Tom Poston

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Tom Poston (1921-2007) talks about his first television appearances, including his stint as a regular on Hawkins Falls and Population 6200, which originated in Chicago. He chronicles his work on a local New York daytime show, which led to appearances as a regular on The Steve Allen Show in the "Man on the Street" sketches with Don Knotts and Louis Nye. He discusses his work with colleague Bob Newhart, including his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show, and his regular role as handyman "George Utley" on Newhart. Other topics he discusses include his original consideration for the lead in Get Smart (before the project changed networks, nullifying his contract), his regular role on Mork & Mindy, and his relationship and marriage to actress Suzanne Pleshette. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on February 9, 2006 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"I did the 'Steve Allen Show' playing a bloke who couldn't remember his own name. The next day, the nation knew of my work. Guys in cabs would drive by and see me and yell, 'Hey, hey, dummy!' So that's how powerful 'The Steve Allen Show' was as far as recognition was concerned."

Highlights
Tom Poston on working with Louis Nye on The Steve Allen Show
01:25
Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09
Tom Poston on playing "Franklin Delano Bickley" on Mork & Mindy
02:18
Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
02:12
Tom Poston on guest starring on Murphy Brown
00:26
Tom Poston on advice to an aspiring actor
01:08
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on getting into show business; on his first jobs in show business
15:24
On his service in World War II; on appearing on various live television shows; on the Hollywood Blacklist
12:51

Chapter 2

On being cast on The Steve Allen Show; on working with the cast of The Steve Allen Show
14:50
On appearing as a panelist on the Goodson-Todman game shows; on almost playing "Maxwell Smart" on Get Smart and appearing on various variety shows; on his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show
13:58

Chapter 3

On appearing on Mork & Mindy; on being cast as "George Utley" on Newhart; on the cast of Newhart
16:11
On the final episode of Newhart; on guest-starring on numerous shows including ER, Home Improvement, That '70s Show, Bob and others
13:52

Chapter 4

On acting on the series Committed; on his longevity
07:55
On career highlights and regrets; on advice to aspiring actors; on how he'd like to be remembered 
10:17
Shows

Bob

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Tom Poston on guest-starring on Bob
01:38

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Tom Poston on his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show
03:16

Coach

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Tom Poston on guest-starring on Coach
00:38

ER

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Tom Poston on guest-starring on ER
02:50

Get Smart

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Tom Poston on almost being cast as "Maxwell Smart" in Get Smart
01:57

Hallmark Hall of Fame

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Tom Poston on acting on a production of "The Tempest" on Hallmark Hall of Fame
01:49

Hawkins Falls

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Tom Poston on appearing on Hawkins Falls
01:22

Home Improvement

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Tom Poston on guest-starring on Home Improvement
01:08

Match Game

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09

Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz aka Stump the Stars

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09

Mork & Mindy

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Tom Poston on playing "Franklin Delano Bickley" on Mork & Mindy
02:18
Tom Poston on working with Robin Williams and the cast of Mork & Mindy
04:20

Murphy Brown

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Tom Poston on guest starring on Murphy Brown
00:26

Newhart

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Tom Poston on being cast on Newhart
02:34
Tom Poston on his Newhart character "George Utley"
01:48
Tom Poston on working with the cast of Newhart
05:05
Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
02:12

Newhart: "The Last Newhart"

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Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
02:12

Password

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09

Phil Silvers Show, The aka You'll Never Get Rich aka Sergeant Bilko

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Tom Poston on appearing on The Phil Silvers Show
01:24

Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse

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Tom Poston on appearing on the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse production of "Cyrano de Bergerac"
00:52

Steve Allen Show, The (1956-61)

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Tom Poston on being cast on The Steve Allen Show
05:04
Tom Poston on differences between Steve Allen's Tonight  and The Steve Allen Show
03:36
Tom Poston on working with Louis Nye on The Steve Allen Show
01:25
Tom Poston on working with Don Knotts on The Steve Allen Show
03:19
Tom Poston on working with Bill Dana on The Steve Allen Show
01:23

That '70s Show

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Tom Poston on guest-starring on That '70s Show
01:30

To Tell the Truth

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet

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Tom Poston on appearing on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
01:27

Tonight

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Tom Poston on differences between Steve Allen's Tonight  and The Steve Allen Show
03:36

What's My Line?

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09
Topics

Advice

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Tom Poston on advice to an aspiring actor
01:08

Classic TV series episodes

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Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
01:12

Comedy

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Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
01:12

Historic Events and Social Change

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Tom Poston on his service in World War II
02:33

Hollywood Blacklist

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Tom Poston on the Hollywood Blacklist
01:02

Industry Crossroads

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Tom Poston on the Hollywood Blacklist
01:02

Memorable Moments on Television

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Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
01:12

Pop Culture

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Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
01:12

Television Industry

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Tom Poston on the Hollywood Blacklist
01:02
Tom Poston on advice to an aspiring actor
01:08

War

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Tom Poston on his service in World War II
02:33

We Laughed

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Tom Poston on the final episode of Newhart
01:12

World War II

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Tom Poston on his service in World War II
02:33
Professions

Actor

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Tom Poston on advice to an aspiring actor
01:08

Performers

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Tom Poston on advice to an aspiring actor
01:08
Genres

Comedy Series

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Tom Poston on his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show
03:16
Tom Poston on playing Franklin Delano Bickley on Mork & Mindy
06:39
Tom Poston on playing "George Utley" on Newhart
12:45

Talk Shows

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Tom Poston on being a regular player on The Steve Allen Show
14:50
People

Bill Dana

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Tom Poston on working with Bill Dana on The Steve Allen Show
01:23

Pam Dawber

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Tom Poston on working with Robin Williams and the cast of Mork & Mindy: Pam Dawber
00:39

Julia Duffy

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Tom Poston on working with the cast of Newhart: Julia Duffy
00:56

Mary Frann

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Tom Poston on working with the cast of Newhart: Mary Frann
00:23

Mark Goodson

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09

Conrad Janis

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Tom Poston on working with Robin Williams and the cast of Mork & Mindy: Conrad Janis
00:30

Don Knotts

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Tom Poston on working with Don Knotts on The Steve Allen Show
03:19

Bob Newhart

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Tom Poston on his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show
03:16
Tom Poston on working with the cast of Newhart: Bob Newhart
00:36

Louis Nye

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Tom Poston on working with Louis Nye on The Steve Allen Show
01:25

Suzanne Pleshette

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Tom Poston on his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show
03:16
Tom Poston on his wife Suzanne Pleshette
00:49

William Sanderson

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Tom Poston on working with the cast of Newhart: William Sanderson
02:30

Peter Scolari

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Tom Poston on working with the cast of Newhart: Peter Scolari
00:41

Phil Silvers

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Tom Poston on appearing on The Phil Silvers Show
01:24

Bill Todman

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Tom Poston on acting as a panelist on To Tell the Truth and other Goodson-Todman game shows
04:09

Robin Williams

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Tom Poston on playing "Franklin Delano Bickley" on Mork & Mindy
02:18
Tom Poston on working with Robin Williams and the cast of Mork & Mindy
03:50

Jonathan Winters

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Tom Poston on working with Robin Williams and the cast of Mork & Mindy: Jonathan Winters
00:30

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