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Laughing Against the Dark

From the January 2020 Print Edition

Keeping a straight face, I’m going to argue that American popular comedy has lost the virtue of hope, which was retained in the past by even the most severe satire. Hollywood has produced popular comedy in all its forms, including radio, TV, and stand-up. Discussing the most universal and lasting . . . . Continue Reading »

Blacklisted

From the March 2018 Print Edition

I am the last living blacklisted Hollywood writer. I can’t prove this any more than I could legally prove my blacklisting at the time. (The blacklist, after all, was an illegal conspiracy subject to lawsuits.) I am reasonably certain about this claim because I knew the Hollywood writers in . . . . Continue Reading »

Neither Pop Nor Culture

From the December 2017 Print Edition

Let me begin with a confession. I spent almost a half century producing pop culture, mostly for television. This admission is an act of penance but also suggests a degree of generational responsibility. Maybe a half century in the entertainment industry isn’t sufficient for a full understanding, . . . . Continue Reading »