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Finding Aid for the Hal Goodman papers, 1940-1993 (bulk 1969-1988)
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hal Goodman papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1993
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1969-1988)
    Collection number: 344
    Creator: Goodman, Hal
    Extent: 35 boxes (17.5 linear ft.) 9 shoe boxes
    Abstract: Hal Goodman's comedy writing career started in the 1940s writing for radio. He later went on to enjoy a productive career in television working with entertainers such as Johnny Carson, Flip Wilson, and Carol Burnett, to name a few. The collection consists of script material, correspondence, photographic material, printed material, and audio recordings documenting Goodman's prolific career writing for produced and unproduced television and radio projects.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hal Goodman papers (Collection 344). Performing Arts Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Harold (Hal) Goodman was a comedy writer whose career began in radio programming. Originally from the east coast, Goodman moved to Los Angeles in the 1940's sometime after being signed by the James L. Saphier Agency. Throughout the 1940's and early 1950's Goodman collaborated on radio scripts for Bob Hope, Milton Berle and The Martin and Lewis Show radio programs.
    Goodman began writing for television programs in the 1950's, working briefly on such shows as The Red Skelton Show and The Steve Allen Show. Johnny Carson, also a writer for Red Skelton at the time, later worked with Goodman on his 1955 program The Johnny Carson Show. Goodman also wrote for a number of musical variety television programs, including The Carol Burnett Show, The Flip Wilson Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, and The Jerry Lewis Show. It was around this time Goodman began collaborating with Larry Klein, a fellow television writer and producer, and the two would continue to collaborate for the rest of Goodman's career.
    When The Tonight Show featuring Johnny Carson moved from New York to California in 1972, Goodman and Klein joined the writing team. Goodman was nominated for Emmy Awards on a number of occasion throughout his career, but garnered only one for his work on The Flip Wilson Show, in 1971. Goodman died in 1997 in Los Angeles, CA from prostate cancer.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of materials related to the career of comedy writer Hal Goodman. The papers include script material, correspondence, photographic material, audio cassette recordings, and printed material documenting Goodman's prolific career writing for produced and unproduced television and radio projects. The bulk of the collection is comprised of various drafts of sketches, scripts, and script pages for television projects including The Tonight Show, The Flip Wilson Show, The Steve Allen Show, and the 1960s television series Margie, among others. Additionally there is a small amount of material reflecting Goodman's radio writings including The Martin and Lewis Show. In addition, there are also files for unidentified projects which may have been for radio and/or television projects. Additional material includes a small number of notes written to Goodman by the creative talents he worked with including Johnny Carson, a small number of photographs, and audio cassette recordings related to Johnny Carson projects in which Goodman was related.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Television Projects
    2. Radio Projects
    3. Motion Picture Projects
    4. Unproduced Projects
    5. Unidentified Projects
    6. Correspondence
    7. Photographs
    8. Printed Materials

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Goodman, Hal, 1997 -- Archives
    Television comedy writers -- Archival resources

    Genres and Forms of Material

    television scripts.