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Theodore J. Flicker

Director, Writer
( b. Jun 06, 1930 Freehold, New Jersey, USA - d. Sep 12, 2014 Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA ) Male

Theodore J. Flicker was a writer and director who led an influential improvisational theater troupe in New York in the 1960s, wrote and directed the comic film "The President's Analyst" and helped create the sitcom "Barney Miller."

Theodore attended Bard College but did not graduate. By the early 1950s, he had enrolled at the Royal Academy in London. In the mid-1950s, Mr. Flicker worked in theater in Chicago and then St. Louis, where he helped form a version of the Compass Players, an improvisational group that was a predecessor of Second City. By 1960 he had moved to New York and begun performing in and producing The Premise, an irreverent revue in Greenwich Village. He offered audiences a distinctive greeting before performances.

"I feel it only fair to warn you," he would say, "that we have nothing prepared for you."

Louis Calta, reviewing the show in The New York Times, was not impressed, but others were. In 1961, Mr. Flicker received a Drama Desk Award for creating "an irreverent, brash and novel form of entertainment." The Premise had a long run and energized the careers of several of its stars, including George Segal, Buck Henry, Joan Darling and Tom Aldredge.

Mr. Flicker followed The Premise with another New York revue, The Living Premise, before moving to Hollywood to work in film and television. After directing and co-writing the film comedy "The Troublemaker" in 1964, he worked on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "I Dream of Jeannie" and other shows. In 1966, he helped write the Elvis Presley movie "Spinout." A year later, after a chance meeting with the actor James Coburn, he made his best-known film, "The President's Analyst."

"The President's Analyst" did poorly at the box office -- a fact Mr. Flicker later vaguely suggested was a result of meddling by J. Edgar Hoover -- but it won a modest cult following and helped Mr. Flicker find more work in Hollywood. He worked on various sitcoms before helping to create "Barney Miller," the award-winning series about New York police detectives.

In 1959, Mr. Flicker directed The Nervous Set, a musical about the Beat generation that opened in St. Louis in March and moved to Broadway in May. It lasted for just 23 performances.

Source: The New York Times obituary

ProductionsDate of Productions
The Nervous Set
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Directed by Theodore J. Flicker
  • Book by Theodore J. Flicker
May 12, 1959 - May 30, 1959
1961 Drama Desk Award Vernon Rice Award
winner Theodore J. Flicker (for "The Premise") [winner]
Find out where Theodore J. Flicker and are credited together