"Take great joy in, in everything you write. Irving Berlin was interviewed.. they said, 'Mister Berlin, you have more songs than any other writer living or dead..what is your favorite song?' And he said- 'the last one I wrote', which really says it. It says his pride in authorship... After years of doing this, every time I write something, whether it's a paragraph or something somebody wants something for a benefit or whatever.. I hope they like it. We all do that. As long as you keep that attitude I think you'll be good."
About This Interview
In his interview for the Archive of American Television, Sam Denoff (1928-2011) describes his work in radio at WNEW in New York and his move to Los Angeles to work in television, starting with The Steve Allen Show. He talks about working on The Andy Williams Show before landing a job with writing partner Bill Persky on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Denoff discusses his work as a writer and producer on this classic sitcom, in which he co-wrote memorable episodes such as "Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth" and "That's My Boy?" Denoff details the production of the landmark series That Girl, starring Marlo Thomas, which he and Persky co-created and co-produced, as well as the series Good Morning World. He recalls other series he created, which include The Funny Side, Big Eddie, On Our Own, and Turnabout. Denoff describes specials he worked on, including The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special (1967), The Bill Cosby Special (1968), Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman (1969) and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "The Man Who Came to Dinner," with Orson Welles (1972). Denoff also touches on writing for The Annual American Comedy Awards and working as a consultant for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. Bill Freiberger conducted the four hour interview in Brentwood, CA on March 9, 2000.