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janbb's avatar

Can we say goodbye to Norman Lear, the great TV writer?

Asked by janbb (62853points) December 6th, 2023

He made pioneering shows like “All in the Family”, “The Jeffersons”, “Maude” and “One Day at a Time.” He was a creative force in the entertainment field for decades.

Lear was 101 when he died.

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30 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Rest in Peace

cookieman's avatar

Made some amazing television. Often ahead of his time.

jca2's avatar

So many sitcoms from when I was little were from Normal Lear – all these shows of my c hildhood. He was really a visionary. He tackled brave subjects that were not otherwise discussed on TV, in the way that they were discussed on shows like “All in the Family.”

smudges's avatar

@janbb & @jca2 have said everything I was going to. RIP Mr. Lear.

ragingloli's avatar

May his jets roam the eternal skies.

kritiper's avatar

Another notable in this year’s long list. RIP, Norm.

zenvelo's avatar

So much of his work entered the national consciousness.

A couple weeks ago there was a thread about putting on shoes and socks. My mind went straight to this Archie and Meathead

And three other people on the thread mentioned the same scene from All in the Family.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I was also a child when he was at his zenith. I watched them all.

May his memory be for blessing.

chyna's avatar

I can’t get the opening song from All in the Family out of my head now. Those Were the Days.
Good night Mr. Lear.

janbb's avatar

@chyna When my older son was about 18 months, as soon as he heard that song on the TV, he would come running in!

filmfann's avatar

He was so huge in the ‘70s.
People forget All In The Family was based on a British show.

janbb's avatar

@filmfann Til Death do Us Part! And why can I remember that and not why I went upstairs?

LifeQuestioner's avatar

Ugh! Just seeing this because I just got off of work and I haven’t been on social media much before now. RIP, Norman Lear.

cookieman's avatar

If you haven’t seen it, the reimagined version of One Day at a Time, with Rita Moreno (4 seasons circa 2017), which Norman was involved in, was very good too.

janbb's avatar

@cookieman A friend turned me on the that and I was crazy about it. Very sad when it was canceled!

jca2's avatar

When Caroll O’Conor started on All in the Family, he was only 49 years old. A coworker told me that, and I didn’t believe it until I googled it. It shows how different middle aged people looked 50 years ago then they do now. The way he and Edith dressed were not at all anything like how a 49 year old would dress now. They really looked like old people. Edith did a pretty good New York accent. When I was little, I used to imitate her “Archie, Archie” and the teens in the neighborhood used to think it was very funny when I’d do that.

Archie Bunker was so much of a primitive type of thinker, it was a description of someone, “Archie Bunker-ish.” Times were changing and Archie’s way of thinking was the old way, and his son in law Mike was the new way of thinking (although I think now with Trump, many are showing they embrace the Archie Bunker attitudes toward race and other things).

On the news today, (NYC news), the anchor people were saying they didn’t realize that All in the Family took place in Queens (part of N YC). They showed the house at the beginning of the show. Many parts of Queens still look the same way today.

When I was little, I went with my mother to tour Universal Studios, California. (this was probably 1975). We saw Redd Foxx’s car, a red convertible hot rod. I have a photo of it somewhere. We saw Demond Wilson (who played Fred Sanford’s son) in the hallway at Universal, and he winked at my mother. My mom was about 32 at the time. Demond Wilson was good looking.

Another little fact, George Jefferson’s neighbor, played by Roxy Roker, was (is) Lenny Kravitz’ mother.

Really, Norman Lear’s shows were so much a part of my early life.

smudges's avatar

@jca2 I was at Universal Studios in 1968 when I was 12. Frankenstein was at the entrance to some building and I was scared of him. My aunt and I are pretty sure we saw Jack Benny getting into a limo; the man had that distinctive body profile.

cookieman's avatar

@janbb: Me too. My wife and I really enjoyed it.

LadyMarissa's avatar

He had a long & productive life. PLUS, he made millions of people happy in his lifetime. He will be missed!!! RIP Norman…Love you!!!

jca2's avatar

@zenvelo Such a memorable skit. Without watching your link, I remember what it was, once you mentioned it. “A sock and a shoe and a sock and a shoe or a sock and a sock and a shoe and a shoe.” hahahahaha.

filmfann's avatar

My nickname is Archie, named for one of my Dad’s co-workers. Don’t imagine that show made my life easier. Neither did the cartoon/comic book.

Pandora's avatar

He’s also credited it seems for the recent One Day at a Time the reboot. He was working with the cast. Which was started in 2017. He was a forward thinker who could view society’s serious issues and make them seem simple and solvable and even get a laugh out of it. I always loved how he didn’t make the issues necessarily right or wrong but would bring out both sides of the issues and show how each is struggling and why and then make the more negative side see how their fears of change are the problem.

janbb's avatar

As a side note, I’m seeing Sally Struthers in a play about Patsy Cline tomorrow night.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Thanks to @janbb I watched the first episode of “Till Death Do us Part” on youtube.
The plot lines and character are quite similar to those in “All in the Family.”

janbb's avatar

@LuckyGuy Just watched a bit of it. Very similar and the mother even looks like Edith!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@janbb She sounds like her, too! When you get a chance check out the ages of the 4 main actors. (on IMDB) You’ll be surprised.

jca2's avatar

@janbb I’ve been wondering about Sally Struthers. I was even wondering if she is still alive. I know the news was mentioning Rob Reiner but nothing about Sally. I’m glad to know she’s still at it.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 She was in Gilmore Girls as Babs, the neighbor. It will be interesting to see her live.

jca2's avatar

Yes, let us know how it goes, @janbb.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here’s a video of Sally in the Season 1 pilot. Note how she’s dressed. Different times!
You can skip the intro and start at 0:55.

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