"I couldn't write a job description for what I do. But, I'm saying it all comes down to talent -- you liking talent, and talent trusting you. If you don't lie, and if you give it to them straight, they'll stay with you forever."
About This Interview
In his nearly four-hour Archive interview, Bernie Brillstein (1931-2008) talks about his experiences growing up in the entertainment world of New York City, and how he eventually landed a job in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. He discusses his meeting with WMA client Elvis Presley, and fondly remembers his first meeting with eventual client, puppeteer Jim Henson. He explains his reasons for leaving the agency to become a personal manager, and the work that he did on behalf of his various clients. He describes his role in creating the long-running syndicated series Hee Haw, and his efforts at getting The Muppet Show on the air. He also speaks about his representation of writer/producer Lorne Michaels, and his involvement in the early years of Saturday Night Live. Brillstein reminisces about clients including John Belushi and Gilda Radner, and later explains his move into the executive suites at Lorimar. Finally, he talks about his partnership with Brad Grey, and the clients and programs the pair have represented. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview in Beverly Hills, CA on November 14, 2001.