Magazine article Variety

Norman Lear: 1971, 'All in the Family'

Magazine article Variety

Norman Lear: 1971, 'All in the Family'

Article excerpt

For the 1971 Emmy Awards, Johnny Carson personally suggested the idea of having the show open with the Bunkers preparing to watch the ceremony.

That's true, and it came at the right time, because we hadn't yet picked up the kind of numbers that would result in a [second season] pickup. But after his having done that, the ratings picked up, and that's what resulted in a larger audience. Two shows later, they picked us up.

When looking at the footage of you taking the stage to accept your Emmy, what stands out first and foremost is the magnificent mustache you were sporting at the time.

You know, there's a secret behind that mustache. I was suffering from sores all over my lips and inner cheeks. And I was flying into Sloan Kettering every other week because they were the people who knew the most about it. And they beat it. But the mustache at the time covered everything.

You mentioned during your acceptance speech that it took you a few seconds to walk up to the stage, but it took three years to get to the table in the first place.

If I was saying it now I would say that it took me 51 years, some months, weeks, and days to get to that second. …

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