News from the Archive

Life With Lucy (Lawless)

August 19th, 2014
Lucy Lawless

One of my favorite recent interviews was one the Archive did back in 2013 with Lucy Lawless. It amounted to a free-wheeling three-hour gabfest during which Lawless was engaging, honest and funny. Whether you know her as a Warrior Princess, a Cylon, or the Lady Macbeth of the Roman Republic, I promise you’ll see a side to her in this interview that you’ve never seen before.


During the course of the interview I found several reasons to love Lucy. Here are but five of them: 

1.     She’s got a good head on her shoulders and a good sense of her place in the culture.

Lawless understands what “Xena” means to people, but she takes no credit (or blame) when people are inspired by her.   

2.     She does a great Stevie Nicks imitation.  

When she hosted Saturday Night Live, she gave us a Stevie who wanted us to eat burritos. She was convinced it wouldn’t be funny. She was wrong.  

Here's the sketch:

lucy lawless by dummy-account

3.     She’s subversive.  

Back in 1995, two years before “The Puppy Episode” of Ellen, Lawless was playing lesbian subtext on Xena: Warrior Princess with the Battling Bard of Potidaea, “Gabrielle” (Renee O’Connor). At first, the women were unaware of the undertones until eight episodes into the series when it was pointed out to them. They were surprised, but they embraced it and played it to the hilt.

4.     She’s a lot of fun.

During her guest spot on Curb Your Enthusiasm, she put her foot in her mouth with the writers AND ad-libbed a zinger that Larry David loved. 

5.     She’s got a brilliant approach to acting.

One of the best descriptions of acting I’ve ever heard in the Archive.

The interview focuses on the rich tapestry of characters Lucy Lawless has created in the past, but I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

For more reasons to love Lucy, watch her full interview.

- by John Dalton

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Remembering Don Pardo

August 18th, 2014
Don Pardo

We're sad to hear that long-time NBC announcer Don Pardo passed away tonight, Monday, August 18, 2014, at the age of 96. Pardo began working at NBC back in 1944 as a radio announcer, transitioning to the new medium of television in 1946. He announced for the original The Price Is Right, Choose Up Sides (a children's show on which he appeared on-camera as "Mr. Mischief"), and the original Jeopardy! (which launched the pop culture catchphrase: "Don Pardo, tell her what she's won!"). As a staff announcer, Pardo also broke the news of President Kennedy's assassination to the NBC audience in 1963. But Pardo is most closely associated with Saturday Night Live, where he served as announcer for nearly the entire run of the show since its inception in 1975 (he was absent for the '81-'82 season). In 2010 he became the first announcer ever to be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Below are some selections from his 2006 Archive interview:

On working for NBC radio in New York:

On announcing for Jeopardy!:

On getting hired on Saturday Night Live:

On flubbing his first SNL cold open:

Watch Don Pardo's full Archive interiview and read his obituary in The Hollywood Reporter.

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The Story Behind "The Carol Burnett Show's" Most Famous Blooper

August 15th, 2014
Vicki Lawrence

It's one of THE best bloopers of all time. It involves a "Mama" sketch, Tim Conway, and one of the best zingers ever. We'll let Vicki Lawrence tell the rest of the story.

Here's the sketch itself. Prepare yourself.

It doesn't get much better than that.

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What "The Big Bang Theory" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Have In Common

August 8th, 2014
Chuck Lorre

You probably know that Chuck Lorre co-created The Big Bang Theory, Two And a Half Men, and Mike & Molly. But did you know that he also co-wrote the theme song to the 1987 cartoon version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Curious as to how he came up with the catchy tune?


Here's the song. Be forewarned: you will have this stuck in your head for the rest of the day once you watch this.


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Feel Good Friday: Why TV Matters

August 8th, 2014
Phylicia Rashad

The Cosby Show was a hit in the 1980s. It was well-written and acted, socially conscious and entertaining, and made an awful lot of people want to be part of the Huxtable clan. Mrs. Huxtable herself, Phylicia Rashad, shared another reason the program was important - something she learned directly from the late Nelson Mandela. 

When television is not only enjoyable to watch, but also effects positive change, you know you've got something special.

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