Best 73 of Norman Lear quotes - MyQuotes

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Norman Lear
By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

Archie Bunker used to call me 'the laziest white kid he'd ever met.'

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

The establishment uses that rationale all the time, and that's why we do what we do. But leadership requires some understanding that you can say no. People have base instincts, but the transcendent also appeal to them.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

That's a very hard thing to help the establishment know. We're still an establishment that thinks the average mentality is something like 13 years of age, that never forgot H.L. Mencken's notion that nobody lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people. That's the horseshit the establishment has always lived with.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

I never met who I really wanted to meet, and that was Charlie Chaplin.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

In the area we're discussing, leadership begins on Madison Avenue, on the desks and in the offices of people who spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying what will get them ratings.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I think the greater responsibility, in terms of morality, is where leadership begins.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

It crossed our minds early on that the more an audience cared - we were working before, on average, 240, live people. If you could get them caring - the more they cared, the harder they laughed.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Nobody doubts my partisanship, but a lot of the activity is nonpartisan.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Life goes on pretty much the same way. I've been working on a couple of films on the side. You may see some more. You may even see another television show.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

In this nation, leadership is dollars.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

... For all our alarm, it is clear that the religious right is responding to a real hunger in our society... a deep-seated yearning for stable values... When conservative Christian groups talk of failures in our educational system, the erosion of our moral standards, and the waste of young lives, they are addressing real and legitimate concerns... Among secularists, the aversion toward discussion of moral values, let alone religion, can reach absurd extremes.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

Ed Simmons and I became stars in the emerging medium of television. We were new and fresh, just like TV at the time, so we automatically became 'THE' comedy writers for television.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

There was no real controversy with All In The Family. That came from the people on the business end.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

In one question you are expressing a world of opinion. Because it is you who thinks that America has been mistakenly starting these conflicts. I happen to agree with you, and I will repeat what your question suggested...we have mistakenly gotten into one fracas after another. Why we do that [United States has insisted on keeping up a string of enemies, and the wars associated with creating those enemies], I think it's because we're afraid to look in the mirror and understand who we are.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

The American people may not be the best-educated, but they're very wise at heart.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Maybe they continued to agree with Archie Bunker - as I said earlier, you can't change people's minds, but you can get them to think.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I wanted to meet Bob Hope, and I got to know him pretty well.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

The movies had a slogan at the time, to distinguish themselves from TV, that said 'movies are better than ever.'

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

I got a call from an agent to come to New York City, and write for the 'Ford Star Revue.' Because at the time there wasn't much 'national television'.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

I guess the story that best defines us [with Bud Yorkin] and our relationship goes back to the [Dean] Martin and [Jerry] Lewis show. The four stage managers on that show became major TV creators and directors - John Rich, Jack Smight, Arthur Penn and Bud Yorkin.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don't collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don't really mean anything.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

That's the heart of it: My shows were not that controversial with the American people. They were controversial with the people who think for the American people.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

We mocked that concept ['movies are better than ever'] by doing a sketch that was about a theater trying to get one customer to come in...and that customer was Jerry Lewis. It generated so much controversy that Dean [Martin] and Jerry [Lewis] had to apologize in a full page ad in Variety.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I was writing for live television. And I said to myself, someday, soon as I can, I have got to do a situation comedy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

We had two African American writers [Eric Monte and Michael Evans] on the show ['Good Times'] that knew Cabrini Green inside and out, and that's why we set it there.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

As a matter of fact, when people ask where my 'point of view' comes from, it was there in one of the first sketches we wrote for [Dean] Martin and [Jerry] Lewis.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

If there was a sense of - a bigger sense of responsibility in the various leadership positions in America, things would be not as grotesquely overly done as they are now.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I wanted to work with Bert Lahr [the 'Cowardly Lion' in 'The Wizard of Oz'], and I did.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I think if you're feeling great about where you are, everything that led up to it had to be terrific.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

Culturally, I think 'All in the Family' was universal enough to have good timing at any time.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Life is about having a good time, and it was a good time. We did some things well and some things poorly, but that was always the case.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

When I countered that Archie Bunker didn't have to put down a race of people to say that, he replied, 'and you're the dumbest white kid I've ever met.'

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I think for television generally, the question that often arises is, "Does television lead, or does it follow?" You know, does it lead the conversation, or culture, or does it follow what's going on? And I think it does both.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Success is how you collect your minutes. You spend millions of minutes to reach one triumph, one moment, then you spend maybe a thousand minutes enjoying it. If you were unhappy through those millions of minutes, what good is the thousand minutes of triumph? It doesn't equate... Life is made of small pleasures. Good eye contact over the breakfast table with your wife. A moment of touching a friend. Happiness is made of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. If you don't have all those zillions of tiny successes, the big ones don't mean anything.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

Life is about having a good time.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

The trafficking of sex and violence is comes after the demand for ratings.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

You know, you throw rocks in the lake and scientists will tell you you're raising the level of the lake, but all you get to see is the ripple.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

We all [Ed Simmons,Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis] started together, so there were no rules - anything we wrote became television.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

Granted, the writers, directors, producers, and that community make a great deal of money. But they might be choosing to do a whole lot of other things for the living they make.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I think America, unfortunately, collectively thinks of itself as the 'chosen people.' To my knowledge, there are no chosen people, we are all human beings.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

Bud [Yorkin] broke out big when he did 'The Fred Astaire Show' and won four Emmys. His wife at the time suggested that we team up. We got a lot of press in show business papers, and a number of offers...we eventually signed with Paramount Pictures. But I always like to say, his was the horse that we rode in on. That is my favorite recollection.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I was the laziest white kid my dad ever met.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

I get a kick out of the fact that people will pick on the writers in California for being responsible for the content. The people seriously responsible for the content are the people who buy it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

I think somehow I got a sense of the foolishness of the human - my favorite phrase, the foolishness of the human condition.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

What happens at the average church or synagogue or mosque is that I don't know many priests or ministers or rabbis who say to their congregation, 'go home and talk about the religion at the kitchen table with your kids...talk about God, talk about what this is all about.' They say in general, come back on the weekend, we'll talk to you about it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Norman Lear

We did an episode on Good Times which came out of a newspaper article about the incidence of hypertension in black males being higher than whites, and increasing. So we did a show in which James, the father on Good Times, had hypertension.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

America is a country of excess.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Norman Lear

It seems to me that any full grown, mature adult would have a desire to be responsible, to help where he can in a world that needs so very much, that threatens us so very much.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

As H.L. Mencken once said, 'nobody ever when broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.' Our show [All in the Family] countered that witticism. I think he was wrong.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Norman Lear

'All in the Family' took ten weeks to take off in 1971, and we were lucky to start in January, because if it had started in the regular fall season of 1970, I don't know if we would have lasted. The ratings didn't take off until the end of that fall season, when the other two networks ran out of fresh shows.