Friday, September 21, 2007

Paar for the course

Dick Cavett used to write on the Tonight Show, both for Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. He heard two people debating which was better. Pro-Paar said, "Carson's a drag. In all his career he'll never shed a single tear." Pro-Carson said, "For which I will be profoundly grateful to him."

Paar was a mercurial raconteur, known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, which made for some fascinating television. He could also cut to the quick when moved to. Once he was interviewing a fat comic, Jack Leonard, who said, "You know, my wife is an acrobat." Paar replied, "She'd have to be."

This clip captures a lot of that - he's describing working with Jonathan Winters (who's sidesplitting in this), telling a great self-deprecating story, and almost breaking down at the end.

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