David Pollock

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In the half-hour, solo portion of his Archive interview, David Pollock talks about his early life and his father, who through a misunderstanding found himself on the Hollywood Blacklist. He describes early television he watched, and his years working on the radio as a writer and broadcaster. He concludes the solo portion of his interview by discussing his teaching career and the book he wrote, Bob and Ray, Keener Than Most Persons. In the three-hour, joint portion of their Archive interview, Elias Davis and David Pollock detail how they met and began writing together, and discuss their collaborative process which has remained basically the same since they started. They talk about their early years writing comedy bits for KNX Los Angeles radio personalities, which led to their first television gig for The Joey Bishop Show. They speak of going to write for the syndicated, daytime Pat Boone Show, which became The Steve Allen Show the following season. They talk of becoming showrunners for The Steve Allen Show, and recall writing for other variety shows, including The Don Knotts Show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and The Carol Burnett Show. Davis and Pollock also discuss writing for several sitcoms, including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and finally M*A*S*H, where they worked on the last few seasons and helped write the finale "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen." They conclude the joint portion of their interview by discussing their time as writers on Frasier and relating their favorite stories about each other. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview in a joint venture with The Writers Guild Foundation on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA.

"Our writing process was probably the exact same process that we stayed with and that all comedy writers stay with. It's the very thing you see in the movies, two guys in a small room, two desks usually jammed together, a very unglamorous, spartan kind of a setting and just talking over each other and trying this, trying that, going backwards and forwards. Very disorganized, yet in its own way methodical and organized."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for Bill Dana as "Jose Jimenez"
Elias Davis and David Pollock on becoming showrunners for The Steve Allen Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on working with Paddy Chayefsky on Your Place or Mine?
Elias Davis and David Pollock on advice to an aspiring television writer
Elias Davis and David Pollock on rewriting scripts for M*A*S*H
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his father (who was also a writer) being on the Hollywood Blacklist; on the first time he saw television
On his college education and his early radio career as a writer and broadcaster; on meeting writing partner Elias Davis; on his teaching career and the book he wrote about Bob & Ray (Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding)

Chapter 2

START OF JOINT INTERVIEW with David Pollock and Elias Davis; on how they met as ushers at CBS; on how they started writing together; on their collaborative process
On their first big break as writers for Pat Buttram on the radio; on writing for Bill Dana as "Jose Jimenez"; on writing comedy for KNX radio in Los Angeles
On going to write for The Joey Bishop Show; on the process of writing for The Joey Bishop Show; on Regis Philbin as announcer of The Joey Bishop Show; on getting help from the Writers Guild and what they learned from writing for The Joey Bishop Show
On going to write for The Pat Boone Show; on going to write for The Steve Allen Show
On writing for sketches versus writing monologue jokes and why they enjoyed writing for The Steve Allen Show; on becoming showrunners for The Steve Allen Show

Chapter 3

On writing for The Don Knotts Show; on writing for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour; on writing for Don Rickles: Alive and Kicking; on writing The Monkees episode "Monkees Race Again"
On writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show under producer Carl Reiner; on writing for All in the Family; on writing for The Mary Tyler Moore Show
On working with Paddy Chayefsky on Your Place or Mine?; on why Your Place or Mine? didn't work
On writing for The Carol Burnett Show; on various Carol Burnett Show sketches they wrote or participated in writing; on leaving the show after one year

Chapter 4

On how they came to write for M*A*S*H; on rewriting scripts for M*A*S*H; on the writers' room of the show
On the research that went in to writing stories for M*A*S*H and using military and medical jargon in the scripts; on keeping M*A*S*H fresh; on writing the M*A*S*H final episode "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"; on the legacy of the show and its creator Larry Gelbart
On dealing with writer's block; on their mentors; on creating the show One Big Family starring Danny Thomas; on writing for Frasier
On advice to an aspiring television writer; on their favorite stories about each other; on how they'd like to be remembered
Shows

All in the Family

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for All in the Family

Carol Burnett Show, The (1967-78)

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Carol Burnett Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the process of writing for The Carol Burnett Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on various Carol Burnett Show sketches they wrote or participated in writing
Elias Davis and David Pollock on leaving The Carol Burnett Show

Don Knotts Show, The

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Don Knotts Show

Frasier

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for Frasier

Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour

Joey Bishop Show, The (1967-69)

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on going to write for The Joey Bishop Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the process of writing for The Joey Bishop Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on Regis Philbin as announcer of The Joey Bishop Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on getting help from the Writers Guild and what they learned from writing for The Joey Bishop Show

M*A*S*H

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on how they came to write for M*A*S*H
Elias Davis and David Pollock on rewriting scripts for M*A*S*H
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the writers' room of M*A*S*H
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the research that went in to writing stories for M*A*S*H and using military and medical jargon in the scripts
Elias Davis and David Pollock on keeping M*A*S*H fresh
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing the M*A*S*H final episode "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart

M*A*S*H: "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing the M*A*S*H final episode "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The

View Show Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Monkees, The

View Show Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing The Monkees episode "Monkees Race Again"

New Dick Van Dyke Show, The

View Show Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show under producer Carl Reiner

Steve Allen Show, The (1968-72)

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on going to write for The Steve Allen Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on becoming showrunners for The Steve Allen Show
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Elias Davis and David Pollock on advice to an aspiring television writer

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors

First Big Break

View Topic
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their first big break as writers for Pat Buttram on the radio

Hollywood Blacklist

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David Pollock on his father being on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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David Pollock on his father being on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
David Pollock on meeting writing partner Elias Davis
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their first big break as writers for Pat Buttram on the radio
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart

Television Industry

View Topic
David Pollock on his father being on the Hollywood Blacklist
Elias Davis and David Pollock on advice to an aspiring television writer
Professions

Writers

View Profession
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their collaborative process
Elias Davis and David Pollock on dealing with writer's block
Elias Davis and David Pollock on advice to an aspiring television writer
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show under producer Carl Reiner
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing The Monkees episode "Monkees Race Again"
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for All in the Family
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on creating the show One Big Family starring Danny Thomas
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for Frasier
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for M*A*S*H

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Don Knotts Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Carol Burnett Show

Talk Shows

View Genre
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Joey Bishop Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Pat Boone Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for and showrunning The Steve Allen Show
People

Steve Allen

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on going to write for The Steve Allen Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on becoming showrunners for The Steve Allen Show

Joey Bishop

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on going to write for The Joey Bishop Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the process of writing for The Joey Bishop Show
Elias Davis and David Pollock on Regis Philbin as announcer of The Joey Bishop Show

Pat Boone

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on going to write for The Pat Boone Show

Carol Burnett

View Interview Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Carol Burnett Show

Pat Buttram

View Person Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their first big break as writers for Pat Buttram on the radio

Glen Campbell

View Person Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour

Paddy Chayefsky

View Person Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on working with Paddy Chayefsky on Your Place or Mine?
Elias Davis and David Pollock on why Your Place or Mine? their collaboration with Paddy Chayefsky, didn't work

Bill Dana

View Interview Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for Bill Dana as "Jose Jimenez"

Dick Van Dyke

View Interview Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show under producer Carl Reiner

Bob Elliott

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David Pollock on his book about Bob & Ray (Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding)

Larry Gelbart

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart

Ray Goulding

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David Pollock on his book about Bob & Ray (Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding)

Don Knotts

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Don Knotts Show

Shari Lewis

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for Shari Lewis and "Lambchop"

Mary Tyler Moore

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Regis Philbin

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on Regis Philbin as announcer of The Joey Bishop Show

Carl Reiner

View Interview Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on writing for The New Dick Van Dyke Show under producer Carl Reiner

Danny Thomas

View Person Page
Elias Davis and David Pollock on creating the show One Big Family starring Danny Thomas

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