Bob Elliott

Comedian


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-hour-and-forty-five-minute Archive interview, Bob Elliott (1923-2016) talks about his early experiences in radio in the wake of World War II and working for radio station WHDH in Boston. He recalls meeting Ray Goulding at the radio station and developing their "Bob and Ray" act, which was quickly translated to local, and later, national television. He outlines Bob and Ray's hugely successful Peil's Beer television and radio advertising campaign, which led to dozens of other commercial endorsements over the years. He discusses "Bob and Ray's" Broadway show, in which many of their most famous characters were honed, and speaks of his and Goulding's multiple TV talk show appearances, including T he Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and Late Night with David Letterman (on which his son Chris Elliott worked as a writer and on-air talent). Elliott discusses how he worked and developed his act with Ray Goulding, and recalls appearing on Newhart, Happy Days, and Trapper John, M.D. He talks about being a regular on his son Chris Elliott's groundbreaking cult sitcom, Get a Life, and recalls the longevity of the comedy of "Bob and Ray." Karen Herman conducted the interview in Harrisville, Maine on June 19, 2011.

"I like jokes, but Ray and I, we never did jokes. We weren't in that line of humor. We each contributed our own kind of observations. I'm glad to have people look at, and laugh at, and respect, and get some creative juice out of what we did by observing."

Highlights
Bob Elliott on creating his radio show with Ray Goulding and his getting his first television show, Bob and Ray
03:48
Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" as commercial pitchmen
02:04
Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" appearing on Late Night with David Letterman, on which his son Chris Elliott worked
01:55
Bob Elliott on the comedy style of "Bob and Ray"
03:50
Bob Elliott on hiring Audrey Meadows and Cloris Leachman to play the female characters on Bob and Ray
04:08
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early dramatic training; on what attracted him to radio; on his World War II experience
On his career in Boston radio and meeting Ray Goulding; on getting the first Bob and Ray television show and hiring Audrey Meadows and Cloris Leachman to play the female roles; on making the transition from radio to television
On "Bob and Ray's" Peil's Beer ad campaign; on "Bob and Ray's" Broadway show
On appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and various other talk shows; on his son Chris Elliott working as a writer/performer on Late Night with David Letterman; on his comedy partner Ray Goulding

Chapter 2

On working with Ray Goulding; on the comedy style of "Bob and Ray"; on various Bob and Ray television shows
On various Bob and Ray characters; on Bob and Ray's audience; on various other television appearances
On acting in his son Chris Elliott's show Get a Life; on then-current activities; on the legacy of "Bob and Ray"
Shows

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show
03:06

Get a Life

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Bob Elliott on co-starring in Get a Life with his son Chris Elliott
03:55

Happy Days

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Bob Elliott on making guest appearances on Happy Days and Trapper John, M.D.
01:05

Late Night with David Letterman

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Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" appearing on Late Night with David Letterman, on which his son Chris Elliott worked
01:55

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and various other talk shows
04:16

Trapper John, M. D.

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Bob Elliott on making guest appearances on Happy Days and Trapper John, M.D.
01:05
Topics

Hollywood Blacklist

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Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" doing comedy bits about McCarthyism
04:11

Industry Crossroads

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Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" doing comedy bits about McCarthyism
04:11
People

Chris Elliott

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Bob Elliott on "Bob and Ray" appearing on Late Night with David Letterman, on which his son Chris Elliott worked
01:55
Bob Elliott on co-starring in Get a Life with his son Chris Elliott
03:55

Angela Lansbury

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Bob Elliott on his early dramatic training
02:59

Cloris Leachman

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Bob Elliott on hiring Audrey Meadows and Cloris Leachman to play the female characters on Bob and Ray
04:08

Audrey Meadows

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Bob Elliott on hiring Audrey Meadows and Cloris Leachman to play the female characters on Bob and Ray
04:08

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