- Received a basketball scholarship to Brandeis University, but dropped out of school. By the time he graduated college at San Diego State University, he was 31 years old.
- Met his wife in 1969; eventually they set off for 14 months of globetrotting with a dog named Ubu, which later became the name of his production company. They didn't marry until 1990.
- Once lived with his future wife and dog in a cave in Greece.
- Starred in the 1972 Israeli TV series The Adventures of Scooterman, which helped teach children language arts.
- Steven and Elyse Keaton, the parents in his series Family Ties (1982-89), were based on him and his wife.
- Originally wanted Matthew Broderick for the role of Alex Keaton on Family Ties, but the casting director pestered him until he finally agreed to hire Michael J. Fox.
- In 2008, published his memoir, Sit, Ubu, Sit: How I Went From Brooklyn to Hollywood With the Same Woman, the Same Dog, and a Lot Less Hair.