25 May 2010

'Too Close for Comfort' Star Lydia Cornell Returns to Comedy with TV Icon Kelsey Grammer

Tue May 4, 3:01 am ET

'80s sex symbol Lydia Cornell collaborates with "Fraiser" star Kelsey Grammer on new sketch-comedy program

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 4, 2010 -- She is a fresh new voice in comedy on Kelsey Grammer's new celebrity TV network, but a familiar face to millions of regular television viewers. In the '80s, actress Lydia Cornell (http://www.lydiacornell.com) played Ted Knight's gorgeous, daffy blonde bombshell daughter Sara Rush in ABC's hit sitcom, "Too Close for Comfort." The stunning young talent quickly skyrocketed to fame, becoming the decade's first poster girl. Since the series ended, Cornell triumphed over tragedy and transformed herself into a writer, producer, comedienne, teen-mentor and talk-radio host. Cornell has now joined the cast of "The Kelsey Grammer/Bill Zucker Show," a comic blast of full-speed Improv at TODHD (http://www.todhd.com), the first online celebrity-branded TV network. The show is a twisted, hilarious mash-up of "Benny-Hill"-schoolboy naughtiness and spontaneous sketch humor a la "SCTV."

The unbridled lunacy of "The Kelsey Grammer/Bill Zucker Comedy Show" comes naturally for Cornell, a veteran comedienne who most recently appeared on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and in the upcoming film "Me, Miami and Nancy," co-starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Oldman. "Working with a comic genius like Kelsey Grammer is a dream come true! I have never had so much fun doing improv since working with Larry David on Curb," says Cornell. "And Bill Zucker is crazy-funny, a force of nature. He's the perfect contrast to Kelsey. I can't keep a straight face when I'm around him." She adds, "Kelsey has great taste; he produces my favorite television show, 'Medium,' starring Patricia Arquette, now on CBS."

The show was Zucker's brainchild. Through the social networking magic of Twitter, Zucker was contacted by Grammer, who won four Emmy Awards for playing the neurotic psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on both "Cheers" and its hugely successful spin-off, "Frasier." Zucker has been a fan of Cornell since her ABC heyday. "Bill had my posters on the walls of his room growing up," Cornell explained. "He tweeted me, Tom Cruise and Scott Baio to be in his Twitter Song video. Zucker's Twitter Song won You Tube Comedy Video of 2009. Kelsey saw the video and called Bill to do a show with him. The power of social media!" The show also costars Scott Baio ("Happy Days"), Mario Bosco ("The Jimmy Kimmel Show"), and the Stanley Clarke Band.

"The Kelsey Grammer/Bill Zucker Comedy Hour" is one of Cornell's many projects this year. Her upcoming book is a collection of hilarious stories about her journey through Hollywood on the road to enlightenment. She says, "Being an actress is wonderful if you're lucky enough to thrive on humiliation. "If you're a woman over 30, you have to dance naked under bad lighting to audition for a role as a hooker or desperate housewife. But men don't have that problem. My husband, who doesn't even exercise, is accidentally handed a regular role on a hit series, A&E's 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels.' And he's not even an actor!"

Cornell soon hits the stage in "Pain is Inevitable, Sex Optional," her original three-woman show at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City -- written with costars Destiny Smith ("The Tonight Show") and Stephanie Hodge ("Unhappily Ever After"). A prolific writer, Cornell has written an historical novel about Stalin's plot to kill Trotsky, various screenplays, and 40 episodes of a TV series based on her upcoming humor books.

Cornell's triumph over tragedy, depression and addiction was the result of a 'catastrophic spiritual awakening.' Her experiences in overcoming a string of failures and humiliations inspired her to assist others with their own demons. Her uplifting Facebook and Twitter sites provide comfort and laughs to thousands of devoted fans -- as her blog continues to provoke readers with her often-brave socio-political commentaries. Cornell does inspirational public speaking on drug and alcohol abuse, mentors teenagers and is deeply involved in women's issues and children's charities.

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