Lorne Michaels: The Person Behind The People Who Make The World Laugh

2964 words - 12 pages

AbstractLorne Michaels has achieved success as a writer and producer of television shows. His best- known accomplishment is creator and producer of Saturday Night Live. This paper will define success from different points of view and demonstrate how Michaels acquired, and subsequently utilized, his professional knowledge and abilities to achieve eminence in the landscape of television. Examining Lorne Michaels’ values and ethics will demonstrate how these traits influenced his decision-making process. Finally, Michaels’ impact on society is explored as part of defining his ultimate success.Lorne Michaels: The Person Behind the People Who Make the World LaughSetting out to achieve success is a lofty aspiration, but it is a journey fraught with many obstacles. Perhaps the most daunting hurdle is the definition itself. Success is often defined by the person pursuing it. For some it is family quality, yet for others it is financial gain. Some people might gauge their success on public opinion or perhaps on the number of awards they win. The dictionary lists numerous definitions, among them: “the favorable outcome of events or endeavors; the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like; the gaining of fame or prosperity” (Dictionary, 2010, p. 1). Whether using personal, professional, or universally accepted definitions, Lorne Michaels is a success. He has achieved it through his professional knowledge and natural abilities. He has tempered it with his values and ethics. Furthermore, his success is indelibly etched upon society through comedic images and modern-day vernacular known throughout the world.The road to success begins with attaining knowledge and honing one’s abilities. This venture oftentimes starts with a person’s upbringing. Michaels “grew up in a family with a tenuous connection to the entertainment industry—his grandparents owned a movie theater in Toronto” (Cityfile, 2010, para. 2). This may have been the catalyst that sparked his interest in the entertainment industry. Michaels had his first experience as a producer when he was a teenager. Along with friend Howard Shore, the two were hired by an Ontario summer camp to arrange productions of Bye Bye Birdie and The Fantastiks (Superiorpics, 2009).The road to success is often paved with the pursuit of education. Lorne Michaels was graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English, undoubtedly enhancing his writing skills. “While in college, he directed and co-wrote a sketch comedy/musical variety show called “Follies”, which was an early model of “Saturday Night Live” (Superiorpics, 2009, para. 6). As Michaels ventured forward on his avenue toward success, he teamed with Hart Pomerantz to form a stand-up comedy act in 1966. This led the duo to the 1967 career opportunity as “writers for Five Nights a Week at This Time, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBS) radio comedy show”...

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