Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Louis CK is still funny

I'm sorry to report that HBO has decided not to renew the sitcom "Lucky Louie" next season. You can be forgiven if you've never heard of the show since HBO spent nary a dime promoting it. But the real tragedy in the show's failure, regardless of its merits, would be the continued obscurity of Louis CK as a comedy force in the United States of America. The man is hysterically funny, one of the best standups going, a true antidote to that harbinger of the death of all comedy, Dane Cook. I highly recommend you watch excerpts of LCK's act here. I wrote two articles on Louis's attempt to bring back the "All in the Family" style social comedy, an idea whose time I thought had come (or returned). It hasn't, apparently. Sorry, Louis, you're still funny and destined for great things. Here is one of the stories as published in The Wall Street Journal.

UPDATE: Louis is making a netroots push to bring the show back, apparently.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The United States of America vs Bill Keller

Check out New York magazine this week for my look at Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times. Excerpt:

A month later, I saw him at a cocktail party—a rare appearance for a man whose wife calls him “socially ­autistic”—and needled him about when, in the spirit of transparency, we could expect to be told why the paper had held the NSA story for more than a year before publishing it. That same month, Calame had been stonewalled by Keller on the issue.

“We’re done with transparency for a while,” Keller told me, with a just-­perceptible smirk.

PS. Gawker notices that HBO's "The Wire" is heavily covered in the Times lately. Here's a guess why: As I learned while writing his profile, it's Bill Keller's favorite TV show.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Warren Mitofsky, RIP

I was sad to read that Warren Mitofsky died this week. An inventor of modern exit polling, whose system generated all the data on election nights, he was the last of a breed from a bygone era at CBS News, a brilliant and indispensible brain to Cronkite and Rather on election eves past. Generous, ornery and funny, a font of historical knowledge, he was good to reporters and contemptuous of corporate handlers. Pollster John Zogby called him a "grumpy old man." I liked him. In March 2004, I wrote a profile of Mitofsky for the New York Observer, which you can read here.