One of my recent rummage sale finds was an autobiograhy of Jack Paar called I Kid You Not — very interesting, if you’re interested. He got his start as a comic during World War II in the Pacific. He was immensely popular with soldiers and sailors partly because he made jokes about officers.
Did you know he starred in a little-known movie with Marilyn Monroe?
Then, of course, he started the Tonight Show which became immensely popular and still is.
Naturally there are a lot of one-liners which are kind of funny, but not that funny. I enjoyed it mainly because it evokes a bygone era.
Then I went on You Tube to find some clips and found this one with Bette Davis and Jonathan Winters. Bette and Jack both had feuds with Walter Winchell and she compliments Jack on standing up to Winchell, who was said to kind of a bully.
In this clip she shows Jack and Jonathan how to smoke and explains how the Academy Award statue came to be nicknamed Oscar. What a wonderful, witty, gracious lady she was. I had the privilege of meeting her at her son’s house in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, when she was in her eighties.
My mother’s cousin John Terry, who was her confidant, introduced us, and what a wonderful, kind, funny person he was…
Anyway, Jack Paar met nearly all the famous people of his day and the book is really a great read. Here’s a clip of him with Robert Kennedy.