Steve-Allen-talks-about-James Dean

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Steve Allen interview

When I chose Steve Allen to be interviewed in the first issue of the Hollywood "Confidential" Star magazine, I made the right choice. He made me feel like an old friend, and I was, ever since his TONIGHT SHOW days. Sounds redundant, Tonight Show, "days." Well, the days when he had the "Tonight Show."

It is difficult for me to rewrite this interview because Steve is no longer with us. But, perhaps that is reason enough to tell his thoughts on a few celebrities. I used to always stay up late at night watching his "Tonight Show," and he was the first person to start this show in the fifties. I would often be late for school when I found it difficult to get up after watching him in the early morning hours. Television was relatively new and it gave America the chance to see celebrity interviews, even if they were in black and white. His show was fast paced, not slow like David Letterman or Jay Leno. Letterman's sense of humor probably comes closest to Steve's. Jack Paar followed Steve, starring in the "Tonight Show" spotlight. His show was more laid back and he used regulars in his talk routine. Dodie Goodman, and Selma Diamond were regulars. Hugh Downs was his "Ed McMann" side-kick.

But, nobody compared to Steve. He introduced many singers who are still around today. Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, to name a couple of regulars who got their start on his show. Steve was an actor, composer, lyricist, and a comedian. A very funnyman. When I interviewed him he had written "4,000" songs. When he died the total was "7,900." He had authored 20 books but at his death the total had risen to 54. As time went on and he grew older, he was sort of looked down on. He always carried a tape recorder to tape all of his interviews and appearances, perhaps to write about them in a book. Many thought this was peculiar. He also had hair problems. It was either too long or combed over in a ridiculous manner. But, as we age, these things do happen.

His last success was on PBS in a program called, "The Meeting of the Minds." Although he was a comedian, he also had a serious side. One of his most serious subjects is that of James Dean. He recorded an album after Dean died and it started like this: (I played this part for Steve prior to the interview).

"I remember the first time I ever saw James Dean. I didn't know who he was then. I was watching television. This play came on, something about two hyped up punks terrorizing a family, waving guns around, talking hip. And Dean was so good, so realistic, I found it difficult to believe he was an actor. I thought maybe the director had picked up some kid off the street. Some kid who may have lived the part.

Within twelve months, Dean was no longer an unknown. He was a Star. And when I saw him in "East of Eden," his performance moved me to tears. Ordinarily a man doesn't admit a thing like that, but in this case it's all right because there is a reason for it. Another year or so and he was dead. And now, to tell you the truth, I don't feel sorry for him, I feel sorry for us. His death was rough. Death always is. But, you can't lose what you don't have. And in that sense, Jimmy didn't lose anything. He'd lived. He had known excitement. He tasted success. And then it all stopped. He didn't know it was going to stop. And when it happened, it was all over in two seconds. Don't feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for yourself because Jimmy could have brought you a great deal of enjoyment. He wasn't just another good actor. He was one of the best. And in his full time he might have set new dramatic records. Feel sorry for yourself because of all the glowing moments he could have brought into your life, by the warmth of his talent.'
"You know, albums like this..or funerals or grave-side speeches or wakes. Anything that involve people getting together and talking about they miss someone who died, are really brought together for the benefit of the living, not the dead. The living gather to comfort each another, to show their grief. To talk off the bottled up sense of loss.'
"So, that's the picture. If you're listening to my voice, it's probably because you miss James Dean. I'm with you." (cir. 1956)

Dakota: Was the album done in a serious vein at that time?

Steve: Yeh. The record company called me up, a fellow by the name of Bob T-h-i-e-l-e. It would probably have been after we did a sort of mini-documentary on Dean on our Sunday show. I was doing a show opposite Ed Sullivan, at that time and...the details are kind of hazy in my memory after all of these years. Anyway I went to Marion, Indiana, with a camera crew and we did some coverage there and did the spot on the show and ran some film and so forth. This may have given the record company the idea for this album. I can't recall.

D: That was your first big feud when you were on Sunday night opposite Ed Sullivan because as I recall, the Winslows (Jim's aunt and uncle) were supposed to have appeared on your Dean special and at the last minute they reneged. They went on the Ed Sullivan show for more money or something. It was a competitive type thing.

S: Yeh. I can't recall what the details were. I think Ed found we were doing something on the show about about it....that was it, he called whatever studio it was, I don't even remember that, and....almost...I guess blackmail is a little strong word but the publicity guys later told our people, and please don't even quote me, and I can't...I don't even know who the guy was then and I don't remember now but Ed said, 'If you give this thing to Steve Allen, don't come around to me anymore to promote your pictures.' Not exactly a very decent way to have conducted the matter, but anyway, that's what we were told. It's very vague around the edges. I can't recall the details.

D: I remember switching from channel to channel trying to catch the Winslows on Sullivan and not miss the material you had on Dean. So, you ended up interviewing people in Fairmount, who knew Jimmy.

S: Yeh. We interviewed the Winslows, as a matter of fact. I went to their house...we made some film with them, as I recall. I think we went to his school. The film still exists. But, I haven't thought about it long ago was that, twenty-years?

D: He's been dead 23 years. (Dakota: 2007, it's now been 52 years!)

S: Then it's been 23 years.

D: So, at that time, you seemed very emotional, on the record, about James Dean, stating you had seen him on television and that his performance in "East of Eden," had moved you to tears.

S: Yes, that performance did, that scene, the death bed scene.

D: So you were caught up into the James Dean thing of that period?

S: Not in the sense that teenagers were. The appropriate response to that scene is tears. And my reaction was not in anyway, bizarre, or unusual and it would be very unusual to sit there and not weep at that scene. It was what the author had intended and the director and so forth..the actors. It's pretty much that simple. I guess American youth, to use that common word, identified with him. I didn't identify in that sense but it's always unfortunate, when anyone that talented is taken away so young.

D: I'm glad to hear you say he was talented because Kazan is coming along now saying he was limited in his scope of acting. And George Stevens was knocking him and before Mr. Stevens died, he said, "Jimmy had been right in "Giant." He should have followed what Jimmy had suggested." Everybody seemed to later reverse their feeling toward Dean, years after he died. (During the filming of Giant, Dean had fights with director Stevens about the role of Jett Rink. Jimmy had to play the role the way Stevens wanted him to do it).

S: Interesting. No, he was a great actor. There are not many things I'm expert on, in this world, just a few and one of them is talent. I always recognize it immediately, when it's there in somebody. It's one of the reasons I was able to find so many talented people and put them on television and hire them back and forth. I haven't heard the album in over twenty years but I may have recounted the experience from the little piece you played there. I was totally fooled by his performance, the first time I saw him, this was before he'd become known. What I was prepared to credit that evening, was the director for his brilliance in finding some real street kid and giving him those few lines.

D: But, now it's been twenty-three years later and the name James Dean, is still there. Kids who weren't born in 1955, who never saw the performances at that time, have started up the Dean phenomenon again. Last year, or the year before, there were four books printed on him and Dennis Stock, Jimmy's photographer friend has a new one and you mentioned before this interview began, that you were recently writing something about him

S: I can't recall what I did write about him.

D: Why do you think it's lasting this long, twenty three years?

S: Well, if he had simply been just a stage actor, it still wouldn't be going on, because people who saw him, would be dying day by day now and after awhile none of them would be alive anymore and that would be that. But, it's because his three important film performances still exist and can be seen. The "Rebel Without A Cause," thing..because of the obvious enough...because of the nature of the story, a picture about the kind of American teenager who was coming to be recognized as such, in the fifties. There were, obviously teenagers for as long as there has been human beings, that goes without saying, but teenagers as a class, a social class, was never recognized or perceived as such, at least in American history and not before social history generally. So, this was something new at the time and because of that film and because of his youthful appearance. He was young at the time. He was one of those actors who looked so much younger than he was anyway. If he had lived to be fifty, he would still look like he was thirty-eight. Like Dick Clark or whoever you want to mention that always look younger than he really is. He had this "boyish" quality to him so, it's perfectly understandable that American teenagers, now, a good many of them anyway, going through that period and seeing Dean on the screen when they were sixteen or seventeen, identified themselves with him. Again in "East of Eden," which was a better film artistically. Again he played the same kind of role, created of course, originally, by John Steinbeck and so that made the same impression again, even firmer, stronger, clearer on the beautiful consciousness. In "Giant," he started out again, that typical James Dean-type performance, a young kid in Levis. And in that film, it was different, in that he seemed to grow into maturity. He was playing a character based upon the oil man, Glenn McCarthy?

D: Jett Rink in the movie.

S: Yeh. But, I mean that there was an actual person in reality on whom, I think the character, in part, was based. I think the person was Glenn McCarthy. I don't know how he got his money. I don't know that much about him, somewhere or other, I picked up on that impression over the years. It was typical of Texas, perhaps more than any other state. You could be nobody one day and if you happened to hit oil, you were a big man the next. At least in the culture where money talks.

D: The studios are making a lot of pictures of violent gangs. "Rebel without a Cause," was a gang picture. That was violent. Leather jackets and chains...

S: It's like the other side of "Grease." "Grease," is about the same kind of people but it's all, let's pretend and music and jokes and a kind of camping, not the real thing.

D: Do you think these gang movies might start more gangs and start more violence?

S: I really would doubt it. They seem to reflect the reality that's already there, rather than create it. You could also say that the musical,"West Side Story," was a gang show too. It was about Puerto Rican gangs and white gangs and black kids in New York. But, none of those films created this. They just drew their inspiration, such as they had, from the reality around them.

D: I think the Dean phenomenon sort of killed off the gangs because he (Dean) was opposed to the gangs in the movie. He was the lead "good guy." And the guys with the leather jackets were after him. Now, Corey Allen, who played Buzz in that picture, (the villain who went over the cliff in the chicken run), tried to do a lot of roles after that. He got a crew-cut, dyed his hair blond, (for the film "Private Property"), but was still associated with the character Buzz and his acting career was nil. But, he is now a director and doing very well.

S: Interesting. There have been, of course, other pictures that tried to mind that same field. What was that motorcycle picture with Brando and Lee...?

D: The Wild Ones.

S: Yeh. I heard about that film a great deal and finally saw it fairly recently, and it was a lousy picture. You may quote me on that. Marlon is one of the worlds' greatest actors and Lee...what's his name. The tough guy..Lee...

D: Lee Marvin.

S: Lee Marvin, yeh. He's a marvelous actor. A great type. He was brilliant in "Bad Day at Black Rock," and a bunch of other films. One of my favorite actors. But, nobody ever looks good in a lousy picture. That practically never happens. And that was a dreadful picture. It was exploitative. He was trying to make money off the interest in leather jackets and motorcycles and Hell's Angels and that kind of thing. They got some very talented people and loused them up. But, that picture never seemed real and it looked like it was made on a low budget.

D: That was "before" Rebel.

S: Was it? I can't recall. Anyway it was pretty bad. "Rebel without a Cause," was a good picture. Not as good as the other two, but it was good. So, he had the good fortune to be in three good pictures. And that's unusual enough. The pictures that Elvis was in, on the other hand, are all, without exception, terrible. Elvis's triumph was a personal one. He recorded more rotten songs that any other successful singer has. He made more terrible movies than any other motion picture star ever has. Despite all that, he was a true superstar, deservedly so. It was some magical quality he projected.

D: In the beginning it was a negative attitude toward him. The young kids liked him. I think he filled the gap after James Dean died. All the magazines compared the two. After he came out of the Army it seemed that the adults grasped on then.

S: Well, I'm not sure that the adults with a capital "A" ever did get with him. You might say---well, I personally know some fifty-two year olds who think he was great. The reason is, they started thinking he as great when they were kids. Whoever we dig, when we are seventeen, we always feel some dumb loyalty to them when we are sixty. Boy, he was a great singer, or great prize fighter, or great baseball player or whatever he was. It's kind of an ego thing, in that, if it was our favorite, whatever, then it's supposed to be hot stuff. Just because it was ours. But, that's a pretty stupid way to go through life too. But, the one fundamental difference, in addition to the obvious differences between Dean and Presley, was that Dean was a great talent and Presley never was. He was just a ....Star! Dean might or might not have become a star. There are may talented people who do not become stars. Presley did not bowl people over with his ability. He just bowled over his young fans who eventually grew up and became forty-three, with his overall image. He had, to use a high school girl's word, a cute face.

D: Very photogenic.

S: Yes. A very photogenic face. He was more attractive on screen than he was in person, although he didn't look bad in person either. Even as he got many pounds over weight, it was still a cute face. A face that, I guess, some would describe as a sexy face. It was a low class sexy face. It wasn't a sexy face like Cary Grant or Gary Cooper, or Warren Beatty, or Robert Redford, who always seem to have some class, whatever that particular word means. Elvis never had any class. He seemed like he always drove a pick-up truck. And it wasn't because he just wore Levis, cause Dean wore Levis, but Dean seemed to have a kind of class. He seemed like a country boy but you could imagine him going to New York, going to Yale and ending up with a job in some nine floor, or on the ninth floor of some office building. But you could never envision Elvis doing that. He was always a low class, poor, white country boy.

D: Colonel Tom Parker made him, I guess...

S: Yeh, he was...

D: Molded him into whatever he wanted.

S: Yeh. There's a lot to that. He, obviously had to have something to do the molding with. But there was considerable molding. Elvis didn't have black hair when I first met him. It was a sort of dirty blond...more or less like your color, as I recall, a light brown hair. There was nothing wrong with it. It was perfectly presentable hair, but somewhere along the route, I don't know when, he darkened his hair for a movie or whatever, and he must have decided he looked better that way, so he kept it.

D: Do you think the Presley thing will build up as big as Dean's?

S: Oh, I think it's probably bigger. As a social phenomenon, it's on a different level. I think the kind of people.... who...identify...I think you could take I.Q. tests, this may sound like a cruel thing to say and I don't mean it as such. I wouldn't care which group rated higher but I would be willing to bet money that the people who are still emotional about James Dean, have a slightly higher I.Q. than people who are very emotional about Presley. I have no investment in this hypothesis, I may be incorrect, but there it is.

D: Well, the thing is, Dean died at twenty-four and Elvis had hit his peak. He was in his forties and he still had his fans, but if he had died the age that Jimmy died, he may have been bigger. Well, like "Giant." They held back the release of "Giant," for a year because magazines, everything was Dean, Dean, Dean.

S: Well that was a calculated marketing thing. Again this is just my impression. I'm no authority on either of these cases but it seems to me the simple numbers of people who care, deeply, and go to Memphis to cry about Elvis and buy his albums, of course Dean had no albums, you can't put that in there, but they were both in films. Anyway, I think the Elvis phenomenon, although it may be shallower and as I say, involves less intelligence. The one is primarily relating to a singer, the other is primarily relating to an actor and there's a difference there. Singers, as a class, are less intelligent than actors. There may be some..that fact may or may not be relevant to what I'm saying here.

D: Paul Newman....Jimmy was set to do "Somebody Up There Likes Me," and "The Left Handed Gun." Paul Newman got those roles after Jimmy died. From everything I've read, when they would both do readings in New York for plays, Newman always lost out to Jimmy. And Paul Newman, I don't think he has ever been nominated for an Oscar, (Dakota: I erred. He had been nominated three times at this particular period in time), he's just a pretty face.

S: Yeh. Paul's an excellent actor. He probably is just an inch less exciting, as an actor, as Dean was. Paul's a very good actor, indeed, and a major Star and deservedly so, but there will be no hysterical fan clubs after Paul Newman or about myself, for that matter. About, very few of us in this business. There's a small percentage of performers who have that kind of hysterical adulation. There are more of us who have had it over a short pull. Almost anybody who has had a good album in number one on the charts. But..whether he will still be having that same kind of reaction when he gets off airplanes, four years later, is another question. The percentages of persons who have that type of popularity over a long pull is much smaller and it isn't just a matter of superstardom because Bob Hope is a major star, deservedly so, but nobody fights in the alley outside his theater, nobody will'll still be a sad day when Bob passes from us, but people won't go to his house and tear off pieces of the curtain and sell it and all that silly nonsense, that they do about Presley. So, you can name fifty people, just limit it to big stars, and talented people like Groucho Marx. I don't know....whoever you might want to mention, Clark Gable, whatever. You can make up your own list and there's more hysteria to Presley's following than there is to all those people. Groucho Marx died, one of the great funny men of the century. Everybody said...ah the poor old guy. Well, it was time for him to go anyway--now what do we have for dinner? There was no phenomenon of Groucho Marx hysteria, either before or after the time of his death.

D: I don't feel that the Elvis thing though, is like Dean, I don't know. Maybe I'm beyond the years too. There are older people that liked him but I can't see the build up like the Dean thing. But, I guess Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis is all Elvis souvenir shops.

S: Yeh.

D: And the Colonel is capitalizing, even after his death and so is his dad.

S: There is no Colonel Tom Parker equivalent in Dean's life. He was more direct and a less hyped up reaction. But, there again, there was something there. It wasn't all hype or the Colonel could walk down the street or go to any record company and pick up some other kid and do the same thing. You can't. It isn't all that easy. Theres' always some mysterious quality. The interest in Marilyn Monroe might be comparable. Marilyn was a far better actress than people gave her credit for. Most people thought she had a cute body, and adorable face and no talent at all.

D: That's what they used to write about her. Now they've changed their attitude.

S: She, of course, was not a Katharine Hepburn, as an actress. She was not one of the greatest acting talents of the century. That would be an exaggeration, but she had more talent as an actress, that even most people in the business, some of who are not too bright about such things either, perceived. To other women, who are much better actresses than they are credited with being, are Doris Day and Sophia Loren. Doris never got credit for her acting ability because she, originally, was a singer and they thought singers can't act. And then when people forgot that she had been a singer, she made so many frothy, empty, meaningless movies.

D:Those Rock Hudson things.

Steve: Yeh, they thought it was a cute face and she had a gift for comedy, but they didn't consider her anymore an actress, than they considered Lucille Ball an actress. She too, had a cute face and a cute way of doing comedy. Doris Day, I repeat, is a real actress. But the thing is even more pronounced properly, in the case of Sophia Loren. That incredible face just wiped everything else out. What she did for a living...was have a face. Anytime a director or a producer wanted to have the ultimate glamour in European chic in a movie, unless it was about poverty in Naples or something, they would just hire a designer and a great make-up artist and let them have that face and both men and women would go--W-o-W, in those close-ups. But, that as I say, obscured the point that Sophia Loren is a good actress.

D: Dean was big all around the world. Still in Japan and London where they are more film conscious than they are in Hollywood, Dean is still big.

S: Well, there they can appreciate the unusual quality of his personna, his image, plus his very superior talent. He was really a fine actor. Sometimes I think people now who don' Kazan or whoever are saying more critical things about his acting, it might be because he always acted naturalistically and if it comes that easily and naturally to you, often you don't get credit for that. Sometimes that might apply in comedy, or singing or base-ball or whatever. If you seem to be working your brains out, people say, he's working hard, there's a lot of talent there. Which is petty dumb. If it all seems to come very easily, they don't often notice the talent. Another superstar of whom that was the case, is Bing Crosby. He finally, after many years of acting well, got an Academy Award for "Going My Way," but he gave an even better performance in"The Country Girl," as an alcoholic trying to shape-up. A very good acting performance and yet, to this day, if you locked people up in a room and said name 500 best actors you can think of. They would have left Bing Crosby off that list. But they figure...well he was a uncle sang a little like that..Crosby... he was great but he wasn't that talented. "THE HELL HE WASN'T. HE WAS DAMNED TALENTED. A GREAT SINGER AND A FINE ACTOR."

D: Do you think Dean should have gotten an Oscar? He was nominated and because he was dead, they didn't want to give it to him, yet Peter Finch received one after his death.

S: If they didn't give it to him..simply because he was dead, then that was stupid. To rationally comment on that, I would have to know, what was his competition?

D: I don't recall.

S: In other words you might say, 'Oh well,..come to think of it, the other performance was even better that year.'

D: But, before that point....somebody had phoned the Academy and they said ",,,in no way would they give it to him because he's deceased."

S: Whoever said that was a dumb person, with a capitol "D" capital "P." It shouldn't matter if you're dead, Armenian, tall or any of those things. All that matters is, did you do the best job of acting? But, I don't think that anybody has ever supposed that the Academy Awards, or for that matter the Emmy's or Grammy's or anything else, are in every case, "given to the best." Very often a particularly good picture will be so powerful, so successful at the box-office, so generally good, so well promoted, that it will be like a successful football team. It will kind of steam roller the opposition. There have been many people who have ridden along and had the good fortune to be in whatever was the hot picture of the year. There may have been somebody else in a less good picture who actually gave a better performance, but had no chance. Many people didn't see the less good picture.

D: It was in the news that "Annie hall," had the smallest audience for an Oscar winner, than any other picture in history. Now, Smokey and the Bandit, nowhere near Oscar category grossed 200 million dollars. Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason.

S: That's an interesting point of view.

D: Do you have plans for another television show like you had in the past?

S: Entertainers do not plan to have television shows ha-ha-ha. If it has, it's never come to my attention.

D: Well, we miss you. Your fans miss you tremendously.

S: Thank you. I do have a series on PBS called "The Meeting Of The Minds." And I'm on television every few days or weeks. I don't want to do another talk show. I would enjoy doing television specials, if I could pick out what I want to do.

D: The Home Boxoffice people have just asked me for a ninety minute special for them, getting the old Tonight Show people back together. So, we've got everybody standing by at the moment, though there is some talk of a strike between the Director's Guild and Home Boxoffice. But we have Steve and Eydie, Skitch Henderson, our old conductor, and Doc Severinson, and we will try to get him to do a trumpet solo. He used to be in the band then. Bobby Rosengarden who used to be our drummer and Gene Rayburn who was the announcer, and Louis Nye and Don Knotts.

D: Do you still have your "Goo-Goo dolls." (this was a small doll he used as a gimmick and he would squeeze it and the eyes and ears would pop out and it would make a goo-goo sound).

S: Don't have anymore Goo-Goo dolls. They went out of business many years ago.

D: I guess every night I used to stay up and watch you. I think that is why I quit
school. I couldn't get up in the morning.

S: So what city did you see the show on?

D: Flint, Michigan and Lima, Ohio, I moved a lot. Why did you leave the Tonight Show? Was it the Sunday show?

S: Yeh. NBC wanted me to do both shows. I knew I couldn't do justice for both. The Tonight Show itself, is not too hard a job. In fact each night you are almost stealing the money, for how easy it is. What's the big deal about going in and talking for ninety minutes and saying, "Thank you and good night?" There's a hell of a lot of people who work harder than that. There are people who work eight hours a day who work harder than that. But never-the-less, it does prevent you pretty much from doing anything else. I guess that's why Johnny takes so much time off. Because he likes to work in Vegas. Because of the success of the Tonight Show NBC gave me the assignment of doing the show on Sunday night, prime-time. And that paid, I think, about five times as much as the Tonight Show, and probably had ten times as big an audience. Most people don't realize that in the twenty-five years of the Tonight Show, it has always had a very small audience compared to prime-time, that is. I remember once when Walter Winchell and Jack Paar were carrying on some dumb argument. Winchell wrote an attack on Jack saying that the 126 shows tested on the Nielson, whatever, his Tonight Show was 125th, which of course was meant to convey that, it was a failure. But Winchell was dishonest in that point because the show was a tremendous success. It was a bigger show under Jack that it had been under me, because the network had added more stations and after Jack it went on to be bigger with Johnny. If they build more stations, whoever it doing it ten years from now, will be bigger than Johnny. But, in any event, if you just looked at the statistic itself, you would say, boy what a bomb that show is. The reason is, of course, that most people have gone to bed eight minutes after midnight. So, they're not up watching television, any kind of television. It's a little different on Friday night, when a lot of people stay up. But America gets up about seven in the morning.

D: Do you think the Tonight Show will continue?

S: I can't see why it wouldn't. It doesn't need Johnny. It doesn't need anybody. It didn't need me. All it needs is for somebody to do a good job. If Johnny got hit by a truck tomorrow, they wouldn't take the show off the air. They'd put Chevy Chase in or whoever else in the show.
(Note: I don't think Chevy Chase).

D: Well, when you were on, if you missed like Johnny misses now....'you were the show.'

S: In those days it would have mattered. It would literally have mattered. It would have mattered if I had never been born and some other guy was the first host of the show. But, it doesn't matter now because there's a twenty-five year viewing habit. It would take...if Johnny would, right now, walk off like Paar used to do, or let's say he was ill and the network didn't want anyone to know he was ill, or whatever, and if he wasn't on the show for three months, I think it would take at least three months for it to affect the ratings. If it did affect them. They might go up, because people would be tuning in to find out how well he was, or whatever stupid reason they tune in for. So, you can't slow down that kind of momentum, on the basis of who is or who isn't the M.C. The show has always been lowest rated on Monday, that the reason Johnny isn't there to bother about it on Monday. If he were there, it would still have a low rating on Monday and little by little, more people stay up during the week and on Friday night there are a lot more. That's been true for all the time and always will be. Television, itself, is still very powerful.

D: I haven't been putting the paper out very much this year. Larry Flynt was going to buy it and take it national. Then he bought the L.A. Free Press instead. Then he
got shot.

S: I drive his old car. A ridiculous looking Cadillac limo. Copper colored with an orange interior.

D: Larry Flynt?

S: I was working a night club in Chicago about three years ago and one of the guys who worked for him, was driving us around. One word led to another and he was getting rid of the car at the time. I picked it up at a reasonable price.

D: He's out here now. He's at a hospital in Inglewood.

S: Oh yeh? How's he doing?

D: Althea says he is doing pretty good. I don't know if he will ever walk. You know, what's worse, pornography or murder?




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