Sam Lovullo

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his five-hour Archive interview, Sam Lovullo (1928-2017) talks about growing up in Buffalo, NY and moving to Los Angeles at age fifteen. He describes his first job in television, as chief accountant for CBS Business Affairs. He discusses moving into production with The Jonathan Winters Show, on which he became an associate producer. Lovullo then discusses in great detail his long association with the popular syndicated series Hee Haw, which he produced in Nashville. He speaks about several of the series regulars, including Roy Clark, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl, and Louis "Grandpa" Jones, as well as several featured country music guest stars. He describes the origins of some of the show's signature elements, including the musical segment "Pffft You Was Gone" and the cast's antics in the "Kornfield." He talks about the show's growth in syndication as well as the need for syndicated shows following the FCC's prime access rule. Finally, he talks about his work with the Country Music Association. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on February 3, 2005 in Encino, CA.

"Lord only knows how many times I would go to the Grand Ole Opry, not to be seen, I'd hide behind the curtains so that I could understand their kind of comedy. To understand what the artists were doing. After a while, it became a habit, and people knew I was doing it. They'd say, 'Come on over and talk to us, Sam.'"

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Sam Lovullo on Buck Owens and Roy Clark's "Picking and grinning" segments on Hee Haw, and other recurring bits
Sam Lovullo on his favorite guests on Hee Haw, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paul Anka
Sam Lovullo on the need that Hee Haw filled in the culture when it premiered, and why the show worked
Sam Lovullo on Minnie Pearl on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on how the city of Nashville reacted to the production of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Swing Out, Sweet Land, starring John Wayne
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life; on his early influences, and music he listened to growing up; on going to work in the CBS accounting office
On his earliest memories of television; on his day-to-day duties in accounting at CBS; on how the invention of video tape changed the industry

Chapter 2

On getting into producing at CBS; on breaking down a show from a business affairs standpoint; on handling business affairs for The Judy Garland Show
On working with Perry Lafferty at CBS, and on bringing on Hee Haw as a summer replacement; on The Jonathan Winters Show; on Jonathan Winters being in the cast of Hee Haw

Chapter 3

On planting his wife in the audience at The Jonathan Winters Show; on the genesis of Hee Haw, and on deciding to do the show in Nashville; on the development of Hee Haw
On finding the "voice" for Hee Haw, and on the cast of the show; on the Hee Haw theme song; on the need that Hee Haw filled in the culture when it premiered, and why the show worked

Chapter 4

On working with the unions on the production of Hee Haw; on the crew of Hee Haw; on how the city of Nashville reacted to the production of the show
On advertisers' initial reactions to Hee Haw; on the production schedule for Hee Haw; on the studio audience for Hee Haw

Chapter 5

On working with Roy Clark and Buck Owens on Hee Haw; on the Hee Haw being cancelled by CBS and going into syndication; on Buck Owens leaving Hee Haw, and on Roy Clark hosting it alone
On Archie Campbell and the Hager twins on Hee Haw; on Grandpa Jones on Hee Haw; on Lulu Roman and David "Stringbean" Akeman on Hee Haw

Chapter 6

On Junior Samples on Hee Haw; on Minnie Pearl on Hee Haw; on Misty Rowe on Hee Haw
On Slim Pickens on Hee Haw; on George "Goober" Lindsey and Pat Buttram on Hee Haw; on the production schedule of Hee Haw

Chapter 7

On the "Hee Haw Honeys" on Hee Haw, including Kathie Lee Gifford; on the recurring skits and bits on Hee Haw
On Buck Owens and Roy Clark's "Picking and grinning" segments on Hee Haw, and other recurring bits; on the Minnie Pearl's Schoolhouse sketches on Hee Haw; on the guest-stars of Hee Haw, and their wardrobe

Chapter 8

On the humor of Hee Haw; on dealing with record companies and artists once Hee Haw got popular
On his favorite guests on Hee Haw, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paul Anka; on selling Hee Haw in syndication; on Gaylord Productions, Hee Haw's early production company

Chapter 9

On Hee Haw and Gaylord Productions; on where Hee Haw was most popular, and on revamping the show towards the end of its run; on the end of the show
On the legacy of Hee Haw in terms of launching the careers of country singers; on what it was like on the set of Hee Haw when the show was cancelled, and on the longevity of the show; on producing Swing Out, Sweet Land, starring John Wayne

Chapter 10

On producing a gospel show in Canada; on the Hollywood Blacklist; on career highlights
On then-current projects; on his involvement with the Country Music Association; on career highlights and regrets
On advice to aspiring producers; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Hee Haw

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Sam Lovullo on getting into producing at CBS, and on associate producing The Jonathan Winters Show, and on the inception of Hee Haw
San Lovullo on working with Perry Lafferty at CBS, and on bringing on Hee Haw as a summer replacement
Sam Lovullo on the genesis of Hee Haw, and on deciding to do the show in Nashville
Sam Lovullo on the development of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on finding the "voice" for Hee Haw, and on the cast of the show
Sam Lovullo on the Hee Haw theme song
Sam Lovullo on the need that Hee Haw filled in the culture when it premiered, and why the show worked
Sam Lovullo on the bloopers of Hew Haw, often left in, and on the set design of the show
Sam Lovullo on working with the unions on the production of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the crew of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on how the city of Nashville reacted to the production of Hee Haw, and on trying to do a reunion show
Sam Lovullo on advertisers initial reactions to Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the production schedule for Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the studio audience for Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the cast of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on working with Roy Clark and Buck Owens on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the Hee Haw being cancelled by CBS and going into syndication
Sam Lovullo on Buck Owens leaving Hee Haw, and on Roy Clark hosting it alone
Sam Lovullo on Archie Campbell on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the Hager twins on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Grandpa Jones on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Lulu Roman on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on David "Stringbean" Akeman on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Junior Samples on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Minnie Pearl on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Misty Rowe on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Slim Pickens on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on George "Goober" Lindsey on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Pat Buttram on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the production schedule of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the "Hee Haw Honeys" on Hee Haw, including Kathie Lee Gifford
Sam Lovullo on the recurring skits and bits on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Buck Owens and Roy Clark's "Picking and grinning" segments on Hee Haw, and other recurring bits
Sam Lovullo on the Minnie Pearl's Schoolhouse sketches on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the guest stars of Hee Haw, and their wardrobe
Sam Lovullo on the humor of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on dealing with record companies and artists once Hee Haw got popular
Sam Lovullo on his favorite guests on Hee Haw, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paul Anka
Sam Lovullo on selling Hee Haw in syndication
Sam Lovullo on Gaylord Productions, Hee Haw's early production company
Sam Lovullo on Hee Haw and Gaylord Productions
Sam Lovullo on where Hee Haw was most popular, and on revamping the show towards the end of its run
Sam Lovullo on the end of Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on the legacy of Hee Haw in terms of launching the careers of country singers
Sam Lovullo on what it was like on the set of Hee Haw when the show was cancelled, and on the longevity of the show

Jonathan Winters Show, The (1967-69)

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Sam Lovullo on getting into producing at CBS, and on associate producing The Jonathan Winters Show, and on the inception of Hee Haw
San Lovullo on The Jonathan Winters Show
San Lovullo on Jonathan Winters being in the cast of Hee Haw
San Lovullo on the cast and guest-stars of The Jonathan Winters Show
Sam Lovullo on planting his wife in the audience at The Jonathan Winters Show

Judy Garland Show, The

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Sam Lovullo on handling business affairs for The Judy Garland Show
Topics

Advice

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Sam Lovullo on advice to aspiring producers

Bloopers

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Sam Lovullo on the bloopers of Hew Haw, often left in, and on the set design of the show

Hollywood Blacklist

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Sam Lovullo on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Sam Lovullo on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pop Culture

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Sam Lovullo on the Hee Haw theme song

TV Theme Songs

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Sam Lovullo on the Hee Haw theme song

Technological Innovation

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Sam Lovullo on how the invention of video tape changed the industry, and on transitioning into business affairs

Television Industry

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Sam Lovullo on the Hollywood Blacklist
Sam Lovullo on advice to aspiring producers
Professions

Executives

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Sam Lovullo on breaking down a show from a business affairs standpoint

Producers

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Sam Lovullo on advice to aspiring producers

Television Executive

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Sam Lovullo on breaking down a show from a business affairs standpoint
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw and The Jonathan Winters Show
Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
San Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on producing Swing Out, Sweet Land
People

Paul Anka

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Sam Lovullo on his favorite guests on Hee Haw, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paul Anka

Pat Buttram

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Sam Lovullo on Pat Buttram on Hee Haw

Ray Charles

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Sam Lovullo on his favorite guests on Hee Haw, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paul Anka

Roy Clark

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Sam Lovullo on working with Roy Clark and Buck Owens on Hee Haw
Sam Lovullo on Buck Owens leaving Hee Haw, and on Roy Clark hosting it alone

Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Sam Lovullo on his favorite guests on Hee Haw, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paul Anka

Judy Garland

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Sam Lovullo on handling business affairs for The Judy Garland Show

Kathie Lee Gifford

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on the "Hee Haw Honeys" on Hee Haw, including Kathie Lee Gifford

Perry Lafferty

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San Lovullo on working with Perry Lafferty at CBS, and on bringing on Hee Haw as a summer replacement

George Lindsey

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Sam Lovullo on George "Goober" Lindsey on Hee Haw

Minnie Pearl

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Sam Lovullo on Minnie Pearl on Hee Haw

Jonathan Winters

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San Lovullo on Jonathan Winters being in the cast of Hee Haw
San Lovullo on the cast and guest-stars of The Jonathan Winters Show
Sam Lovullo on planting his wife in the audience at The Jonathan Winters Show

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