Mort Lachman

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, Mort Lachman (1918-2009) talks about his early years becoming a writer in network radio for Eddie Cantor and Bob Hope. He describes in detail, working as a writer, and later head writer/director/producer on the Bob Hope Television Specials. He vividly recalls Bob Hope's topical humor and gift for ad libbing. He speaks about his work as a writer for several Ralph Edwards series. He also describes his work as a producer and writer on All in the Family (for which he won an Emmy Award), Archie Bunker's Place, One Day at a Time, Sanford, Gimme a Break, Kate & Allie and Bagdad Café. Jeff Abraham conducted the interview on January 26, 2004 in Los Angeles, CA.

"I never wrote early. I never wrote on time. Until it was almost too late, I never wrote anything. Bob Hope once said: 'if Mort Lachman could ever write one day ahead of time, he would own the world.'"

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Mort Lachman on becoming a gag writer for Bob Hope's radio show
Mort Lachman on Bob Hope hosting the The Colgate Comedy Hour and his discomfort with TV cameras
Mort Lachman on Frank Sinatra appearing on the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on working with Bing Crosby on The Bob Hope Chevy Show
Mort Lachman on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford
Mort Lachman on writing the pilot for One Day at a Time, and on moving over to All in the Family
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on going to write gags for Eddie Cantor's radio show; on becoming a gag writer for Bob Hope's radio show
On the experience of writing for Bob Hope's radio show; on Bob Hope changing up the writing staff for his radio show, and on his friendship with Hope

Chapter 2

On being fired by Bob Hope; on Bob Hope hosting the The Colgate Comedy Hour and his discomfort with TV cameras; on doing warmup on Truth or Consequences hosted by Ralph Edwards
On working on This is Your Life; with Roy Rogers as a guest; on Bob Hope's daytime radio show; on writing for the Bob Hope Specials and on learning the technical aspects of television
On working around fame and celebrity, and on Bob Hope's demanding schedule; on working with the writing staff of the Bob Hope Specials ; on playing golf with Bob Hope

Chapter 3

On writing to the guidelines of standards and practices for the Bob Hope Specials and on writing political material for Hope; on keeping files of all the gags he's written; on writing monologues for Bob Hope Specials
On traveling with Bob Hope to various cities, and on adjusting his writing for location; on writing for Bob Hope's USO shows; on becoming a producer of the Bob Hope Specials
On the many guest-stars of the Bob Hope Specials, including Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, and Frank Sinatra

Chapter 4

On Phyllis Diller appearing on the Bob Hope Specials ; on Barbara Eden on the Bob Hope Specials; on traveling to Vietnam with Bob Hope
On various sketches from the Bob Hope Specials; on Bob Hope's ability to ad lib; on leaving the employ of Bob Hope
On writing the pilot for One Day at a Time, and on moving over to All in the Family; on how the writers worked on All in the Family; on Carrol O'Connor as "Archie Bunker" on All in the Family and on O'Connor's relationship with Norman Lear

Chapter 5

On the process of shooting an episode of All in the Family; on classic episodes of All in the Family; on working with the cast and crew of All in the Family, and on losing the characters of "Mike" and "Gloria"
On Carroll O'Connor continuing the character of "Archie Bunker" on Archie Bunker's Place; on the legacy of All in the Family; on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford
On writing Gimme A Break! with Nell Carter; on writing Kate & Allie with Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James; on writing a pilot for Oprah Winfrey

Chapter 6

On writing Bagdad Cafe with Whoopi Goldberg and Jean Stapleton
On various people with whom he's worked in his career
On writing for The Hank McCune Show; on his writing style; on not being humble
Shows

All in the Family

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Mort Lachman on writing the pilot for One Day at a Time, and on moving over to All in the Family
Mort Lachman on how the writers worked on All in the Family
Mort Lachman on Norman Lear's relationship with the writing staff of All in the Family
Mort Lachman on Carrol O'Connor as "Archie Bunker" on All in the Family and on O'Connor's relationship with Norman Lear
Mort Lachman on the process of shooting an episode of All in the Family
Mort Lachman on classic episodes of All in the Family
Mort Lachman on working with the cast and crew of All in the Family, and on losing the characters of "Mike" and "Gloria"
Mort Lachman on the legacy of All in the Family

Archie Bunker's Place

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Mort Lachman on Carroll O'Connor continuing the character of "Archie Bunker" on Archie Bunker's Place

Bagdad Café

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Mort Lachman on writing Bagdad Cafe with Whoopi Goldberg and Jean Stapleton

Bob Hope Chevy Show, The

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Mort Lachman on working with Bing Crosby on The Bob Hope Chevy Show

Bob Hope Specials

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Mort Lachman on writing for the Bob Hope Specials and on learning the technical aspects of television
Mort Lachman on working with the writing staff of the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on writing to the guidelines of standards and practices for the Bob Hope Specials and on writing political material for Hope
Mort Lachman on writing monologues for Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on becoming a producer of the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on working with Jerry Colonna on the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on Jack Benny appearing on the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on Frank Sinatra appearing on the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on Phyllis Diller appearing on the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on Barbara Eden on the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on various sketches from the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on writing the pilot for One Day at a Time, and on moving over to All in the Family

Colgate Comedy Hour, The

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Mort Lachman on Bob Hope hosting the The Colgate Comedy Hour (airdate: December 24, 1950) and his discomfort with TV cameras

Gimme A Break!

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Mort Lachman on writing Gimme A Break! with Nell Carter

Hank McCune Show, The

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Mort Lachman on writing for The Hank McCune Show

Kate & Allie

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Mort Lachman on writing Kate & Allie with Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James

Sanford

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Mort Lachman on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford

This Is Your Life

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Mort Lachman on working on This is Your Life; on Roy Rogers as a guest; on writing a spoof of the series for Bob Hope

Truth or Consequences

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Mort Lachman on doing warmup on Truth or Consequences hosted by Ralph Edwards
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Mort Lachman on writing for network shows, like the Bob Hope Specials , and the restrictions from the network S&P

Fame and Celebrity

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Mort Lachman on working around fame and celebrity, and on Bob Hope's demanding schedule

Historic Events and Social Change

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Mort Lachman on writing for Bob Hope's USO shows
Mort Lachman on traveling to Vietnam with Bob Hope

Pop Culture

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Mort Lachman on working around fame and celebrity, and on Bob Hope's demanding schedule

Television Industry

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Mort Lachman on writing for network shows, like the Bob Hope Specials , and the restrictions from the network S&P

Vietnam War

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Mort Lachman on traveling to Vietnam with Bob Hope

War

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Mort Lachman on writing for Bob Hope's USO shows
Mort Lachman on traveling to Vietnam with Bob Hope
Professions

Writers

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Mort Lachman on keeping files of all the gags he's written
Mort Lachman on his writing style
Genres

Comedy Series

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Mort Lachman on writing and producing the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on writing the pilot for One Day at a Time, and on moving over to All in the Family
Mort Lachman on writing for All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place
Mort Lachman on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford
Mort Lachman on writing Gimme A Break! with Nell Carter
Mort Lachman on writing Kate & Allie with Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James
Mort Lachman on writing Bagdad Cafe with Whoopi Goldberg and Jean Stapleton
Mort Lachman on writing for The Hank McCune Show

Game Shows

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Mort Lachman on doing warmup on Truth or Consequences hosted by Ralph Edwards

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Mort Lachman on Bob Hope hosting the The Colgate Comedy Hour and his discomfort with TV cameras
Mort Lachman on writing for the Bob Hope Specials
Mort Lachman on the Bob Hope Specials

Talk Shows

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Mort Lachman on working on This is Your Life; with Roy Rogers as a guest and on writing a spoof of the series for Bob Hope
People

Lucille Ball

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Mort Lachman on working with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball in "Yours, Mine, and Ours"

Jack Benny

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Mort Lachman on Jack Benny appearing on the Bob Hope Specials

Les Brown

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Mort Lachman on working with Les Brown

Eddie Cantor

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Mort Lachman on going to write gags for Eddie Cantor's radio show

Rosemary Clooney

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Mort Lachman on Rosemary Clooney

Bing Crosby

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Mort Lachman on working with Bing Crosby on The Bob Hope Chevy Show

Phyllis Diller

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Mort Lachman on Phyllis Diller appearing on the Bob Hope Specials

Barbara Eden

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Mort Lachman on Barbara Eden on the Bob Hope Specials

Ralph Edwards

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Mort Lachman on working on This is Your Life; on Roy Rogers as a guest; on writing a spoof of the series for Bob Hope

Henry Fonda

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Mort Lachman on working with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball in "Yours, Mine, and Ours"

Redd Foxx

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Mort Lachman on working with Redd Foxx on Sanford

Cary Grant

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Mort Lachman on working with Cary Grant

Bob Hope

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Mort Lachman on becoming a gag writer for Bob Hope's radio show
Mort Lachman on the experience of writing for Bob Hope's radio show
Mort Lachman on Bob Hope changing up the writing staff for his radio show, and on his friendship with Hope
Mort Lachman on Bob Hope hosting the The Colgate Comedy Hour (airdate: December 24, 1950) and his discomfort with TV cameras
Mort Lachman on being fired by Bob Hope, and on various other jobs he did
Mort Lachman on working around fame and celebrity, and on Bob Hope's demanding schedule
Mort Lachman on playing golf with Bob Hope
Mort Lachman on traveling with Bob Hope to various cities, and on adjusting his writing for location
Mort Lachman on writing for Bob Hope's USO shows
Mort Lachman on Bob Hope's ability to ad lib
Mort Lachman on Bob Hope hosting the Academy Awards
Mort Lachman on leaving the employ of Bob Hope

Linda Hope

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Mort Lachman on Linda Hope

Norman Lear

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Mort Lachman on Norman Lear's relationship with the writing staff of All in the Family
Mort Lachman on Carrol O'Connor as "Archie Bunker" on All in the Family and on O'Connor's relationship with Norman Lear

Jayne Mansfield

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Mort Lachman on Jayne Mansfield

Steve McQueen

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Mort Lachman on Steve McQueen

Carroll O'Connor

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Mort Lachman on Carrol O'Connor as "Archie Bunker" on All in the Family and on O'Connor's relationship with Norman Lear
Mort Lachman on Carroll O'Connor continuing the character of "Archie Bunker" on Archie Bunker's Place

Janis Paige

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Mort Lachman on Janis Paige

Larry Rhine

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Mort Lachman on Larry Rhine

Roy Rogers

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Mort Lachman on working on This is Your Life; on Roy Rogers as a guest; on writing a spoof of the series for Bob Hope

Sy Rosen

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Mort Lachman on Sy Rosen

Eva Marie Saint

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Mort Lachman on Eva Marie Saint

Bob Schiller

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Mort Lachman on Bob Schiller

Mel Shavelson

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Mort Lachman on Mel Shavelson

Frank Sinatra

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Mort Lachman on Frank Sinatra appearing on the Bob Hope Specials

Sally Struthers

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Mort Lachman on Sally Struthers

Mel Tolkin

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Mort Lachman on Mel Tolkin

Bob Weiskopf

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Mort Lachman on Bob Weiskopf

Flip Wilson

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Mort Lachman on Flip Wilson

Oprah Winfrey

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Mort Lachman on writing a pilot for Oprah Winfrey

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