Bob Banner

Producer / Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, Bob Banner (1921-2011) speaks at length about his first experiences in the new medium of television at WBKB, and later WMAQ in Chicago. He speaks about the "Chicago school" of television, and provides several humorous stories about on-set incidents. He reminisces about such personalities as Burr Tillstrom and Fran Allison from Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and how they were instrumental in persuading him to accept a position with The Fred Waring Show in New York. Banner fondly recalls working with Dinah Shore when he was directing and producing her show, sponsored by Chevrolet, and recalls how her trademark kiss at the end of the show came about. He also describes an incident in a restaurant between Dinah Shore, legendary actress Bette Davis and a fan that highlighted the differences in film and television celebrity. He speaks about many of the people that he worked with throughout his career, including Dave Garroway, Carol Burnett, Perry Como, ice skater Peggy Fleming, Ed Wynn and Jim Henson. He talks about many of the variety shows that he produced, such as Solid Gold, Star Search and It's Showtime at the Apollo. Mr. Banner also mentions his then-recent work, including a Discovery Channel children's show, Real Kids, Real Adventures. Henry Colman conducted the interview in on November 5, 1999 in Santa Monica, CA.

"In early television, had we been afraid that we didn't know how to do the medium, it would never have started. We weren't trained, we were just thrust into it and had to do it."

Highlights
Bob Banner on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination
01:57
Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials
06:58
Bob Banner on Dinah Shore's signature of throwing a kiss on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme song
02:37
Bob Banner on producing My Sweet Charlie on Broadway and later for television starring Patty Duke
03:01
Bob Banner on how he'd like to be remembered
02:54
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on early television he saw; on his service in World War II
12:40
On teaching at Northwestern; on going to work for radio station WBKB and becoming a stage manager at local television station WMAQ
16:15

Chapter 2

On becoming a director at local Chicago station WMAQ, and directing the show Gone But Not Gotten hosted by Hugh Downs; on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie
13:54
On directing Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway; on the guests and unorthodox format of Garroway at Large; on the studio and experimental nature of the show
14:58

Chapter 3

On Dave Garroway; on the production of Garroway at Large
08:36
On moving to New York to direct The Fred Waring Show; on his responsibilities on and the production of The Fred Waring Show; on what he learned as a producer and director of The Fred Waring Show and the rehearsal of the show
16:30
On his personal style as a producer
02:46

Chapter 4

On how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis; on directing various Omnibus programs including "La Boheme"
14:34
On directing televised boxing matches in Chicago early in his career; on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke; on working on Wide Wide World
15:16

Chapter 5

On the duties of the director in television; on the duties of the producer in television; on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast  
13:34
On producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union; on Dinah Shore's signature of throwing a kiss on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme song; on working with Dinah Shore on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on various production elements of the show
13:50
On producing The Colgate Comedy Hour
00:58

Chapter 6

On working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials; on winning an Emmy for The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and a number of awards over the years; on forming his own production company Bob Banner Associates 
11:38
On producing The Garry Moore Show; on producing Candid Camera
12:10
On producing Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall; on producing a charity event with Jack Benny and Isaac Stern to save Carnegie Hall; on producing The Jimmy Dean Show
04:30

Chapter 7

On Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show; on producing The Carol Burnett Show; on producing A Salute to American Imagination, the Ford Motors seventy-fifth anniversary celebration and on working with Ed Wynn
13:32
On producing My Sweet Charlie on Broadway and later for television starring Patty Duke; on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination; on Solid Gold's popularity in Israel and on working on various Perry Como Specials
15:33

Chapter 8

On working with Jim Henson and the Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show and A Sesame Street Christmas; on the genesis of his syndicated music series Solid Gold; on producing Star Search
11:26
On producing It's Showtime at the Apollo; on producing the special That's What Friends Are For; on the decline of variety programming in the '80s and '90s
10:06
On producing the made-for-television movie Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus starring Charles Bronson; on producing Real Kids, Real Adventures for the Discovery Channel
06:32

Chapter 9

On his favorite show being whatever show he was doing, and on producing game shows; on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director; on the then-current state of television 
06:36
On the then-current state of television and how the television audience changed over his career; on the then-future of television; on how he'd like to be remembered
06:35
Shows

Candid Camera

View Show Page
Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera
09:46

Carol Burnett Show, The (1967-78)

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show
03:22

Colgate Comedy Hour, The

View Show Page
Bob Banner on producing The Colgate Comedy Hour
00:58

Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The

View Show Page
Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
01:52
Bob Banner on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast
07:08
Bob Banner on Dinah Shore's signature of throwing a kiss on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme song
02:37
Bob Banner on working with Dinah Shore on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and various production elements of the show
05:28
Bob Banner on winning an Emmy for The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and a number of other awards over the years
01:37

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Bob Banner on winning an Emmy for The Dinah Shore Chevy Show  and a number of other awards over the years
01:37

Frank Sinatra Specials

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Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials
06:57

Fred Waring Show, The

View Show Page
Bob Banner on moving to New York to direct The Fred Waring Show
05:01
Bob Banner on his responsibilities on and the production of The Fred Waring Show
05:01
Bob Banner on what he learned as a producer and director of The Fred Waring Show and the rehearsal of the show
06:27

Garroway at Large

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Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
04:56
Bob Banner on the guests and unorthodox format of Garroway at Large
08:20
Bob Banner on the studio and experimental nature of Garroway at Large 
01:40
Bob Banner on the production of Garroway at Large
06:34

Garry Moore Show, The

View Show Page
Bob Banner on producing The Garry Moore Show  
02:23
Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera segments on The Garry Moore Show, which led to Candid Camera
09:46
Bob Banner on Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show
06:11

It's Showtime at the Apollo

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Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo
05:28

Jimmy Dean Show, The

View Show Page
Bob Banner on producing The Jimmy Dean Show
01:19
Bob Banner on working with Jim Henson and the Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show and A Sesame Street Christmas 
04:26

Kukla, Fran & Ollie

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Bob Banner on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie
11:55

My Sweet Charlie

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Bob Banner on producing My Sweet Charlie on Broadway and later for television starring Patty Duke
03:01

Omnibus

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Bob Banner on directing various Omnibus programs including "La Boheme"
12:38
Bob Banner on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke
02:20

Perry Como Specials

View Show Page
Bob Banner on working on various Perry Como Specials
07:09

Sesame Street

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Bob Banner on working with Jim Henson and the Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show and A Sesame Street Christmas
04:26

Solid Gold

View Show Page
Bob Banner on Solid Gold's popularity in Israel
03:24
Bob Banner on producing Solid Gold
04:03

Star Search

View Show Page
Bob Banner on producing Star Search
02:55

Wide Wide World

View Show Page
Bob Banner on working on Wide Wide World
04:47
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director
01:46

Cold War

View Topic
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union
05:43

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo
05:28

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Bob Banner on winning an Emmy for The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and a number of other awards over the years
01:37

Fame and Celebrity

View Topic
Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
01:52

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Bob Banner on his service in World War II
02:19
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union
05:43

Minorities

View Topic
Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo
05:28

Pop Culture

View Topic
Bob Banner on Dinah Shore's signature of throwing a kiss on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme song
02:37

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Bob Banner on Dinah Shore's signature throwing of her kiss on > The Dinah Shore Chevy Show  and on the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme song>
02:37

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Bob Banner on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast
07:08

Television Industry

View Topic
Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
01:52
Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director
01:46
Bob Banner on the then-current state of television 
01:58
Bob Banner on how the television audience changed during his career
02:17

War

View Topic
Bob Banner on his service in World War II
02:19
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union
05:43

World War II

View Topic
Bob Banner on his service in World War II
02:19
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Bob Banner on directing televised boxing matches in Chicago early in his career
05:25
Bob Banner on the duties of the director in television 
03:59
Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director
01:46

Producers

View Profession
Bob Banner on his personal style as a producer
02:46
Bob Banner on duties of the producer in television 
02:25
Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director
01:46
Genres

Children's Programming

View Genre
Bob Banner on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie
11:55
Bob Banner on producing Real Kids, Real Adventures for the Discovery Channel
03:55
Bob Banner on working with Jim Henson and the Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show and A Sesame Street Christmas 
04:26

Classic Anthology Series

View Genre
Bob Banner on directing Ominbus
12:38
Bob Banner on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke
02:20

Comedy Series

View Genre
Bob Banner on producing The Garry Moore Show
02:23
Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera
09:46

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Bob Banner on directing and producing The Fred Waring Show
16:31
Bob Banner on producing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
07:08
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union
05:43
Bob Banner on producing The Colgate Comedy Hour
00:58
Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials
06:58
Bob Banner on producing The Jimmy Dean Show
01:19
Bob Banner on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination
01:57
Bob Banner on Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show
06:12
Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show
03:22
Bob Banner on Solid Gold's popularity in Israel
03:24
Bob Banner on working on various Perry Como Specials
07:09
Bob Banner on the decline of variety programming in the '80s and '90s
02:45
Bob Banner on working with Jim Henson and Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show  and A Sesame Street Christmas 
04:27
Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo
05:28
Bob Banner on producing Solid Gold
04:03
Bob Banner on producing Star Search
02:55

News and Documentary

View Genre
Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large 
14:58
Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large
08:36
Bob Banner on working on Wide Wide World
04:47

Sports

View Genre
Bob Banner on directing televised boxing matches in Chicago early in his career
05:25

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Bob Banner on producing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
08:06
Bob Banner on producing Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett
01:22
Bob Banner on producing A Salute to American Imagination, the Ford Motors seventy-fifth anniversary celebration and on working with Ed Wynn
03:57
Bob Banner on producing My Sweet Charlie on Broadway and later for television starring Patty Duke
03:01
Bob Banner on producing the made-for-television movie Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus starring Charles Bronson 
03:37
People

Fran Allison

View Person Page
Bob Banner on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie with Fran Allison
11:55

Julie Andrews

View Interview Page
Bob Banner on producing Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett
01:22

Carol Burnett

View Interview Page
Bob Banner on producing Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett
01:22
Bob Banner on Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show
06:11
Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show
03:22

Tim Conway

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show costarring Tom Conway
03:22

Alistair Cooke

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Bob Banner on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke
02:20

Bette Davis

View Person Page
Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
01:52

Jimmy Dean

View Person Page
Bob Banner on producing The Jimmy Dean Show
01:19

Hugh Downs

View Interview Page
Bob Banner on becoming a director at local Chicago station WMAQ, and directing the show Gone But Not Gotten hosted by Hugh Downs 
01:59

Patty Duke

View Interview Page
Bob Banner on producing My Sweet Charlie on Broadway and later for television starring Patty Duke
03:01

Allen Funt

View Person Page
Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera starring Allen Funt
09:48

Dave Garroway

View Person Page
Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
04:56
Bob Banner on the guests and unorthodox format of Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
08:20
Bob Banner on the studio and experimental nature of Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
01:40
Bob Banner on Dave Garroway
02:01

Jim Henson

View Person Page
Producer Bob Banner on working with Jim Henson and the Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show and A Sesame Street Christmas
04:26

Harvey Korman

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show costarring Harvey Korman
03:22

Vicki Lawrence

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show costarring Vicki Lawrence
03:22

Ed McMahon

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Bob Banner on producing Star Search hosted by Ed McMahon
02:56

Ethel Merman

View Person Page
Bob Banner on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination
01:57

Garry Moore

View Person Page
Bob Banner on producing The Garry Moore Show
02:23

Dinah Shore

View Person Page
Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
01:52
Bob Banner on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast
07:08
Bob Banner on Dinah Shore's signature of throwing a kiss on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" theme song
02:37
Bob Banner on working with Dinah Shore on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on various production elements of the show
05:28

Frank Sinatra

View Person Page
Producer/Director Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials
06:57

Burr Tillstrom

View Person Page
Bob Banner on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie with Burr Tillstrom
11:55

Fred Waring

View Person Page
Bob Banner on moving to New York to direct The Fred Waring Show
05:01
Bob Banner on his responsibilities on and the production of The Fred Waring Show
05:01
Bob Banner on what he learned as a producer and director of The Fred Waring Show and the rehearsal of the show
06:27

Ed Wynn

View Person Page
Bob Banner on producing A Salute to American Imagination, the Ford Motors seventy-fifth anniversary celebration and on working with Ed Wynn costarring Tom Conway
03:57

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