I have not been this excited about a TV series of any kind since the daughter of a golden-age crooner shot a dastardly oil magnate. I am referring to the upcoming TCM Spotlight: Funny Ladies, which promises to bring us the greatest female screen comedians of all time.
Actress/filmmaker Illeana Douglas, a favorite of many TCM fans, will host the Funny Ladies series and she will be joined by comedy legend, Carol Burnett. If that is not enough to have you pulling your ears with excitement, think about the movies! And the laughter! I cannot wait for this as it comes during a time when collective laughter is desperately needed.
On tap every Thursday in October are the talents of comedy pioneers and luminaries presented by era. The series kicks off with a focus on the silent era and advances through time to discuss women who many of us actually grew up watching in real-time. The list of actors to be spotlighted is long, but the work and social contributions of such greats as Mabel Normand, Mae West, Marie Dressler, Margaret Dumont, Gracie Allen, Carole Lombard, Lucille Ball, and Eve Arden will be discussed. Building on the extraordinary comedy legacy of those women, we will also be privy to discussions on influential comedy heirs such as Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn. Illeana Douglas was on ABC’s The View this week to discuss Spotlight: Funny Ladies and they showed a clip of Carol Burnett discussing the comedy of Madeline Kahn. I got chills. Think about that for a moment and tell me you can miss one second of this conversation.
For more information on TCM Spotlight: Funny Ladies visit the dedicated page at TCM. I also suggest you follow Illeana Douglas on Twitter, as she will no doubt add insight at every turn during the month-long tribute. I reached out to Illeana at the last possible moment before I published this post to see if she wanted to offer a comment about Funny Ladies. With genuine enthusiasm she replied, “Loved this show! Hoping it continues!” Well, me too and I haven’t even seen it yet.