Professor Firstdraft’s GOODTIME SCRIPTORIUM

Dispatches from the far reaches of the WGF.

The Writer Speaks: Paul Mazursky


To some┬árecent generations, Paul Mazursky might be best known as Sunshine, the aphorism-spouting poker dealer on THE SOPRANOS. And indeed, Mazursky’s career began in front of the camera, where he appeared in THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, FEAR AND DESIRE, and episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE UNTOUCHABLES and THE RIFLEMAN.

Later, he went on to write for THE DANNY KAYE SHOW, beginning a writing career that would generate cultural touchstones like BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE and HARRY AND TONTO – which, despite the similarity in their title structures, couldn’t have been more different thematically.

Here’s Mazursky talking about his life as a writer, in two parts. It’s part of THE WRITER SPEAKS, our oral history series spotlighting film and television writers in the 20th Century.