Calendar Letters: Comedians, just be yourselves

This is not who America is

Bravo for Television Critic Robert Lloyd’s assessment of the work of Sacha Baron Cohen [“He’s Back at the Pranks,” July 16]. I was a stand-up comic for nearly 15 years, and his pretending to be somebody else approach has always been, to me, the equivalent of breaking the rule about making fun of a fat woman in the front row. It’s lazy. That anyone would need to pretend to be somebody else in order to prove that Sarah Palin is a dope makes me worry about the state of comedy and audiences.

Steve Stajich

Santa Monica

She has it hard? Give it a rest


In Television Critic Lorraine Ali’s interview of Lesley Manville [“Making Time for it All,” July 8], we learn of Ms. Manville’s backbreaking toil as an actress when she says, “I was getting to bed at 12 and up at 5. But I did it. I’m here still.”

Imagine that, getting only five hours of sleep a night in order to endure such a hardship as playing a character for a living.

Andrew Rhames

Los Angeles

Diamond pulls the strings

In the article “Comics aren’t so Super” [July 14], Geoff Boucher did not name a very important player in the comics game and I think missed a larger story. The player is Diamond Comic Distributors, a monopoly that handles DC Entertainment, Marvel Comics, Darkhorse Comics and one other. It is the only provider that many of those comic houses see. It controls prices and demands that the comic shops buy more then they can sell.

John J. Cleary


Tab Hunter was just a pretty face

Gushing over the late Tab Hunter’s remarkable natural beauty [“A Little Love for a ‘50s Dreamboat,” July 15] is understandable, I guess. But to argue that his skill and range as an actor was both substantial and under-appreciated, as Dennis Harvey did, does a disservice to countless gifted, dedicated actors.

A very nice guy, apparently, but if he’d been born with more ordinary looks, it’s doubtful he would have had a film career at all.

J.M. Wilson

West Hollywood

Hey, don’t forget about Falcon

I really enjoyed Television Critic Lorraine Ali’s insightful article on the recent successful wave of African American superheroes [“With Black Superheroes Taking the Lead in Film and TV, a Genre Enters a New Era,” July 15]. I know you couldn’t mention every black hero, such as Will Smith’s “Hancock” or Wesley Snipes’ “Blade,” but I was surprised and disappointed not to see one of my favorite Avengers – Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. He was such a key part of the movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Brian Symington


Spoiler: They were offensive

Regarding “A Leap into ‘Exotic’ Old India. Really?” [July 16]: “La Bayadère,” that 19th century showpiece of classical ballet, reveals itself to Lewis Segal as an insulting cauldron of cultural appropriation and insensitivity. It turns out that the evil Radjah and High Brahmin and the tragic lovers, the temple dancer and the warrior, are not simply universally recognizable fairy-tale types but offensive representations.

To protect his peace of mind, as well as ours, I would recommend that Segal refrain from attending productions such as “Aida,” “Turandot,” and maybe, just in case, also Puccini’s “The Girl of the Golden West.”

Vitaly Kresin

Santa Monica

Good times at The Times

Regarding “Paper’s Artful Mystery” [July 15]: I personally preferred taking lunch in The Tamayo Room during my years as corporate communications manager of The Times Mirror Company, and I have one particularly warm recollection of a time, in early 1974, when I took Charles Schulz, of “Peanuts” fame, to lunch there. My son was only six months old then and when, as a proud dad, I showed a photo of my son to Schulz he reached into his portfolio, took out a copy of his book “Snoopy and ‘It Was a Dark and Stormy Night,’” and proceeded on the blank inside fly-page to create a full-page drawing of Snoopy into which his autograph was incorporated. That book is sitting on my desk right now as I write this email, the cover a little worn on some of the edges because my children enjoyed reading it as they became older.

There was so much art everywhere throughout the Times Mirror annex, in the hallways, in the reception areas of each department and in each office. Dorothy Chandler made walk-throughs and directed circulation of the art. We would come into our offices on any given Monday morning and find new artwork on our office walls. The pending demolition of the Times Mirror annex will be such a waste. Few people today likely know the lavish story of that annex: Where the marble came from, where the drapery in the boardroom was made, the carpeting, well — everything.

But the ultimate tragedy of The Times Mirror Company saga is that Otis Chandler was blocked from maintaining the dream that he had achieved: Making The Los Angeles Times a world-leading newspaper. I trust that under its new owner, The Times will regain its greatness.

John F. Rossmann


No Emmy love for ‘Vietnam’

To me, one of the most surprising “snubs” in the Emmy Nominations announcement was the decision by the Academy’s Documentary Peer Group to refuse to give a nod to Ken Burns and Lynn Novick for their PBS series “The Vietnam War.”

David Clennon

Santa Monica

They are off the ‘Deep’ end

Regarding “Stuck in a ‘Deep State’ Thriller” [July 14]: There is a Deep State, but it’s not what they think.

The real deep state is not anti-Trump Democrats in government. It’s right-wing Republicans at the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, and the Koch-supported ALEC folks. With a handful of Russian operatives thrown in.

Sean Hannity is right about one thing: “We are now seeing the cracks in the deep state, in the dam, it’s about to burst.”

Daniel Fink

Beverly Hills

Fans of the Hollywood Bowl

Regarding “Lenny on overdrive” [July 17]: We love Mark Swed’s reviews, but on this one, boy did he miss the show. Bernstein at the Bowl was the most fun we’ve had at the Bowl in 30 years.

Jon and Debra Johannessen



I am getting tired of music critic Mark Swed’s criticism of the Hollywood Bowl sound system and screens. I have been to many outdoor amphitheaters (including Tanglewood) and none have sound systems as satisfying. Mr. Swed seems to be comparing an outdoor theater (where the sound disappears into the sky) to an acoustically designed indoor theater such as Disney Hall.

He should keep in mind that up to 18,000 people in an outdoor theater where picnicking and well-known music for a general audience is being played is not an audience looking to critique the settings of the amplification. He even acknowledged that the theater was almost full. The fact is that everyone could hear everything (even when helicopters droned in the background). The Bowl is an amazing experience!

Jerry Freedman

Los Angeles

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