Heino Ripp

Technical Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Heino Ripp (1925–2009) recalls his earliest days at NBC in the NBC Development Group, working alongside engineers who were creating the modern television system. He discusses his transition to working as a technical director, and explains the duties he carried out in that position. He also speaks about some of the programs that he worked on in this capacity, including The Howdy Doody Show, Admiral Broadway Revue, Your Show of Shows, dozens of Max Liebman "Spectaculars" and especially, The Perry Como Show. Ripp also talks briefly about working on the first two television specials starring entertainer Barbra Streisand, and being on the job during the Apollo space launches. Finally, he discusses his work on NBC's Saturday Night Live, and working as a director on The New Show. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on October 23, 2000 in Lake Hopatcong, NJ.

"The reason they have technical directors in the first place was because there were a lot of people coming around into television who had no idea what television was. NBC decided that we would be the ones who would guide everybody and be the chief of the crew. Basically, we were teachers."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Howdy Doody
Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows
Heino Ripp on working on several shows at the same time at NBC in the early 1950s
Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for The Bob Hope Chevy Show
Heino Ripp on his first professional job at NBC
Heino Ripp on The Perry Como Show traveling to other countries, including London and Cuba
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio he listened to growing up; on his first professional job at NBC
On early television technology, and on the picture quality and reception of television when he started; on being in the newsroom on D-Day; on becoming technical director for NBC

Chapter 2

On the reliability of the equipment at NBC when he started; on what a technical director does; on acting as technical director for The Bob Hope Chevy Show
On what it was like in the control room of The Bob Hope Chevy Show; on acting as technical director for Howdy Doody

Chapter 3

On the technical staff of Howdy Doody; on working on several shows at the same time at NBC in the early 1950s; on acting as technical director for Arturo Toscanini's first televised concert
On acting as technical director for Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows; on Sylvester L. Weaver's relationship to Your Show of Shows
On Max Liebman Presents, also known as the NBC Spectaculars; on the technical aspects of switching to color for Max Liebman Presents, also known as the NBC Spectaculars

Chapter 4

On being technical director on various episodes of Max Liebman Presents aka the NBC Spectaculars; on being technical director for The Perry Como Show
On where he was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated; on the directors of The Perry Como Show

Chapter 5

On The Perry Como Show traveling to other countries, including London and Cuba
On acting as technical director for the Barbra Streisand Specials; on his work as a technical director on various Apollo missions
On being technical director for Saturday Night Live, and on working with the cast, including John Belushi

Chapter 6

On working with John Belushi and Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live; on leaving Saturday Night Live to direct Lorne Michaels' The New Show
On going into semi-retirement, and on various projects he worked on subsequent to it, including the Orange Bowl Parade; on his favorite assignments at NBC, his longevity, and the cameramen he worked with

Chapter 7

On b-roll pictures from his career- Various pictures of the NBC Engineering staff through the years; the set of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois"; picture of Max Liebman Presents; from the set of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois"; Times Square on VE Day; in the basement at NBC; in the control room at NBC in New York; studio 3H at NBC in New York for Howdy Doody; on the set of Philco Playhouse; the control room of Your Show of Shows; in the control room of Saturday Night Live with Dave Wilson; in the control room of Saturday Night Live circa 1984
Shows

Admiral Broadway Revue

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows

Barbra Streisand Specials

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for the Barbra Streisand Specials

Bob Hope Chevy Show, The

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for The Bob Hope Chevy Show
Heino Ripp on what it was like in the control room of The Bob Hope Chevy Show

Howdy Doody

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Howdy Doody
Heino Ripp on the technical staff of Howdy Doody

Max Liebman Presents

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Heino Ripp on Max Liebman Presents, also known as the NBC Spectaculars
Heino Ripp on the technical aspects of switching to color for Max Liebman Presents, also known as the NBC Spectaculars
Heino Ripp on being technical director on various episodes of Max Liebman Presents aka the NBC Spectaculars

New Show, The

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Heino Ripp on leaving Saturday Night Live to direct Lorne Michaels' The New Show

Perry Como Show, The

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Heino Ripp on being technical director for The Perry Como Show
Heino Ripp on the directors of The Perry Como Show
Heino Ripp on The Perry Como Show traveling to other countries, including London and Cuba

Saturday Night Live

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Heino Ripp on being technical director for Saturday Night Live, and on working with the cast, including John Belushi
Heino Ripp on working with John Belushi and Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live

Your Show of Shows

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows
Heino Ripp on Sylvester L. Weaver's relationship to Your Show of Shows
Topics

Historic Events and Social Change

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Heino Ripp on being in the newsroom on D-Day
Heino Ripp on where he was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated
Heino Ripp on his work as a technical director on various Apollo missions

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Heino Ripp on where he was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated

Moon Landing

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Heino Ripp on his work as a technical director on various Apollo missions

Technological Innovation

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Heino Ripp on the reliability of the equipment at NBC when he started

War

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Heino Ripp on being in the newsroom on D-Day

World War II

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Heino Ripp on being in the newsroom on D-Day
Professions

Technology Innovators

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Heino Ripp on what a technical director does
Genres

Children's Programming

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Heino Ripp on the technical staff of Howdy Doody

Comedy Series

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Heino Ripp on working with John Belushi and Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows
Heino Ripp on being technical director for The Perry Como Show
Heino Ripp on The Perry Como Show traveling to other countries, including London and Cuba
Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for the Barbra Streisand Specials
Heino Ripp on being technical director for Saturday Night Live
People

John Belushi

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Heino Ripp on working with John Belushi and Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live

Perry Como

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Heino Ripp on being technical director for The Perry Como Show

Bob Keeshan

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Howdy Doody, starring "Buffalo" Bob Smith and Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown"

Lorne Michaels

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Heino Ripp on working with John Belushi and Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live

Bob Smith

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Howdy Doody, starring "Buffalo" Bob Smith and Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown"

Arturo Toscanini

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Heino Ripp on acting as technical director for Arturo Toscanini's first televised concert

Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver

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Heino Ripp on Sylvester L. Weaver's relationship to Your Show of Shows

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