Videos: Television Academy Interviews – Bruce Vilanch – Chapter One

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Bruce Vilanch
Bruce Vilanch

Bruce Vilanch & Mister D

Mister D: This interview and the next two I put up are gold. Mr. Vilanch has had an incredible life working in the entertainment industry in all types of ways, starting out of the box writing for long time collaborator Bette Midler (yes, I’m saying collaborator) acting, then writing for shows like the Brady Bunch, Donnie and Marie, the infamous Star Wars Variety Special, then on to specials and shows like Dolly, Cher, Bette Midler, and more, then hitting the jackpot as head writer for the Academy Awards for I believe 20 years,, then acting, theater doctoring scripts for certain movies to punch them up, Hollywood Squares, and so much more. And the most tireless advocate for the LGBT+ community. He’s known as probably the kindest man in Hollywood and has collabed with top-notch comedians of our time. And he has been a “special person” in my life, and so has Ms. Midler. I don’t presume to call myself their friend, but each has helped me through some down times in their own ways. And as a boy of 14 who started idolizing Bette and then discovering Bruce, here I am like an obsessed teenager still writing about them at a very young age of 66. I’ve gotten to see more behind-the-scenes stuff than I ever would have imagined, and in Bette’s case met a lot of her inner circle. I think some of them were fond of me, some not so much, but that’s the way life goes, Not that I know anybody in particular that didn’t like me, but human nature you know. But Back to Bruce, These interviews are diamonds and there are so many more. I swear he knows everybody that has passed away that were superstars before Bruce got to Hollywood, but thanks to working at the Academy Awards he’s just a treasure trove of trivia, but he always pulls out a humorous anecdote about those that pass on his Facebook page which only holds 5000 fans. I don’t think he knows who I am cause I’ve sent him reminders if I change my name or switch to a new profile, but that’s okay. We keep up a few times a year. He’s just amazing. I need to clean up this site and I will.

Me and Bruce 1st meeting - Hairspray in Boston - I was in a cloud
Me and Bruce 1st meeting – Hairspray in Boston – I was in a cloud. I swore after that I’d be confident, clear-headed and myself

Bruce Vilanch Interview – Chapter One

On his early childhood, family, and education; on television he watched growing up; on when he realized he was funny and on his first professional writing jobs

On writing jokes for Bette Midler’s act; on coming to Los Angeles and on early television writing jobs; on appearing in the feature film “Mahogany”

On writing for The Paul Lynde Show; on working with Florence Henderson on The Brady Bunch Hour; on working for Sid and Marty Krofft on The Brady Bunch Hour

On writing for Donny & Marie; on writing for The Star Wars Holiday Special