Stu Shostak is a force of nature. If they hooked him to a power grid he could light Time Square. Stu is the subject of a new documentary that I highly recommend. Full disclosure: I’m one of the talking heads. But I’m not featured enough to sour you on this film.
It’s called STU’S SHOW, based on the internet podcast (now weekly TV show) he conducts interviewing people from the Golden Age of Television and animation. And when I say “Golden” I mean back to the ‘50s and ‘60s. Stu is one of the great TV historians and has an extensive collection of film, tape, DVD’s, Laser discs, VHS, 3/4” tape, Betamax, early television sandscripts. The real Museum of Television is not in New York. It’s up in his cabin.
STU’S SHOW is part nostalgia, part romantic comedy, part Hollywood survival, part love letter to Lucy, and part cautionary tale. There’s exclusive home movies, animation, rarely seen film clips, and maybe the most emotional and unusual wedding you’ll ever see. And it’s only 90 minutes, not 4 hours like most documentaries these days. (How much more is there to know about sea otters or Garry Shandling?)
We follow Stu’s unique career path, from working for Lucille Ball to becoming one of the top warm up men in TV. There are any number of documentaries about Lucy but through the unseen footage and anecdotes from Stu you get a real sense of who this remarkable complex woman was the last ten years of her life.
The narrative takes a real turn when Stu’s girlfriend Jeanine has a sudden brain aneurysm. At this point it becomes a Paddy Chayefsky tale of fighting an absurd system, and we see Stu in action. As a patient advocate, no one has ever been better. Watching him fight through the system to provide the care Jeanine needed was both inspiring and heartbreaking.
I promised you a wedding, but I don’t want to reveal any more. Suffice it to say it will warm your heart and especially if you’re a Boomer you will wish you were there. I was and it was one of the most joyous and special weddings I’ve ever attended. And I got my picture with Dick Van Dyke.
STU’S SHOW runs on various platforms. Seek it out. You can pre-order it here.
And here is the trailer: