Art Linkletter, Comedian and TV Show Host, Dies
Art Linkletter, 97, an Emmy Award-winning television personality best known for his candid, chuckle-inducing interviews with kids who said "the darndest things" live on air, has died.
Throughout a Hollywood career that spanned more than four decades, Mr. Linkletter's greatest legacy was the concept of allowing children to provide the humor for a show, instead of professional entertainers who had memorized lines.
On his CBS daytime variety program, "House Party," which aired from 1952 to 1970, Mr. Linkletter asked children simple questions.
"What do your parents do for fun?" Mr. Linkletter asked one boy.
"I don't know," the boy replied. "They always lock the door."
Mr. Linkletter was a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, which he joked was renamed "Slack Jaw" after him and his loose lipped comedic style.
He was an orphan child and adopted as an infant by an older couple. His adoptive father was a one-legged shoe repairman and Sunday soap box Baptist preacher who Mr. Linkletter joked "saved soles seven days a week."
He entered the radio industry in the early 1930s, working on a campus station while attending what is now San Diego State University.
In 1944, he began hosting "House Party," a magazine show aired in the afternoons on CBS radio. The show's format, along with Mr. Linkletter's conversational style, played well for a live audience, and in 1952 the show switched to a television broadcast. The show featured a variety of segments and reports from more than 35 different departments including popular news of the day, and beauty and fashion tips for women.
The show is best remembered for a closing segment when Mr. Linkletter spoke with a small group of children and asked them questions about their lives.
He asked one little girl, "What do you think would make a perfect husband, Karen?"
"A man that provides a lot of money, loves horses, and will let you have 22 kids and doesn't put up a fight," Karen said.
"And what do you think you'll be when you grow up?"
A full obituary of Mr. Linkletter will be posted soon. In the mean time, please feel free to leave your memories of Mr. Linkletter below.
T. Rees Shapiro
May 26, 2010; 3:18 PM ET
Categories: Actors, actresses | Tags: Art Linkletter; Bill Cosby; Kids Say the Darndest Things; Art Linkletter and died; Art Linkletter and Kids; Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby; Emmy Award; CBS;
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