Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour (1970– )

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
7.4
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Title: Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour (1970– )

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1970  
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 Himself / ... (2 episodes, 1970)
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In episode #12, Pat sings a serious song called "Did I Ever Really Live?". This song was written by 'Allen Sherman' from his Broadway play "The Fig Leaves Are Falling". Paulsen's version was released as a 45 by Mercury and was also put on his Mercury album "Live At The Ice House". The lyrics end with: "your days begin to slip away too fast/too soon you'll hear a distant drum/too soon the time to go will come/and time won't wait/is it too late to ask/did I ever love?/did I ever give?/ did I ever really live?" See more »

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Pat Paulsen Half a Comedy review
30 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I recently reviewed all 13 episodes of the Pat Paulsen Half a Comedy Hour as part of a project to bring the series out on DVD. I may be considered biased in this review since I have a stake in the project, and am related to Pat Paulsen, but I will attempt to be as objective as possible, and invite readers to check and confirm the information I present here, which will be easy to do in the near future as the DVD collection becomes readily available to the general public.

My primary purpose in writing this review is to address what I believe to be inaccuracies or misconceptions I found in another review listed here.

Regarding the comments about Pat Paulsen being unable to memorize lines and glancing angrily off to stage right to read cue cards, well, that's patently silly. For one thing, cue cards (before TelePrompters) were always positioned just below the camera to give the most convincing eye-line possible. Cue cards were in fact used for this TV series, but were part of the plan from the beginning, since the taping schedule called for multiple shows filmed in a day, and a very short lead time between writing the skits and performing them. Hence, no time to memorize the lines, and no plans to do so. Most of the variety shows at the time were designed to incorporate cue cards. Many today are done so also, but now with TelePrompters it becomes less obvious. The reviewer may be thinking of other skits on other shows where Pat glances off stage during the skit. A notable occurrence can be found on YouTube during a performance in black-face on the Merv Griffin show. It is obvious from viewing the clip that the technique is used just to take up time during extended audience laughter.

As for the reviewer's comment about Pat's career foundering because of his inability to hide "his own extremely vicious personality," well... this seems way out of line for a review here. First of all, it's untrue and I'm not sure why the reviewer would presume to know the inner workings of someone's personality, especially someone the reviewer doesn't know. Yes, Pat sometimes assumed the manner of a grumpy fed-up politician, but this is called acting. He also played a bumbling dimwit at times, but no one who knew him ever considered him dumb. Finally, Pat's career continued to flourish throughout his life, with constant performances in stage plays (which of course require 2 or 3 hours of memorized dialog, with no use of cue cards), and stand up comedy, in which he was in high demand at comedy clubs and colleges well into the 1980's.

I'll leave alone the reviewer's comments on the series itself. I think they are fair assessments from his point of view. Other viewers will soon have the ability to see the series on DVD and judge for themselves. The reviewer certainly has his facts right, which puzzles me a little, considering this show has not been aired since 1970 as far as I know. I'll give the reviewer credit also for the pun in his review title. "We Can't Stand Pat," was a Pat Paulsen slogan from the 1968 campaign, made famous by Richard Nixon in one of his debates with John Kennedy, regarding American foreign policy. We Can't Stand Pat, indeed.


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