Joe Behar

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, Joe Behar discusses his early experiences as a director. He talks about directing several of Ernie Kovacs' local Philadelphia series, including Ernie in Kovacsland and Kovacs on the Corner. He speaks in detail about his fourteen years directing the game show Let's Make a Deal, outlining the premise and production of the show, and talks about his twenty-two years as a director on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. Behar describes directing the show's very first broadcast, and the deal he worked out with the program to allow him to direct both Days of Our Lives and Let's Make a Deal during the same period. Finally, he recalls directing the pilot of the daytime soap opera General Hospital in 1963, and returning to the show thirty years later to direct for over a decade beginning in the early 1990s. Jennifer Howard conducted the interview on October 29, 2003 in Santa Monica, CA.

"I have high energy on the set. I don't like anything to slow it down. When I go in there, I tell you exactly what to do, and where to go and how to do it. We don't have time to discuss anything at length."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Frances Reid
Joe Behar on directing Ernie in Kovacsland
Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot
Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
Joe Behar on the format and costumes of Let's Make a Deal
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on movies and radio programs he loved as a kid; on getting drafted in World War II
On attending school to study television; on getting a job as a cameraman at WPTZ, the NBC station in Philadelphia; on getting promoted to director

Chapter 2

On his earliest memories of television; on working in live television
On directing the science-fiction show Atom Squad and the soap opera The Greatest Gift
On directing several of Ernie Kovacs' local shows; on Kovacs' style on comedy
On getting to know Atom Squad writer Paul Monash

Chapter 3

On directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World; on the Hollywood Blacklist
On moving back to New York and then to California; on directing Ernie Kovacs in several shows; on Ernie Kovacs' death
On directing Let's Make a Deal

Chapter 4

On the format and costumesof Let's Make a Deal; on the show's producers, production schedule, and popularity
On directing the pilot episodes of Days of Our Lives and General Hospital; on his schedule as a regular director on Days of Our Lives and working with the producers and stars

Chapter 5

On working with the cast of Days of Our Lives; on a typical production week on the show
On directing game shows and Family Medical Center
On retiring in 1992; on becoming a regular director for General Hospital in the 1990s

Chapter 6

On working with the cast of General Hospital; on production on the show and how much longer he sees himself working there
On the craft of directing for television
On advice to aspiring directors, the highlight of his career, and the future of soap operas; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Atom Squad

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Joe Behar on directing the science-fiction show Atom Squad and the special effects on the live show

Days of Our Lives

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Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot
Joe Behar on the premise of Days of Our Lives and working with star Macdonald Carey
Joe Behar on working with the producers of Days of Our Lives
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives
Joe Behar on a typical production week on Days of Our Lives
Joe Behar on significant storylines on Days of Our Lives while he was directing the show
Joe Behar on directing Days of Our Lives and Let's Make a Deal during the same period

Ernie Kovacs Specials

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Joe Behar on directing several of Ernie Kovacs' specials

Ernie in Kovacsland

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Joe Behar on directing Ernie in Kovacsland

Family Medical Center

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Joe Behar on directing several episodes of Family Medical Center

From These Roots

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Joe Behar on Tom McDermott recruiting him to direct the soap opera From These Roots

General Hospital

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
Joe Behar on becoming a regular director for General Hospital in the 1990s
Joe Behar on shooting on location for General Hospital in the 1990s
Joe Behar on the premise of General Hospital and how the focus of the show has changed over the years
Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital
Joe Behar on the sets, rehearsals, and production on General Hospital
Joe Behar on how much longer he thinks he'll work on General Hospital

Greatest Gift, The

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Joe Behar on directing the fifteen-minute soap opera, The Greatest Gift
Joe Behar on directing the fifteen-minute soap opera, The Greatest Gift

Kovacs on the Corner

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Joe Behar on directing Kovacs on the Corner

Let's Make a Deal

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot of Let's Make a Deal and the premise of the show
Joe Behar on the format and costumes of Let's Make a Deal
Joe Behar on the producers of Let's Make a Deal and other talent on the program; on suggesting models be on the show
Joe Behar on the typical production schedule on Let's Make a Deal
Joe Behar on why Let's Make a Deal ended and later versions of the show
Joe Behar on the popularity of Let's Make a Deal
Joe Behar on directing Days of Our Lives and Let's Make a Deal during the same period

Superior Court

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot of Superior Court

Take a Good Look

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Joe Behar on directing Ernie Kovacs in a sketch show in California, Take a Good Look

Wide Wide World

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Joe Behar on directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World
Topics

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer

Hollywood Blacklist

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Joe Behar on not being affected by the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Joe Behar on not being affected by the Hollywood Blacklist
Joe Behar on security issues surrounding Let's Make a Deal as a result of the Quiz Show Scandals

Quiz Show Scandals

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Joe Behar on security issues surrounding Let's Make a Deal as a result of the Quiz Show Scandals

Television Industry

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Joe Behar on the future of the soap opera genre

War

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Joe Behar on getting drafted in World War II

World War II

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Joe Behar on getting drafted in World War II
Professions

Directors

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Joe Behar on becoming a director at WPTZ, the NBC station in Philadelphia, and the types of programs he directed
Joe Behar on the craft of directing for television
Joe Behar on his approach to directing actors and setting the tone on set
Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer; on his involvement with editing
Joe Behar on advice to aspiring television directors
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot and becoming a regular director on the soap opera
Joe Behar on the amount of turnover in daytime soap operas
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives and significant storylines while he was directing the show
Joe Behar on becoming a regular director for General Hospital in the 1990s
Joe Behar on the future of the soap opera genre
Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital
Joe Behar on the sets, rehearsals, and production on General Hospital

Game Shows

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot of Let's Make a Deal and the premise of the show
Joe Behar on directing Let's Make a Deal and memorable moments from the show

News and Documentary

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Joe Behar on directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World
People

Edie Adams

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Joe Behar on Edie Adams contributions to Ernie Kovacs' shows (and how he introduced the pair)

Rachel Ames

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Rachel Ames

Martin Balsam

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Joe Behar on directing Jack Klugman and Martin Balsam in a soap opera

John Beradino

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - John Beradino

Stu Billett

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Joe Behar on directing several episodes of Family Medical Center and Superior Court (created by Stu Billett)

Macdonald Carey

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Joe Behar on directing Days of Our Lives star Macdonald Carey

John Chancellor

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Joe Behar on working with John Chancellor on Wide Wide World and going on a ski trip together

Leslie Charleson

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Leslie Charleson

John Clarke

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - John Clarke

Betty Corday

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Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot (produced by Ted and Betty Corday)

Ted Corday

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Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot (produced by Ted and Betty Corday)

Stuart Damon

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Stuart Damon

Genie Francis

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Genie Francis

John Frankenheimer

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Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer

Dave Garroway

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Joe Behar on Dave Garroway, host of Wide Wide World

Anthony Geary

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Anthony Geary

Monty Hall

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Joe Behar on the producers of Let's Make a Deal - Steve Hatos and Monty Hall

Deidre Hall

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Deidre Hall

Stefan Hatos

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Joe Behar on the producers of Let's Make a Deal - Steve Hatos and Monty Hall

Bill Hayes

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Bill Hayes

John Ingle

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - John Ingle

Jack Klugman

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Joe Behar on directing Jack Klugman and Martin Balsam in a soap opera

Ernie Kovacs

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Joe Behar on working with Ernie Kovacs and Kovacs' style of comedy
Joe Behar on Ernie Kovacs' innovative camera techniques and sets
Joe Behar on several of Ernie Kovacs' original characters
Joe Behar on the producers on Ernie Kovacs' shows
Joe Behar on directing Ernie Kovacs in a sketch show in California, Take a Good Look
Joe Behar on directing several of Ernie Kovacs' specials
Joe Behar on Ernie Kovacs' death

Anna Lee

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Anna Lee

Peggy McCay

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Peggy McCay

Tom McDermott

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Joe Behar on Tom McDermott recruiting him to direct soap operas

Paul Monash

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Joe Behar on getting to know Atom Squad writer Paul Monash

Wayne Northrop

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Wayne Northrop

Frances Reid

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Frances Reid

Suzanne Rogers

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Suzanne Rogers

Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver

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Joe Behar on directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World

Larry White

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Joe Behar on directing the science-fiction show Atom Squad

Tennessee Williams

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Joe Behar on working with Tennessee Williams

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