Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More than you'd ever want to know

The Television Academy in association with the Writers Guild Foundation conduct a series of archive interviews with notable people in the TV industry.   My writing partner, David Isaacs, and I are honored to be included.  Last September we were both interviewed, and yesterday those interviews went on line.  There are three main parts -- solo interviews with each of us and one with the both of us.

Here's mine.  I hesitate to feature this because now I'll have nothing to write about myself.   But you're probably thinking "thank God."

And here are a couple of segments from the joint interview.  This is how we got our first assignment on MASH.

In this one we talk about our writing process.

And finally, since the last thing you want to do is spend an entire day watching us -- writing THE SIMPSONS.

Thanks again to the TV Academy and WGA Foundation.  Like I said, we're truly honored to be included with real television legends.  


Hamid said...

(Posting at the risk of that loon popping up again)

I wish you and David were writing for The Simpsons now. It's been in permanent decline since about 2000. Except for a few good episodes every now and then, most of it's been unwatchable and doesn't come close to the highs the show achieved in the 90s.

MikeK.Pa. said...

I've spent countless hours watching videos on this website. It's a treasure trove of TV history. Thankfully many of the interviews were captured before the participants were no longer with us. Look forward to watching - and learning from - you and David.

Dan Ball said...

The screenshot of the last video looks like David's calling his shot. lol

Oat Willie said...

Jim Rockford said "the nomination itself is an award," followed by a wry grimace and a sip off his martini.

ScottyB said...

Has anyone else noticed that Mr. Isaacs (or at least his body language) looks a lot like Larry David in the screen shots Ken put up?

Just an observation.

Carson T said...

My friend John Wareham used to be on the team at the TV Academy that did these interviews in the late 1990's-2000's. A real TV buff, he wrote the questions for many of the interviews and was very proud of his work there. He also told great stories about how interesting/fun some of the interviewees were before and after the interviews. Bea Arthur took such a shine to him that day, that she insisted that he have a White Russian with her - while she made the others wait for him in the van!

I love watching those interviews. The series is such a smart way to preserve TV history and hear about it from the people themselves. I can't wait to watch yours and David's interviews.

Rob Larkin said...

Last evening I watched your solo interview and the first part of the joint interview. Enjoyed them both and I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the interview.

I agree with MikeK. The website is a treasure trove of TV history.

Richard John Marcej said...

I agree with everyone here, I love those interviews on the Archive of American Television site. I’m an artist and I usually listen to music while working, but recently I’ve been listening to these interviews instead. Not only are they great to hear the voices of those who have unfortunately passed on, but I really like learning the stories behind the stories.

Example: Michael J. Fox explains why he took so much acting work in the late 1980’s-early ’90’s because he knew he had the disease and would one day be unable to work. This way he was making enough to support his family in the future.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating stories I heard during those interviews involved Jamie Farr. I was so taken by Mr. Farr’s “origin” story that I drew a comic about it a few years ago.

Anonymous said...


I think I'm the opposite of you - I may prefer interviews captured after the participants are no longer with us :)

"Lucy, we're still waiting for an answer... Same goes for you Grandpa Al Lewis."

Roger Owen Green said...

Yup, know everything about you! BYE!

I jest. But it was VERY informative, and interesting.

LouOCNY said...

Even though, through your books and this blog, I pretty much know The Ken Levine Story, your interviews was still very entertaining and informative.

A Friday Question perhaps: What was Noam Pitlik like? He was a pretty important guy in the history of Barney Miller and other shows, both as director and character actor.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

I always enjoy the Archive of American Television interviews. I've seen some great ones with Caroll Spinney, Sid & Marty Krofft, Carroll Pratt, Larry Gelbart, Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr, just to name a few.

Now I've got to check these out!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this.
Reading lots of scripts here.
It's all about writing and reading.

Love being a reader.
You got a cool blog here.

Johnny Walker said...

Gteat stuff! I love these Interviews. So glad they got around to filming yours. Looking forward to watching it this weekend.

Hamid: Why don't you sign up for a Blogger account? That should make it easy for anyone to verify your identity -- although the content of the posts themselves tend to make it pretty clear it's not you, to be honest.

Johnny Walker said...

PS - How was the filming itself? The interviewers tend to be very respectful and knowledgable, from the ones I've watched. I hope it's th same in yours and David's.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

The TV Academy interviews cost me many hours of my life. They are wonderful and I am glad you were included.

Pete Grossman said...

Great insights, learning and laughs. Thank you!