Monday, July 18, 2011

An Afternoon with Joe Franklin

Joe Franklin posed at Sardi's
Hello, my friends...

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, I,  along with some of my chums, had the pleasure of visiting my beloved old friend, the one & only legendary broadcaster Joe Franklin at his Times Square office in NYC, before heading over to have lunch at the legendary Sardi's restaurant on W. 44th St.

 This truly memorable "Super-Spectacular" visit with Joe was captured via my legendary iphone for posterity, and is presented here for your delight... my friends.

(And, from the NY Daily News from 11/28)...

Thanksgiving miracles!
Craig Bierko tells us he believes there is “order in the universe” after his reverence for nostalgia king Joe Franklin led to the return of his lost wallet. Bierko, who’s starring in “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays,” grew up watching Franklin on WOR-TV/Ch. 9 and when his friend, artist Drew Friedman offered to set up a lunch meeting with the 85-year-old showbiz legend a few months ago, the actor jumped at the chance. At their meeting, Bierko says Franklin gave him two gifts: his business card and diamond earrings for his girlfriend. (Franklin’s son is in the jewelry trade.) The actor was grateful for the gems, but, he says, the card meant so much to him that “if I could reduce it to powder and snort it into my brain I would.” Instead, he carried it proudly in his wallet — until he lost the billfold about a week and a half ago. Because the ID inside gave Bierko’s California address, he says he’d just about given up on its return when, last week, a friend of Franklin’s called to say the the wallet had been returned to the address on Joe’s business card. Bierko tells us he’s meeting with Franklin Monday to get his wallet back. That’s one for the Thanksgiving time capsule.

Read more:

                                       Joe welcoming us to his office.

                                       Joe pauses to do some paperwork

Joe posing with my pal, long time Joe Franklin admirer, actor Craig Bierko
Joe, Craig & yours truly

Joe takes us on a tour of his office

Joe takes a phone call

A corner of Joe's office

Another angle

Joe's old friend, Gospel radio hostess "The Empress" stopped by to say hello

Me, actor/comedian Michael Townsend Wright (who's known Joe since he was 11), Joe, Craig. Photo by the Empress

Minutes before leaving for lunch, Joe treats us to a VHS viewing of "The Joe Franklin 40th anniversary TV special"

Joe arrives at Sardi's

Joe poses in front of his Sardi's caricature

Happy times! L to R; Me, Michael Townsend Wright, Joe Franklin, comedy writer Tom Leopold, Craig Bierko. A truly wonderful time was had by all!


  1. This is surreal on so many levels. Joe seems equally at home at Sardi's or surrounded by life-threatening piles of paper and junk in his claustrophobic office. Next, I'd like to see him holding court in a submarine or in front of Mount Rushmore. And toss in a few celebrities again, that really makes for a great photo.

  2. Me again. Isn't it amazing how it has suddenly become fashionable to take Joe Franklin to lunch? (Thanks to you.) I think with a little promotional push it could become a fad, maybe even a trend! First step: Print up bumper stickers. TAKE JOE FRANKLIN TO LUNCH. It's a natural.

  3. Me, fashionable? I think I fell into the wrong photo. What a time we had! And Drew, you've chronicled it perfectly!

  4. I think I'm living on the wrong coast.

  5. Lou,

    Move back east and your first stop will be Joe Franklins!

  6. “ODE TO JOE”
    ‘Sometimes I like to visit this site
    To sit and rest my weary bones
    To recline, recalling days so bright
    Something that rhymes with “weary bones”