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.

— Norman Lear

The most captivate Norman Lear quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

When something is over, it is over.

47

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.

33

I wish I knew how we achieve the goal of world peace.

My bumper sticker reads 'Just Another Version of You.' The sooner we agree that we're just other versions of each other - we human beings - the sooner we will find some sense of world peace.

21

Originally, with all the shows, we went looking for belly laughs.

20

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.

19

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.

17

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.

17

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.

14

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.

14

I like getting up in the morning, and I like better having something to do when I get up in the morning.

10

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.

9

If there is a reason to believe in God, it would be the Havana Leaf.

6

About Norman Lear

Quotes 78 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Producer
Birthday October 16

We are a country of excess. So it's not the violence, per se, but the exacerbation and constant repetition.

5

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

5

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.

4

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

4

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.

4

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

3

I stop and look at traffic accidents.

I won't hang around, but when I hear something is terrible, as bad as it is, I've gotta look at it.

3

When we went on the air, I didn't want to be interrupted for an act-one curtain.

3

We had a Judeo-Christian ethic hanging around a couple thousand years that didn't help erase racism at all. So the notion of the little half-hour comedy changing things is something I think is silly.

2

The evidence seems clear that those business which actively serve their many constitutencies in creative, morally thoughtful ways also, over the long run, serve their shareholders best. Companies do, infact, do well by doing good.

2

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.

1

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.

1

I don't know how you can look back with regret if you're at a moment when everything seems fine.

0

Ratings translate into corporations, corporations that need a profit statement this quarter that's larger than the last.

0

In this nation, leadership is dollars.

0

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.

0

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.

0

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.'

0

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.

0

I was the laziest white kid my dad ever met.

0

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.

0

When I got married for the third time, and I had children from my other marriage there, that's what I said when it came time in the ceremony for me to say something. I said, "I'm grateful to everybody that participated, everybody that participated in my life that got me to this moment. And everything was dead-right because everything is right now."

0

The people responsible for the dollars that will buy the sex and violence so many deplore, don't even know what's going - well, of course they know. But they're comfortably ensconced in their country clubs and churches, and very far removed from the decisions that are made on their behalf.

0

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.

0

You're in the business - when you're a writer, producer, director - to get ratings.

0

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

0

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.

0

In my 90-plus years, I have lived a multitude of lives.

0

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'.

0

'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.

0

So we gravitated to shows and issues and causes that made people care.

0

We just may be the most well-informed, yet least self-aware, people in history.

0

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.

0

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.

0

The complete control of one party over everything - I would, I think, feel the same way if it were [the Democrats in charge]. It's not the American way.

0

I think that of most leaders in religion as power brokers.

They give orders, in a sense, to an audience every week, and that's where the definition of God starts.

0

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.

0
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