The Cool Kids

As a kid I used to look forward to the new television season each fall. The return of television shows I liked and the start of new ones. Lately, not so much.

Except this year. I’m going to be very disappointed if a new show called “The Cool Kids” Fridays on Fox turns out to be a dud. It stars Vicki Lawrence and three other favorites of mine from many years back, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier and Leslie Jordan. Comedy legends, all. The people behind the show seem to be top notch as well.

Quoting its press kit, the show is about a “rag-tag group of friends” living in a retirement community, willing to break all the rules in order to have a good time, because at their age, what have they got to lose? I can relate.

I interviewed Vicki Lawrence for television some years ago. She was performing “Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show” at the Spirit Lake Casino near Devils Lake.

Already she’s had a long career, what with “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Mama’s World.”

What I remember most about the interview is that Vicki Lawrence swears like a sailor! But somehow not in an offensive way. Which is a good thing because our interview was live.

Now that I think about it, I’m lucky to have survived a 40-year-plus television career without any of our “live guests” dropping an f-bomb or something. Many of them were comedians who make great conversation, but are not particularly accustomed to censoring themselves. And when they would slip with a naughty word or two on network television, they would be bleeped. In local television, we don’t bleep.

We talked about how, while still a teenager, she wrote a fan letter to Carol Burnett which led to a job on the show and her career in comedy. It’s a famous show business story and all true, she said.

I liked Vicki Lawrence a lot. She seemed down to earth, genuine and, of course, very funny. I got the impression she would answer my questions honestly, no matter what. Maybe it was because of all that swearing.

I’m glad she’s getting another shot at television. She deserves it. I hope it works.

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