Don Roy King

Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour interview, Don Roy King discusses his early years, and his internship at KDKA. He talks about directing local television in New York, and eventually going on to direct The Mike Douglas Show. He recalls his years directing morning television, including Good Morning America and CBS This Morning. He details many aspects of his then-current job as director of Saturday Night Live, including working with producer Lorne Michaels, and outlining a typical work week. King also chronicles rehearsal for the show, working with various guest-stars, and he opines on the legacy of the show. He concludes by discussing what makes a good television director, and talking about his career achievements. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on November 14, 2017, in New York, NY.

"Directing for television is like a football game. I get the same adrenaline rush every time I say 'Fade up on camera one,' and it stays straight through to the point where I say, 'Fade to black, audio and video.' It's teamwork at the highest level. It’s being a part of something that feels worth doing and electric and alive."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Don Roy King on moving to New York to direct Midday Live, and on an on-air blooper
Don Roy King on directing the short-lived NBC showAmerica Alive! after leaving The Mike Douglas Show then going on to direct the pilot for Entertainment Tonight and what those experiences taught him
Don Roy King on auditioning to be an MTV VJ, and on being part of the MTV launch
Don Roy King on working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live, and on learning to direct the show
Don Roy King on a typical work week on Saturday Night Live, and on Ludacris hosting the show
Don Roy King on directing coverage of 9/11 for CBS
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched while growing up; on his very first directing project
On interning and working at KDKA; on moving to New York to direct Midday Live, and on an on-air blooper; on the challenges he faced moving from a smaller market to a big market; on being one of the three directors working at WNEW and their different directing styles
On going to direct at CBS; on directing The Mike Douglas Show; on working with Mike Douglas on The Mike Douglas Show and working with the various guest co-hosts
On what it was like to direct The Mike Douglas Show; on winning an Emmy Award for The Mike Douglas Show; on directing America Alive! and on helping to create Entertainment Tonight

Chapter 2

On auditioning to be an MTV VJ, and on being part of the MTV launch; on directing Good Morning America, and on working with David Hartman and Charlie Gibson; on directing The CBS Early Show, and on working on the graphic design for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
On directing Olympics updates, and on memorable moments of directing for CBS News and Good Morning America; on directing Survivor finales; on leaving CBS, and on directing coverage of 9/11
On his daughter (Ed. note: Mr. King would like to clarify that his daughter was born in 1997); on being hired by Lorne Michaels to direct Saturday Night Live; on working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live, and on learning to direct the show
On his first Saturday Night Live directing job, and on his role as director on the show; on the key crew members he works with on Saturday Night Live; on a typical work week on Saturday Night Live, and on Ludacris hosting the show
On working with the guest hosts of Saturday Night Live, and on the show dealing with politics; on working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live
On a typical work week on Saturday Night Live; on working with the designers, music groups, and cue cards on Saturday Night Live; on rehearsing sketches on the show

Chapter 3

On working with the musical acts of Saturday Night Live; on dealing with last minute changes before going live on-air while directing Saturday Night Live
On the dress rehearsal and going live on-air on Saturday Night Live; on what he does after a Saturday Night Live broadcast, and on how writers and cast members leaving the show impacts it; on his comfort level with directing Saturday Night Live, and on winning Emmys for the show
On what makes a sucessful episode of Saturday Night Live from a directing standpoint; on directing Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special; on the legacy of Saturday Night Live
On how he views his career; on his style of directing; on what makes a good live television director, and on how technology has impacted directing for television
On a live broadcast becoming the director's show once it starts, and on his creative freedom as a live television director; on never having an agent or manager, and on how directing for television has changed since he started; on advice to aspiring directors
On career achievements; on what he loves about directing, and on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

CBS Early Show, The

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Don Roy King on directing The CBS Early Show, and on working on the graphic design for The CBS Evening News

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather

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Don Roy King on directing The CBS Early Show, and on working on the graphic design for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather

CBS News

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Don Roy King on directing Olympics updates, and on memorable moments of directing for CBS News and Good Morning America

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Don Roy King on winning an Emmy Award for The Mike Douglas Show

Good Morning America

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Don Roy King on directing Good Morning America, and on working with David Hartman and Charlie Gibson
Don Roy King on directing Olympics updates, and on memorable moments of directing for CBS News and Good Morning America

Mike Douglas Show, The

View Show Page
Don Roy King on directing The Mike Douglas Show
Don Roy King on working with Mike Douglas on The Mike Douglas Show and working with the various guest co-hosts
Don Roy King on what it was like to direct The Mike Douglas Show
Don Roy King on winning an Emmy Award for The Mike Douglas Show

Olympics

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Don Roy King on directing Olympics updates, and on memorable moments of directing for CBS News and Good Morning America

Saturday Night Live

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Don Roy King on being hired by Lorne Michaels to direct Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live, and on learning to direct the show
Don Roy King on his first Saturday Night Live directing job, and on his role as director on the show
Don Roy King on the key crew members he works with on Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on a typical work week on Saturday Night Live, and on Ludacris hosting the show
Don Roy King on working with the guest hosts of Saturday Night Live, and on the show dealing with politics
Don Roy King on working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on a typical work week on Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on working with the designers, music groups, and cue cards on Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on rehearsing sketches on Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on working with the musical acts of Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on dealing with last minute changes before going live on-air while directing Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on the dress rehearsal and going live on-air on Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on what he does after a Saturday Night Live broadcast, and on how writers and cast members leaving the show impacts it
Don Roy King on his comfort level with directing Saturday Night Live, and on winning Emmy Awards for the show
Don Roy King on what makes a sucessful episode of Saturday Night Live from a directing standpoint
Don Roy King on directing Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special
Don Roy King on the legacy of Saturday Night Live

Survivor

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Don Roy King on directing Survivor finales
Topics

9/11

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Don Roy King on directing coverage of 9/11 for CBS

Bloopers

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Don Roy King on an on-air blooper on Midday Live

Emmy Awards

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Don Roy King on winning an Emmy Award for The Mike Douglas Show
Don Roy King on winning Emmys for his work on Saturday Night Live

Historic Events and Social Change

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Don Roy King on directing coverage of 9/11 for CBS
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Don Roy King on being one of the three directors working at WNEW and their different directing styles
Don Roy King on his style of directing
Don Roy King on what makes a good live television director, and on how technology has impacted directing for television
Don Roy King on a live broadcast becoming the director's show once it starts, and on his creative freedom as a live television director
Don Roy King on never having an agent or manager, and on how directing for television has changed since he started
Don Roy King on advice to aspiring directors
Don Roy King on what he loves about directing, and on how he'd like to be remembered
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Don Roy King on directing Saturday Night Live
Don Roy King on directing Saturday Night Live

News and Documentary

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Don Roy King on directing Good Morning America, and on working with David Hartman and Charlie Gibson
Don Roy King on working at CBS News

Reality TV

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Don Roy King on directing Survivor finales

Talk Shows

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Don Roy King on directing The Mike Douglas Show
People

Mike Douglas

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Don Roy King on directing The Mike Douglas Show

Charlie Gibson

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Don Roy King on directing Good Morning America, and on working with David Hartman and Charlie Gibson

Lorne Michaels

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Don Roy King on working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live

All Interviews

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