"'Laugh-In' was an accident. The first screening of 'Laugh-In' was a disaster, because nobody knew what to expect. 'You and your crazy friends took our money and went out and had a good time, but we can't air this because people won't understand it.' I said, 'Well, you understood it, and the audience is smarter than you are.'"
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, George Schlatter talks about his early interest in television and his short-lived music career. He describes getting his big break producing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and producing specials for Victor Borge and Jonathan Winters. He chronicles his year producing The Judy Garland Show for CBS and producing the first five years of The Grammy Awards. He discusses various aspects of producing, including his belief in the importance of "accident" in television. He outlines his years as the producer of the groundbreaking comedy series Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, how he discovered talents Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin, and how the show attracted a broad range of guest stars, including future president Richard M. Nixon. He speaks of producing Real People, a forerunner of reality television, and of producing George W. Bush's Inauguration Special in 2001. Dan Pasternak conducted the interview on March 6, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA.