Thad Mumford

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In the one-hour fifteen-minute, solo portion of his interview, Thad Mumford (1951-2018) talks about his early years, and being a batboy for the New York Yankees. He describes becoming a page at NBC and going on to write jokes for Joan Rivers. He recounts writing for the PBS children’s series The Electric Company, learning to write sketches and characters from writer Tom Whedon, and eventually winning an Emmy for his work on the show. Mumford discusses writing for The Flip Wilson Show with Lorne Michaels, and eventually writing for the Norman Lear series Maude and Good Times. He details writing for A Different World, and being a supervising producer on ALF. He concludes by commenting on what he likes about writing, and offering advice for aspiring writers. In the twenty-minute joint portion of their interview, Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford talk about how they met and became a writing team, as well as writing for That’s My Mama and Roots: The Next Generations. They recall being on the writing staff of M*A*S*H later in its run, and helping to write the series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.” Amy and Nancy Harrington conducted the interviews in a joint venture with the Writers Guild Foundation on April 20, 2016 in Tarzana, CA.

"I would advise someone who wants to be a writer to observe behavior. To understand that there’s a gap between what people say they want, and what they really want, and that the line between good and evil is not between people. We all have the capacity to do great good or evil, given the setting or given the stimuli."

Highlights
Thad Mumford on writing for The Electric Company
03:42
Thad Mumford on writing for Maude
02:11
Thad Mumford on writing for A Different World, and dealing with the departure of Lisa Bonet, and on working with director Debbie Allen
04:58
Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing the fifth installment of Roots: The Next Generations
06:02
Thad Mumford on acting as supervising producer on ALF
03:17
Thad Mumford on being a batboy for the New York Yankees, and on racism in baseball in those years
10:02
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on being a batboy for the New York Yankees, and on racism in baseball in those years; on going off to college, but sneaking back to New York to finish the season as a batboy for the Yankees
22:58
On being fired from the New York Yankees; on his first television job as an NBC page; on writing jokes for Joan Rivers
07:22
On writing for The Electric Company; on learning from Tom Whedon on The Electric Company, and the process of writing for the show; on favorite sketches and characters on the show, and winning an Emmy for it
14:08
On writing songs for Sesame Street with Joe Raposo; on writing for The Flip Wilson Show with Lorne Michaels; on writing for Good Times,Maude, and various other Norman Lear shows
16:24

Chapter 2

On writing for Maude; on acting as supervising producer on ALF; on writing for A Different World, and dealing with the departure of Lisa Bonet; on working with director Debbie Allen
10:28
On what he likes about writing; on his advice to aspiring writers and on how he'd like to be remembered
03:23

Chapter 3

START OF JOINT INTERVIEW WITH DAN WILCOX AND THAD MUMFORD: On how they met and became a writing team; on writing for That's My Mama; on writing the fifth installment of Roots: The Next Generations
12:49
On writing for M*A*S*H; on writing the M*A*S*H finale "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"
07:54
Shows

ALF

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Thad Mumford on acting as supervising producer on ALF
03:17

Different World, A

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Thad Mumford on writing for A Different World, and dealing with the departure of Lisa Bonet, and on working with director Debbie Allen
04:58

Electric Company, The

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Thad Mumford on writing for The Electric Company
03:42
Thad Mumford on learning from Tom Whedon on The Electric Company, and on the process of writing for the show
04:52
Thad Mumford on favorite sketches and characters of The Electric Company, and on Joan Ganz Cooney
04:02
Thad Mumford on winning an Emmy for The Electric Company
01:29

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Thad Mumford on winning an Emmy for The Electric Company
01:29

Flip Wilson Show, The

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Thad Mumford on writing for The Flip Wilson Show with Lorne Michaels
05:50

Good Times

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Thad Mumford on writing for Good Times, Maude, and various other Norman Lear shows
06:36

M*A*S*H

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Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing for M*A*S*H
03:21
Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing the M*A*S*H finale "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"
04:32

M*A*S*H: "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"

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Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing the M*A*S*H finale "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"
04:32

Maude

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Thad Mumford on writing for Good Times, Maude, and various other Norman Lear shows
06:36
Thad Mumford on writing for Maude
02:11

Roots: The Next Generations

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Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing the fifth installment of Roots: The Next Generations
06:02

Sesame Street

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Thad Mumford on writing songs for Sesame Street with Joe Raposo
03:56

That's My Mama

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Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing for That's My Mama
02:14
Topics

Advice

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Thad Mumford on his advice to aspiring writers and on how he'd like to be remembered
01:44

Emmy Awards

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Thad Mumford on winning an Emmy for The Electric Company
01:29

Television Industry

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Thad Mumford on being fired from the New York Yankees and on his first television job as an NBC page
05:15
Thad Mumford on his advice to aspiring writers and on how he'd like to be remembered
01:44
Professions

Writers

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Thad Mumford on what he likes about writing
01:32
Thad Mumford on his advice to aspiring writers and on how he'd like to be remembered
01:44
Genres

Children's Programming

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Thad Mumford on writing for The Electric Company
14:08
Thad Mumford on writing songs for Sesame Street with Joe Raposo
03:56

Comedy Series

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Thad Mumford on writing for Good Times, Maude, and various other Norman Lear shows
06:36
Thad Mumford on writing for Maude
02:11
Thad Mumford on acting as supervising producer on ALF
03:17
Thad Mumford on writing for A Different World
04:58
Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing for That's My Mama
02:14
Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing for M*A*S*H
07:54

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Thad Mumford on writing for The Flip Wilson Show
05:50

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford on writing the fifth installment of Roots: The Next Generations
06:02
People

Debbie Allen

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Thad Mumford on writing for A Different World, and dealing with the departure of Lisa Bonet and on working with director Debbie Allen
04:58

Lisa Bonet

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Thad Mumford on writing for A Different World, and dealing with the departure of Lisa Bonet, and on working with director Debbie Allen
04:58

Joan Ganz Cooney

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Thad Mumford on favorite sketches and characters of The Electric Company, and on Joan Ganz Cooney
04:03

Norman Lear

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Thad Mumford on writing for Good Times, Maude, and various other Norman Lear shows
06:36

Lorne Michaels

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Thad Mumford on writing for The Flip Wilson Show with Lorne Michaels
05:50

Joe Raposo

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Thad Mumford on writing songs for Sesame Street with Joe Raposo
03:56

Joan Rivers

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Thad Mumford on writing jokes for Joan Rivers
02:06

Tom Whedon

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Thad Mumford on learning from Tom Whedon on The Electric Company, and on the process of writing for the show
04:52

Flip Wilson

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Thad Mumford on writing for The Flip Wilson Show with Lorne Michaels
05:50

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