Day: October 2, 2020

Comedy Store has launched generations of stars

For a generation of comedians, the challenge was the same:
Do an open-mike set at the Comedy Store. Do your best; hope club-owner Mitzi Shore (shown here with Jay Leno and Garry Shandling) like you.
For Bill Burr, that went one way: “She (said), ‘He’s not ready,’” he told the Television Critics Association last month. “I heard her say it in the m the middle of my set.” Burr soon moved to New York. Years later, he returned while building a vibrant comedy career.
For Mike Bender – who has made a documentary series about the club – it went the other way. He was just 18, a boyish-looking redhead from near Detroit, when he tried the Comedy Store. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct.4: A fleshy start, a Dead end

1) “Masterpiece: Flesh and Blood” opener, 9 p.m., PBS. As her 70th birthday nears, a wealthy widow (Francesca Annis) has a new love (Stephen Rea; they’re sown here). Her three children are skeptical; then again, their own lives are riddled with problems. There are so many troubles that this four-week series keeps teetering toward soap-opera … then is saved (barely) by the classy British cast (especially Imelda Staunton as an enigmatic neighbor) and writing. There’s a mystery here, plus some harsh blows to every character. Read more…

Week’s top-10: The machines take control

1) “NeXt” debut, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. For decades, science-fiction has fretted about robots taking over. In this solidly made series, that’s imminent. A driverless car refuses to take suggestions; an Alexa-type device whispers schemes to a little boy. What’s happening? A genius (John Slattery, shown here) knows: He wrote a code that lets computers educate themselves; it was too much, he realized – but he’s been fired and the program is unfettered. It’s a strong start to a 10-week tale that was set for spring/summer, then delayed. Read more…