Garry Marshall

Show Creator & Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

Garry Marshall (1934-2016) never thought about a career in television until he watched the variety comedy series Caesar's Hour. "...It was the most influential show cause I looked I said, 'I could do that.' The others I didn't relate to," he says. Marshall's lively interview consists of many entertaining anecdotes about his over forty years in the television business. In his three-hour Archive interview, he describes his early years as a journalist and his eventual entry into comedy writing for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. He talks about his work honing his craft as a writer on such '60s sitcoms as The Joey Bishop Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. He speaks in detail about developing The Odd Couple for television with his partner Jerry Belson. He then discusses helming some of the most popular sitcoms of the 1970s, including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. For these shows he details the casting, development and production as well as discusses the impact these series had on ABC. Finally, he briefly talks about his entry into feature filmmaking, offering this advice to aspiring producers, "use Julia Roberts" (she starred in his "Pretty Woman"). Karen Herman conducted the interview on August 28, 2000 at Marshall's Falcon Theatre in Toluca Lake, CA.

"The producer has to convince people of the basic sports theory that sometimes you've got to work with people; you don't have to go to lunch with them."

Highlights
Garry Marshall on beginning to write at an early age
01:44
Garry Marshall on the influence of Caesar's Hour on his writing career
00:48
Garry Marshall on writing for Jack Paar's Tonight show
02:07
Garry Marshall on the writing process for The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:25
Garry Marshall on his reputation as the "stuck-in-the" show writer and writing the tuba episode of Love, American Style
02:08
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "The Odd Monks" (airdate: October 13, 1972)
01:36
Garry Marshall on the initial development of Happy Days
04:18
Garry Marshall on the creation of Laverne & Shirley
03:49
Garry Marshall on his advice to aspiring producers
01:56
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his family and early years growing up in the Bronx
11:58
On first seeing television, his interest in writing, and attending Northwestern University
10:05
On his U.S. Army service in the Korean War
06:07

Chapter 2

On comedy writers transitioning to sitcoms and Joey Bishop moving him to California
02:38
On writing for Jack Paar's Tonight show
02:13
On writing for The Joey Bishop Show and learning the craft of writing
On creating Hey Landlord
On writing for The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show
13:19

Chapter 3

On writing for Lucille Ball on The Lucy Show
06:52
On being censored by the network on an I Spy script
03:19
On creating Sheriff Who? , and the difficulty of producing satire on TV
02:31
On various projects with partner Jerry Belson, including Love, American Style
06:49
On the casting and development of The Odd Couple
08:17

Chapter 4

On classic The Odd Couple episodes,doing away with the laugh track, and meeting Neil Simon
08:06
On Mary Tyler Moore disliking a The Dick Van Dyke Show script
01:37
On the last episode of The Odd Couple; and the failure of The New Odd Couple
03:37
On the short-lived series Barefoot in the Park, The Little People, Me and the Chimp, and Blansky's Beauties
03:22
On the history of the initial development of Happy Days
On the development and casting of the Fonz on Happy Days

Chapter 5

On Happy Days and the development of the Fonzie character
05:04
On producing Happy Days, his vision for the show, and the importance of director Jerry Paris
06:58
On his favorite episodes of Happy Days and the positive impact of some of the series' episodes
06:54
On creating, casting and producing Laverne & Shirley
09:31

Chapter 6

On the departure of Cindy Williams on Laverne & Shirley
02:17
On creating and producing Mork & Mindy
07:10
Garry Marshall on Robin Williams; and the casting of Jonathan Winters and Conrad Janis on Mork & Mindy
On producing Angie, the popularity of Joanie Love Chachi in Korea (the facts were later challenged on Snopes.com), and having 4 of the top 5 shows on the air in 1979
On transitioning to working in feature films
05:09
On his advice to aspiring producers
Shows

Angie

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Garry Marshall on producing Angie, starring Donna Pescow
00:56

Barefoot in the Park

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Garry Marshall on producing the TV series Barefoot in the Park
00:12

Blansky's Beauties

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Garry Marshall on producing the TV series Blansky's Beauties
01:08

Brian Keith Show, The aka The Little People

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Garry Marshall on producing the Brian Keith TV series The Little People
00:25

Caesar's Hour

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Garry Marshall on the influence of Caesar's Hour on his writing career
00:48

Danny Thomas Show, The aka Make Room for Daddy

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Garry Marshall on writing for the kids on The Danny Thomas Show
01:16

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Garry Marshall on the writing process for The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:25
Garry Marshall on the origin of The Dick Van Dyke Show episode, "Brother Can You Spare $2500?" (airdate: January 6, 1965)
00:36
Garry Marshall on some episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show based on his and Jerry Belson's lives
01:02
Garry Marshall on the origin of The Dick Van Dyke Show episode, "Long Night's Journey Into Day" (airdate: May 11, 1966)
01:56
Garry Marshall on the writing atmosphere on The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:33
Garry Marshall on Mary Tyler Moore disliking a Dick Van Dyke Show script
01:37

Happy Days

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Garry Marshall on the origin of the name "Potsie Weber"
00:20
Garry Marshall on "New Family in Town", the original unsold pilot for Happy Days
04:18
Garry Marshall on the casting of Ron Howard and the development of the Fonz character on Happy Days
06:52
Garry Marshall on negotiating with ABC so Fonzie could wear a leather jacket on Happy Days
02:19
Garry Marshall on the family focus of Happy Days
00:39
Garry Marshall on the censorship of a scene in "All the Way" (airdate: January 15, 1974), the first episode of Happy Days 
01:04
Garry Marshall on the writers, producers and other behind-the-scenes on Happy Days
02:19
Garry Marshall on his favorite episodes of Happy Days
03:29
Garry Marshall on the Happy Days episode "Richie Almost Dies" (airdate: January 31, 1978) (Fonzie cries)
01:28
Garry Marshall on the Happy Days episode "Hard Cover" (airdate: September 27, 1977) (Fonzie gets a library card)
01:11
Garry Marshall on the genesis of Mork on Happy Days, "My Favorite Orkan" (airdate: February 28, 1978) which led to Mork & Mindy
02:32
Garry Marshall on improvising a set on the Happy Days episode "Fonzie for the Defense" (airdate: May 30, 1978)
02:04

Hey Landlord!

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Garry Marshall on the first show he and Jerry Belson created, Hey Landlord
03:04

I Spy

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Garry Marshall on network censorship experienced writing the I Spy episode "No Exchange on Damaged Merchandise" (airdate: November 10, 1965)
02:04

Joanie Loves Chachi

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Garry Marshall on the popularity of Joanie Loves Chachi in Korea (the facts were later challenged on Snopes.com)
01:09

Joey Bishop Show, The (1961-65)

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Garry Marshall on writing for The Joey Bishop Show
01:58

Laverne & Shirley

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Garry Marshall on creating and producing Laverne & Shirley
06:58
Garry Marshall on the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley beginning with the episode "Angels of Mercy" (airdate: October 5, 1976) 
02:26
Garry Marshall on Cindy Williams departure from Laverne & Shirley
02:27

Love, American Style

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Garry Marshall on writing the Love, American Style episode "Love and the Tuba" (airdate: December 3, 1971)
03:28
Garry Marshall on Love, American Style airing the first unsold pilot for Happy Days (then known as "New Kid in Town") as an episode
02:58

Lucy Show, The

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Garry Marshall on the origin of The Lucy Show episode, "Lucy and the Sleeping Beauty" (airdate: November 15, 1965)
00:49
Garry Marshall on the origin of The Lucy Show episode, "Lucy and the Good Skate" (airdate: September 21, 1964) and Lucille Ball's accident while rehearsing it
00:45
Garry Marshall on the benefits of writing a Lucille Ball show
01:28
Garry Marshall on working as a writer for Lucille Ball (on The Lucy Show )
04:50

Me and the Chimp

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Garry Marshall on producing the TV series Me and the Chimp
01:17

Mork & Mindy

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Garry Marshall on creating, pitching, and casting Mork & Mindy
07:05
Garry Marshall on the casting of Robin Williams (and his fast pace) on Mork & Mindy
02:06
Garry Marshall on casting Jonathan Winters and Conrad Janis on Mork & Mindy
02:27
Garry Marshall on the closing monologues on Mork & Mindy
02:29

New Odd Couple, The

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Garry Marshall on The New Odd Couple, which used the original series' scripts with an African-American cast
03:03

Odd Couple, The (1970-75)

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Garry Marshall on being hired to develop The Odd Couple
01:13
Garry Marshall on casting The Odd Couple
03:45
Garry Marshall on Tony Randall and Jack Klugman's professionalism raising the bar for his sitcom writing
01:21
Garry Marshall on producing The Odd Couple episode "Your Mother Wears Army Boots" (airdate: January 16, 1975) with guests Howard Cosell and Martina Arroyo
00:56
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "The Odd Monks" (airdate: October 13, 1972)
01:36
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "Password" (airdate: December 1, 1972)
00:44
Garry Marshall on Tony Randall appearing on the Tonight show to ask viewers to complain about the laugh track on The Odd Couple
00:42
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "That is the Army Mrs. Madison" (airdate: October 26. 1973)
01:00
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "The New Car" (airdate: October 19, 1973)
01:22
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "The Princess" (airdate: September 29, 1972)
00:57
Garry Marshall on spit-takes on the last episode of The Odd Couple
00:40

Sheriff Who?

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Garry Marshall on creating Sheriff Who? (aka Evil Roy Slade )
01:38

Tonight Starring Jack Paar aka The Jack Paar Show

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Garry Marshall on writing for Jack Paar's Tonight show (aka The Jack Paar Show)
02:07
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Garry Marshall on Jack Paar walking off the set of the Tonight show in 1960
00:20
Garry Marshall on network censorship experienced writing the I Spy episode "No Exchange on Damaged Merchandise" (airdate: November 10, 1965)
02:04
Garry Marshall on network censorship on Happy Days
02:04

Characters & Catchphrases

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Garry Marshall on the creation of the Fonz on Happy Days
01:31
Garry Marshall on negotiating with ABC so Fonzie could wear a leather jacket on Happy Days
02:19

Comedy

View Topic
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "The Odd Monks" (airdate: October 13, 1972)
01:36
Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "Password" (airdate: December 1, 1972)
00:44
Garry Marshall on the Happy Days episode "Richie Almost Dies" (airdate: January 31, 1978) (Fonzie cries)
01:28
Garry Marsahall on the Happy Days episode "Hard Cover" (airdate: September 27, 1977) (Fonzie gets a library card)
01:11

Korean War

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Producer Garry Marshall on his service during the Korean War, where he ran Army radio stations
04:19

Minorities

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Garry Marshall on network censorship experienced writing the I Spy episode "No Exchange on Damaged Merchandise" (airdate: November 10, 1965)
02:04
Garry Marshall on The New Odd Couple, which used the original series' scripts with an African-American cast
03:03
Garry Marshall on the lack of African-American characters on Happy Days
01:11

People with Disabilities

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Garry Marshall on violinist Itzhak Perlman not being approved to guest on an Odd Couple episode because of his physical disability
00:44

We Laughed

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Garry Marshall on Jack Paar walking off the set of the Tonight show in 1960
00:21

Women

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Garry Marshall on the dearth of female comedy writers during The Dick Van Dyke Show era
00:14

World War II

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Producer Garry Marshall on being a child in New York during WWII
02:32
Professions

Directors

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Garry Marshall on trying to learn to direct one-camera on Love, American Style
00:34

Performers

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Producer Garry Marshall on his advice to actors
00:53

Producers

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Garry Marshall on realizing the increased importance of casting while producing The Odd Couple
02:25
Producer Garry Marshall on the most important thing he learned in TV
02:04
Garry Marshall on his advice to aspiring producers
01:56

Writers

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Garry Marshall on his early literary writing influences
01:27
Garry Marshall on tailoring writing for the star of a show
02:10
Garry Marshall on comedy writing from life experience
02:25
Garry Marshall on the differences between the fictional writers on The Dick Van Dyke Show and the actual ones
01:27
Garry Marshall on the advice Milt Josefsberg gave him about the financial rewards for writing for a Lucille Ball show
01:28
Garry Marshall on Tony Randall and Jack Klugman's professionalism raising the bar for his sitcom writing
01:21
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Garry Marshall on seeing TV comedy and thinking: "I could do that"
01:18
Garry Marshall on joke writers being trained to do story for sitcoms in the 1950s
01:57
Garry Marshall on the writing process for The Dick Van Dyke Show
02:25
Garry Marshall on the differences between the fictional writers on The Dick Van Dyke Show and the actual ones
01:27
Garry Marshall on realizing the increased importance of casting while producing The Odd Couple
02:25
Garry Marshall on Happy Days' dual appeal to children and adults
01:13
Garry Marshall on negotiating with ABC so Fonzie could wear a leather jacket on Happy Days
02:19
Garry Marshall on the family focus of Happy Days
00:39
Producer Garry Marshall on the success of Mork & Mindy
02:19

Late Night

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Garry Marshall on writing adlibs under the desk on Jack Paar's Tonight show
01:29
People

Desi Arnaz

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Garry Marshall on Desi Arnaz's use of three cameras on I Love Lucy
00:20

Lucille Ball

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Garry Marshall on the origin of The Lucy Show episode, "Lucy and the Good Skate" (airdate: September 21, 1964) and Lucille Ball's accident while rehearsing it
00:45
Garry Marshall on working as a writer for Lucille Ball (on The Lucy Show )
04:50

Warren Beatty

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Garry Marshall on college classmate Warren Beatty
00:57

Jerry Belson

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Garry Marshall on teaming with partner Jerry Belson on The Joey Bishop Show
00:25
Garry Marshall on partner Jerry Belson
00:48

Ted Bessell

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Garry Marshall on That Girl's Ted Bessell's starring in Me and the Chimp
01:17

Joey Bishop

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Garry Marshall on writing for The Joey Bishop Show
01:58

Lenny Bruce

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Garry Marshall on Lenny Bruce and Carl Reiner's philosophies of using one's experiences for comedy material
00:58

Marcy Carsey

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Garry Marshall on Michael Eisner's role in the development of Mork & Mindy
07:05

Bill Cosby

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Garry Marshall on network censorship of a script ("No Exchange on Damaged Merchandise") where Bill Cosby's I Spy character was to shoot a white criminal 
02:04

Howard Cosell

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Garry Marshall on Howard Cosell guesting on The Odd Couple episode "Your Mother Wears Army Boots" (airdate: January 16, 1975) 
00:32

Pam Dawber

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Garry Marshall on casting Pam Dawber as Mindy and the development of Mork & Mindy
07:05
Garry Marshall on Pam Dawber
00:32

Michael Eisner

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Garry Marshall on ABC executive Michael Eisner's contribution to the creation of Happy Days
02:58
Garry Marshall on Michael Eisner's suggestion that there be a gang on Happy Days
04:13
Garry Marshall on Michael Eisner's role in the development of Mork & Mindy
07:05

Fred Freeman

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Garry Marshall on the breakup of his writing partnership with Fred Freeman
01:21

Betty Garrett

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Garry Marshall briefly on hiring Betty Garrett on Laverne & Shirley
00:34

Susan Harris

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Garry Marshall briefly on Susan Harris, who was a writer on his series, Angie
00:56

Ron Howard

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Garry Marshall on casting Ron Howard in the original Love, American Style episode "New Family in Town" which led to his casting in American Graffiti
01:14
Garry Marshall on agreeing to age Ron Howard's character if Happy Days went to series
00:24

Conrad Janis

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Garry Marshall on casting Conrad Janis on Mork & Mindy
00:27

Milt Josefsberg

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Garry Marshall on the advice Milt Josefsberg gave him about the financial rewards for writing for a Lucille Ball show
01:28

Jack Klugman

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Garry Marshall on casting Jack Klugman in The Odd Couple
02:11

Sheldon Leonard

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Garry Marshall on his mentor Sheldon Leonard
00:26
Garry Marshall on Sheldon Leonard helping him and Jerry Belson get work 
00:49
Garry Marshall on executive producer Sheldon Leonard telling him about the network censorship of an I Spy script
02:04

Allen Ludden

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Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple episode "Password" (airdate: December 1, 1972)
00:44

Penny Marshall

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Garry Marshall on the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley  stars Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams
02:26
Garry Marshall on Penny Marshall's (and other TV pros') transition to film
02:16

Dean Martin

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Garry Marshall on the network wanting Dean Martin to star in The Odd Couple
00:32

Ethel Merman

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Garry Marshall on casting Jack Klugman after seeing him performing with Merman's in Gypsy
01:15

Tom Miller

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Garry Marshall on Michael Eisner's contribution to the creation of Happy Days
02:58

Mary Tyler Moore

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Garry Marshall on Mary Tyler Moore disliking a Dick Van Dyke show script
01:37

Gary Morton

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Garry Marshall on Gary Morton's marriage to Lucille Ball 
00:23

Jack Paar

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Garry Marshall on Jack Paar walking off the set of the Tonight show in 1960
00:21

Jerry Paris

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Garry Marshall on the importance of directory Jerry Paris to Happy Days
01:45

Itzhak Perlman

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Garry Marshall on Itzhak Perlman not being approved to guest on an Odd Couple episode because of his physical disability
00:44

Bill Persky

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Garry Marshall on the differences between the fictional writers on The Dick Van Dyke Show and the actual ones
01:27

Donna Pescow

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Garry Marshall on producing Angie, starring Donna Pescow
00:56

Tony Randall

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Garry Marshall on casting Tony Randall in The Odd Couple
01:12
Garry Marshall on Tony Randall appearing on the Tonight show asking viewers to complain about the laugh track on The Odd Couple
00:42

Carl Reiner

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Garry Marshall on Carl Reiner's use of one's experiences for comedy material on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:45
Garry Marshall on Sheldon Leonard convincing Carl Reiner to hire Marshall and Jerry Belson
00:49

Mickey Rooney

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Garry Marshall on the network wanting Mickey Rooney to star in The Odd Couple
00:32

Fred Silverman

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Garry Marshall on network executive Fred Silverman suggesting a show which became Me and the Chimp
01:17
Garry Marshall on ABC executive Fred Silverman's buying Laverne & Shirley
02:30
Garry Marshall on ABC executive Fred Silverman's use of crossovers and lead-ins
00:27

Neil Simon

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Garry Marshall on creator Neil Simon's non-involvement in The Odd Couple series
01:13

Danny Thomas

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Garry Marshall on Danny Thomas breaking his leg during a basketball game
00:37

Clint Walker

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Garry Marshall on the origin of The Lucy Show episode, "Lucy and the Sleeping Beauty" (airdate: November 15, 1965) with guest star Clint Walker
00:49

Cindy Williams

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Garry Marshall on the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley  stars Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams
02:26

Robin Williams

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Garry Marshall on casting Robin Williams as Mork and the development of Mork & Mindy
09:51

Henry Winkler

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Garry Marshall on the casting of Henry Winkler as "Arthur Fonzarelli" on Happy Days
00:47
Garry Marshall on negotiating with ABC so Fonzie could wear a leather jacket on Happy Days
02:19

Jonathan Winters

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Garry Marshall on Jonathan Winters joining the cast of Mork & Mindy
01:28

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