Richie Ornstein is the long-time producer of the Joe Franklin Late Night Talk Show.
Joe Franklin (born Joseph Fortgang; March 9, 1926 – January 24, 2015) was an American radio and television host personality from New York City His show began in January 1951 on WJZ-TV (later WABC-TV) and moved to WOR-TV (later WWOR-TV) from 1962 to 1993
Born in the Bronx, Joe was a true New Yorker. As a teenager, Franklin “ followed around” Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor, the latter of whom eventually began buying jokes from the young Franklin and whose Carnegie Hall show he later produced.
At 14, Franklin began writing skits for The Kate Smith Hour and at 16, Franklin officially began his entertainment career as a record picker on radio sensation Martin Block’s Make Believe Ballroom where he became known as "The Young Wreck with the Old Records.” He was considered to be an authority on popular culture of the first half of the 20th century, including silent films. He was called "The King of Nostalgia" and "The Wizard of Was" for focusing on old-time show-business personalities. Franklin was also a pioneer in promoting products such as Hoffman Beverages and Canada Dry ginger ale on the air. A&E's documentary It's Only Talk, The Real Story Of America's Talk Shows credits Franklin as the creator of the television talk show. Franklin was listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest running continuous on-air TV talk show host, more than a decade longer than Johnny Carson’s run.
After retiring from his television show, Franklin concentrated on his overnight radio show, playing old records on WOR-AM on Saturday evenings and mentoring thousands of aspiring entertainers who for decades sought an audience with him at his notoriously cluttered Times Square office. Franklin's celebrity interviews, known as "Nostalgia Moments", appeared daily on the Bloomberg Radio Network until mid-January 2015, shortly before his death. Richie and I (Elizabeth Joyce) would join Joe on New Year's Eve on WOR_Radio in NY City - around the corner from where Dick Clark was dropping the ball on Times Square. We would reminisce about American Bandstand and The Joe Franklin Show - the singers and stars - and play oldies.