Kitschy New York media personality, born Joseph Fortgang, known especially for his laid back delivery. Nicknamed the "King of Nostalgia", Franklin's television show ran from 1950 to 1993 on WABC channel 7 and WWOR, channel 9, often in the very wee hours of the morning, featuring an eclectic series of guests ranging from Bill Cosby to the brother of Joey Buttafuoco. It is said that over 300,000 guests appeared on his show and that if one called up and begged long enough, they could get on. The show was sponsored by Martin Home Decorating Centers (It Ain't Just Paint) and featured 12th Street Rag as its theme song. Billy Crystal did a hilarious impersonation of Joe on the 1984-1985 season of Saturday Night Live. This is another show which TV Land needs to find reruns of.

Franklin is also the co-author, with R.J. Marx, of the book Up Late With Joe Franklin: Stories of the Greats, the Near Greats, the Ingrates, the Has-Beens, and the Never Weres.

Editors note:

Joe Franklin died of prostate cancer at a Manhattan hospice on January 24, 2015. He was 88 years old.

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