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Supported by a?partnership with the Television Academy Foundation's The Interviews: An Oral History of Television?and the Center for Comedic Arts at Emerson, a collection of the taped comedy interviews in the American Comedy Archives will be digitized.?
The partnership?includes an on going collaboration to co-produce new interviews for the archives,?continuing to build upon this great collection of oral histories with comedy greats.
In his three-hour interview, Kevin Bright discusses his childhood in New York City, his father, Vaudeville comedian turned talent manager, Jackie Bright, and his time at Emerson College. Bright shares stories of producing the syndicated series Madame’s Place and cable comedy specials, before working on the pilot of In Living Color. He talks about his work on Dream On, where he met Marta Kauffman and David Crane, with whom he created Friends. For Friends, he describes the pitching and development of the show, casting, shooting the pilot and the famous opening sequence, directing episodes, and ending the show after ten seasons. He touches on Veronica’s Closet, Jesse, and the Friends spin-off, Joey and concludes by sharing his greatest career achievements and regrets, advice to aspiring television professionals, and why he decided to return to Emerson College, to teach before becoming Founding Director of Emerson Los Angeles. Jenni Matz conducted the interview in partnership with the Emerson College American Comedy Archive on March 29, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA.
In her one-hour interview, Betty White talks about her early aspirations before setting on a career in television and appearing on several early live and local Los Angeles broadcasts. She describes her first show?Life with Elizabeth, and becoming one of the first television stars to form her own production company with the help of producer Don Fedderson. She recounts her time playing "Sue Ann Nivens" on the classic?Mary Tyler Moore Show,?including?the famous "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode. White discusses the importance of humor in her life, and playing "Rose Nylund" for seven season on?The Golden Girls. She speaks of her "bag of tricks" as an actress, as well as the business side of the entertainment industry. She discusses her prolific career on several game shows including?Match Game?and?Password. She outlines her then-current role as "Catherine Piper" on?Boston Legal, and working on that show with co-star William Shatner. She concludes with some words of wisdom for aspiring television performers, and comments on her career longevity. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview at Emerson College on March 11, 2005.
Pat Harrington, Jr.
In his ninety-minute interview, Pat Harrington, Jr. (1929-2016) talks about his father Pat Harrington, and his career on stage. He recalls meeting Jonathan Winters, which led to several shots on?Tonight Starring Jack Paar. He describes appearing on?The Steve Allen Show?with performers like Bill Dana, and doing characters, the most famous being "Guido Panzini." Harrington discusses his stint on Norman Lear's classic sitcom?One Day at a Time?as building superintendent "Dwayne Schneider." He details the popularity of?One Day at a Time, and how the show dealt with co-star Mackenzie Phillips' drug issues. He concludes by discussing his longevity in show business, and the importance of networking in one's career. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on June 3, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA.
In his one-hour-and-ten-minute interview, Doug Herzog talks about his time at Emerson College, and the early influence of Saturday Night Live. He describes his early career working at CNN on the daily talk series?People Now, as well as?Entertainment Tonight, before landing at MTV. He chronicles his rise at MTV, eventually becoming Vice President of Programming, and later Vice President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group. Herzog recounts his years programming at Comedy Central, bringing?South Park,?The Daily Show,?The Colbert Report, and?The Sarah Silverman Program?to the air. He discusses the evolving standards of comedy over the years at Comedy Central, and outlines the business of programming a cable network. He concludes by speaking of his proudest career achievement, and his then-future. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on February 5, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.