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Nichols and May

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Nichols and May Mike Nichols married Diane Sawyer but he and Elaine May really had

An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Mike Nichols & Elaine May Examine Doctors

Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album

Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce

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Nichols and May is a Grammy Award-winning American improvisational comedy duo act developed by Mike Nichols and Elaine May. Their three comedy albums reached the Billboard Top 40 between 1959 and 1962.


Nichols and May Nichols and May Wikipedia

Nichols and may examine doctors complete album

Development and collaboration

Nichols and May The Secret History of Mike Nichols and Elaine May People and Chairs

Nichols and May met as students at the University of Chicago in the early 1950s. They began their career together at The Compass Players, a predecessor to Chicago's Second City which included Paul Sills, Del Close, and Nancy Ponder. Nichols dropped out of college in 1953 and moved to New York in 1954 to study acting with Lee Strasberg. May remained in Chicago at Compass, and Nichols returned in 1955. For a short time they worked as a trio with Shelley Berman, but Nichols felt a duo worked better for their style. Both Nichols and May held various jobs and pursued their craft until 1957, when Compass began an expansion to St. Louis, Missouri. Nichols rejoined the company but was fired in 1958, because May objected to Nichols' treatment of Close, and because the producer suspected Nichols and May were honing an act they planned to take with them. They soon auditioned for agent Jack Rollins in New York, and within weeks they were booked on The Steve Allen Show and Omnibus. Soon they were touring the country and doing voiceover work for ads, most notably a cartoon campaign for Narragansett Brewing Company. Their 1959 album "Improvisations to Music" featured the pianist Marty Rubenstein playing improvisations to existing classical and popular songs, as well as original material, with humorous conversations by Nichols and May. Their 1960 album An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May was a recording of their Broadway debut and won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance. Their next album Mike Nichols & Elaine May Examine Doctors was also nominated for a Grammy. Nichols and May grew in fame quickly, and in 1962, for John F. Kennedy's birthday, they performed, alongside Marilyn Monroe. They also recorded a series of short sketches for the radio program Monitor, which were aired over several years in the 1960s.

Disbandment and reunions

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The duo discontinued the act in 1961, with each pursuing different careers. Nichols worked as a film director, and directed such films as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director. May appeares in an uncredited cameo in "The Graduate." May primarily worked as a screenwriter, writing such films as A New Leaf, which she also directed and played the lead role, and Heaven Can Wait.

Nichols and May Classic Nichols And May Skits Show Where It All Began For The

The duo continued to sporadically reunite after 1961. In the early 1960s they appeared several times on NBC's The Jack Paar Program. The duo reunited in 1972 at New York's Madison Square Garden for the all-star "Together For McGovern" rally for Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign. They also took the stage at President Jimmy Carter's 1977 inaugural gala. They appeared together in a 1980 stage revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in New Haven, Connecticut. May also wrote the screenplays to The Birdcage (1996) and Primary Colors (1998), which Nichols directed. In 1996, the PBS series American Masters aired Nichols and May: Take Two, an hourlong documentary about the duo.


  • Improvisations to Music (1959) Mercury
  • An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May (1960) Mercury
  • Mike Nichols & Elaine May Examine Doctors (1961) Mercury MG 20680/SR 60680
  • In Retrospect (1962) Polygram, re-released as compact disc in 1996
  • References

    Nichols and May Wikipedia

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