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From The Archives

  1. from the archives
    Is Friends Still the Most Popular Show on TV?Why so many 20-somethings want to stream a 20-year-old sitcom about a bunch of 20-somethings sitting around in a coffee shop.
  2. from the archives
    Looking Back at Robert Smigel’s Saturday TV Funhouse PilotFeaturing a young Stephen Colbert as Grimy the Talking Outhouse.
  3. snl
    The Long, Intertwined History of Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and SNLPaul Simon and Lorne Michaels go way back.
  4. from the archives
    Looking Back at I, Martin Short, Goes HollywoodShort’s 1989 special is one of the closest things there is to an episode of SCTV after that series ended in 1984.
  5. from the archives
    The Forgotten Film From The Dick Van Dyke Show’s Morey Amsterdam and Rose MarieA look back on the cameo-packed 1966 comedy Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title.
  6. from the archives
    Looking for Lost Monty Python Material? Look No FurtherLooking back at the group’s Hastily Cobbled Together for a Fast Buck Album.
  7. from the archives
    Looking Back at Jerry Seinfeld: Comedian (Without the Cars and Coffee)Revisiting the 2002 documentary featuring Seinfeld and Orny Adams.
  8. from the archives
    The George Carlin Show Introduces Carlin to Television (Briefly)Remembering George Carlin and Sam Simon’s short-lived Fox sitcom.
  9. from the archives
    The Making of Tom Wolfe’s ‘Radical Chic’Remembering the story that helped put New York on the map.
  10. Before ‘Rick and Morty,’ Dan Harmon Tried to Reinvent Acceptable […]The idea of entertainment as an entity separate from the internet is one that is for the most part dead. Every movie must have social media […]
  11. from the archives
    Garry Shandling and Ricky Gervais’s Epic Sparring MatchLooking back on an incredibly awkward interview between the high-energy Brit and Zen-energy American.
  12. An Appreciation of the Button-Down Mind of Bob NewhartQuick Warning: This article spoils a minor plot point from the first episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Reading this won’t ruin your […]
  13. O.J. Simpson Interview Promoting His Scrapped If I Did It Book Will Finally AirThe controversial interview detailed how Simpson would have killed Nicole Brown Simpson — if he had actually committed the crime.
  14. Looking Back at Alan Partridge’s First Show: 25 Years of Alan Partridge […]There is a chance, especially if you are living in America, that you may not know who Alan Partridge is. Played by Steve Coogan, Partridge is […]
  15. Dave Foley Gets Into the Holiday Special SpiritHoliday specials, for the most part, are a family affair. In general, they are (at best) sweet adventures or (at worst) cloying cash-grabs. […]
  16. from the archives
    How the Late-Night Monologue Got TopicalA short history featuring Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert.
  17. Take a Good Look at Ernie Kovacs’ Incredibly Strange Game ShowErnie Kovacs was a genius. There’s no way around that. Carson, Letterman, and Conan have all cited him as an influence, and there have been […]
  18. A Lost Script from the Files of the ‘Police Squad!’Airplane! The Naked Gun. Kentucky Fried Movie. When it comes to the classics of modern comedy, Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker were kings. After […]
  19. Satirizing Two Birds with One Bush: Looking Back at ‘That’s My Bush!’Anthony Atamanuik’s The President Show is unlike anything else on television right now. It takes a current-day public figure and satirizes him […]
  20. Why Is America So Fascinated With Twin Peaks?Revisiting a 1990 New York magazine cover story.
  21. ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Local TV OriginsGuys, there’s so much TV now. There are a million channels, with new ones launching constantly, and then tons of streaming platforms, with new […]
  22. from the archives
    Revisiting David Letterman’s 1987 Writers RoomThe relatively normal bunch of guys behind what was perhaps the creative peak of Late Night.
  23. When Feig, Apatow, Cross, and Hodgson Spun the ‘TV Wheel’ What innovations are there in television? Multi-camera filming, laugh tracks, color, the variety show, cable, reality TV, HD, digital […]
  24. Celebrate Awards Season ‘98 with ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ We are once again firmly entrenched in Hollywood’s favorite time of year: award season. As a nation we will thrill and speculate who will […]
  25. There’s Never Been a Better Time to Revisit ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ I generally try not to timestamp these articles, because who knows? Someday somebody’s going to be searching for information about Woody […]
  26. Unearthing a Rare 1971 Monty Python Film All About Peas Let’s say you suddenly found yourself in charge of a major corporation. If you’re good at your job, imagine you’d probably try to steer the […]
  27. There’s Never a Bad Time to Revisit ‘Clone High’ In our current political climate, it’s not surprising that many Americans might be drawn towards the past to compare the great leaders of […]
  28. Looking Back at the Albums of the National Lampoon Between Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead and Netflix’s upcoming film about the early days of the National Lampoon, anyone who has, like, four […]
  29. Mel Brooks Destroyed at Radio City Music Hall Last NightMel Brooks won’t sit down. The good people at Radio City Music Hall have set up two chairs on stage, one for the moderator Kevin Salter and one […]
  30. from the archives
    Looking Back at 40-Plus Years of ‘Fall Preview’ PicksRocky seemed promising! But so did Cop Rock.
  31. Bob Odenkirk, Fred Armisen, and Zach Galifianakis’ 2002 Sketch Show of […] Not long ago, media writers were talking about a “sketch boom” with shows like Inside Amy Schumer, Portlandia, Kroll Show, Key & Peele, […]
  32. Looking Back at Bruce McCulloch’s ‘Carpoolers’ Bruce McCulloch has always done things differently, whether it was with The Kids in the Hall, or his comedy albums, or his book or his TV […]
  33. Rediscovering Danny DeVito’s Long-Lost Directorial Debut If I had a dollar for every article I’ve tried to write about a piece of comedy that is lost forever due to time, or the constraints of live […]
  34. Inside Graham Chapman and Douglas Adams’ Lost Sketch Show ‘Out of the […] In 1974, when Monty Python’s Flying Circus came to a close, without John Cleese, the members of the troupe knew they weren’t quite finished. […]
  35. from the archives
    New York’s First Impressions of 9 Legendary TV ComediesLooking back at season one, episode one of Saturday Night Live, All in the Family, 30 Rock, and more.
  36. 25 Years Later: Was ‘Herman’s Head’ Any Good? Before 1989 there were three big television networks and none of them were Fox. Then came The Simpsons and by gum, that put them on the map. […]
  37. ‘Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel’: The Lost Radio Show of Groucho and Chico We live in an era in which the idea of a “lost” TV show has completely vanished. I mean, I guess you could have a hard drive crash or […]
  38. Looking Back at Martin Short’s First Prime-Time Show Martin Short has had two different programs on TV known as The Martin Short Show: a sitcom in 1994, and a talk show in 1999 (I wrote about […]
  39. from the archives
    How New York Magazine Covered the O.J. Simpson VerdictHiring Norman Mailer on a very short deadline.
  40. from the archives
    Broadway’s Survival Was a Legitimate Question 20 Years AgoRevisiting Michael Goldstein’s 1995 New York cover story, “Can Broadway Be Saved?”
  41. Fred Allen, King of Radio, Takes on TelevisionIf you’ve never heard of Fred Allen, “cranky” might be a good introductory word. From 1933-1949 he was one of the comedian kings of radio, but […]
  42. Looking Back at Chris Rock the Talk Show Host The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio […]
  43. When Bob and Ray Stormed Carnegie Hall Sadly, this week we lost a legend of comedy with the passing of Bob Elliott at the age of 92. Bob had a long career in comedy, beginning in […]
  44. Mel Brooks’ Forgotten Pilot ‘Inside Danny Baker’ Mel Brooks may not be best known for his television career, but without it we probably wouldn’t have a Mel Brooks. He began as a writer on […]
  45. Looking Back at When Andy Richter Controlled the Universe Andy Richter’s career has had many stages. Today he sits alongside Conan O’Brien as he hosts his talk show on TBS which works as a parallel […]
  46. from the archives
    Read David Bowie’s Reflection on Being a New Yorker“In London, the saying goes, life takes place behind doors. Here it’s on the street.”
  47. Ben Stiller, Bob Odenkirk, Janeane Garofalo, and William Shatner Invite […]In the more than 150 From the Archives articles I’ve written, I’ve looked at a wide variety of genres of comedy: variety shows, late night […]
  48. Randy and Jason Sklar Crack Jokes From the Cheap Seats Riffing, heckling, interrupting: whatever you want to call it, making fun of bad movies and TV shows is a time honored tradition shared by […]
  49. Discovering ‘Evening Primrose,’ Sondheim’s Horror/Comedy/Musical HybridIt’s the day before Halloween, so it’s time for an extra spooky trip to the archives! Specifically a musical/comedic/horrifying spooky trip! […]
  50. Zach Galifianakis’s Short-Lived Talk Show: ‘Late World with Zach’At this point in television history, there is a very long tail of late night programing. You have your massive monoliths of success that have […]
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