Greg Daniels

Writer / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Greg Daniels discusses writing for "The Harvard Lampoon," which led to a job writing for HBO's Not Necessarily the News. He recalls his early writing partner Conan O'Brien and writing for Saturday Night Live and Fox's short-lived late night show The Wilton North Report. He describes writing an episode of Seinfeld and being hired to write for The Simpsons, where he contributed many classic episodes including "Homer and Apu" and "Lisa's Wedding." Daniels then talks about adapting the British series The Office for an American audience. He discusses casting the series, getting the right tone, and creating interesting story arcs. He talks of the departure of Steve Carell from The Office and ending the show after nine seasons. He also outlines the creation of Parks and Recreation, and comments on his plans for the then-future. Karen Herman conducted the interview on April 5, 2013 in Van Nuys, CA.

All views expressed by interviewees are theirs alone and not necessarily those of the Television Academy.

"When I agreed to do The Office, the British version was not airing anywhere in America. When it did, everybody in the comedy world realized how great it was and it put a lot of pressure on us. All in the Family never had to compete with its British counterpart, but we did."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Greg Daniels on writing an episode of Seinfeld
05:35
Greg Daniels on writing humor at Harvard and partnering with Conan O'Brien
04:11
Greg Daniels on adapting The Office for an American audience
04:28
Greg Daniels on the finale of The Office
06:14
Greg Daniels on creating Parks and Recreation
03:37
Greg Daniels on the key to writing
02:00
Full Interview

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Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched growing up; on his early attempts at humor writing
On writing for The Harvard Lampoon and partnering with Conan O'Brien; on writing for Not Necessarily the News
On writing for The Wilton North Report; on being hired to write for Saturday Night Live; on his writing partnership with Conan O'Brien
On writing for Saturday Night Live; on the legacy of Saturday Night Live; on favorite guest hosts on the show

Chapter 2

On writing an episode of Seinfeld; on writing for The Simpsons
On The Simpsons' writers' room; on classic episodes of The Simpsons that he wrote; on writing the various characters and leaving the show
On developing King of the Hill; on the inspiration for stories on King of the Hill; on establishing the look of the show
On the audience for King of the Hill; on the philosophy of King of the Hill, and his experience as showrunner; on leaving King of the Hill

Chapter 3

On becoming involved with The Office; on casting and staffing The Office
On adapting The Office for an American audience; on the characters and story arcs of The Office; on dealing with the network regarding the show
On the final season of The Office; on the finale of The Office and his favorite episodes; on the legacy of the show
On creating Parks and Recreation; on the storylines and characters of Parks and Recreation

Chapter 4

On then-current projects; on his production company; on his editing process
On advice to aspiring writers; on the key to writing; on where he sees himself in ten years
Shows

King of the Hill

View Show Page
Greg Daniels on developing King of the Hill
04:25
Greg Daniels on the inspiration for stories on King of the Hill
00:51
Greg Daniels on establishing the look of King of the Hill
04:27
Greg Daniels on the intended audience for King of the Hill
02:19
Greg Daniels on the pressure to make King of the Hill more like The Simpsons
01:37
Greg Daniels on the philosophy of King of the Hill
02:42
Greg Daniels on being showrunner of King of the Hill
04:30

Not Necessarily the News

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Greg Daniels on writing for Not Necessarily the News with Conan O'Brien
07:26

Office, The

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Greg Daniels on appearing in front of the camera on The Office
01:29
Greg Daniels on becoming involved with The Office
05:50
Greg Daniels on casting and hiring the staff for The Office
05:20
Greg Daniels on writers from The Office being in the cast
04:02
Greg Daniels on adapting The Office for an American audience
04:28
Greg Daniels on writing the supporting characters on The Office and creating story arcs
04:17
Greg Daniels on the guest stars of The Office
01:44
Greg Daniels on replacing Steve Carell on The Office
02:05
Greg Daniels on his dealings with NBC regarding The Office
01:58
Greg Daniels on the last season of The Office
03:49
Greg Daniels on the documentary aspect of The Office
01:51
Greg Daniels on the finale of The Office
06:14
Greg Daniels on choosing Scranton, PA as the location and coming up with the name Dunder Mifflin for The Office
02:04
Greg Daniels on his favorite episodes and moments of The Office
01:12
Greg Daniels on Ricky Gervais' and Stephen Merchant's involvement in The Office
00:54
Greg Daniels on how he feels about The Office, and the reaction to the show
01:17
Greg Daniels on the legacy of The Office
01:44

Parks and Recreation

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Greg Daniels on creating Parks and Recreation
03:37
Greg Daniels on the storylines and characters of Parks and Recreation
04:51
Greg Daniels on his favorite Parks and Recreation episodes and where he sees the show going
01:56

Saturday Night Live

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Greg Daniels on being hired to write for Saturday Night Live
03:19
Greg Daniels on what he learned as a writer on Saturday Night Live
03:49
Greg Daniels on the legacy of Saturday Night Live
03:04
Greg Daniels on favorite Saturday Night Live guest hosts and writing for them
04:01

Seinfeld

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Greg Daniels on writing an episode of Seinfeld
05:35

Simpsons, The

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Greg Daniels on writing for The Simpsons
09:31
Greg Daniels on The Simpsons' writers' room
01:04
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Homer and Apu"
05:00
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Wedding"
03:09
Greg Daniels on writing for the various characters on The Simpsons
03:33
Greg Daniels on the longevity of The Simpsons
02:58
Greg Daniels on leaving The Simpsons
02:16
Topics

Advice

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Greg Daniels on advice to aspiring writers
02:03

Characters & Catchphrases

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Greg Daniels on writing the supporting characters on The Office and creating story arcs
04:17

Classic TV series episodes

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Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Homer and Apu"
05:00
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Wedding"
03:09
Greg Daniels on his favorite episodes and moments of The Office
01:12

Comedy

View Topic
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Homer and Apu"
05:00
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Wedding"
03:09
Greg Daniels on his favorite episodes and moments of The Office
01:12

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Greg Daniels on television he watched while he was growing up and his early comedic influences
03:12

First Big Break

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Greg Daniels on writing for Not Necessarily the News  with Conan O'Brien
07:26

Pivotal Career Moments

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Greg Daniels on television he watched while he was growing up and his early comedic influences
03:12
Greg Daniels on writing for Not Necessarily the News  with Conan O'Brien
07:26

Pop Culture

View Topic
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Homer and Apu"
05:00
Greg Daniels on writing The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Wedding"
03:09
Greg Daniels on writing the supporting characters on The Office and creating story arcs
04:17
Greg Daniels on his favorite episodes and moments of The Office
01:12

Technological Innovation

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Greg Daniels on how the technology of television has changed since he started
04:11

Television Industry

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Greg Daniels on advice to aspiring writers
02:03
Professions

Writers

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Greg Daniels on being showrunner on King of the Hill
04:30
Greg Daniels on writing visual gags
01:54
Greg Daniels on advice to aspiring writers
02:03
Greg Daniels on the key to writing
02:00
Genres

Animation

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Greg Daniels on writing for The Simpsons
29:50
Greg Daniels on writing and being showrunner on King of the Hill
20:51

Comedy Series

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Greg Daniels on writing for The Simpsons
29:50
Greg Daniels on writing and being showrunner on King of the Hill
20:51
Greg Daniels on creating and writing The Office
49:51
Greg Daniels on creating Parks and Recreation
08:29
Greg Daniels on writing Parks and Recreation
01:56

Late Night

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Greg Daniels on writing for Saturday Night Live
20:09
People

Alec Baldwin

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Greg Daniels on favorite Saturday Night Live guest hosts and writing for them
04:01

Steve Carell

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Greg Daniels on casting and hiring the crew for The Office
05:22

Larry David

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Greg Daniels on writing an episode of Seinfeld
05:35

Ricky Gervais

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Greg Daniels on becoming involved with The Office
05:50
Greg Daniels on Ricky Gervais' and Stephen Merchant's involvement in The Office
00:54

Norman Lear

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Greg Daniels on interviewing Norman Lear in college
01:14

Lorne Michaels

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Greg Daniels on what he learned as a writer on Saturday Night Live
51:32

Conan O'Brien

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Greg Daniels on writing humor at Harvard and partnering with Conan O'Brien
04:11
Greg Daniels on writing for Not Necessarily the News with Conan O'Brien
07:26
Greg Daniels on being hired to write for Saturday Night Live
03:19
Greg Daniels on writing with Conan O'Brien
04:22
Greg Daniels on the end of his writing partnership with Conan O'Brien
01:34

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