"They say there's a formula for jokes. The main element of comedy is surprise. If you know the formula, it's not going to be a surprise after a while. So I disagree with that."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, writer Everett Greenbaum (1919-1999) talks about being the only family in town with a television set during his childhood. He recalls his experiences in college and in the Navy, and recounts his time as a writer in the dying days of radio and the very early days of live television. He speaks of his association with the comedy program Mr. Peepers, his relationship with star Wally Cox, and his thirty-year writing partnership with Jim Fritzell. Greenbaum talks about his time on The George Gobel Show and his rocky relationship with George Gobel. He discusses writing for The Andy Griffith Show and his relationship with stars Don Knotts and Andy Griffith. He details writing for other programs such as The Odd Couple, Love American Style, and The Real McCoys. He describes writing for M*A*S*H and drawing upon real life military experience to write scripts. He concludes by discussing the then-current state of television, giving advice to writers, and expressing how he'd like to be remembered. Henry Colman conducted the interview on October 3, 1997 in Encino, CA.