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Ladies and Gentlemen this is Alan Grier with a close up on an entertainment columnist and the gag that we print might quite seriously reap like spirit of Gondor dead time where a. Straight line with. Michigan State University radio presents the comic arts and essay and sound on the humor of our times featuring the comics the humorist the joke writer the clown the Dauntless individuals who work in the world of comedy. It's hard to get a perspective on an area with as much diversity as the comedy business. But there is a point of reference in the Person of the entertainment pundit. The column writer whose beat is the glittering glamorous dynamic Broadway scene where stars meet audiences over the footlights where neophytes try for the big break
around Manhattan's showcase circuit. Certainly we have one of the leading authorities on humor and entertainment in general in the United States where in the office of Mr. Burleson meeting Broadway columnist Earl you're on the Broadway beat and you cover the entertainment sphere regularly and thus you're in a position to observe a very close range the emerging comedy styles as they they change from year to year from decade to decade. You also write on this subject and I recall that I understand by some of the writers in the business the patron saint of gag writers that you'll develop remember apparently in encouraging new comedy and I'm a good audience for it. And I find that it's extremely readable besides from standpoint of the consumption of the column. So I print happened and gag quips of one kind or another every day and at least. As a part of the form I
look on and in addition to that I try to get as much. Humor and entertainment in general. Column as I can and have and I found that over the years when I said when I started doing this some of the comedians didn't want me to print their gags because they said they were too stealable that once they were in print it was easy enough for a comedian and not a part of the country or world to use the same gag. But later. I found a change in attitude. They were glad to have me printed especially if it was one of their own jokes because it established that it was there's a jet they'd used at first and if they did and even if it wasn't there something they'd storm into from somebody else I guess. I glanced and I guess they did. We're glad to have me print it because it would then still look like it was her joke in terms of the writer of it or.
Albeit in this case Gothic and self the writer as such he thought up the lighter is great that we have we have a literary value coming out of this over a period of time. Got to be Asians to the expressions or way of speech. When you do it is also a contribution to the history of the country in some of these gags that are so widely quoted they reflect the opinion of the country at that time. And one time I did a piece on the death of Roosevelt and Broadway's attitude toward. Broadway cried I said in the lead and I won't walk. Straight to that the street others down and talk to people who really wept. And later a couple of historians. Harking back to that day in that period when Roosevelt died and what was happening to the country. Goaded me and said to day thought of songs on the set is.
Given as good a picture of the. City's attitude as anybody had been able to do. And sometimes we're but we're able to do that in these gags that we print might quite seriously reflect the spirit of the country that time where a. Straight Line wouldn't do it. Well your column is widely syndicated I don't know exactly how many newspapers are appearing in play but you have you have readers every predicate you can probably go out of either in Mexico or Canada Japan parts of the Middle East and so on you know if I added to the set that as a basis for the question do you feel that we have more of us without a lot of our sectional differences as well as that appreciation of humor is concerned. Edwards is a joke. If it's good in New York. It also said that the more.
Probably something to that. Yes. I think there was a time when you'd never do a run of racial joke. Of course there was a time before that before I was a columnist. When they printed them all the time I guess and that was when I when I was a black based comedy and then you remember there was a period when the Dutch comics. Jack Pearl and those people had their nationalistic type comedy. Then they got to be a period when the race question was so sensitive that you never run a race joke or a Jewish joke or an Irish YOUR but specially negro. Then along came Sammy Davis Dick Gregory I think burst. And Nipsey Russell and Sammy that's freshly Dick Gregory. And I started using the back of the bus jokes and things of that gun which. Were funny and delivered in a manner that was acceptable and
you printed them then. Bob Hope. Couple years ago I started using a. Joke about a cabochon and user friendly jokes about how they were able to get along together now. And jokes of that kind which were a little bit. It's startling to me at the time not that he would use them but that anybody would print them because I'm sensitive to the feelings of a lot of people bought. But. It won't didn't that's you know make it all right you see and it has helped and it has helped contributed to a warmer feeling between rival religious groups and the races in my opinion this is a probably very good example of how humor as such as it has a very practical source of dealing with this is worth something to us that we don't always write monetized in terms of laugh at which you can disarm the situation.
People laugh together are not not mad at each other at all that certain television of course is the major medium for exposure today or one of the top two it's a major media and media along with films. Now we are everybody in the country is aware of. The high rate of casualties and television itself this includes Kabadi thought it was all other types too. Early Also I am wondering whether you'd have a comment concerning if a comedian happens to be a casualty of the raiding situation. What's his survival potential in this. His business there after their ways because he will come back. When we have to work nightclubs and movies he began but it's it's it's not good. We saw barrel. Forward. Looking at television make an effort to come back in jail. He's a rich man he didn't mean worrying. Anyway and I was going to work
nightclubs has worked nightclub someone to warn him would he. Would he would very came along if I'm not mistaken and took Johnny Carson's place. When Johnny went to The Tonight Show. Took his place on me. Do you trust your wife or something of that kind. Then. He would have learned guy. But he didn't make it. And you went back to Florida. We were innocent. Bar. Laughter heard from really doing very well back there where he was before he went on national television. Case in point that had some some fellers can return to that to their previous outlet and maybe not be too much the worse for wear. You have referred in your column more than once to the decade as the sexy 60s with an implication that that sex has come to the forefront of much of our entertainment in one way or another. You know and I I would like to pose the question if you think
that this decade and we're honest they have some changing attitudes toward a lot of things. The age of affluence certainly has some effect I do think this has produced any changes in our comedy pace of American. Public. Well sex is always been a subject or nightclub. Comedy. So I don't suppose this changes a great deal I wake up to make it more frank and more blatant startling motion pictures of Ali nudity and toplessness and all addresses but has it changed to comedy I only only that you're franker about I mean belly Sonny had a famous joke. That seems to fit in right with the day in Belize and even that I was 34 years and I don't know whether you even know Billy Sonny
what I do. Yeah well for the people that don't remember he was of Amos evangelist. But he was a bit I'm not mistaken even a baseball star for that I think he had been anyway he was a human type a preacher and he had some joke. I bought short skirts which fits right in with the mini skirt thing today but anyway I can't recall. The look it had to do with that now that nowadays the girls are. Not wearing dresses anymore they're whirring belts or something in that time anyway and it's still it's true again and with a mini scourge of the micro spirit you want to read all the stories on one of one of our very busiest writers that is. Gag writers comedy writers in this country is very often thought of by you in its orbit you know and Bob has commented I don't who was at a newspaper interview with other
writers such as yourself or in some situation that he thought the humor in particular gag has quite a lot of political. Mileage in it and he foresaw the force of the day and possibly were somewhat close it up. That the speaking politicians would be looking to their material for the laugh line or the laugh lines. As much as for the content of the fatal public issue. How do you feel about her role. As a something I want to know tonight a lot about today want do you want to you know Murs it to him. I think of a gaggle. I don't know. Or Art Buchwald probably made up himself. But you're quoted. He said it. The press was very unfair to very Goldwater in reporting is Frege's. Because they printed exactly what he said. That's one of the line of Arjun I'm sure of that is Bobby Kennedy.
The other Kennedy I mean Teddy and of course the. Late president too. Or a great branches of humorous material which they. Got from sometimes from writers and sometimes from professional. Writers for comedians. So I've been told. The other day Mayor Lindsay called the comedian joy Adams. And asking for some material. For about newspaperman some jokes about newspaper man for. The. Annual show of the City Hall reporters. Called inner circle and Joy gave him some newspaper gags. Gave the mayors a newspaper gag for years. But Joyce when I mean not my best one. He covers his beat along Broadway and writes the scoop on the showbiz
column a day with a corner reserved for a struggling joke can break into print and add a laugh to the world's Hardway observer patron and friend in the comedy scene. Earl Wells Well the. Fortunes of this program were pre recorded for the comic arts. The comic arts series with Alice 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
Earl Wilson
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.: Earl Wilson: Very Friendly to Comedy
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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: 68-29-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:35
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Chicago: “The comic arts II; Earl Wilson,” 1968-11-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 25, 2023,
MLA: “The comic arts II; Earl Wilson.” 1968-11-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 25, 2023. <>.
APA: The comic arts II; Earl Wilson. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from