Sunday, March 10, 2024

Hot Hero Sandwich Clip Job! Celebrity Interviews with Dr. Tom Cottle

by G. Jack Urso 

Erik Estrada and Dr. Tom Cottle (author's collection).

Hot Hero Sandwich executive producers Bruce and Carole Hart drew together an array of celebrities including authors, actors, and athletes, who shared personal stories related to each episode’s theme.  Shown in brief segments scattered throughout the episode, cuts from the interviews were often used to introduce a sketch, animation, or music segment, framing the concepts to be discussed.

Cottle, actually, sees little screen time. He is most often heard off-screen asking a few guiding questions and allowing the celebrities to speak. There is no “advice” or “counseling,” quite unlike the modern daytime TV approach. It is a study in classic interview techniques, and in principle not unlike the approach taken by Johnny Carson — one of the all-time great interviewers. Use a congenial personality to relax the subject, gain their trust, and let the celebrities do what they do best, talk about themselves.  

While designed for a tween/teen demographic, the Harts also intended for the show to be seen by the parents as well and the interview segments were meant to provide context for a conversation. However, scheduling the show Saturdays at 11 AM or 12 Noon, depending on the market, ensured few parents would be watching, so the full impact of interviews may not have been fully realized, but they leave an important historical record of some of the era’s more visible personalities revealing secrets they would not have otherwise shared in any other format than confidentially with Dr. Cottle.

Each clip begins with a preview from the opening credits of the celebrities to be interviewed that episode. There are quick cuts between the interview segments, sometimes with a bumper before or after the cut.

For more about Dr. Tom Cottle, hear from him himself in his interview with the Hot Hero Sandwich Project at: Hot Hero Sandwich — In Conversation with Dr. Tom Cottle

Episode 1 
Interviewed are Erik Estrada, Bruce Jenner, Olivia Newton-John, Hal Linden, 
McLean Stevenson, and Donna Pescow.

Episode 2

Interviewed are Pam Dawber, Coretta Scott King, Jimmy McNichol, and Christopher Reeve.

Note: There is no sound from 10:08 to 10:25 due to an audio drop-out in the source video.

Episode 3

Interviewed are Leonard Nimoy, Donna Pescow, Richard Pryor, and Sally Struthers.

Episode 4

Interviewed are Henry Fonda, Ron Howard, Loretta Lynn and Marlo Thomas.

Episode 5

Interviewed are Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, Pam Dawber, Robert Guillaume, Michael Learned.

Episode 6

Interviewed are Robert Guillaume, Bruce Jenner, Marlo Thomas, and Barbara Walters.

Episode 7

Interviewed are Stockard Channing, Julius Erving, Sally Struthers, and McLean Stevenson.

Episode 8

Interviewed are Erik Estrada, Richard Pryor, Gloria Steinem, and Cheryl Tiegs.

Episode 9

Interviewed are Judy Blume, Hal Linden, Olivia Newton-John, Christopher Reeve.

Episode 10

Interviewed are Levar Burton, Michael Learned, McLean Stevenson, and Stockard Channing.

Episode 11

Interviewed are Loretta Lynn, Leonard Nimoy, and Richard Pryor.
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