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."

Highlights
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Frances Reid
00:35
Joe Behar on directing Ernie in Kovacsland
00:34
Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot
00:57
Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
02:57
Joe Behar on the format and costumes of Let's Make a Deal
02:37
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
04:14

Days of Our Lives

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Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot
00:57
Joe Behar on the premise of Days of Our Lives and working with star Macdonald Carey
01:35
Joe Behar on working with the producers of Days of Our Lives
00:56
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives
05:16
Joe Behar on a typical production week on Days of Our Lives
02:12
Joe Behar on significant storylines on Days of Our Lives while he was directing the show
02:09
Joe Behar on directing Days of Our Lives and Let's Make a Deal during the same period
02:51

Ernie Kovacs Specials

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Joe Behar on directing several of Ernie Kovacs' specials
02:37

Ernie in Kovacsland

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Joe Behar on directing Ernie in Kovacsland
00:34

Family Medical Center

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Joe Behar on directing several episodes of Family Medical Center
04:10

From These Roots

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Joe Behar on Tom McDermott recruiting him to direct the soap opera From These Roots
02:20

General Hospital

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
02:57
Joe Behar on becoming a regular director for General Hospital in the 1990s
04:03
Joe Behar on shooting on location for General Hospital in the 1990s
00:33
Joe Behar on the premise of General Hospital and how the focus of the show has changed over the years
03:03
Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital
04:37
Joe Behar on the sets, rehearsals, and production on General Hospital
05:33
Joe Behar on how much longer he thinks he'll work on General Hospital
01:08

Greatest Gift, The

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Joe Behar on directing the fifteen-minute soap opera, The Greatest Gift
01:10
Joe Behar on directing the fifteen-minute soap opera, The Greatest Gift
01:10

Kovacs on the Corner

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Joe Behar on directing Kovacs on the Corner
00:25

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
01:30
Joe Behar on the format and costumes of Let's Make a Deal
02:37
Joe Behar on the producers of Let's Make a Deal and other talent on the program; on suggesting models be on the show
09:28
Joe Behar on the typical production schedule on Let's Make a Deal
03:57
Joe Behar on why Let's Make a Deal ended and later versions of the show
01:45
Joe Behar on the popularity of Let's Make a Deal
01:23
Joe Behar on directing Days of Our Lives and Let's Make a Deal during the same period
02:51

Superior Court

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot of Superior Court
00:47

Take a Good Look

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Joe Behar on directing Ernie Kovacs in a sketch show in California, Take a Good Look
03:07

Wide Wide World

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Joe Behar on directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World
08:30
Topics

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer
01:57

Hollywood Blacklist

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Joe Behar on not being affected by the Hollywood Blacklist
00:49

Industry Crossroads

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Joe Behar on not being affected by the Hollywood Blacklist
00:49
Joe Behar on security issues surrounding Let's Make a Deal as a result of the Quiz Show Scandals
01:40

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
01:40

Television Industry

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Joe Behar on the future of the soap opera genre
01:31

War

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Joe Behar on getting drafted in World War II
03:32

World War II

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Joe Behar on getting drafted in World War II
03:32
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
04:17
Joe Behar on the craft of directing for television
03:14
Joe Behar on his approach to directing actors and setting the tone on set
02:53
Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer; on his involvement with editing
02:20
Joe Behar on advice to aspiring television directors
01:20
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

View Genre
Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
02:57
Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot and becoming a regular director on the soap opera
06:14
Joe Behar on the amount of turnover in daytime soap operas
02:38
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives and significant storylines while he was directing the show
09:50
Joe Behar on becoming a regular director for General Hospital in the 1990s
10:17
Joe Behar on the future of the soap opera genre
01:31
Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital
04:37
Joe Behar on the sets, rehearsals, and production on General Hospital
05:33

Game Shows

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot of Let's Make a Deal and the premise of the show
01:30
Joe Behar on directing Let's Make a Deal and memorable moments from the show
19:10

News and Documentary

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Joe Behar on directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World
08:30
People

Edie Adams

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Joe Behar on Edie Adams contributions to Ernie Kovacs' shows (and how he introduced the pair)
01:13

Rachel Ames

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Rachel Ames
00:19

Martin Balsam

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Joe Behar on directing Jack Klugman and Martin Balsam in a soap opera
02:15

John Beradino

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - John Beradino
00:39

Stu Billett

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Joe Behar on directing several episodes of Family Medical Center and Superior Court (created by Stu Billett)
04:10

Macdonald Carey

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Joe Behar on directing Days of Our Lives star Macdonald Carey
00:58

John Chancellor

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Joe Behar on working with John Chancellor on Wide Wide World and going on a ski trip together
02:37

Leslie Charleson

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Leslie Charleson
00:29

John Clarke

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - John Clarke
00:25

Betty Corday

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Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot (produced by Ted and Betty Corday)
01:54

Ted Corday

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Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot (produced by Ted and Betty Corday)
01:54

Stuart Damon

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Stuart Damon
00:16

Genie Francis

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Genie Francis
00:15

John Frankenheimer

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Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer
01:57

Dave Garroway

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Joe Behar on Dave Garroway, host of Wide Wide World
00:12

Anthony Geary

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Anthony Geary
00:27

Monty Hall

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Joe Behar on the producers of Let's Make a Deal - Steve Hatos and Monty Hall
03:31

Deidre Hall

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Deidre Hall
00:41

Stefan Hatos

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Joe Behar on the producers of Let's Make a Deal - Steve Hatos and Monty Hall
02:20

Bill Hayes

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Bill Hayes
01:01

John Ingle

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - John Ingle
00:21

Jack Klugman

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Joe Behar on directing Jack Klugman and Martin Balsam in a soap opera
02:15

Ernie Kovacs

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Joe Behar on working with Ernie Kovacs and Kovacs' style of comedy
08:49
Joe Behar on Ernie Kovacs' innovative camera techniques and sets
01:20
Joe Behar on several of Ernie Kovacs' original characters
00:45
Joe Behar on the producers on Ernie Kovacs' shows
00:20
Joe Behar on directing Ernie Kovacs in a sketch show in California, Take a Good Look
03:07
Joe Behar on directing several of Ernie Kovacs' specials
02:37
Joe Behar on Ernie Kovacs' death
02:32

Anna Lee

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital - Anna Lee
00:25

Peggy McCay

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Peggy McCay
00:17

Tom McDermott

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Joe Behar on Tom McDermott recruiting him to direct soap operas
03:20

Paul Monash

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Joe Behar on getting to know Atom Squad writer Paul Monash
02:21

Wayne Northrop

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Wayne Northrop
01:50

Frances Reid

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Frances Reid
00:35

Suzanne Rogers

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Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives - Suzanne Rogers
00:19

Sylvester L. Weaver

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Joe Behar on directing Pat Weaver's Wide Wide World
03:52

Larry White

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Joe Behar on directing the science-fiction show Atom Squad
00:50

Tennessee Williams

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Joe Behar on working with Tennessee Williams
01:49

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