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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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Music Photography Variety Arts Video

Michael Davis – comedian/juggler

In 1984 I had made a meeting with Michael Davis, juggler and comedian to do some photographs for a book I was working on at the time.

The session was at his apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City. I shot some personal ‘at home’ shots and then we scheduled

a session at my studio for a ‘professional’ shot.

Michael Davis is a very funny man. His credits go on for pages. Here is a link to his web page which list them all.

Here are the photographs we took at those two separate sessions.

Michael can be very serious when he wants to but on stage he is a master of comedic timing.

His talent also includes playing guitar and juggling ping pong balls with his mouth!

He is also known to have juggled a bowling ball and egg. Here is that spot on Saturday Night Live.

Some Quotes from Michael’s work.

“Mr. Davis is an inspired deadpan comedian.

I was as close as I have ever been to rolling in an aisle with laughter.  Nothing could top him.”

New York Times

“Davis’s act is like a lethal virus- anywhere, anytime, it will kill in a matter of seconds.”

Rolling Stone

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If he is ever appearing in your neighborhood I suggest you see him perform.

Not many performers are as funny and intelligent in their humor not to mention his amazing juggling skills!

Here is a video of Michael Davis on one of his hysterical appearances on Johnny Carson show!