"I'd like to be remembered as one of the original pioneers. I would like to be remembered for my relationship with 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie' which in our day, without being bashful, I think we were one of the top shows to the American public....There have been times when I'm introduced to somebody and they say, 'he was the director of "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" or the director of a part of "Sanford and Son."' They say, 'Really?' Yes. Really. I've had a good life."
About This Interview
In his four-hour Archive interview, Lewis Gomavitz (1912-2010) describes his involvement in the Chicago experimental station, W6XBK during World War II. After the war, he was hired on to the station, renamed WBKB, and served as a stage manager until he was tapped to direct a new show starring Burr Tillstrom's puppets and Fran Allison. The show, originally called Junior Jamboree, evolved into the classic, Kukla, Fran & Ollie. Gomavitz discusses how he directed the show for ten years, until it went off the air. After that, he moved to Los Angeles where he directed and associate-produced various specials. He then recalls how, in the 1970s, he worked as the prop master on Sanford and Son until the show went off the air. Mr. Gomavitz retired in the late 1980s. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Northridge, CA on February 2, 2000.