s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

good night

jack paar, the man who pretty much invented late night talk shows, has died at the age of 85. the nytimes tells us:

before jack paar, there were various variety shows doing the midnight watch," the critic john j. o'connor wrote in the new york times in 1997. "he simplified the format into a talk show, complete with the sofa-and-desk set that remains a fixture. his secret? interesting guests, far more so than the celebrity hordes working on product plugs today, and an uncanny ability to listen carefully and actually engage in clever and often witty conversation"...

"long before david letterman," [william] grimes continued, "mr. paar had an anarchic streak that inspired him to pair guests like liberace and cassius clay, or jayne mansfield and zsa zsa gabor, or to get in the ring with a professional wrestler, or to shuffle the cue cards in the middle of a robert goulet-judy garland duet"...

mr. paar's couch also became a launching pad for dozens of unknowns who would get national exposure on his show, among them bill cosby, mike nichols and elaine may, carol burnett, woody allen, the smothers brothers and godfrey cambridge. "everyone thinks ed sullivan discovered the beatles," mr. paar once complained. "that's not true. i had them on before he did. i did it because i thought they were funny, not because i liked the music. i'm a muzak kind of guy — my home's like living in an elevator."
good night, jack.

posted by skippy at 5:11 PM |


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