Allan Blye

Writer / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour interview, Allan Blye discusses growing up in Canada and getting his start in radio and on the stage as a child. He talks about performing on Fred Rogers’ Canadian precursor to Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMisterrogers. He then shares how a phone call from Tom Smothers led to him moving to the United States to work on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He details his time on Smothers Brothers, including the end of the show and its post-cancellation Emmy win. Blye then shares stories from various specials he worked on, including Petula and Elvis: The ’68 Comeback Special (during which he received a private concert from Elvis). He discusses writing for The Andy Williams Show, as well as voicing the character “Cookie Bear,” and writing/producing the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. He then details his long producing partnership with Bob Einstein, which included creating the show Bizarre and developing Einstein’s “Super Dave Osborne” character, for which they created the series Super Dave, among other other iterations. Blye concludes by giving advice for aspiring writers and producers, and sharing his proudest career achievement and how he would like to be remembered. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on April 24, 2019 in Cathedral City, CA.

"I like when I think something is funny, that the audience proves it to me. The audience is my judge."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Allan Blye on doing the voice of "Cookie Bear" on The Andy Williams Show
Allan Blye on how he came to be hired as a writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on performing on Misterogers, Fred Rogers' CBC precursor to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, early in his career
Allan Blye on the popularity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character
Allan Blye on writing and producing the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour with Chris Bearde
Allan Blye on working with Elvis on Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special, and one night during the filming when Elvis showed up at Blye's house and gave him and his neighbors a private concert
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood in Canada and his early influences; on getting his start in entertainment as a child on radio and in theater; on performing on Fred Rogers' CBC show, Misterogers
On how he came to the United States from Canada to write on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour; on the writing process on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour; on the Smothers' conflict with Standards & Practices; on The Summer Brothers Smothers Show
On being a producer on the third season of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour; on controversial guests on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour; on the end of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on the show's legacy
On writing for the Petula Clark special Petula; on writing Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special; on Elvis showing up at his house and giving him a private concert; on the filming of the special, and on his friendship with Elvis

Chapter 2

On what he enjoys about writing, and on his writing process; on the typical production schedule for variety specials he wrote; on working with Andy Williams; on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
On the musical aspect of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour; on guest-stars on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour; on the end of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and on its legacy
On executive producing That's My Mama; on producing Van Dyke and Company; on working for Redd Foxx; on his producing partnership with Bob Einstein, including the show Bizarre; on Super Dave and the popularity of the "Super Dave Osborne" character
On Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire; on advice to aspiring writers and producers; on his proudest career achievement; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Andy Williams Show, The

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Allan Blye on writing for The Andy Williams Show
Allan Blye on doing the voice of "Cookie Bear" on The Andy Williams Show, and on Andy Williams' Christmas specials
Allan Blye on working with Andy Williams, and on his strengths as a performer

Bizarre

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Allan Blye on creating the variety show Bizarre with Bob Einstein, and on Einstein's character "Super Dave Osborne"
Allan Blye on Bizarre having been the first comedy series on Showtime

Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special aka Singer Presents Elvis

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Allan Blye on writing Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special with Chris Bearde
Allan Blye on working with Elvis on Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special
Allan Blye on working with Elvis on Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special, and one night during the filming when Elvis showed up at Blye's house and gave him a private concert
Allan Blye on the filming of Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special in front of a live audience, and on Blye's thoughts on the special and its impact on Presley's career

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Allan Blye on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour winning an Emmy after the show went off the air
Allan Blye on Van Dyke and Company winning an Emmy Award

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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Allan Blye on performing on Misterogers, Fred Rogers' CBC precursor to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, early in his career
Allan Blye on Fred Rogers' legacy in television

Petula

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Allan Blye on writing for Petula Clark's 1968 special, Petula
Allan Blye on the moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula when the two performers linked arms, and how that moment was Blye's idea
Allan Blye on the controversy surrounding a moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula

Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The

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Allan Blye on how he came to be hired as a writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on the writers on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on the writing process on the show
Allan Blye on Tom and Dick Smothers' involvement with the writers on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on their individual talent as performers
Allan Blye on Tom and Dick Smothers' creative control on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on their conflicts with Standards & Practices
Allan Blye on the kind of material he wrote on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on being a producer on the third season of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, including David Steinberg's sermons
Allan Blye on the kind of mail they received from viewers on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on the political nature of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and various controversial appearances, including by Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and The Who
Allan Blye on the "Share a Little Tea with Goldie" sketch on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on Pat Paulsen's editorials on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Paulsen's presidential run
Allan Blye on favorite guests on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on his role as producer on the show
Allan Blye on the end of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour winning an Emmy after the show went off the air
Allan Blye on the legacy of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

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Allan Blye on writing and producing the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour with Chris Bearde
Allan Blye on how he and Chris Bearde conceived of the concept for the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on his producing style on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on the musical aspect of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on specific sketches on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and on Cher's style on the show
Allan Blye on guest-starts on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on the end of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

Summer Brothers Smothers Show, The

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Allan Blye on The Summer Brothers Smothers Show, hosted by Glen Campbell, and on the writers on that show, including Rob Reiner, Carl Gottlieb, Bob Einstein, and Steve Martin

Super Dave

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Allan Blye on creating Super Dave with Bob Einstein
Allan Blye on the popularity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character
Allan Blye on Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire, an animated show featuring "Super Dave Osborne"

That's My Mama

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Allan Blye on executive producing That's My Mama with Bob Einstein

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Allan Blye on the popularity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character, including appearances on The Tonight Show and in a Nike commercial

Van Dyke and Company

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Allan Blye on producing Dick Van Dyke's short-lived variety show, Van Dyke and Company, with Bob Einstein
Allan Blye on Van Dyke and Company winning an Emmy Award
Topics

Advice

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Allan Blye on advice for aspiring writers and producers

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Allan Blye on conflicts between the Smothers and CBS Standards & Practices on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Characters & Catchphrases

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Allan Blye on Bob Einstein's character "Super Dave Osborne"
Allan Blye on the popularity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character and his various appearances on television and in a Nike commercial

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Allan Blye on mentors he had in his career

Diversity in Television

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Allan Blye on the moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula when the two performers linked arms, which caused controversy at the time

First Big Break

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Allan Blye on how a call from Tom Smothers led to him moving to the United States from Canada

Historic Events and Social Change

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Allan Blye on the moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula when the two performers linked arms, which caused controversy at the time

Minorities

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Allan Blye on the moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula when the two performers linked arms, which caused controversy at the time

Pivotal Career Moments

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Allan Blye on how a call from Tom Smothers led to him moving to the United States from Canada
Allan Blye on mentors he had in his career

Pop Culture

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Allan Blye on Bob Einstein's character "Super Dave Osborne"
Allan Blye on the popularity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character and his various appearances on television and in a Nike commercial

Television Industry

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Allan Blye on conflicts between the Smothers and CBS Standards & Practices on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on advice for aspiring writers and producers
Professions

Producers

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Allan Blye on his producing style on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on advice for aspiring writers and producers

Writers

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Allan Blye on what he likes about writing, and on his writing process
Allan Blye on advice for aspiring writers and producers
Genres

Children's Programming

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Allan Blye on performing on Misterogers, Fred Rogers' CBC precursor to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Comedy Series

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Allan Blye on being a writer and producer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on That's My Mama
Allan Blye on Bizarre and Super Dave

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Allan Blye on being a writer and producer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on writing for Petula
Allan Blye on writing Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special with Chris Bearde
Allan Blye on the typical production schedule on the variety specials he wrote
Allan Blye on The Andy Williams Show
Allan Blye on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on Van Dyke and Company
People

Harry Belafonte

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Allan Blye on Harry Belafonte's appearance on Petula Clark's special Petula
Allan Blye on the controversy surrounding a moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula
Allan Blye on the moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula when the two performers linked arms, and how that moment was Blye's idea

Steve Binder

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Allan Blye on working with Steve Binder

Sonny Bono

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Allan Blye on Sonny Bono's strengths as a performer
Allan Blye on Sonny Bono asserting that he had more to offer when Blye first met him, and his surprise when Bono got elected to Congress

Glen Campbell

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Allan Blye on The Summer Brothers Smothers Show, hosted by Glen Campbell

Cher

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Allan Blye on Cher's musical performances on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

Petula Clark

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Allan Blye on the controversy surrounding a moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula
Allan Blye on the moment between Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark on Clark's 1968 special Petula when the two performers linked arms, and how that moment was Blye's idea

Dick Van Dyke

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Allan Blye on Van Dyke and Company

Bob Einstein

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Allan Blye on executive producing That's My Mama with Bob Einstein
Allan Blye on his producing partnership with Bob Einstein
Allan Blye on creating the show Bizarre with Bob Einstein, which featured Einstein's character "Super Dave Osborne", and on the inspiration for the character
Allan Blye on creating Super Dave with Bob Einstein
Allan Blye on the popularity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character, including appearances on The Tonight Show and in a Nike commercial
Allan Blye on the longevity of Bob Einstein's "Super Dave Osborne" character, and on Einstein's legacy

Redd Foxx

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Allan Blye on writing for The Redd Fox Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on Redd Foxx's brand of humor and working with him

Andy Kaufman

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Allan Blye on Andy Kaufman appearing on Van Dyke and Company

Pat Paulsen

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Allan Blye on Pat Paulsen's editorials on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Paulsen's presidential run

Elvis Presley

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Allan Blye on working on Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special
Allan Blye on working with Elvis on Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special
Allan Blye on working with Elvis on Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special, and one night during the filming when Elvis showed up at Blye's house and gave him and his neighbors a private concert
Allan Blye on his friendship with Elvis Presley

Fred Rogers

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Allan Blye on working with Fred Rogers on Misterogers, Rogers' CBC precursor to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Allan Blye on Fred Rogers' legacy in television

Pete Seeger

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Allan Blye on Pete Seeger's appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Tom Smothers

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Allan Blye on how a phone call from Tom Smothers led to his move from Canada to the United States to work on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Allan Blye on Tom and Dick Smothers' involvement with the writers on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on their individual talent as performers

Dick Smothers

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Allan Blye on Tom and Dick Smothers' involvement with the writers on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and on their individual talent as performers

David Steinberg

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Allan Blye on hiring David Steinberg as a performer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Ret Turner

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Allan Blye on working with costume designer Ret Turner on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

Andy Williams

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Allan Blye on writing for and working with Andy Williams
Allan Blye on working with Andy Williams, and on his strengths as a performer

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