George Segal: Definitely. There were the movies in the ’60s and ’70s, then there was inactivity in the ’80s … it was touch and go. And then there was “Just Shoot Me,” and that was a revelation. I never thought I’d be doing that, and how I got it was that [executive producer Steven] Levitan used to stay up to watch the Johnny Carson show. I’d be on there playing the banjo, so I was like a secret vice for him.
The career, such as it was, took a left turn in the 1980s. You had kind of a nostalgic or warm effect on people, not a dangerous effect like when the testosterone was really going. On this new show, I’m Grandpa. I’m not leading or carrying the show; I’m just tagging along, and that’s a whole new role that I’m really enjoying.
Zap2it: What are the standouts for you among the many movies you’ve made over the years?
George Segal: Well, “A Touch of Class,” absolutely. I had never gotten before, or have gotten to do since, that kind of sophisticated Cary Grant-type comedy. You know, that movie was originally intended for Dustin Hoffman and Sophia Loren. (It ended up being Segal and Glenda Jackson, the latter winning an Oscar for the film.)
I also liked “King Rat,” and I loved “Rollercoaster” … and of course, there’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”