The Legend: Norman Lear

“When you have an audience caring, the laughs are 30 times what they might have been.” (Norman Lear)

Genius is thrown around too often but Norman Lear, creator of “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” and “The Jeffersons,” can easily fit that definition. Women and kids are being killed and abused all over the place on TV nowadays but titillating is not necessarily thought provoking, much less entertaining. Penny-change-philosophy full of “sound and fury” can go viral but Mr. Lear created ripples and sparked heated debates around the water cooler when rotary phones were still around. He created provocative TV that is rare even for today. He tackled Issues like racism, feminism, impotence, infertility, sexuality, even transgender issues back in the early 1970s when some of these issues weren’t even on the horizon to be discussed on the national platform (and are just starting to make it to the forefront). And he did it all with humor in a seamless way that is still amazing.

Click the link below for an interview with Mr. Lear where he talks about the background of two scenes that we can only hope we’ll see in the sitcoms, or even the dramas, of today.


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