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Archive for November, 2015

Happy 67th Birthday, Bruce Vilanch

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

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This Day in Television History – November 17th, 1978 – Star Wars Holiday Special Airs

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

This Day in Television History – November 17th, 1978 – Star Wars Holiday Special Airs
Nov 17, 2015
By: Sean Sporman


Star Wars is a titan of the film industry. The first film was a massive success, and since then, the series has seen massive hits with movies, TV shows, books, video games and more. A new film is hitting theaters next month, one that is greatly anticipated by many.

However, one part of Star Wars that featured the original cast has never been officially released and is considered one of the most notorious television specials of all time—the Star Wars Holiday Special. It aired only once to this day, on CBS on November 17th, 1978.

The special featured Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill alongside 70s comedy staples like Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman. It was written by Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps, Bruce Vilanch, Rod Warren, and Mitzie Welch. Steve Binder was the director.

It featured a variety of loosely-connected segments and skits along with stock footage. Some examples of content in the special include the Bea Arthur character running the Cantina on Tattooine, an entire musical segment featuring Jefferson Starship, and Harvey Korman as a four-armed alien that sounds like Julia Child.

Notably, the popular character of the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, made his Star Wars debut in the special, before his appearances in later Star Wars films.

The special has never been officially released, but has gained a cult following as copies can be found online and in trading circuits.

Bruce Vilanch Among 2nd Annual Voice Arts® Awards 2015 Presenters

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

2nd Annual Voice Arts® Awards Announces 2015 Presenters

4-27-2013 3-58-43 AM

Voiceover Industry Award Ceremony Presenters Include Leading Voice Actors and Acclaimed Personalities Presenters include: Oscars ceremony writer Bruce Vilanch, Emmy Award ceremony announcer Joe Cipriano, Legendary Voice of Babe the Pig EG Daily, Iconic Television Actors John Amos and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Featured Voice in Pixar’s Inside Out and Sponge Bob Square Pants Lori Alan, Legendary voice actor from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Boxtrolls Pat Fraley, Police Academy films actor and sound master Michael Winslow and CBS Entertainment Reporter Suzanne Marques

The Society of Voice Arts and Sciences™ (SOVAS™) is delighted to announce today the talented personalities who will serve as presenters for the 2015 Voice Arts®Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday November 15th at the Pacific Design Center. The Voice Arts® Awards is an international competition showcasing the best work in professional voiceover acting, creative direction and communications for advertising, audiobook narration, movie trailers, video gaming, animation, television, radio and casting realms.

The Voice Arts®Awards Presenters are artists from around the world, who represent the best-in-class professional voiceover talents in the industry, and also media personalities who work behind the microphones and cameras. The 2015 Voice Arts®Awards presenters include:

JOE CIPRIANO: Voice of the Emmy Awards, CBS television promos and FOX television promos
JOAN BAKER: Author of Secrets of Voiceover Success, Co-founder of the Voice Arts® Awards.
SCOTT BRICK: Most respected name in Audiobook narration. Grammy finalist and Audie Award-winning narrator of In Cold Blood, Mystic River, Helter Skelter, 700 other audiobooks
CHUCK AND STACEY: She’s the host of Disney World TV and he’s the VO producer/director to the Hollywood VO stars. Together they host the nominated VO Buzz Weekly video podcast
EG DAILY: Voice of Babe the Pig in the award winning movie
ED LOH: Editor in Chief of Motor Trend Magazine
MALCOLM-JAMAL WARNER: Beloved actor from television’s Cosby show who is also an award winning voice actor and is a 2015 VAA nominee
JOHN AMOS: Acclaimed character actor in numerous films and television programs and one of the most iconic father figure characters in America on the 70’s dramedy ‘Good Times’
SUZANNE MARQUES: Entertainment reporter for KCBS in Los Angeles
BRUCE VILANCH: Award winning comedy writer who is a multiple Emmy award winning writer for multiple awards shows, and also, the former head writer for the Oscars ceremony
PAT FRALEY: Legendary voice actor and voiceover teacher known for voicing recognized characters from various films and series including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Boxtrolls
LORI ALAN: Voice of Pearl the Whale on SpongeBob Square Pants & featured in Pixar’s Inside Out: Lori Alan
MICHAEL WINSLOW: Master vocal sound maker and vocal sound effects teacher, known for voicing his special effects in the Police Academy film series

“We are tremendously excited to have the honor of welcoming many of the best voice actors from around the world to the Voice Arts®Awards stage to participate in our ceremony,” says SOVASCEO Rudy Gaskins. “We are humbled.”

The 2015 Voice Arts®Awards full list of nominees, including Tim Gunn, Beyonce, Ron Perlman and Brian Blessed, are featured at The winners in each category will be unveiled on November 15th, along with a special award presentation of the Voice Arts® Icon Award–the jury’s highest honor—to William Shatner, for lifetime achievement. Also being presented, in partnership with Backstage® Magazine and the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences™, is the Backstage® Vanguard Award for Outstanding Casting, which will be presented to Pixar Animation casting honchos Kevin Reher and Natalie Lyon. They will receive their awards the night before at the SOVAS™ created THAT’S VOICEOVER!™ CONFERENCE and will be acknowledged at the Voice Arts®Awards ceremony. Entries were submitted from various entities including: Wendy’s, Telemundo, Discovery Channel, CNN, NBC Sports, ABC Entertainment, Comedy Central, Oxygen Network, NBA on TNT, FOX, Ovation Network and many others. For more information on the Voice Arts Awards, visit:

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About The Voice Arts® Awards
The Voice Arts® Awards is an international awards competition created by the Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ (SOVAS™). The open competition features a number of categories of voice arts, and is voted upon by award-winning experts from the various disciplines that constitute the entry categories. SOVAS™ honors industry visionaries and pioneers of the voice arts with a number of special awards including the Voice Arts Icon Awards for lifetime achievement. Awards are presented during a live Voice Arts® Awards Gala which is open to the public. For more information about Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ (SOVAS™), or for tickets to Voice Arts® Awards Gala, visit

The purpose of the Voice Arts® Awards is to provide international acknowledgement of the extraordinary skill and artistry of voiceover acting and associated industry professions. The Awards also encourage a best-in-class standard of achievement to which the voiceover industry can continually aspire. The Voice Arts® Awards will honor and acknowledge the voice actors, creative directors, copywriters, casting directors, talent agents, directors, producers, audio engineers, account executives, equipment manufacturers, podcasters, bloggers and others who create and sustain excellence within the voiceover industry. The Voice Arts® Award represents one of a host of programs administered by the Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences™ (SOVAS™), a non-profit 501©3 corporation, whose overall mission is to the highest levels of artistic achievement, while providing support for education, training, career advancement and gainful employment throughout all facets of the voiceover industry.

Judi Durand, DAJDPR, 703-725-6017 (m)
Daryl Williams, DAJDPR, 646-373-6736 (m)

Super-Sized Comedy: Bruce Vilanch

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Metro Weekly
Super-Sized Comedy: Bruce Vilanch
Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold team up for an evening of comedy and Hollywood secrets
By Connor J. Hogan on November 5, 2015

4-27-2013 4-01-43 AM

“You get your start in comedy by looking in the mirror and thinking what you see is unusual,” says Bruce Vilanch. “So you start making funny faces and perform for yourself.”

Sixty-six years — and six Emmys — after first catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, Vilanch is still screwing up his face and cracking wise. His signature heft, charmingly raspy voice, and unstoppable wit marked him for a career in comedy from the get go. It helped that he had a “deep-seated need to express [myself],” Vilanch says. “Also, to be funny.”

More than just a comedian, Vilanch has become a force of nature in Hollywood and is particularly known for co-penning the Academy Awards each year. Now, he’s teamed up with lesbian comedian Judy Gold (a two-time Emmy award winner herself) for Big and Tall: Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold, playing this weekend at the Alden Theatre. “I’m number one, and she’s number two,” Vilanch quips. The comedians met while Gold was working on Margaret Cho’s sitcom, All-American Girl. “I don’t remember exactly when lightning struck,” Vilanch says, “but we were two big gay Jews, and we’re both very showbizzy, so it was a natural fit.”

But beyond being gay and Jewish, Gold has one more more handicap — at least in Hollywood’s terms — than Vilanch: being a woman. “It was interesting for Judy, because at the beginning she wasn’t out. It was pre-Ellen,” Vilanch says. “And because all women are perceived as romantic figures, the vast unwashed audiences had to think she had a shot at getting a man.”

In our post-Ellen world, however, Vilanch believes comedians can thrive on being gay. “There are people who are Professional Homosexuals, and those who are Homosexual Professionals,” he says. “People who were gay who did what they did, and people who what they did was being gay. When I get up there, I play myself. I’ve been authentic my entire life.” — Connor J. Hogan

Big and Tall: Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold is Saturday, November 7th at 9 p.m. at the Alden Theatre in the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va. Tickets range from $20 to $72. For more information, visit