In his three-hour interview, Bruce Vilanch talks about growing up in New Jersey and realizing early on in life that he could make people laugh. He discusses attending Ohio State University and majoring in journalism and theater. He details his long-term professional relationship with Bette Midler, who helped him start his writing career, and speaks of the many people and shows for which he's written over the years: Sonny and Cher, Paul Lynde, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, Donny & Marie, The Star Wars Holiday Special, The Barry Manilow Special, Dolly, The Miss U.S.A Pageant, Burt Reynolds: Conversations With, The Gala for the President (for Presidents Bush and Clinton), The Sesame Street All Star 25, Comic Relief, and his many appearances on Hollywood Squares. He describes his long tenure as head writer of the Academy Awards, and outlines the particulars of writing for a live show, the challenges of remaining topical, and the art of selecting hosts. Vilanch explains the different kinds of writing needed for various awards shows, and recounts how he helped to set up the Screen Actors Guild Awards. He talks about the difference between writing for variety shows and for award shows, and describes how he tailors his writing for various show formats. He also speaks about being openly gay and how that has affected his career. Steven Wishnoff conducted the interview on June 22, 2011 in North Hollywood, CA.