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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan. 31: Paul Provenza

Okay, okay, I know I said Paul Provenza would be on the show last week. But stuff happens. He had to reschedule, but was kind enough to tell me ahead of time. Big-time comedy stars sometimes get busy with big-time comedy things. They don't need to do a late-night radio show/podcast based in Vancouver; they do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

Provenza e-mailed me back yesterday to say he's in for tonight. It should be a good one. The guy, who you probably know was the director/producer of The Aristocrats, is an encylopedia of comedy knowledge and an eloquent spokesman on its behalf. I became a fan of his back in the early 1980s when I'd see him breaking up Johnny Carson on the old Tonight Show. And get this: the emcee the night he first took to the stage at the age of 17 was none other than Jay Leno. Provenza has done Leno's Tonight Show eight or ten times. But wait, it gets better: I heard that when Letterman first moved to CBS, Provenza almost took over for him. The job, we all know, went to... Conan O'Brien. I'm thinking he might have a take on the whole imbroglio at NBC.

And if his stand-up cred doesn't impress you (and it should), perhaps you'd be interested to know he played Casey Clark in five episodes of The Facts of Life. You also maybe saw him in Miami Vice, Charles in Charge, Empty Nest, Northern Exposure, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The West Wing, and Beggars & Choosers. Now are you intrigued? Thought so.

ADDENDUM: We'll be joined in studio by friend of What's So Funny? and Paul Provenza himself, Daniel Packard. We haven't seen Daniel in a while so it'll be great. Should be a fun and spirited conversation.

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