Bud Yorkin

One of Norman Lear’s creative cohorts and fellow Tribesman, Bud Yorkin, has died. From Deadline Hollywood:

Bud Yorkin, a film and TV director, producer and writer who partnered with Norman Lear on the groundbreaking television comedies All In The Family, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son, died today of natural causes at his home in Bel-Air. He was 89. Yorkin directed and co-produced many of the 1970s comedies that broke new ground by interjecting topical, real-world elements of class, race, politics and social change as well as previously unseen settings into comic situations…

Yorkin and Lear met while working on The Colgate Comedy Hour, and they formed Tandem Production in 1959. The pair teamed on TV productions throughout the 1960s, but everything changed with Yorkin was in England and saw the Brit TV comedy Till Death Us Do Part. He sent it to Lear and, based on that show, they developed All In The Family for ABC– where it went nowhere.

The importance of Lear’s work towards pathologizing Gentile culture cannot be overemphasized. With this in mind, the following paragraph from the above Deadline Hollywood story speaks volumes about the profound change in cultural focus (from rural to urban) that Hollywood undertook in the 1970s:

[All in the Family‘s] success helped bury CBS’ fixation with rural comedies — read The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, etc. — and usher in a new era of socially conscious and relevant comedies. Yorkin and Lear would go on to own 1970s TV comedy, teaming in rapid succession on Sanford And Son, which bowed in 1972; the All In The Family spinoff Maude (1972); the Maude spinoff Good Times (1974); The Jeffersons (1975), another All In The Family spinoff starring Sherman Helmsley as something of a black Archie Bunker; it would run for 11 seasons.

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