Howard Zieff
This is a Visual History Recording

Visual History with Howard Zieff

Interviewed by: Richard Benjamin

Legendary advertising photographer and celebrated commercial and feature film director Howard Zieff (Private Benjamin, My Girl) traces his unique career path with interviewer Richard Benjamin. Recorded late in Zieff’s life after Parkinson’s forced his retirement from filmmaking, his wife Ronda Gómez-Quiñones assists in the interview.

Director Howard Zieff recalls his early career as an advertising photographer, and how his unique takes on standard assignments set his work apart from others in the world of 1960's New York advertising, and led to his successful directing career.

Zieff and Richard Benjamin discuss Zieff's most famous commercial that introduced the phrase, "Mama Mia, that's a spicy meatball!" into the American lexicon, and used forward-thinking editing techniques to tell a complicated joke in just 60 seconds.

Zieff and his wife Ronda Gómez-Quiñones tell the story of a "creative disagreement" between Zieff and Walter Matthau on the set of House Calls, and how Zieff brought the issue to resolution.