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Austin "Rocky" and Irma Kalish ACA Oral History and Transcript, February 7, 2007.

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In their three-hour, joint Emerson Comedy Archive interview, Rocky (1921-2016) and Irma Kalish discuss their backgrounds, and how they met and married. In a free-wheeling discussion, they touch on many of the shows they worked on including 'Colgate Comedy Hour,' 'Meet Corliss Archer,' 'My Three Sons,' 'Family Affair,' 'Gillian’s Island' and 'The Flying Nun.' They recall working on two Norman Lear shows 'All in the Family,' where they wrote the groundbreaking "Edith’s Christmas Story" dealing with breast cancer, and 'Good Times,' where they hired Janet Jackson in the final seasons to play "Penny." They describe working with many luminaries during their time as writers, some of whom became friends, including Selma Diamond, Shelley Berman, Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Carl Reiner, and Cloris Leachman. They touch on many problems facing the industry including writers strikes, ageism, and the challenge of longevity for a writer. They speak of their philosophy of comedy and joking writing, including if being funny can be taught, and what goes into constructing a joke. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on February 7, 2007 in Encino, California. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Pivotal Career Moments, Ageism in Television Industry, Writers Guild of America Strikes, and Comedy Series. Other shows mentioned during the interview include 'The Brian Keith Show,' 'Carter Country,' 'F Troop,' 'The Facts of Life,' 'Good Heavens,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Oh Madeline,' 'The Sarah Silverman Program,' and 'Too Close for Comfort.'

2007-02-07

In their three-hour, joint Emerson Comedy Archive interview, Rocky (1921-2016) and Irma Kalish discuss their backgrounds, and how they met and married. In a free-wheeling discussion, they touch on many of the shows they worked on including 'Colgate Comedy Hour,' 'Meet Corliss Archer,' 'My Three Sons,' 'Family Affair,' 'Gillian’s Island' and 'The Flying Nun.' They recall working on two Norman Lear shows 'All in the Family,' where they wrote the groundbreaking "Edith’s Christmas Story" dealing with breast cancer, and 'Good Times,' where they hired Janet Jackson in the final seasons to play "Penny." They describe working with many luminaries during their time as writers, some of whom became friends, including Selma Diamond, Shelley Berman, Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Carl Reiner, and Cloris Leachman. They touch on many problems facing the industry including writers strikes, ageism, and the challenge of longevity for a writer. They speak of their philosophy of comedy and joking writing, including if being funny can be taught, and what goes into constructing a joke. Jenni Matz and Bill Dana conducted the interview on February 7, 2007 in Encino, California. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Pivotal Career Moments, Ageism in Television Industry, Writers Guild of America Strikes, and Comedy Series. Other shows mentioned during the interview include 'The Brian Keith Show,' 'Carter Country,' 'F Troop,' 'The Facts of Life,' 'Good Heavens,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Oh Madeline,' 'The Sarah Silverman Program,' and 'Too Close for Comfort.'

2007-02-07

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