Comedy directorPaul Bogart

A TV show director, Bogart cut his teeth directing live television shows in New York. He’s best known for directing almost 100 episodes of All in the Family (1971–1979), a classic comedy that boldly explored racism, homosexuality, women’s lib, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, and other topics previously considered taboo on network TV, let alone in Prime Time. “If there was a noble man among comedy directors, that was Paul,” said All in the Family creator Norman Lear. The “kind of thoughtful director who found humor in the nooks and crannies of things, so you were always surprised to find laughs where you didn’t realize might be possible” — such as in racism, homosexuality, women’s lib, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, and other topics previously considered taboo on network TV. Bogart was reluctant to do episodic comedy (he called its relentless pace and short deadines, repeating week after week, “Chinese water torture”), but took the job at the urging of series star Carrol O’Connor. Bogart won Emmy Awards for his work directing the show, as well as CBS Playhouse and as a supervising producer of The Golden Girls. He also worked another classic comedy, Get Smart. Bogart died at his home on April 15. He was 92.

From This is True for 15 April 2012