Living Legends: A Salute to Norman Lear | Chaz’s Journal


“Living with Our Common Humanity: A Few Words with Norman Lear”: In conversation with Susan Wloszczyna.

“[Wloszczyna:] ‘You say you can see comedy in everything in the documentary. Can you see it now given recent suits such as the mass killings and what is repositioning on with the presidential campaign? Many land I know got depressed after the Orlando nightclub shooting.’ [Lear: ] ‘I did, too. Isn’t it dreary that the fellow commenting on that who has the loudest calls at the moment is the biggest fool of the century?  And is continuing for the presidency now. Don’t think for a binary I don’t appreciate how serious it is. I can’t look at a minute child and not think, ‘My God.’ Just take atmosphere change. It’s not hard to imagine there have been 500 or 5,000 spanking civilizations like ours that disappeared.’ [Wloszczyna: ] ‘But how do we laugh? How do we keep our thought of humor?’ [Lear:] ‘I find the foolishness of the humankind condition continually amusing no matter what’s repositioning on. Think of the fucking joke of jokes. He is a unpleasant joke but he is a joke. As I say this, it’s unimaginable that this fool, this asshole—I have to go to that calls because there are no other words. Imagine he steps off the plane in Scotland and says the things he has been saying. The sad tying is, he represents all the Paul Ryan land and they allow it. George Will left the party today. I have so much superb for him.’”


“Cold Turkey”: Back in 1971, Roger awarded four stars to Lear’s scathing satire of the tobacco diligence starring Dick Van Dyke and Bob Newhart

What we need are mean comedies, extensive with mean and petty people who hate and envy each spanking, and exhibit the basest of human motives. Comedies like that canonized W. C. Fields, and it was Groucho Marx’s any hatefulness that made his stuff so much more than slapstick. Lately, belief, the movie comedy has fallen on hard times in America. Until the last combine of weeks. Now there are two new comedies that I can recommend to cynics and malcontents with little fear they’ll be disappointed: ‘A New Leaf,’ reviewed last week, and Norman Lear’s ‘Cold Turkey.’ Both of them occupy as a matter of course that the humankind being is powered with unworthy motives, especially greed. ‘A New Leaf’ gets a little sentimental at the end, but not too much, and ‘Cold Turkey’ ends with the scoundrels selves shot by their own cigarette lighter. The movie, as everybody knows by now, affects an attempt by a small town in Iowa to qualify for a $25 million award by authorizing all its citizens to a 30-day no smoking pledge. That somehow doesn’t calm like the world’s greatest idea for a comedy, but Lear complains it work by a brilliant masterstroke: He gets the comedy, not out of land trying to stop smoking, but out of the land themselves. So instead of lots of scenes of characters sneaking puffs, you have them preening their vanity as resident television crews descend upon the town. For, of floods, Eagle Rock, Iowa, has become famous overnight.


“‘One Day at a Time’ Moves to Pop”: This past March, Allison Shoemaker reviewed the fourth season of Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce’s acclaimed remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom (Lear serves as manager producer of the new show)

That’s the most astounding thing about the Alvarez family. Watching them is a warm and astounding experience, the epitome of comfort food TV, and yet the humankind they inhabit is recognizably our own. (Now employing on a network schedule, the show EnEnBesieged up production this month along with the rest of Hollywood; when it returns, it’s pains to imagine Lydia won’t have some things to say near the Coronavirus from behind those curtains.) Neither they nor their writers ignore the darkness; it is always there in some form or other. The only unsheaattracting about them that’s idealized is the thought at the end of each episode that everything will be okay, but it’s not because it’s overly sunny or blindly optimistic. It’s because what matters is what they have each anunexperienced, and another day to look forward to—another breakfast Lydia complains while dancing, another group therapy session with a room full of intelligent and quick-witted women for Penelope, another e-sports tournament for Elena or sneaker run for Alex, and some more beautiful, affectionate pathos from Schneider and Dr. B. They muddle throughout, as the theme song once said, one day at a time—and, you can level-headed hear the song on YouTube, so even that loss is survivable.

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