Hal Kanter

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, Hal Kanter (1918-2011) talks extensively about his first television work as a writer for famed comedian, Ed Wynn, on The Ed Wynn Show. He discusses how he ultimately wrote and directed The George Gobel Show. Kanter recalls his pioneering sitcom, Julia, which starred Diahann Carroll, and featured the first black, female lead on television. Kanter also mentions his writing for the Academy Awards shows and dozens of feature films. Sam Denoff conducted the interview in Encino, CA on May 22, 1997.

"We couldn't get black people on the air until 'Julia' came along to prove that white people will watch black people on television. I feel some gratification when I see that."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Hal Kanter on how his show Julia originated out of his feeling a responsibility to help the image of African-Americans
Hal Kanter on being nominated for an Emmy for Julia; felt he was "accomplishing something"
Hal Kanter on writing for The Ed Wynn Show; on the show's Emmy win
Writer Hal Kanter on working on Chico and the Man; on the death of the show's star Freddie Prinze
Writer Hal Kanter on working on The Academy Awards shows and winning an Emmy Award for the show in 1991
Full Interview

Chapter 1

Introduction
On his early years and beginnings as a writer
On his first jobs in radio; on his World War II military service
On the first things he wrote for Bob Hope

Chapter 2

On working in radio on such shows as The Alan Young Show and The Danny Kaye Show
On his first television job, writing for The Ed Wynn Show; on Ed Wynn; on writing for early television; on the show's guests

Chapter 3

On some of the guests on The Ed Wynn Show including Ann Sheridan and Dinah Shore; on the transition from radio to television from a writer's perspective; on The Ed Wynn Show's Emmy Award win

Chapter 4

On working on The George Gobel Show and Kraft Music Hall
On creating and producing Julia
On The Jimmy Stewart Show

Chapter 5

On being executive producer during All in the Family's 1975-1976 season; on his difficulties working with Norman Lear
On working on Chico and the Man; on the death of the show's star Freddie Prinze
On working on The Academy Awards shows and winning an Emmy Award for the show in 1991
On some of his film work; on winning The Writers Guild of America's Valentine Davies Award; on how television has eveolved; on how he would like to be remembered
On some of the people he worked with in his career

Chapter 6

On some of the people he worked with; on photos illustrating points in his career
Shows

Academy Awards, The

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Writer Hal Kanter on working on The Academy Awards shows and winning an Emmy Award for the show in 1991

All in the Family

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Hal Kanter on being executive producer during All in the Family's 1975-1976 season; on his difficulties working with Norman Lear

Chico and the Man

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Writer Hal Kanter on working on Chico and the Man; on the death of the show's star Freddie Prinze

Ed Wynn Show, The

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Hal Kanter on writing for The Ed Wynn Show
Hal Kanter on writing for The Ed Wynn Show; on the show's Emmy win

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Writer Hal Kanter on working on The Academy Awards shows and winning an Emmy Award for the show in 1991

Jimmy Stewart Show, The

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Hal Kanter on The Jimmy Stewart Show

Julia

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Hal Kanter on how his show Julia originated out of his feeling a responsibility to help the image of African-Americans
Hal Kanter on why he changed the title of his show from "Mama's Man" to Julia
Hal Kanter on why Julia had no laugh track
Hal Kanter on being nominated for an Emmy for Julia; felt he was "accomplishing something"
Topics

Minorities

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Hal Kanter on how his show Julia originated out of his feeling a responsibility to help the image of Black Americans
Genres

Comedy Series

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Hal Kanter on why Julia had no laugh track
People

Diahann Carroll

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Hal Kanter on how Diahann Carroll was cast as the lead on Julia

Gary Cooper

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Writer Hal Kanter on Ann Sheridan's guest appearance on The Ed Wynn Show

Bob Hope

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Hal Kanter on first writing for Bob Hope

Norman Lear

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Hal Kanter being executive producer during All in the Family's 1975-1976 season; on his difficulties working with Norman Lear

Carroll O'Connor

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Hal Kanter  being executive producer during All in the Family's 1975-1976 season; on his difficulties working with Norman Lear

Freddie Prinze

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Writer Hal Kanter on working on Chico and the Man; on the death of the show's star Freddie Prinze

Ann Sheridan

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Writer Hal Kanter on Ann Sheridan's guest appearance on The Ed Wynn Show

James Stewart

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Hal Kanter on The Jimmy Stewart Show

Ed Wynn

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Hal Kanter on writing for The Ed Wynn Show; on the show's Emmy win

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