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All Talk: The Talkshow in Media Culture

Wayne Munson

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

I am very grateful for the help of New York University's Department of Cinema Studies-especially Robert Sklar, Robert Starn, William Boddy, Richard Allen, and William Simon-throughout the writing of the first stage of this manuscript. Robert Sklar, editor of the Culture and the Moving Image series of which this book is a part, deserves special thanks for ...

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Introduction: The Sense of the Talkshow

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pp. 1-18

Radio talk host Barry Champlain, in the film Talk Radio, introduces his nightly show as "the last neighborhood in America." He sees himself, his listeners, and his callers as "stuck with each other" in an inescapable love-hate attraction...

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1. Turning to Talk: The Talkshow's Development

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pp. 19-62

The talkshow, no less than any other programming format, adheres to the network rule of "safety first"; the result, according to Todd Gitlin, is recombination, "the triumph of the synthetic" -spinoffs, copies, a handful of thinly disguised yet repeated formulas.

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2. Constellations of Voices: How Talkshows Work

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pp. 63-108

The productive instability of the talkshow is hardly an accident. It is a part of the industry's intentionality in developing and producing "infotainment" for a multichannel media environment In which the spectator with remote control in hand is a "grazer" -a random access "player" who " interacts" with an expanded set of channels. With the advent of cable and the demise of broadcast...

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3. Making Sense and Nonsense: Talk about the Talkshow

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pp. 109-148

Boston radio talk host Jerry Williams calls talk radio "the greatest forum for citizens in history." Laura Jackson, producer of the Philadelphia psychological advice program...

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Postscript: A New Sense of Place

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pp. 149-156

By the winter of I990, America's Funniest Home Videos had become one of the most popular shows on television. It is a combination game and participation show for which viewers send in amusing video clips to compete for cash prizes: $IO,OOO to the funniest, as judged by a technique used back in the I950S in Stand Up and Be Counted! and Queen for a Day-the studio audience's electronic vote. The finalists are seated in the audience.


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pp. 157-200


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pp. 201-216

E-ISBN-13: 9781439904282

Publication Year: 2010