Howard Storm

Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour interview, Howard Storm talks about his comic teaming with Lou Gostel in his early career, and outlines the various venues they worked. He talks about his single appearances in variety series of the 1950s and '60s, including such series as The Merv Griffin Show (where he appeared with his then-retired vaudevillian father). He acknowledges his tenure at Desilu Studios and gives his impressions of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. He looks back on his association with Woody Allen, assisting him on his earliest feature films. He relates how he came to break into directing, due to his success directing the play Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone and the artistic atmosphere at MTM Productions. He speaks about his first directorial credit on Rhoda and his continued association with Valerie Harper on her subsequent series. He speaks in great detail about his extensive work on the popular sitcom Mork & Mindy, commenting on the series stars, the production workweek, and favorite episodes. Among the other series he discusses, of the many he served on as guest director, were: Laverne & Shirley, Taxi, Too Close for Comfort, Best of the West, Amanda's, Brothers, The Redd Foxx Show, Full House, Good Grief!, Head of the Class, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Kenan & Kel. He also speaks about several series for which he contributed as a writer, including All in the Family and Happy Days. Lastly, he talks about his participation in "Yarmy's Army," a monthly meeting of legendary comics, named for the group's late friend Dick Yarmy. Jenni Matz conducted the interview in Beverly Hills, CA on August 20, 2008.

An old-timer said to me, "I'm going to give you some advice. You're the director. They're going to ask you a lot of questions. They're gonna ask you what color jacket you want, the red one or the blue one? Never tell them you don't know because you'll scare the hell out of them. Always make a decision. Pick a color and do it." And then we're shooting and someone said to me, "Where do you want A camera?" and I yelled, "Red jacket!" 

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Howard Storm on how Robin Williams came to be cast on Mork & Mindy and how he directed him
Howard Storm on becoming the director on Rhoda
Howard Storm on standing in as a director for Woody Allen on his films
Howard Storm on how he'd like to be remembered and the then-future
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on working on Woody Allen's features film "Take the Money and Run" and "Bananas"; on his earliest experiences watching television
On meeting his comedy partner Lou Alexander; on developing his comedy act with Lou Alexander; on developing a solo comedy act after his partner was drafted
on his first appearance on television on The Merv Griffin Show; on becoming a "Desilu Player" at Desilu Studios working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz; on standing in as a director for Woody Allen on his films
on deciding to become a television director; on becoming the director on Rhoda; on the invaluable advice he recieved about directing television while he was working on Rhoda; on directing several MTM series including Doc starring Bernard Hughes
on the difference between shooting on film or tape; on the detail of a production workweek on Laverne & Shirley created by Garry Marshall; on the cast of Laverne & Shirley being close and on his favorite episodes
Howard Storm on directing Fernwood 2-Nite with Fred Willard and Martin Mull

Chapter 2

On directing Mork & Mindy; on how Robin Williams came to be cast on Mork & Mindy and how he directed him; on the premise of Mork & Mindy
On how Robin Williams dealt with stardom on Mork & Mindy; on directing Jonathan Winters on Mork and Mindy with Robin Williams; on Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy
On his directing style; on directing Beatrice Arthur in Amanda's; on the disadvantages of stepping into a show like Taxi that's been in the hands of multiple directors; on working with Andy Kauffman on Taxi
On directing Angie starring Donna Pescow and Robert Hays; on Garry Marshall, and on working on his shows; on directing Too Close for Comfort, Gimme a Break!, and The Redd Foxx Show
On directing She's the Sheriff with Suzanne Sommers; on directing Full House with Bob Saget; on directing Everybody Loves Raymond and Daddy Dearest

Chapter 3

On Kenan & Kel; on City with Valerie Harper
On writing for television with partner Paul Lichtman; on writing for All in the Family
On Yarmy's Army a group of comedians that originally consisted of Louis Nye, Tom Poston, Howie Morris, Bill Dana, 
On advice to aspiring directors; career highlights
Shows

All in the Family

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Howard Storm on writing for All in the Family with his partner Paul Lichtman
Howard Storm on the challenge of writing in "Archie Bunker's" voice on All in the Family

Amanda's

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Howard Storm on directing Beatrice Arthur in Amanda's

Angie

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Howard Storm on directing Angie starring Donna Pescow and Robert Hays

Brothers

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Howard Storm on directing Brothers

City

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Howard Storm on show he was disappointed that got cancelled early on like City

Doc

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Howard Storm on directing several MTM series including Doc starring Bernard Hughes

Everybody Loves Raymond

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Howard Storm on directing Everybody Loves Raymond and Daddy Dearest

Fernwood 2 Night

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Howard Storm on directing Fernwood 2-Nite with Fred Willard and Martin Mull

Full House

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Howard Storm on directing Full House with Bob Saget

Gimme A Break!

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Howard Storm on directing Gimme a Break! with Nell Carter

Hogan Family, The aka Valerie

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Howard Storm on directing Valerie Harper in Valerie

Kenan & Kel

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Howard Storm on writing for Kenan and Kel

Laverne & Shirley

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Howard Storm on the detail of a production workweek on Laverne & Shirley created by Garry Marshall
Howard Storm on the cast of Laverne & Shirley being close and on his favorite episodes

Merv Griffin Show, The

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Howard Storm on his first appearance on television on The Merv Griffin Show

Mork & Mindy

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Howard Storm on how Robin Williams came to be cast on Mork & Mindy and how he directed him
Howard Storm on how essential Pam Dawber as "Mindy" was on Mork & Mindy
Howard Storm on the premise of Mork & Mindy
Howard Storm on directing Jonathan Winters on Mork and Mindy with Robin Williams
Howard Storm on directing Mork & Mindy
Howard Storm on how Robin Williams dealt with stardom on Mork & Mindy
Howard Storm on Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy
Howard Storm on the writers of Mork & Mindy

Redd Foxx Show, The

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Howard Storm on the difficulties of directing The Redd Foxx Show, and on working with Redd Foxx

Rhoda

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Howard Storm on becoming the director on Rhoda
Howard Storm on the invaluable advice he recieved about directing television while he was working on Rhoda
Howard Storm on Valerie Harper's New York accent in Rhoda

She's the Sheriff

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Howard Storm on directing She's the Sheriff with Suzanne Sommers

Taxi

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Howard Storm on the disadvantages of stepping into a show like Taxi that's been in the hands of multiple directors
Howard Storm on working with Andy Kauffman on Taxi

Too Close for Comfort

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Howard Storm on directing Too Close for Comfort starring Ted Knight
Topics

Advice

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Howard Storm on the invaluable advice he recieved about directing television while he was working on Rhoda
Howard Storm on advice to an aspiring director

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Howard Storm on Standards and Practices on Mork and Mindy and "bullpucky"

Technological Innovation

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Howard Storm on the difference between shooting on film or tape

Television Industry

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Howard Storm on the invaluable advice he recieved about directing television while he was working on Rhoda
Howard Storm on advice to an aspiring director
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Howard Storm on deciding to become a television director
Howard Storm on how he came to be the director on Rhoda; and invaluable advice he received
Howard Storm on his directing style
Howard Storm on directing comedy
Howard Storm on advice to aspiring directors
Howard Storm on being sure to thank everyone you work with as a director

Writers

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Howard Storm on the challenges of writing for an established character like All in the Family's Archie Bunker
Genres

Comedy Series

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Howard Storm on directing Mork & Mindy
Howard Storm on directing Beatrice Arthur in Amanda's
Howard Storm on directing Taxi
Howard Storm on directing Angie starring Donna Pescow and Robert Hays
Howard Storm on directing Too Close for Comfort starring Ted Knight
Howard Storm on directing Gimme a Break! with Nell Carter
Howard Storm on the difficulties of directing The Redd Foxx Show, and on working with Redd Foxx
Howard Storm on directing Full House with Bob Saget
People

Woody Allen

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Howard Storm on working on Woody Allen's features film "Take the Money and Run" and "Bananas"
Howard Storm on standing in as a director for Woody Allen on his films

Beatrice Arthur

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Howard Storm on directing Beatrice Arthur in Amanda's

Nell Carter

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Howard Storm on directing Gimme a Break! with Nell Carter

Joan Darling

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Howard Storm on realizing when he'd "made it" in Hollywood; he and Joan Darling going through the MGM gates

Pam Dawber

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Howard Storm on how essential Pam Dawber as "Mindy" was on Mork & Mindy

Redd Foxx

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Howard Storm on the difficulties of directing The Redd Foxx Show, and on working with Redd Foxx

Valerie Harper

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Howard Storm on directing Valerie Harper in Valerie and Rhoda

Andy Kaufman

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Howard Storm on working with Andy Kauffman on Taxi

Ted Knight

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Howard Storm on directing Too Close for Comfort starring Ted Knight

Norman Lear

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Howard Storm on pitching to Norman Lear for All in the Family with writing partner Paul Lichtman

Paul Lichtman

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Howard Storm on writing for tv with partner Paul Lichtman

Garry Marshall

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Howard Storm on Garry Marshall, and on working on his shows

Ray Romano

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Howard Storm on directing Everybody Loves Raymond starring Ray Romano and Daddy Dearest

Robin Williams

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Howard Storm on how Robin Williams came to be cast on Mork & Mindy and how he directed him

Jonathan Winters

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Howard Storm on directing Jonathan Winters on Mork and Mindy with Robin Williams

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