"People say to me all the time, 'Please bring Johnny Carson back'. If I could, I wouldn't. He just belongs where he is. Right on top."
About This Interview
In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Fred de Cordova (1910-2001) talks about his early life and experiences in New York City working for the Shubert Organization which led to him eventually moving to Hollywood and becoming a director. He describes directing several feature films including "Bedtime for Bonzo" starring future president Ronald Reagan. He discusses producing and directing The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, as well as his personal relationship with stars George Burns and Gracie Allen. He outlines his time producing and directing The Jack Benny Program, and details his long friendship with Benny and his wife Mary Livingstone. de Cordova recalls directing several television sitcoms including The George Gobel Show, December Bride, Bewitched, and over one hundred episodes of My Three Sons starring Fred MacMurray. He talks about his twenty-two year association with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson where he first acted as producer and later executive producer. He recalls the many guests of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, the guest hosts, the sketches, Carson's nightly monologue, and the enduring popularity of the show. He concludes by speaking of the many notable people with whom he's worked in his career. Morrie Gelman conducted the interview on November 7, 1997 in Burbank, California.