Monthly Archives: May 2010

Gary Coleman … Much more than “Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis?”

Gary Coleman and Brad Lemack after the taping of the 1993 interview in Beverly Hills.

Gary Coleman and Brad Lemack after the taping of the 1993 interview in Beverly Hills.

What a tragic life.

Personally, I liked Gary Coleman. I first knew him back in the days of his hit TV series Diff’rent Strokes. There were issues even then, all well documented publicly … health scares, health challenges, followed later by battles with his parents over control over money he had earned from that very success and very long running series that defined not only his career, but the rest of his life.

I am deeply sadden by the news today of Gary’s death at the age of 42. Only 42. The legitimate new services will provide coverage of those details today and in the days ahead that is better left in their hands.

I prefer to remember Gary as he was in 1993, when I interviewed him for our Beverly Hills coffee shop chat show. He was unusually at ease talking about his life, both where he had come from, how he got there, his perspective on it all, and the challenges ahead – many never conquered.

My interview with Gary is a part of the RerunIt.com collection. It hasn’t yet been added to the viewing-on-demand library on the site, but we have been editing the various segments in preparation for the interview’s uploading in our next batch of segments to be added.

With the events of the day, I feel it important to rush the process a bit so that I can share with you some of the special moments from that interview.

Here is a brief clip below. There are eight minutes of clips from the original interview that have just be uploaded to YouTube.

From Los Angeles,

Brad Lemack

Farewell to a Baby Boomer Hero and a TV Pioneer …

Art Linkletter got a generation of Baby Boomer kids to say "the darndnest" things on live television.

Art Linkletter got a generation of Baby Boomer kids to say "the dardnest" things on live, national television.

Sad to hear the news of the death of TV pioneer Art Linkletter yesterday, in Los Angeles, at age 97.

Anyone younger than 45 doesn’t seem to have a clue who Linkletter was. Too bad. For us baby boomers, he helped define our childhoods.

In the bigger picture of his legacy, Art will be remembered as one of the few broadcasters who helped shaped and define the “new” medium of television. Among his many firsts, was his job as the first person to conduct “man-on-the-street” interviews on live television.

He was the first reality TV host!

If you are not familiar with Art and his legacy, learn something about him. It’s impossible to appreciate what we have achieved and how far we have come in the business of television without knowing and appreciating the history behind what it took to get here — and the people who helped make that happen.

I interviewed Art back in 1992 for our little Beverly Hills coffee shop-based chat show. Three segments from that interview are now available for viewing, on demand, at RerunIt.com.

I, like many of my generation, held this guy in great esteem.

From Los Angeles,

BL