"Becoming an agent is a major commitment. A lot of hours for very little pay. If you want to learn the business, work at a large agency. They have the movie business, the television business, and everything else. Have a very strong passion because it's the only business where 99% of the people can say no. Very few can say yes."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Larry Auerbach details his 47-year association with the William Morris Agency, where he started part-time in the mailroom. He talks about his move out of the mailroom and his work booking talent in small nightclubs and theaters. He describes booking musical talent including Sam Cooke, Sammy Davis Jr., and Elvis Presley for early television shows, and shares the circumstances by which he got Presley his first television exposure on the series Stage Show. Auerbach discusses representing Alan Freed and how the "payola" scandals ruined Freed's career, and recalls the packaging of the unusual Mitch Miller series Sing Along With Mitch that featured on-screen lyrics for sing-alongs and was a big commercial hit. He recounts representing Alan Alda, Beatrice Arthur, Agnes Nixon, and Aaron Spelling, and details the creation and packaging of the 1980's sitcom hit The Cosby Show. Auerbach also talks about his "second career" teaching at USC. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview on May 21, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California.