Friday, May 31, 2013

Super Father's Day Gifts for Super Dads from TV Store Online

Believe it or not, Dad doesn't need another wallet. He has plenty of ties. And his golf equipment is spankin' new. So what do you get the man who has everything and wants nothing? Look no further than TV Store Online this Father's Day for a wide selection of gifts that show pops just how super he is.

Man of Steel soars into theaters June 14, just two days before Father's Day. So it makes perfect sense to load dad up on Superman swag and plan a date to the theater to watch the big-budget reboot together.

If your dad is the only Iron Man you know and love, surprise him with this distressed tee from the popular Marvel franchise.

Like Bruce Banner, dad is calm, cool, and collected most of the time. Rile him up, though, and he turns into a beast. Lovable still, but a beast nonetheless. Thus, stay out of his way when he's wearing this Incredible Hulk tee featuring the big green stomping machine.

Don't forget the single dads in your life; he needs a little love too. And he might just get it with this Superman-inspired tee with the slogan 'Ladies think I'm fly.' Indeed.

Marvel's The Avengers is one of the highest-grossing films of all time. And dad will look like a million bucks in this belt buckle featuring the group's logo.

Christian Bale, who? Chances are your dad grew up watching Adam West in the Batsuit, which makes this vintage-inspired Batman tee featuring the show's classic logo a nostalgic gift that'll bring back fond memories for the former fanboy.

Whether he's hopping out of the shower, lounging around the house, or going out to get the morning paper, dad will feel invincible in these super-soft superhero-themed robes featuring belts and pockets.

Looking for a Father's Day gift that'll help the father of your children turn up the sexy, ladies? Check out these super capes that will instantly transform him into your hero - in and out of the bedroom.

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, this Captain America tee is a prime pick to let dad get festive and fun as he celebrates our nation's independence.

If your pops was part of the X-Men, what power would he have? Let him ponder that prospect in this distressed tee featuring the league's famous logo.

For more super Father's Day ideas, browse our massive selection of TV, movie, and comic apparel at

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our Picks for Fall TV's Hits and Misses Based on Network Upfronts - Comedy Edition

When you're obsessed with TV like we are, network upfront presentations are like Christmas Day without all that pesky paper; it's that special time of year when we get to see what's in store for the fall season from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC (We're excluding the CW from this roundup because there are no new comedies on its fall schedule). Based on what we saw last week, many of the new comedies look promising, but you can bet there are more than a few stinkers in the mix. Can you spot them? We can, which is why we've chosen the best and worst sitcoms from each network's upfronts, along with a little commentary on why each will win or lose - according to us. Have a look, then let us know what you think will stand out or bow down come September.


Winner: "Back in the Game"

When we heard the fab Rebel Wilson was headlining "Super Fun Night" - a new ABC comedy on which CBS originally passed - we were stoked. We love that chick, which is no secret given that we dedicated an entire post to her funny-lady ways. We went into the upfronts expecting "Super Fun Night" to be our top pick for best fall comedy on ABC, but that's not the case. Rather, "Back in the Game" - about a single mom who moves home with her grumpy, estranged father and subsequently decides to coach a little league team of misfits - impressed us so much that we had to knock Rebel down a notch. The trailer for "Back in the Game" reveals lots of laughs from this prospect that we expect will complement "Modern Family" quite nicely.

Loser: "Trophy Wife

Marcia Gay Harden and Bradley Whitford are too uptight for a comedy, and the blond chick chosen to star doesn't have the chops to carry it on her own. Expect "Trophy Wife" to go back to the shelf in the first six weeks.


Winner: "The Millers"

Chuck Lorre - the man behind many of televisions highest-rated sitcoms, including "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" - returns with a new show called "Mom" (starring Anna Faris), but we're going out on a limb to call the win for "The Millers," the post-"Up All Night" vehicle for Will Arnett. In this gig, Arnett plays a recent divorcee whose newfound freedom inadvertently inspires his parents to split up, which, ironically, may leave him up all night again.

Loser: "We Are Men"

The curse of Jerry O'Connell will strike again.


Winner: "Surviving Jack"

One name: Chris Meloni. If his stints on "Oz," "Law & Order: SVU," and "True Blood" - all highly rated and acclaimed shows in their own rights - are any indication, "Surviving Jack" will be the new comedy to watch on FOX this fall.

Loser: "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

We forgive Andy Samberg for quitting SNL at the height of his popularity. Looking the other way on this disaster, however, will be much harder.


Winner: "The Michael J. Fox Show"

Michael J. Fox has never let us down in the past, and we don't expect he will this time either.

Loser: "Sean Saves the World"

Sean Hayes proved that his comedic timing was the stuff that successful sitcoms are made of on "Will & Grace," but sometimes a show is only as good as its writers. This one looks like it might have gotten the short end of the stick on the latter.

Actor Dan Shor talks with TV STORE ONLINE and his work on films like TRON, BILL and TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and WISE BLOOD

Actor Dan Shor talks with TV STORE ONLINE about TRON, BILL and TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, STRANGE BEHAVIOR as well as his experiences working with the great John Huston on WISE BLOOD.

Dan Shor Today
TV STORE ONLINE:     Where does this whole acting thing start for you?   Were you interested in acting as a teenager?

DAN SHOR:  Well, my mom was an actress.  She died when I was fourteen years old.  She died before I had gotten interested in theater and acting.   To me acting was and still is an extension of team sports.  When I was a teenager I went off to a theater arts camp and all of these adorable girls were in the theater.   So I started to do plays.  To me, it was literally like doing team sports with girls.   That literally was the spark for me.   It was so much fun, and I still feel that way.  I can't think of anything better than creating something with a group of people.

TV STORE ONLINE:   I know that you went off to London to study acting after high school.  Were you around London during the birth of punk rock?

DAN SHOR:  Absolutely. I was there at the center of it.  I did a punk rock musical there called The Sport Of My Mad Mad Mother by Ann Jellicoe.  It was about punks and rockers.  We did it at the Roundabout Theater in the middle of it all.   It was myself and Nigel Planer in it.  Nigel and I were roommates then.  Nigel Planer would go on to play 'Neil' on the British television series The Young Ones (1982-1984).  

When I was in London I saw Billy Idol in concert.  This was when he was still with the band Generation X.   This was the greatest rock performance I'd ever seen in my life.   I eventually left England and went back to Los Angeles.  When I got to Los Angeles I produced and starred in a version of the same play that I had just been in while I was in London.   But, I set the whole thing on a rooftop in New York City and because I had been so knocked out by Billy Idol, I decided that I'd play the character in the play similar to how Billy Idol was when I had seen him live.

Now here is where it gets cool...Three months later the video to Billy Idol's song "Dancing With Myself" came out.   They borrowed our set.  Billy Idol's art director had seen our set for the play and they made the same set for the video for the song.    It was really cool.  You learn early on in film or acting school that if you're going to steal from someone you need to steal from good people.  So when I stole from Billy Idol and his art director then stole from me I knew that I was stealing from the right people.

TV STORE ONLINE:  What about WISE BLOOD (1979)?  How did that come to you?

DAN SHOR:  I had a great agent.  When I left England and went to Los Angeles.... The whole reason why that happened in the first place was because I was cast in the mini-series STUDS LONIGAN (1979) in the role of 'Young Studs'.  I was in two hours of a six hour mini-series.   STUDS was very well received and it was a star making role, but what happened is that no one watched it on television.  So while it didn't make me a star, it got me a bunch of auditions for things that were just plain good for like the next five years.  One of those auditions was for WISE BLOOD.   

I wanted WISE BLOOD very badly.  So I did something that they tell you never to do. I went in as 'Enoch Emory'.  It was the Dustin Hoffman school of acting.  I went in to audition for John Huston without having washed myself for a few days and I went in with this full southern accent.  I wanted to convince him that I was the southern inbred that Enoch was in WISE BLOOD.  Huston hired me on the spot, and for me that was like being drafted by the New York Yankees.  He hired me right in the audition room right there.

TV STORE ONLINE:  WISE BLOOD also features actor Brad Dourif.  You had worked with Brad Dourif before WISE BLOOD right?

DAN SHOR:   Yes.  We worked on STUDS LONIGAN together.  We became really good friends on STUDS.  I'm a huge fan of his.  He's got incredible skill and integrity.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Your performance is so incredible in WISE BLOOD.   One of my favorite scenes in the film is where Enoch walks up to Brad Dourif's character 'Hazel', who is preaching on the hood of his car, and Hazel yells at Enoch and Enoch tears up and walks away.  It's so powerful.  How did you find Enoch's emotions in WISE BLOOD?

Dan Shor as 'Enoch Emory' in John Huston's
1979 film, WISE BLOOD

DAN SHOR:   Well, if you read the book it will become clear that Enoch Emory is the loneliest person on the earth.  So what I needed to do was just to climb into that space.   I worked on WISE BLOOD for nine weeks, and I could not show up on that set without having that feeling of on-the-edge anxiety, desperation, isolation and loneliness.  I don't know how to describe that feeling of what it's like to have that type of isolation and desperation.  

TV STORE ONLINE:  So how did you find that inside of yourself though?

DAN SHOR:   I think it was because of the fact that my mother had died.  As an actor, it's your job to study yourself.  You have to know yourself first, and for me that feeling of being abandoned is the strongest emotion that I can touch in my own life.   

TV STORE ONLINE:  I'm sure you've been asked often about that scene in WISE BLOOD where Enoch and Brad Dourif's character Hazel are walking down the street and we have this insanely long tracking shot, and your character Enoch stops him and talks to him about people having wise blood inside of them....

DAN SHOR:   Those tracking shots are amazing. 

TV STORE ONLINE:  How many takes on something like that scene?  How did you find that cadence and that rhythm for that scene?

DAN SHOR:  Two takes, no stopping.  The physical stopping of Brad....There was a mark placed down, and the rest was a dance.  The first take, I cried too much.   John Huston told me not to cry.   Then we did the second take and that was it.   As a director myself now, I try to work like Huston did.  He'd print the first take sometimes. He sets up an environment for his actors so that on the first take they can just go for it.   He wasn't like other directors that I've worked with since who want to do thirty takes.   Huston was more interested in conveying the emotions of these two religious zealots.

TV STORE ONLINE:  That scene visually is just so damned effective because Huston decides NOT to cut to a close-up but leaves it to play out in that long and wide two-shot of you two standing on the sidewalk.  

Brad Dourif and Dan Shor 
in WISE BLOOD (1979)

DAN SHOR:  Right, he did that a lot. Those scenes are incredible.  I try to direct like that but its never as good. I never have the actors that Huston had or the Director of Photography or the script. And I don't have John Huston...laughing  

TV STORE ONLINE:  What was Huston's approach toward you as the actor?  Was his approach like all great directors in that they don't tell their actors what to do but only intervene once the actor has done something wrong?

DAN SHOR:  Exactly.  The only directions I can remember him giving me were like, "Faster" or "Run it all together."   Enoch Emory was always on edge, he was a completely open wound.  Huston didn't have to drag emotion out of me, all he had to do for me was make sure the scene didn't stop because of my showing off.

TV STORE ONLINE: Where did you guys shoot the film?

Dan Shor Today
DAN SHOR:  We shot like ninety percent of it in Macon, Georgia.   Then I think we did one week in Atlanta, Georgia.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Another fascinating aspect to Enoch is how he pronounces certain words.  Was that something you brought to the character that wasn't on the written page?

DAN SHOR:   That was me hanging out with this kid I met while I was playing basketball at the YMCA in Macon.  This kid there spoke this way.  He'd blurt out certain syllables on certain words for no reason whatsoever.   Also, the actress that played the landlady, Mary Nell Santacroce, I worked with her a lot on my southern accent.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I'm a huge fan of actress Amy Wright's performance in WISE BLOOD as well...

DAN SHOR:  I loved Amy Wright.  I haven't seen her literally since we shot WISE BLOOD.  At the time we were shooting WISE BLOOD, I had seen Amy on Broadway in NYC.  I thought she was incredible.  I can remember just teasing the shit out of her on WISE BLOOD cause she was dating actor Rip Torn and he was like twenty years older than she was.  I loved working with her though.

TV STORE ONLINE:   What about working with Harry Dean Stanton on the film?

DAN SHOR:   We all worked together in Macon, Georgia for nine weeks.  We spent a ton of time together.  We'd eat lunch together, we'd eat dinner together, and usually we'd all end up at the bar together too.   It was one week after we finished shooting WISE BLOOD that I saw Harry Dean out in Los Angeles and I walked up to him and said hello and he didn't even know who I was...laughing 
Dan Shor in WISE BLOOD with 'Gonga The Gorilla'
He might not have remembered me because the reality of the situation was that while we were all shooting WISE BLOOD we were all really engrossed in those characters.  We weren't fucking around.   When we weren't shooting I would stay with my southern accent, and I think Amy Wright did the same thing.   Brad was originally from the south, and I think Harry Dean was really into that character as well. I don't think he dropped that accent either for that time we were all in Macon.   Now I don't know if that was the reason, or if maybe it was because I myself am so different from Enoch Emory or Harry Dean was just high or something, but it was really a strange experience.  I mean I worked with him every day for nine weeks...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:   What about shooting the 'Gonga the Gorilla' scene in WISE BLOOD?

DAN SHOR:   They cast a lot of locals for WISE BLOOD.  I'm talking real local people. I remember they hired an actual local town drunk off the street for that Gonga scene.  The drunk is the guy who punches me in the face while I'm dressed in the Gonga gorilla suit.  It gave John Huston a real laugh.  We did the scene like five times and I was getting pissed because this guy kept punching me in the face.  I had a mask on, but it still hurt.   I mean, we had done nothing but two takes for every scene prior to that and here we were doing five takes.  Finally I got pissed and said, "What the fuck?" I took off the mask and I saw that Huston was sitting there laughing his ass off...laughing

Huston used to play poker every week too.  I'm talking big time poker.  They didn't play nickel and dime shit like you and I are probably used to playing.  The editor on WISE BLOOD [Roberto Silvi] was on the set with us.   Every week I'd see him in the bar and he'd start complaining to me that he was broke because Huston had taken his entire weeks salary playing cards.

TV STORE ONLINE:   How did you see WISE BLOOD thematically as you were working on it, and how do you see it now in retrospect?   I see the film as an allegory about purity striving to exist in a corrupt world.

DAN SHOR:  Right, Yeah.  I see those characters as people who are seeking belonging. They are clinging onto an obvious illusion.  WISE BLOOD was really Flannery O'Conner taking a piss out on evangelicalism of all kinds.   Not the people  themselves but on the preachers.   People need something to believe in, and they'll believe in whatever the hell they're told to believe in.  It's a very emotional story.  It's also very funny and moving.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Yeah, the original theatrical trailer for WISE BLOOD is really funny.

DAN SHOR:   Yeah, WISE BLOOD is a black comedy, but not a hilarious comedy.  It is a film that treads such a fine line, because there is no mockery of the characters.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Then how about Martin Ritt's BACK ROADS (1981). How did that come to you?

DAN SHOR:   That was after WISE BLOOD.   I was a southerner for a long time after that.  I originally auditioned for David Keith's part in BACK ROADS but they offered me the smaller part.   I wanted to work badly with Marty Ritt, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field on that.  

TV STORE ONLINE:   So tell me about that scene with you and Sally Field and then 'Meat' from the PORKY'S movies....
DAN SHOR:  Tony Ganios!  He was great.  What a great guy.   He was in PORKY'S (1982) but he was also in THE WANDERERS (1979).   You know what's funny....I turned down the role of 'Pee-Wee' in PORKY'S.  Can you believe it?   What a fool I was.  I was trying to have a serious acting career.  Little did I know how big PORKY'S would be...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:   So you know how huge of a fan I am of STRANGE BEHAVIOR (1981)...

DAN SHOR:  I was offered that.   They brought me in because they had liked WISE BLOOD.  They had originally brought me in to play the role that Marc McClure would play.   I had to convince them that I wasn't this inbred kid from WISE BLOOD.  I had to convince them that I was this actual good looking kid.  I wanted to play that lead, and I guess they agreed with me.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I heard once that actor Klaus Kinski was originally cast to play the role of the mad doctor 'Dr. Le Sange' in STRANGE BEHAVIOR.  Is there any truth to that rumor?

DAN SHOR:  Yeah, he was. I never met him though.  I don't think he was involved for too long. We shot STRANGE BEHAVIOR in New Zealand and it was so much fun.  I got to be great friends with Dey Young and Michael Murphy.   There were two other films that I did with the director of STRANGE BEHAVIOR [Michael Laughlin].  The first was STRANGE INVADERS (1983) and then another called MESMERIZED (1986) with Jodie Foster and my character in that was originally supposed to be played by musician David Bryne from the New York band Talking Heads.

TV STORE ONLINE:  You've got some sweet ass pork chop side burns in MESMERIZED.

DAN SHOR:  Yeah, I do.  My wife thinks that I was really cute back then...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  I am extremely obsessed with that opening dance sequence in STRANGE BEHAVIOR set to "Lightnin' Strikes" by Lou Christie...

DAN SHOR:  Yeah, it's pretty great.  I really love that too.   That whole sequence I think was directed by Billy Condon.  I think he did that whole thing.  Of course Billy Condon became Bill Condon writer and director of DREAMGIRLS (2006), GODS & MONSTERS (1998), TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN (2012) and CHICAGO (2002).  Billy was such and still is a sweet guy.  On STRANGE BEHAVIOR he was just this innocent Sci-fi cinephile film nerd, we had no idea he'd become a multiple Academy Award winner then.

TV STORE ONLINE:  So how many takes on that dance scene?   Was there music playback on the set?

DAN SHOR:   Yeah, there was playback on the set.  There was a choreographer there, and it was staged just like a musical.  I felt like I was in scene on the show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967-73).  We'd do a little dancing to the music, then we'd cut, then we'd do more dancing.  

TV STORE ONLINE:  It's so awesome.  The way that sequence breaks the fourth wall....

DAN SHOR:  Completely...It's great.  Billy Condon liked it because I danced with boys...laughing    It was me who initiated it.  It was just the thing we did back then. It was the thing to do.   It was very new wave.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Yeah, there is quite a bit of the "Pogo" going on in the scene...

DAN SHOR:  Oh yeah... Quite a bit of the Pogo in there....laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  You worked with Dey Young on STRANGE BEHAVIOR and then you two reprised your roles from STRANGE BEHAVIOR in the opening minutes of STRANGE INVADERS (1983) with Nancy Allen and Paul Le Mat...

DAN SHOR:  Right, yeah that was fun.   We were brought to Canada for that.   I remember the director Michael Laughlin called me up and asked if I wanted to do that.  Of course I said I'd do it.   I just remember him saying to me that they were going to pay me scale for two days of work and that they'd give me two thousand dollars a day Per Diem.  We ended up being there working on that for two weeks!   So when I left to go to the airport to head home I remember being nervous at customs because I had twenty-four thousand dollars in cash on me...laughing   I was just hoping they weren't going to open my suitcase.  It was very exciting.

TV STORE ONLINE:  You worked on BLACK MOON RISING (1986) too.  Did you ever get to drive that car in the film?

DAN SHOR: Well, I didn't get to drive the car the way it was supposed to be driven.    I did get to drive it, but I only got to take it up to 35mph.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Going back to STRANGE BEHAVIOR....There's that nasty needle scene in the film that's also featured on the poster art for film.  Even thought you mention on the DVD commentary for STRANGE BEHAVIOR about the fact that the needle was simply retractable, how does it effect you as the actor psychologically even though you know that its not a real needle?  I mean, it is a concept that plays with the most primal facets of fear...

DAN SHOR:  It makes you scream.  It doesn't matter that you know that its fake, it still makes you scream.   The actress that I did that scene with, Fiona Lewis, was drunk.  She wanted to have a steady hand while she was sticking a needle in my eye, so she been drinking vodka before that scene...laughing   I loved Fiona...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  Then what about the scene with your character and actor Michael Murphy's character in that sequence where you have to slice open your wrists? How did you find that intensity?

DAN SHOR:  To be honest,   all I can remember now about that was that I wanted to give off the vibe that I was under the influence of drugs.   I also remember having the feeling that I was being very theatrical too.   I don't know if it was the space of whatever, but I can remember feeling like I was on this very big stage for that.

TV STORE ONLINE:   STRANGE BEHAVIOR wasn't the film's original title. It was originally to be called DEAD KIDS.  I was wondering what title you liked the best?

DAN SHOR:  DEAD KIDS of course.  

Fiona Lewis & Dan Shor in STRANGE BEHAVIOR (1981)

TV STORE ONLINE:  Tell me about STRANGERS KISS (1983).  I'm a huge huge fan of that film.

DAN SHOR:  I love it too.  It was done during the actors strike of 1982.   I was offered it because again, the producers had seen WISE BLOOD.   We all did the film for scale and points and we all really felt like we owned it.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I love your character in STRANGERS KISS.  He's like a Woody Allen without the neurosis...

DAN SHOR:  I was trying to play him as if he was Billy Condon.   I was literally trying to give him that sweet innocence of Hollywood.  He was just like Billy Condon.  He was this sweet kid that just loved movies, but there was also a bit of Gene Wilder from THE PRODUCERS (1968) in him too.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Working on STRANGERS KISS were there discussions or was there any mention in the script that the film would be tipping it's hat in a major way to Stanley Kubrick and his film, KILLER'S KISS (1955)?

DAN SHOR:  For sure.  That was because of the producer/screenwriter/actor Blaine Novak.  He was a Kubrick obsessive, but he also studied under Peter Bogdanovich.   Plus the director, Matthew Chapman had worked with Kubrick previously as well I believe.

Dan Shor as 'Ram' in
TRON (1982)
TV STORE ONLINE:  Then what about TRON (1982)?  How did that come to you?

DAN SHOR:  That goes back to that play I produced in Los Angeles, The Sport Of My Mad Mad Mother by Ann Jellicoe.  An actor in that play with me, Peter Jurasik, had a friend who was a casting director on TRON and he brought the both of us in for that.   

TV STORE ONLINE:   With such a complicated concept for the era in which it was made, how did they explain TRON to you concept wise?

DAN SHOR:  They showed us the story boards that Moebius that designed.    They told us that we'd be like comic book characters.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Then because of the fact that it was all shot on stages and you had nothing in front of you, was it challenging as an actor to have to work so extremely in the "pretend" realm?

TRON T-shirt
Available at 

DAN SHOR:  Well you could say yes, but the answer is really no.    The reason why we're actors is because we're better than the others in the class at the make believe stuff.  It's really that simple.  When someone says make believe, you just do it.  With that being said the director on TRON [Steven Lisberger] was very comfortable with yelling out, "Look out! It's coming!"   I mean it was just ridiculous stuff.

TV STORE ONLINE:   What about the TRON light disc / Frisbee thing?

DAN SHOR:  That was just a Wham O Frisbee that they velcroed onto your back...laughing    It was literally just a Frisbee.

Dan Shor 
in TRON (1982)
TV STORE ONLINE:   So how did that whole process work in regards to getting the visual look for the characters?

DAN SHOR:  Well, all we knew actually at the time was that we were supposed to wear these black and white skin-tight pajamas with dance belts on a giant sound stage with black velvet draped sets that we'd have to climb around on.  It wasn't until later on that I started to find out how everything was done.   I had this guy walk up to me on the street once and say to me, "Shor, I hate your fuckin' nose.  I painted just your nose frame by frame for a year straight. I  painted only your nose."  You have to remember that all of us really only worked on TRON for about a month, whereas the director Steven Lisberger and that special effects crew worked on TRON literally for years.

TV STORE ONLINE:  You mentioned the Moebius storyboards a moment ago.   I've always loved how the overall look of the film  has this sort of German Expressionist / Fritz Lang thing going on with it.   In particular the light cycle sequence in TRON, what was your experience like working on that aspect of the film?

DAN SHOR:  That was really funny.   We literally sat on wooden saw horses with bicycle handlebars attached to them.   It was the most ridiculous thing.   Steven Lisberger was talking us through it..."Lean left! Lean right!   Big eyes! Big eyes!   Look out...."   It was hilarious.   You knew that they were going to take whatever they shot and just use it as a cut-in.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Another great project you were involved in was the television mini-series THE BLUE & THE GRAY (1982).  How did that come to you?

DAN SHOR:   That was again, just another thing that came out of my time in the south.   I got offered that because of WISE BLOOD.  I got to work with Stacy Keach on that, and he has always been a huge hero of mine.  When I was in high school I got to see Keach do Hamlet in the park in New York City.  Seeing him do that was one of the most influential moments of my life.

TV STORE ONLINE:  You won a People's Choice Award for your performance in THE BLUE & THE GRAY.  Did you do any research into The Civil War for your character?

DAN SHOR:  Of course.  I don't know any actor that doesn't do research.  We were all reading Bruce Catton on The Civil War during the shooting on that.  It's a lot of fun to do the research, plus we were shooting that right in the middle of it all.  We shot that right in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Dan Shor, Alex Winter and
Keanu Reeves in BILL & TED
TV STORE ONLINE:   Then what about BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (1989)?  I've always really loved what your doing in that movie comically as 'Billy The Kid'.

DAN SHOR:  I just thought that it was literally like playing a cartoon version of a cowboy.  I remember going in to audition for the director [Stephen Herek].  In the audition, I just played a cowboy as if I was John Huston with tight pants on...laughing    Then once I got cast I went and did a bunch of research on Billy The Kid.  On the first day of shooting I decided I'd play Billy the Kid as a sort of syphilitic inbred.  The director stopped me and said basically, "What the fuck!?  Play him like you did in the audition."

TV STORE ONLINE:   It's a movie for kids or young teens but yet it is layered with all of this bizarre adult sexual humor.  There's that one scene where the actor Rod Loomis who is playing Sigmund Freud walks up behind you with that giant phallic corn dog...

DAN SHOR:    Yeah, the movie is just so stupid.   I think we all knew that we were making a extremely stupid movie, and that includes the writers.  They were the kingpins for that. They wanted us to act stupid.  I mean, Keanu [Reeves] is just so ridiculous in BILL & TED. 

Actor Dan Shor
TV STORE ONLINE:   I'm a huge Alex Winter fan....Did you ever see his film FREAKED (1993)?

DAN SHOR: I did!  I loved FREAKED.   I really thought that Alex was going to be the one who became the big star from BILL & TED.  I didn't know it at the time of BILL & TED, but there is a kinda chemical thing that Kneau has about him.   There's something about him. It's unexplained chemistry.   Actor Tim Matheson has it too.  I did a play with actor Billy Campbell [The Rocketeer; 1991] and he has the same thing.  He'd walk into a bar with me and all of the women in the bar would no longer be able to talk.   It's incredible when this happens.   Everyone adored Keanu on that set.  It's a cinematic thing, that I didn't understand at the time. 

TV STORE ONLINE:  What about shooting the stuff in the photo booth in BILL & TED?

DAN SHOR:  God, I just remember trying to weasel out of that.   The actor that played Abe Lincoln was really tall and he was blocking me from seeing the camera. I was getting mad so I wanted out of it.  Little Jane Wiedlin and I were the two shortest people in the phone booth.

Dan Shor in BILL & TED'S
TV STORE ONLINE:  I can't imagine what kind of direction you guys were getting for that phone booth stuff...

DAN SHOR:  I don't remember there being any direction to be honest.  The whole movie was a party...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  I've kept you for an hour now....Pick one of these movies and let's talk about it:  MIKE'S MURDER (1984),  DADDY'S BOYS (1988), DOPPELGANGER (1993), or RED ROCK WEST (1993)....


TV STORE ONLINE:  I LOVE your hair in that movie!

Dan Shor Publicity Photo
DAN SHOR:  I love my hair in that movie too!  I love everything about that stupid little movie!   It was a Roger Corman movie.  The director Joe Minion walked off the set one night, and I got to direct for one night.  I had so much fun on that.  To me it was all about having a Roger Corman experience.   We all laughed so much on that movie.  Ray Berry was so great in that.   In fact, I was offered a casting director job after it.  I cast like ten people for that movie.  In fact, I cast Abe Lincoln [Robert Barron] from BILL & TED in it.  He plays a character that the boys rob in the movie...laughing  Corman offered me a casting director job after it was all over, but I turned it down, because I thought my career was still going strong.  My wife is still pissed about that today...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  As an actor what were some of the films that influenced you?

DAN SHOR:  As an actor I wanted to be Dustin Hoffman.  When I would watch Dustin Hoffman, that would be my entire education.  He set it all up in my brain, and I don't think he's truly received his due.  He's a character guy, but he can be himself too.  Look at KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979).  There's a level of realism there in that performance that is unprecedented.  We haven't seen that type of performance since.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Last question for you.  What's one thing that no one knows about you?

DAN SHOR:  I don't know....Maybe that I took a break from acting and ran off to the South Pacific and almost stayed there.  I went there for six weeks and stayed there for four years.  That's when I became a director.  I went there and started to direct tourism videos and travel videos.   People can check out my production company HERE:  

TV STORE ONLINE:  You've become the APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) era Francis Ford Coppola of travel videos... This travel video isn't about tourism....It Is Tourism...laughing

DAN SHOR:   I think I want to be the Billy Condon of travel videos...laughing   

TV STORE ONLINE:  Thanks for your time Dan, it's been a sincere joy and pleasure talking to you.

DAN SHOR:  Thank you.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yori and Lacey: Cindy Morgan speaks with TV STORE ONLINE about making TRON and CADDYSHACK

Actress and Producer Cindy Morgan talks with TV STORE ONLINE about the making of such iconic films as TRON and CADDYSHACK as well as the rumored untitled third installment in the TRON franchise.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I know you get asked a lot about the making of TRON (1982) and CADDYSHACK (1980) so I wanted to start this out by throwing you a curve ball and ask you about UP YOUR LADDER (1979)....

CINDY MORGAN:  Yeah....That was one days work.  I don't really wanna acknowledge it because it was re-edited into something that it originally wasn't supposed to be.   The film I shot wasn't the film that they released.  It was originally supposed to be something like Love American Style (1969-1974) but they turned it into something else.     Once I had done CADDYSHACK they went back and re-cut it.  They were exploiting my appearance in CADDYSHACK, and from what I understand it's pretty creepy now.  I've never seen it.   I was just called in for one days work to do some narration.   It was supposed to be pretty PG, but they re-cut it and inserted some other scenes into it and I can't be responsible for their naughty behavior on that.   

Theatrical Poster for UP YOUR LADDER (1979)

TV STORE ONLINE:  So I have this theory that all actors have a subconscious desire to act from an early age, but yet you didn't really have an interest in it from the start?

CINDY MORGAN: No, I didn't to tell you the truth.  I was a nerd as a kid.  I wore those really thick glasses and I was always studying in high school.   When I went off to college I got into broadcasting, and that came from me being put into a speech class, and that probably happened to me because I had a stutter.   I hadn't really thought about acting.  I did take one acting class in college though, but when I went in there the teacher wanted the students to act like a piece of chewing gum.  I looked around and said, "I'm outta here!"  I decided that I was going to go into communications.   

I went into college with a stutter and I came out as a radio and television broadcaster.   I grew up in Chicago but I went off to Rockford, Illinois and I got a job.  I had my own radio show, I did the weather on a local channel and rather awfully I must say and I used to make commercials for record albums too.   My boss wold give me a record album and say, "Make me a commercial for this album."  So I'd go through the album and pick like twenty-eight seconds of it that I liked, then I'd take some of the information off the back of the album.
TV STORE ONLINE:   So growing up as a kid in Chicago you were also a fan of science fiction movies.  Were you a fan of things in Chicago that were on television like Jerry G. Bishop as Svengoolie?

CINDY MORGAN:  Oh Yeah....Sure....Sure.  You bet I loved that.  I loved everything Sci-fi.  I loved anything Jules Verne.   I also loved comedy too.   I can remember when I saw NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE (1978) in the theater while I was in college.  Little did I know that just a short time after that I'd be working with those guys.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Getting hired for CADDYSHACK did you watch some of the comedy that those guys were making at the time like Saturday Night Live (1975-Current) for example?

CINDY MORGAN:  As soon as I knew that I was going to be working with those guys I stopped watching Saturday Night Live.   I knew that I just wanted to react those guys and not be so familiar with them.

TV STORE ONLINE:  It seems like I read somewhere that prior to shooting CADDYSHACK, the writer Doug Kenney asked you to take a look at Lauren Bacall's performance in TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT (1944)?

CINDY MORGAN:  That's true.  He sure did.

TV STORE ONLINE:  What was the story behind that?

CINDY MORGAN:  Well, 'Lacey Underall' was a character that Doug had actually met.  He and the Murray brothers all grew up working at a country club, and Doug had actually met this girl who was just like Lacey Underall.   Doug said that he had a specific vision of Lauren Bacall  when he was writing the movie.   I tried to capture not her voice or her look, but just the way that she handled herself.   Things didn't matter that much to Lacey, she just liked to have fun, and she was pretty much in charge of her life and everybody's around her.   Seeing TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT really helped a lot, because it gave me something to look it.   It wasn't long after I was cast in CADDYSHACK that I had to start with all of these lessons.  I took bodybuilding lessons, tennis lessons, golfing lessons, voice lessons, diving lessons.   Some I took to, and some I didn't.  It was a lot to learn in a month.

TV STORE ONLINE:  So how did you find Lacey from within?  I mean, she's such a sexual character, but yet she has an element of women's liberation to her as well....

Available at
CINDY MORGAN:  Right, Yeah.  A lot of guys don't understand that about her.   We had just burned our bras a few years before.  That's why she doesn't wear a bra in the movie.  Lacey was really born during the second scene we shot in CADDYSHACK.   The topless scene.   I cleared the set that day and that was when Lacey was born.   The Lacey that Doug Kenney met was really cocky and she had sorta blew Doug off when he tried to talk to her.   There was actually a line in the shooting script that I convinced Harold [Ramis] to cut out.   It was, "Hi I'm Lacey.  I'm seventeen and I'm trouble."   I said to Harold, "Look, this is comedy, but I'm never gonna be able to pull off  being seventeen and if you're gonna have a nude scene let's get rid of that line..."   

TV STORE ONLINE:  Going into the shooting of CADDYSHACK and working with people like Bill Murray and Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, did you struggle as a new actor with being intimidated by those guys?

CINDY MORGAN:  I would've if I would've thought about it.   The first person I really got to know on the shoot was Ted Knight.   He was wonderful to me.   He took me out to breakfast and explained to me how everything worked.   It was like he was doing his character from the Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977).  He was very charming.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Then what about the topless scene?

CINDY MORGAN:   Yeah, I had to clear that set myself. One of the producers, Jon Peters, had brought in a photographer from Playboy to shoot it.   I didn't want him there, so I told him to leave.   Jon Peters told me that I'd never work in the industry again after CADDYSHACK and I didn't for a while afterward.  I didn't work for like a year after CADDYSHACK.  I didn't work again until Disney called for TRON.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Chevy Chase had left SNL by the time he started work on CADDYSHACK.   I've read so much about his ego during this era, did you experience any of that with him during shooting?

CINDY MORGAN:  Sure.  Oh course.  We went head-to-head a couple of times.  Some of our best work in CADDYSHACK was when we weren't actually talking to one another.   Take the piano scene with Chevy and I.  It works just beautifully even though we weren't really speaking to each other for that.   We had been working on that sequence for days.  It was so hot, and my make-up was just pouring off my face.    We had shot most of that sequence, and Harold said to me, "Come over here and sit down at the piano and say to Chevy - Sing me a love song."    So I sat down, and said it that Chevy.   Chevy launches into "I Was Born To Love You..."  There was no rehearsal, and it wasn't in the script, but we started doing that and out of the corner of my eye I noticed that they had started filming us!  You can see how surprised I am in the scene, just look at my face.

Another instance were we weren't getting along to well was during the massage scene with the oil.   It was a love scene, we were in south Florida, it was hot.  Chevy starts poking me and starts to say stuff to me, so I started poking him back, and I started talking to him.  This escalated to us arguing for about forty-five minutes on the set until he left.   He came back later and said that he wanted to shoot two master shots, and that was where he dumps that bottle of oil on my back.    That's another scene where what you see on my face in the scene is actually me just reacting to what was actually happening to me.  

TV STORE ONLINE:  What about working with Rodney Dangerfield?

CINDY MORGAN:   He was great.   It was his first movie and he was really nervous about it.  I remember one day, Rodney and I were having lunch together, and it was just like being with Rodney on stage.  He was sitting there with me and tugging on his collar saying, "Am I OK?  Am I OK? This is my first movie."   He was worried about how his performance was coming across because he wasn't getting any laughs on the set.  He didn't know how he was doing because as a comic he was so used to getting laughs on stage and he'd use that to time his jokes.  This was his comeback job.  It was so important to him.  Prior to shooting CADDYSHACK he was selling Aluminium siding to support his family.  He shouldn't  have been worried, he stole the movie!

TV STORE ONLINE:  CADDYSHACK had to have been just a very loose set.

CINDY MORGAN:  Loose!?!?  Everyday you'd show up on the set directly from the party that you had been to the night before!  You'd roll into make-up and go to the set and say, "What are we doing today?"  The script wasn't even a guideline for most of the shoot...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:   What can you tell me about THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (1985)?

CINDY MORGAN:  That was a lot of fun, but what a weird juxtaposition of concepts.   An ABC Movie-Of-The-Week horror musical where I play a substitute teacher who turns into a vampire.  And it had a great cast too...LeVar Burton, Peter DeLuise, Shari Belafonte.....It was just silly as hell, but I wish it would've aired more than it did.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Will you tell me about shooting the "Get Dead" dance party sequence in THE MIDNIGHT HOUR?

CINDY MORGAN:  That was post Michael Jackson's Thriller.  So it really made sense.  It took about a day to shoot, maybe two.  They didn't do much coverage for that part where we come down the stairway.  It was fun though.  I got to dance on the floor with Peter DeLuise.  The funny thing about it was that by the end of the movie my character ends up a vampire and impaled on a stake on a bush.  I was laying there for hours.  Eventually everyone went home and they left me there.  So I had to get myself off of that bush and I had to drive home in that make-up and those fangs on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Then what about Amazing Stories (1985-87)?  I'm a huge fan of Gail and Kevin Parrent who wrote the episode of AS that you did, "Hell Toupee".  They wrote for The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978).  Its a hilarious episode.

CINDY MORGAN:  Yeah, it is funny.   I'll never forget going in and reading for that.  I went in and started reading for the director of the episode Irvin Kershner.  The only two people that have actually ever directed me are Harold Ramis and Irvin Kershner.  Kershner was awesome.  I remember that when he was describing the character to me I sort of looked at him and said, "What?"  He stopped me, grabbed a Polaroid camera and took a picture of me in that moment, and then showed it to me.  He said, "That's the character."   It was one of the only times where I got to play a dumb blond.  I thought of her as Judy Holiday from BORN YESTERDAY (1950) but I tried not to put too much of that into her.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I watched a film of yours the other day for the first time called GALAXIS (1995)....

CINDY MORGAN:  Oh yes. That was an indie film.  The cool thing about GALAXIS was that when I was at its first screening the people seemed sad when my character died on screen.   Brigitte [Nielsen] was very sweet and nice to work with.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I think GALAXIS is great just because you get to share a screen credit with Sam Raimi.

CINDY MORGAN:   Yeah, I think that's cool too.

TV STORE ONLINE:  How did TRON (1982) come to you?

CINDY MORGAN:   They called me.  I got a a call from Disney asking me if I could come in and meet with Steven Lisberger and test with Jeff Bridges.   I got the part, but it wasn't until later that I learned that they had also been considering Debby Harry from the music group Blondie for the part.


TV STORE ONLINE:  So how did you find that character?

CINDY MORGAN:  Well, I just played myself in the real world.  In the computer world I had to make some choices.  Because there was really nothing for me to work off of.  I started thinking to myself that if I had to create a computer program then it would have a sort of two dimensional personality and memory like my own.  It would be kind of child like, because of my lack of experience in that world but it would still have some of my own traits and tendencies.   It was kind of tough to do.  In fact, I didn't know it until years later but Bruce [Boxleitner] did the same sort of thing to find his character as well.

TV STORE ONLINE:   I've heard that Steven Lisberger wasn't much for giving his actors motivation or direction on the set of TRON...

CINDY MORGAN:  laughing...He'd just say stuff like, "Go here. Go there. Duck... Look over there! Hit that mark."   It was pretty difficult actually.   It was really hard to see your mark when you're on an all black stage.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Fans seem to love the pink angora sweater outfit that your character wears in TRON?

CINDY MORGAN:  Disney made that for me.  I remember that when I was getting fitted for the 'Yori' costume they had done some contouring to the costume for me shall we say.  I said to the lady, "Really? Disney does this to costumes?"  She said, "Honey, that's nothing. You should see the stuff we make over on the guys side."   When it came time to make that sweater, the costume lady asked me what my favorite color was, and on that particular day I was wearing a pink shirt.  So I told her pink.   They actually woved it and dyed it for me, it was crazy.

TV STORE ONLINE:  One of the scenes that has always stuck out to me in TRON is where the three of your characters are trying to break into Encom and you're standing in front of that surreal giant red door....

CINDY MORGAN:  Right, Yeah.  That was shot at Livermore Labs.  That was a nuclear power plant that was like ten or twenty stories underground, and I have no idea how we got in there.  That was a real door.   Our lighting guy, Bruce Logan said afterward, that the security there would follow him into the men's room.   Everything you see in those sequences is real equipment.  I have no idea how they managed to get us in there to shoot.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I love the sort of German Expressionist vibe that's going on in the movie with the ships and then the costumes too...

CINDY MORGAN:   That was Moebius.  He designed our costumes.  That god awful skull cap that I wear in the first half of the movie was designed by him.  It was shammy cloth with wire running through it. It was awful.  They had to glue it to my skin. I got tired of that thing. I had started to bleed from it, so I told them that I was gonna wear one of the hockey helmets like the guys because I just couldn't take it anymore.  I was getting blisters on my head from them taking that off and putting it back on over and over.  That's why I show up on the Solar Sailer with one of those hockey helmets on.

TV STORE ONLINE:  When it comes to TRON.... People never talk about the great Barnard Hughes.  What was your experience working with him?

CINDY MORGAN:   So charming.  He was such a trooper.  He had to be in that just gigantic and awful almost WIZARD OF OZ (1939) like outfit.   Between takes, you could tell just how uncomfortable he was in that outfit.  You could just see the sweat pouring off of him.  He was so patent.

TV STORE ONLINE:  My favorite visual from TRON is that great and so beautiful two-shot of your character and Jeff Bridges kissing on the Solar Sailer....

CINDY MORGAN:   I know.  I didn't know how close they were to us on that when we were shooting that.  It took Jeff about twenty takes to get that right though...laughing   That was so beautiful, it turned out really wonderful.

Cindy Morgan and Jeff Bridges in TRON (1982)

TV STORE ONLINE:  The natural progression of questioning here would be for me to ask you how it was to kiss Jeff Bridges....

CINDY MORGAN:   laughing...It was great.  It was just fine.   I got to kiss both my leading men in  that movie.   It was a tough job...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  There are some online rumors going around and it's listed on your IMDb page that you're going to have a part in the as of yet unnamed third TRON movie...Are those rumors true?

CINDY MORGAN:  I think you need to ask the people that started the rumors.  I didn't start them.  If you click the link on my IMDb it goes to Disney's page, and I don't know them to make mistakes.  Maybe their just seeing how people react, I don't know.

TV STORE ONLINE:  Leave us with your favorite memory of working on TRON?

CINDY MORGAN:  My favorite TRON memory.....I just loved going to work every morning.  There were long hours, but it was so much fun.   I just loved getting the call from the Assistant Director saying, "We're ordering Sushi today, what kind would you like?"  Also, too, there's when I called my father.   I called him and said, "Dad, Dad, I just got this cool part in this movie with Disney called TRON..."  He said, "That's great Cynth, when ya coming home?"

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