"A director has to be the caretaker of the actors and he has to submit to the actors' character, whatever that is, and mix it with the character that he's playing. The other, is that the director's constantly talking or listening. I mean from the moment he arrives on the set he is either talking or listening."
About This Interview
In his four-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, William Asher (1921-2012) describes his start in the industry working in the mailroom at Universal Studios. He recalls his first job in television - adapting his short stories for a filmed anthology series called Invitation Playhouse, which he also directed. He discusses his time at Desilu Studios, directing the pilot of Our Miss Brooks, which led directly to his employment on I Love Lucy. Asher details working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on the landmark sitcom and talks about his stretch directing at least 100 episodes, beginning in the series' second season (Asher directed the classic "Job Switching" episode, which memorably featured Lucy and Ethel working in a candy factory). Asher briefly describes directing The Thin Man, Willy, and The Danny Thomas Show, and chronicles co-creating the television series The Patty Duke Show with writer Sidney Sheldon. He speaks of creating, producing, and directing Bewitched, starring his then-wife, Elizabeth Montgomery. He also outlines his later work as a director on such series as Alice, Crazy, and Kay O'Brien, the latter of which he also created. Karen Herman conducted the two-part interview on March 31 and April 26, 2000 in Palm Springs, CA.