George Lucas commissioned The Star Wars Holiday Special with hopes of keeping the movie fresh in peopleâ€™s minds while he filmed the Empire Strikes Back. It aired on November 17, 1978 to dismal reviews and is considered by many as one of the most awful and hilarious TV specials of all time.
The special focuses on Chewbaccaâ€™s family grunting, moaning, while the featured cast of Star Wars performs unusual acts and well known comedy actors of the time engage in musical numbers.
George Lucas did everything in his power to make sure it was never seen again. But thanks to the internet, you can see the hilarious show anytime!
Today weâ€™re talking to comedy writer and gay legend Bruce Vilanch, who worked as a writer for The Star Wars Holiday Special, and also on many lavish, campy TV specials of the 1970s including The Paul Lynde Halloween Special, The Cher Show, and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.
As Hollywoodâ€™s go-to guy for comedy writing, Bruce built a career writing for the Oscars and comedy legends like Bette Midler, Cher, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers.
Listen as Bruce talks to us about the wonderful tacky world of TV specials from the 1970s and he also reveals that there is a documentary on the Star Wars Holiday Special in the works!
Plus Bruce answers all your questions-
Why did Bea Arthur get involved in the Star Wars Holiday Special?
What is it like writing for the Oscars?
What advice does Bruce have for Whoopi on Mel Gibson?
And the secret to Bruceâ€™s longevity in the entertainment business.
You can see Bruce on Sunday, August 15 at the Herbst Theater in San Francsico at Northern Californiaâ€™s largest annual AIDS benefit, â€œHelp is on the Way.â€
Buy Bruce Vilanchâ€™s 1999 definitive documentary â€œGet Bruce!â€ on DVD on Amazon.
To Hear The Podcast: CLICK HERE