Synopsis by Karl Williams
This is a documentary portrait of a Hollywood comedy writer cited by many of entertainment's biggest stars as their comedic "secret weapon." Bruce Vilanch is a rotund, hirsute New Jersey native who left a job at a Chicago newspaper in the 1970s to become a gag writer for singer and actress Bette Midler. After toiling for several years in the dying genre of television variety shows and celebrity roasts, Vilanch became a staple of awards shows, scripting one-liners and song parodies at the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys, for such luminaries as Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg. All three of those stars, and many others, are interviewed about Vilanch's contributions to their work. Of particular note is a national controversy sparked by Vilanch's "off-color" racial remarks written for Ted Danson and Goldberg at a Friar's Club event, and his memorable riffs for emcee Crystal on the one-armed push-ups of Jack Palance at an Oscar telecast. Get Bruce! made Vilanch a more recognizable figure to mainstream audiences, and he became a regular on the TV game show revival of Hollywood Squares.
comedian, award, celebrity, client, entertainer, man, stars [astronomy], writing