"I had a personal adage that - sure, God made man before women, but then you always do a first draft before you make a final masterpiece. So I was known as a proponent of women. But to his credit Rocky was also. He pushed me to get forward and not just be known as 'Rocky's wife' but to be known as Irma Kalish."
About This Interview
In their three-hour interview, Irma Kalish and her writing partner and husband, Rocky, discuss their long career as television writers. She talks about growing up in NY and being inspired to become a writer after her college dean told her she never would. In their joint interview, Rocky and Irma discuss their first gigs writing for Martin & Lewis on the radio, and for The Colgate Comedy Hour in the early days of live television. They chronicle their writing careers on shows such as Gilligan's Island (for which they co-wrote the pilot with Elroy Schwartz and conceived of the characters), I Dream of Jeannie, My Three Sons, F Troop, Family Affair, The Flying Nun, The Reconversion of Sister Shapiro, Carter Country, Too Close for Comfort, and The Facts of Life. They speak in detail about several episodes of All in the Family they wrote, including an emotional story about Edith's character in "Edith's Christmas Story," and the controversial "Gloria the Victim" episode. They describe writing "Maude's Dilemma" on Maude, and working with Norman Lear. They discuss working with a largely black cast on Good Times and the challenges of the show, and talk about various stars with whom they've worked, including Shelley Berman, Marilyn Monroe, and Fred MacMurray. They talk about creating the failed series Mason, and Irma speaks of writing books and her involvement with the Writers Guild and Motion Picture and Television Fund. Amy Harrington conducted the interview on December 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA.