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Acclaimed television producer Norman Lear laughs with distinguished author and Week One host Roger Rosenblatt Monday morning in the Amphitheater. The pair spoke about Lear’s roots, American society, and the interaction between politics and religion. Photo by Eric Shea.

Lear discusses ‘All in the Family,’ characters, politics in comedy

Roger Rosenblatt led a conversation with Lear that focused on the idea behind “All in the Family,” the show’s character Archie Bunker and Lear’s politics. A film about Lear and his shows — including “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “Good Times” — was featured before Rosenblatt began asking Lear about “All in the Family.”

The character Archie Bunker became a main point of discussion between Rosenblatt and Lear. Rosenblatt asked Lear about the type of character Archie was meant to be and the effect he had on the audience.

“ ‘Dangerous’ isn’t a word I’ve ever heard connected with Archie,” Lear said. “Archie was afraid of tomorrow. He was afraid of progress; things had been moving too fast for him.”

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Lear, Rosenblatt kick off week of literary celebration

Roger Rosenblatt is running out of friends.

Joined by his colleagues and confidants at 10:45 a.m. each weekday in the Amphitheater, Rosenblatt will lead discussions on the literary arts ranging from cartoons to television to children’s literature. This is his third year playing the role of host — the series began in 2008 and recurred in 2010. And because each week requires a minimum of five friends, he joked that his resources are wearing thin.

“I also wanted to make sure that everyone in the group was older than me,” Rosenblatt said, “but that’s getting more and more difficult.”

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