Everett Greenbaum

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, writer Everett Greenbaum (1919-1999) talks about being the only family in town with a television set during his childhood. He recalls his experiences in college and in the Navy, and recounts his time as a writer in the dying days of radio and the very early days of live television. He speaks of his association with the comedy program Mr. Peepers, his relationship with star Wally Cox, and his thirty-year writing partnership with Jim Fritzell. Greenbaum talks about his time on The George Gobel Show and his rocky relationship with George Gobel. He discusses writing for The Andy Griffith Show and his relationship with stars Don Knotts and Andy Griffith. He details writing for other programs such as The Odd Couple, Love American Style, and The Real McCoys. He describes writing for M*A*S*H and drawing upon real life military experience to write scripts. He concludes by discussing the then-current state of television, giving advice to writers, and expressing how he'd like to be remembered. Henry Colman conducted the interview on October 3, 1997 in Encino, CA.

"They say there's a formula for jokes. The main element of comedy is surprise. If you know the formula, it's not going to be a surprise after a while. So I disagree with that." 

Highlights
Everett Greenbaum on Wally Cox and Marlon Brando
04:34
Everett Greenbaum on the creation of "Gomer Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show
03:09
Everett Greenbaum on writing feature films for Andy Griffith and Don Knotts
02:36
Everett Greenbaum on coming up with story ideas for M*A*S*H
04:16
Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on attending MIT; on his time in the Navy; on early jobs in television
17:22
On his first writing job; on how he came to write for Mr. Peepers; on his writing partner Jim Fritzell
10:58

Chapter 2

On writing for Mr. Peepers; on Wally Cox as "Mr. Peepers" in Mr. Peepers
13:30
On writing for The George Gobel Show; on working for George Gobel; on working for producer Hal Kanter
15:00

Chapter 3

On leaving The George Gobel Show; on the Hollywood Blacklist; on writing for How To Marry a Millionaire and The Real McCoys
16:18
On writing for The Andy Griffith Show; on creating the character "Gomer Pyle" on T he Andy Griffith Show; on real life ideas used for the show
11:49

Chapter 4

On working with the cast of The Andy Griffith Show; on writing feature films; on how he came to write for M*A*S*H; on writing for The Odd Couple; on writing for Love, American Style
15:14
On writing for M*A*S*H; on story ideas for M*A*S*H
13:06

Chapter 5

On the characters of M*A*S*H; on how M*A*S*H changed over the years; on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H; on the finale of the show
11:57
On the death of his writing partner Jim Fritzell; on the sitcom formula; on the then-current state of television; on how he'd like to be remembered
15:16

Chapter 6

On people he's worked with though out the years; on his writing partner Jim Fritzell; on his wife
08:41
On B-Roll photos from his career: with Wally Cox circa 1953; the writing staff of The George Gobel Show; a party at Hal Kanter's home with Ed Wynn and his mother; on the Universal lot with Andy Griffith and Don Knotts; with Andy Griffith and Bob Sweeney; on the set of Reluctant Astronaut with Don Knotts; with Jim Fritzell; with Gertrude Berg; with Alan Alda and Mike Farell; of his wife Dean Ward; of a program of an art exhibit featuring his works
Shows

Andy Griffith Show, The

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Everett Greenbaum on writing for The Andy Griffith Show
10:33
Everett Greenbaum on the creation of "Gomer Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show
03:09
Everett Greenbaum on the cast of The Andy Griffith Show
02:57

George Gobel Show, The

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Everett Greenbaum on how he came to write for The George Gobel Show
01:50
Everett Greenbaum on writing for The George Gobel Show
03:45
Everett Greenbaum on the format of The George Gobel Show
01:06
Everett Greenbaum on getting fired from The George Gobel Show
01:47

How to Marry a Millionaire

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Everett Greenbaum on writing for How To Marry a Millionaire
02:17

Love, American Style

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Everett Greenbaum on writing Love, American Style
01:21

M*A*S*H

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Everett Greenbaum on how he came to write for M*A*S*H
01:27
Everett Greenbaum on writing for M*A*S*H
02:47
Everett Greenbaum on favorite M*A*S*H memories
02:45
Everett Greenbaum on coming up with story ideas for M*A*S*H
04:36
Everett Greenbaum on the cast of M*A*S*H
03:40
Everett Greenbaum on McLean Stevenson leaving M*A*S*H
01:43
Everett Greenbaum on the characters of M*A*S*H
01:29
Everett Greenbaum on how writing for M*A*S*H was different from other sitcoms
02:23
Everett Greenbaum on the changes in M*A*S*H over the years
02:32
Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45
Everett Greenbaum on the M*A*S*H finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"
01:32

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

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Everett Greenbaum on the M*A*S*H finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"
01:32

Mister Peepers

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Everett Greenbaum on how he came to write for Mr. Peepers
04:10
Everett Greenbaum on the format of Mr. Peepers
01:23
Everett Greenbaum on writing for Mr. Peepers
13:30
Everett Greenbaum on the process of writing Mr. Peepers
01:44

Odd Couple, The (1970-75)

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Everett Greenbaum on writing one The Odd Couple episode (where he had a falling-out with Tony Randall)
01:51

Real McCoys, The

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Everett Greenbaum on writing for The Real McCoys
05:26
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Everett Greenbaum on the creation of "Gomer Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show
03:09
Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45
Everett Greenbaum on the characters of M*A*S*H
01:29

Hollywood Blacklist

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Everett Greenbaum on the Hollywood Blacklist
02:11

Industry Crossroads

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Everett Greenbaum on the Hollywood Blacklist
02:11

Memorable Moments on Television

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Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45

Pop Culture

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Everett Greenbaum on the creation of "Gomer Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show
03:09
Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45
Everett Greenbaum on the characters of M*A*S*H
01:29

We Cried

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Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45
Professions

Writers

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Everett Greenbaum on the formula for a hit sitcom
01:19
Genres

Comedy Series

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Everett Greenbaum on writing for Mr. Peepers
05:53
Everett Greenbaum on writing for Mr. Peepers
11:44
Everett Greenbaum on writing for The Andy Griffith Show
10:33
Everett Greenbaum on writing for M*A*S*H
09:19
Everett Greenbaum on writing for M*A*S*H
11:58
People

Eve Arden

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Everett Greenbaum on Eve Arden
02:28

Marlon Brando

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Everett Greenbaum on Wally Cox and Marlon Brando
04:34

Fred Coe

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Everett Greenbaum on Fred Coe writing for Mr. Peepers
01:44

Wally Cox

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Everett Greenbaum on Wally Cox as "Mr. Peepers" in Mr. Peepers
04:34
Everett Greenbaum on Wally Cox and Marlon Brando
04:34

Jim Fritzell

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Everett Greenbaum on working with his writing partner Jim Fritzell
01:48
Everett Greenbaum on the death of his writing partner Jim Fritzell
01:39
Everett Greenbaum on his writing partner Jim Fritzell
01:18

George Gobel

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Everett Greenbaum on writing for George Gobel on The George Gobel Show
02:50

Andy Griffith

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Everett Greenbaum on writing feature films for Andy Griffith and Don Knotts
02:36

Hal Kanter

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Everett Greenbaum on working for producer Hal Kanter
01:26

Don Knotts

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Everett Greenbaum on writing feature films for Andy Griffith and Don Knotts
02:36

Jim Nabors

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Everett Greenbaum on the creation of "Gomer Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show
03:09

Tony Randall

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Everett Greenbaum on writing one The Odd Couple  episode (where he had a falling-out with Tony Randall)
01:51

McLean Stevenson

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Everett Greenbaum on McLean Stevenson leaving M*A*S*H
01:43
Everett Greenbaum on the death of "Col Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:45

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