Bea Arthur Talks About Her Initial Work With Norman Lear

Interviewer: Of course, you mean Norman Lear is who you met in New York for the first time, and he recalls going to a play where you sang Garbage. BEA: Yes, it was either- CAREY: Two For The Season? BEA: It was Fifty-Fifty Five, Fifty Four, I had-again, going back to the Guinness Book Of Records, I had a summer at a placed called Tamiment, which was a place where people got free room and board and a couple of dollars for a putting on a-a new variety show every-every weekend. And one of the-again, there I was. I was now into comedy, and Sheldon Harnick, you know, who wrote “Fiddler On The Roof” among other things, wrote a song called Garbage, which was a torch song… that I took very seriously and I remember I was leaning against a lamppost and sang this song. At the end of the song I turned and went upstage and the whole back of my raincoat was gone and you could just see pants and a bra. But at any rate, that winter a-a producer put on a variety show called-well it was taken from “Pleasure Dome”, which was a British review, you know, the did a lot of reviews then. And I was hired and I did the song. And Norman-this was ’54 and I didn’t hear from him, I didn’t meet him, until ’59 when he called and told me that he was-he was writing and producing sort of the last days of “The George Gobel Show”. Do you remember George Gobel? I mean, he was- CAREY: I remember him from “Hollywood Squares”. BEA: Brilliant, brilliant, and I came out to California. There were three of us, and we-we did-we did a variety show every-every two weeks with star guests, you know? I think we did three and the thing collapsed, but Norman and I became very very very close. And after that of course he had asked me to come out and-and do a-an “All In The Family”. And I hated flying and I didn’t want to do it because I thought, “Oh god, what if I-what if it’s no good? I can’t tell Norman that I don’t want to do it because he’s a friend” But we ended - I was married at the time and my ex-hu
Interviewer: Of course, you mean Norman Lear is who you met in New York for the first time, and he recalls going to a play where you sang Garbage. BEA: Yes, it was either- CAREY: Two For The Season? BEA: It was Fifty-Fifty Five, Fifty Four, I had-again, going back to the Guinness Book Of Records, I had a summer at a placed called Tamiment, which was a place where people got free room and board and a couple of dollars for a putting on a-a new variety show every-every weekend. And one of the-again, there I was. I was now into comedy, and Sheldon Harnick, you know, who wrote “Fiddler On The Roof” among other things, wrote a song called Garbage, which was a torch song… that I took very seriously and I remember I was leaning against a lamppost and sang this song. At the end of the song I turned and went upstage and the whole back of my raincoat was gone and you could just see pants and a bra. But at any rate, that winter a-a producer put on a variety show called-well it was taken from “Pleasure Dome”, which was a British review, you know, the did a lot of reviews then. And I was hired and I did the song. And Norman-this was ’54 and I didn’t hear from him, I didn’t meet him, until ’59 when he called and told me that he was-he was writing and producing sort of the last days of “The George Gobel Show”. Do you remember George Gobel? I mean, he was- CAREY: I remember him from “Hollywood Squares”. BEA: Brilliant, brilliant, and I came out to California. There were three of us, and we-we did-we did a variety show every-every two weeks with star guests, you know? I think we did three and the thing collapsed, but Norman and I became very very very close. And after that of course he had asked me to come out and-and do a-an “All In The Family”. And I hated flying and I didn’t want to do it because I thought, “Oh god, what if I-what if it’s no good? I can’t tell Norman that I don’t want to do it because he’s a friend” But we ended - I was married at the time and my ex-hu
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1223494013
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Getty Images Editorial Footage
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October 02, 2006
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