Special Collections and Archives

Papers of Stephen L. Pouliot, a television writer, producer and director recognized for his work on prestigious award shows, presidential specials, and event programming involving major celebrities. The collection includes scripts, programs, memoranda, rundowns, and research notes for a variety of anniversary, award, and special programs. It also contains two unpublished book manuscripts written by established American producers and directors.

Presented by Stephen Pouliot in 2009.

Processed by Matt Blessing, Heidi Braunschweig, and McKayla Sutton in 2011.

Biographical Note

Stephen Pouliot, television writer, producer, director, was born April 1, 1945, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Vernon and Myrtle (Thaemert) Pouliot. He graduated from Marquette University College of Journalism in 1967 and received his Master’s Degree in Cinema Arts from the University of Southern California in 1971.

After assisting Columbia Pictures Vice President, Peter Guber, Pouliot transitioned to documentary filmmaking.  His first project profiled the new Navy under Admiral Bud Zumwalt. His graduate degree project, “The Dreamer That Remains,” celebrated the microtonal musician and inventor, Harry Partch.

In 1973 Pouliot joined Bob Banner Associates (BBA).  He served as the company’s director of development and during his tenure also wrote, produced and directed specials starring Perry Como, Julie Andrews, Liberace and many others.  He won a Peabody Award for a Como holiday special filmed in Austria that he wrote, produced and directed.  While at BBA, Pouliot wrote and produced “A Salute to American Imagination” —Ford Motor Company’s 50th Anniversary special.  He also co-wrote and produced the television film, “Journey from Darkness,” based on the true story of David Hartman, the first blind medical student to graduate from medical school in the twentieth century. The Film Advisory Board honored the film with its Award of Excellence.

In 1982 Pouliot formed his company, Cabrillo Place, Inc., and focused on writing for television. His credits include the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, the 9/11 Concert for New York City, the Clinton Inaugural Concert, Miss America, and 16 years of the Ford Theater Gala specials under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Pouliot also produced and scripted “That’s What Friends Are For,” television’s first concert for AIDS awareness from the Kennedy Center.  In 2007 he wrote “Live Earth,” a 17-hour global awareness special for the environment from Giants Stadium in New York.  He has written for both the Olympic Winter Games and Special Olympics events, including opening ceremonies in Shanghai.

Pouliot’s first play, “An American Primitive” featured the life of famed artist Grandma Moses.  The two-person drama starred Cloris Leachman, and played nationwide, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Over the past four decades, Pouliot has written specials and event programming for a Who’s Who of the entertainment and celebrity world including Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Shirley Temple, John Wayne, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman, Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Sir Ian McKellan, Steven Spielberg and Neil Armstrong.

Scope and Content 

Series 1, Award Programs, 1960, 1964, 1991-, includes scripts, programs, memoranda, research notes, and rundowns for several major annual productions including the Academy Awards, Academy of Arts and Sciences Annual Hall of Fame, Costume Designers Guild Awards, Emmy Awards, Miss America Pageant, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. This series is arranged alphabetically by title.

Series 2, Special Programming, 1977-, contains scripts, programs, memoranda, research notes, rundowns, and production notebooks associated with presidential specials, holiday programs, concerts, humanitarian causes, notable performers, and the Olympics. It is arranged alphabetically by title.

Series 3, Anniversary Programs, 1995-, is composed of scripts, programs, memoranda, research notes, rundowns, schedules, and staff lists for the anniversary shows of major networks, actors, series, and organizations including the Peace Corps, ABC, CBS, Ebony, Knot's Landing, and Walt Disney World. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series 4, Book Manuscripts, 2004, 2006, contains the notes and draft of the 2004 unpublished manuscript by Bob Banner, a producer, writer, director, and Pouliot's former employer known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show. The series also includes a draft of the 2006 unpublished manuscript by Steve Binder, a producer and director known for TV shows like The T.A.M.I. Show and Hullabaloo.

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