Arnie Kogen

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour interview, Arnie Kogen talks about his early life and writing for "Mad Magazine" starting in 1959. He recalls early gigs writing for the nightclub acts of Jackie Vernon and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, and later being on the writing staff of Candid Camera. He recounts writing for The Golden Globes, for the hosts of The Academy Awards, and for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He chronicles his stint as a writer on The Carol Burnett Show, detailing working with the cast, and in particular Tim Conway, and writing several well-known and recurring sketches for the series. He speaks of writing on several sitcoms, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and the four years he spent on the writing staff of Newhart. He discusses writing for the ‘70s variety shows Donny & Marie and The Jacksons, and Alan Thicke’s ‘80s talk show Thicke of the Night. He concludes by discussing his writing process, discussing what he likes about writing, and giving advice to aspiring television writers. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview in a joint venture with the Writers Guild Foundation on December 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA.

“The best thing is when it finally happens. You come up with a great concept or idea or a one liner, and say, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic.’ Just writing something really great, and realizing ‘Hey, this is special.’”

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Arnie Kogen on being hired to write for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and on the process of writing for the show
Arnie Kogen on writing for The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart
Arnie Kogen on his writing process
Arnie Kogen on going to write for The Carol Burnett Show, and on working with Carol Burnett
Arnie Kogen on writing for "Mad Magazine"
Arnie Kogen on advice to an aspiring writer
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched growing up, and on his college education where he started to write; on writing for "Mad Magazine" and MadTv
On when he first realized he was funny, and when he started to write for comedians like Jackie Vernon and Jack Paar; on writing for Candid Camera and working for Allen Funt; on being hired to write for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and on the process of writing for the show
On writing for The Dean Martin Show; on writing for The Funny Side; on writing for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards
On going to write for The Carol Burnett Show and working with Carol Burnett; on working with Joe Hamilton, the producer of The Carol Burnett Show, and on a typical work week writing for the show; on specific sketches he was involved in writing on The Carol Burnett Show and on writing for Tim Conway
On the cast of The Carol Burnett Show breaking each other up during sketches; on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show; on specific sketches he wrote for The Carol Burnett Show, and on the writing process for the show

Chapter 2

On incorporating guest stars into sketches on The Carol Burnett Show; on teaming with Ray Jessel to write for The Carol Burnett Show, and on winning Emmy Awards for the show; on the legacy of The Carol Burnett Show, and on writing for Love, American Style
On writing for various series, including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary, The Bob Newhart Show, and Newhart; on coming up with ideas for Newhart; on specific episodes of Newhart
On writing for Donny & Marie and The Jacksons; on the decline of the variety show; on writing for Thicke of the Night
On writing for Empty Nest; on writing for various shows in the '90s including The Sinbad Show and The Gary Owens All-Nonsense News Network; on writing for Ace Crawford, Private Eye starring Tom Conway, and for All-American Girl

Chapter 3

On what he likes about writing and on writing in groups; on continuing to write for "Mad Magazine" and how he juggles it with his television work; on joining the Writers Guild and on his retirement
On how the television industry has changed since he started and on his then-current television favorites; on his mentors, and on his son, Jay Kogen; on advice to an aspiring writer; on career achievements and regrets, and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Academy Awards, The

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Arnie Kogen on writing for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards

Ace Crawford, Private Eye

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Ace Crawford, Private Eye and All-American Girl

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart

Candid Camera

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Candid Camera and working for Allen Funt

Carol Burnett Show, The (1967-78)

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Arnie Kogen on going to write for The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on working with Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on working with Joe Hamilton, the producer of The Carol Burnett Show, and on a typical work week writing for the show
Arnie Kogen on specific sketches he was involved in writing on The Carol Burnett Show, and on writing for Tim Conway
Arnie Kogen on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show breaking each other up during sketches
Arnie Kogen on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on specific sketches he wrote for The Carol Burnett Show, and on the writing process for the show
Arnie Kogen on incorporating guest stars into sketches on The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on teaming with Ray Jessel to write for The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on the legacy of The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on winning Emmy Awards for his work on The Carol Burnett Show

Dean Martin Show, The

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Dean Martin Show

Donny & Marie

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Donny & Marie

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Arnie Kogen on winning Emmy Awards for his work on The Carol Burnett Show

Empty Nest

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Empty Nest

Funny Side, The

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Funny Side

Golden Girls, The

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Arnie Kogen on writing for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards

Jacksons, The

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Jacksons, featuring the Jackson family and Michael Jackson

Love, American Style

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Love, American Style

MADtv

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Arnie Kogen on his involvement with MADtv

New Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Mary

Newhart

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart
Arnie Kogen on coming up with ideas for Newhart
Arnie Kogen on writing specific episodes of Newhart

Thicke of the Night

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Thicke of the Night, featuring Alan Thicke

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Arnie Kogen on being hired to write for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and on the process of writing for the show
Topics

Advice

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Arnie Kogen on advice to an aspiring writer

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Arnie Kogen on his mentors, and on his son, Jay Kogen

Pivotal Career Moments

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Arnie Kogen on his mentors, and on his son, Jay Kogen

Television Industry

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Arnie Kogen on how the television industry has changed since he started and on his then-current television favorites
Arnie Kogen on advice to an aspiring writer
Professions

Writers

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Arnie Kogen on his writing process
Arnie Kogen on what he likes about writing, and on writing in groups
Arnie Kogen on continuing to write for "Mad Magazine" and how he juggles it with his television work
Arnie Kogen on joining the Writers Guild and on his retirement
Arnie Kogen on advice to an aspiring writer
Genres

Awards Shows

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Arnie Kogen on writing for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards

Comedy Series

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Candid Camera
Arnie Kogen on writing for Love, American Style
Arnie Kogen on writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Mary
Arnie Kogen on writing for The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart
Arnie Kogen on writing for Empty Nest
Arnie Kogen on writing for various shows in the '90s including The Sinbad Show and The Gary Owens All-Nonsense News Network
Arnie Kogen on writing for Ace Crawford, Private Eye starring Tom Conway, and for All-American Girl

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Arnie Kogen on his involvement with MadTV
Arnie Kogen on writing for The Dean Martin Show
Arnie Kogen on going to write for The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on writing for The Carol Burnett Show
Arnie Kogen on writing for Donny & Marie
Arnie Kogen on writing for The Jacksons

Talk Shows

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Arnie Kogen on being hired to write for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Arnie Kogen on writing for Thicke of the Night
People

Carol Burnett

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Arnie Kogen on working with Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show

Johnny Carson

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Arnie Kogen on being hired to write for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Tim Conway

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Arnie Kogen on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show: Tim Conway
Arnie Kogen on writing for Ace Crawford, Private Eye starring Tom Conway, and for All-American Girl

Allen Funt

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Candid Camera and working for Allen Funt

Eydie Gorme

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Arnie Kogen on writing material for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, and for other entertainers

Joe Hamilton

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Arnie Kogen on working with Joe Hamilton, the producer of The Carol Burnett Show, and on a typical work week writing for the show

Michael Jackson

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Jacksons, featuring the Jackson family and Michael Jackson

Harvey Korman

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Arnie Kogen on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show: Harvey Korman

Steve Lawrence

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Arnie Kogen on writing material for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, and for other entertainers

Vicki Lawrence

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Arnie Kogen on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show: Vicki Lawrence

Dean Martin

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Dean Martin Show

Bob Newhart

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Arnie Kogen on writing for The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart

Donny Osmond

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Donny & Marie starring Donny and Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Donny & Marie starring Donny and Marie Osmond

Alan Thicke

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Arnie Kogen on writing for Thicke of the Night, featuring Alan Thicke

Lyle Waggoner

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Arnie Kogen on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show: Lyle Waggoner

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