TV and film director John Rich tells tales of his adventures behind the camera in his recently published memoir “Warm Up the Snake: A Hollywood Memoir” (University of Michigan Press). With a career that stretches from “Our Miss Brooks” (Rich is flanked above by “Brooks” stars Eve Arden and Gale Gordon) to “The Dick Van Dyke Show” to “The Brady Bunch” to “All in the Family” to “MacGyver,” he’s got the stranger-than-fiction stories to make this a delightful and easy read for anyone with an interest in the biz. There are stories of bad (really bad) or curious behavior by actors, producers, executives, writers and the like that fall into the category of the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same-in-this-town. And there are plenty of once-in-a-lifetime anecdotes like the time Rich had the high-class problem of having to choose between directing the pilot for “All in the Family” and the pilot for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” (The calls from Norman Lear and Moore came on the same day.) “Snake” also offers Rich’s personal perspective on how TV directors came into their own at once was once known as the Screen Directors Guild, in no small way thanks to Rich’s rabble rousing, and other milestones in DGA history during the past half-century.
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