Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 30, 1980 · Page 25
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Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 25

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 30, 1980
Page 25
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Tuesday, September 30, 1980 Philadelphia Daily News 25 IMS, By DEBORAH BERGMAN ONE OF THE SECRETS of success for talk-show host Michael Young is that he remembers what it's like to he a child "Remember what it was like when you were a kid and met a celebrity?" Young asks. "You didn't get close enough, or you didn't get an autograph or whatever. It fell short of being that satisfying experience." That's why Young, 28, host of "Kids Are People Too," shakes hands with .every child in the 300-member audi- hour-long ABC show, regarded as one of TV's better offerings for young people, airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on Channel 6. "SOMETIMES other celebrities the guests on the show join me, and we talk and joke with the kids," he notes. . The celebrities, he stresses, are on thp show "hprjinsp thpv want tn hf there," not because they're plugging their latest album or book. "We won't promote anything a kid would have to pay money for." The show aimed at pre-teeners is in its third season, and it's headed in some new directions. Based on surveys and letters from parents and children, Young says, "we've made some dramatic changes in the shows that just went on." "THE FIRST YEAR we did it on gut instinct, no research," he recalls. "Now we've found that kids were really responding to the most sensitive issues- Deafness rlivnrre .Tnnv Orlando telling about his mentally retarded sister .. . Kidder, Ontkean: Film's bride 'We "We've gone from being "Mike Douglas" for kids to being "'Good Morning, America," he says, explaining that panel discussions on controversial topics have been added, as well as an informational segment He cites an example: "THESE KIDS (on the show) discussed divorce with a counselor. And one of these kids says, 'Lef me tell you, kids, if your parents get a divorce, you're not to blame.' Now, if a counselor says that, it might go right by, but if a kid says it, it's different." One guideline followed by the producers, Young say?, is that if they're bored by a segment, kids probably would be too. , "You can't say, 'Oh, this is silly, but kids will like it. It doesn't work." ' The show is taped in New York City . in June, July and August while school's out. May is spent on pre-production work. Young lives in New York for those four months and in Los Angeles the rest of the year. YOUNG CAME to ,7Kids Are People Too" after hosting another show for children, "Columbus Goes Bananaz" on the QUBE cable TV network in Columbus, Ohio. That show seemed like a heavensent opportunity to Young. He learned of it while he was sitting in his lawyer's office hearing about who was suing him after a play he had produced "The Confirmation," with Herschel Bernardi had closed in Philadelphia in 1977. ; Young hopes to get married one day and have two children of his ; own. Without a doubt, he'll know how to talk to them. sMPhlF: A Paul Wamrsky Rfli and groom -; - - -' 1 : YOUNG AND New York Yankee "Willie and Phil." A comedy-drama starring Margot Kidder, Michael Ontkean and Ray Sharkey. Written, directed and narrated by Paul Ma-zursky. Running Time: 116 minutes. At Sam's Place; 19th and Chestnut Sts. By JOE B ALT ARE Daily News Movie Reviewer - UP UNTIL NOW, the films of Paul Mazursky ("An Unmarried Woman," "Harry and Tonto," "Bob and Carol" et ar have been firmly rooted in reality. So what are we to make of his latest, "Willie and Phil," a self-conscious and seemingly pointless movie whose characters strike trendy poses and spout phony aphorisms? It's the kind of movie we'd expect "Mazursky to spoof a brainless "intellectual exercise," shot through filters, in which people (usually two men and a woman) dress up in peasant garb, pack picnic lunches in wicker baskets and posture like models in New Yorker magazine ads for Chateau Haut-Brion, while they discuss politics, sex and their own boring philosophies. Such junk is more effective with subtitles and the French, who tend to like things talky, are particularly successful in pulling it off. I'm thinking of movies like Francois Truf-faut's "Jules et Jim," Eric Rohmer's "Ma Nuit Chez Maud" and Bertrand Blier's "Preparez Vos Mouchoirs." But you'd hardly expect Mazursky, superstar Reggie Jackson chat FILM of all people, to be so in awe of the European art film or to take such magaziney fare so seriously. Well, think again. Not only is Mazursky dead serious, he's also upfront about his art-Iilm infatuation. "WILLIE AND PHIL" opens with the two title characters a soft-spoken high-school teacher (Michael Ontkean) and a loud, street-smart fashion photographer (Ray Sharkey) meeting at a late '60s screening of "Jules et Jim." And, according to the film's laughable narration, "their destinies are interlocked forever." But their relationship doesn't make sense. These two men have nothing in common and are always shouting snidely at one another or throwing tantrums. Sexual tension? Perhaps. Mazursky himself seems confused and embarrassed by this unwarranted friendship. He . has tossed in a few crude anti-homosexual jokes (a diversionary tactic?) and even has his characters feign homosexuality in several early scenes. But the fact is that Willie and Phil are much more swishy in every other scene. Besides, shortly after the "Jules et Jim"'" opening, there's this curious flashback to Willie's draft-Continued on Page 27 with member of audience : Sharkey: 3d in triangle .

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