Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

William Friedberg papers, 1950-1965

Summary Information

Abstract

William "Billy" Friedberg (1916-1965) is best remembered as a television comedy writer, although he also wrote plays, musicals, variety reviews, short stories, and radio programs. Among his best-known works are episodes of "Car 54, Where Are You?", "As Time Goes By", and "The Phil Silvers Show". Friedberg's work represented in this collection spans many genres, including comedy review sketches, TV dramas, short stories, plays, and musicals.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1455
Bib ID 6796315 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Friedberg, William, 1916-1965
Title William Friedberg papers, 1950-1965
Physical Description 5.72 linear feet (11 document boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series.

Description

Summary

Friedberg's work represented in this collection spans many genres, including comedy review sketches, TV dramas, short stories, plays, and musicals. The vast majority of the collection consists of typed scripts, either drafts or "shooting scripts" used for production, which Friedberg wrote or produced. Production files for some of the scripts are the second-largest group of material, including casting ideas, budgets, contracts, advertising records, and intra-staff memos. The collection also contains documents which Friedberg used in his creative process, including typed or handwritten notes and ideas for future works, and newspaper clippings that he used for inspiration. Three sketchbooks of pencil drawings are also present, which may be the work of Friedberg's wife Hope Cameron. Finally, there are a small number of family snapshots and personal papers.

  • Series I: Writings and Work of Billy Friedberg, 1950-1965, undated

    This series consists of Friedberg's writings, organized by genre, and documents that supported the creative process and production of his dramatic work (drafts, notes, contracts, budgets, etc.). Also included are production documents of the television programs that he produced. Material in this series is arranged alphabetically. When multiple episodes of a program are included, they are arranged in chronological order.

  • Series II: Personal, circa 1950-1965

    This series holds a folder of letters from Neil Simon, written circa 1964 when Simon was in London; most of the contents are personal, chronicling Simon's experience living in England, but he also occasionally touches on various professional projects, both his own and Friedberg's. This series contains a "General" folder of personal papers such as letters, contracts, clippings about Friedberg, and a resume. Series II also includes two unidentified photos, probably of Friedberg, and a caricature of him by an unknown artist. Lastly, it houses three sketchbooks of pencil drawings, artist unknown, although two are marked "Hope" on the cover, suggesting that they may have belonged to Friedberg's wife, Hope Cameron. Items are arranged alphabetically by material type, after the General folder.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); William Friedberg papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

"American Film Scripts Online (AFSO)"; "Neil Simon: Plays" Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University; "The Richard Hoffman Neil Simon Collection" University of Delaware.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Anne Holt, GSAS 2013.

Finding aid written by Anne Holt in June 2008.

Revision Description

2008-11-07 File created.

2009-05-22 xml document instance created by Patrick Lawlor

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Dramatists, American -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Friedberg, William, 1916-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hiken, Nat Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
King, Alan, 1927-2004 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Liebman, Max Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio programs -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio serials Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Raye, Martha Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Screenwriters -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Simon, Neil Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television -- Production and direction Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television authorship Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television scripts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

William "Billy" Friedberg (1916-1965) was a New York theatre publicity agent who began writing and then producing television during the 1950s and early 1960s. He is best remembered as a television comedy writer, although he also wrote plays, musicals, variety reviews, short stories, and radio programs. Among his best-known works are episodes of "Car 54, Where Are You?""As Time Goes By", and "The Phil Silvers Show". In 1957 and 1958, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Friedberg the Emmy for Best Comedy Writing of a Variety or Situation Comedy, for "The Phil Silvers Show"; he was nominated for the same award again in 1959. He collaborated on a few television scripts with writer Neil Simon, worked on various television programs with producers Nat Hiken and Max Liebman, and wrote routines for comedians such as Alan King and Martha Raye. His television work began in the period of review and variety programs sponsored by large corporations, and evolved into the era of the long-running serial drama or sitcom. Later in his career he served as a producer for a few television series, including "Harry's Girls". He was married briefly in 1945 to actress Jane Hoffman, and then from 1950-1965 to actress Hope Cameron. Friedberg died of a heart attack at the age of 49.

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Series I: Writings and Work of Billy Friedberg, 1950-1965, undated

This series consists of Friedberg's writings, organized by genre, and documents that supported the creative process and production of his dramatic work (drafts, notes, contracts, budgets, etc.). Also included are production documents of the television programs that he produced. Material in this series is arranged alphabetically. When multiple episodes of a program are included, they are arranged in chronological order.


Subseries I.1: Television, 1950-1965

This subseries contains Friedberg's television scripts arranged in alphabetical order by the show's title, together with documents such as Friedberg's notes, intra-staff memos, budgets, and other records of production.


Allen King Show



Box 1 Notes and Memos, 1960


Box 1 Folder 2-3 Script Drafts, undated


Box 1 Folder 4 Script, Shooting, and Documentation, 1960


As Time Goes By


Box 1 Folder 5 Notes and Scenario, circa, 1960-1961


Box 1 Folder 6 Script--Early Drafts, undated


Box 1 Folder 7 Script--Pilot, 1961


Bob and Ray Show, The



Box 2 Folder 1 Scripts, 1952 March-April


Box 2 Folder 2 Scripts, 1952 May-June


Box 2 Folder 3 Scripts, 1952 July


Box 2 Folder 4 Scripts, 1952 July-August


Box 2 Folder 5 Scripts, undated


Box 2 Folder 6 Buick Circus Hour, The --Scripts, 1953


Car 54, Where Are You?



Box 3 Folder 1 Scripts # 31-38, circa, 1962


Box 3 Folder 2 Scripts # 42-45, undated


Box 3 Folder 3 Scripts # 46-47, undated


Box 3 Folder 4 Correspondence, 1962


Box 3 Folder 5 Colgate Comedy Hour, The --Script, 1952 December


Box 3 Folder 6 Drumbeater, The --Scripts, circa, 1959


Box 3 Folder 7 Harry's Girls --Documentation, 1963


Jack Carson Review, The



Box 4 Folder 1 Scripts, 1950 October-November


Box 4 Folder 2 Scripts, 1950 December


Box 4 Folder 3 Scripts, 1951 January-February


Box 4 Folder 4 Scripts, 1951 April-May


Box 4 Folder 5 Scripts, 1951 June-September


Box 4 Folder 6 Scripts, undated


Box 4 Folder 7 Law and Mr. Jones, The --Scripts and Documentation, 1960


Leave it to Larry



Box 5 Folder 1 Scripts # 1-2, 1952 October


Box 5 Folder 2 Scripts # 3,4, and 6, 1952 October-November


Box 5 Folder 3 Scripts # 7, 9, 1952 December


Box 5 Folder 4 Magnificent Montague, The --Pilot Script, circa, 1957


Martha Raye Show, The


Box 5 Folder 5 Scripts, undated


Box 5 Folder 6 Scripts, 1951


Box 5 Folder 7 Scripts, 1952



Box 6 Folder 1 Scripts, 1952


Box 6 Folder 2-3 Scripts, 1953


Box 6 Folder 4-5 Scripts, 1954


Max Liebman Presents


Box 6 Folder 6 Script, 1954 October 10


Box 6 Folder 7 Script, 1954 October 23



Box 7 Folder 1 Script, 1954 November


Box 7 Folder 2 Script, 1955 January


Box 7 Folder 3 Script, 1955 April 9


Box 7 Folder 4 Script, 1955 April 24


Box 7 Folder 5 Script, 1955 May


Box 7 Folder 6 McKeever and the Colonel --Shooting Schedules, 1962


Box 7 Folder 7 NBC News Broadcast--Script, 1954 April


Box 7 Folder 8 NBC Presents Betty and Jane Kean --Script, undated


Old Man Webster


Box 7 Folder 9 Notes and Correspondence, circa, 1961


Box 7 Folder 10 Script Drafts, undated



Box 8 Folder 1 Perry Como Show, The --Script, 1960 April


Box 8 Folder 2 Peter Loves Mary --Shooting Schedule, undated


Box 8 Folder 3 Phil Silvers Show, The (aka "Sergeant Bilko")--Documentation, 1957-1961


Box 8 Folder 4 [ Satin and Spurs ]--Script, circa, 1954


Box 8 Folder 5 Shirley --script, 1964


Box 8 Folder 6 Three's Company --Scenarios and Notes, undated


Box 8 Folder 7 U.S. Rubber Company Presents U.S. Royal Showcase --Script, 1952 January


Subseries I.2: Radio, 1950-1951

Included in this subseries are the scripts of fifty-one episodes of the radio serial "The Magnificent Montague" in chronological order. These aired in 1950-1951, and several years later (circa 1957) Friedberg wrote a pilot script for an adaptation of the series into a television program, included in Subseries I.1. The series title is also the name of a popular African-American disc jockey of the late 1950s and the 1960s; however, they seem to be unrelated.


Magnificent Montague, The


Box 8 Folder 8 Scripts # 1-4, 1950 November-December, 1950


Box 8 Folder 9 Scripts # 5-9, 1950 December - 1951 January, 1950 December, 1951 January


Box 8 Folder 10 Scripts # 10-14, 1951 January-February


Box 8 Folder 11 Scripts # 15-19, 1951 February-March



Box 9 Folder 1 Scripts # 20-24, 1951 March-April


Box 9 Folder 2 Scripts # 25-29, 1951 April-May


Box 9 Folder 3 Scripts # 30-34, 1951 June


Box 9 Folder 4 Scripts # 35-39, 1951 June-August


Box 9 Folder 5 Scripts # 40-44, 1951 August-September


Box 9 Folder 6 Scripts # 45-49, 1951 September-October


Box 9 Folder 7 Scripts # 50-51, 1951 October


Subseries I.3: Other Writings and Work, 1953-1963, undated

This subseries comprises all other genres of writing by Friedberg, including plays, musicals, and short stories, and unidentified writings and fragments, in alphabetical order by genre. Included are writings generated in the creative process: ideas for future projects that either did not come to fruition or are not included here in their finished form, and clippings that he used for inspiration. The subseries contains a group of memos from director Robert Soderberg, who collaborated with Friedberg on the television programs "Peter Loves Mary" and "McKeever and the Colonel." Also present is the text for a course on acting in commercials, titled "TV Commercials University" -- it is unclear whether Friedberg taught this class (and thus, wrote this text) or participated as a student.



Box 10 Folder 1 Clippings--Inspiration, undated


Box 10 Folder 2 Memos--Soderberg, Robert, 1960-1962


Box 10 Folder 3 New Projects--Notes and Scenarios, undated


Box 10 Folder 4 Plays--Scripts and Supporting Documentation


Box 10 Folder 5 Scripts--Other Authors, 1953-1963


Box 10 Folder 6 Short Stories--Drafts, undated


Box 10 Folder 7 T.V. Commercials University --Classroom Text, circa, 1958



Box 11 Folder 1 Untitled Writings and Script Fragments, undated

Series II: Personal, circa 1950-1965

This series holds a folder of letters from Neil Simon, written circa 1964 when Simon was in London; most of the contents are personal, chronicling Simon's experience living in England, but he also occasionally touches on various professional projects, both his own and Friedberg's. This series contains a "General" folder of personal papers such as letters, contracts, clippings about Friedberg, and a resume. Series II also includes two unidentified photos, probably of Friedberg, and a caricature of him by an unknown artist. Lastly, it houses three sketchbooks of pencil drawings, artist unknown, although two are marked "Hope" on the cover, suggesting that they may have belonged to Friedberg's wife, Hope Cameron. Items are arranged alphabetically by material type, after the General folder.


Box 11 Folder 2 General--Correspondence, Documents, and Clippings, undated



Box 12 Folder 1 Caricature of Billy Friedberg, undated, artist unknown



Box 11 Folder 3 Photographs, undated


Box 11 Folder 4 Simon, Neil--Correspondence, circa, 1964


Box 11 Folder 5 Sketchbooks (3), undated