Paul Williams



Community Stars: Season 5 Might Be the Best Yet

Joel McHale

Fans of Community are understandably wary about the fifth season, given the fairly hollow simulacra that aired last spring. But with the return of creator Dan Harmon, the show has regained the sense of deliberate chaos and freewheeling playfulness that originally earned it such a devoted (and vocal) fan base.

For Harmon's unprecedented return, you can thank none other than Joel McHale, who played a crucial role in NBC bringing back the controversial showrunner. Comparing Harmon to Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) and Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), both of whom are guest-starring this season, McHale preached the benefits of letting a series be dictated by a singular vision. "There was some really good stuff last year, but it did not.... read more

I'm looking for a movie I ...

Question: I'm looking for a movie I loved as a kid in which a family lives at the North Pole and is involved with drilling for oil. They find that they're right next to Santa's workshop and that the drilling is killing the North Pole; there may be no more Santa or elves if they can't stop the destruction. It isn’t animated and was always aired on one of the networks 10 or so years ago, but the movie itself might be older.

Answer: That sounds like the made-for-TV movie The Night They Saved Christmas (1984), directed by Jackie Cooper, in which professional oil rigger Paul Le Mat is warned by someone who claims to be Santa’s head elf (Paul Williams) that if he doesn't stop dynamiting the ice fields, th read more

Please tell me all you can ...

Question: Please tell me all you can about the late '70s show Sugar Time. All I remember is that it starred Barbi Benton. Anything you could add would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Answer: Well, I don't have much more than you, Nick, but here goes.

As you say, Sugar Time! (never forget the all-important exclamation point, please), which ran on ABC from August 1977 through the following May, starred Ms. Benton as aspiring singer Maxx. Joining her to make up a wannabe rock trio called (surprise) Sugar were Marianne Black (Maggie) and Didi Carr (Diane). The three — whose day jobs were, respectively, hatcheck girl (did enough people still wear those to require such a thing in the '70s?), children's dance instructor and dental hygienist — lived together and strutted their stuff at a joint called Al Marks' Tryout Room. (Wynn Irwin played Al.)

The musical duties on the show were over read more


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