Ed Begley, Jr. with Emerson College

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Ed Begley, Jr. talks about being cast on St. Elsewhere, and recalls his father, Ed Begley, Sr. allowing him to make the choice to be an actor. He recounts realizing he had a flair for comedy at a young age, as well as his very first acting job on My Three Sons. Begley describes his early standup act with a young Michael Richards, and expounds on his philosophy of comedy, and on his style. He touches on his favorite comedians, as well as the importance of managers and agents in a comedian’s career. He outlines his long-standing environmental advocacy, and offers advice to aspiring comedians. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on May 31, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA.

"The advice I give actors and actresses when they ask me, 'What do you think? Should I go in the business?' I always tell them, 'Absolutely not.' If you have to ask that question, the answer is no."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Ed Begley, Jr. on being cast on St. Elsewhere
Ed Begley, Jr. on his comedic influences, and on his philosophy of comedy
Ed Begley, Jr. on his environmental advocacy
Ed Begley, Jr. on advice for aspiring performers
Ed Begley, Jr. on the creative team behind St. Elsewhere
Ed Begley, Jr. on using television and movies for social commentary or political messages, and on the healing power of comedy
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On starring on St. Elsewhere, and on his father's stance on his acting career; on appearing in films for director Christopher Guest; on his first acting job, on My Three Sons
On deciding he wanted to be a comedic actor, and that he had the ability to make people laugh; on his early stand-up act with Michael Richards, and on his early comedic style; on his comedic influences, and on his philosophy of comedy
On the "rules" of comedy, and on then-favorite comedians, and managers of comedians; on a performer or actor controlling his image or how he's seen by the public, and on improving as an actor or comedian; on his environmental advocacy
On actors and performers using their fame to advocate political causes, and how he handles that responsibility for his environmental advocacy; on advice for aspiring performers; on guest-starring on Maude, and on The Steve Allen Show being his favorite show
Shows

Maude

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Ed Begley, Jr. on guest-starring on Maude, and on The Steve Allen Show being his favorite show

My Three Sons

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his first acting job, on My Three Sons

St. Elsewhere

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Ed Begley, Jr. on cast members from The Steve Allen Show guest-starring on St. Elsewhere
Ed Begley, Jr. on being cast on St. Elsewhere
Ed Begley, Jr. on the creative team behind St. Elsewhere

Steve Allen Show, The (1956-61)

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Ed Begley, Jr. on cast members from The Steve Allen Show guest-starring on St. Elsewhere
Ed Begley, Jr. on guest-starring on Maude, and on The Steve Allen Show being his favorite show
Topics

Advice

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Ed Begley, Jr. on advice for aspiring performers

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his comedic influences, and on his philosophy of comedy

Pivotal Career Moments

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his comedic influences, and on his philosophy of comedy

Television Industry

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Ed Begley, Jr. on advice for aspiring performers
Professions

Actor

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Ed Begley, Jr. on a performer or actor controlling his image or how he's seen by the public, and on improving as an actor or comedian
Ed Begley, Jr. on advice for aspiring performers

Comedian

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Ed Begley, Jr. on the "rules" of comedy, and on then-favorite comedians, and managers of comedians

Performers

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Ed Begley, Jr. on the "rules" of comedy, and on then-favorite comedians, and managers of comedians
Ed Begley, Jr. on a performer or actor controlling his image or how he's seen by the public, and on improving as an actor or comedian
Ed Begley, Jr. on advice for aspiring performers
Genres

Comedy Series

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his first acting job, on My Three Sons
Ed Begley, Jr. on guest-starring on Maude, and on The Steve Allen Show being his favorite show

Medical Dramas

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Ed Begley, Jr. on starring on St. Elsewhere

Talk Shows

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Ed Begley, Jr. on guest-starring on Maude, and on The Steve Allen Show being his favorite show
People

Ed Begley

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his father, Ed Begley, and on deciding to get into acting

Christopher Guest

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Ed Begley, Jr. on appearing in films for director Christopher Guest

Michael Richards

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his early stand-up act with Michael Richards, and on his early comedic style

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