“It’s A Living” was the first locally produced portable videotape broadcast on Chicago television, airing May 9, 1975 on WTTW. More than a dozen video pioneers worked together with Studs Terkel to make an insightful television program about everyday people that was unlike anything that had been broadcast before.
“It’s A Living” was based on Terkel’s groundbreaking oral history book, Working. It features the stories of six different people at their jobs: two from Terkel’s book (“Wheelin’ Lovin'” Al Pommier, a parking lot attendant, and Yolanda Lief, a waitress) and four new people (a barber, a piano tuner, a model, and Terkel’s WFMT receptionist).
A highlight of the program is Terkel’s own working life as he did his daily one-hour eclectic radio broadcast, and his thoughts on fame, artistry, and his legacy.