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Ladies and Gentlemen this is Alan Grier presenting another comic artist close up. But I don't. Go out and say I'm going to change the world. I'm going to do this and that. But when something bugs me the things bug me every day. If I can say it in even more this way I'm satisfied. Michigan State University radio presents the comic arts and essay in sound on the humor of our times featuring the comic the humorist the joke writer the clown the Dauntless individuals who work in the world of comedy. I think today is humor. Bring. Work of the humorous writer. The world as reflected in the words from his pen. Our guest is Art Buchwald The internationally syndicated columnist author of several very popular humor books famous today not only as a writer but as a public speaker commentator and entertainer.
Washington would seem to be rather ideal location a center of rich source material for your writing. Earlier in your career however you resided for some time in the French capital and. Filed many columns of the Paris Dateline. Some of your books are based there. Also as I recall love. Is it safe to drink the water. Humans are pretty much well you robbed yourself a little latitude beyond French France itself in that book but mainly it took place in Paris. What I'm wondering here is would you care to make a comparison of these two great cities of the Western world as environment for the humorous columns. Paris and Washington well as in America. KING You have to understand that it was very difficult for me to do much political stuff from Europe mainly because people just weren't up on European politics it would be very difficult for me to satirize here being seen except for the gall of somebody of that stature. So my
promise for your had more to do with tourism and with making fun of. The foibles of the American abroad and also the foibles of the people who live there. It was an entirely different type of column when I came back to the United States and my decision to live in Washington was based on I wanted to do political satire and here it works much better. People presumably know what you're talking about you can do a lot more with them and the American is much more concerned involved with American politics than he has with European politics. Strangely enough the Europeans are still interested in this American scene which I didn't think they would be after I came home. They are two very much curious about what's going on. How many of the US Tolo he mentioned his game was approximately I think your your colleague outside 75 in all
countries all over the world including the Soviet Union the very biggest of it in these days. They don't pay me they steal it. So I don't feel bad about it. But I think it used quite a bit neon curtain when I attacked Johnson for it you know so well our side from the fact of some not pain involved there. This fact of overseas distribution must be very personally gratifying to you. He certainly shows a breadth of appeal if you wherever it is translated I think one of the reasons why it has good translation is that. I read the words A simple I don't use I don't get into too many complicated phrases so it's easier to translate in the season with like a straight Perlman who a lot of his humor depends on the use of words. And if I'm never I'm delighted that I'm ready as many places as I can complain.
And that you apparently like to me considerable use of the reverse switch to setup us interior core premises for a column that you write. Is is this a means of merely killing by exaggeration. Or in this step you are doing a complete turn off. Or is your intent to show just how ridiculous some facets of our life sometimes actually can get to be. Well I thought I have a formula there is that thing that I treat serious subjects lightly and like subjects seriously. That's one of the formulas. The swish is a natural thing with me. I have always put a curb on things and make a switch on things but I must say the front pages of the newspaper today are so wild that you can't make it up. It's just crazier than anything you could make up. I'd like to cite a couple of examples one is that. They just named a new
Polaris submarine after Will Rogers. And that to me is real black humor that they would take poor Will Rogers and name a Polaris submarine after. Another to stay. Off the front pages and I can't make it up all I can do is just go with it. It's pretty hard to get an exaggeration of what he did you raising your hand you know we live in a very crazy world and it is getting easier and easier for me. To just come in on this because it's. The front pages as I say or is funny is going to thing I can write. How far out can you get the new candidate are flying high. You know if you get out far enough to weave layered catches up with you the whole story. So what do you see as the primary role of the humorist columnist today said to me entertain or function as a social critic or some combination or something else.
Well you know people think that there's a lot more to it than a real. My first concern is making a living. Parent and to enjoy what I'm doing which is this kind of work. So I would say those are those priorities come before the other. Cause you know I do think that. I don't think there's a world full of real because I think that people expect to be entertained in your column and if you can also make a point as well that people are twice as grateful. I don't. Go out and say I'm going to change the world or I'm going to do this or that. But when something bugs me the things bug me every day if I can say any in this way I'm satisfied. So I would say my main purpose in life was to satisfy myself. And hope that the reader will be satisfied if it's going to. Do you do you get a pretty good feedback and reaction to it more or less let you know
how people are taking this you know should you ever depend on your show but right now. I took off on the gun lovers of America Raney I'm one of those people believe that there should be some legislation about guns I don't believe everybody should walk around with a gun. And I got a tremendous amount of mail they're very avid writers going lovers and they already in school had me and were very unhappy about it. I did a piece about the Beatles about trying to burn a Beatle record and they discovered that it wouldn't burn. Records don't burn people don't know that some of this jockeys kept asking for people to go out and burn their records but I just couldn't burn it. And I was a piece I did make a tremendous amount of mail from young children who took it seriously and want to know why I want to burn a Beatle record. There are certain columns that produce mail when you get reaction straight enough you don't get too much when you take off on Johnson.
So Mr Johnson supporters apparently don't write as most interesting. Wow I'm interested in the fact that you see. You just mentioned this about our news headlines and the crazy world that we live in and not just think that some of these things up particularly as you mention the element of truth. You obviously like to know who factors in truth even when you do not write funny. Don't you have something to say. Yeah I think it's a big part of your success. And you know it's a plus. Success is something that I do and I do it naturally. That said you know when I. Write I was in Europe I was a plate much more the role of a clown. And one of the reasons I came back I just got tired of playing the role of a clown. So maybe I do have this feeling that I want to do something. More interesting. I mean this is an unfair question to ask
Buchwald who has such a well established image as a humorous. Humorous writer. But you can you can buy a bypass If your answer has really been. I'm just wondering if there is some other kind of writing that maybe you have in mind for your future plans or something else that you might like to do serious harm was no nothing serious I'd love to stay with you about I'd like to go into other areas that I love to write a play. And I've got a movie that I post to do it that the script would mean I went to the treatment and when we do the scripts I may have to work on there. So I do like to do other forms of human writing. But I don't want to suddenly switch and become a serious writer. I think anything that serious you can say to you is where you've been let's say at least no I do not. I think if I wrote a book you know it wasn't keeping with with in
keeping with the other thing that you I think you would be very disappointed. To be almost lying now. Yes sir. Take care type care is going to stay with it. And I'm wondering. What sort of advice would you have for a college journalism student. Or anyone else for that matter who have had a strong man to develop himself as as a humorist imprint or utilize some humor maybe in a current writing assignment that he's he's already undertaking. You know I think that. This thing has to be examined a lot closer humorous something that's in you. Not something that you learn and it's not something that you decided. 18 you're going to do. My theory is that you have to have a very unhappy childhood to be a good humorist and. Healer is hostility or the thruster child I was raised in about six or seven homes in a very early age. I just turned everything into a joke. As a matter of survival.
And this is why humor came out it was I found that by making people laugh that I was socially accepted and. I got the love that I wasn't getting from a mother of five. I developed to learn to write never a thing that was one thing but I just don't think you can tell anybody have a right you know where it's going to be in them. And you find the people who are doing it are people who have to do it. It's something that you have to do. Well for instance would you have any ideas on how the young fellow. Assuming that he already has this strain are coming to stay with his and how he can perhaps persuade the editor to give him a try. As you refer to him. Well here I have a theory again that the guy who won. Instead do it at the time when to do it will do it and he will take no for an answer. And you find I find this on college campuses going all around the
country. That the kids who are determined to be in this paper a man determined to be a journalist not necessary much but just journalists. They el-Nashar that question. You know they're going to do it. You know they have go in and bet the guy over the head and neck going to wheedle and they're going to finagle and they make the best guy because they determine. And the guy is waiting it's not like General Motors or General Electric where you wait for the guy to come around and say hey would you guys like to work on the Detroit Free Press. This is a business where people compete and a guy who's got it is going to get the job. Don't ask me how he's going to get it but he's going to have to drive. And once he gets it. You need that drive to be every Porter a newspaperman. So my dearie is that. You really can't give much advice to a guy who's going to make it is going to make it come if you'll excuse the expression hell or high water.
This comic artist close up has featured the top humor columnist of our time widely read widely enjoyed a writer with great wit and great humor with incisive vision that penetrates to the very core of human folly. In this day and age. This is Alec Weyers speaking portions of this program were pre recorded. The common guard series with Al live wire is produced by Michigan State University Radio in cooperation with the humor societies of America program consultant George Q. Lewis. The music by Jerry Tillman. Your announcer can be charter. For. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
The comic arts II
Art Buchwald
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3529. This prog.: Art Buchwald: Something Bugs Me Every Day
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Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-29-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:40
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Chicago: “The comic arts II; Art Buchwald,” 1968-10-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “The comic arts II; Art Buchwald.” 1968-10-15. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: The comic arts II; Art Buchwald. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from