- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 26, 2004

Twain talent tapped

A gaggle of former and present “Saturday Night Live” players will gather next month to entertain the show’s creator, Mark Twain Prize recipient Lorne Michaels.

Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Darrell Hammond, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Conan O’Brien, Molly Shannon and David Spade, along with regular “SNL” guests Steve Martin, Christopher Walken, Candice Bergen and Paul Simon will take part in this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American humor gala Oct. 25 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The program will be taped for broadcast as “On Stage at the Kennedy Center: The Mark Twain Prize” early next year on WETA-TV.

Mr. Michaels, in addition to creating and overseeing “SNL” for most of its nearly 30 years, is the executive producer of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and has produced several successful films, including this past summer’s hit “Mean Girls.”

Rice’s life

The Biography Channel turns its sights on National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice tonight for a rather timely profile given the political season and the troubles in Iraq.

“Biography: Condoleezza Rice”airs at 9 p.m Miss Rice, appointed in 2001, has been hailed as a pioneer for being the first black woman to take such a lofty role in the White House and assailed by others for supporting the Bush administration’s policies.

Few dispute her intelligence or her distinguished credentials.

>’Trace’ on TNT

CBS’ “Without a Trace” is making a fast dash to syndication.

The popular crime drama debuts at 11 p.m. tonight on TNT in its new cable slot.

The network already airs reruns of still-running shows like “Law & Order,” “ER” and “NYPD Blue.”

“Trace” stars Anthony LaPaglia, Poppy Montgomery and Marianne Jean-Baptiste as FBI personnel who employ psychological profiling to help find people who have been abducted, killed or simply run away.

The CBS show is in its third season.

Honeymooner’ found

For decades, fans of “The Honeymooners” watched the same 39 original episodes over and again. That changed during the 1980s when more than 70 “lost” episodes were discovered in star Jackie Gleason’s vault.

Now, another lost episode has been found and will debut in the coming months on home video, Associated Press reports.

The episode in question was discovered in the Peabody Awards archive at the University of Georgia.

The episode, titled “Love Letter,” originally aired on Oct. 16, 1954, on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” Ruta Abolins, director of the Peabody Awards Collection and Media Archives at UGA, told AP.

“It does not exist in another archive and is a unique ‘lost’ episode in ‘The Honeymooners’ history,” Miss Abolins said Thursday.

Mr. Gleason starred as Ralph Kramden, a blustery New York City bus driver. Audrey Meadows played his sharp-tongued wife, Alice. Art Carney was his goofy neighbor, Ed Norton, a sewer worker, and Joyce Randolph played Ed’s wife, Trixie.

“The Honeymooners” was introduced on Oct. 5, 1951, during Mr. Gleason’s first variety series, “Cavalcade of Stars,” broadcast live on the DuMont Television Network. From 1952 to 1955, “The Jackie Gleason Show” ran on CBS where the live sketches grew from 10 minutes to 30 minutes in length. “The Honeymooners” also ran as a CBS sitcom in the 1955-56 season, and “The Jackie Gleason Show” returned as a variety program in the 1956-57 season.

Archivist Margaret Compton discovered the “Love Letter” episode during a preservation review of the archives’ kinescopes and videotapes. She said plans are being made by Gleason Enterprises to release the never-rebroadcast episode on home video.

The episode deals with Kramden’s discovery of a love letter that he mistakenly believes is meant for his wife.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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