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Comedy Film Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Joe Franklin – A Pioneer in Entertainment – Dies at 88

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 3.12.03 AMFB(Joe Franklin at The Bowery Poetry Club hosting the Loose Caboose Variety Show 6/2012)

Longtime radio and TV show host Joe Franklin died Saturday at the age of 88.

Franklin died of cancer, according to his former producer, Steve Garrin, the Associated Press reported.

Long before Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien, Franklin sat behind a desk and interviewed movie stars and up-and-coming musicians.

According to Franklin’s website he was, “in many ways, the pioneer of the modern TV talk show format.”

Franklin began hosting The Joe Franklin show in 1950. During his career he talked to more than 300,000 guests including Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli, according to his website.

Franklin was often parodied on Saturday Night Live by Billy Crystal, and played himself in the movies Manhattan, Ghostbusters, 29th Street, and Broadway Danny Rose.

Billy Crystal tweeted about Franklin’s death on Sunday, writing that, “Joe Franklin was a New York original, I grew up watching Memory Lane and loved imitating him on SNL. A sad day for all who knew him.”

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Juggling Magic Mime Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Philippe Petit and Marcel Marceau improvise in Washington Sq. Park – 03/1983

Appeared in Village Voice/Howard Smith Scenes Column in the March 29th issue of 1983.

Marcel Marceau was in town performing his one-man show at City Center and coordinated to meet Philippe Petit in Washington Square Park.

They did a short improvisation before Marcel Marceau had to go uptown to prepare for his show. I happened to be there to take these photographs!