Once upon a time, Mike Nichols wasn't a director. And Elaine May wasn't a screenwriter. They were part of a wildly popular and incredibly intelligent comedy team. (They later "re-teamed" for the film, The Birdcage, which he directed, and she wrote.)
Actually, taking a step further back, Mike Nichols began as a radio announcer for the great, classical music station in Chicago, WFMT. And it was he who began their unique show on Saturday nights, The Midnight Special, which was the high-class station's one foray into frivolity, featuring folk music, comedy, Broadway and "odds and ends." It's still being aired -- with a different host, of course... -- but can be heard online, at WFMT.com. Like, tonight, in fact. By the way, when he was at the station, Nichols would occasionally bring in his new partner, Elaine May, and they'd record a comedy piece they were working on. Every once in a while, the station goes into their archives and pulls one of them out. They're treasures.
And this is a gem. One of my all-time favorites from Nichols & May. "The Telephone Operator."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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