While most people know Fritz Coleman as the beloved Weathercaster that won our hearts during his 40 year run with NBC Los Angeles, it’s his solo comedy and release of “Unassisted Living,” that is making its way into the spotlight. “Unassisted Living” is now streaming for free on the Tubi app and is Coleman’s solo comedy show that makes light of getting older in a time of social media, social distancing, Obamacare, big pharma and the pandemic.
Coleman is a 5 time Emmy Award winning stand-up comedian that has opened across the nation for icons like Ray Charles and Debbie Reynolds, and has appeared 8 times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Coleman retired in 2020 after 40 years as a reporter and weatherman for KNBC Channel Four news and is back to bringing comedy into our homes.
Comedy comes natural to Coleman who was discovered in 1982 while performing at the Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd. The Channel Four news director was in the audience and heard Coleman joke about telling the weather for Armed Forces Radio and Television during his time in the Navy. After the show, Coleman was offered a job filling in for the current weatherman while on vacation and a few years later he got the main job. “It was the greatest stroke of luck in show business history without question,” said Coleman.
While busy delivering the weather, Coleman never gave up comedy. “I still performed, and I did two or three shows a week even when I was doing the weather. I had stability for my family and it was a great career,” said Coleman, who has now taken single topic monologues and turned them into an hour and a half show. His first show “It’s Me! Dad!” was produced by KCET and discussed the world of parenthood, which aired for several Father’s Days in a row. His next few shows covered topics like divorce, the news, and one on aging called “Defying Gravity,” where he discussed the realization of being old.
His newest show “Unassisted Living,” talks about the common occurrences and experiences of being old and the changes in our body. “My audience is old people and their parents,” jokes Coleman, who says that the material isn’t offensive to younger people but that it’s more fashioned for boomers and older. Coleman discusses the common experience of going through the pandemic, friends becoming vegan, social media, babysitting grandchildren that are home doing school on Zoom, crypto, surgery, and more. “I’m an observational comedian. I just do common experiences and put into words what people feel, but they might not otherwise be able to verbalize on their own,” he adds.
“Most baby boomers don’t really go to comedy clubs anymore, but I started to get invited to speak at a lot of lunches and dinners as Covid wound down. That gave me a chance to really work on some material in front of good audiences, so it’s been almost two years’ worth of developing this show,” said Coleman. The show was filmed at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, inside their 99 seat Marilyn Monroe forum, which provided an intimate setting for the recording of the show. It stands out from other comedy specials currently streaming because it attracts a demographic that isn’t being targeted right now.
Fritz Coleman holds the key to the City of Burbank where he raised his children and has been Toluca Lake’s Honorary Mayor for the last 26 years where he now resides. As the Honorary Mayor his only responsibility is to light the five foot Christmas tree at the beginning of Toluca Lake’s Holiday Open House. While Coleman is retired from the News industry, his comedy career and being a grandparent keeps him busy. “The great joy of being a grandparent for me is to see your children enjoy being a parent, because that reflects on the fact that they must have had a happy childhood,” he said. “Truthfully, it’s just about love. If they have a sense that you love them, and even if you’re not perfect, it’s all that matters.”
Watch Fritz Coleman in “Unassisted Living” on the Tubi app, streaming now.