Marty Pasetta

Director / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Marty Pasetta (1932-2015) talks about his early interest in theater, which culminated in his first job in television at San Francisco's KGO-TV in 1952. He discusses his long association with KGO, where he moved up the ranks from a stage manager to a multifaceted producer. He describes his move to Los Angeles, where, because of his hands-on experience at KGO, he soon became a director for several variety series, including The Smothers Brothers, Summer Show Starring Glen Campbell, The Smothers Brothers, Comedy Hour and the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. Pasetta speaks of his long association with The Grammy Awards (from 1971-78), where he was hired for the show's first live telecast. He outlines the growth of the show's success, some key performances, and the challenges of directing a live awards show. He details his long stint as director of The Academy Awards (from 1972-88), where he instituted the live nominee screenshots and the use of seat-fillers. He relates some historical moments from the show, including the 1970's streaker, Charlie Chaplin's appearance, and John Wayne's final appearance. He speaks in great detail about his favorite project, Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, which was Elvis's 1973 comeback special. Pasetta also cites various specials, presidential inaugurations (Carter's and Reagan's) and the many variety stars he worked with through the years. Jeff Abraham conducted the interview in Los Angeles on January 18, 2007.

"I enjoy every show I do. I don't care what it is, even a game show. I enjoy anything and everything because every show is a challenge. If you go in there, and you don't love, live, and breathe the show that you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it. I don't care what it is - you better like what you're doing or get out and let the person that likes it do it."

Highlights
Marty Pasetta on Charlie Chaplin appearing on the first Academy Awards he directed
01:26
Marty Pasetta on Vanessa Redgrave's infamous protest speech at The Academy Awards
01:48
Marty Pasetta on directing and producing the AFI specials and the pressures of directing The Academy Awards
04:23
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on nearly "discovering" Barbra Streisand
01:11
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on working at local San Francisco station KGO
On creating programming for KGO; on various people with whom he worked at KGO; on quitting KGO and moving his family to Los Angeles

Chapter 2

On moving to Los Angeles; on directing The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour and the controversy surrounding the show
On directing various game shows; on directing The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Andy Williams Show and Switched-On-Symphony; on collaborating with stars

Chapter 3

On working with Jimmy Durante, Andy Williams, and Bing Crosby; on directing The Grammys
On working with Pierre Cossette; on memorable Grammy moments and working with rock musicians; on how he came to direct The Academy Awards

Chapter 4

On Charlie Chaplin appearing on The Academy Awards; on directing Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii
On the process of directing The Academy Awards; on the producers of The Academy Awards and keeping the show interesting; on the streaker and Marlon Brando refusing his Oscar

Chapter 5

On John Wayne's final Academy Awards; on winners making controversial speeches on The Academy Awards; on directing The Academy Awards the day after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan
On directing The Emmy Awards; on directing various specials; on directing Inaugural galas and The Music of UNICEF: The Gift of Song

Chapter 6

On directing the AFI specials; on his production company; on directing Let Poland Be Poland and An All Star Celebration of Martin Luther King
On directing and producing various variety specials; on directing Pope John Paul II; on his directing style

Chapter 7

On career regrets and achievements; on how television has changed; on his advice to aspiring producer/directors 
Shows

Academy Awards, The

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Marty Pasetta on his first time directing The Academy Awards
07:17
Marty Pasetta on Charlie Chaplin appearing on the first Academy Awards he directed
01:26
Marty Pasetta on the process of directing The Academy Awards
01:55
Marty Pasetta on the producers of The Academy Awards
01:17
Marty Pasetta on The Academy Awards hosts and the process of directing it
03:16
Marty Pasetta on the location of The Academy Awards and keeping the show interesting
02:11
Marty Pasetta on The Academy Awards infamous streaking incident 
01:34
Marty Pasetta on Marlon Brando refusing his Oscar
01:20
Marty Pasetta on John Wayne's final Academy Awards appearance 
01:03
Marty Pasetta on Vanessa Redgrave's infamous protest speech at The Academy Awards
01:48
Marty Pasetta on dealing with the winners and their speeches while directing The Academy Awards
01:57
Marty Pasetta on the music cues at The Academy Awards and experimenting with parts of the show
01:52
Marty Pasetta on how the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt affected The Academy Awards
02:16

Andy Williams Show, The

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Andy Williams Show and Switched-On-Symphony
03:18

Andy Williams Specials

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Marty Pasetta on directing Andy Williams
03:00

Bing Crosby Specials

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Marty Pasetta on directing Bing Crosby's TV specials
02:13

Burnett Discovers Domingo

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Marty Pasetta on directing the special Burnett Discovers Domingo
01:39

Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii

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Marty Pasetta on directing Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii
13:35
Marty Pasetta on his favorite achievement
00:55

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Emmy Awards
00:57

Gene Kelly: An American in Pasadena

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Marty Pasetta on directing Gene Kelly: An American in Pasadena and Happy Birthday, America
01:40

Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
02:19

Grammys, The

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Marty Pasetta on directing Andy Williams
03:00
Marty Pasetta on directing and producing The Grammys
02:54
Marty Pasetta on collaborating with Pierre Cossette on The Grammys
01:29
Marty Pasetta on dealing with rock musicians on The Grammys
03:10
Marty Pasetta on memorable Grammy moments
02:45
Marty Pasetta on what he brought to The Grammys
01:12

Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour

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Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters and Kraft Music Hall
03:31

Joker's Wild, The

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Joker's Wild
01:36

Kraft Music Hall, The

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Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters and Kraft Music Hall with Don Ho
03:31

Magical World of Disney

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Marty Pasetta on directing the Magical World of Disney
02:26

Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The

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Marty Pasetta on getting the job as director of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour and being inventive to get around budget issues
06:56
Marty Pasetta on directing the controversial final season of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour
02:10

Switched-On Symphony, The

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Andy Williams Show and The Switched-On-Symphony
00:40

Wheel of Fortune

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Marty Pasetta on directing Shopper's Bizarre, an early version of Wheel of Fortune
03:24
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on directing the controversial final season of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour
02:10

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on directing The Emmy Awards
00:57

Jimmy Carter

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47

Media Consolidation

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Marty Pasetta on how television has changed due to technology and business
02:33

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on Charlie Chaplin appearing on the first Academy Awards he directed
01:26
Marty Pasetta on The Academy Awards infamous streaking incident 
01:34
Marty Pasetta on Marlon Brando refusing his Oscar
01:20
Marty Pasetta on Vanessa Redgrave's infamous protest speech at The Academy Awards
01:48

Ronald Reagan

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on how the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt affected The Academy Awards
02:16
Marty Pasetta on directing the special Let Poland Be Poland
01:05

Technological Innovation

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Marty Pasetta on how television has changed due to technology and business
02:33

Television Industry

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Marty Pasetta on directing the controversial final season of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour
02:10
Marty Pasetta on how television has changed due to technology and business
02:33

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on how the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt affected The Academy Awards
02:16
Marty Pasetta on directing the special Let Poland Be Poland
01:05

We Considered

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on Vanessa Redgrave's infamous protest speech at The Academy Awards
01:48

We Cried

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Marty Pasetta on Charlie Chaplin appearing on the first Academy Awards he directed
01:26

We Laughed

View Topic
Marty Pasetta on The Academy Awards infamous streaking incident 
01:34
Marty Pasetta on Marlon Brando refusing his Oscar
01:20
Professions

Directors

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Marty Pasetta on his directing style
01:42
Marty Pasetta on advice for aspiring producer/directors
01:03
Genres

Awards Shows

View Genre
Marty Pasetta on directing and producing The Grammys
11:30
Marty Pasetta on directing The Academy Awards
07:19
Marty Pasetta on directing The Academy Awards
11:33
Marty Pasetta on directing The Academy Awards
10:07

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Smothers' Brothers Comedy Hour
09:06
Marty Pasetta on directing Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii
13:35
People

Carol Burnett

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Marty Pasetta on directing the special Burnett Discovers Domingo
01:39

Glen Campbell

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
02:19

Jimmy Carter

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Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47

Charlie Chaplin

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Marty Pasetta on Charlie Chaplin appearing on the first Academy Awards he directed
01:26

Pierre Cossette

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Marty Pasetta on collaborating with Pierre Cossette on The Grammys
01:29

Bing Crosby

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Marty Pasetta on directing Bing Crosby's TV specials
02:13

Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Marty Pasetta on directing Sammy Davis, Jr.
00:52

Phyllis Diller

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Marty Pasetta on quitting in the middle of a taping of The Gypsy Rose Lee Show and moving to Los Angeles
02:06

Placido Domingo

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Marty Pasetta on directing the special Burnett Discovers Domingo
01:39

Jimmy Durante

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Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters and Kraft Music Hall with Don Ho
03:31

Pope John Paul II

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Marty Pasetta on working with Pope John Paul II
05:31

Gypsy Rose Lee

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Marty Pasetta on quitting in the middle of a taping of The Gypsy Rose Lee Show and moving to Los Angeles
02:06

Golda Meir

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Marty Pasetta on directing the 30th Anniversary of the State of Israel special
01:04

Elvis Presley

View Person Page
Marty Pasetta on directing Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii
13:35

Ronald Reagan

View Person Page
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on how the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt affected The Academy Awards
02:16
Marty Pasetta on directing the special Let Poland Be Poland
01:05

Telly Savalas

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Marty Pasetta on working with Telly Savalas
00:38

Frank Sinatra

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Marty Pasetta on working with Frank Sinatra on various specials over the years
05:36

Barbra Streisand

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Marty Pasetta on nearly "discovering" Barbra Streisand
01:21
Marty Pasetta on directing the 30th Anniversary of the State of Israel special
01:04

Elizabeth Taylor

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Marty Pasetta on directing Elizabeth Taylor
01:52

Andy Williams

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Marty Pasetta on directing The Andy Williams Show and Switched-On-Symphony
00:40
Marty Pasetta on directing Andy Williams
03:00

Stevie Wonder

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Marty Pasetta on directing An All Star Celebration Honoring Martin Luther King
03:33

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