Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Kid You Not

1960, possibly first edition, from Little, Brown and Company
Jack Paar
I Kid You Not
Original and purchase price unknown
Worn hardcover

Like the Jim Backus book, this is more interesting than amusing.  Part of the problem is that much of the book is about Paar's hosting of The Tonight Show (after Steve Allen and before Johnny Carson), and a lot of his guest stars just don't mean anything to a modern reader, like Genevieve, the no-surname French entertainer.  It is cool to get early glimpses of Pat Harrington, Jr. (Schneider), Dody Goodman, and Hugh Downs though.  Paar does talk about his infamous walk-out when NBC censored his "water closet" joke.  He quotes the joke in full so readers can see how innocuous it was.  Like most of the book, it's not all that funny.

Paar also recounts some of his feuds, including with Steve Allen, coming across as happily bitter.  He seems incredibly naive about Castro, who assured him that he (Castro) was not a Communist, but this was very soon after Castro came to power.

Paar lived until 2004, having been married for an incredible 60 years.  I suspect he would've been pleased but not all that surprised that his third marriage (he married his first wife twice) was more successful than his tumultuous career.

No comments:

Post a Comment