When Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton invaded America’s living rooms as the bigoted Archie Bunker and his sainted wife Edith, television was changed forever.
All in the Family ran on CBS during the tumultuous 1970’s, and the show dealt with real, gritty issues, smashing the mold of fluffy sitcoms like Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. It was TV’s number one show for five consecutive seasons.
American television giant Norman Lear produced All in the Family and many others, including Maude, One Day at a Time and The Jeffersons. At one point, 120 million people across the country were watching his sitcoms each week.
Lear, now 92, joined Kim Masters to talk about his new memoir, Even This I Get to Experience. The book is a journey through Lear’s life and a look at Hollywood history through the eyes of a legend who worked with legends like Danny Thomas, Jerry Lewis, Neil Simon, Frank Sinatra, and Mel Brooks, just to name a few.
Lear is a master storyteller, and he shares a few from his own life with us, including the line in the All in the Family pilot that caused an uproar at CBS, his struggles with actor Carroll O’Connor, and how he used a little trickery to score his first television writing job.
Norman Lear, TV writer and producer (@TheNormanLear)