In Conversation with a CT Legend: Reflecting on Our Exclusive Interview with Norman Lear
Norman Lear died on Tuesday (12/05/23) at the age of 101.
Norman Lear's impact on American television is unrivaled. Lear is the genius writer, producer and director of hit shows like "All in the Family", "The Jeffersons", "One Day at a Time", "Maude" and "Good Times." Before Lear ever made an impact in Hollywood he was making his bones in New Haven, Connecticut.
According to NPR, Lear was born in New Haven in 1922 and once said "he remembers selling souvenirs at the Yale Bowl during the Great Depression." Lear also went to Weaver High School in Hartford and said he used to watch movies at the old Roger Sherman Theater.
In 2016, when Lear was promoting his documentary "Just Another Version of You" he made it a point to speak to the people of Connecticut, joining us on the I-95 Morning Show.
We were able to ask him about his storied career in that interview and it seemed he was quite reflective at that time. Here is a breakdown of our favorite moments from that discussion.
Ethan: Do you understand that you are responsible for some of the most incredible TV shows in history?
Lear: "What we were doing at the time, I had a growing family, it was early on in my family life and I was fighting hard to make a buck to support a growing family, that is what we were all doing. The fact that we chose to deal with real problems as opposed to what preceded All in the Family and these shows, the biggest problem a family faced in an American television show was that the boss was coming to dinner and the roast was ruined. We decided to deal with the problems we were really facing so we made nothing up. It was just the common, up-the-street and down-the-street, across-the-street families from one another families were dealing with all the problems we were writing about."
Lou: The problems you were writing about all those years ago with "All in the Family", they are happening all over again. Don't you feel like right now we need a TV show like "All in the Family" that can carefully navigate these waters and get Americans to laugh at themselves again?
Lear: "I could not agree with you more and if all goes well maybe we'll have a hand in doing that."
You read that right, in 2016 Lear would have been 94 and he was working on a project for TV, that is what you call passion. I'd love to see how that project left-off because I guarantee an incomplete Norman Lear TV show is way better than anything on TV today.
You can listen to our entire interview with the late Norman Lear below.
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