Originally posted by Warner Bros. via The Futon CriticOn Friday, November 13, Judge Marilyn Milian welcomes Judge Joseph A. Wapner back to the bench of "The People's Court" to litigate a special case in honor of his 90th birthday. Judge Wapner bangs the gavel on the Emmy-nominated court show that launched the entire court show genre and paved the way for a multitude of reality television shows. "The People's Court was the original reality series featuring real litigants, real cases and real justice.
I'm not afraid to admit to all of you that I record and watch Judge Judy and The People's Court every day. This is gonna be pretty wild. I feel a little bad cause I'm morbidly curious to see if this is going to be a huge trainwreck.
Originally posted by Mr ShhI feel a little bad cause I'm morbidly curious to see if this is going to be a huge trainwreck.
You reminded me of this story... (a longer version appears about 2/3rds down the page)
Originally posted by Mark EvanierThe Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is part of the Music Center complex in downtown Los Angeles and that's where Groucho performed his one-man show (one man plus Erin Fleming and Marvin Hamlisch, it turned out). The gala event was scheduled for months earlier but Groucho took ill and the whole soiree was delayed.
In the interim, we Marx fans waited — anxious at the notion of perhaps our only chance to ever see him in person. We consoled ourselves by listening to the A&M recording of Groucho's show at Carnegie Hall in New York. On the record, Groucho sounded pretty good; coherent, though a bit hoarse. Then came the night of the December 11, 1972.
The evening was a success and then it wasn't. Groucho received an endless cascade of ovations, usually standing. But the audience, outwardly applauding, was inwardly cringing. Groucho stood there and read card after card of anecdotes, sometimes breezing from one to the next with no notice that a laugh was supposed to come between stories. At one point, he read a card introducing a film clip, then continued right on into a story about something else. His secretary-manager-companion Erin Fleming hustled out from the wings to force him into a chair, saying, "We're going to show A Night at the Opera."
Groucho muttered, "But I've already seen it," triggering an immense laugh at the one and only ad-lib of the evening.
When Mr. Marx tried to perform "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady," Hamlisch had to prompt him on many of the lines, helping him along the way a third-grade teacher might coach a pupil who had blanked on the poem he was supposed to memorize and recite.
I think, if there had been a tactful way of stopping the show and polling those present on whether they wanted Groucho to continue or to be taken home and put to bed, the vote would have been unanimous for bed. Instead, we all pretended that nothing was amiss and applauded Groucho long and loud. It was the greatest bit of acting I have ever seen performed by an audience.
I'm sure with the power of editing, it'll come off all right.