EXCLUSIVE: Norman Lear never was one to be stifled with. When Fred Silverman turned to him for a show to upgrade the image of CBS — the Tiffany network that, through the enormous popularity of The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Hee Haw, had come to stand for Country Bumpkins Supreme — Lear knew exactly the path he wanted to take. He would turn the sitcom landscape into a minefield where the timid dare not tread, taking on the Big Issues of the time: The Vietnam War. Civil Rights. Women’s Liberation. Hippie culture. The growing chasm between America’s Haves and Have-Nots. Lear would introduce Archie Bunker into the American cultural pantheon, damn the consequences. Not, however, with the wagging finger of the pedant. Lear, who had written comedy with Ed Simmons for Martha Raye, and Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin, produced variety shows and feature films with his Tandem Productions partner Bud Yorkin and hung out with Hollywood’s crack-a-minute cadre of gagmeisters that included Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar and Neil Simon among countless others, was one of the funniest men alive. Is one of the funniest men alive, I hasten to add, for at 92, he has lost none of the inciseveness that scores his wit… Read full this story
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Norman Lear Vs. CBS On Archie Bunker’s Bigotry, Gloria’s Skirt, And Sunday Sex In The City – Exclusive Book Excerpt have 289 words, post on deadline.com at October 3, 2014. This is cached page on Movie Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.