Barry Kemp

Writer / Show Creator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In this three-and-a-quarter hour Archive interview, Barry Kemp talks about his early television influences, including The Dick Van Dyke Show - his inspiration for pursuing a career in television writing. He discusses joining the writing staff of Taxi, where he worked under the tutelage of James L. Brooks on several classic episodes. Kemp wrote for Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, and Andy Kaufman, as well as for Kaufman's alter ego, Tony Clifton. He recalls leaving Taxi to work on the short-lived series Out of the Blue and The Popcorn Kid. He discusses creating the series Newhart, trying to live up to Bob Newhart's first successful TV series and inventing several memorable characters for the show, including "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl." He outlines leaving Newhart and creating Coach with Dabney Coleman in mind, but later casting Craig T. Nelson in the title role. He discusses the challenge of getting Jerry Van Dyke cast in the show and describes staying with the show for its entire run of eight seasons. He concludes by speaking of his term as the President of the Writers Guild Foundation, and offers advice to aspiring writers. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on June 13, 2011 in North Hollywood, California.

"If you love the process of writing and rewriting and you look at every script as a puzzle, each character having complexities, and you write with the idea of how to best bring those out to solve the puzzle, that's the fun of it. Once the puzzle is solved, everything else after it doesn't matter. I never watch anything I've done after it's over because that wasn't the reason that I did it. What I love is other people watching it and responding to it."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Barry Kemp on the challenges of casting a "new" wife for Bob Newhart in Newhart
Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale
Barry Kemp on the opening theme to Newhart and the opening sequence
Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on working with James L. Brooks, Ed. Weinberger, David Davis and Stan Daniels on Taxi
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his favorite television shows growing up; on moving to Los Angeles and going to work on Taxi
On the comedy of Taxi and coming up with ideas; on the cast of Taxi
On the writing process of Taxi; on his favorite episodes of Taxi and winning an Emmy
On writing the short-lived series Out of the Blue and Number 96; on writing for Newhart

Chapter 2

On working with Bob Newhart; on the writing process for Newhart; on the writing "rules" for Newhart
On Bob Newhart's Newhart character "Dick Loudon"; on cast changes during the run of Newhart
On the various characters and cast members of Newhart
On a typical Newhart production week; on the Newhart opening sequence; on departing Newhart

Chapter 3

On the finale of Newhart; on writing the mini-series Fresno; on his production company, Bungalow 78
On his series The Popcorn Kid; on creating Coach; on the setting for Coach and the writing process
On the cast of Coach; on the atmosphere on the set of Coach; on the character of "Hayden Fox" on Coach
On leaving Coach; on producing the series Delta; on producing the feature "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion"

Chapter 4

On producing the feature film "Catch Me If You Can"; on being President of the Writers Guild Foundation; on advice to aspiring writers
Shows

Coach

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Barry Kemp on how Coach came about
Barry Kemp on the setting of Coach
Barry Kemp on his role on Coach
Barry Kemp on the writing process on Coach and the comedy of the show
Barry Kemp on Craig T. Nelson as "Hayden" on Coach
Barry Kemp on Jerry Van Dyke as "Luther" on Coach
Barry Kemp on Shelley Fabares as "Christina" on Coach
Barry Kemp on Bill Fagerbakke as "Dauber" on Coach
Barry Kemp on the atmosphere on the set of Coach
Barry Kemp on the character of "Hayden Fox" on Coach and his real life counterpart Hayden Fry
Barry Kemp on his favorite episode of Coach
Barry Kemp on the final episode of Coach
Barry Kemp on "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" making a cameo on Coach
Barry Kemp on leaving Coach

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Barry Kemp on his favorite TV shows growing up

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Barry Kemp on his favorite Taxi episodes and his Emmy nomination

Newhart

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Barry Kemp on how the show Newhart came about
Barry Kemp on working with Bob Newhart on Newhart
Barry Kemp on the writing process for Newhart
Barry Kemp on the comedy of Newhart and doing research for the show
Barry Kemp on the rules for writing Newhart
Barry Kemp on Bob Newhart's character on Newhart, "Dick Loudon"
Barry Kemp on the various Newhart characters
Barry Kemp on Julia Duffy as "Stephanie" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on cast changes in Newhart
Barry Kemp on Mary Frann as "Joanna" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on the challenges of casting a "new" wife for Bob Newhart in Newhart
Barry Kemp on Peter Scolari as "Michael" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on Tom Poston as "George" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on a typical production week on Newhart
Barry Kemp on the atmosphere on the set of Newhart
Barry Kemp on the opening theme to Newhart and the opening sequence
Barry Kemp on John Rich directing Newhart
Barry Kemp on the early Newhart writing team
Barry Kemp on changing "Dick"'s occupation on Newhart
Barry Kemp on moving on from Newhart
Barry Kemp on watching Newhart after his departure

Newhart: "The Last Newhart"

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Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale

Szysznyk

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Barry Kemp on shows he worked on early in his career and his early spec scripts

Taxi

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Barry Kemp on coming to write for, and the premise of Taxi
Barry Kemp on his role in the writing process of Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with James L. Brooks, Ed. Weinberger, David Davis and Stan Daniels on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with James Burrows on Taxi
Barry Kemp on the atmosphere on the set of Taxi
Barry Kemp on the comedy of Taxi
Barry Kemp on using real cab drivers' stories on Taxi and stories from his own personal life
Barry Kemp on working with Judd Hirsch as "Alex" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with Marilu Henner as "Elaine" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with Randall Carver as "John" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with Jeff Conaway as "Bobby" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with Tony Danza as "Tony" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with Andy Kaufman as "Latka" on Taxi and Kaufman's alter ego Tony Clifton
Barry Kemp on working with Carol Kane as "Simka" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on working with Christopher A. Lloyd as "Reverend Jim" on Taxi
Barry Kemp on the actors being involved in the writing process on Taxi
Barry Kemp on his favorite Taxi episodes and his Emmy nomination
Barry Kemp on what he learned from Taxi and why he left the show
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on the opening theme to Newhart and the opening sequence

Classic TV series episodes

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Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale

Comedy

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Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Barry Kemp on being inspired by Dick Van Dyke's character on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Memorable Moments on Television

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Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale

Pop Culture

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Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on the opening theme to Newhart and the opening sequence
Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale

We Laughed

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Barry Kemp on the Newhart series finale
Professions

Show Creators

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Barry Kemp on the writing process on Coach and the comedy of the show

Writers

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Barry Kemp on his role in the writing process on Taxi
Barry Kemp on the writing process for Newhart
Barry Kemp on his writing process
Barry Kemp on advice to aspiring writers
Genres

Comedy Series

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Barry Kemp on writing for Taxi
Barry Kemp on writing and producing Newhart
Barry Kemp on creating and writing Newhart
Barry Kemp on creating and writing Coach
People

James L. Brooks

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Barry Kemp on working with James L. Brooks, Ed. Weinberger, David Davis and Stan Daniels on Taxi

Delta Burke

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Barry Kemp on producing the series Delta

Carol Burnett

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Barry Kemp on the mini-series Fresno

James Burrows

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Barry Kemp on working with James Burrows on Taxi

Dabney Coleman

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Barry Kemp on the mini-series Fresno

Jeff Conaway

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Barry Kemp on working with Jeff Conaway as "Bobby" on Taxi

Stan Daniels

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Barry Kemp on working with James L. Brooks, Ed. Weinberger, David Davis and Stan Daniels on Taxi

Tony Danza

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Barry Kemp on working with Tony Danza as "Tony" on Taxi

Danny DeVito

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Barry Kemp on the actors being involved in the writing process on Taxi

Julia Duffy

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Barry Kemp on Julia Duffy as "Stephanie" on Newhart

Jerry Van Dyke

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Barry Kemp on Tom Poston as "George" on Newhart
Barry Kemp on Jerry Van Dyke as "Luther" on Coach

Shelley Fabares

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Barry Kemp on Shelley Fabares as "Christina" on Coach

Bill Fagerbakke

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Barry Kemp on Bill Fagerbakke as "Dauber" on Coach

Mary Frann

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Barry Kemp on Mary Frann as "Joanna" on Newhart

Marilu Henner

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Barry Kemp on working with Marilu Henner as "Elaine" on Taxi

Judd Hirsch

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Barry Kemp on working with Judd Hirsch as "Alex" on Taxi

Carol Kane

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Barry Kemp on working with Carol Kane as "Simka" on Taxi

Andy Kaufman

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Barry Kemp on working with Andy Kaufman as "Latka" on Taxi and Kaufman's alter ego Tony Clifton

Christopher Lloyd (actor)

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Barry Kemp on working with Christopher A. Lloyd as "Reverend Jim" on Taxi

Craig T. Nelson

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Barry Kemp on Craig T. Nelson as "Hayden" on Coach

Bob Newhart

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Barry Kemp on how the show Newhart came about
Barry Kemp on working with Bob Newhart on Newhart

Tony Papenfuss

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Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart

Tom Poston

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Barry Kemp on Tom Poston as "George" on Newhart

John Rich

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Barry Kemp on John Rich directing Newhart

William Sanderson

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Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart

Peter Scolari

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Barry Kemp on Peter Scolari as "Michael" on Newhart

John Voldstad

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Barry Kemp on the characters "Larry", "Darryl" and "Darryl" on Newhart

Ed. Weinberger

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Barry Kemp on working with James L. Brooks, Ed. Weinberger, David Davis and Stan Daniels on Taxi

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