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."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Bob Banner on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination
Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials
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
Bob Banner on producing My Sweet Charlie on Broadway and later for television starring Patty Duke
Bob Banner on how he'd like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

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

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
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

Chapter 3

On Dave Garroway; on the production of Garroway at Large
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
On his personal style as a producer

Chapter 4

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

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  
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
On producing The Colgate Comedy Hour

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 
On producing The Garry Moore Show; on producing Candid Camera
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

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
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

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
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
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

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 
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
Shows

Candid Camera

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Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera

Carol Burnett Show, The (1967-78)

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show

Colgate Comedy Hour, The

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Bob Banner on producing The Colgate Comedy Hour

Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The

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Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
Bob Banner on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast
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
Bob Banner on working with Dinah Shore on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and various production elements of the show
Bob Banner on winning an Emmy for The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and a number of other awards over the years

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

Frank Sinatra Specials

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

Fred Waring Show, The

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Bob Banner on moving to New York to direct The Fred Waring Show
Bob Banner on his responsibilities on and the production of The Fred Waring Show
Bob Banner on what he learned as a producer and director of The Fred Waring Show and the rehearsal of the show

Garroway at Large

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Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
Bob Banner on the guests and unorthodox format of Garroway at Large
Bob Banner on the studio and experimental nature of Garroway at Large 
Bob Banner on the production of Garroway at Large

Garry Moore Show, The

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Bob Banner on producing The Garry Moore Show  
Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera segments on The Garry Moore Show, which led to Candid Camera
Bob Banner on Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show

It's Showtime at the Apollo

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Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo

Jimmy Dean Show, The

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

Kukla, Fran & Ollie

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

My Sweet Charlie

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

Omnibus

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Bob Banner on directing various Omnibus programs including "La Boheme"
Bob Banner on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke

Perry Como Specials

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Bob Banner on working on various Perry Como Specials

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

Solid Gold

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Bob Banner on Solid Gold's popularity in Israel
Bob Banner on producing Solid Gold

Star Search

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Bob Banner on producing Star Search

Wide Wide World

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Bob Banner on working on Wide Wide World
Topics

Advice

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Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director

Cold War

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Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union

Diversity in Television

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Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo

Emmy Awards

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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

Fame and Celebrity

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Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis

Historic Events and Social Change

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Bob Banner on his service in World War II
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union

Minorities

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Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo

Pop Culture

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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

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>

Technological Innovation

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Bob Banner on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast

Television Industry

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Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director
Bob Banner on the then-current state of television 
Bob Banner on how the television audience changed during his career

War

View Topic
Bob Banner on his service in World War II
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union

World War II

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Bob Banner on his service in World War II
Professions

Directors

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Bob Banner on directing televised boxing matches in Chicago early in his career
Bob Banner on the duties of the director in television 
Bob Banner on his advice to an aspiring television producer or director

Producers

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

Children's Programming

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

Classic Anthology Series

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Bob Banner on directing Ominbus
Bob Banner on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke

Comedy Series

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Bob Banner on producing The Garry Moore Show
Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Bob Banner on directing and producing The Fred Waring Show
Bob Banner on producing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
Bob Banner on producing Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union
Bob Banner on producing The Colgate Comedy Hour
Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials
Bob Banner on producing The Jimmy Dean Show
Bob Banner on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination
Bob Banner on Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show
Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show
Bob Banner on Solid Gold's popularity in Israel
Bob Banner on working on various Perry Como Specials
Bob Banner on the decline of variety programming in the '80s and '90s
Bob Banner on working with Jim Henson and Muppets on The Jimmy Dean Show  and A Sesame Street Christmas 
Bob Banner on producing It's Showtime at the Apollo
Bob Banner on producing Solid Gold
Bob Banner on producing Star Search

News and Documentary

View Genre
Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large 
Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large
Bob Banner on working on Wide Wide World

Sports

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

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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

Fran Allison

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Bob Banner on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie with Fran Allison

Julie Andrews

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Bob Banner on producing Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett

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Bob Banner on producing Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett
Bob Banner on Carol Burnett's contributions on The Garry Moore Show
Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show

Tim Conway

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show costarring Tom Conway

Alistair Cooke

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Bob Banner on working with Omnibus host Alistair Cooke

Bette Davis

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Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis

Jimmy Dean

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Bob Banner on producing The Jimmy Dean Show

Hugh Downs

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

Patty Duke

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

Allen Funt

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Bob Banner on producing Candid Camera starring Allen Funt

Dave Garroway

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Bob Banner on directing Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
Bob Banner on the guests and unorthodox format of Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
Bob Banner on the studio and experimental nature of Garroway at Large starring Dave Garroway
Bob Banner on Dave Garroway

Jim Henson

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

Harvey Korman

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show costarring Harvey Korman

Vicki Lawrence

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Bob Banner on producing The Carol Burnett Show costarring Vicki Lawrence

Ed McMahon

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Bob Banner on producing Star Search hosted by Ed McMahon

Ethel Merman

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Bob Banner on working with Ethel Merman on the special A Salute to American Imagination

Garry Moore

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Bob Banner on producing The Garry Moore Show

Dinah Shore

View Person Page
Bob Banner on how fans approached TV star Dinah Shore versus movie star Bette Davis
Bob Banner on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first regular color broadcast
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
Bob Banner on working with Dinah Shore on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and on various production elements of the show

Frank Sinatra

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Producer/Director Bob Banner on working with Frank Sinatra on a number of his television specials

Burr Tillstrom

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Bob Banner on his experiences working in production on Kukla, Fran & Ollie with Burr Tillstrom

Fred Waring

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

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

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