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In his forty-five minute interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) talks about his connection to humor, and his friendships with comedians like Lenny Bruce and Don Adams. He describes having comedians on his early talk show 'Playboy’s Penthouse,' as well as breaking ground by having African-American comedian Dick Gregory perform at his clubs. He discusses the humor of "Playboy" magazine, and early contributors like Jules Feiffer. He speaks of the then-current state of censorship in media, and also touches on humor and repression, as well as fame and celebrity. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on March 9, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional topics covered include: Civil Rights Movement, Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, and Talk Shows.

2005-03-09

In his two-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Paul Rodriguez speaks of his early life, and of using comedy and his ability to make people laugh to get though his childhood. He talks about deciding to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, and of his beginning at the Comedy Store in Westwood where he met and was mentored by Richard Pryor. He recalls his first appearance on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' where Carson afforded him the rare honor of calling him over to his couch after his routine, and talks about being discovered by Norman Lear while out doing his act. Rodriguez discusses in-depth his Lear-produced sitcom 'a.k.a. Pablo,' which was short-lived due to negative reaction from the Mexican-American community to what they felt was a stereotypical portrayal. He outlines attempting to revive his career after the show’s cancellation, and details dealing with celebrity, and continuing to make a living doing stand-up over 30 years on. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on February 19, 2007 in Hollywood, CA. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Diversity in Television, Fame and Celebrity, Historic Events and Social Change, Minorities, Pivotal Career Moments, Television Industry, and Comedy Series.

2007-02-19

In his two-and-a-half-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Dick Gregory (1932-2017) talks extensively about the history of racism in America, and on his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement. He recalls his groundbreaking appearances on 'Tonight Starring Jack Paar' where he was the first African-American comedian to sit on Paar’s couch. He discusses the role of Hugh Hefner in getting him into mainstream nightclubs, and how he developed his act over the years. Gregory speaks of many aspects of doing stand-up comedy, including coming up with material, techniques, and using real life experiences as fodder for his act. He covers a number of societal issues, and relates how things changed during his lifetime. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on October 15, 2005 in Washington D.C. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Diversity in Television, Historic Events and Social Change, Minorities, Television Industry, and Late Night.

2005-10-15

In his three-hour interview, Billy Crystal talks about his early life, and becoming interested in comedy at a young age. He describes attending NYU to study film, where he learned from Martin Scorsese, and met Christopher Guest. He recounts getting Buddy Morra to manage him, and his appearances on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' and 'All in the Family.' He recalls his disappointment at being bumped off the first broadcast of 'Saturday Night Live,' only to be picked up as a regular cast member on ABC’s 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell'. Crystal discusses playing the groundbreaking character of "Jodie Dallas" on 'Soap,' the first regular, gay character on a network series, and the show’s dealing with controversial subject matter on a weekly basis. He details his stint on the 1984-85 season of 'Saturday Night Live,' where he was part of a comedy all-star team selected by producer Dick Ebersol, which also included Martin Short, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. He outlines his popular character "Fernando" from the show, whose catchphrase, "You look marvelous," swept the nation. He recalls his series of successful HBO stand-up comedy specials, and his huge success as a nine-time host of 'The Academy Awards.' Dan Pasternack conducted the interview in partnership with the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College on October 25, 2018 in North Hollywood, CA. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Emmy Awards, Historic Events and Social Change, Pivotal Career Moments, Television Industry, Comedy Series, Daytime/Primetime Serials, Late Night, and Music Shows & Variety. Other shows mentioned during the interview include 'The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour,' 'Comic Relief Specials,' 'The Emmy Awards (Primetime and Daytime),' and 'The Grammys.'

2018-10-25

In his hour-and-a-half interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Irwin Corey (1914-2017) talks about his status as "the world’s foremost authority" and his comedy style. He discusses the then-current state of comedy on television, and the signature comedy of various performers. Corey speaks of using comedy to put across his political views, and how his comedic style developed over the years. He details some of his experiences with audiences, dealing with the business aspect of show business, and the importance of the comedian taking comedy seriously. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on April 8, 2005 in New York, NY. Additional topics covered include: Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, War, War on Terror, and Late Night. An additional show mentioned during the interview is 'Late Night with David Letterman.'

2005-04-08

In his two-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Shelley Berman (1925-2017) talks about his early career, and recording his first comedy album, "Inside Shelley Berman." He describes learning how to deal with an audience as a stand-up comedian, and the tools of their trade. He recalls several of his favorite comedians, including Jackie Gleason, Robin Williams, Jim MacGeorge, and Danny Kaye. He discusses the construction of comedy, what makes people laugh, and the evolution of comedy. Berman speaks of the lifting of limitations and censorship on comedians, and what he considers to be the lack of creativity that leads to vulgarity in modern comedy. He talks about the then-future of comedy, and how he feels it is embodied by his 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' co-star Larry David. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on March 8, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional topics covered include: Censorship/Standards & Practices, Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, War, World War II, and Comedy Series.

2005-03-08

In his two-and-a-half-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Dick Gregory (1932-2017) talks extensively about the history of racism in America, and on his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement. He recalls his groundbreaking appearances on 'Tonight Starring Jack Paar' where he was the first African-American comedian to sit on Paar’s couch. He discusses the role of Hugh Hefner in getting him into mainstream nightclubs, and how he developed his act over the years. Gregory speaks of many aspects of doing stand-up comedy, including coming up with material, techniques, and using real life experiences as fodder for his act. He covers a number of societal issues, and relates how things changed during his lifetime. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on October 15, 2005 in Washington D.C. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Diversity in Television, Historic Events and Social Change, Minorities, Television Industry, and Late Night.

2005-10-15

In his two-and-a-half-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Dick Gregory (1932-2017) talks extensively about the history of racism in America, and on his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement. He recalls his groundbreaking appearances on 'Tonight Starring Jack Paar' where he was the first African-American comedian to sit on Paar’s couch. He discusses the role of Hugh Hefner in getting him into mainstream nightclubs, and how he developed his act over the years. Gregory speaks of many aspects of doing stand-up comedy, including coming up with material, techniques, and using real life experiences as fodder for his act. He covers a number of societal issues, and relates how things changed during his lifetime. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on October 15, 2005 in Washington D.C. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Diversity in Television, Historic Events and Social Change, Minorities, Television Industry, and Late Night.

2005-10-15

In his two-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Shelley Berman (1925-2017) talks about his early career, and recording his first comedy album, "Inside Shelley Berman." He describes learning how to deal with an audience as a stand-up comedian, and the tools of their trade. He recalls several of his favorite comedians, including Jackie Gleason, Robin Williams, Jim MacGeorge, and Danny Kaye. He discusses the construction of comedy, what makes people laugh, and the evolution of comedy. Berman speaks of the lifting of limitations and censorship on comedians, and what he considers to be the lack of creativity that leads to vulgarity in modern comedy. He talks about the then-future of comedy, and how he feels it is embodied by his 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' co-star Larry David. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on March 8, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional topics covered include: Censorship/Standards & Practices, Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, War, World War II, and Comedy Series.

2005-03-08

In his hour-and-a-half interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Irwin Corey (1914-2017) talks about his status as "the world’s foremost authority" and his comedy style. He discusses the then-current state of comedy on television, and the signature comedy of various performers. Corey speaks of using comedy to put across his political views, and how his comedic style developed over the years. He details some of his experiences with audiences, dealing with the business aspect of show business, and the importance of the comedian taking comedy seriously. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on April 8, 2005 in New York, NY. Additional topics covered include: Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, War, War on Terror, and Late Night. An additional show mentioned during the interview is 'Late Night with David Letterman.'

2005-04-08

In his forty-five minute interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) talks about his connection to humor, and his friendships with comedians like Lenny Bruce and Don Adams. He describes having comedians on his early talk show 'Playboy’s Penthouse,' as well as breaking ground by having African-American comedian Dick Gregory perform at his clubs. He discusses the humor of "Playboy" magazine, and early contributors like Jules Feiffer. He speaks of the then-current state of censorship in media, and also touches on humor and repression, as well as fame and celebrity. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on March 9, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional topics covered include: Civil Rights Movement, Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, and Talk Shows.

2005-03-09

In his forty-five minute interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) talks about his connection to humor, and his friendships with comedians like Lenny Bruce and Don Adams. He describes having comedians on his early talk show 'Playboy’s Penthouse,' as well as breaking ground by having African-American comedian Dick Gregory perform at his clubs. He discusses the humor of "Playboy" magazine, and early contributors like Jules Feiffer. He speaks of the then-current state of censorship in media, and also touches on humor and repression, as well as fame and celebrity. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on March 9, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional topics covered include: Civil Rights Movement, Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, and Talk Shows.

2005-03-09

In his two-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Paul Rodriguez speaks of his early life, and of using comedy and his ability to make people laugh to get though his childhood. He talks about deciding to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, and of his beginning at the Comedy Store in Westwood where he met and was mentored by Richard Pryor. He recalls his first appearance on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' where Carson afforded him the rare honor of calling him over to his couch after his routine, and talks about being discovered by Norman Lear while out doing his act. Rodriguez discusses in-depth his Lear-produced sitcom 'a.k.a. Pablo,' which was short-lived due to negative reaction from the Mexican-American community to what they felt was a stereotypical portrayal. He outlines attempting to revive his career after the show’s cancellation, and details dealing with celebrity, and continuing to make a living doing stand-up over 30 years on. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on February 19, 2007 in Hollywood, CA. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Diversity in Television, Fame and Celebrity, Historic Events and Social Change, Minorities, Pivotal Career Moments, Television Industry, and Comedy Series.

2007-02-19

In his two-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Paul Rodriguez speaks of his early life, and of using comedy and his ability to make people laugh to get though his childhood. He talks about deciding to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, and of his beginning at the Comedy Store in Westwood where he met and was mentored by Richard Pryor. He recalls his first appearance on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' where Carson afforded him the rare honor of calling him over to his couch after his routine, and talks about being discovered by Norman Lear while out doing his act. Rodriguez discusses in-depth his Lear-produced sitcom 'a.k.a. Pablo,' which was short-lived due to negative reaction from the Mexican-American community to what they felt was a stereotypical portrayal. He outlines attempting to revive his career after the show’s cancellation, and details dealing with celebrity, and continuing to make a living doing stand-up over 30 years on. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on February 19, 2007 in Hollywood, CA. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Diversity in Television, Fame and Celebrity, Historic Events and Social Change, Minorities, Pivotal Career Moments, Television Industry, and Comedy Series.

2007-02-19

In his two-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Shelley Berman (1925-2017) talks about his early career, and recording his first comedy album, "Inside Shelley Berman." He describes learning how to deal with an audience as a stand-up comedian, and the tools of their trade. He recalls several of his favorite comedians, including Jackie Gleason, Robin Williams, Jim MacGeorge, and Danny Kaye. He discusses the construction of comedy, what makes people laugh, and the evolution of comedy. Berman speaks of the lifting of limitations and censorship on comedians, and what he considers to be the lack of creativity that leads to vulgarity in modern comedy. He talks about the then-future of comedy, and how he feels it is embodied by his 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' co-star Larry David. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on March 8, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional topics covered include: Censorship/Standards & Practices, Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, War, World War II, and Comedy Series.

2005-03-08

In his three-hour interview, Billy Crystal talks about his early life, and becoming interested in comedy at a young age. He describes attending NYU to study film, where he learned from Martin Scorsese, and met Christopher Guest. He recounts getting Buddy Morra to manage him, and his appearances on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' and 'All in the Family.' He recalls his disappointment at being bumped off the first broadcast of 'Saturday Night Live,' only to be picked up as a regular cast member on ABC’s 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell'. Crystal discusses playing the groundbreaking character of "Jodie Dallas" on 'Soap,' the first regular, gay character on a network series, and the show’s dealing with controversial subject matter on a weekly basis. He details his stint on the 1984-85 season of 'Saturday Night Live,' where he was part of a comedy all-star team selected by producer Dick Ebersol, which also included Martin Short, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. He outlines his popular character "Fernando" from the show, whose catchphrase, "You look marvelous," swept the nation. He recalls his series of successful HBO stand-up comedy specials, and his huge success as a nine-time host of 'The Academy Awards.' Dan Pasternack conducted the interview in partnership with the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College on October 25, 2018 in North Hollywood, CA. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Emmy Awards, Historic Events and Social Change, Pivotal Career Moments, Television Industry, Comedy Series, Daytime/Primetime Serials, Late Night, and Music Shows & Variety. Other shows mentioned during the interview include 'The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour,' 'Comic Relief Specials,' 'The Emmy Awards (Primetime and Daytime),' and 'The Grammys.'

2018-10-25

In his hour-and-a-half interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Irwin Corey (1914-2017) talks about his status as "the world’s foremost authority" and his comedy style. He discusses the then-current state of comedy on television, and the signature comedy of various performers. Corey speaks of using comedy to put across his political views, and how his comedic style developed over the years. He details some of his experiences with audiences, dealing with the business aspect of show business, and the importance of the comedian taking comedy seriously. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on April 8, 2005 in New York, NY. Additional topics covered include: Historic Events and Social Change, Television Industry, War, War on Terror, and Late Night. An additional show mentioned during the interview is 'Late Night with David Letterman.'

2005-04-08

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