The great Buck Henry was a guest at Sidney Lumet‘s memorial service on Monday afternoon. And here’s some news–the creator of “Get Smart” as well as countless other pieces including “The Graduate,” “Catch 22,” “Heaven Can Wait” and a huge amount of classic “Saturday Night Live” is coming to the small screen. Buck, who turned 80 (I can’t believe it) last December, will play Betty White‘s boyfriend on “Hot in Cleveland.” He told he’s taped three episodes that will air in July. Of course, he’s nine years younger than Betty. And the best lines get thrown to Betty. Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendi Malick. But the producers were smart enough to call Buck for the role. Hopefully they’ll have him back and use him the way “Murphy Brown” once featured Wally Shawn. Buck tells me so far he’s not involved with Warren Beatty‘s new Howard Hughes project, but the two are still great pals. We need to see more Buck Henry!
PS Re: “Hot in Cleveland”– Did you know that one of the producers of that hit show is none other than Rachel Sweet? Rachel, who’s now in her late 40s, was a punk pop sensation at 16, back in 1978. Her debut album, “Fool Around,” was on cutting edge British label Stiff Records. She was part of Elvis Costello‘s extended musical family. She even covered his “Stranger in the House.”
A little Lolita, Rachel had great songs and production–very smart and sophisticated, much better than any of today’s twits. Just listen “Who Does Lisa Like?” or her Carla Thomas cover, “BABY (Baby)” and you’ll get the picture. Rachel was from Akron, so the “Hot in Cleveland” thing is right up her alley.