HARTFORD, Conn. – Laughter, that quintessential human quirk, is also a human necessity. On Wednesday, February 4, Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) presents a refreshing evening of great comedians, both classic and current.
Jack Benny: Comedy in Bloom kicks the night off at 8 p.m. with the chronological story of one of the most beloved American entertainers of the 20th century. The program offers an intimate glimpse at Benny’s unique humor and humble character through poignant interviews with those who knew him best: Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Johnny Carson, Ann Margret, his daughter Joan Benny, Carol Burnett, Mel Blanc, his writers, his producers and his best friend, George Burns. Delightful clips from his hit television program, The Jack Benny Show, where Benny played a fictional version of himself, reveal his brilliant comedic timing and wit. The program also features uproarious segments from some of
the films he appeared in, as well as guest appearances he made on other programs.
The laughter continues with the CPTV premiere of George Carlin: The Mark Twain Prize. Entertainers Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Garry Shandling, Lily Tomlin, Denis Leary, Joan Rivers, Lewis Black, Richard Belzer and Margaret Cho honor the late George Carlin, recipient of the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The program recognizes the life and achievements of the beloved comedianand includes an assortment of classic film clips from Carlin’s career. The Mark Twain Prize announcement was made a week before the comedian’s death, and the award was presented posthumously for the first time in its 11-year history.
The evening wraps up at 10:30 p.m. with Rita Rudner: Live from Las Vegas. Voted “Best Comedian” in Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the last six years, Rudner has become one of Vegas’ most beloved performers. After an early contract at the MGM Grand and a permanent engagement in New York, Rudner began her one-woman show at Harrah’s Las Vegas, from where she shines in this stand-up concert event.
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN, www.cpbn.org). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women's Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 200,000 listeners in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Where We Live. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit www.cptv.org and / or www.wnpr.org.
Airdates and Times
Jack Benny: Comedy in Bloom
Airs Wednesday, February 4 at 8 p.m.
George Carlin: The Mark Twain Prize
Airs Wednesday, February 4 at 9 p.m.
Rita Rudner: Live from Las Vegas
Airs Wednesday, February 4 at 10:30 p.m.