At Our Next Luncheon: JUNE 19, 2015

One of America's most prolific comic television actors will receive the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award at PPB's June 19 celebrity luncheon. President Chuck Street will present the coveted award to Fred Willard following some good-natured humor from some of Fred's friends and colleagues on the dais.

Fred radiates a unique charm that has solidly established him as an exceptionally-talented comic character actor, first coming to prominence as the ambitious, but dimwitted sidekick, Jerry Hubbard, to Martin Mull's smarmy talk-show host, Barth Gimble, in the devastating satirical series Fernwood Tonight (1977). A master of sketch comedy, he is most heralded for his quick wit and improvisational expertise. His 100 appearances in sketches and as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno are indicative of his ability to transform any character into a unique comic portrayal.

An alumnus of the famed Second City, Fred Willard received three Emmy nominations for his recurring role on the TV series Everybody Loves Raymond as Robert Barone's father-in-law, Hank MacDougall. In 2010, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on the ABC TV series Modern Family as Phil Dunphy's father, Frank Dunphy. He has numerous voice-over credits in both TV shows and movies.

Movie fans will remember Fred for his roles in the Rob Reiner mockumentary film "This Is Spinal Tap," the Christopher Guest mockumentary films "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind," and "For Your Consideration," and also in the Will Ferrell Anchorman films.

Born and reared in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Fred is a former U.S. soldier, having graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute and the Virginia Military Institute. After his tour in the Army in 1962, Willard and pal Vic Greco formed a comedy act that was funny and successful enough to earn them an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, his first TV appearance.

For his considerable, ongoing dedication to charity works with various nonprofits, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Fred and his wife, Mary, were honored in 2010 with the Golden Star Award, and the couple also works with City of Hope, John Wayne Cancer Society, PETA and dozens more. Fred was honored by Actors and Others for Animals with the Man of The Year Award in 2008, and he received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for "outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic work helping to further the goal of making the City of Los Angeles a better place."

Surprise Guests


Honoree: "Shotgun Tom" Kelly

Once again, Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters honored another well-known pioneer radio and TV broadcaster at its March 27 celebrity luncheon. “Shotgun Tom” Kelly has been entertaining Southern California radio audiences for almost 50 years, and is now in his 18th year in the afternoon slot on LA’s K-EARTH 101.

PPB President Chuck Street presented “Shotgun Tom” with the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award after a dais of Tom’s friends and colleagues related some extremely humorous “off-the-air” stories about the honoree.

”Shotgun Tom” rose to fame in his native San Diego working at radio stations KGB, KOGO, B-100 and most notably, KCBQ, where he gained national acclaim. When KRTH sought a successor to the “Real” Don Steele after his death in August of 1997, “Shotgun Tom” was the obvious choice. He opened his mike on KRTH for the first time in September of that year and quickly became an LA favorite playing those oldies but goodies.

Though radio is his primary profession today, while in San Diego he received two Emmy Awards for hosting a syndicated TV word game show for children, “Words-a-Poppin”; a TV dance show, “Disco 10”; and for 12 years, he was the host of “Kid’s Club” there. He can be heard around the country doing image voice-over work and commercials for a variety of stations. In 2007, “Shotgun Tom” was heard as the radio announcer in the movie "Deja Vu", starring Denzel Washington.

In April of 2013, hundreds of fans and friends gathered at the corner of LaBrea and Hollywood Boulevard to celebrate our honoree receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And about that hat: He says as a youth he admired the hats worn by National Park rangers, so he adopted that image for his career. While he works on LA’s Miracle Mile, he still calls El Cajon home and commutes each weekend. He also proudly serves as a member of the PPB Board.

As Richard Wagoner noted in The Los Angeles Daily News: “A genuinely nice guy, the jock you hear on the radio is the same man you talk to if you happen to run into him at a restaurant -- Kelly is among the last of a breed of personalities who grew up on-air during the AM heyday of top-40 radio. He knows what good radio can be, and he presents it (within the constraints of modern corporate radio).”

On the Dais: Seated L-R: Robert David Hall, Kerri Kasem, Honoree "Shotgun Tom" Kelly, and PPB Chairman of the Board, Jeanne DeVivier Brown., Standing L-R: Harold Greene, PPB President Chuck Street, Gary Bryan, Lou Waters, Neil Ross, Tim Conway, Jr. and Jhani Kaye, (David Keeler photo)

Would you like to join the PPB and attend the Fred Willard Luncheon on June 19, 2015? If you have worked in Broadcasting or in any related field for 20 years or more, please e-mail our Membership Committee with your request to join us to honor Fred Willard. Please include your name and daytime telephone numbers.

PPB Members receive their Luncheon Notice and Reservation Form by mail before the date of each luncheon, and send in their request for table seating along with their check.

Past Honorees

© copyright 2015
all rights reserved
site design 
iNet // Web Solutions 
 May 29, 2015