Check out Demme’s Katrina doc on PBS

tjndc5-5b53bc4lthvsjtgh7p4_layout.jpgOscar winner and Nyack resident Jonathan Demme’s documentary about the aftermath of Katrina, in which he followed around residents of the Lower 9th Ward for a year after the hurricane, is airing right now on PBS. This much I learned while channel-surfing the wasteland that is early-summer TV. “Right to Return: New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward,” a five-installment series, has two more episodes to go — tonight and tomorrow on Tavis Smiley’s late-night program.

I was hoping we’d get to see this one take down “Sicko” at the box office, but I guess instead we’ll just have to see if it can outperform “Studio 60.” Should be an interesting face-off. Ready. Set. DVR!

(Photo: Mark Vergari / The Journal News)

‘Mathematicians! Freeze!’ An interview with Joe Howard of ‘Mathnet’

Photo courtesy of Joe HowardSome heroes fight crime with super powers or guns. As Officer George Frankly on the long-running PBS series “Mathnet,� Joe Howard did it with exponential powers and puns.

Starring as the crime-solving mathematician on the “Dragnet� parody that concluded each episode of “Square One TV� from 1987-1994, the Yonkers native reportedly beat out “Saturday Night Live� alumnus Phil Hartman for the part. A year after “Mathnet� closed its final case, Howard moved with his wife into a Sherman Oaks, Calif., house previously owned by “Curb Your Enthusiasm� star Larry David.

Throughout the 58-year-old actor’s career, Howard has worked steadily in film, television and more than 100 commercials. In the process, he shared scenes with Academy Award winners Ben Kingsley in “House of Sand and Fogâ€? and Anthony Hopkins in “The World’s Fastest Indian.â€? Despite this credibility, he graciously accepted a phone interview with Suburbarazzi last week.


• Since Children’s Television Workshop was the creative force behind both “Sesame Street” and “Square One TV,” you’ve said on that your wife Sharon thought you had an edge getting hired for “Mathnetâ€? because you “look like a Muppet when (you) grin.â€? Did she really say that?

That’s true…. I figured there was some kind of subliminal thing going there that they couldn’t resist.

• Was the calculator holster uncomfortable?

That was a standard police holster and it was quite comfortable. In fact, I’m kind of kicking myself I didn’t ask them if I could keep it. (But) the calculator itself was just one of these little cheesy things that you could buy in any Staples store. I used to think, talking to myself, “What a cheesy prop this is.”


Learn about Joe Howard’s off-screen friendship with “Saved By The Bell’s” Mr. Belding and on-screen family bonds after the break!

(Photo courtesy of Joe Howard.)

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