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December 15, 1989 - Image 84

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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of the measles in Detroit, so I
called her during my show to
see if I ever had the
measles."
He credits his father as an
inspiration who taught him
firsthand about the busi-
ness. "I learned so much
from watching him work,"
Fogel said.
In the future, Fogel would
like to host a music video
show while continuing to DJ
on the radio.
"I had a TV program in
Washington for six months,
where I hosted a music video
show on Saturday after-
noons. It was just a lot of
fun."
And having fun is Fogel's
DJ philosophy. "I believe in
having as much fun as
possible. I think people can
actually hear when you're
having fun," he said. "I just
goof off, act hyper and say
what people don't expect to
hear."
When Fogel interviews
music celebrities on the air,
he doesn't ask who will pro-
duce their next albums. In-
stead, his questions address
what kind of cars they drive
and how much money they
have in their pockets.
"Jermaine Jackson was by
far the wealthiest person
I've interviewed," and the

"I just goof off, act hyper and say what people don't expect to hear."

award for the weirdest group
goes to "The B-52s. They
were a lot of fun, but they're
strange. They spend all of
their money on used
clothes," he said.
His favorite interviews
were with pop singers Huey
Lewis and Dino. "Dino was
just in two weeks ago, open-
ing at the Palace for those
crazy knucklehead bundles
of talent, New Kids on the
Block," Fogel said. "He is
really in to weight training,

so we talked about how he
works out with weights on
the road. He is just a neat
guy."
Fogel's radio-broadcasting
style is a bit different from
his father's; his father,he
says, is "too smooth and se-
rious on the air, but a very
responsible broadcaster."
"As I grew up, my dad
begged me not to go into the
(radio) business, but I
wouldn't listen," Fogel said.
"Now, he's proud of me." ❑

When Billy Crystal Meets Bubble
On Midnight nain To Moscow

MICHAEL ELKIN

Special to The Jewish News

W

hen Billy met
Bubbie...
That's the jocular
gist of Billy Crystal's latest
HBO special "Midnight
Train to Moscow," in which
the comedian and film star
of When Harry Met Sally
tracks down his Jewish
ancestry.
The special, which aired
this past October, was filled
with jokesnost, a mix of
perestroika and punchlines.
And, as the comedian notes
during his train ride to the
past, it is a sobering return
to the original Borsht Belt.
Crystal, whose popularity
as a comedian soared some
seasons back when he
parlayed a regular spot as
the smarmy Fernando on
"Saturday Night Live" into
a national sensa- tion, looks
just chudesny —Russian for
"marvelous" — performing
on stage at the Pushkin
Theatre, where he in-
troduces Soviet audiences to
a cast of characters at once
haimish and hilarious.

Billy Crystal in the USSR
The fact that Crystal is
among the first major
American comedians to
debut on a Soviet stage is not
so surprising. He has always
been at the vanguard — and
he has always shown a
sincere interest in his
Jewish roots.
It is clear, says Crystal in
an interview, how important
his own grandparents were
in his life. Indeed, Crystal's
octogenarian Jewish
character of Julius is based
on the comic's own zayda.

"When I was younger,"
says Crystal, "I used to
spend a lot of time with him.
He had such a wonderful
sense of humor," which, he
says, came from years on the
Yiddish vaude- ville circuit.
Early on, Crystal got his
own chance to practice pun-
chlines on a patient au-
dience. "I used to perform at
the family Passover get-
togethers," he says. "We
used to have 35 or 40 people.
I'll tell you, those were
bigger crowds than I had the
first two years of my career."
He has made up for those
relatively small audiences
since. A welcome guest on
"Late Night With David
Letterman" as well as a re-
peat performer at clubs in
Atlantic City, Crystal has
made his move in the movies
recently, landing The
Princess Bride and the most
recent When Harry Met Sal-
ly.
He has met an occasional
failure along the way.
Memories of Me, co-starring
Alan King, was an
unmemorable movie about
the blistering battles bet-
ween a father and son trying

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