the time.


Echoing Rich -- I think Alexander brought a bit more snivel than does Larry David... and FWIW, I think he brings more of a conniving edge than Allen, too.

George Constanza is probably one of my 5 favorite TV characters of all time.
   28. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3225270)
Yeah, but she had one of the worst SNL careers ever. I defy anyone (including her) to tell me a single laugh she got when she was there.

In the Gumby (Eddie Murphy) Christmas special, she played Marie Osmond. Donny and Marie, show up, start to sing, then neck. It was one of her few laughs, but it was funny.

Merry Christmas, Damnit.
   29. Diamond Research Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3225273)
Don't diss Berman. People like his shtick and he obliges which makes him well paid. One of the nicest guys in the profession I've ever met and he will talk sports with anyone. Great down to earth guy.
   30. The District Attorney Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3225276)
Larry David is now starring in a new Woody Allen movie, which Rotten Tomatoes says is "not Fresh."
Furthermore, it claims David is a "sucka MC."
   31. Steve Treder Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3225277)
One of the nicest guys in the profession I've ever met and he will talk sports with anyone. Great down to earth guy.

I have no doubt this is the case, but that makes his on-screen schtick no less annoying.
   32. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: June 19, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3225278)
Yes, Chris Berman Will Soon Have A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Yes, Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Will Soon Have a Designated Spot Upon Which to Piss When Drunk on Hollywood Boulevard
   33. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: June 19, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3225315)
I hope it's in front of one of the leather stores.
   34. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: June 19, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3225317)
George Constanza is probably one of my 5 favorite TV characters of all time.


Okay, I'll bite: George Costanza, Louie DePalma, Felix Unger, Ernie "Coach" Pantuso and Ralph Wiggum?
   35. jwb Posted: June 19, 2009 at 09:08 PM (#3225323)
This makes up, in some small way, for the visual effects Oscar Mark Wahlberg was robbed of in 1998.
   36. BeanoCook Posted: June 19, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3225324)
Not surprisingly, Berman will be the first to have his butt print in concrete, as opposed to the traditional hand print.
   37. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 19, 2009 at 09:27 PM (#3225345)
("...the story of a horse, and the boy who loved him..")


Wrong thread.

I heard that Mark Wahlberg will celebrate by reprising his famous 1988 role blinding a Vietnamese man in an unprovoked attack.
   38. smileyy Posted: June 19, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3225353)
David Cross's cat-like reflexes breaking into Maggie Lizer's house made those episodes worthwhile.
   39. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 19, 2009 at 10:00 PM (#3225372)
Okay, I'll bite: George Costanza, Louie DePalma, Felix Unger, Ernie "Coach" Pantuso and Ralph Wiggum?
Ted Baxter; Cosmo Kramer; Sue Ann Nivens; Fred Sanford; Howard Borden; Norm Peterson; Barney Fife; Jim Ignatowski; Fred Mertz; Sgt. Schultz; Elliot Carlin; Frank Luger; etc.
   40. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 19, 2009 at 10:09 PM (#3225388)
George Constanza is probably one of my 5 favorite TV characters of all time.

Okay, I'll bite: George Costanza, Louie DePalma, Felix Unger, Ernie "Coach" Pantuso and Ralph Wiggum?

Sounds like a fun game. I'll go with D.A.

D. A. Adam Schiff - the boss
Homer Simpson - baffoon
Bob Hartley - straight man
Oscar the Grouch - grouch
Col. Flagg - recurring character.

Honorable mentions include:

Coach Pantuso, Dr. Johnny Fever, Lou Grant, Reverend Jim Ignatowski, Niles Frasier, Church Lady.
   41. Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: June 19, 2009 at 10:13 PM (#3225395)
Oh my, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the best comedic actor on Seinfeld, widely regarded as the best television show ever. Really, the next time you watch that show, focus in on Julia and how brilliant her timing and characterization is. The scene where she tells Jerry about how the guy he set her up with took "it" out might be the single best scene in the series just because of her delivery.
   42. nick swisher hygiene Posted: June 19, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3225417)
Look, I'm a small-Walk guy to begin with, but Berman!?

He gets in and in another 5 years we'll be hearing about how Woody Paige was the most feared member of PTI....
   43. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3225428)
I seriously have never been able to get through a single episode of Seinfeld. I think it's awesome that we all get along as well as we do considering what a massive cultural divide we sit across.

I do believe there is objective humor, but there is certainly a wide range of taste on it too.

Except for 30 Rock which is universally funny.
   44. McCoy Posted: June 19, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3225434)
My dad hated the Costanza character, that is all.
   45. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: June 19, 2009 at 11:02 PM (#3225482)
Oh my, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the best comedic actor on Seinfeld, widely regarded as the best television show ever."


This is a joke, right? Seinfeld wasn't even the best comedy of its decade (hi, Simpsons). It wasn't even the best comedy series Julia Louis-Dreyfus ever appeared on.

As you can tell, I am not a Seinfeld fan. I know, lots of people love it; I know, humor is subjective. I'll agree that it was one of the most popular shows of the '90s. It's just a pet peeve of mine when people canonize decent but unremarkable shows. (It's why Firefly fans hate me, but that's another story.)
   46. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 19, 2009 at 11:18 PM (#3225517)
The Simpsons is a cartoon, not a sitcom.
   47. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: June 19, 2009 at 11:22 PM (#3225525)
I didn't say sitcom, I said comedy.
   48. McCoy Posted: June 19, 2009 at 11:26 PM (#3225528)
Married with Children turned to crap at the end which causes it to come crashing down but before that it was a great show.
   49. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 19, 2009 at 11:28 PM (#3225534)
It wasn't even the best comedy series Julia Louis-Dreyfus ever appeared on

Wow, you don't see many "Day by Day" fans around these days.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3225575)
Wow, you don't see many "Day by Day" fans around these days.


And it goes without saying that Day by Day wasn't the best comedy series starring Courtney Thorne-Smith.
   51. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:17 AM (#3225587)
It's just a pet peeve of mine when people canonize decent but unremarkable shows.


Whether you like it or not, calling Seinfeld "unremarkable" is silly.
   52. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:17 AM (#3225589)
If I ever get to LA I will take a #### on it.
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3225591)
From "Seinfeld" alone, I believe that Jason Alexander deserves a star. The fact that he didn't win a single Emmy for his work on the show is probably one of the dumbest things I can possibly imagine. People might have laughed at Michael Richard's physical tics, but Alexander was actually creating a workable character that was hilarious, every single episode.

JLD was also pitch-perfect in her role, and the development of her character from silly sidekick to strong-willed business woman was simply amazing.


Totally agree. All four of them were great, but Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander were the true stars of that show. Richards was far funnier with his deadpan lines than he was with his physical slapstick act, which wears kind of thin.

Oh my, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the best comedic actor on Seinfeld, widely regarded as the best television show ever. Really, the next time you watch that show, focus in on Julia and how brilliant her timing and characterization is. The scene where she tells Jerry about how the guy he set her up with took "it" out might be the single best scene in the series just because of her delivery.


With the most perfectly timed eyeglasses fogging in the history of everything. And don't forget the "Milk? COOKIES?" line in the Keith Hernandez episode, which might have been even better. And her reaction to the woman who was "talking about my Botticelli shoes!!"
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3225592)
   55. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:33 AM (#3225599)
I have no problem with saying anyone who didn't like Seinfeld is a terrorist.
   56. Flynn Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3225602)
Richards was far funnier with his deadpan lines than he was with his physical slapstick act, which wears kind of thin.

He was good though. Considering the way he played Kramer, the vast majority of actors would have turned him into a goofy caricature. Richards was brilliant to realize that Kramer was two steps ahead of everybody else, not two steps behind (as he plays early Kramer). He was goofy but he was still a believable character. Though like you I'd still rank him behind Elaine and George. George is the best sitcom character of all time, IMO.
   57. Kurt Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:44 AM (#3225614)
Harry has Elaine's best scene pegged exactly right. I'd say the runner-up is her recap of her failed effort to beat the Van Wyck.
   58. Yardape Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:46 AM (#3225616)
This is a joke, right? Seinfeld wasn't even the best comedy of its decade (hi, Simpsons).


TV Guide said that Seinfeld was the best show ever. While that hardly ends the debate, the statement that Seinfeld is "widely regarded as the best comedy ever" is not exactly out there, no matter your personal opinion.
   59. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:01 AM (#3225627)
Whether you like it or not, calling Seinfeld "unremarkable" is silly."


It's one of the most beloved and quoted shows, yes. It has one of the biggest fanbases ever, I would guess. The show itself still didn't impress me.

TV Guide said that Seinfeld was the best show ever. While that hardly ends the debate, the statement that Seinfeld is "widely regarded as the best comedy ever" is not exactly out there, no matter your personal opinion."


Fair point.
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3225630)
This is a joke, right? Seinfeld wasn't even the best comedy of its decade (hi, Simpsons).

Peak value The Simpsons, career value Seinfeld. All those teaching and preaching scenes in The Simpsons kind of dilute the comic effect of nearly every other episode.
   61. Kurt Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:12 AM (#3225631)
I'm pretty partial to "No, I mentioned the bisque." There's an archness to the way she delivers that line that just kills me.

Yes. Also, the way she walks away from George after "You want a Christmas card? You want a Christmas card?"
   62. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:14 AM (#3225633)
My problem with Seinfeld is that the same thing happened to it that happens to almost all comedies. They run out of ideas for the characters. Sitcoms usually start with setup/joke. If the characters are good, the writers start to play off their characteristics and basically put them into situations where they can play off of them. Such as George getting engaged. But then at some point, they just run out of things to explore. So they make stuff up that isn't plausible. Like after knowing Elaine for 6 years, we suddenly find out that she dances with her thumbs out? And the dancing is supposed to be funny?

The only way I've seen to avoid this is to change up the characters, but that often has the opposite effect because the original characters still have nothing to do. I have seen very few shows do this successfully*. Cheers did it. It may not have been intentional, but the moves from Long to Alley and Coach to Woody opened up new interactions. MASH did it. They didn't try to plug new characters into the old roles. Sure, Winchester didn't get along any more than Frank did, but it was for very different reasons.

This is not intended to rehash Jumping the Shark. I'm not talking about specific turning points, I'm talking about pinpointing when they run out of ideas. The most common telling point is when they just decide that the characters are losers and we should laugh at them:

Friends: Ross was a dork, but not a loser. Chandler was somewhat effeminate, but again, not a loser. Then, they were losers.
Wings: I'm not in the majority here, I know, but it was very funny early on. Brian was a ladies' man. But then there was the episode where the whole cast independently went to a singles' night.
Night Court: Harry was odd, as was the whole cast. But later on, even Dan was a pathetic loser pining away for Markie.
Drew Carey: Again, I don't think I'm with the crowd here, but the first few seasons were very funny. Then they decided that instead of quirky, Oswald and Lewis were just stupid.
Scrubs: I don't think this really lost it, but the JD/Turk love affair got pretty over-the-top by the end.


*I've only watched sitcoms since about the mid '80's, so don't take what I'm about to say to apply to anything older than that.
   63. Kurt Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:14 AM (#3225634)
The problem with the Simpsons isn't the teaching & preaching scenes, the problem is that they turned Homer from an actual character into a dumber Peter Griffin.
   64. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3225635)
Best Sitcom of the 80s: Cheers
Best Sitcom of the 90s: NewsRadio [hence my handle]
Best Sitcom of the 00s: Scrubs

I've never gotten the fascination with Seinfeld. It's okay, and I'll watch it if there's nothing else on, but it ranks even behind "Friends" for me.
   65. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:19 AM (#3225637)
Oh, crap, I knew I forgot something. NewsRadio was incredible, but it never got the chance to run out of ideas due to low ratings and Phil Hartman's death. Although I just watched some re-runs with Lovitz and they're not as bad as I remember them. The problem with Lovitz is that he was the same character he always plays, an idiot, and they already had Andy Dick. Dave turned into a caretaker of children, he had nobody to match wits with.
   66. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:21 AM (#3225639)
One more thing, since I seem to have started this. I had thought of a star on the walk of fame as an actual honor, but apparently they let anyone in. So JLD can get into the Walk of Fame, but I'd keep her out of the Walk of Merit for now. I don't think her current sitcom is very funny, so she's Dale Murphy for now.
   67. Flynn Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:28 AM (#3225643)
64, though I love the later episodes of Seinfeld, you are describing the change in head writer from Larry David to Larry Charles. It got noticeably wackier after that.
   68. McCoy Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:33 AM (#3225647)
newsradio was great.
   69. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:42 AM (#3225655)
NewsRadio and Arrested Development are by far the two best sitcoms of my sentient life (1993 onwards.) I don't think The Simpsons deserves to be mentioned in this category; there's a lot of stuff you can do/get away with on animated shows that you can't do with live action, and a lot of the funniest moments on The Simpsons rely on this (e.g. physical comedy.)

Seinfeld was very good. I never liked JLD (and thought she was one of the few weak guest stars on AD -- actually, I can't think of any others) but have to admit she did a very good acting job there.

Not only is NR forgotten by the sands of time, but Maura Tierney is one of the most underrated hotties in television history -- a Lou Whitaker I guess.
   70. AndrewJ Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:49 AM (#3225662)
Yeah, but (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) had one of the worst SNL careers ever.

You could make up a good list of SNL cast members of the 1980s and 1990s who never got a chance to shine on the show but went on to ridiculously successful careers afterwards: Gilbert Gottfried, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Harry Shearer, Robert Downey, Jr., Damon Wayans, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garafolo, Sarah Silverman...
   71. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:01 AM (#3225667)
though I love the later episodes of Seinfeld, you are describing the change in head writer from Larry David to Larry Charles. It got noticeably wackier after that.

I guess I knew that Larry David left, but not really when.
   72. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3225671)
My favorite JLD acting moments were the old woman with the goiter and especially the older guy who she dated who had a stroke.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:18 AM (#3225673)
I LOVE my Yan-kee beans!
   74. Blastin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3225677)
I happen to love her little legkick during The Contest when she first hears about John-John. She half-jumps onto the gym desk, and it's childish and girlish but somehow a believable reaction to an adult celebrity crush.

But, yeah, The Contest has been praised to death, of course.
   75. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3225684)
You could make up a good list of SNL cast members of the 1980s and 1990s who never got a chance to shine on the show but went on to ridiculously successful careers afterwards: Gilbert Gottfried, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Harry Shearer, Robert Downey, Jr., Damon Wayans, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garafolo, Sarah Silverman...


Gottfried and Garofalo went on to ridiculously successful careers?
   76. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:42 AM (#3225691)
Kramer was two steps ahead of everybody else, not two steps behind (as he plays early Kramer). He was goofy but he was still a believable character. Though like you I'd still rank him behind Elaine and George. George is the best sitcom character of all time, IMO.
The greatest single bit Seinfeld ever did with Kramer (other than maybe fussili Jerry) was when he found the Merv Griffin Show set in the trash and recreated it in his apartment. In that episode, George hit a squirrel with his car and paid for it to be nursed back to health, only to have tragedy strike when Jim Fowler from Wild Kingdom just happened to be Kramer's guest, bringing along with him a falcon which preys on rodents!

These are the 10 best sitcoms in order of all time:

1. Seinfeld*
2. The Mary Tyler Moore Show*
3. The Bob Newhart Show*
4. M*A*S*H
5. I Love Lucy*
6. Cheers*
7. Taxi*
8. Sanford & Son
9. All In the Family
10. Bewitched

Honorable mention: Get Smart; The Honeymooners; Welcome Back Kotter; The Partridge Family; Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.; The Andy Griffith Show; Hogan's Heroes; The Dick Van Dyke Show; Frasier
Chico and the Man; The Jeffersons; and The Odd Couple.

*Notice that almost all of the best sitcoms follow the Rifkin formula: Have your main character (or at least a very major character in each episode) be a relatively regular, normal person (Mary Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Ricardo, Sam Malone, Alex Reiger, Bob Hartley) who is not all that funny, but who is surrounded by wacky characters who do all kinds of odd sh*t in odd ways. A show with Kramer or Ted Baxter or Jim Ignatowsky as the centerpiece does not work. A show with those people orbiting around a regular guy or gal can be very funny.
   77. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:43 AM (#3225693)
Janeane Garafolo
What is she b!tching about now?
   78. Srul Itza Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:13 AM (#3225708)
He was goofy but he was still a believable character.

???

There was not a single believable character in Seinfeld. If any of these unutterably and incessantly annoying people had actually lived in New York, somebody would have pounded them into hamburger in fairly short order -- Elaine included.

If they had lived in LA, I would describe them as a drive-by waiting to happen.
   79. Flynn Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:21 AM (#3225713)

There was not a single believable character in Seinfeld. If any of these unutterably and incessantly annoying people had actually lived in New York, somebody would have pounded them into hamburger in fairly short order -- Elaine included.


One name: Larry David.

In any case, I found them a hell of a lot more believable than three thirty something women living in an enormous loft in Manhattan across from two guys and having no white friends at all.
   80. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3225714)
Notice that almost all of the best sitcoms follow the Rifkin formula: Have your main character (or at least a very major character in each episode) be a relatively regular, normal person (Mary Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Ricardo, Sam Malone, Alex Reiger, Bob Hartley) who is not all that funny, but who is surrounded by wacky characters who do all kinds of odd sh*t in odd ways. A show with Kramer or Ted Baxter or Jim Ignatowsky as the centerpiece does not work. A show with those people orbiting around a regular guy or gal can be very funny.

Arested Development is, of course, the limiting case of this formula.
   81. Srul Itza Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3225717)
In any case, I found them a hell of a lot more believable than three thirty something women living in an enormous loft in Manhattan across from two guys and having no white friends at all.

I give up, what sitcom is this?
   82. Blastin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:29 AM (#3225718)
Agreed, Hope.

And I know plenty of needy, annoying, neurotic NYers from the Upper West Side. Like.. me.
   83. McCoy Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:30 AM (#3225719)
Saved by the Bell-The College Years?
   84. Blastin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:30 AM (#3225720)
Srul: Friends. Though he should have said "non-white."
   85. McCoy Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:31 AM (#3225721)
There are no believable characters in sitcoms. It is called entertainment. If these characters were believable they would be boring and unwatchable.
   86. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:38 AM (#3225724)
What is she b!tching about now?


Racists. Racists everywhere.
   87. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:38 AM (#3225725)
That's actually the same problem I have with Seinfeld--I can't enjoy myself laughing if I hate everyone involved.

I watched Friends for awhile hoping that a sudden plot twist would turn it into "Alive", but left quickly and very disappointed.

The "gritty" character was the worst trainwreck ever.
   88. Srul Itza Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3225727)
Srul: Friends. Though he should have said "non-white."

Well, that would have helped. Also only two of the women lived together, didn't they?

That's actually the same problem I have with Seinfeld--I can't enjoy myself laughing if I hate everyone involved.

Bingo.

There are no believable characters in sitcoms.

Not true. They are almost always some ridiculous characters, but many sit-coms were grounded in some form of reality. Some, of course, just go for the completely surreal from the get-go, like Night Court. Others, like the Dick Van Dyke show, exaggerate but do not take you into the outer limits.

Seinfeld was populated by people with whom you would not spend 5 minutes, given a choice, and who did not even vaguely resemble anyone I have ever met.
   89. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2009 at 03:52 AM (#3225733)
Seinfeld was populated by people with whom you would not spend 5 minutes, given a choice, and who did not even vaguely resemble anyone I have ever met.

That could also pretty well describe the great majority of Major League baseball players if you couldn't get them to talk about baseball.
   90. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 04:08 AM (#3225740)
I disagree with Rich's list because I need Barney Miller and WKRP in there.
Oversights on my part. I loved both of those shows, though Barney Miller more. I think, though, that Barney Miller* didn't age all that well. It was a show for its time. Probably no great show has aged worse than All in the Family. It was brilliant and cutting edge for its time. However, a lot of it feels very stale now. I think that is mostly because, like a lot of Lear shows, it was intentionally topical.

*I was trying to think who the best character was on Barney Miller. My first instinct is to go with Frank Luger. But Fish was fairly good in a limited way. (The show called Fish starring Abe Vigoda, of course, was not too good.) Yamada was excellent for one-liners, as well. All that said, maybe the best odd characters on Barney Miller were the special "guests" every week, the one or two arrestees who sat in the precinct jail. I loved the guy who claimed he had come back from the future, for example.
   91. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 04:19 AM (#3225754)
Seinfeld was populated by people with whom you would not spend 5 minutes, given a choice, and who did not even vaguely resemble anyone I have ever met.
Seinfeld is populated by four archetypes (or near archetypes) of Yiddish theater:

1. The mensch; 2. the shlemiel; 3. the shlimazel; and 4. the shicksa.

Jerry is not quite a mensch, but he's close. He's they guy most men watching would like to be. He gets the girl.

Kramer is without a doubt a total shlemiel. He's the waiter at the restaurant who spills the soup on his customer. He's clumsy. He accidentally causes problems for other people.

George, likewise, is an unyielding shlimazel. He's the customer at the restaurant on whom the soup is always spilled. If something bad happens to someone, it normally happens to George. Even when George has a girl, everything goes wrong. When, for example, he learns the special method of giving oral sex to a woman, he has to write it on a notepad and she notices and leaves him.

Elaine is more-less the shicksa, even if in real life JLD is a Jewess. She was not, however, the only shicksa. It seemed like every other show Jerry was dating some hot girl. The shicksa in Yiddish comedy, traditionally, was the unattainable girl. In Seinfeld, with rare exception, the hot girls were attainable, but used simply as props. My favorite prop in this regard was the deaf girl (Marlee Matlin), reading lips at the Long Island party. (That episode also featured Kramer, in ultra shlemiel-mode, plowing over the tennis player at the U.S. Open when he got a job as a ball-boy.)
   92. Gaelan Posted: June 20, 2009 at 04:29 AM (#3225757)
Oh, crap, I knew I forgot something. NewsRadio was incredible, but it never got the chance to run out of ideas due to low ratings and Phil Hartman's death


It's one thing to know you are adequate but to be actually told you are adequate ...

My all time favourite line.
   93. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 20, 2009 at 04:53 AM (#3225768)
Yes, Dietrich came on in the last couple of years of the show. I don't remember who he replaced, but he was funny.
   94. a bebop a rebop Posted: June 20, 2009 at 05:55 AM (#3225784)
That's actually the same problem I have with Seinfeld--I can't enjoy myself laughing if I hate everyone involved.

This is what ruins Always Sunny for me.
   95. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 20, 2009 at 06:38 AM (#3225798)
So they make stuff up that isn't plausible. Like after knowing Elaine for 6 years, we suddenly find out that she dances with her thumbs out? And the dancing is supposed to be funny?

If you get a chance, listen to the commentary tracks from seasons 7, 8 and 9. You'll quickly realize that most of the stories weren't "made up". They were stories from the life of the writers, and Seinfeld would hear about them and say "That's a good one for the show."

Even one of the most famous and insane stories from the show ("Festivus") is 75% true! One of the writer's father actually created "Festivus", and it did involve "airing of grievances, "Festivus" greeting cards, no tree (but no pole, either). The writer mentioned it to one of the other writers and Seinfeld INSISTED they attach that to George's life.

Jerry knew about the dancing. No one else knew about it because she simply didn't dance that much.
And it isn't funny, it's awkward (which makes it funny for us). It's like watching your 60-something father attempt to do the Running Man. It's painful for you to watch, but everyone else watching on YouTube is busting a gut.

After Larry David left and Seinfeld took over the reigns entirely, they started getting much more creative with the writing, and I found that seasons 8 and 9 were when they hit their groove.
   96. AndrewJ Posted: June 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM (#3225832)
A show with Kramer or Ted Baxter or Jim Ignatowsky as the centerpiece does not work.

Pretty much true. Cloris Leachman is a terrfic actress and she was wonderful as Phyllis on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but the "Phyllis" sitcom was a non-starter. You may also remember there was an early "Cheers" spinoff, "The Tortellis," with Carla's ex and his new wife, who were great comic relief foils on "Cheers" but highly unlikeable when they took center stage. The strength of "Frasier" was giving Kelsey Grammer a group of very strong sidekicks he could play off against.

The exception to that rule might be Basil Fawlty.

Elaine is more-less the shicksa, even if in real life JLD is a Jewess.

IRL, Ms. Louis-Dreyfuss is actually Protestant. As is Valerie "Rhoda Morgenstern" Harper.
   97. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 20, 2009 at 01:04 PM (#3225840)
If you get a chance, listen to the commentary tracks from seasons 7, 8 and 9. You'll quickly realize that most of the stories weren't "made up". They were stories from the life of the writers, and Seinfeld would hear about them and say "That's a good one for the show."

But they took all of the wacky things that they ever heard of someone doing, and put them into characters where they had no business. Another example is on Friends, where after 5 or 6 years they decided that Chandler was afraid of dogs. When he had been near dogs in earlier episodes. Again, out of ideas, do something to make fun of the characters.


After Larry David left and Seinfeld took over the reigns entirely, they started getting much more creative with the writing, and I found that seasons 8 and 9 were when they hit their groove.

Well, in the "comedy is different things to different people" category, we're obviously opposite. I found the later seasons to be poor.
   98. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:11 PM (#3225868)
I'm a small-Walk guy

Thanks for the chuckle.
   99. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:13 PM (#3225873)
I can't imagine a "best of..." sitcom list without Larry Sanders.
   100. Young Blasarius yonder Posted: June 20, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3225900)
This is what ruins Always Sunny for me.


I was in the same boat. I tried watching in the middle of Season 3. I think it was "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation." I just couldn't get into it. Hated the characters.

But I gave it another chance last summer when every episode was on Hulu. And yeah, pretty much none of the characters is a remotely decent human being. But good lord, the show is hilarious. They're all just such wonderfully vile characters. My favorite eps have to be "Mac is a Serial Killer," "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person," "The Gang Get Invincible," "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off" and "Dennis and Dee Go On Welfare."
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