Friday, May 7, 2021

TCM Classic Film Festival: Nichols and May: Take Two (1996)


Premiering tomorrow on TCM as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival is Nichols and May: Take Two, director Phillip Schopper's documentary on the famous comedy duo. It previously aired on PBS back in 1996 but it has been unavailable for many years. This will be the first time TCM is airing it.

Elaine May and Mike Nichols were a powerhouse comedy team in the late 1950s and the late 1960s. In an era when the culture was breaking away from conventionality, they shone with their wit and humor about subjects that were considered taboo. They had a synchronicity that made them electric. Nichols and May took America by storm with their best-selling comedy albums and various television appearances. They were new, fresh voices on the comedy scene and influenced the work of many comedians that followed. 

Nichols and May: Take Two captures the magic and subsequent influence of this comedic duo with four archival comedy sequences and interviews with comedians Richard Lewis, Steve Martin and Robin Williams. Also interviewed in the film are Tom Brokaw, Jules Feiffer, Arthur Penn, as well as their manager. The skits are shown in full which allows audiences unfamiliar with Nichols and May to really get a sense of their special brand of comedy.

The documentary airs Saturday at 11;45 AM ET on TCM for their virtual TCM Classic Film Festival and includes an introduction by Mike Nichols' biographer Mark Harris.

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