Joe Franklin, the New York media fixture who hosted one of TV’s first and longest-running talk shows, died Saturday. He was 88.
“The Joe Franklin Show” was a Gotham latenight staple on WWOR-TV from 1962 to 1993. Franklin got his start in 1951 with a daytime show on WJZ-TV, the station that is now WABC-TV. The WWOR show was known for its odd mix of B- and C-list guests and the occasional A-lister, along with quirky New Yorkers from all walks of life.
A native of the Bronx, Franklin worked in radio and publicity before segueing into television in its infancy. Although he never gained much fame outside of New York, Billy Crystal famously parodied Franklin’s look and rapid-fire style on “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1980s. Franklin also played himself in Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose” and 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”
He earned a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1991.
Most recently, Franklin had a celebrity interview show on Bloomberg Radio.