News from the Archive

The Power of Music, According To Mister Rogers

September 12th, 2014
Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers taught us to how to tie our shoes and how to be a good neighbor. He was a lover of creativity, of kindness, and of sharing. He was also a lover of music, as he explained in his Archive interview:

Go on, listen to your favorite song. Or go write one!

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Remembering Joan Rivers

September 4th, 2014
blog post image

We are very sad to hear of the passing of comedian Joan Rivers, who died this afternoon, Thursday September 4, 2014 at the age of 81. Joan started performing in comedy clubs in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. Her big break came in 1965 with a shot on The Tonight Show. She became a favorite of Johnny Carson and viewers, which eventually led to her being anointed as the first "permanent guest host" of the show in 1983. In October of 1986, Joan struck out on her own with her FOX Television's The Late Show. The show was short lived and caused a permanent rift in her relationship with Johnny Carson. During the period after the cancellation of the FOX show, Joan suffered a series of personal and professional setbacks, not the least of which was the death of her husband Edgar Rosenberg. In 1989 Rivers launched a successful syndicated daytime talk show for which she received a Daytime Emmy. In the late 90s she established herself as an entertainment commentator with her E! series Live from the Red Carpet. Earlier this year she appeared on The Tonight Show for the first time in nearly 30 years when Jimmy Fallon took over as host. Recently Joan had been serving as host on E!'s Fashion Police and starred along with her daughter Melissa Rivers on the series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?

Below are some selections from her 2007 Archive interview:

On appearing on The Tonight Show for the first time:


On appearing on The Lucy Show:


On Johnny Carson' reaction to the start of her late-night talk show:


On her catch phrase Can We Talk?:


On revolutionizing the red carpet:


On celebrity and how she'd like to be remembered:



Watch Joan Rivers' full Archive interview:

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Five Things You Didn't Know: Emmys Edition

August 22nd, 2014
66th Primetime Emmy nominees

Several Archive interviewees are nominated for Emmys this year! Here are some fun facts you may not know about five of our nominees: 



1. Nominee Vince Gilligan (Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series) worked with Bryan Cranston prior to Breaking Bad.

Vince Gilligan was a producer on The X-Files. When he was looking for a "Walter White," he remembered an actor named Bryan Cranston who had guest-starred on the sci-fi show and had the qualities he was looking for.


2. Nominee Matthew Weiner (Outstanding Drama Series) had to fight for Jon Hamm to be cast in Mad Men.

Weiner was looking for unknowns, but the network was hesitant to cast Hamm. One female executive said he “wasn’t sexy enough."



3. Nominee Lisa Kudrow (Outstanding Structured Reality Show) was nearly cast on Saturday Night Live.

Laraine Newman had suggested that Lorne Michaels audition Lisa Kudrow for the show. Kudrow auditioned with Julia Sweeney and Kathy Griffin.


4. According to nominee Bob Newhart  (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series), the infamous final scene of Newhart was not thought up by any of the writers.

Someone near and dear to Newhart came up with the brilliant “It was all a dream of Bob Hartley’s” idea.


5. As a teenager, nominee Tom Bergeron (Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program) interviewed the Three Stooges.

An enterprising young fan, Bergeron found the phone number for Larry Fine. Then he called it.


Click here for more on our interviewees with Emmy nominations this year. Good luck to all of the nominees and tune in on Monday, August 25th to see who wins! 

- by John Dalton


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Life With Lucy (Lawless)

August 19th, 2014
Lucy Lawless

One of my favorite recent interviews was one the Archive did back in 2013 with Lucy Lawless. It amounted to a free-wheeling three-hour gabfest during which Lawless was engaging, honest and funny. Whether you know her as a Warrior Princess, a Cylon, or the Lady Macbeth of the Roman Republic, I promise you’ll see a side to her in this interview that you’ve never seen before.


During the course of the interview I found several reasons to love Lucy. Here are but five of them: 

1.     She’s got a good head on her shoulders and a good sense of her place in the culture.

Lawless understands what “Xena” means to people, but she takes no credit (or blame) when people are inspired by her.   

2.     She does a great Stevie Nicks imitation.  

When she hosted Saturday Night Live, she gave us a Stevie who wanted us to eat burritos. She was convinced it wouldn’t be funny. She was wrong.  

Here's the sketch:

lucy lawless by dummy-account

3.     She’s subversive.  

Back in 1995, two years before “The Puppy Episode” of Ellen, Lawless was playing lesbian subtext on Xena: Warrior Princess with the Battling Bard of Potidaea, “Gabrielle” (Renee O’Connor). At first, the women were unaware of the undertones until eight episodes into the series when it was pointed out to them. They were surprised, but they embraced it and played it to the hilt.

4.     She’s a lot of fun.

During her guest spot on Curb Your Enthusiasm, she put her foot in her mouth with the writers AND ad-libbed a zinger that Larry David loved. 

5.     She’s got a brilliant approach to acting.

One of the best descriptions of acting I’ve ever heard in the Archive.

The interview focuses on the rich tapestry of characters Lucy Lawless has created in the past, but I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

For more reasons to love Lucy, watch her full interview.

- by John Dalton

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Remembering Don Pardo

August 18th, 2014
Don Pardo

We're sad to hear that long-time NBC announcer Don Pardo passed away tonight, Monday, August 18, 2014, at the age of 96. Pardo began working at NBC back in 1944 as a radio announcer, transitioning to the new medium of television in 1946. He announced for the original The Price Is Right, Choose Up Sides (a children's show on which he appeared on-camera as "Mr. Mischief"), and the original Jeopardy! (which launched the pop culture catchphrase: "Don Pardo, tell her what she's won!"). As a staff announcer, Pardo also broke the news of President Kennedy's assassination to the NBC audience in 1963. But Pardo is most closely associated with Saturday Night Live, where he served as announcer for nearly the entire run of the show since its inception in 1975 (he was absent for the '81-'82 season). In 2010 he became the first announcer ever to be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Below are some selections from his 2006 Archive interview:

On working for NBC radio in New York:

On announcing for Jeopardy!:

On getting hired on Saturday Night Live:

On flubbing his first SNL cold open:

Watch Don Pardo's full Archive interiview and read his obituary in The Hollywood Reporter.

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