Archive for the ‘Genre: Variety’ Category

Emmy magazine features interviewee Paris Barclay

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Pick up the latest copy of emmy to read an excerpt from our interview with television director Paris Barclay, where he discusses his early experiences in theater and music videos, through his acclaimed work over the last two decades in television drama. He comments on his work as a guest director on a number of drama series in the mid-90s, notably ER and speaks in great detail about his extensive work as a director of the police drama NYPD Blue and the political drama The West Wing. Johnson was interviewed for the Archive last year by Karen Herman. For more information about our interviews and to view many online, click here!

Additionally, Archive interview Vince Calandra was featured in emmy’s article about the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, “You Say You Want a Revolution.” Calandra was a talent coordinator for the show when the Beatles made their historic appearance.

"It’s Saturday Night Live…" Don Pardo Interview Posted

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

The third season of Saturday Night Live comes out on DVD today. The Archive interviewed long-time announcer Don Pardo, whose voice has been closely associated with the show since its debut in 1975.

Click here to view Don Pardo’s entire eight-part interview.

Interview description:

Pardo talked about joining NBC in 1944 and defined his duties as a staff announcer. He listed several of the radio and early television series on which he worked and described his trademark announcing style. He talked about his long association with several game shows including the original The Price Is Right, Choose Up Sides (where he appeared on-camera as “Mr. Mischief”), and the original Jeopardy! (that launched the pop culture catchphrase: “Don Pardo, tell her what she’s won!”). Lastly, Pardo spoke in great detail about the series for which he is most closely associated, Saturday Night Live. He then acknowledged leaving his post as staff announcer at NBC having held the position for a record 60 years and 6 months.

40th Anniversary of Petula Clark-Harry Belafonte "Touch" Controversy

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

The television special Petula, aired in April 1968. A vehicle for popular singer Petula Clark (“Downtown”), the show featured Harry Belafonte as her guest. During one song, Petula touched Belafonte’s arm and this “interracial contact” was considered taboo enough to cause a national controversy to surround the special.

Several takes of the song existed on tape in which Clark didn’t touch Belafonte, but the special was delivered to NBC with the controversial take intact. The moment is very tame, to say the least, to the modern eye. Even at the time Variety ended its review of the special: “… the touching bit which caused such a stir… could only disturb the spiritually sick.”

Petula Producer/Director Steve Binder was interviewed as part of the Archive of American Television’s “Living Television” collection. Watch the excerpt below (his full interview can be accessed here) for his first-hand description of how the Petula controversy unfolded.

Full interview description:
Full two-part oral history interview with acclaimed producer/director Steve Binder. He discusses his work on many notable productions including: “The T.A.M.I Show”, “Petula”, “Elvis: The ‘68 Comeback Special”, “Liza”, “Shields & Yarnell”, “Diana Ross in Central Park”, and many other specials including multiple Emmy Awards shows. Conducted March 4, 2004 by Stephen J. Abramson.

Director/Producer Dwight Hemion has Died — Archive Interview Online

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

We’ve just learned that legendary director/producer Dwight Hemion passed away on Monday, January 28th. In his prolific career, he garnered 47 Emmy nominations in his career and won 18. He is best-known for producing specials with such legends as Julie Andrews, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand.

Click here to access Dwight Hemion’s 5-part oral history interview.

Interview description:
In his 5-part oral history interview conducted in July of 2001, director Dwight Hemion talks about his early television career at ABC in the late 1940’s. He discusses in detail the beginnings of the ABC network and his early directing work on the television series Rootie Kazootie and The Tonight Show with Steve Allen. Hemion later discusses his collaboration with Gary Smith on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall and their subsequent company collaborations in producing and directing television musical variety specials including Baryshnikov on Broadway. Hemion finishes the interview discussing the stars of his many specials, particularly Barbra Streisand. The Archive also recorded a joint session with Hemion and Gary Smith, where they discussed their longtime working collaboration.

Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls — "Laugh-In" is forty!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

A “verrry eenteresting” TV anniversary….

40 years ago, on January 22nd, 1968, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In premiered on NBC.

The colorful show, hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin (and featuring Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Henry Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, announcer Gary Owens and Jo Anne Worley), was lauded for its fast-paced, sometimes-irreverent vignette comedy sketches and quick gags — edited in a seemingly random format. The show, produced by Ed Friendly and George Schlatter, quickly shot to number one in the ratings for both the 1968–69 and 1969–70 television seasons.


To celebrate, we’ve posted a segment of co-host (and co-producer) Dick Martin’s Archive interview. Click on the play arrow to watch.

Archive interview with Dick Martin continues here:

Click here to see a great Wikipedia article, filled with lots of facts and trivia about the show.

An Archive Christmas Special: Andy Williams

Friday, December 21st, 2007


To celebrate the season, the Archive has posted our interview with Andy Williams. Williams hosted his network primetime variety series from 1958-71. The best-known version ran on NBC from 1962-71 and featured “Moon River” as its theme song. Through his variety series, Williams began hosting a series of Christmas specials. From these specials and his many renditions of Christmas standards, he’s become closely associated with the holiday.

Listen to Andy Williams talk about his work in television in his 3-part Archive Interview. And be sure to visit this link to TV Land to see a special video, Andy Williams and America’s Favorite Christmas Show, featuring excerpts from the interview.

….AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EVERYONE AT THE ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION!

Interview Description:
Andy Williams discusses his early career working in his brothers’ singing group on stage and in radio, before embarking on a solo career. He spoke about his early appearances on television, including being cast as a regular singer on Steve Allen’s Tonight show. He then spoke in great detail about hosting his own series The Andy Williams Show. For this series he talked about the production schedule, some of his favorite guest stars (including the Osmond Brothers, whom he is credited with discovering), and the show’s segue into a series of Christmas specials. In conclusion, he discussed the establishing of his own theater in Branson, Missouri.

TV Land and the Archive of American Television Celebrate Elvis Presley

Thursday, August 16th, 2007


Thirty years ago today, Elvis Presley died but his popularity never faded. His career was highlighted by several landmark television appearances. The Archive of American Television interviewed several of the behind-the-scenes professionals behind these shows and their stories are being highlighted on TV Land and its website.

Performer and host Milton Berle talks about his first meeting with Elvis that occurred when his manager wanted Berle to audition him.

Agent Larry Auerbach described booking Elvis on his first TV show.

Director/Producer Steve Binder talks about the ‘68 Comeback Special.

Director/producer Marty Pasetta reminisces about pitching his ideas for the Elvis Aloha from Hawaii special, the first program to ever be beamed around the world by satellite.


To link to these stories click here.

In the month of August, TV Land will show Elvis highlights including airings of Elvis’ ‘Great Performance’ series, ‘Ed Sullivan’s Rock & Roll Classics, the ‘68 Comeback Special’, ‘Elvis: His Best Friend Remembers’, homemade movies ‘Elvis by the Presleys’, Made-for-TV movie ‘Elvis & Me’, and the worldwide phenomenon ‘Aloha from Hawaii’.