Jason Robards

Barry Gordon, Co-Star of A Thousand Clowns: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Barry Gordon

From our special screening of the film A Thousand Clowns at Cinefamily in Los Angeles, a special podcast-only episode of The Sound of Young America: Jesse's conversation with Barry Gordon, the then-15-year-old co-star of the film. Released in 1965 and now out-of-print, the movie stars Jason Robards as Murray, a comedy writer who struggles to come to terms with growing up – something he must do if he wants to stop child protective services from taking away his adopted son Nick, played by Barry Gordon.

Barry Gordon was a child actor who played the role of Nick on the Broadway and touring versions of A Thousand Clowns before making the film; he's since, by turn, been a voice actor, a lawyer, the president of the Screen Actors Guild, a talk show host, a teacher and even a congressional candidate. One of his recent projects has been hosting Left Talk with Barry Gordon. We're very pleased he could join us for this special screening and Q&A, and many thanks go to him and the Cinefamily for helping us put on this event.

The film has finally come back into print - you can get it from Amazon by following this link.

What's "A Thousand Clowns" About?

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Tonight at Cinefamily in Los Angeles we're presenting a screening of A Thousand Clowns. If you asked me what it was about, I'd probably say it's about comedy, the pain of show business and what it means to be an adult. It's also about Irving R. Feldman's Birthday, the great under-celebrated national holiday, and a million other things. (As the poster can attest.)

It occurs to me that I have three "favorite movies." They're this one, Rushmore and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Pee-Wee is about a man-child. Rushmore is about a child-man. A Thousand Clowns is about a man-child's relationship with a child-man. I guess I have some growing up issues.

Tickets are only ten bucks for the show tonight, and I'll be interviewing Barry Gordon, who starred alongside Jason Robards in both the Broadway play and the film. He went on to become a lawyer and eventually served as president of the Screen Actors' Guild.

See you tonight at Cinefamily.

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