Friday, April 19, 2024

New York TV Legend Joe Franklin Dead at 88, Pioneered the Celebrity Talk Show


UPDATE: Confirmed, sadly.
EARLIER: There’s no confirmation yet, but it does seem from reports that New York TV legend Joe Franklin has died at age 88. Franklin pioneered the talk show, and had one on WOR TV in New York from 1962 to 1993. He was famous for having eclectic groups of people– like the current head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme– on the same couch. His show was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live. Born Joseph Fortgang, Joe’s nasal voice was a New York landmark. Twitter accounts from the Friars Club and Mark Simone have each confirmed Franklin’s death. It’s really the end of an era.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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