Richard Lewis with Jamie Lee Curtis, Anything But Love
Like countless other geeky gals, I had a crush on my best male pal throughout college. So watching the late-'80s sitcom Anything But Love, starring Richard Lewis and Jamie Lee Curtis as workplace buddies reluctant to act on their mutual attraction, was like my life — only much, much funnier. Although the black-clad, mullet-sporting Lewis was already a stand-up comedy legend, the series introduced his neurotic, Jewish Jersey boy persona to the prime-time masses. But while the show had a devoted following, it was never a certifiable hit; in fact, it was actually canceled after its second season, until ABC reconsidered and brought it back completely retooled the following year. (It didn't last too long after that.) Despite all the behind-the-scenes drama on this scr
Stanley Kamel, Monk
After three decades as a steadily employed but no-name actor, Stanley Kamel has found his dream role on USA's Monk as the title character's dedicated shrink, Dr. Charles Kroger. Mind you, Kamel has played a therapist before — prior to Monk he was best known for his villainous turn as an ethically challenged psychiatrist on ABC's Murder One — but as Kroger, he gets to show that despite his wild blue eyes and intense persona, he can still play a good guy, and a pretty funny one at that. Kamel talked (at length) to TVGuide.com about his long career and the second half of Monk's fifth season, which kicks off tonight at 9 pm/ET.
TVGuide.com: I love interviewing character actors. You guys always say the best stuff. Like
Dulé Hill, Psych
After seven seasons of serious politics on The West Wing, Dulé Hill is enjoying tapping into his silly side on the USA crimedy Psych, which begins the back half of its freshman season this Friday, Jan. 19, at 10 pm/EST. As Burton 'Gus' Guster, the pent-up best friend/reluctant accomplice of bogus psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday), Hill huffs, pouts, rolls his eyes and protests all of his buddy's schemes to no avail. He's the Cameron Frye to Roday's Ferris Bueller, if you will. But while Hill is technically the second banana, he ends up with the lion's share of laughs due to his endearing portrayal of a neurotic nerd. Hill chatted with TVGuide.com about his two si
Grease: You're the One That I Want
If you think Broadway and reality TV go together like "rama-lama-lama, ke-ding-a-de-ding-a-dong," NBC's Grease: You're the One That I Want, which debuts Sunday, Jan. 7, at 8 pm/ET, will have you singing and dancing in the bleachers. Produced by the folks behind Dancing with the Stars, the series stages an intense search for two unknowns to front an in-the-works Broadway production of Grease, playing bad boy Danny Zuko and virginal Sandy Dumbrowski (played in the film by Olivia Newton-John, who will be a guest on the first two episodes). A trio of judges — theater producer David Ian, Grease coauthor Jim Jacobs and two-time Tony winner Kathleen M
Ed Begley Jr. and his wife, Rachelle Carson, Living with Ed
Although Ed Begley Jr. was recently killed off Veronica Mars, in reality he's all about staying alive. A veteran character actor who came to fame — and collected six Emmy nods — as St. Elsewhere's bumbling Dr. Victor Ehrlich, Begley is also a longtime environmental activist intent on helping the planet. Unlike many of his entertainment peers who ride around in gas-guzzling SUVs and live in mansions, Begley resides in a modest solar-powered home, drives an electric car and even takes the bus.
While fans admire his dedication, they don't have to live with him. His blonde-bombshell, image-conscious actress wife, Rachelle Carson, does, however, and she often finds hersel
Wendie Malick, Big Day
Will Wendie Malick ever get a chance to play a demure, down-to-earth role? Let's hope not. Best known for her seven-season, Emmy-nominated stint as narcissistic fashion editor Nina Van Horn on Just Shoot Me, Malick has made a career out of playing outrageous small-screen characters, including Brian Benben's neurotic ex on Dream On and a husky-voiced lounge singer during the final year of Frasier. Currently on ABC's mid-season sitcom, Big Day (Tuesdays at 9 pm/EST) — a real-time comedy about wedding-day drama — Malick adds a
Her laugh is as legendary as her one-liners. A cross between Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Sesame Street's Count, Phyllis Diller's signature cackle cracks up anyone within earshot. Unfortunately, it's impossible to hear (or even spell) in print, which is one of the many reasons why you should see Goodnight, We Love You, a loving and revealing documentary about the groundbreaking comedian that arrives on DVD today. In between riotous clips from her 2002 farewell concert, Diller offers an unprecedented peek at her private life and her outrageous wardrobe. TVGuide.com joked with the octogenarian stand-up about her five decades in showbiz, her plastic surgery and her ill-fated Playboy spread.
TVGuide.com: Hello, Ms. Diller?
Phyllis Diller: Hello, Raven? Oh, you're a lady! [Laughs.] I heard your name and figured you would be a man.
Jacqueline Mazarella on Everybody Hates Chris
As Ms. Morello, the terminally Caucasian teacher on CW's Everybody Hates Chris (Mondays at 8 pm/ET), Jacqueline Mazarella earns laughs with racist quips that would land celebrities like Michael Richards in hot water. To (in)cite but a few examples, Ms. Morello, in an attempt to relate to Corleone Junior High's lone black student, has proudly pumped a black power fist, brought cans of food to his "ghetto" home at Christmas, and dubbed him a "sweet sweetback." Although Mazarella isn't a series regular, the TV newcomer is thrilled that her character has become one of the show's funniest, most wince-inducing recurring characters.
TVGuide.com: Everybody Hates Chris has been your big TV break. How did you land the part?
Dan Hedaya and Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Although TV lovers sometimes have trouble coming up with his name, they always recognize his face. As one of Hollywood's most prolific character actors, Dan Hedaya has been working steadily since the late '70s, playing a hirsute assortment of cops, lawyers, cheating or cuckolded husbands and, in the underrated Nixon-era comedy Dick, a U.S. president. He adds another eccentric character to his résumé when he guests as Adrian's long-lost truck-driver dad on USA's hit crimedy Monk (Nov. 17, at 10 pm/ET).
TVGuide.com: I was thrilled when I heard that you were going to play Adrian's dad. But then I started to wonder if perhaps you're too young for the part.
Dan Hedaya: I had that thought as well. I'm not old enough to be his father, really. I wo
Harry Shearer and Eugene Levy, For Your Consideration; Christopher Guest (inset)
If you ever happen to meet Christopher Guest, the multitalented auteur behind a string of wince-inducing, documentary-style satires, there is one thing you must not do: Call his films mockumentaries. Although the actor/author/director/composer helped pioneer the genre — first as a writer and performer (the 1984 cult classic This Is Spinal Tap), and later as a director, too, (beginning with 1996's Waiting for Guffman) — Guest detests the word. "Don't get caught saying mockumentary to Chris," warns Catherine O'Hara, who has starred in four of his films, including his newest