Charles Phoenix New Book: Addicted To Americana On Sale Now!

By: Judy Shields


Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/18/2018 – “Everywhere I go, I look at what’s unique about that town, what makes that town special. I have a theme park sensibility, so I look for the attractions, the talking points.  The hidden treasures, collectables, where is the “there, there” there.  What makes these towns unique.  This book basically represents the highlights of all of those,” Charles Phoenix told The Hollywood Times today during a telephone interview.

The Hollywood Times (THT):  “What have you been up to?”

Charles Phoenix (Charles): “I just got back from Austin, Texas.  It was really, really fun. I mean this is a town that has completely embraced the Americana ascetic, the very vintage, retro and classic roadside American style.  I called it “ramshackle roadside relic sheek” it’s kind of it. There is a music thing played everywhere, it’s a very indoors/outdoors kind of restaurants and old honky-tonk.  They really embrace their lore there.  They put it up on a pedestal and I love that.  I love when towns treat themselves like a theme park.”

THT: Did you have a road show there?

Charles Phoenix Chicken neon sign in Austin Texas

Charles: “No, actually I had a book signing there.”

THT: So you were out promoting this amazing, wonderful and addictive book?

Charles:  “Thank you, I’m glad that you like it. I am very proud of it and worked very hard on it. It was 25 years in the making, literally.  All the travels, all the collecting of other people’s Kodachrome slides, which I started to do in 1992.  This whole book is a combination of my travels and my collections of other people’s old slides and the stories that came along with them.”

THT: Talk about your live shows:

Charles: “I have an enthusiastic delivering of the material when I am live onstage talking about it.  I have covered many elements of mid-century American culture, then and now. I think what people really love about my show is my enthusiasm.  I think enthusiasm is a very saleable commodity and I have the enthusiasm for it!  I have the info to back it up.  I have been doing my retro slide show live onstage for over 20 years now and I have many topics and subjects, depending on what city I am performing, and the shows have various names.  I always try to include stuff from the city that I am in, either vintage images or new images of vintage places, Mom and Pop shops, unsung local landmarks and maybe unnoticed local heroes and local foods.   I also cover shopping malls, which is certainly on the change now, which makes them kind of interesting topic.  There is a lot in this book and I am kind of shocked looking at it myself, frankly!”

THT: Talk a little about the history of your new book.

Charles: “This whole book represents treasure hunting.  Looking for Americana, is what it is in search of.  I go in search of it on two levels, both physically, by going out in the world and finding it and finding vintage images of it. In my case, I collect vintage Kodachrome slides and I have been collecting them since 1992. I first stumbled upon a collection in a thrift store in Pasadena and it was a little blue shoebox that I spotted and it said “Trip Across the United States 1957, which was on the side of it.  I was originally attracted to the box, because it was an old-looking shoebox.  I picked it up and there was a whole box full of some families slides from the trip across the United States in 1957.  I held a few up and I knew immediately that this was a treasure with my name on it.   So I was completely smitten from that moment on and I haven’t stopped collecting other people’s old Kodachrome slides since.  I call my collection the “slibrary,” and I have a “slibrarian.” She has basically been organizing the entire thing for about 15 years now.  This is in part the reason how I was able to do this book, because I have a lot of really unusual rare images.  I take great pride in my territorial skills both out in the field and going out to find what is interesting and what isn’t.”

THT: You are like an investigator.

Charles: “I love playing detective to find the stuff, I love going to a town and having a hunt for something. There is always some treasure that has gone missing, a car, a vintage neon sign or something that needs to be portable in some way that deserves to be found.  Occasionally I wind up going in search of some treasure that has been misplaced or no one knows where it went. Sometimes I recover them and occasionally they’re gone for good.”

I asked Charles if he had photos from when he was young and he said very few, because nobody in his family was a photographer.  “I have to rely on other people’s photos, not my own,” Charles said.

Charles also has a line of his and her clothing called Sir Charles of Phoenix, which are retro inspired.  Check it out here:






THT: Do you have any live stage shows coming up?

Charles: “Yes. I have one coming up in Las Vegas this weekend at the Orleans and another one in June called Catalinaland. A show all about the story and the glory of Catalina. It is going to be held inside the epic art deco theatre which is inside the legendary iconic casino building there on Catalina. That is going to be a rare threat to get inside that casino building and into that art deco theatre. That is coming up  June 10th.”

“What I am covering is uniquely American, for the most part and it’s a part of our culture that isn’t fading away but is fading away, but not completely!  That is why I am covering it.  I think it is really an underrated time in our history and the type of stuff that I am covering is very underrated in the scheme of things and very under covered historically. It was made in the USA.”

“What a great idea, a book to share with your children and grandchildren.  Get this book and share it with them. Make it a point to take a vacation to find these treasures, create your own memories with your children and grandchildren.  What wonderful gift to give to your parents/grandparents, so that they can share memories of some of these places they may have seem in their early days.  A great Mothers Day gift. This is such a colorful book, and belongs on everyone’s coffee table in every living room across America.   We need a book like “Addicted to Americana” in our lives, color, nostalgia, American history and it’s fantastic,” The Hollywood Times.

Here is my favorite picture from the book:


Charles Phoenix is a showman, tour guide, food crafter, and author. He is known for his live comedy slide show performances, madcap Test Kitchen videos, “field trip” tours, and colorful coffee table books, all celebrating classic and kitschy American life and style. On TV, Charles has appeared as a judge on Food Network’s Cake Wars: Christmas. He’s also guested on Storage Wars, Jay Leno’s Garage, Conan, and Martha Stewart, and is often heard on NPR. The Los Angeles Times says, “Call him the King of Retro,” and LA Weekly anointed him “the Kodachrome King.”

Growing up in Ontario, California Charles was educated at theme parks, shopping malls, and his dad’s used car lots. As a teen he discovered thrift shops, which led to a lifelong vintage shopping spree. He calls thrift shops “schools of style, museums of merchandise, and the perfect place to study the underbelly of our mass consumerism culture.”

After moving to Los Angeles and enjoying careers as a fashion designer and classic car dealer, his life changed forever — in a thrift shop — when he discovered a shoebox full of vintage Kodachrome slides marked “Trip Across the United States, 1957.” Collecting orphaned vintage slide photography soon became an obsession that inspired his retro slide show performance career, beginning in 1998.

Charles’ slide show performances are supercharged, laugh-out-loud celebrations of retro American pop culture. Fans from coast to coast enjoy his spirited story telling, gracious wit and sharp eye for oddball detail.

He covers a dizzying array of subjects and themes, projecting both vintage Kodachrome images and contemporary photos documenting his retro road trip discoveries.

No two shows are ever the same. Many performances are tailored specifically to highlight the region he’s performing in, inspiring newfound appreciation for underrated local landmarks, unique attractions, “mom-and-pop” businesses, and extreme architecture.

Charles’ popular “Disneyland” Tour of Downtown Los Angeles proves the heart and soul of the city is like a great big theme park. Touring vintage landmarks and themed environments — including Old Chinatown, Olvera Street, Clifton’s Cafeteria, Angels Flight, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Carroll Avenue and more, he proves “Southern California doesn’t have one Disneyland, it has two!” He also leads tours of Palm Spring’s iconic mid-century modern architecture during Modernism Week.

Big Retro Slide Show Extravaganza

April 20, 2018 & April 22, 2018
Orleans Hotel Showroom
4500 W Tropicana Ave
Las Vegas, NV

Prepare for your national pride to swell when Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, launches retro pop culture into the stratosphere! With his keen expertise, unbridled enthusiasm and eagle eye for oddball detail, Charles shares the very best of his retro road-trip discoveries and colorful kaleidoscope of found vintage Kodachrome slides from the pages of his latest book, Addicted to Americana.

This is a marvelous mashup of mid-century of stories and glories of spectacular space-age style, amazing attractions, local landmarks, roadside wonders, festive foods, crazy car culture, futuristic transportation and more galore all in glorious Kodachrome COLOR! Your imagination will be inspired and your American spirit will soar!

NOTE: each show is different. Check Event schedule for show times.

June 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Live Retro Slide Show Performance Celebrating SoCal’s Enchanted Island!
Avalon Casino Theatre
1 Casino Way
Avalon, CA 90704

Click here to buy tickets:

Catalina Island Museum presents … Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, at the iconic Casino’s spectacular 1929 Art Deco movie palace.

Be prepared for your Catalina loving’ spirit to SOAR when Charles sweeps us away on a time-travel storytelling and retro slide show adventure extravaganza exploring the island’s classic landmarks, legends and lore.

Experience the backstories and glories of the S.S. Avalon, glass bottom boat, flying fish, Bird Park, Catalina Pottery, vintage souvenirs, Casino, Wrigley family, the mysterious Catalina-shaped swimming pool, and much more.

Charles also shares his vintage guide to today’s Catalina sightseeing, shopping, dining, and where to find the Island’s hidden treasures, time warps, and what not to miss as you discover Catalina as a great big theme park!

The performance is two-acts with an intermission. Festive dress is encouraged but not expected.

Aftershow Cake & Book Signing Party

You are invited to meet Charles following the performance at the Catalina Island Museum. Copies of his latest book, Addicted to Americana, will be available for purchase.

Charles is the author of many colorful, collectible coffee table books celebrating mid-century Southern California, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Kodachrome road trips and his native Pomona Valley. His latest is Addicted to Americana!

About Charles Phoenix

Addicted to Americana, author, chef, and retro pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix celebrates classic and kitschy American life and style. He is known for his live comedy slide show performances, eye-popping “test kitchen” videos, and colorful coffee table books.

On TV he is a judge on Food Network’s Cake Wars, and has appeared with Jay Leno, Martha Stewart, and Conan O’Brian. He is often heard on NPR.

Fans enjoy his clever spin and genuine reverence for Americana and trust his guide to attractions from coast to coast.


Young Author Strips to Make a Statement About Prejudice and Promote her Debut Collection of Poetry and Prose, Blue Bird

LOS ANGELES, CA – Blue Bird, by author Magda Ayuk, is both a political statement and a spiritual journey to self-love and healing in the face of oppression. Launching in April, which is National Poetry Month, it will be featured at the LA Times Festival of Books, in Booth #912.

For the video, Canadian author Magda Ayuk teamed up with South African videographer Yusuf Gamieldien to create a burlesque-inspired piece on race. In it, Magda takes off items of clothing to a sensual song performed by Brooklyn artist TCVVX. As she strips, derogatory comments used against black women, painted on her body, are seen.

“I have years of experience in this area. I know how the world around me receives me and the stereotypes they have about me upon first glance. Living in Asia on and off since 2014 definitely drove that point home,” Magda says.

Blue Bird by Magda Ayuk exposes the beauty and the ugly of the human experience by exploring the topics of race, gender and love under the umbrella of freedom. Blue Bird officially launches April 17, 2018, which is appropriate with April being National Poetry Month. The book will also be featured at the LA Times Festival of Books, April 21 – 22, 2018, in the Black Château booth, #912

Blue Bird is an open invitation to be unapologetic about who you are and to bloom as you find peace in rebellion. The pieces encourage readers to challenge what it means to be a man, or a woman, or other, through true self-discovery, and to define themselves as they see fit. While pouring over Magda’s poems, expect to self-reflect and ponder your relationship to the world around you. The video is the perfect accompanying visual.

“I wanted to use my body to make a statement. Throughout history, there have been both a fascination and disregard for black bodies in white spaces. Think minstrel shows and Sarah Bartman. I am fully in control in this video and fully aware of the words used against me. I had the words ‘slave’, ‘monkey’ and ‘angry’, painted on my skin. People of color can use the ugly that’s often thrown at us and create art. And, art is seduction, and that’s why I wanted to use elements of burlesque to illustrate my stance,” Magda says.

Magda promotes self-love in her pieces because she believes it’s the only way to disassociate yourself from the world’s perception of you. She describes it as a force field. Magda hopes to inspire that kind of self-love in her readers through her body of work. She is Canadian, Cameroonian and an expat living in South Korea. Being “other” is, therefore, familiar to her. The overarching message of the book is to explore your multiple identities and to love yourself from soul to marrow, rejecting all ideas that don’t resonate with who you are.

Magda Ayuk believes that the voices of marginalized people, such as herself, need to be heard. To her, owning your truth is an act of rebellion.

The paperback and kindle versions of Blue Bird are available for pre-orders.

Click here to find Blue Bird on Amazon.

Blue Bird
By Magda Ayuk
ISBN-13: 978-1530935659
Price: $12.99 paperback, $2.99 Kindle
Pages: 242

About the Author

Magda Ayuk is a poet, a self-care and financial literacy advocate, and a journalist. Her writing is underpinned by spirituality, race, gender and love. In her free time, she flirts with the art of burlesque, music and theater. Magda is currently based in Seoul, South Korea . You can find more of her work on Instagram @magdaayuk.

Mermaid Legends Come to Life in the Gripping New Drama Series “Siren,” premiering March 29 at 8/7c on Freeform.

In this epic tale, the coastal town of Bristol Cove is turned upside down when a mysterious girl (Eline Powell) appears and begins wreaking havoc on the small fishing town. Using their resources, marine biologists Ben (Alex Roe) and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) must work together to find out who and what drove this primal hunter of the deep sea to land, and are there more like her out there?

Alex Roe (Photo Fandom)
Eline Powell (photo IMDb)

In anticipation of “International Mermaid Day” (March 29), Freeform will roll out a series of visually stunning live activations, unique social media opportunities, and a thirst-quenching drink as you dive into the two-hour series premiere!

The Mermaid Museum

In partnership with POPSUGAR, Freeform has created an immersive mermaid experience for those who want to indulge their obsession with these mythical creatures and visit the fictional world of Bristol Cove. Washing ashore in the heart of Los Angeles, the museum will be open to the public from March 22 to the 25.

The free ticketed event will include a live mermaid in a 4,800 gallon-water tank, a speakeasy-inspired fishing store, numerous photo-ready exhibitions and a 360° underwater projection room.






The First Official #InternationalMermaidDay

March 29th marks the day to celebrate these powerful, mysterious, and mythical creatures of the sea. In honor of the series premiere of “Siren” that night at 8/7c – this is the day to bring mermaid culture to life! From Snapchat filters to customized Pressed Juicery juices, audiences will have a multi-platform experience to bring “Siren” to life.

Custom “Siren” Snapchat Lens

On premiere day, transform into a mermaid from “Siren” with the nationwide Snapchat lens exclusively available for one day only. Capture and post your transformation from traditional mermaid to the dark and mysterious deep-sea creature using the hashtag #internationalmermaidday and #siren.

Mermaid Fuel by Pressed Juicery
On International Mermaid Day, all 68 Pressed Juicery locations will serve limited-edition, free bottles of “Mermaid Fuel” while supplies last. “Mermaid Fuel” is a delicious and hydrating blend of maple water, lemon, blue algae, mint, and maple syrup.

Fin Fun Giveaway
On March 22, check out the @Siren Instagram account for a chance to win a Siren-inspired swimmable tail from Fin Fun.

The Premiere of “Siren” on Freeform
Tune in March 29th at 8/7c for the special two-hour premiere event on Freeform
Trailer (:90 sec)

Facebook: @Siren
Twitter: @SirenTV
Instagram: @Siren
Tumblr: @Siren
Snapchat: @SirenTV
YouTube: @siren

“Siren” is based on a story by Eric Wald and Dean White who both serve as executive producers. Emily Whitesell (“Finding Carter”) serves as showrunner and executive producer. Brad Luff, Nate Hopper and RD Robb also serve as executive producers.

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Closes Season 31 with the Exclusive Broadcast Premiere of This Is Bob Hope

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Closes Season 31 with the Exclusive Broadcast Premiere of This Is Bob Hope…


By: Judy Shields

For those of us who grew up watching Bob Hope and all those USO Christmas shows, will most definitely need to watch this show. It is wonderfully directed and produced to show the man who entertained us and many of the troops fighting the wars from WWII, Vietnam and to his last show at Desert Storm Gulf War.

Bob Hope on stage entertaining the troops in Vietnam (Photo Courtesy of Bob Hope Legacy, LLC.)

Please share this amazing show with your family and friends, it’s a great way to show all the younger generation the man who brought us stand-up comedy and wonderful TV shows and how the talk show host of today got their starts in the business thanks to Mr. Bob Hope.

American Masters: This is Bob Hope…  the unabridged director’s cut of the film, featuring over 35 minutes of additional footage, premieres nationwide Friday, December 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). It will be available to stream the same day via Passport for PBS station members (contact your local PBS station for details) at and on PBS OTT apps.

Features Hope’s writings voiced by Billy Crystal and new interviews with Conan O’Brien, Kermit the Frog, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Dick Cavett, Margaret Cho and others Unabridged Director’s Cut premieres nationwide Friday, December 29 on PBS (check local listings)

During his eight-decade career, Bob Hope (1903-2003) was the only performer to achieve top-rated success in every form of mass entertainment: vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television, popular song and personal appearances, including his annual USO Christmas military tours and hosting the Academy Awards more times than anyone else. A comedy innovator, Hope invented the topical monologue that later became a late-night TV staple and comedy tropes like talking while backing up. He refined a spontaneous, conversational, improvisational style of comedy as a vaudeville master of ceremonies that created a blueprint for acerbic standup comics.

Written, directed and produced by John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary), American Masters: This is Bob Hope… presents a candid look at a remarkable life with unprecedented access to Hope’s personal archives, including writings voiced by Billy Crystal and clips from Hope’s body of work to reveal a gifted individual who recognized the power of fame, embraced its responsibilities and handled celebrity with extraordinary wit and grace, becoming a model for public service in Hollywood.

Bob Hope, circa 1955 (Photo Credit Bob Hope Legacy, LLC.)

“Alongside an examination of Bob Hope’s extraordinary career achievements is a portrait of a gifted man with enormous personal contradictions,” says filmmaker John Scheinfeld. “Even in the longer cut, I barely scratched the surface of his huge impact and influence.”

American Masters: This is Bob Hope… features new interviews with Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Margaret Cho, daughter Linda Hope, Kermit the Frog, film critic/historian Leonard Maltin, Conan O’Brien, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Connie Stevens and biographer Richard Zoglin (Hope: Entertainer of the Century). Edited to evoke the fast, fun pace of Hope’s classic monologues, clips include highlights from numerous TV specials, his Pepsodent radio shows and classic films like The Cat and the Canary, My Favorite Blonde, his iconic Road pictures with Bing Crosby, and The Big Broadcast of 1938 featuring his signature song “Thanks for the Memory.”

The unabridged director’s cut also features Hope’s 1930s comedy shorts and delves further into his radio and TV career, USO tours and charity work. It will be available on DVD January 9, 2018, from PBS Distribution and is also available as part of Bob Hope: The Ultimate Movie Collection DVD box set on November 14 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, a Critics’ Choice Documentary Award, and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website ( offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, the American Masters Podcast, the Inspiring Woman web series, educational resources and In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive: previously unreleased interviews of luminaries discussing America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.

American Masters: This is Bob Hope… is a production of Crew Neck Productions and American Masters Pictures. John Scheinfeld is writer, director and producer. Dave Harding, Richard Gurman, Richard Zoglin and James Hardy are producers. Peter S. Lynch, II is editor and co-producer. Michael Kantor is American Masters series executive producer.

Bob Hope’s Paramount photo by Bud Frake, circa 1953 (Photo Courtesy of Bob Hope Legacy, LLC)

Major support for This is Bob Hope… is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and Roslyn Goldstein. Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional support is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Judith and Burton Resnick, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, and public television viewers.

About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere:

About Bob Hope

When Bob Hope died in 2003, he left behind a legacy as one of the best known, most loved, and longest lasting stars in the entertainment business. For six decades, Hope made us laugh in vaudeville, in the movies, at the Academy Awards, on stage and in print. He was renowned for his longevity (he was 100 years old at the time of his death), his love for golf, and his contributions to charity. But perhaps Hope’s greatest legacy is his work entertaining the troops.

Beginning in 1941 and continuing for half a century, Hope headlined 57 USO tours, bringing a bit of joy to the lives of U.S. military men and women serving in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War, and beyond. And he was deeply proud of this work. When President Bill Clinton named Hope an honorary veteran in 1997, Hope responded, “I’ve been given many awards in my lifetime – but to be numbered among the men and women I admire most – is the greatest honor I have ever received.”

Bob Hope Special Around the Globe with the USO-Danang 1969

1944: A World War II show presented “somewhere in the South Pacific”

1966: Entertaining the troops in Cu Chi, Vietnam on Christmas Day

1984: Christmas in Beirut

1990: One of his final USO tours, with Rosemary Clooney

Memorials to Hope have proliferated across the American landscape. You can walk down streets named for Bob Hope in El Paso, Texas, Miami, Florida, and Branson, Missouri; cross the Cuyahoga River on the Hope Memorial Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio; and bypass the congestion at Los Angeles International by flying into the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. Hope’s name is memorialized on hospitals, theaters, chapels, schools, performing arts centers, and American Legion posts from Miami to Okinawa. The US Air Force named a transport plane for him, and the Navy christened a cargo ship in his honor. Bob Hope Village, in Shalimar, Florida, provides a home for retired members of the Air Force and their surviving spouses. The World Golf Hall of Fame, in St. Augustine, Florida, features an exhibit celebrating Hope’s passion for the game, “Bob Hope: Shanks for the Memory.” A dozen colleges offer scholarships in Hope’s name. Another dozen organizations give out awards in his honor, among them the Air Force’s annual Spirit of Hope Award and the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

His punchy, two-syllable name, so emblematic of the optimistic American spirit; the unmistakable profile, with its jutting chin and famously ski-slope-shaped nose; the indelible images of Hope performing for throngs of cheering GIs in World War II and Vietnam—it was once impossible to imagine a time when the first question that needed to be answered about the most popular comedian in American history would be: Who was Bob Hope, and why did he matter?

By the time he died—on July 27, 2003, two months after his hundredth birthday—Hope’s reputation was already fading, tarnished, or being actively disparaged. He had, unfortunately, stuck around too long. The comedian of the century, who began his vaudeville career in the 1920s and was still headlining TV specials in the 1990s, continued performing well into his dotage, and a younger generation knew him mainly as a cue-card-reading antique, cracking dated jokes about buxom beauty queens and Gerald Ford’s golf game. “World’s Last Bob Hope Fan Dies of Old Age,” the Onion’s fake headline announced a year before his death. Writer Christopher Hitchens expressed the disaffection of many of the baby-boom generation in an online dismissal of Hope just a few days after his passing: “To be paralyzingly, painfully, hopelessly unfunny is a serious drawback, even lapse, in a comedian. And the late Bob Hope devoted a fantastically successful and well-remunerated lifetime to showing that a truly unfunny man can make it as a comic. There is a laugh here, but it is on us.”

Bob Hope with NBC Microphone for The Pepsodent Show

This was something of a revolution. When Hope made his debut on NBC in 1938, the popular comedians on radio all inhabited self- contained worlds, playing largely invented comic characters: Jack Benny’s effete tightwad, Edgar Bergen and his uppity dummy, Charlie McCarthy, the daffy-wife/exasperated-husband interplay of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Hope’s monologues brought something new to radio: a connection between the comedian and the outside world.

On a podium, no one could touch him. He was host or cohost of the Academy Awards ceremony a record nineteen times—the first in 1940, when Gone With the Wind was the big winner, and the last in 1978, when Star Wars and Annie Hall were the hot films. His suave unflappability—no one ever looked better in a tuxedo—and tart insider wisecracks (“This is the night when war and politics are forgotten, and we find out who we really hate”) helped turn a relatively low-key industry dinner into the most obsessively tracked and massively watched event of the Hollywood year.

The modern stand-up comedy monologue was essentially his creation. There were comedians in vaudeville before Hope, but they mostly worked in pairs or did prepackaged, jokebook gags that played on ethnic stereotypes and other familiar comedy tropes. Hope, working as an emcee and ad-libbing jokes about the acts he introduced, developed a more freewheeling and spontaneous monologue style, which he later honed and perfected in radio. To keep his material fresh, he hired a team of writers and told them to come up with jokes about the news of the day—presidential politics, Hollywood gossip, California weather, as well as his own life, work, travels, golf game, and show-business friends.

When television came in, Hope was there too. Others, such as Milton Berle, preceded him. But after starring in his first NBC special on Easter Sunday in 1950, Hope began an unparalleled reign as NBC’s most popular comedy star that lasted for nearly four decades. Other comedians who made the move into television—Berle, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Danny Thomas, even Lucille Ball—had their heyday on TV and then faded; Hope alone remained a major star headlining top-rated TV shows well into his eighties. His 1970 Christ- mas special from Vietnam was the most watched television program of all time up to that point, seen in a now-unthinkable 46.6 percent of all TV homes in the country. (The final episodes of Dallas, M*A*S*H, and Roots are the only entertainment shows ever to beat it.)

Bob Hope All-Star Christmas Comedy featuring Bob Hope with the Muppets Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy Dec 19 1977

This was something of a revolution. When Hope made his debut on NBC in 1938, the popular comedians on radio all inhabited self- contained worlds, playing largely invented comic characters: Jack Benny’s effete tightwad, Edgar Bergen and his uppity dummy, Charlie McCarthy, the daffy-wife/exasperated-husband interplay of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Hope’s monologues brought something new to radio: a connection between the comedian and the outside world.

Hope was the first to combine topical subject matter with the rapid- re gag rhythms of the vaudeville quipster. His monologues became the template for Johnny Carson and nearly every late-night TV host who followed him, and the foundation stone for all stand-up comics, even those who rebelled against him.

He transcended comedy; he was the nation’s designated mood-lifter. No one else could perform that role; few even tried. Comedians for years did impressions of Jack Benny, Groucho Marx, George Burns, and other classic clowns. Almost no one did Bob Hope. His ordinariness was inimitable.

This excerpt was written by Richard Zoglin and originally published in the introduction to his biography, Hope.

Hope Book by Richard Zoglin

Our House – Grief Support Center

Our House – Grief Support Center


By Judy Shields

Hollywood, California (The Hollywood Times) November 3, 2017 – “Non-profit grief support center. We serve people all across the life span who has experienced a death of someone close.” Lauren Schneider, LCSW, Clinical Director of Child and Adolescent Programs at Our House told The Hollywood Times during a telephone interview.

This is one organization that I believe everyone should be looking into. We will all, at one time or another, have to deal with death and grief.  Why not take the time to look into this organization for their support.  Enjoy the following article.

Lauren Schneider & Greg DeHart One Last Hug Three Days At Grief Camp Premiere Screening April 2 2014

The Hollywood Times (THT): I read that Our House is a great support group for young children.

Lauren Schneider (LS): “Yes we do, we start working with kids as young as four years old and up. Everybody who comes to our facility is placed in a group within their age who have experienced the same type of death. So like a child who is 15 and has had a parent die would be with other 15-year-old high school age kids that have had a parent die.”

“We believe that the support that is available from people who are in your peer group is what is going to be most helpful at that time. We are not a mental health center, and we don’t do therapy at all. Everything is group support from peers rather than from a therapist. The groups are facilitated by our groups leaders, who for the most part are volunteers that we train to lead the groups.”

THT: What is your background and training?

LS: “I am a clinical social worker and I had been working with grieving children in another setting but I have been running this program over 15 years now. Most of my career has been working with grieving children. Most of what I know I have learned from the kids themselves, because you can read all the books in the world and all the studies and everything like that and that’s wonderful, but grief is so unique and every time you are in a room with grieving children you really do learn something about how that particular child is feeling. That is the best environment to learn.”

THT: Do you have counsels and therapists?

LS: “We have wonderful volunteers that are really committed. Many of them stay with us for years and they really provide high quality support to the kids in their groups. Our volunteers are truly remarkable and they are prepared for the work they do.

The kids program, we have a school base support program, one of the largest in the country. We served 900 students last year in public schools here in Los Angeles County. Kids sometimes don’t show their grief on the outside, because they are outside playing and not sitting around with the grownups talking about it. They use distractions to cope with the pain of loss. They get left out of family discussion and might not get the support and have to grieve alone.”

THT: I read about your grief camps, tell us a little about those.

LS: “We have grief support camps that we offer. We have two sessions in the summer, so kids can come for a weekend, a two-night sleep away camp. That is both a fun outdoor camping experience and a way to get grief support by sharing your experience with your peers with the help of the volunteers. In camp they are encouraged to express themselves and this helps them with support.”

Lauren Schneider talked about the documentary she allowed to be made about her camps. It is called “One Last Hug…and a few smooches” an Emmy award-winning HBO documentary about Children’s Grief. It can be found on HBO

Laura said the camp is a very magical setting where kids can just be kids for a weekend and do an enormous amount of healing after a death of someone very close to them.

Applications for camp are being accepted in February next year for the summer. They do have a lot kids that go to these camps.

Camp Erin LA & OC – Three weekends each summer, OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center hosts Camp Erin-Los Angeles and Camp Erin-Orange County. The weekend-long camp provides children an opportunity to learn coping skills, enjoy traditional summer camp activities, and connect with other children who are also grieving the death of someone close.

Who is Erin?

Camp Erin is named in memory of Erin Metcalf, a friend of Karen and Jamie Moyer who died of cancer at age 17. Erin’s wish was to help other children navigate through their grief.

What activities do campers participate in throughout the weekend?

Camp Erin combines traditional camp activities with grief support, education and remembrance projects and ceremonies. Campers swim; navigate a rock wall and rope course; engage in arts and crafts; and enjoy other activities designed to encourage and promote healing. Camp Erin allows children a chance to share their thoughts, feelings, and memories about the person who died with their peers. They participate in memorial ceremonies as well as outdoor activities that allow them to enjoy the freedom of childhood.

Who takes care of the campers?

Camp counselors are highly trained and compassionate volunteers who are there to support campers as they participate in activities and bond with one another. OUR HOUSE Directors and staff oversee the counselors throughout the entire weekend.

Our House offers three different journals. On is for kids under 10, which they can complete with a grown up and express their thoughts and feelings and to hold on to their precious memories.  Kids are afraid of losing memories of those that have died, Lauren said.

The second journal is a teenager journal version is one that the kids can work on themselves to express their feelings and write down their memories of those that have recently passed away.


The third journal is the adult journal. These journals have very simple props that provide enough structure for them so that it decrease that overwhelming feeling and you can just start off by responding to the simple props.


The website offers these journals as well as several books on grief.

Lauren also mentioned that they have an enormous variety of one-page handouts on different topics that can be helpful for school personnel on how to support kids and many related to children’s grief. How to prepare a child who will be attending a funeral, whether for a friend or a loved one. All these handouts can be found on their website below.

She said that the most important thing to know is, what they are doing at Our House, is wonderful for the LA community but that there are grief support centers in the United States that have groups like theirs that are doing groups in school and grief camps and groups year round. People call Our House from all over the country and they can give them referrals for grief support resources in their communities. They have a great network of grief support centers nationally.

Our House will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in April 2018 and there will be a very big event to celebrate the occasion. Their school base program is 20 years old next year and their camp Aaron, which is a national grieving camp and they are celebrating its tenth anniversary here in Los Angeles next summer. A big year for Our House.

There is an event happening on November 17th. See below for more information:

Spend an Evening Laughing Out Loud – OUR HOUSE’s 9th Annual Night for Hope

Hosted by OUR HOUSE Associate Board
Friday, November 17, 2017
The Palace Theater Downtown LA
Doors Open at 6:30pm 21+

Click here for tickets:

Our House is always looking for volunteers, the commitment to lead one school group per semester is a very small commitment, it’s about one hour a week, plus go through some training and so through supervision. There is probably a couple thousand students that could benefit from a grief group that will never have that opportunity because Our House does not have enough volunteers. Their next volunteer training is in January 2018.

So please look up being a volunteer to make a difference in a grieving child or adults life. Click here:



About Lauren Schneider LCSW

Lauren, a nationally recognized authority on Children’s Grief, has provided trainings for mental health clinicians, educators, clergy, health care providers and graduate students throughout the community since 2000. Lauren is the author of “Children Grieve Too: A Handbook for Parents of Grieving Children”. She also created “My Memory Book…for grieving children” as well as grief-related curricula for use at Camp Erin Los Angeles and in OUR HOUSE grief support groups. Lauren is the Associate Producer of One Last Hug…and a few smooches” an Emmy award-winning HBO documentary about Children’s Grief. She trains and supervises OUR HOUSE group leaders as well as MSW and MFT clinicians and students. Lauren maintains a private practice in Los Angeles specializing in grief and loss.

Lauren Schneider LCSW

Lauren’s areas of specialty are:

Talking to children after sudden deaths due to homicide, suicide, overdose or acts of terrorism the more stigmatized and unusual the circumstances of the death the less likely adults are to feel comfortable talking to their children about the cause when someone they love has died.

Children need to be told the truth in age appropriate language because they always find out the truth and they will feel anger, resentment or a lack of trust towards those who weren’t honest with them if they aren’t told the truth.

Helping grown-ups understand how to explain these types of death and how to empower their children to create their own narrative so they can comfortably talk about it with friends.

Preparing children for funerals or memorial services

Fostering resiliency in grieving children

Published Articles, Books & Film:

“Children Grieve too: A Handbook for Parents of Grieving Children.”

My Memory Book…for grieving children”

Associate Producer of “One Last Hug…and a few smooches” an Emmy award-winning HBO documentary about Children’s Grief.



About Our House

Grief is a natural reaction after the death of someone close. Yet in our society, few people are prepared for the intensity and duration of the grief process. Learn about OUR HOUSE Grief Support center and how we were founded on the premise that grievers need understanding, support, and connection. If you or someone you care about is grieving, we are here to help.

The OUR HOUSE mission is to provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope. Since 1993, OUR HOUSE has helped thousands of grieving children, teens, and adults as they embark upon their journeys to hope and healing.

As a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization, we are reliant on the generosity of donors, corporate/community partners, and annual fundraising events. We offer special thanks to all of our volunteers, donors, and sponsors for their continued support.


About the Founder Jo-Ann Lautman

Jo-Ann Lautman was leading “Mommy and Me” classes at a pre-school in West LA as well as working with the Cedars-Sinai Hospice team during the early 1990s. Sadly, one of the moms died unexpectedly in her “Mommy & Me” class leaving a young widower and their child. At that moment, trying to console the young gentleman, Jo-Ann recognized there was an overlooked need for grief support in Los Angeles, particularly for younger grievers who were expected to “bounce back” and “find someone new.”   Jo-Ann decided to make room for new passages in life, with the promise of keeping memories and dreams alive.

As the word about the groups grew, so did the seeds of OUR HOUSE. After two years helping the young widow and widowers find sweetness again in their life, OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center launched in October 1993 with its grief support mission as a safe and comfortable place to start the process of rebuilding lives after the devastation of the death of someone close.

From a staff of two to now 24 employees, from one group room to 11 group rooms in three offices, over 450 volunteers, satellite and school groups throughout LA County, OUR HOUSE serves grieving children and adults of all races, religions and ages, from 4 to 94. We have moved and grown and look to the future with the celebration of our 25th anniversary in 2018.


Bringing together a jury of fans, creators and industry leaders, Buffer Festival will reward excellence in elevated YouTube content on October 1st, 2017.

Toronto, ON (September 19th, 2017) — Buffer Festival is honoured to announce the first-ever Buffer Festival Awards. Keeping with the original intention of the Festival as a showcase of elevated YouTube content, the awards will bring recognition to those creators who push the artistic, intellectual, and technological boundaries of what is achievable on YouTube. All films screened at the festival will be eligible and voting will take place throughout the four days. Continue reading “INTRODUCING THE FIRST EVER BUFFER FESTIVAL AWARDS”

Sinead O’Connor #OneOfMillions

Sinead O’Connor delivers a personal compassionate mental health plea to her loved ones to rescue her from her two years solitude in New Jersey to return to Ireland. #OneOfMillions

IMG_0053Sinead O'Connor is an artist who creates even when in pain and suffering from her own personal mental health challenges thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean from her beloved Ireland. On August 3rd, 2017 she posted a passionate humble emotional yet in control twelve plus minutes video putting her heart on the line for help from the fathers of her children whom she misses.

Either people love her or they are bewildered by her but she is her own person very strong in her honesty and ahead of her time her whole life has she has addressed controversy. When she tore up the picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live show in the US years ago she was making the most of a worldwide opportunity to awaken her protest of the tip of the iceberg of clergy abuse.

Sinead describes herself in her personal video as "5'4" woman needing help as she is dying". She has been two years away from Ireland and Sinead compassionately pleas for the help of those she has financially helped over the years. Sinead is a fighter for her life yet she confesses her vulnerbility as she is dealing with a kidney stone and other health problems. Recently she had sent word to Crumlin fighter Conor McGregor to sing for his upcoming fight against Mayweather as she had sung at a previous McGregor match.

With the 2017 list of rock n roll suicides growing as well as suicide on the rise in many communities, Sinead has stated that she would not go that route for the sake of her children. Fans hope that her strength will keep her to her word of resilience to triumph over her current hurdles and regain her health to enjoy her life.

Photographer David Magnus captures the high-water mark of the Beatles career

David Magnus


By JP Durand

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 6/12/17 – The extent to which the Beatles continue to capture the world’s imagination, now 47 years since their breakup, is staggering.  Every so often a new remixed CD (as with the current 2017 audio upgrade of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”), a new book or a new piece of film present the tantalizing opportunity to put the Fab Four squarely in one’s mind and heart, to again examine their legacy and provide a new perspective on perhaps the world’s most beloved and most analyzed band. Continue reading “Photographer David Magnus captures the high-water mark of the Beatles career”



The world’s leading digital film festival will host YouTube celebrities Adande ‘Swoozie’ Thorne, Jon Cozart, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Andrea Russett, Julien Solomita, and more at the historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre in Toronto from September 28 – October 1, 2017.

Toronto, ON (May 30 2017) — With millennials more enamoured with YouTube stars than many of Hollywood’s biggest A-Listers, Buffer Festival, the largest YouTube Festival for elevated content, is expecting to see crowds of 7,000+ this year. The four-night event will showcase hundreds of exclusive video premieres from the most acclaimed YouTube Creators along with the highly esteemed Industry Day and Creator Day. Created by Canadian YouTubers and entrepreneurs Corey Vidal, Saskia Vanell and Corrado Coia, the festival will feature more than 100 of the most accomplished YouTubers.

On its fifth year, Buffer Festival will be premiering exclusive content from notable YouTube names like Adande ‘Swoozie’ Thorne, Jon Cozart, one of the biggest parody a cappella artists online, rapper Timothy DeLaGhetto, the hilarious Andrea Russett, hit vlogger Julien Solomita and more at the historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre from Thursday, September 28th to Sunday, October 1st, 2017.

Guests of the 2017 edition of Buffer Festival will experience:

  • Industry Day: Featuring case studies and panel discussions with notable industry executives.
  • Creator Day: Designed to educate and engage aspiring creators.
  • Screenings: YouTubers will be premiering exclusive content for fans to enjoy.
  • Awards Gala Ceremony: Buffer Festival announces its first Awards Show.
  • Red Carpet: The perfect opportunity for fans to interact with their favourite Internet superstars.
  • Parties: Bringing YouTubers, industry leaders and brands together to celebrate the inspiring work being showcased.

1st Batch of Confirmed YouTubers Include:
Adande ‘Swoozie‘ Thorne

Andrea Russett

Anna Brisbin

Davey Wavey

Dodie Clark

Jon Cozart

Julien Solomita

Mikey Murphy

Sawyer Hartman

Timothy DeLaGhetto
The first group of YouTubers already make up over 25 million subscribers. With 100+ more names to be announced, this year’s festival is sure to be the event of the year for new distribution, advertising and more. Tickets for the 5th Annual Buffer Festival are on sale starting today. You can reserve your spot here:


About Buffer Festival

Buffer Festival is an annual showcase of YouTube world premieres, bringing the most acclaimed digital creators and their audiences together. Held from Thursday, September 28th to Sunday, October 1st, the festival includes a variety of programming, including a red carpet gala and premiere screenings, showcasing an array of YouTube’s highest quality content. Now in it’s fifth edition, the festival will host an Industry Day which will have behind the scenes conversations, workshops, panel discussions, and case studies with some of the top creators in the digital marketplace. Creator Day will bring together and engage aspiring creators with some of the most seasoned professionals. The Festival also includes additional themed screenings throughout the weekend, hands-on workshops, and behind-the-screen conversations with creators and panels led by industry professionals.

For more information, visit 

Hollywood Sensation, Actor, Social Media Star and Vegan Fitness Model, Johannes Bartl

Within 6 months he went from 5,000 followers to 600,000 followers on Instagram and YouTube, hitting the much coveted 100K mark in YouTube subscriptions


By: Kim Cavell

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 03/23/17– As I arrive at Hollywood’s hotspot for vegan food, Cafe Gratitude, I’m met with a warm smile and embrace by Johannes Bartl and his two huge biceps. The vegan superstar ordered a usual spread of various indulgent entrees. Not that you’d tell from his abs, which are regularly displayed on his, ever so popular Instagram account, but Johannes regularly eats over 3,000 calories a day.

“People don’t realize that it took years of hard work and late night gym sessions to be able to eat the way I do now”, Johannes Bartl. A mantra that he has taken through his body building & fitness career in Austria, bringing him to the bright lights of La La Land. “My mom always said, you don’t have time, you make time”, Bartl. It seems that all his hard work is definitely paying off. Continue reading “Hollywood Sensation, Actor, Social Media Star and Vegan Fitness Model, Johannes Bartl”