Lucille Kallen

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour Archive interview, Lucille Kallen (1922-1999) talks about her early years in the Poconos and her longtime association with her mentor, producer Max Liebman, who hired her on the television show Admiral Broadway Revue. She gives her truly unique perspective as the only woman writer on Your Show of Shows, working alongside Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar and her long-time writing partner Mel Tolkin, including writing several "Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper" sketches for Caesar and Imogene Coca. Kallen speaks of her work on The U.S. Steel Hour specials and Stanley, and writing the Broadway play "Maybe Tuesday" with Tolkin. She recounts the pressues of live television, and describes what it was like to be involved in the Golden Age of Television. She discusses retiring from television to focus on writing novels, which included the successful "C.B. Greenfield" series of detective novels. Sunny Parich conducted the interview on April 25, 1998 in Ardsley, NY.

"After leaving Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows, I ran into my replacement, Selma Diamond. She said 'I've been with that group for six weeks - how did you stand it for six years?' I said 'Just think of it as the Harvard of television writing.'"

Highlights
Lucille Kallen on her earliest memories of television and on her first television writing assignment
02:24
Lucille Kallen on meeting Sid Caesar and writing for Admiral Broadway Revue
05:20
Lucille Kallen on Sid Caesar's temperament during the run of Your Show of Shows and on being the only female in the writers room
06:21
Lucille Kallen on becoming a novelist and on her first novel "Outside There, Somewhere!: A Novel"
05:21
Lucille Kallen on the "Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper" sketches on Your Show of Shows, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca
08:56
Lucille Kallen on her decision to retire from writing for television and focus on writing novels and on Your Show of Shows having been a training ground for comedy writers
03:27
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on the theater group she started in Toronto
15:17
On radio shows she listened to growing up and joining a comedy troupe; on her nightclub act and living in New York in the 1950s; on being discovered by Max Liebman
13:10

Chapter 2

On appearing in Max Liebman's stage show at Camp Tamiment in the Pocono Mountains; on putting together Max Liebman's Camp Tamiment stage shows; on her earliest memories of television and on her first television writing assignment
12:31
On working with writer Mel Tolkin at Tamiment; on working with Imogene Coca at Tamiment and on writing for Coca and Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows; on meeting Sid Caesar and writing for Admiral Broadway Revue and on the format of the show
16:07

Chapter 3

On the main stars of Admiral Broadway Revue (and the chemistry between Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca); on Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows choreographer James Starbuck and other staff members; on the early Admiral Broadway Revue telecasts and on the end of the show
08:57
On the advent of Your Show of Shows and on the difference between it and Admiral Broadway Revue; on the types of sketches done on Your Show of Shows and on the format of the show
07:40
On the writers room of Your Show of Shows and on Sid Caesar's involvement with the writing of the show; on Sid Caesar's temperament during the run of Your Show of Shows and on being the only female in the writers room
12:02

Chapter 4

On working with Imogene Coca on Your Show of Shows; on working with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris on Your Show of Shows and on the live aspects of the show
12:41
On the rehearsals for Your Show of Shows; on Mel Brooks on Your Show of Shows
06:31
On some of the memorable sketches on Your Show of Shows; on the "Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper" sketches on Your Show of Shows, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca
08:53

Chapter 5

On the sophistication of the comedy on Your Show of Shows; on the pressure of the production of Your Show of Shows; on the cancellation of Your Show of Shows, declining to be part of Caesar's Hour, and on writing for The Imogene Coca Show
15:03
On writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour with people like Carol Burnett and Buddy Hackett; on collaborating on a Broadway play called "Maybe Tuesday" with Mel Tolkin; on becoming a novelist and on her first novel, "Outside There, Somewhere!: A Novel"
14:21

Chapter 6

On writing for The Bell Telephone Hour; on her decision to retire from writing for television and focus on writing novels and on Your Show of Shows having been a training ground for comedy writers; on television's Golden Age and on being a successful television comedy writer; on various people with whom she worked in her career
16:02
On b-roll pictures from her career- picture for her first novel; the whole staff of Your Show of Shows in 1952-53; the crew at Camp Tamiment; drawing of Tamiment Playhouse and players; 48th Street Playhouse with her play "Maybe Tuesday"
05:57
Shows

Admiral Broadway Revue

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Writer Lucille Kallen the format of The Admiral Broadway Revue
01:53
Lucille Kallen on meeting Sid Caesar and writing for Admiral Broadway Revue
05:20
Lucille Kallen on the main stars of Admiral Broadway Revue (and the chemistry between Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca)
02:52
Lucille Kallen on Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows choreographer James Starbuck and other staff members
02:06
Lucille Kallen on the early Admiral Broadway Revue telecasts and on the end of the show
03:38

Bell Telephone Hour, The

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Lucille Kallen on writing for The Bell Telephone Hour
05:33

Imogene Coca Show, The

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Lucille Kallen on the cancellation of Your Show of Shows, declining to be part of Caesar's Hour, and on writing for The Imogene Coca Show
04:59

Max Liebman Presents

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Lucille Kallen on writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour
06:16

United States Steel Hour, The

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Lucille Kallen on writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour with people like Carol Burnett and Buddy Hackett
06:16

Your Show of Shows

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Lucille Kallen on working with Imogene Coca at Tamiment in the Poconos, and on writing for Coca and Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows
03:27
Lucille Kallen on Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows choreographer James Starbuck and other staff memeber
02:06
Lucille Kallen on Sid Caesar's temperament during the run of Your Show of Shows and on being the only female in the writers room
06:21
Lucille Kallen on working with Imogene Coca on Your Show of Shows
07:28
Lucille Kallen on working with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris on Your Show of Shows and on the live aspects of the show
05:13
Lucille Kallen on rehearsals for Your Show of Shows
01:21
Lucille Kallen on Mel Brooks on Your Show of Shows
05:09
Lucille Kallen on the "Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper" sketches on Your Show of Shows, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca
08:56
Lucille Kallen on the sophistication of the comedy on Your Show of Shows
05:12
Lucille Kallen on the pressure of the production of Your Show of Shows
01:35
Lucille Kallen on the cancellation of Your Show of Shows, declining to be part of Caesar's Hour, and on writing for The Imogene Coca Show
04:59
Lucille Kallen on her decision to retire from writing for television and focus on writing novels and on Your Show of Shows having been a training ground for comedy writers
03:27
Topics

Diversity in Television

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Lucille Kallen on being the only female in the writers room of Your Show of Shows
05:04

Historic Events and Social Change

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Lucille Kallen on being the only female in the writers room of Your Show of Shows
06:21

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Lucille Kallen on the Golden Age of Television
01:23

Women

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Lucille Kallen on being the only female in the writers room of Your Show of Shows
05:04
Professions

Writers

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Lucille Kallen on the key to writing television comedy
02:54
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Lucille Kallen on writing for Admiral Broadway Revue
07:13
Lucille Kallen on writing for Admiral Broadway Revue
08:58
Lucille Kallen on writing for Your Show of Shows
19:42
Lucille Kallen on writing for Your Show of Shows
28:07
Lucille Kallen on writing for Your Show of Shows and The Imogene Coca Show
15:03
Lucille Kallen on writing for Your Show of Shows and The Imogene Coca Show
15:03
Lucille Kallen on writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour
06:17
Lucille Kallen on writing for The Bell Telephone Hour
05:32
Lucille Kallen on her decision to retire from writing for television and focus on writing novels and on Your Show of Shows having been a training ground for comedy writers
03:27
People

Mel Brooks

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Lucille Kallen on Mel Brooks on Your Show of Shows
05:09

Carol Burnett

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Lucille Kallen on writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour with people like Carol Burnett and Buddy Hackett
06:16

Sid Caesar

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Lucille Kallen on working with Imogene Coca at Tamiment and on writing for Coca and Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows
03:27
Lucille Kallen on meeting Sid Caesar and writing for Admiral Broadway Revue
05:20
Lucille Kallen on Sid Caesar's temperament during the run of Your Show of Shows and on being the only female in the writers room
06:21
Lucille Kallen on the main stars of Admiral Broadway Revue (and the chemistry between Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca)
02:52
Lucille Kallen on the "Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper" sketches on Your Show of Shows, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca
08:56

Imogene Coca

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Lucille Kallen on working with Imogene Coca at Tamiment in the Poconos, and on writing for Coca and Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows
03:27
Lucille Kallen on the main stars of Admiral Broadway Revue (and the chemistry between Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca)
02:52
Lucille Kallen on working with Imogene Coca on Your Show of Shows
07:28
Lucille Kallen on the "Doris and Charlie Hickenlooper" sketches on Your Show of Shows, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca
08:56
Lucille Kallen on the cancellation of Your Show of Shows, declining to be part of Caesar's Hour, and on writing for The Imogene Coca Show
04:59

Buddy Hackett

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Lucille Kallen on writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour with people like Carol Burnett and Buddy Hackett
06:16

Ernest Kinoy

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Lucille Kallen on Aaron Ruben, Max Wilk, and Ernest Kinoy
01:19

Max Liebman

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Lucille Kallen on being discovered by Max Liebman
02:24
Lucille Kallen on appearing in Max Liebman's stage show at Camp Tamiment in the Pocono Mountains
06:53
Lucille Kallen on putting together Max Liebman's Camp Tamiment stage shows
03:11
Lucille Kallen on Max Liebman and on her husband
01:26

Howard Morris

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Lucille Kallen on working with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris on Your Show of Shows and on the live aspects of the show
05:13

Carl Reiner

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Lucille Kallen on working with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris on Your Show of Shows and on the live aspects of the show
05:13

Aaron Ruben

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Lucille Kallen on Aaron Ruben, Max Wilk, and Ernest Kinoy
01:19

James Starbuck

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Lucille Kallen on Admiral Broadway Revue and Your Show of Shows choreographer James Starbuck and other staff memeber
02:06

Mel Tolkin

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Lucille Kallen on working with writer Mel Tolkin at Camp Tamiment in the Poconos
05:26
Lucille Kallen on collaborating on a Broadway play called "Maybe Tuesday" with Mel Tolkin
02:11

Max Wilk

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Lucille Kallen on Aaron Ruben, Max Wilk, and Ernest Kinoy
01:19

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