Gerald Nachman

Gerald Weil Nachman (January 13, 1938 – April 14, 2018) was an American journalist and author from San Francisco.[1]

Gerald Nachman
GERALD Nachman, writer
Nachman in 1995
Gerald Weil Nachman

January 13, 1938
DiedApril 14, 2018 (aged 80)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Alma materSan Jose State University
OccupationJournalist, author
Mary Campbell McGeachy
(m. 1966; div. 1979)


Nachman was born January 13, 1938, to Leonard Calvert Nachman, a salesman and actor in the Little Theater movement, and Isabel (Weil) Nachman. He received an associate of arts degree from Merritt College, in 1958, and then a bachelor of arts degree from San Jose State University in 1960, beginning as a TV reviewer and humor columnist at what was then called the San Jose Mercury while he was still a student.[2]

He was a feature writer for the New York Post from 1964-66 and a feature writer and TV critic for New York Daily News from 1972-79, with a stop in the middle as columnist and film critic for the Oakland Tribune. For a time he was best known for his syndicated humor columns, “Double Take” and “The Single Life.” In 1979, he joined The Chronicle as a columnist and theater critic, reviewing not just theater but also film, cabaret and comedy. He left the newspaper in 1993 but continued to be active, appearing on KALW's radio show "Minds Over Matter."[3]

GERALD Nachman, San Francisco writer
Nachman in San Francisco, 1995


  • 1963 TV writer for the San Jose Mercury News.[4]
  • 1963–1966 feature writer for the New York Post
  • 1966–1971 theater and film writer for the Oakland Tribune
  • 1972–1979 columnist, syndicated by the New York Daily News[5][6]
  • 1979–1993 entertainment and theater writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.[7]
  • 1993–2015 panelist, Minds Over Matter, KALW; accessed April 18, 2018.[8][9]


Nachman died April 14, 2018 at Coventry Place, a senior residence in San Francisco, California at the age of 80.[3]


  • ASCAP Deems Taylor Award
  • New York Newspaper Guild Page One Award


  • Playing House. Doubleday. 1978. ISBN 978-0385123419.
  • Out on a whim: Some very close brushes with life. Doubleday. 1983. ISBN 978-0385123402.
  • The Fragile Bachelor. Ten Speed Press. 1989. ISBN 978-0898152890.
  • Raised on Radio. University of California Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0520223035.
  • Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s. New York: Pantheon Books. 2003. ISBN 978-0375410307.[10]
  • Right Here on Our Stage Tonight!: Ed Sullivan's America. University of California Press. 2009. ISBN 978-0520268012.

Musical Comedy Revues

  • Quirks (1979)
  • Aftershocks (1993)
  • New Wrinkles (2002)[11]


  1. ^ "Gerald Weil Nachman Birth Record". California Birth Index. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Nachman profile". Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Janiak, Lily (April 14, 2018). "Gerald Nachman, former SF Chronicle critic and noted author, dies". San Francisco Chronicle.
  4. ^ Winokur, Jon. "Gerald Nachman Interview". Advice To Writers. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Press: Laughing on the Outside". Time Inc. August 23, 1976.
  6. ^ Nachman, Gerald (October 2011). "Fogged In". The American Spectator.
  7. ^ "articles by and about "Gerald Nachman" at and". Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "Minds over Matter".
  9. ^ Ben Fong-Torres (August 15, 2013). "'Minds Over Matter' marks 20 years on KALW". SFGate.
  10. ^ Gopnik, Adam (May 12, 2003). "Standup Guys". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X.
  11. ^ "New Wrinkles". Rita Abrams Mill Valley Music. Retrieved February 12, 2018.

External links

Animal Crackers (comic strip)

Animal Crackers is the title of several syndicated newspaper comics over the years. The first was a 1930 comic strip signed by an artist known simply as Lane.

The second Animal Crackers was a cartoon panel by Dick Ryan and Warren Goodrich (1913–2002) that was published intermittently from 1937 through 1957. In some papers it ran as Animal Krackers.

The third began in 1967 and continues today, distributed by Tribune Content Agency and appearing on Andrews McMeel Universal's GoComics, which is run by Universal Uclick.

Carl Reiner

Carl Reiner (born March 20, 1922) is an American comedian, actor, director, screenwriter and publisher whose career spans seven decades.

During the early years of television comedy from 1950 to 1957, he co-wrote and acted on Caesar's Hour and Your Show of Shows, starring Sid Caesar. In the 1960s, Reiner was best known as the creator, producer, writer and actor on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also had great success as a film director and writer and in the 1970s and 1980s co-wrote and directed some of Steve Martin's most successful films, including 1979's The Jerk.

Reiner formed a comedy duo with Mel Brooks in "2000 Year Old Man" and acted in films such as The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) and the Ocean's film series (2001–2007). Reiner has won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during his career. He is the father of actor and director Rob Reiner, author Annie Reiner and grandfather to Tracy Reiner.

Cathy Lewis

Catherine Lee Lewis (December 27, 1916 – November 20, 1968) was an American actress remembered best for numerous radio appearances but also noted for making a number of film and television appearances in the last decade of her life.

According to Ron Lackmann's The Encyclopedia of American Radio, Lewis moved from Spokane to Chicago and found work on The First Nighter Program. Other accounts say she first hoped to make it as a singer. Eventually, Lewis moved to Hollywood, and had leading roles with the Pasadena Playhouse in productions of Stage Door, To Quito and Back, and Winterset, appearing with Robert Preston, Victor Mature, Dana Andrews, and Victor Jory. Then came a year's tour with Alexander Woollcott's company in The Man Who Came to Dinner and with Noël Coward's Bitter Sweet.

She met and married radio actor/writer/director Elliott Lewis (they shared the common surname before their marriage) in 1943. Both Lewises were staples of vintage American radio; radio historians Gerald Nachman and John Dunning have written of their numerous, genre-spanning works in comedy and drama (they were, for example, regulars among what was known as Hollywood's Radio Row group of performers, appearing often---together and separately---on such programs as The Whistler), especially their co-creation of the respected anthology series On Stage and their stewardship (with Elliott Lewis directing and both of the couple acting) of the venerable mystery series Suspense.

But while her husband would often be remembered most for his comic role in The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show (as bumbling buddy Frankie Remley), she would be most identified as the sensibly droll Jane Stacy rooming with scatterbrained Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson) in the 1947–54 radio and television comedy My Friend Irma.

Ed Sullivan

Edward Vincent Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American television personality, sports and entertainment reporter, and syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate. He is principally remembered as the creator and host of the television variety program The Toast of the Town, later popularly—and, eventually, officially—renamed The Ed Sullivan Show. Broadcast for 23 years from 1948 to 1971, it set a record as the longest-running variety show in US broadcast history. "It was, by almost any measure, the last great TV show," said television critic David Hinckley. "It's one of our fondest, dearest pop culture memories."Sullivan was a broadcasting pioneer at many levels during television's infancy. As TV critic David Bianculli wrote, "Before MTV, Sullivan presented rock acts. Before Bravo, he presented jazz and classical music and theater. Before the Comedy Channel, even before there was the Tonight Show, Sullivan discovered, anointed and popularized young comedians. Before there were 500 channels, before there was cable, Ed Sullivan was where the choice was. From the start, he was indeed 'the Toast of the Town'." In 1996, Sullivan was ranked number 50 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time".

Elaine May

Elaine Iva May (née Berlin; born April 21, 1932) is an American screenwriter, film director, actress, and comedienne. She made her initial impact in the 1950s from her improvisational comedy routines with Mike Nichols, performing as Nichols and May. After her duo with Nichols ended, May subsequently developed a career as a director and screenwriter.

Her screenwriting has been twice nominated for the Academy Award, for Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Primary Colors (1998) which was directed by Nichols. May is celebrated for the string of films she directed in the 1970s: her 1971 black comedy A New Leaf, in which she also starred; her 1972 dark romantic comedy The Heartbreak Kid; and her 1976 gritty drama Mikey and Nicky, starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk. In 1996, she reunited with Nichols to write the screenplay for The Birdcage, directed by Nichols.

After studying acting with theater coach Maria Ouspenskaya in Los Angeles, she moved to Chicago in 1955 and became a founding member of the Compass Players, an improvisational theater group. May began working alongside Nichols, who was also in the group, and together they began writing and performing their own comedy sketches, which were enormously popular. In 1957 they both quit the group to form their own stage act, Nichols and May, in New York. Jack Rollins, who produced most of Woody Allen's films, said their act was "so startling, so new, as fresh as could be. I was stunned by how really good they were."They performed nightly to mostly sold-out shows, in addition to making TV appearances and radio broadcasts. In their comedy act, they created satirical clichés and character types which made fun of the new intellectual, cultural, and social order that was just emerging at the time. In doing so, she was instrumental in removing the stereotype of women being unable to succeed at live comedy. Together, they became an inspiration to many younger comedians, including Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin. After four years, at the height of their fame, they decided to discontinue their act. May became a screenwriter and playwright, along with acting and directing. Their relatively brief time together as comedy stars led New York talk show host Dick Cavett to call their act "one of the comic meteors in the sky." Gerald Nachman noted that "Nichols and May are perhaps the most ardently missed of all the satirical comedians of their era."

Ethel and Albert

Ethel and Albert (aka The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert) was a radio and television comedy series about a married couple, Ethel and Albert Arbuckle, living in the small town of Sandy Harbor. Created by Peg Lynch (1916-2015), who scripted and portrayed Ethel, the series first aired on local Minnesota radio in the early 1940s before a run on the NBC Blue Network and ABC from May 29, 1944 to August 28, 1950. It co-starred Alan Bunce as Albert.

Radio historian Gerald Nachman (in Raised on Radio) called the show "insightful and realistic... a real leap forward in domestic comedy—a lighthearted, clever, well-observed, daily 15-minute show about the amiable travails of a recognizable suburban couple" which combined "the domestic comedy of a vaudeville-based era with a keen modern sensibility. Lynch made her comic points without stooping to female stereotypes, insults, running gags, funny voices or goofy plots."The show began as three-minute filler between a pair of Minnesota KATE station programs, then expanded to 15 minutes, and finally became a half-hour show during its last years on radio. Like Easy Aces, the humor on Ethel and Albert was low key; like Vic and Sade, it was constructed around such simple, often mundane household situations as efforts to open a pickle jar. Often Ethel or Albert attempted to prove the other wrong over some inconsequential matter. For example, one entire script centered on Ethel's disputing Albert's claim that he could see her using only his peripheral vision. "I realized that I didn't have to sit down and knock myself out every minute to try to think of something funny," Lynch told critic Leonard Maltin years later. "All I had to do was look around me."

Two film stars had a presence in the show. Richard Widmark, who portrayed Albert in 1944, left after six months and was replaced by Alan Bunce. Margaret Hamilton, famous as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, played Aunt Eva. Ethel and Albert's daughter Suzy (Madeleine Pierce, born in 1946) was the only other voice heard on the original series.

Jerry Colonna (entertainer)

Gerardo Luigi "Jerry" Colonna (September 17, 1904 – November 22, 1986) was an American musician, actor, comedian, singer, songwriter and trombonist best remembered as the zaniest of Bob Hope's sidekicks in Hope's popular radio shows and films of the 1940s and 1950s.

With his pop-eyed facial expressions and walrus-sized handlebar moustache, Colonna was known for singing loudly "in a comic caterwaul," according to Raised on Radio author Gerald Nachman, and for his catchphrase, "Who's Yehudi?", uttered after many an old joke, although it usually had nothing to do with the joke. The line was believed to be named for violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, and the search for Yehudi became a running gag on the Hope show.

Colonna played a range of nitwitted characters, the best-remembered of which was a moronic professor. Nachman wrote:

Colonna brought a whacked-out touch to Hope's show. In a typical exchange, Hope asks, "Professor, did you plant the bomb in the embassy like I told you?", to which Colonna replied, in that whooping five-alarm voice, "Embassy? Great Scott, I thought you said NBC!"

Julia Meade

Julia Meade Kunz (December 17, 1925 – May 16, 2016) was an American film and stage actress who was a frequent pitch person in live commercials in the early days of television in the 1950s.

Lilias, Yoga and You

Lilias, Yoga and You was a PBS television show hosted by Lilias Folan, a Cincinnati, Ohio based practitioner of modern yoga. The show first aired in October 5, 1970 on Cincinnati PBS member station WCET and three years later was carried on PBS across the United States, where it ran until 1999.

Major Bowes

Edward Bowes (June 14, 1874 – June 13, 1946), who generally called himself Major Edward Bowes, was an American radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s whose Major Bowes Amateur Hour was the best-known amateur talent show in radio during its 18-year run (1935–1952) on NBC Radio and CBS Radio.

Mel Allen

Mel Allen (born Melvin Allen Israel; February 14, 1913 – June 16, 1996) was an American sportscaster, best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. During the peak of his career in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Allen was arguably the most prominent member of his profession, his voice familiar to millions. Years after his death, he is still promoted as having been "The Voice of the Yankees." In his later years, he gained a second professional life as the first host of This Week in Baseball.

In perhaps the most notable moment of his distinguished career, Allen called Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, in which Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run off Ralph Terry to win the fall classic for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is the only walk-off home run ever to occur in a Game 7 of a World Series.

Phil Harris

Wonga Philip Harris (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American comedian, actor, singer, and jazz musician. He was an orchestra leader and a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with Jack Benny, then in a series in which he co-starred with his wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years. Harris is also noted for his voice acting in animated films. He played Baloo the bear in The Jungle Book (1967), Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats (1970), and Little John in Robin Hood (1973). In 1981, he sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the Indianapolis 500.

Springtime for Hitler (song)

"Springtime for Hitler" is a song written and composed by Mel Brooks for his 1968 film The Producers.In the film, the song is part of the stage musical titled Springtime for Hitler, which the two protagonists produce on Broadway. The musical number was orchestrated by Philip J. Lang and staged by Alan Johnson..

The Big Show (NBC Radio)

The Big Show, an American radio variety program featuring 90 minutes of comic, stage, screen and music talent, was aimed at keeping American radio in its classic era alive and well against the rapidly growing television tide. For a good portion of its two-year run (November 5, 1950 – April 20, 1952), the show's quality made its ambition seem plausible.

The Bitter End

The Bitter End is a 230-person capacity nightclub, coffeehouse and folk music venue in New York City's Greenwich Village. It opened in 1961 at 147 Bleecker Street under the auspices of owner Fred Weintraub. The club changed its name to The Other End in June 1975. However, after a few years the owners changed the club's name back to the more recognizable The Bitter End. It remains open under new ownership.

The Life of Riley

The Life of Riley was an American radio situation comedy series of the 1940s that was adapted into a 1949 feature film, a 1950s television series, and a 1958 comic book.

An unrelated radio show with the name Life of Riley was a summer replacement show heard on CBS from April 12, 1941, to September 6, 1941. The CBS program starred Lionel Stander as J. Riley Farnsworth and had no real connection with the more famous series that followed a few years later.

The O'Neills

The O'Neills is a radio serial drama which aired on Mutual, CBS and NBC from 1934 to 1943. Created by actress-writer Jane West, the series was sponsored at various times by Gold Dust, Ivory Snow and Standard Brands.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.