In From Cincinnati’s inaugural edition we welcome Jay Moriarty, television writer and producer – now author (see below) – and a guy who is definitely From Cincinnati.
As you’ll hear in the episode, Moriarty was a boy on a mission who turned into a man on a mission, when, in 1968, he took his new bride (after they married in Cincinnati) and headed west with one goal in mind: Get a job writing for television.
After some years learning the ropes – but not too many – he found a TV show and a man he would like to work for – none other than the legendary Norman Lear and his groundbreaking TV show “All in the Family.” That would later translate into working on other iconic shows like “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times” and “What’s Happening Now,” among many, many others.
Some luck – including a chance meeting with another guy from Ohio and finding a writing partner (and we hear why finding a writing partner is very, very important in Moriarty’s view), Mike Milligan (whose grew up in Los Angeles but his father grew up in… you guessed it, Cincinnati), and the path was set. Moriarty would go on to have one of the most illustrious TV writing and producing careers Hollywood has ever seen.
And he grew up in Golf Manor and Finneytown. Who knew?
Moriarty also discusses his time working with Bill Cosby on “The Cosby Show” and other very notable shows you will undoubtedly remember, plus his marriage to Nancy Allen, who you might remember as well.
Jay has written an account of his life that is a brisk read with some great tips for aspiring television scriptwriters – or people who just remember and loved the iconic TV shows he helped get on the air. Get a copy of “Honky in the House: Writing and Producing The Jeffersons” (affiliate link) on Amazon. It’s also available on Kindle.
Thank you for listening to From Cincinnati. Special thanks to Chris Collier, a Cincinnati musician, raw talent and a great person for allowing us to use her music in today’s episode. Thanks, Chris!