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Ladies and Gentlemen this is al of the wire presenting another comic artist close up. What do you want to say I'm going to tell him. I don't want to offend him I know how I don't want to go there. So I had to walk on a boat. You are going to be a born. Michigan State University radio presents the comic arts and essay and 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. Few actors can consistently employ the pointed insult as their stock in trade and get in return not resentment but peals of delighted laughter even more rare is the performer who can parlay such ability into a big time career complete with the rewards of fame and fortune. Among the few who have done this
is an entertainer who enjoys a unique image and as well that most sincere form of flattery imitation. We interviewed the great nightclub and television comedian Jackie Leonard for the comic art series between shows at the act for supper club in Detroit during the peak of a great comedy career. Mr. Leonard's going to big success. OK OK. Yeah but you know probably you know you know. Well as I say you're hitting the television media at this point. I don't want to. Well OK we won't talk about it but when you look back over the years that you've been following are professional performers important even if you think about it in your own line of learning to do what you do. Well I got the big bad rap from are going to.
Get with a band. Called comedy you know. And when the band plan is bad but when night comes along some believe it. And then I think you know sort of the band. And the bigger the name band The bigger the. And then I thought to pick on the manager of the theater you know. And I got to pick on the audience and that's how I got this type of humor I like that because. I don't have certain limitations because some people. Miss it misinterpret and up until a few years ago. We still had the same condition but mostly Now I don't do it as much insult that the comic because. It's just a they just don't believe me anymore because they've seen me so much on the television that. They don't leave when I don't get my insults. You know I don't mean you know how good you are a long time ago. Master the art of winning audiences over your style which is a unique style one of the unique style of that are saying anyways Ellen. You're always used to say to myself How do I know that.
So I used to walk out with a different pose. Could even though born. At the top of your I did. I also did during World War Two. Women in my act today. I still do some of that talk of somethin so thank you. For your talk but I was on it when I was entertaining the troops I was with. You to get them at the sadness in a second lieutenants. That's about as far as you could go in the army you know it's not like anybody. Now I've begun. The jokes now. It's sort of agree with me to a point because if you're going to talk you're going to. Say something about your boss or something like that it's the same kind of an attitude that it. Is psychological helps my work. You're thinking that's exactly what it is getting even you know to me. Saying you know good joke and if you want to talk to me. I want to
put your faulty thought back as a walk in yourself I have some stock lined up XM as OK next time you get a manicure and things like that and that's hard to tell a woman. Until the audience get to hear you have you go away and think they're going to do with all the hot jokes. Here's the Have a great deal of life that I would live a lot for maybe another job to do something like that I practice which is a part of the conversation. You feel that you have quite a few very figurehead very articulate. I know that. Very funny think. Or kind of modern I should say I did a show here that I'd never let a woman I've got to get I get it. Women who are mad around 60 or whatever friends are just a doctor she's a mortician. When I got to let you know I suppose I said that the kids who were 6 remember that they were going all out all the undertaker. And
then on top of that I'm sorry that. You got to be careful. I have and I and little. After the show if you've been a good sport I gave her a kiss. And I said to them I don't think you have a study just Heidi that's an old joke that we used to do years ago but it just happened that the situation came back to me in my mind my memory you know I think it was kind of I think you're going to figure out it's always good for like I'm a guy. Who has an odd like a mechanical has. An automobile or something you may not do the same thing maybe 15 years on a sudden break something or the line or something and then these primaries. And it will come back up you know. You have to want to have every kind of hype around the country and always mention what do you want your appraisal of the national thinking. Well I think if you're going to talk about the young kind of a comedian when he. Is going to deliver the goods as you are.
Coming to talk over the war all over the world I mean it was big. And. White but young comedian. Although I have more companies I believe that. Any act of the business ever just I would. Never thought of most performers have I don't. Hypermodern model are jokes or typical order of things I try to be as topical as I can. But the young can be a more academic you know. More cerebral more academic and they. Discuss problems of the day you know as I do a little bit of that in the civil rights and. Disgust at government things like that which I've always done. And there are very few what we call the hokey comics of these young kids that they like Woody Allen he talks about. Psychiatry because he's been on earth for several years. Then we posed a time honored question to Jackie Leonard on behalf of the
novice performer seeking to learn the comedy craft. What kind of advice would you give the last pirate. Well I don't know really I know what you're referring to about this question is asked me by all. People of this type of interview. You're going to try to get something that you've got to get out of some kind of hope like Bob Newhart as once you know. The word book with the same thing. Comic has got to learn how to do everything he's going to learn I'd act. If you can has any saying you're going to do that. You should work in all type of stock companies and do all kinds of shows and try to develop a style of his own. Where he can be established. For the particular style you know and I think it kind of whatever takes time is just so that you only I guess is a good try to be funny try to do something a little different try to get a few ideas and. Try not to most young comedians do which is unfortunate I never did. But
it's a tough business comedy a couple does not like having a record of that as a songster you know I mean. You've got the song wrong for you and then you go out and make that money but they're not prepared. Comedy had to be built on nothing but Foundation. Now there are some of the some of the comedians have said I think it was George Burns who made the statement There is no place for kids today would you comment on that other places where the youngster aspiring to be a leader a comic or coming here I get like a lot of the old timers who feel to sort of it but I just don't want to go away. But there are a lot of Cosby when I was done I spy. We were good little joints around people going to college at Temple University. We had to quit school because we didn't have any money to continue going to unfortunately take physical education. But he managed doing all kinds of work different types of work and rooms in. People's homes. It'll come out
someplace you guys might like or you have to do. Many years ago on a man it was 15 good minutes they could work on it for 20 years. The same minutes but nowadays you've got you know. You're on the air. When you're around I don't give a few of the what I call jams. Drug use Process of elimination. And. They'll find a way. People always find a way. Looking toward the future as we enjoy a lot of success many forms of children get a lot of great years behind you. What would you like to get Reebok to pilots or. Regular pilots to work and they have never been sore and I totally amount of money involved in these things have been made by some of our biggest actors. There's
unbelievable pronominal actually. And I would like to have my own show over the three years of the capital game and I'm going to be honest economically speaking. And I haven't aged I would like to. Quit I don't think I would be like you like the work of 73 or 75 or so. I don't know what that was because I just don't. I don't want to question. George Burns. But I'd like to just kind of cool with just play a few spots or just do one. Thing I'd like to that extent or you know the question of agencies I mean the point where I save money. And I only play to places that I like to play and I'm president we're going to call the act bar at a nightclub or much larger which I have played and I've got more money. I like this room. I like the people on it and now I'm at a point right play the places
I like to play you want to down I mean I think that's right I've even got less money here but they're nice people and working for the boss and the banker John Dodger are just. Two high class guys and I can work in a club around here with us. I dare say you are doing. Yes I do he's a nice man but he's an honest man. That's so rare as well. As much as I want to be and that's right and with all my good shots and I have to dentist big names I make a living doing that in these covered states. I will make it quite a bit in my next year. This year and the year before that. In terms of your own entertainment when you have a chance to get away from the stage for a little while which of the current crop of comedians would you mention that you particularly enjoy watching here I enjoy most young comedians or even.
One of my favorite people. Well of course as Jackie Gleason he's a great comedy actor. One of my favorite people personally and professionally is a guy called Jonathan Winters. He doesn't have a back up anybody. Just a wild. Natural. Comic funny period I don't know maybe one in a way just a natural you know just fantastic comics feel the same way about what you might call it and even that was expressions they used to come in and I think it's. I'm sure that all comics don't like the same people in the crew. But I wonder if I had a planet like. We had a greater a greater mind. But Johnny these are words of great appreciation from one comic to another. But when it comes to knocking them down from the Copa stage to TV's Hollywood Palace from the
The comic arts II
Jack E. Leonard
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.: Jack E. Leonard: Good Evening, Opponents
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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: 68-29-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:50
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Chicago: “The comic arts II; Jack E. Leonard,” 1968-10-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022,
MLA: “The comic arts II; Jack E. Leonard.” 1968-10-15. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2022. <>.
APA: The comic arts II; Jack E. Leonard. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from