"We all know when something's not funny. But I think somehow I've been blessed with an ear. I know if something's not quite working. I feel like I have the ability to help the actor to do a little tweak. Maybe instead of ending it with this inflection or underlining this word, try stressing this word instead, and take beats. A lot of it is timing and that's rhythm. Knowing when to pause, when not to pause. That's just the beauty of language in-general."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Andy Ackerman talks about his break into the industry as an assistant editor on the series Welcome Back, Kotter. He relates how he came to work for MTM Enterprises and discusses working on WKRP in Cincinnati as an editor (for which he won an Emmy Award). He describes his approach to editing and notes how the audience creates the rhythm for the show. He speaks in great detail about his long association with Cheers, for which he worked as an editor (another Emmy win) and a director. For Cheers, he talks about working with the series producers, describes memorable episodes, and talks about the atmosphere on the set of the final episode. He then describes his continued work as a director in sitcoms, starting with Wings and Frasier. He discusses at length his work as the main director of the later seasons of Seinfeld. For Seinfeld, he describes the series' style of comedy, the visual ideas he incorporated into the show, and gives his impressions of the ensemble. He offers production stories about such well-known episodes as "The Soup Nazi," "The Invitations," and "The Bizarro Jerry." He touches on some of the series he's directed since Seinfeld, including Becker, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The New Adventures of Old Christine. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on November 13, 2007 in South Pasadena, CA.