John West discuss early classical Hollywood comedy double act Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Four clips are played during the interview. The first three clips are from Laurel and Hardy's "Their First Mistake" (1932) and the fourth clip is from Laurel and Hardy's "Swiss Miss" (1938).
Studs Terkel reintroduces this 1958 broadcast with Jacques Tati in a 1992 rebroadcast. At 39:06, Terkel includes a musical epilogue to the conversation with Jacques Tati with French children's songs such as "Cadet Rousselle". Tati discusses his films "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" and" Mon Oncle" and his emphasis as writer, director, actor, and producer to maintain a naturalness. He doesn't want lights, cameras or action to influence the actors. Naturalness will respect independence and keeping it simple and real will create pride and invite people in.
Discussing "The Understudy : a Novel" and interviewing Elia Kazan.
Discussing Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Lloyd and a man named Raymond Griffith with Walter Kerr.
In this interview Mel Brooks discusses his new movie "The Producers". The following is discussed: the plot; the other actors in the film; the satirical and campy nature of the film; . Brooks performs several different impersonations throughout the interview.
Carlotta Monti discusses W.C. Fields and her book "W.C. Fields & Me".
Interviewing Lily Tomlin and friends, George Boyd, Cheryl Swanek, Louis St. Louis and Larry Freeman.
Comedian and actor Bob Newhart discusses his career and his life before becoming a comedian; excerpt from his stand-up performance is played.
Silent film pioneer Buster Keaton discusses his career following the release of "When Comedy Was King," a compilation of some classic shorts by Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and others. Keaton reveals how they shot the early silent films, generated material and gags, how they planned big chase scenes, the resurging European interest in silent classics, and more. Studs asks Keaton about the stylistic differences between him and Chaplin, whether he would recreate silent films, and how they compare to today's film-making.
Woody Allen discusses his life and art, the influence of both success and failure on his work, and how he finds comedy in life’s difficulties and trials. He discusses his first screenplay, “What’s Up Pussycat?” and other comedians who have influenced the development of his own comedic work, including Mort Sahl, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, and George S. Kaufman.
Cole Porter biographer Robert Kimball talks with Studs about his book "Cole" and his subject's life and work as they listen to classic performances of some of his most beloved songs. They marvel at how Porter perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the times in his lyrics, his lyrical influences, his unique method of outside-in composing lyrics and music simultaneously, Bobby Short's masterful interpretations, controversies over some of his works, and how well his material holds up.
In this interview Carol Channing discusses her work as artist: comedic timing; live/club performing; her connection with the audience as a performer; theater as a "spiritual world"; the concept of "opening nights"; creation of Mehitabel's (alley cat) voice; "Lorelei", and her ability deliver comedic characterizations and impersonations (such as Marlene Dietrich, Sophie Tucker, and Cecilia Sisson). Included in this interview are excerpts from the "Little Girl from Little Rock", "Madeline and Other Bemelmans", "Shinbone Alley".
Studs talks with versatile actor, singer, performer Danny Kaye who opens up about his worldwide appeal to children and adults alike, relating to children on their terms, his father's influence, the skills and work that go into his crafts, and much more. Kaye reveals his lack of musical training yet details his comic conducting talents ala Victor Borge via his charity work. The conversation continues with talk of his variety show performances, his fondness for Señor Wences, the medium of television, and his knack for dialects.