American Comedy Archives at Emerson College

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents




Emerson College and the Television Academy Foundation’s The Interviews: An Oral History of Television formed a partnership in 2017 to catalog Emerson's collection of taped interviews with renowned comedians, writers, producers, and directors - making the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College available to audiences worldwide.

The American Comedy Archives was established at Emerson College in 2005, with support from the late Ted Cutler, Emerson trustee emeritus, alumnus, and arts philanthropist, and spearheaded by Bill Dana, Emerson alumnus and comedian who conducted many of the interviews for the American Comedy Archives’ oral history collection. Supported by the partnership with The Interviews and Emerson’s Center for Comedic Arts, each year taped interviews in the American Comedy Archives collection will be catalogued and posted to The Interviews' website. The collaboration between Emerson College and The Interviews will be ongoing to continue co-producing new interviews for the site.

Bill Dana on Don Adams' "Would you believe?" routine used on both Get Smart and The Bill Dana Show
Kevin Bright on his love of television as a child, and how that sowed the seeds for his career
George Shapiro on Jerry Seinfeld's philosophy of comedy
Diane English on writing and casting Murphy Brown 
Hugh Hefner on having standup comedians at his Playboy Clubs in Chicago, and on his friendships with Lenny Bruce and Don Adams
Betty White on the importance of humor in her life
Pat Harrington, Jr. on the potential for comedy to heal through Yarmy's Army
Doug Herzog on the changing standards in comedy over the years
Interviews in this Collection